Lectionary Calendar
Monday, May 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
StudyLight.org has pledged to help build churches in Uganda. Help us with that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries
Amos 8

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary


Amos 7:1 to Amos 9:8 . Visions of the Prophet Amos.— This section contains a series of visions, interrupted by a historical passage ( Amos 7:10-17). The visions are described and then interpreted as symbolical illustrations of apostate Israel’ s fate.

Verses 1-3

Amos 8:1-3 . The Vision of the Basket of Summer Fruit.— The account of the visions is now resumed. This time the prophet sees a basket of summer fruit ( Amos 8:1), and Yahweh explains ( Amos 8:2) that the summer fruit ( kayiṣ?) symbolises the end ( kçṣ?) of the people of Israel. Thus we have a play upon words (as in Jeremiah 1:11 f.). In that day ( Amos 8:3) the songs in the palace ( not temple) shall be turned into wailing. There shall be dead bodies everywhere, and these shall be cast away in silence without burial. This scene of the dead demands dead silence.

3. And the songs of the temple shall be howlings: lit. “ and the songs of the palace shall wail.” Read with Hoffmann and others, shâ rô th for shî rô th, “ and the singing women of the palace shall wail.” Translate, “ A multitude of carcases.”

Verses 4-14

Amos 8:4-14 . Development of the Theme of Amos 3.— This section, which re-echoes Amos 2:6-8, has been regarded as a conglomeration of rather loosely-connected fragments ( cf. G. A. Smith). The prophet addresses himself to those who persecute and destroy the needy and humble ( Amos 8:4), the ruthless and godless rich who regard holy days and Sabbaths as tiresome interruptions of business and as troublesome reproaches to their guilty conscience ( Amos 8:5), who traffic in the lives of the poor (see Amos 2:6) and tamper with the very staff of life ( Amos 8:6). Such men and such deeds Yahweh will never forget or forgive ( Amos 8:7). The very ground will shudder at them and suffer an earthquake, swaying upwards like the Nile, rolling, and sinking again like the river of Egypt ( Amos 8:8). The sun will disappear at noon, and darkness reign instead of daylight ( Amos 8:9). The expressions are figures of speech, and do not necessarily imply an earthquake and eclipse in the days of Amos. Joy ( Amos 8:10) shall be turned into lamentation and mourning like the mourning for one’ s dearest one (so Ehrlich, not for an only son). The end of all this will be the most bitter distress. The words of Yahweh have been despised and rejected. The time will come ( Amos 8:11) when men will seek as feverishly to hear “ the word (read as sing.) of the Lord” as they seek to find food and water in time of famine and drought. And they will seek in vain ( Amos 8:12). Of this thirst the fairest maidens and the youths will pine away ( Amos 8:13), who ( Amos 8:14) used to swear by the guilt (false worship) of Samaria and say, “ As liveth thy God, O Dan!” They used to take an oath by the God of Dan and by the pilgrimage-route to Beersheba.

Amos 8:4 . Read, “ ye that crush” ( cf. Amos 2:7).

Amos 8:6 . the refuse of wheat: a similar expression, the “ sweepings of corn,” occurs in an old Aramaic inscription from Nirab, near Aleppo (Lidzbarski, Ephemeris, i. 1902, p. 193).

Amos 8:7 . Translate “ the pride of Jacob.”

Amos 8:8 . troubled: rather “ tossed” (lit. “ driven,” cf. Isaiah 57:20).

Amos 8:12 . It is perhaps better to translate, against the accents, “ And from the north even to the sun-rising shall they run to and fro, seeking,” etc.

Amos 8:14 . the sin of Samaria: the sin (’ ashmath) or guilt here is usually taken to be the calf worshipped at Bethel ( cf. Hosea 8:5; Hosea 10:5; Hosea 10:8). But it has become probable that the reference is to a god ‘ Ashî ma. The Elephantine papyri (p. 79) speak of a deity, ‘ Ashem-bethel, worshipped by the Jewish military colony in Upper Egypt (5th cent. B.C.); and we know that the Hamathites worshipped a god ’ Ashî ma. Translate, therefore, “ by ’ Ashî ma of Samaria” (so Edghill).— As the way of Beersheba liveth: the Muhammadans swear by the pilgrimage to Mecca, but there is no other instance of this kind of oath in OT. Perhaps dô dל ka, “ thy darling,” should be read for derek. Here Hoffmann takes it to denote a special patron-god: “ As liveth thy patron, O Beersheba!”

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Amos 8". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/amos-8.html. 1919.
Ads FreeProfile