|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:9-15 That power which is an instrument of unrighteousness, will justly be brought down and broken. What is got and kept wrongfully, will not be kept long. Some are at ease, but there will come a day of visitation, and in that day, all they are proud of, and put confidence in, shall fail them. God will inquire into the sins of which they have been guilty in their houses, the robbery they have stored up, and the luxury in which they lived. The pomp and pleasantness of men's houses, do not fortify against God's judgments, but make sufferings the more grievous and vexatious. Yet a remnant, according to the election of grace, will be secured by our great and good Shepherd, as from the jaws of destruction, in the worst times.
Verse 14. - That in the day, etc. This verse is rightly joined to the preceding, as it particularizes the threats which the heathen are summoned to testify. Visit upon; equivalent to "punish" (Zephaniah 1:8). Altars of Bethal. We read of one altar being set up by Jeroboam I (1 Kings 12:29, 33), but doubtless others had been added in the course of time. The denunciation of 1 Kings 13:2, 3 is here repeated. The horns of the altar. These were certain projections at the four angles of the altar, perhaps in the form of an ox's horn, on which the blood of the sin offering was smeared, and which therefore were considered the holiest part of the altar (see Exodus 27:2; Exodus 29:12; Leviticus 16:18). The instruments of idolatry or impure worship should share the destruction of the idolaters.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him,.... The three or four mentioned in the preceding chapter, the great multitude of them, their profaneness, uncleanness, and luxury, their injustice and oppression of the poor; when he should visit and punish for these sins, as he would by the hand of the Assyrian, he would not forget their idolatry; though no notice is taken of this before, in the appeal to the Heathen princes, who were likewise guilty of it:
I will also visit the altars of Bethel; where one of the calves Jeroboam made was set up and worshipped; and where was an altar erected, and sacrifice offered on it, 1 Kings 12:28; and here the plural number is put for the singular; though it may be, that in process of time more altars might be set up as they increased in idolatry, and as seems from Hosea 8:11; and now the Lord would show his resentment at them, and punish those that worshipped and sacrificed there. So the Targum,
"that worship at the altars in Bethel;''
and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground; for it seems this altar was made after the form of that at Jerusalem, with four horns at the four corners of it; and which were reckoned the more principal parts of it, and the more sacred, where the blood of the sacrifices was poured, and to which persons in distress fled and laid hold of for refuge; but now these should be of no use unto them, since they would be entirely demolished by the enemy, and laid level with the ground.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. That—rather, "since," or "for." This verse is not, as English Version translates, the thing which the witnesses cited are to "testify" (Am 3:13), but the reason why God calls on the heathen to witness Samaria's guilt; namely, in order to justify the punishment which He declares He will inflict.
I will also visit … Beth-el—the golden calves which were the source of all "the transgressions of Israel" (1Ki 12:32; 13:2; 2Ki 23:15, 16), though Israel thought that by them their transgressions were atoned for and God's favor secured.
horns of the altar—which used to be sprinkled with the blood of victims. They were horn-like projecting points at the corners of ancient altars. The singular, "altar," refers to the great altar erected by Jeroboam to the calves. The "altars," plural, refer to the lesser ones made in imitation of the great one (2Ch 34:5, compare with 1Ki 13:2; Ho 8:11; 10:1).
Amos 3:14 Parallel Commentaries
Amos 3:14 NIV
Amos 3:14 NLT
Amos 3:14 ESV
Amos 3:14 NASB
Amos 3:14 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible