Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, June 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Amos 3

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

Verse 1

Amo 3:1. The chief part of the nation to which this book is directed is the 10-tribe kingdom, but a part of it is so composed that it may he properly addressed to the whole family of Israel.

Verse 2

2 Amo 3:2. You. only have I known means that God had not recognized or accepted any other family. It is forcefully expressed in Deu 7:6 as follows: "The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people upon the face of the earth.1' This favor placed them under greater obligation to eonduct themselves in a manner pleasing to Him. They did not do so, therefore it was divinely decreed to punish you for all your iniquities.

Verse 3

3 Amo 3:3. Two men might unexpectedly come together while each is out walking and that would not require any previous understanding, but they would not continue their walk together without it. Together is from yachad, which Strong defines, “Properly a unit, i. e. (adverbially) unitedly." This means not only that the two might, happen to walk in the same general direction, but that they were doing so as a unit of action. The statement (in question form) is that the men will not do so except they be agreed. That word is the key to the whole passage. It is from yaap and Strong’s definition is, “A primitive root; to fix upon (by agreement or appointment); by implication lo meet (at a stated time), to summon (to trial), to direct (in a certain quarter or position), to engage (for marriage)." Moffatt renders the word “have planned It.” I have gone into much detail here because of the fundamental importance of the subject being considered. The principle is clearly set forth that in matters of right and wrong it is not enough that the parties be “all striving for the same place," and that they be a united in their activities. Not only so, but that unity must have been agreed upon by tbe parties proposing to walk together. Since the actual case at hand is that of "walking with God,” it is a foregone conclusion that He is the one to do all the planning, and that man is expected and should be glad to agree to the plan.

Verse 4

6 Amo 3:4-6. I have grouped these verses into one paragraph because they are all written for one purpose, and that may well be expressed by the phrase, “no effect without a cause.'' For instance, a lion does not roar if there is no prey; a bird cannot be entrapped unless there is a trap; a snare cannot be taken up if there is no snare to take; a trumpet would not be blown unless there was some danger to be announced. Evil is used in the sense of some chastisement, and its presence is proof that there is some cause for It in the mind of the Lord.

Verse 7

7 Amo 3:7. God will not cause any false alarm, and when He instructs the prophets to sound a warning, there is a cause for it.

Verse 8

8 Amo 3:8. In view of the foregoing logical conclusions, how foolish it would be were the people not to fear since the lion (God) has roared; and what neglect of duty it would be for the prophets not to utter the predictions of warning since the Lord has spoken of them through the channel of inspiration.

Verse 9

9 Amo 3:9. This and the next two verses are a prediction of the Assyrian siege. Ashdod was a city of the Philistines and Egypt was another of the heathen countries. In a figuralive manner these foreign people were Invited to come and witness what was going to happen to Samaria, the capital of the 10-tribe kingdom of the .Jews. The tumults and oppression would be the natural result of a siege.

Verse 10

0 Amo 3:10. They refers to t.he people of the kingdom of Samaria. Know not to do right is said in the same sense as Isa 1:3; they knew' not because they did not consider what the Lord had told them in his word. Instead of dealing justly with their brethren, they increased their own store of wealth by means of violence and robbery.

Verse 11

1 Amo 3:11; Amo 3:4 n adversary even round about the land is a direct prediction of the Assyrian siege, and the fulfiIment is recorded in 2Ki 17:5. Spoiled is from bazaz, which Strong defines, "A primitive root; to plunder.” While the Assyrians were conducting the siege of Samaria, they entered the houses of the city and took possession of their valuables.

Verse 12

2 Amo 3:12. From this verse through the close of the chapter the passage is a prediction of the Assyrian captivity of Israel. If the shepherd could rescue only the legs and piece of an ear of his sheep from the mouth of the lion, it would be because the sheep was almost wholly devoured. The figure is used to indicate the "close call” that Israel was to make to being entirely destroyed. But the great Shepherd would not let his dock (the 10-tribe kingdom) be entirely ruined, and so He will take out a part of it even though at the time the members of the flock will be lounging on beds and couches. Damascus is from demesiieq, which Strong defines, "Damask (as a fabric of Damascus).” The idea is that the people of Israel (especially the leaders in the capital city of Sa-maria) will be taking it easy, lolling their time away on beds and couches adorned with the luxurious fabrics of Damascus.

Verse 13

3 Amo 3:13. The Lord bids the prophet call upon the house of Jacob (from whom came the name Israel) to hear what the God of hosts has to say.

Verse 14

4 Amo 3:14. Visit the transgressions means to bring judgment upon them for their transgressions, Those sins consisted in their sacrifices to idol gods, and Bethel is named because one of the idol calves was erected there (1Ki 12:29). Horns of the altar shall he cut off is a prediction of the destruction of idolatrous worship, which was to be accomplished by the captivity.

Verse 15

5 Amo 3:15. Winter house and, summer house. The luxury-loving leaders had the two separate houses erected in sucli a manner and in such places as to give them eomfort at the various seasons. Houses of ivory were a part of the extravagancies indulged in by the pleasure-mad princes of Israel. Smith’s Bible Dictionary says the following about this subject: "The ivory house of Ahab. 1Ki 22:39, was probably a patace, the walls of which were panelled with ivory, like the paiace of Menelaus, described by Homer's Odyssy 4, 73. Beds inlaid or veneered with ivory were in use by (he Hebrews.”
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Amos 3". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/amos-3.html. 1952.
 
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