Amos 9 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Amos 9)

Verse 1

[1] I saw the Lord standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.

The altar — Of burnt-offering before the temple at Jerusalem, this altar and temple Israel had forsaken, and set up others against it; and here God in his jealousy appears prepared to take vengeance. Possibly it may intimate his future departure from Judah too. There Ezekiel, Ezekiel 9:2, saw the slaughter-men stand.

The door — The door of the gate that led into the priests court.

And cut them — Wound deep, the people who were visionally represented as standing in the court of the temple.

Verse 2

[2] Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:

Hell — The center of the earth, or the depth of hell.

Verse 3

[3] And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them:

The serpent — The crocodile or shark.

Verse 4

[4] And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good.

Set my eyes — I will perpetually watch over them.

Verse 5

[5] And the Lord GOD of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.

Toucheth — He needs not take great pains therein, a touch of his finger will do this.

Shall melt — As snow before the sun.

Verse 6

[6] It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.

His stories — The celestial orbs one over another, as so many stories in an high and stately palace. And he hath founded his troop in the earth: all the creatures, which are one army, one body; so closely are they connected, and so harmoniously do they all act for the accomplishing of their creator's purposes.

Calleth for the waters — Either in judgment to drown, or in mercy to give rain.

Verse 7

[7] Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?

The Arabians — A wild, thievish, and servile nation.

Have not I brought — And whereas you boast my kindness to you, bringing you out of Egypt, and thereupon conclude, God cannot leave you whom he hath so redeemed; you argue amiss, for this aggravates your sin.

From Kir — Conquered by some potent enemies, and sent away to Kir, a country of Media, yet at last delivered. Should these nations, argue themselves to be out of danger of divine justice, because I had done this for them.

Verse 8

[8] Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD.

The sinful kingdom — Every sinful kingdom.

Verse 9

[9] For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.

The least grain — Though tumbled and tossed with the great violence, yet the smallest, good grain, shall not be lost or destroyed.

Verse 10

[10] All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.

All the sinners — The great, notorious sinners.

The evil — Is far off, we shall die first, and be safe in the grave.

Verse 11

[11] In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:

In that day — In the set time which I have fixt.

Raise up — Bring back out of captivity, and re-establish in their own land, the house of David, and those that adhere to his family.

Fallen — By the revolt of the ten tribes.

The breaches — Which are in it by that long division.

Verse 12

[12] That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.

They — Literally the Jews.

Possess — Both the lands of Edom, and some of the posterity of Edom; these as servants, the other as their propriety.

The remnant — Left by Nebuchadnezzar.

All the heathen — That is, round about.

That doth this — But this is also a prophecy of setting up the kingdom of the Messiah, and bringing in the Gentiles.

Verse 13

[13] Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.

Behold the days come — Here is another promise literally of abundant plenty to the returned captives, and mystically of abundant grace poured forth in gospel-days.

The plowman — Who breaks up the ground, and prepares it for sowing, shall be ready to tread on the heels of the reaper who shall have a harvest so large, that before he can gather it all in, it shall be time to plow the ground again.

The treader of grapes — So great shall their vintage be that e'er the treaders of grapes can have finished their work, the seeds-man shall be sowing his seed against the next season.

Shall drop — The vineyards shall be so fruitful, and new wine so plentiful as if it ran down from the mountains.

Shall melt — Or, as if whole hills were melted into such liquors. If any object, it never was so: I answer, the sins of the returned captives prevented these blessings, which are promised under a tacit condition.

Verse 15

[15] And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.

Pulled up — On condition that they seek the Lord. This was on God's part with admirable constancy performed through six hundred years, perhaps the longest time of freedom from captivity they ever knew.