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1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit.

2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.

3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.

4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,

5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?

6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?

7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.

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

9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:

10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.

11 Behold, the days 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 even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.

14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.

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.

Discussion for Amos 8

  • Qwilliams
    We have come to the 21st century and prophetically we are living during this time of the "Church" lacking the Word of God, No prayer in the schools, Ten Commandments taking out of the courthouses! Sugar coating God's Word, compromising God's Word, calling evil good and good Evil! Our families are famished for truth and the WORD of God, they are seeking entertainment everywhere, but the Holy Spirit
  • A disciple
    "And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more." Every year passes more and more quickly; like getting used to going the same route every day for a long time, the time and the scenery becomes over-familiar. But do we realize that the time of fruit is passed?
  • A disciple
    "Behold, the days 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...they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it." This people that refuse instruction shall have no knowledge from God. While they grope as blind at noon day, they shall stumble and fall and be snared!
  • A disciple
    Sir William; "And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more." Seeing how God views us in these terms, helps us base our faith in being grounded in truth and reality. When the season ends and the fruits are all come in, the fields are plowed under till next year.
  • William j boles
    most of what we hear today is getting wealth and riches what do you or me want to see in heaven all of our gold or Jesus if its gold we will not make it because we will not be flesh and blood but be like Him the earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof .
  • Sharmon
    The drought or famine for truth in the Word of God is here. People are searching for something between living worldly and Godly. The Word of God forbids and demands that you choose. By default, you likewise choose by your choices in life. You can 't deceive God. You can 't deceive Christ. They read the heart and mind. Nothing escapes them.
  • Insight 777
    Verse 9, literally the sun going down at noon would be relative to ones position on the earth as when the sun goes down on one side of the earth it is rising on the other side. For the sun to represent the light of righteousness and peace that should have run its full course will be stopped midway by war and darkness is parabolic in meaning but may be the intended message as that applies to the entire earth at once. Verse 10 may be a declaration of a world war.
  • I think of the dark ages when I think of a famine of the word. I think another famine of the word is coming, but hasn 't come yet. When the Bible and preaching the gospel is forbidden worldwide, that will be the famine of the word.

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Bible Trivia

Amos has various visions from God. What did the fourth vision consist of?
  • Fire
  • A lion
  • A basket of ripe fruit.
  • Heavy rain.