|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-8 The distinguishing favours of God to us, if they do not restrain from sin, shall not exempt from punishment. They could not expect communion with God, unless they first sought peace with him. Where there is not friendship, there can be no fellowship. God and man cannot walk together, except they are agreed. Unless we seek his glory, we cannot walk with him. Let us not presume on outward privileges, without special, sanctifying grace. The threatenings of the word and providence of God against the sin of man are certain, and certainly show that the judgments of God are at hand. Nor will God remove the affliction he has sent, till it has done its work. The evil of sin is from ourselves, it is our own doing; but the evil of trouble is from God, and is his doing, whoever are the instruments. This should engage us patiently to bear public troubles, and to study to answer God's meaning in them. The whole of the passage shows that natural evil, or troubles, and not moral evil, or sin, is here meant. The warning given to a careless world will increase its condemnation another day. Oh the amazing stupidity of an unbelieving world, that will not be wrought upon by the terrors of the Lord, and that despise his mercies!
Verse 2. - Have I known; i.e. loved, acknowledged, chosen. So in Hosea 13:5 God says. "I knew thee in the wilderness;" and St. Paul (2 Timothy 2:19), "The Lord knoweth them that are his" (comp. Nahum 1:7). The peculiar relation in which God allowed Israel to stand to him is much dwelt upon (see Deuteronomy 4:8, 20; Deuteronomy 14:2; 2 Samuel 7:23; 1 Chronicles 17:21). Therefore I will punish you; literally, visit upon you. They must not presume upon their privileges; the retention of God's favour depended upon obedience to his Word (Exodus 19:5): the nearer they were brought to God, the greater their guilt if they fell from him. Unlike the nations denounced in the former chapters, Israel had sinned against light and knowledge and love, therefore the sentence on her must be heavier (comp. Ezekiel 9:6; Luke 12:47; 1 Peter 4:17).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
You only have I known of all the families of the earth,.... All the families or nations of the earth, and all the inhabitants of it, are known by the Lord, as he is the omniscient God; but none had been known by him as a family, or a nation, with that love and affection as this family had been, or distinguished by his favours and blessings as they, not only temporal, but spiritual; besides the land of Canaan, and all the good things in it, they had the law of the Lord, his word, worship, and ordinances, among them; he chose them for himself above all people, and gave peculiar marks of his affection to them, and special instances of his goodness, and of his care over them, and concern for them; see Deuteronomy 4:6;
therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities; or "visit upon you" (c); or "against you"; in a way of chastisement and correction; they were a family he had highly favoured, and yet departed from him; children he had brought up in a tender manner, and brought out of a most miserable condition, and yet rebelled against him; he had followed and loaded them with his benefits, and they had proved ungrateful to him; he had given them a revelation of his mind and will, and they had rejected it, and therefore knowing, and not doing it, were worthy of more stripes; their sins were more aggravated than others, being against goodness and mercy, light and knowledge; and therefore the Lord was determined to make an example of them; see 1 Peter 4:17.
(c) "visitabo super vos", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; "visito", i.e. "visitare soleo", Mercerus; "super vobis", Cocceius; "contra vos", Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. You only have I known—that is, acknowledged as My people, and treated with peculiar favor (Ex 19:5; De 4:20). Compare the use of "know," Ps 1:6; 144:3; Joh 10:14; 2Ti 2:19.
therefore I will punish—the greater the privileges, the heavier the punishment for the abuse of them; for to the other offenses there is added, in this case, ingratitude. When God's people do not glorify Him, He glorifies Himself by punishing them.
Amos 3:2 Parallel Commentaries
Amos 3:2 NIV
Amos 3:2 NLT
Amos 3:2 ESV
Amos 3:2 NASB
Amos 3:2 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible