Amos 1 COMMENTARY (Pulpit)

Amos 1
Pulpit Commentary
The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
Verse 1. - Heading. The words. So Jeremiah begins his prophecy (Jeremiah 1:1), and the writer of Ecclesiastes (Ecclesiastes 1:1). That the words am not those of Amos, but of Jehovah, is shown by the succeeding clause, "which he saw." Herdmen. The Hebrew word noked used here is found in 2 Kings 3:4, applied to Mesha King of Moab, a great "sheepmaster;" hence some have considered that Amos was not a mere mercenary, but a rich possessor of flocks. His own words, however (Amos 7:14, 15), decide his position as that of a poor labouring man. Tekoah. A small town of Judah (see above in the account of the author, Introduction, § II.). He saw, with inward intuition. Hence his "words" were inspired (comp. Isaiah 2:1; Habakkuk 1:1). Concerning Israel chiefly, mention of Judah being introduced only incidentally and as connected with the destinies of Israel The Septuagint reads, by some mistake, "concerning Jerusalem." In the days. (For the date of the prophecy, see above, Introduction, § III.) Earthquake. No mention is made of this event in the historical books. It was remembered in after years (see Zechariah 14:5), and Amos alludes to it as a token of the judgment which he foretold, such catastrophes being regarded as signs of the majesty of God and his vengeance on sinners (comp. Exodus 19:18: Psalm 68:8; Micah 1:4; Habakkuk 3:6, 10), Josephus ('Ant.,' 9:10. 4) attributes this earthquake to God's displeasure at Uzziah's usurpation of the priest's office (2 Chronicles 26:16).
And he said, The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.
Verse 2. - And he said. This is the commencement of "the words" of Amos (ver. 1); and herein the prophet gives a short summary of the judgment which he has to pronounce. The following clause is a repetition of Joel 3:16; and Amos thus connects his prophecy with that of his predscessor, to show the unity of prophetic mission, and to warn the Jews that God's punishments are not directed exclusively on heathen nations. To the nations denounced by Joel, Amos adds others of Israel's enemies, viz. Syria, Ammon, and Moab. Roar... voice. The thunder is the voice of God announcing his coming to judge. From Zion. Not from Dan and Bethel, the seats of idolatrous worship, but from Jerusalem, the abode of his presence. The habitations; better, the pastures. It is only natural that Amos, the shepherd, should use such terms to express the idea that the whole land, from Jerusalem on the south to Carmel on the north, should feel the vengeance of the Lord. Shall mourn; explained by the following term, shall wither; i.e. shall lose their verdure (comp. Jeremiah 12:11; Hosea 4:3). The top of Carmel. This is the Mount Carmel, which stretches boldly into the sea on the south of the Bay of Acre, and is remarkable for its extreme fertility, its rich pastures, its vines, olives, fruits, and flowers. Thomson, 'The Land and the Book;' writes thus about it: "The celebrated ridge, called in the Bible Merest Carmel, and by the Arabs Jebel Kurmul, or Mar Elyas, in honour of Elijah, is an extension of the hills of Samaria, in a northwesterly direction, for a distance of about eighteen miles, terminating in the bold promontory of Carmel, which descends almost literally into the sea. It is steep and lofty where it overhangs the Mediterranean above Haifa, and on that face which overlooks the Plain of Acre on the north, and that of Esdraelon towards the southeast. There is no special excellency in Carmel at the present day, whatever may be said of Sharon. Its name, Kurmul, or Kerm-el, signifies 'the vineyard of God;' but its vineyards have all disappeared. It was a glorious mountain, however, and a prominent landmark; according to Jeremiah (Jeremiah 46:18), Carmel was a resort of herdsmen. Amos says, 'The habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither,' in the time of the threatened judgment, and this implies that its pastures were not ordinarily liable to wither. This may, in part, have been occasioned by the heavy dews which its lofty elevation, so near the sea, causes to distil nightly upon its thirsty head. I found it quite green and flowery in midsummer. It was a noble pasture field, and, in reference to that characteristic, Micah utters his sweet prayer, 'Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel; let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.'"
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:
Verses 3-5. - Before announcing the judgment on Israel, Amos proclaims the punishment on neighbouring heathen nations for their injurious treatment of the chosen people, thus showing God's care for his elect, and leading them to fear vengeance for their own greater sins towards him. The order observed in denouncing these nations is not geographical, but is regulated by the nature of each people's relation to Israel, and the degree in which they have sinned against her. The denunciation begins with Syria, her hitherto most oppressive enemy, and the least akin. Verse 3. - For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four. This form of expression is repeated in each of the following strophes, and some critics have taken the terms literally, and have tried to identify that particular number of transgressions in each case; but this is trifling. The phrase and others similar to it are not uncommon, and are used to signify a great number, the last mentioned being supposed to fill up the measure and make it overflow. Thus Job 5:19, "He shall deliver thee in six troubles, yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee" (comp. Job 33:29; Proverbs 30:15, 18, 21; Ecclesiastes 11:2). So Hom., 'Od.,' 5:306, Τρισμάκαρες Δαναοὶ καὶ τετράκισ: and Virg., 'AEn.,' 1:94, "O terque quaterque beati;" comp. Hor., 'Carm,' 1:31, 13. Damascus had been an active enemy of Israel since the time that Rezon threw off his allegiance (1 Kings 11:23, etc.), and seized Damascus, which had been tributary to David (2 Samuel 8:5). The history of the wars carried on by Syria against the Jews may be read in the sacred books (see 1 Kings 15:19, etc.; 2 Chronicles 16:2, etc.; 1 Kings 20; 1 Kings 22; 2 Kings 7; 2 Kings 9:14, etc.; 2 Kings 10:32, etc.; 2 Kings 12:18; 13:5, 25; 2 Chronicles 24:23, etc.; 2 Kings 14:28). I will not turn away the punishment thereof. So in the following strophes. Literally, I will not reverse it. Amos does not expressly say what; but he means the sentence or judgment (comp. Numbers 23:20, "I cannot reverse it," where the same word is used). The Latin Vulgate gives, Non convertam eum, i.e. Damascum, which Knabenbauer explains, "I will not avert its destruction, will not turn it aside from its downward course." The LXX. renders, Οὐκ ἀποστραφήσομαι αὐτόν, "I will not turn away from it," i.e., as explained by Theodoret, "I will no longer disregard its sins." Because they have threshed Gilead. This is the culminating offence of the Syrians. The word rendered "threshing instrument" (charutz) signifies a kind of corn drag made of heavy planks fastened together and armed beneath with sharp stones or iron points. This machine, weighted with the driver who sat or stood upon it, was drawn by oxen over the corn (comp. Isaiah 28:27; Isaiah 41:15). A representation of it is given by Smith, 'Dict. of Bible,' 1:31, and Kitto, 'Cyclop.,' 1:86. Such an instrument, set with sharp flints in rows, was to be seen in the Indian and Colonial Exhibition of the year 1886, in the Cyprus department. Another kind of instrmuent (moreg) is thus described by Jerome: "Est autem genus plaustri, quod rotis subter ferreis atque dentatis volvitur, ut excussis frumentis stipulam in areis conterat, et in cibos jumentorum propter foeni sterilitatem paleas comminuat." Such an implement was used in the infliction of capital punishment by David (2 Samuel 12:31; comp. Proverbs 20:26). Gilead is here put for all the country east of Jordan (Joshua 22:9). The cruel treatment referred to in the text occurred in the time of Hazael during the reign of Jehu (2 Kings 10:32, etc.; comp. 13:7). The Septuagint has, "Because with iron saws they sawed asunder women with child." This is doubtless a reminiscence of Elisha's words to Hazael (2 Kings 8:12).
But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad.
Verse 4. - Fire. Material fire, though elsewhere the term is used metaphorically for war and its evils (comp. Numbers 21:28; Psalm 78:63; Jeremiah 48:45). This passage of Amos, combined with ver. 14, is quoted by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 49:27), where he is pronouncing the doom of Damascus. House of Hazael... palaces of Benhadad. The two expressions are parallel, or they may signify the family of Hazael, and Damascus itself with its magnificent royal palaces. There were three kings of Syria named Benhadad. The first of the name made alliance with Asa, and fought successfully against Baasha (1 Kings 15:20); Benhadad II. was the contemporary of Ahab, and carded on war for many years with the northern kingdom (1 Kings 20). He was murdered either by Hazael or his servants (2 Kings 8:15). Benhadad III., the son of Hazael, was a monarch of small ability, and Syria under his sway sank into insignificance (2 Kings 13:4, etc.; 2 Kings 14:27; 15:17). All this happened before the time of Amos, who probably refers to all the kings of that name, Benhadad, "Son of the Sun," being the title of the dynasty.
I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the LORD.
Verse 5. - The bar which secured the gate of the city (1 Kings 4:13; Jeremiah 51:30; Nahum 3:13). Breaking the bar is equivalent to laying the place open to the enemy. From the plain of Avon; Vulgate, de campo idoli; Hebrew, bikath-Aven; Septuagint, ἐκ πεδίου Ων; better, from the valley of Aven, or vanity, perhaps so called analogously with Hosea's naming Bethel, Bethaven, "House of God" and "House of vanity" (Hosea 5:8). Robinson ('Bibl. Res.,' 677) and Pusey refer the name to a valley between Lebanon and Antilibanus, a continuation of the Arabah, still called Bukaa, in the middle of which stood Baalbec, "the Temple of the sun of the valley," called Heliopolis by Greek and Roman writers (see 'Classical Museum,' 3:136). The LXX. Renders "On" in Genesis 41:45 by "Heliopolis;" and On and Baal being both titles of the sun, and indeed synonymous, the introduction of "On" into this passage may be accounted for. Him that holdeth the sceptre. The king and princes, as ver. 8. From the house of Eden; Hebrew, Beth-Eden, "House of delight;" Vulgate, de domo voluptatis; Septuagint, ἐξ ἀνδρῶν Ξαῥῤάν, "out of the men of Charran." This last rendering arises from considering that the reference was to the Eden of Genesis 2, which the translators placed in the region of Haran. The place in the text Keil supposes to be the Paradisus of the Greeks, which Ptolemy (5:15, 20) locates southeast of Laodicea. Schrader suggests a place on the banks of the middle Euphrates between Balis and Biredschich called Bit-Adini in inscriptions of Asurnasirhabal and Salmanassur II. But this seems to be a wrong locality (see 'Die Keilinschriften,' p. 327). The passage means that all the inhabitants of valley and city, king and peasant, shall be cut off. Shall go into captivity. The word implies that the land shall be "stripped" or "bared" of its inhabitants. Wholesale deportation had not hitherto been common in these regions. Kir has been identified with the country on the banks of the river Kar, which flows into the Araxes on the southwest of the Caspian Sea. It forms part of the territory known as Transcaucasia. From this region the Syrians originally emigrated (Amos 9:7), and back to this land a large body were carried when Tiglath-Pileser, some fifty years later, killed Rezin and sacked Damascus, as related in 2 Kings 16:9. Saith the Lord. This is the solemn confirmation of the prophet's announcement, and recurs in vers. 8, 15 and Amos 2:3.
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom:
Verses 6-8. - The judgment on Philistia. Verse 6. - Gaza is here used as the representative of the five cities of the Philistines. Three others are mentioned in ver. 8, Gath being omitted as having long lost its importance, if not already destroyed (comp. 2 Chronicles 26:6; Jeremiah 25:20; Zephaniah 2:4, where see note; Zechariah 9:5, 6). Gaza, modern Guzzeh, was the most southern city of Philistia in the immediate neighbourhood of the desert. (For a description of the Plain of Philistia, see Sir C. Warren, 'Survey Memoirs,' volume on Jerusalem, p. 436.) The whole captivity; Hebrew, "an entire captivity," the whole people, so that neither age nor sex was spared. A similar complaint is made in Joel 3:4, 6. What the LXX. mean by their rendering here and ver. 9, αἰχμαλωσίαν τοῦ Σαλωμὼν, it is very hard to say. Probably they punctuated the word translated "perfect" (shelemah) shelomoh, making "Solomon" stand for his people Israel. Cyril supposes that the reference is to cities which Solomon established among neighbouring nations; these had now been destroyed or seized. The event referred to may be the invasion of Judah by Philistines and Arabians in the time of Joram, mentioned in 2 Chronicles 21:16, etc., and in which it is possible that a compact was made that the captive Judaeans should be delivered to their bitterest enemies, the Edomites. One would rather have expected a reference to some evil inflicted on Israel (as in ver. 3) instead of an injury done to Judah.
But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof:
Verse 7. - A fire. Each guilty city is to have its own special punishment, though probably the calamity of each is common to all. Gaza was conquered by Sennacherib when he invaded Judea in the time of Hezekiah, by Pharaoh-Necho (Jeremiah 47:1), and by Alexander the Great, who spent more than two months in its siege (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 11:08, 4; Arrian., 2:27; see note on Zephaniah 2:4).
And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.
Verse 8. - Ashdod, "the Waster," hod. Esdud, or Shdood (called Azotus in Acts 8:40), and still a large village, lay about thirty-five miles north of Gaza, three miles from the sea. Ashkelon was situated between the two. "Askelon differs from the other celebrated cities of the Philistines, being seated on the sea, while Ekron, Garb, Jamnia, Ashdod, and Gaza are in the interior. It never could have had a harbour of any considerable size, however.... The topography of the place is peculiar. An abrupt ridge begins near the shore, runs up eastward, bends round to the south, then to the west, and finally northwest to the sea again, forming an irregular amphitheatre. On the top of this ridge ran the wall, which was defended at its salient angles by strong towers. The specimens which still exist show that it was very high and thick, built, however, of small stones, and bound together by broken columns of granite and marble. This clearly proves that it is patchwork, and not Askelon's original rampart.... The position is one of the fairest along this part of the Mediterranean coast; and when the interior of the amphitheatre was adorned with splendid temples and palaces, ascending, rank above rank, from the shore to the summit, the appearance from the sea must have been very imposing. Now the whole area is planted over with orchards of the various kinds of fruit which flourish in this region" (Thomson, 'The Land and the Book,' Southern Palestine, p. 171). In spite of its bad harbour, it carried on a lucrative foreign commerce, which was the chief cause of its power and importance (Ewald, 'Hist. of Israel,' 1:247, Eng. transl.). It was about fifty Roman miles from Jerusalem. In mediaeval times there were two cities of the name, one on the coast (Jeremiah 47:7), the same as Herod's Ascalon, and one inland. In its palmiest days the former could never have had a real harbour ('Survey Memoirs,' 3, pp. 245, 246). Ekron, hod. Akir, was twelve miles northeast of Ashdod, and some nine from the coast. Ashdod was taken by Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:6), by the tartan, or commander-in-chief, of Sargon (Isaiah 20:1), and by Psammetichus King of Egypt (so. 635), when it sustained a siege of twenty-nine years (Herod., 2:157). Sennacherib, in a cuneiform inscription, records how he treated the two other cities: "Zedekiah King of Ashkelon," he says, "who had not submitted himself to my yoke, himself, the gods of the house of his fathers, his wife, his sons, his daughters, and his brothers, the seed of the house of his fathers, I removed, and I sent him to Assyria. I set over the men of Ashkelon, Sarludari, the son of Rukipti, their former king, and I imposed upon him the payment of tribute, and the homage due to my majesty, and he became a vassal.... I marched against the city of Ekron, and put to death the priests and the chief men who had committed the sin (of rebellion), and I hung up their bodies on stakes all round the city. The citizens who had done wrong and wickedness I counted as a spoil" (Professor Sayce, 'Fresh Light from the Monuments,' pp. 120, 121). I will turn mine hand; literally, will bring back my hand; visit again with punishment, or repeat the blow (Isaiah 1:25; Jeremiah 6:9; see note on Zechariah 13:7). The remnant. All the Philistines who had as yet escaped destruction (comp. Amos 9:12; Jeremiah 6:9).
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant:
Verses 9, 10. - The judgment on Tyre. Verse 9. - They delivered up the whole captivity (see note on ver. 6). The sin of Tyre, the great Phoenician merchant city, was committed in concert with the Philistines (comp. Psalm 83:7), and was of the same character, except that she is not accused of carrying away the captives, but only of handing them over to the Edomites. It is probable that the Phoenicians had gotten into their hands, by purchase or some other means, Israelitish prisoners, whom they delivered over to the Edomites, forgetting the brotherly covenant made by their forefathers with David and Solomon (2 Samuel 5:11; 1 Kings 5:1, 7-11; 1 Kings 9:11-14; 2 Chronicles 2:11). The cruel conduct of Tyre was quits unprovoked, as no Jewish king had made war against Phoenicia or its capital.
But I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces thereof.
Verse 10. - A fire, as ver. 7: see Ezekiel's prophecy against Tyre (26). She had long been tributary to Assyria, but, revolting, was punished by Sargon, and later was attacked by Nebuchadnezzar, who besieged it for thirteen years, with what success is not known. The Assyrian monuments afford no account of its capture by this monarch (comp. Isaiah 23; Jeremiah 47:4; Arrian., 2:16-24). (For its capture and destruction by Alexander the Great, see notes on Zechariah 9:2, 4.)
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever:
Verses 11, 12. - The judgment on Edom. Verse 11. - His brother. The prophet proceeds to denounce the three nations cognate to Israel, of which the Edomites were the nearest and the most inimical. From the time of Esau until now they had been consistent in enmity, and it is this unbrotherly conduct rather than any specific outrages which Amos here condemns. Edom is accused of relentless persecution, inhumanity, savage fury, and persistent anger. (For the brotherhood of Edom, see Numbers 20:14; Deuteronomy 2:4, 5, 8; Deuteronomy 23:7, etc. For his hostility to Israel, see Numbers 20:18; 1 Kings 11:14; 2 Kings 8:20; 2 Chronicles 20:10; 2 Chronicles 25:11, 12; 2 Chronicles 28:17.) The prophecy of Obadiah is directed against Edom (comp. also Ezekiel 25:12; Ezekiel 35:5, 15; Joel 3:19). Did cast off all pity; literally, corrupted his compassions; i.e. did violence to his natural feelings. So Ezekiel 28:17, "Thou hast corrupted thy wisdom," perverted it from its proper end. The LXX. gives, ἐλυμήνατο μητέρα (μήτραν, Alex.) ἐπὶ γῆς, "did violence to the mother that bare them." On this Jerome remarks, "Pro misericordia Septuaginta vulvam transtulerant, ducti ambiguitate verborum, quia rehem et vulvam et misericordiam significat." Did tear, as a wild beast tears his prey. So in Job 16:9, where the same word is used, "He hath torn me in his wrath" (comp. Hosea 6:1). And he kept his wrath forever; more literally, and its fury it (Edom) keeps forever. The quarrels of relations are proverbially bitter. Arist., 'Polit.,' 7:7, Ὅθεν εἴρηται χαλεποὶ γὰρ πόλεμοι ἀδελφῶν καὶ δί τοι πέρα στέρξαντες οἱ δὲ καὶ πέρα μισοῦσιν (p. 193, Bekk.).
But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.
Verse 12. - Teman is the region of Idumaea, of which Bozrah is the capital. Both Jerome and Eusebius ('Onomast.') speak of a city so called not far from Petra; but in the Old Testament the name is applied to a district; and as the word in Hebrew means "south," it is probably the southern portion of the land of Edom. Bozrah (hod. Busaireh) was the old capital of Edom, situated on a hill south of the Dead Sea (see Genesis 36:33; Isaiah 34:6). Jeremiah (Jeremiah 49:17) predicts the punishment of Edom, and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 25:12-14) does likewise. The monologue of Obadiah has been already referred to. The instrument of vengeance in the present ease was Nebuchadnezzar, though it suffered much at the hands of other enemies, as the Nabathaeans and Maccabees.
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border:
Verses 13-15. - The judgment on Ammon. Verse 13. - Ammon was connected with Israel as being sprung from Lot, and together with Moab, which had the same origin, retained the stamp of its incestuous birth in habits, character, and worship (Genesis 19:30, etc.). The Ammonites seem to have been a predatory and roving nation, though the abundance of rains in the district shows that they possessed fixed abodes; but Rabbah was the only city of importance in their territory (2 Samuel 11:1). Their hostility to Israel was first shown in their participation with Moab in the affair of Balsam (Deuteronomy 23:4). Other instances are seen in their treatment of Jabesh-Gilead (1 Samuel 11:1-3) and of David's messengers, and in hiring the Syrians to make war on David (2 Samuel 10:1-6). We have no historical account of the atrocious outrage on the Gileadites mentioned in the text, but it is quite in character with the ferocity of their disposition, and was doubtless intended to depopulate the territory which they wished to acquire. This barbarity is spoken of in connection with Hazael (2 Kings 8:12), in concert with whom probably the Ammonites acted (comp. 2 Kings 15:16; Hosea 13:16). Another rendering would refer the clause to the removing of landmarks, and yet a third to the storming of lofty fortresses. But the Authorized Version is undoubtedly correct. That they might enlarge their border. The Ammonites laid claim to the territory which the Israelites had wrested from Sihon, lying between the Araon and Jabbok, and made an attempt upon it in the time of Jephthah (Judges 11.), and in later years seized on the possessions of Gad - a proceeding which brought upon them the denunciation of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 49:2-6).
But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind:
Verse 14. - Rabbah, "the Great," or Rabbath-Ammon, the capital of Ammon, was situated on the southern arm of the Jabbok, and was a place of remarkable strength (see Deuteronomy 3:11; 2 Samuel 11:1; 2 Samuel 12:26, etc.; 1 Chronicles 20:1-3). "For picturesqueness of situation, I know of no ruins to compare with Ammon. The most striking feature is the citadel, which formerly contained not merely the garrison, but an upper town, and covered an extensive area. The lofty plateau on which it was situated is triangular in shape; two sides are formed by the valleys which diverge from the apex, where they are divided by a low neck, and thence separating, fall into the valley of the Jabbok, which forms the base of the triangle, and contained the lower town. Climbing up the citadel, we can trace the remains of the moat, and, crossing it, find ourselves in a maze of ruins. The massive walls - the lower parts of which still remain, and which, rising from the precipitous sides of the cliff, rendered any attempt at scaling impossible - were evidently Ammonite. As I leant over them and looked sheer down about three hundred feet into one wady, and four hundred feet into the other, I did not wonder at its having occurred to King David that the leader of a forlorn hope against these ramparts would meet with certain death, and consequently assigning the position to Uriah.... Joab afterwards took the lower city, which he called 'the city of waters,' indicating very probably that the Jabbok was dammed into a lake near the lower city, to which the conformation of the valley would lend itself" (Oliphant, 'Land of Gilead,' p. 259, etc.). There is a sketch of the citadel hill in the 'Dictionary of the Bible,' 2:985. The city was taken by Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 27:3, 6; Jeremiah 49:2, 3), either at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, or in the course of his Egyptian campaign (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 10:09. 7). The expression, I will kindle a fire (not "send," as elsewhere), possibly implies, as Pusey suggests, a conflagration from within. The shouting is the battle cry of the opposing host, which adds to the horror of the scene (Job 39:25). With a tempest. The idea is that the walls should fall before the invaders, as if they were teats swept away in a whirlwind.
And their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together, saith the LORD.
Verse 15. - Their king; Septuagint, οἱ βασιλεῖς αὐτῆς. So Keil, Trochon, and others consider that the King of the Ammonites is meant. The Vulgate, with Aquila, Symmachus, the Syriac, and Jerome, retrains the word Melchous, or Melcham, which is the same as Molech, their god. This interpretation is favoured by passages in Jeremiah, of which one is evidently quoted from Amos, "For Malcam shall go into captivity, his priests and his princes together" (Jeremiah 49:3); and the other (Jeremiah 48:7) is similar, with the substitution of "Chemosh," the god of Moab, for "Maleam." That the localized deity should share the fortunes of his worshippers is quite in accordance with the ideas of the time (comp. Isaiah 46:1, 2). Probably Amos meant to include both notions - their "Malcam," whether king or god. should be carried into captivity, accompanied by the princes, all the chiefs, military and sacerdotal, so that no one should he left to head a future revolt.

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