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Bible Commentaries

Ironside's Notes on Selected Books

Amos 2

Verses 1-16

Moab, on the other hand, is not charged with cruelty to Israel, but with having undertaken to execute judgment on Edom when guilty of the gravest crimes himself. Therefore the judge should “be cut off from the midst thereof,” and all their princes slain (ch. 2:1-3).

Thus far the prophetic messages have been directed against the peoples surrounding the land of Israel. History is the witness of their fulfilment. Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon and Moab are now but names. Their glory has long since disappeared. Damascus still exists, but her people have gone into captivity and the Moslem dwells in her palaces. Thus have the predictions of the herdman-prophet been proved to be the word of Jehovah.

But not only against the heathen did he lift up his voice. To Judah and Israel he also had to proclaim the coming of long-delayed judgment, because of their unholy ways.

Judah, privileged above all others, had despised the law of the Lord, and refused obedience to His commandments. The lies of their false teachers had caused them to err-the prophets whom they preferred to the heaven-sent messengers of the God of their fathers. Alas, the fathers had turned away from their Rock, and the children had walked in their ways. Because of this, Jerusalem’s palaces, like those of the nations, must be burned with fire, and the place where Jehovah had set His name be given up” to His enemies (vers. 4, 5).

The indictment of Israel is the lengthiest of all. The proud northern kingdom is charged with covetousness, licentiousness, idolatry, and yet with utter unconcern as to the mischief wrought. They sold the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes. The most commonplace article of commerce was of more value in their covetous eyes than the cause of the poor. Living in the practice of uncleanness of the vilest description, they yet called themselves by the holy name of the Lord, thus profaning it in the sight of the heathen. Idolatry inflamed them, and they drank “the wine of the condemned in the house of their god,” laying themselves down upon the pledged garments of the needy by every altar. The law had forbidden the keeping of the garment of the poor as a pledge overnight; but they not only despised the law, but openly devoted the garments thus acquired to the worship of their idols. The judges also, contrary to all law, used the fines of those they condemned for the purchase of wine for their idolatrous festivals. This was “the wine of the condemned.” Thus was the Holy One of Israel dishonored by those who boasted in His name.

Yet had He, as He touchingly reminds them, cast out the Amorite before them, having brought them up from the land of Egypt and led them forty years through the wilderness. He had raised up prophets among their sons, and Nazarites, devoted to Himself, among their young men. But they led astray the separated ones by wine, and refused to listen to the warnings of the prophets. It is a sad and pitiful picture, but how often has it been duplicated since! They to whom the greatest privileges appertain are often the greatest offenders.

At last their iniquities had come to the full. The last sheaf had been cast upon the cart, and the mercy of the Lord had come to an end. Therefore none should stand “in that day”-the day of the Lord’s anger (vers. 6-16).

How solemn the charges here recorded! Searching too are these words of old. Oh, that we who today are called by the name of the Lord may consider them well!

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Bibliographical Information
Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Amos 2". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/isn/amos-2.html. 1914.