Amos 9 Bible Commentary

John Darby’s Synopsis

(Read all of Amos 9)
Exact and discriminative judgment executed by God Himself

Chapter 9 presents Jehovah Himself as directing the judgment in such a manner that Israel should in no wise escape it, God treating them as He would the nations that were strangers to Him, as the Philistines or the Syrians, whom, in His providence, He had brought from other lands. Nevertheless God did not forget Israel. He executed the judgment Himself, so that, while Israel should be sifted among all the nations, not one grain should be lost. The wicked who did not believe in the judgment should be overtaken by it.

God's ultimate purposes of grace to David's seed and to Gentiles

In that day (that is, in the day of Jehovah's final judgment) He would not raise up the tabernacle of Jeroboams and of Jehus, although He had given them a place for a time during His longsuffering government; but (fulfilling His own purposes of grace) He would raise up the tabernacle of David His elect, and rebuild it in its glory. He would raise it entirely from its ruins, that His seed might possess the remnant of Edom and of all the heathen that are brought to know the name of Jehovah. [1] At that time Jehovah would also bring Israel back from their captivity, and re-establish them in full blessing. They should enjoy the fruits of their land. Jehovah would plant His people upon their land, and they should be no more pulled up. It was the land which He Himself had given them.

The ways of God with Israel: their judgment and assured future restoration—the sure mercies of David

Thus we find, in the prophet Amos, the judgment of the kingdom of Israel; but this judgment applied to the whole of Israel as a nation, and their assured restoration, in connection with the re-establishment of the house of David in the last days—a re-establishment accomplished by God, which nothing should again overthrow. He would plant them, and none should pluck them up: a testimony which assuredly has never been fulfilled, and as assuredly will be; Israel shall be in their own land and never again removed.

In general, then, this prophet sets before us, not great public events in the government of God, but the ways of God with His people, in view of their moral condition; the ten tribes, or the kingdom of Israel, being looked at as representing all Israel as a responsible nation, the link of their condition at that time with their original position (when, through the grace and power of Jehovah, they had come up out of Egypt), being the golden calves of Sinai and of Bethel.

The prophecy closes, as we have seen, with the re-establishment in blessing of the whole people, under the house of David, according to the sovereign grace of God who changes not. It should be, for the whole nation, the sure mercies of David.

[1] This passage is quoted by the apostle James in Acts 15. Here (in Amos) it is quite clear that it applies to the last days, and it has sometimes been attempted to apply it to the same period in Acts also, laying stress on the words, "After this." But I am persuaded that those who do so have not rightly apprehended the meaning of the apostle's argument. He quotes this passage for one expression alone, without dwelling on the remainder; and this is the reason, I doubt not, that he is satisfied with the translation of the Septuagint. This expression is, "All the Gentiles upon whom my name is called." The question was, whether Gentiles could be received without becoming Jews. After having affirmed this principle, he shews that the prophets agreed with his declaration. He does not speak at all of the fulfilment of the prophecy; he only shews that the prophets sanction the principle, that Gentiles should bear the name of Jehovah—"All the Gentiles upon whom my name is called." There would then be such. God knew all His works from the beginning of the world, whatever might be the time of their manifestation.