|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:18-21 There shall be abundant Divine influences, and the gospel will spread speedily into the remotest corners of the earth. These events are predicted under significant emblems; there is a day coming, when every thing amiss shall be amended. The fountain of this plenty is in the house of God, whence the streams take rise. Christ is this Fountain; his sufferings, merit, and grace, cleanse, refresh, and make fruitful. Gospel grace, flowing from Christ, shall reach to the Gentile world, to the most remote regions, and make them abound in fruits of righteousness; and from the house of the Lord above, from his heavenly temple, flows all the good we daily taste, and hope to enjoy eternally.
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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael,.... For so doing; into his family, his sons' sons, one of whom perhaps was Rezin, that Tiglathpileser king of Assyria slew, as Aben Ezra observes. This denotes the judgments of God upon his posterity for his cruel usage of the Israelites; and designs an enemy that should come into his country, and war made in the midst of it, by which it should be depopulated; and this being by the permission and providence of God, and according to his will, is said to be sent by him:
which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad; a name frequently given to the kings of Syria; there was one of this name the immediate predecessor of Hazael, whose servant he was; and he left a son of the same name that succeeded him, 2 Kings 7:7; these may denote the royal palaces of the kings of Syria, which should not be spared in this time of desolation; though rather by them may be intended the temples, which he and Hazael are said by Josephus (c) to build in the city of Damascus, whereby they greatly adorned it; and for these and other acts of beneficence they were deified by the Syrians, and worshipped as gods; and even to the times of Josephus, he says, their statues were carried in pomp every day in honour of them; and so, the house of Hazael, in the preceding clause, may signify a temple that was either built by him, or for the worship of him, since he was deified as well as Benhadad; and it may be observed, that as Adad was a common name of the kings of Syria; for, according to Nicholas of Damascus (d), ten kings that reigned in Damascus were all called Adad; so this is a name of the god they worshipped. Pliny speaks of a god worshipped by the Syrians, whose name must be Adad; since, according to him; the gem "adadunephros" had its name from him (e); and Macrobius (f) is express for it, that the chief god of the Assyrians was called Adad, which signifies one; See Gill on Isaiah 66:17.
(c) Antiqu. l. 9. c. 4. sect. 6. (d) Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 7. c. 5. sect. 8. (e) Nat. Hist. l. 27. c. 11. (f) Saturnal. l. 1. c. 23.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. Hazael … Ben-hadad—A black marble obelisk found in the central palace of Nimroud, and now in the British Museum, is inscribed with the names of Hazael and Ben-hadad of Syria, as well as Jehu of Israel, mentioned as tributaries of "Shalmanubar," king of Assyria. The kind of tribute from Jehu is mentioned: gold, pearls, precious oil, &c. [G. V. Smith]. The Ben-hadad here is the son of Hazael (2Ki 13:3), not the Ben-hadad supplanted and slain by Hazael (2Ki 8:7, 15). The phrase, "I will send a fire," that is, the flame of war (Ps 78:63), occurs also in Am 1:7, 10, 12, 14, and Am 2:2, 5; Jer 49:27; Ho 8:14.
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