Amos 3 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Amos 3)

Verse 2

[2] You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.

Know — Chosen, adopted to be my peculiar ones.

Therefore — Because you have all these obligations and abused all these mercies.

Verse 3

[3] Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Agreed — Can you have God's presence while you walk so contrary to him?

Verse 5

[5] Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?

Can a bird fall — So here for your sins, God will cast the net over you.

Shall one take up a snare — The fowler will not take up the snare, before the prey be taken in it.

Verse 6

[6] Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Afraid — Affected with the danger.

Evil — Such as plague or famine.

Done it — Either immediately by his own hand, or by the hands of those he employs. Whoever are the instruments, God is the principal agent. Out of his mouth both good and evil proceed.

Verse 7

[7] Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Will do nothing — Usually the Lord doth no great thing for or against his people, without giving warning of it before it comes.

Verse 8

[8] The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?

Hath roared — As a lion roareth when near his prey: so God hath terribly threatened what is near to be done.

Prophesy — Amos can not but speak what he had heard.

Verse 9

[9] Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.

Publish — Ye prophets invite strangers to come and observe what cause I have to do what I threaten.

Tumults — The seditious counsels, and rebellious conspiracies among them.

The oppressed — Multitudes of oppressed ones, as the usurpers took it to be their interest to crush all they feared or suspected.

In the midst — Yea, throughout the whole kingdom of Samaria.

Verse 10

[10] For they know not to do right, saith the LORD, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.

Store up — As men lay up wealth in their treasures, perverting judgment, first condemning the innocent, next seizing all his substance.

Verse 11

[11] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled.

Therefore — Because of all the violence and rapine with other crying sins.

An adversary — The Assyrian.

Round about — Shall beset the whole land as one besieged city.

Verse 12

[12] Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.

As the shepherd — As the shepherd doth hardly rescue a small part of a sheep or lamb from the lion, so a small part of the children of Israel, shall escape when Samaria is taken.

The corner of a bed — Lying in some dark corner.

Damascus — The chief city of Syria taken by Tiglath-Pilneser about the time when he wasted Israel.

In a couch — Some few of the poor, shall escape, pitied by the enemy, when he finds them sick upon their couch.

Verse 13

[13] Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord GOD, the God of hosts,

Hear ye — Prophets.

The God of hosts — Who is Lord of all, and hath all power in his hand.

Verse 14

[14] That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.

Of Israel — The many and great transgressions of the ten tribes.

Verse 15

[15] And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the LORD.

The winter-house — Which probably was in the chief city, whither the great men retired in the winter.

The summer-house — The houses of pleasure, where the nobles and rich men spent the summer time.

Of ivory — Beautified with ivory.