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Bible Commentaries
Amos 8

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Verses 1-6

Amo 8:1-6

Israel is ripe for Judgment (Amos’ fourth vision)

(Amos 8:1-6)

“Thus the Lord Jehovah showed me: and, behold, a basket of summer fruit. And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said Jehovah unto me, The end is come upon my people Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. And the songs of the temple shall be wailings in that day, saith the Lord Jehovah: the dead bodies shall be many; in every place shall they cast them forth with silence” (Amos 8:1-3).

Amos is showed a fourth vision. The prophet communicates with God as the Lord shows him a summer fruit basket. Summer fruit is ripe fruit. The nation is thereby ripe for the outpouring of God’s wrath. The time of the people’s joyful singing in the temple has come to an end. These were “evil times” (Amos 5:13) and a time thereby when “dead bodies” shall fill the cities of Israel. Assyria would violently march upon Israel and crush them by the guidance and power of God (cf. Isaiah 10:5; Hosea 10:6).

“Hear this, O ye that would swallow up the needy, and cause the poor of the land to fail, saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and dealing falsely with balances of deceit; that we may but the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes, and sell the refuse of the wheat?” (Amos 8:4-6).

Israel’s ill treatment of the poor and needy of the land was one of three reasons God would punish Israel (cf. Amos 2:6). Israel’s unjust handling of the poor and unsatisfied hunger and thirst for wealth came to be their demise. Israel’s state of mind is revealed in these verses. They understood the necessity of worship; however, their convictions lay only upon the surface. Like the future Pharisees they practiced their religion in hypocrisy. The wickedness of their minds is revealed in that they could not wait for the religious days of a new moon and Sabbath to be over so that they could get back to their fraudulent practices. Israel shortchanged and overcharged the poor in that their balances were corrupt. Hosea said that Israel’s scales were “balances of deceit” (Hosea 12:7). Produce and grain was sold by weight. Israel had perverted scales so that it favored them when selling and buying. When weighing produce the scales were calibrated to read more than what was actually being weighed if they were selling to the poor. If they were buying, their scales would read less than the actual weight. Such a deceitful balance would bring the seller more money for less fruit and grain.

Verses 7-10

Amo 8:7-10

The Day of Mourning Is Come

Amos 8:7-10

“Jehovah hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works. Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwells therein? Yea, it shall rise up wholly like the river; and it shall be troubled and sink again, like the River of Egypt” (Amos 8:7-8).

Jehovah God should have been “excellent” in the eyes of Jacob; however, they were blinded by their quest for riches. Their wickedness had brought upon them God’s judgments and the Lord proclaims, “I will never forget any of their works.” When the Assyrians flood Israel with violence then there shall be mourning and trembling. Isaiah had spoke of such a flood of destruction (Isaiah 8:7 ff). The Assyrian flood would be likened unto the Nile River that had a reputation and history of severe flooding and drought.

“And it shall come to pas in that day, saith the Lord Jehovah, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day. And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning for an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day” (Amos 7:9-10).

While we understand that Amos is speaking these words we too know that God is the origin. These are words of condemnation against the ungodly. Amos was the mouth piece for God and thereby the Lord’s words were his conviction. When Amos spoke to Amaziah he proved that he was convicted of the truths he spoke. Words of condemnation flow from the mind of God against the unjust and unrighteous. Let the messenger be convicted of the condemning words he preaches for they are of divine origin. The dark days of God’s judgment would come upon Israel. These gloomy days of judgment would severely dampen any mood to sing songs of joy. The people will lament as they look out upon the dead body of brethren, loved ones, and family. They would lament as they are shackled in chains and exiled to Assyria. This was no day to look forward to without fear (cf. Amos 5:18).

Verses 11-14

Amo 8:11-14

A Famine in the Land

Amos 8:11-14

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord Jehovah, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Jehovah. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the word of Jehovah, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:11-12).

Not only would Jehovah destroy Israel with the sword and captivity but He would cause a famine of divine revelation to His people. Though they seek council from God in the extreme corners of the world they will not find it.

“In that day shall the fair virgins and the young men faint for thirst. They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, As thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, As the way of Beersheba liveth; they shall fall, and never rise up again” (Amos 8:13-14).

The day of God withholding revelation and divine council will be the day that Israel’s young men will faint of thirst. The words of God are truly waters of life to the world (cf. John 4:10-11; John 7:38). The life sustaining waters of truth would be withheld from Israel because they had put their trust in the idols of Samaria, Dan, and Beersheba.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Amos 8". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/amos-8.html.
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