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Amos 7:1 . He formed grasshoppers, which are the same as the locusts. After the king’s mowings. It is supposed that the first grass, or the proud corn cut with the scythe, was a tribute to the king. Now, the locusts falling on the wheat, which shot up immediately afterwards, would make fatal havock of the hopes of that year. See Harmer, vol. 2:466.
Amos 7:14 . Then answered Amos I was no prophet. He was not designated from his birth, like Samuel; neither was he a prophet’s son, educated in their schools. But the Lord said, go, prophesy to my people Israel. Compare 2Ki 2:3 ; 2 Kings 4:38; 2 Kings 6:1. Isaiah 8:18. Mark 10:24, 1Co 4:14 ; 1 Corinthians 4:17. An unlettered man, clothed with so divine a spirit, and adorned with so much wisdom and eloquence, are demonstrations that he was “moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon himself that office and ministry.”
Amos 7:17 . Thy wife shall be a harlot. When a besieging army storms a city, no man can protect his own life, nor the weaker branches of his house from insults. The proverb says truly, the laws are silent in war.
Amos, deeply impressed with the impending desolations of his country, prayed for their pardon, while he traced a close line of connection between their sufferings and their sins. He prayed also that God would raise up a minister or prophet, who should raise his declining country to glory, as in the days of David. By whom shall Jacob arise, for he is small? This was truly a most pious, patriotic, and loyal request.
Prayers for the unworthy are of no long avail, and often altogether rejected, though offered to heaven by the best of saints. God granted a short reprieve, and kept back his arm from the threatened vengeance; but the people, instead of repenting, retained all their idols, and all their sins; therefore the punishment was heavier for delay. Guilt accumulates as a treasure; and horror seizes the culprit when justice shakes out the rust of the bag. God, at length, would no more pass through the land by locusts, and milder judgments; he would no more burn with the transient fire of Tiglath-pilnezer; but he would measure off the whole fabric by Salmanezer, and pay him the full wages for all his terrible work. So God removed the apostate, the drunken, the filthy, and the incorrigible Israelites, as a carcase out of his sight.
Proud and hardened men cannot bear faithful sermons: it was the false prophets who had the secret to charm the carnal heart, and to raise a momentary smile on a guilty mind. To Amaziah, the highpriest of Bethel, the sermons of Amos were insupportable. Amos had no claims of birth, nor of education; yet his arguments were clear, his subjects sublime, and clothed in a terror of style worthy of his mission. Amaziah did not dare to refute him; but his malice aimed at his life. Being filled with all the wisdom from beneath, which is devilish, he accused Amos of a conspiracy against the life of the king; for an argument less malicious would not serve his purpose. In like manner the jews accused our Saviour. When the princes accused Jeremiah, there was some honour in their complaint; they said he weakened the hands of the soldiers; but when the priest accused Amos, he discovered the ingenious malice of a fiend. And when unable to imbrue the hands of his sovereign in innocent blood, for the court seemed no way alarmed at Amos’s conspiracy, he thought to banish the prophet from his sphere of labours. God’s faithful ministers have most to dread from the unregenerate clergy. The terrible persecution raised against the protestants of France in 1685, Jurieu says, was undertaken by the particular solicitation of the clergy; but in the late war, all the sufferings they then brought upon their christian brethren, recoiled upon them, in the third and fourth generation with sevenfold vengeance.
The blasts of persecution blow the fire of piety and zeal. Amos, conscious of a divine call, and grateful to Him who deigned to make a poor man a prophet, looked his enemy in the face, with a message from God. He sentenced the wife of this priest to prostitution, his sons and daughters to die by the sword, his country to go into captivity, amongst whom he also should pine away in a polluted land. Thus the prophet rose to glory in the contest, while the disappointed priest sunk heartsick under the conscious terrors of an offended God.
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Amos 7". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/
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