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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Amos 8

 

 

Verses 1-14

Amos 8:1. A basket of summer fruit. The Lord would not wait till the vintage; he would cause their sun, as a nation, to set at noon, and rise no more.

Amos 8:5. That we may sell corn—making the ephah small, and the shekel great. In the east they weighed money; for stamped silver passed as coin. The jews would suffer no image to appear on their money. Therefore our Saviour asked, as is noted by three evangelists, Whose image and superscription is this?

Rabbi Ramban died about the year 1260. In his Commentary on the Pentateuch he says that being at Ancona in Italy, he found in the hand of some aged people a shekel of silver, weighing about half an ounce. On the front was a branch of the almond tree, and on the obverse side an urn, inscribed with Samaritan characters, shekel of shekels; the other side had on it, holy Jerusalem. Other shekels have been found like that at Ancona, all of which have the same inscriptions, with the golden pot of manna on the one side, and the almond rod of Aaron on the other. The shekel was thus coined since the return of the people from Babylon.—Finding this ancient shekel neatly engraved in the Latin work of a Jesuit, I have introduced it into the map of Jerusalem. See maps. This is perhaps the only one of the kind in England.

Amos 8:14. Thy god, oh Dan, liveth. This is spoken in derision of the calf in Dan, where the invading army entered, and it could not save. The Assyrians overran the whole land to Beersheba, the last town leading to Egypt.

REFLECTIONS.

This man of God, moving through the land to execute his mission, reproves the whole series of crimes, from the singers in the temple to the dishonest tradesman in his dwelling, a sort of covert robbers, and oppressors of the poor. But they at the same time rob themselves, a false balance being an abomination to the Lord. No marvel that they should watch opportunities to rob the Lord of his sabbaths, and hasten destruction on themselves, and desolations on their country. We are not allowed by the laws of nature and of nations to take advantage either of the ignorance, or of the necessity of our neighbour. The golden rule of mutual equity must not be violated.

The horrors of famine are great, as we have just seen in the destruction of the army of Cambyses. Joel 3:2. But how dreadful to see a whole land full of corruption, and no prophet to stand in the gap; no manna rained from heaven, and no Horeb to give their dying souls streams of water. What is the state of such a people but that of fat cattle, shut up in hunger, till the time of slaughter. Their feasts are turned to mourning, and when they cry for help the golden gods cannot hear.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Amos 8:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/amos-8.html. 1835.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, December 13th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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