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Saturday, June 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Amos 1

Coke's Commentary on the Holy BibleCoke's Commentary



Amos sheweth God's judgments upon Syria, upon the Philistines, upon Tyrus, upon Edom, upon Ammon.

Before Christ 787.

Verse 2

Amos 1:2. The Lord will roar Some commentators have observed that the prophet Amos makes use of comparisons taken from lions and other animals, because he himself had been conversant in forests and among different animals. Instead of habitations, we may read pleasant pastures.

Verse 3

Amos 1:3. I will not turn away the punishment thereof I will not revoke it; that is, the voice which denounced their destruction. Houbigant renders the verse, After three transgressions of Damascus, I will not bear that which was the fourth; because, &c. The prophet first threatens the people of Syria, the capital of which was Damascus, for the several transgressions which they had committed, and particularly for their cruelties exercised against the Israelites by Hazael and Benhadad. 2 Kings 10:32; 2 Kings 13:7.

Verse 5

Amos 1:5. I will break also the bar of Damascus See 2 Kings 16:9. The bar means the gates or fortifications. Houbigant, instead of, The house of Eden, reads The house of pleasure; and for Kir, he translates Cyrene.

Verse 6

Amos 1:6. For three transgressions of Gaza Houbigant renders this in the same manner as the third verse; and so throughout the chapter. Instead of the whole captivity, we may read, a peaceable captivity; that is to say, a captivity not taken in war, but by sleight and deceit; or a perfect captivity; that is, not to be recovered. See Amos 1:9.

Verse 12

Amos 1:12. But I will send a fire, &c.— Teman and Bozrah were two principal cities of Idumea. This expression imports their intire conquest and destruction. The ancient country of the Edomites was afterwards called Arabia Petraea; whence they were expelled by the Nabatheans, and never could recover it; but were forced to settle themselves in the southern parts of Judaea. Prideaux.

Verse 15

Amos 1:15. And their king, &c.— מלכם malkam, which some understand of Melchom, the god of the Ammonites: but the words adjoined, his princes, seem rather to point out the king of the country.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, The prophesy opens with an account of the writer Amos, an inhabitant of Tekoa, in the tribe of Judah; a herdsman, not brought up in the school of the prophets, nor probably furnished with human literature; but God can make the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and when he speaks, who can but prophesy? chap. Amos 3:8.

The ten tribes of Israel are chiefly the subject of the prophetic words which God revealed to Amos; and he saw the thing that he declares with the same evidence and clearness, as if they had been presented before his bodily eyes.
The prophesy is dated in the reigns of Uzziah and Jeroboam the second, two years before the earthquake; a very remarkable event, which happened in Uzziah's reign, probably at the beginning of it. Compare 2Ki 15:1 with 2 Kings 14:23.

2nd, The general tenor of the prophesy before us is intimated in these first words of it. The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem, loud and terrible as the lion roars, or as the voice of mighty thunderings. From between the cherubims, his seat of judgment, he denounces his wrath on the enemies of his believing people; the pastures of the shepherds shall mourn, terrified with the sound, and the top of Carmel shall wither, scorched with the flashing lightnings; or, as it is intimated chap. Amo 4:7 consumed with drought.

The charge and sentence against these nations are nearly the same. Their multiplied iniquities and idolatries, signified by three and four transgressions, and above all their persecution and oppression of God's heritage, cried for vengeance against them; and God, as the prophet declares, had determined their doom; for he spake not of himself, but thus saith the Lord, able to execute all the threatenings of his word; and, in this instance, solemnly engaging to do so, I will not turn away the punishment thereof, the sentence is gone forth, irreversible, immutable.

1. Damascus, the capital of Syria, is brought to the bar: besides the general charge of multiplied transgressions, her peculiar iniquity was, that they have threshed Gilead with threshing-instruments of iron, so terribly had Hazael ravaged that part of the country, 2 Kings 10:32-33; 2 Kings 13:3-7. The wrath of God, therefore, as devouring fire, shall consume the royal palaces and temples of Syria, and the invading enemy besiege and force their way into Damascus, the seat of empire; they shall cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven; a delightful valley near it, the scene of their idolatry, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden, some pleasure-house probably of the kings of Syria; and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the Lord, one tittle of whose word shall not fail. See the accomplishment of the prophesy, 2 Kings 16:9.

2. Gaza, a chief city of the Philistines, is next found guilty and punished. Because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom: the event referred to seems to be that recorded 2Ch 21:17 when they ravaged and plundered the country, and seized all Jehoram's family except one son, and all his substance; for which the chief cities of Philistia, with the nobles and inhabitants, are doomed to destruction, and the remnant of them shall perish; God will leave them neither root nor branch; and such will at last be the fate of all the enemies and persecutors of God's people.

3. Tyre, like the other neighbours of Israel, notwithstanding the brotherly covenant which had subsisted of old between Solomon and Hiram, spared them not in the day of their calamity, but delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, either such as they had seized in some inroad into the country, or those who had fled to Tyre for shelter from the invasion of their enemies; these they delivered up, or sold for slaves to their implacable enemies the Edomites: but the proud walls and palaces of Tyre shall be overthrown in just vengeance for such unkindness; which was executed by Nebuchadnezzar after a thirteen years' siege. Note; Unkindness is doubly grating from those of whom we had just reason to expect every act of friendship.

4. Edom, with hereditary hatred, persecuted the seed of Jacob; and, though brethren in blood, yet in enmity most inveterate, they pursued them with the sword, 2Ch 28:17 and were ever ready to do them all possible mischief; but it shall be returned upon their own heads, and their cities and palaces shall be destroyed; as was done by Nebuchadnezzar, and afterwards more terribly by the Maccabees, 1Ma 5:28. Note; (1.) The enmity which arises between nearest relations has usually peculiar malignity. (2.) Such enmity is exceedingly sinful, and will provoke exemplary vengeance against the offenders and the implacable.

5. The children of Ammon, with Rabbah their capital, are devoted to ruin, and their king and princes doomed to an ignominious captivity; their judgment shall be severe, sudden, and irresistible, as their crimes were atrocious; they have ripped up the woman with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border, with most inhuman cruelty massacring the inhabitants, without pity, remorse, or distinction of age, sex, or condition. Note; (1.) Covetousness and cruelty are twin sisters; and the inordinate love of money is often seen to harden the heart against all the feelings of humanity. (2.) It is righteous in God, to give those to the spoil whose substance is the gain of oppression and injustice.

Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Amos 1". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/amos-1.html. 1801-1803.
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