Amos 2


The prophet goes on to declare the judgments of God against

Moab, 1-3;

against Judah, 4, 5;

and then against Israel, the particular object of his mission.

He enumerates some of their sins, 6-8,

aggravated by God's distinguishing regard to Israel, 9-12;

and they are in consequence threatened with dreadful

punishments, 13-16.

See 2Ki 15:19; 17:6.


Verse 1. For three transgressions of Moab and for four] See an

explanation of this form Am 1:2. The land of the Moabites lay to

the east of the Dead Sea. For the origin of this people, see

Ge 19:37.

He burned the bones on the king of Edom into lime] Possibly

referring to some brutality; such as opening the grave of one of

the Idumean kings, and calcining his bones. It is supposed by some

to refer to the fact mentioned 2Ki 3:26, when the kings of Judah,

Israel, and Idumea, joined together to destroy Moab. The king of

it, despairing to save his city, took seven hundred men, and made

a desperate sortie on the quarter where the king of Edom was; and,

though not successful, took prisoner the son of the king of Edom;

and, on their return into the city, offered him as a

burnt-offering upon the wall, so as to terrify the besieging

armies, and cause them to raise the siege. Others understand the

son that was sacrificed to be the king of Moab's own son.

Verse 2. The palaces of Kirioth] This was one of the principal

cities of the Moabites.

Moab shall die with tumult] All these expressions seem to refer

to this city's being taken by storm, which was followed by a total

slaughter of its inhabitants.

Verse 3. I will cut off the judge] It shall be so destroyed,

that it shall never more have any form of government. The judge

here, shophet, may signify the chief magistrate. The chief

magistrates of the Carthaginians were called suffetes; probably

taken from the Hebrew JUDGES, shophetim.

Verse 4. For three transgressions of Judah] We may take the

three and four here to any latitude; for this people lived in

continual hostility to their God, from the days of David to the

time of Uzziah, under whom Amos prophesied. Their iniquities are

summed up under three general heads: 1. They despised, or

rejected the law of the Lord. 2. They kept not his statutes. 3.

They followed lies, were idolaters, and followed false prophets

rather than those sent by Jehovah.

Verse 5. I will send a fire upon Judah] This fire was the war

made upon the Jews by Nebuchadnezzar, which terminated with the

sackage and burning of Jerusalem and its palace the temple.

Verse 6. - 8. For three transgressions of Israel, &c.] To be

satisfied of the exceeding delinquency of this people, we have

only to open the historical and prophetic books in any part; for

the whole history of the Israelites is one tissue of transgression

against God. Their crimes are enumerated under the following


1. Their judges were mercenary and corrupt. They took bribes to

condemn the righteous; and even for articles of clothing, such as

a pair of shoes, they condemned the poor man, and delivered him

into the hands of his adversary.

2. They were unmerciful to the poor generally. They pant after

the dust of the earth on the head of the poor; or, to put it on

the head of the poor; or, they bruise the head of the poor against

the dust of the earth. Howsoever the clause is understood, it

shows them to have been general oppressors of the poor, showing

them neither justice nor mercy.

3. They turn aside the way of the meek. They are peculiarly

oppressive to the weak and afflicted.

4. They were licentious to the uttermost abomination; for in

their idol feasts, where young women prostituted themselves

publicly in honour of Astarte, the father and son entered into

impure connections with the same female.

5. They were cruel in their oppressions of the poor; for the

garments or beds which the poor had pledged they retained contrary

to the law, Ex 22:7-26, which required that such things should be

restored before the setting of the sun.

6. They punished the people by unjust and oppressive fines, and

served their tables with wine bought by such fines. Or it may be

understood of their appropriating to themselves that wine which

was allowed to criminals to mitigate their sufferings in the

article of death; which was the excess of inhumanity and cruelty.

Verse 7. See Clarke on Am 2:6.

Verse 8. See Clarke on Am 2:6.

Verse 9. Yet destroyed I the Amorite] Here follow general heads

of God's mercies to them, and the great things he had done for

them. 1. Bringing them out of Egypt. 2. Miraculously sustaining

them in the wilderness forty years. 3. Driving out the Canaanites

before them, and giving them possession of the promised land. 4.

Raising up prophets among them to declare the Divine will. 5. And

forming the holy institution of the Nazarites among them, to show

the spiritual nature of his holy religion, Am 2:9-11.

Verse 12. But ye gave the Nazarites wine] This was expressly

forbidden in the laws of their institution. See Nu 6:1-3.

Prophesy not.] They would not worship God, and they would not

hear the voice of his prophets.

Verse 13. Behold, I am pressed under you] The marginal reading

is better: "Behold, I will press your place, as a cart full of

sheaves presseth." I will bring over you the wheel of destruction;

and it shall grind your place-your city and temple, as the wheel

of a cart laden with sheaves presses down the ground, gravel, and

stones over which it rolls.

Verse 14. The flight shall perish from the swift] The swiftest

shall not be able to save himself from a swifter destruction.

None, by might, by counsel, or by fleetness, shall be able to

escape from the impending ruin. In a word, God has so fully

determined to avenge the quarrel of his broken covenant, that all

attempts to escape from his judgments shall be useless.

Verse 15. Neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver

himself.] I believe all these sayings, Am 2:13-16, are proverbs,

to show the inutility of all attempts, even in the best

circumstances, to escape the doom now decreed, because the cup of

their iniquity was full.

Verse 16. Shall flee away naked] In some cases the alarm shall

be in the night; and even the most heroic shall start from his

bed, and through terror not wait to put on his clothes.

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