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Bible Commentaries
Amos 2

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-3



Verses 1-3:

Verse 1 describes: certain indictments of wrong and pending judgment upon Moab. Like the Ammonites, the Moabites were an offspring nation from Moab, the incest son of Lot. Verse 1 pronounces a special judgment on the Moabites because they had burned the bones of the king of Edom, the heir-apparent to the throne, considered a revengeful act of cruelty, and an act of insult to the people of Edom. It is not known why, but believed it may have been because he had joined alliance with Jehoshaphat and Jehoram.

Verse 2 warns that fire shall be sent upon Moab to destroy the palaces (estates) of Kirioth, the chief city of Moab, called also Kir­Moab, Isaiah 15:1, as Moab dies with a tumult (uproar) shouting, and the sound of the trumpet of warfare, retreat, death, and defeat, Jeremiah 48:24; Jeremiah 48:41. It was later the home of Judas Iscariot.

Verse 3 describes the cutting off of the judge of Moab, and the slaying of all the princes, the civil rulers associated with him in all the land; Judges were their supreme magistrates, as indicated in the Law, Deuteronomy 27:9.

Verses 4-16

Judgments On Judah and Israel (the seventh)

Verses 4-16:

Verse 4 begins a description of God’s pending judgment on Judah, the southern kingdom. Amos now passes from the Gentile to the Jewish judgments. Her dispersion and particular judgment lasted for seventy years of captivity in Babylon, while that of Israel, the northern kingdom, joined by Judah in 70 A.D., has remained in worldwide dispersion until today. Judah had: 1) "despised" or taken lightly God’s laws, 2) failed to keep, guard, or observe His commandments, and 3) their "lies" perversions, distortions, and misuse of God’s laws had caused the people to turn from Him, to walk as heathens walked, as expressed Mark 7:1-12; Acts 7:51-53, Judah and Israel form the seventh judgment.

Verse 5 warns of God-sent fire upon Judah, that would devour or consume the palaces of Jerusalem, the residences and administrative office of their civil and religious rulers; Because of their lies Jerusalem was sacked, or burned by fire, first by the invading Chaldaeans and second by the Romans, 2 Kings 25:9; 2 Chronicles 36:19. God’s fiery judgments, against the sins of individuals or nations, may often seem to be long delayed, but they are as sure to come, as God is God, Exodus 20:4-5; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Galatians 6:7-8; Hebrews 9:27-28.

Verse 6 begins an extended description of judgments that were to befall the northern kingdom or ten tribes of Israel, because of certain enumerated sins, as follow:

1) They sold (bartered or traded) the righteous for silver, for mercenary purposes, a grave, inhumane injustice, Deuteronomy 16:18.

2) And they depressed and sold the poor for a pair of shoes or sandals, counting ornaments and money of more value than human souls, a serious breach of their own law, Deuteronomy 16:19.

Verse 7 asserts that Israel’s leaders eyed the poor or earthly possessions they had, took them from them, then sold them as slaves, got all they could to satisfy unjust debts they had laid claim on against them, much as described Leviticus 25:39-40; James 5:1-6. So base had the people of Israel become in morals and ethics, 2 Kings 4:1; Nehemiah 5:5, under the influence of idolatry, that the father and son would enter a sex orgy with the same young maid prostitutes that were kept by heathen priests, made available to the men and their sons who brought sacrifices and gifts to their temples, Leviticus 22:32; Exodus 20:14.

Verses 8 asserts that the godless, covetous, rich in Israel kept pledge clothes from the poor, put up for a loan, then slept on the clothes of the poor at night, a thing forbidden by their own law, Exodus 22:25; Deuteronomy 24:12-13. They lay upon these pawn clothes from the poor, at their festivals while drinking wine, and spilling it on the garments to sour and defile the garments. The wine was bought with money from those whom they had unjustly fined. Their sins will "find them out," Numbers 32:32; Galatians 6:7-8.

Verse 9 explains how God’s former help to Israel heightens her sin of ingratitude. He had destroyed the Amorites before them, the most powerful of the Canaanite nations, and put for them all, Genesis 15:16; Genesis 48:22; Deuteronomy 1:20; Joshua 7:7. He had made them high, yet cut them down, brought them low as the root and branch of the fallen tree are destroyed; yet Israel did not heed the lesson.

Verse 10 reminds Israel that it was He who brought them up from the flat, lower regions of Egypt, to the higher plains and mountains of Israel of Judah. He had cared for, nourished them for forty years in the wilderness, miraculously providing for them the three basic necessities of life, food, clothes, and shelter, to possess the lard of the Amorites, Acts 13:17-19.

Verse 11 asserts that God had raised up their sons, young men to become Nazarite prophets, additional reasons for them to have followed holy living. For he was to be "holy to the Lord," Judges 15:13; Numbers 6:2; Lamentations 4:7.

Verse 12 then charges that in spite of God’s deliverance, care of, and appointment of them as an holy people, they tempted the Nazarites to break their vows by giving them wine to drink, Numbers 6:1-6. They also obstructed their prophecying and even commanded them "prophecy not," or just "play it cool," "cut out the upsetting prophecies," etc. as in Isaiah 30:10; Amos 7:12-14.

Verse 13 describes how that God is pressed under them, His will, word, and ways are trampled under their feet, so that they rebelliously and obstinately do as they please, breaking God’s law, bowing down to and worshipping false, idol, heathen gods, Exodus 20:1-4; God is run over by them as an ox-cart runs over a bundle of sheaves or is burdened and pressed down by bundles of sheaves, Hebrews 10:29-31; Proverbs 1:22-31.

Verse 14 warns that because of this ingratitude, contempt, and flagrant disobedience to God’s commandments, even the swiftest of Israel’s people shall not out run or escape the coming judgment over them, Psalms 142:4-5; Job 11:20. None will be strong enough to save his own life.

Verse 15 asserts that neither the bowman, the swiftest of footmen, nor the horseman could ride, run, or shoot himself out of the path of the sweeping army that was to come over Israel; God was weary with their iniquity and enmity, Isaiah 43:24; Malachi 2:17.

Verse 16 states that only those courageous enough, neither to look back with covetous longing or to turn back at all, would escape with their lives. With saving their lives they must be content in that hour, Psalms 46:1; Psalms 34:7; Matthew 24:16-18; Mark 13:16.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Amos 2". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/amos-2.html. 1985.
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