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1 Thus hath the Lord God shewed vnto me, and beholde, a basket of Summer fruit.

2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I sayde, A basket of Summer fruite. Then said the Lord vnto mee, The ende is come vpon my people of Israel; I will not againe passe by them anymore.

3 And the songs of the Temples shalbe howlings in that day, sayth the Lord God: there shall be many dead bodies in euery place, they shall cast them foorth with silence.

4 Heare this, O ye that swallow vp the needy, euen to make the poore of the land to faile,

5 Saying, When will the newe Moone be gone, that we may sell corne? and the Sabbath, that wee may set forth wheat, making the Ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?

6 That wee may buy the poore for siluer, & the needie for a paire of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheate?

7 The Lord hath sworne by the excellencie of Iacob, Surely I will neuer forget any of their workes.

8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and euery one mourne that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise vp wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.

9 And it shall come to passe in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the Sunne to go downe at noone, and I will darken the earth in the cleare day.

10 And I will turne your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation, and I will bring vp sackcloth vpon all loynes, and baldnesse vpon euery head: and I will make it as the mourning of an onely sonne, and the end thereof as a bitter day.

11 Behold, the daies come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.

12 And they shall wander from Sea to Sea, and from the North euen to the East they shall runne to and fro, to seeke the worde of the Lord, and shall not finde it.

13 In that day shall the faire virgines and young men faint for thirst.

14 They that sweare by the sinne of Samaria, and say, Thy God, O Dan, liueth, and the manner of Beer-sheba liueth, euen they shall fall, and neuer rise vp againe.

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
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Commentary for Amos 8

The near approach of the ruin of Israel. (1-3) Oppression reproved. (4-10) A famine of the word of God. (11-14)1-3 Amos saw a basket of summer fruit gathered, and ready to be eaten; which signified, that the people were ripe for destruction, that the year of God's patience was drawing towards a conclusion. Such summer fruits will not keep till winter, but must be used at once. Yet these judgments shall not draw from them any acknowledgement, either of God's righteousness or their own unrighteousness. Sinners put off repentance from day to day, because they think the Lord thus delays his judgments.

4-10 The rich and powerful of the land were the most guilty of oppression, as well as the foremost in idolatry. They were weary of the restraints of the sabbaths and the new moons, and wished them over, because no common work might be done therein. This is the character of many who are called Christians. The sabbath day and sabbath work are a burden to carnal hearts. It will either be profaned or be accounted a dull day. But can we spend our time better than in communion with God? When employed in religious services, they were thinking of marketings. They were weary of holy duties, because their worldly business stood still the while. Those are strangers to God, and enemies to themselves, who love market days better than sabbath days, who would rather be selling corn than worshipping God. They have no regard to man: those who have lost the savour of piety, will not long keep the sense of common honesty. They cheat those they deal with. They take advantage of their neighbour's ignorance or necessity, in a traffic which nearly concerns the labouring poor. Could we witness the fraud and covetousness, which, in such numerous forms, render trading an abomination to the Lord, we should not wonder to see many dealers backward in the service of God. But he who thus despises the poor, reproaches his Maker; as it regards Him, rich and poor meet together. Riches that are got by the ruin of the poor, will bring ruin on those that get them. God will remember their sin against them. This speaks the case of such unjust, unmerciful men, to be miserable indeed, miserable for ever. There shall be terror and desolation every where. It shall come upon them when they little think of it. Thus uncertain are all our creature-comforts and enjoyments, even life itself; in the midst of life we are in death. What will be the wailing in the bitter day which follows sinful and sensual pleasures!

11-14 Here was a token of God's highest displeasure. At any time, and most in a time of trouble, a famine of the word of God is the heaviest judgment. To many this is no affliction, yet some will feel it very much, and will travel far to hear a good sermon; they feel the loss of the mercies others foolishly sin away. But when God visits a backsliding church, their own plans and endeavours to find out a way of salvation, will stand them in no stead. And the most amiable and zealous would perish, for want of the water of life, which Christ only can bestow. Let us value our advantages, seek to profit by them, and fear sinning them away.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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