Amos 8 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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Verse 2

[2] And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.

The end — Of God's patience towards Israel, the end of their ripening, they are now fully ripe, fit to be gathered.

Pass by them — God had with admirable patience spared, but now he will no more pardon or spare.

Verse 3

[3] And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.

With silence — So great will be the cruelty of the enemy, that they dare not bury them, or if they do, it must be undiscerned.

Verse 4

[4] Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,

To fail — Either to root them out, or to enslave them.

Verse 5

[5] Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?

When — Ye that could wish there were nothing to interrupt your marketing, that look on solemn times of worship as burdensome, such was the first day of every month, and the weekly sabbath.

Small — So the ephah being too little, the poor buyer had not his due.

The shekel great — They weighed the money which they received, and had no more justice, than to make their shekel weight greater than the standard; so the poor were twice oppressed, had less than was their right, and paid more than they ought to pay.

Verse 6

[6] That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?

That we may buy — They would have new moons and sabbaths over, that they might go to market to buy the poor. And when these poor owed but for a very little commodity, as suppose a pair of shoes, these merciless men would take the advantage against them, and make them sell themselves to pay the debt.

The refuse — This was another kind of oppression, corrupted wares, sold to those that were necessitous.

Verse 7

[7] The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.

Hath sworn — By himself.

Forget — Suffer to pass unpunished.

Verse 8

[8] Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.

The land — The people of it.

For this — This that you have done, and this that God will do.

And it — The judgment, the displeasure of God, shall rise and grow like a mighty wasting flood.

It — The land.

Drowned — As Egypt by the overflowing of the Nile.

Verse 9

[9] And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:

At noon — So Israel's sun did as at noon set under the dark cloud of conspiracies and civil wars by Shallum, Menahem, Pekah, and Hosea, 'till the midnight darkness drew on by Pul, Tiglath-Pilneser, and Salmaneser.

Darken — Bring a thick cloud of troubles and afflictions.

In the clear day — When they think all is safe, sure, and well settled.

Verse 10

[10] And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.

Upon all loins — All sorts of persons shall put on mourning.

Baldness — Shaving the head and beard was a sign of the greatest sadness.

A bitter day — A bitter day, which you shall wish you had never seen, shall succeed your dark night.

Verse 12

[12] And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

Shall wander — Search all places for a prophet or preacher, from the Mid-land sea to the dead sea, they shall search all corners for a prophet.

Verse 14

[14] They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.

They — Who sacrifice to and swear by the calves at Dan and Beth-el.

By the sin — Who say the idol at Dan is the true and living God.

The manner — The idol which is worshipped at Beersheba.

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