|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!
Verses 3-8. - Before announcing more particularly the coming judgment, Amos, by a series of little parables or comparisons, establishes his right to prophesy, and intimates the necessity laid upon him to deliver his message. He illustrates the truths that all effects have causes, and that from the cause you can infer the effect. Verse 3. - Can two walk together except they be agreed? or, except they have agreed? The "two" are God's judgment and the prophet's word. These do, not coincide by mere chance, no more than two persons pursue in company the same end without previous agreement. The prophet announces God's judgment because God has commissioned him; the prophet is of one mind with God, therefore the Lord is with him, and confirms his words. The application of the parables is seen in vers. 7, 8. The Septuagint, reading differently, has, "except they know one another."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Can two walk together except they be agreed? Unless they meet together, and appoint time and place, when and where they shall set out, what road they will take, and whither they will go; without such consultation and agreement, it cannot be thought they should walk together; and not amicably, unless united in friendship, and are of the same affection to each other, and of the same sentiments one with another; or it is much if they do not fall out by the way. The design of these words is to show, that without friendship there is no fellowship, and without concord no communion; as this is the case between man and man, so between God and man; and that Israel could not expect that God should walk with them, and show himself friendly to them, and continue his favours with them, when they walked contrary to him; when they were so disagreeable to him in their sentiments of religion, in their worship, and the rites of it, and in the whole of their conduct and behaviour. And to a spiritual walk with God, and communion with him, agreement is requisite. God and man were originally chief friends, but sin set them at variance; a reconciliation became necessary to their walking together again; which was set on foot, not by man, who had no inclination to it, nor knew how to go about it if he had, and much less able to effect it; but by the Lord, the offended party: it began in his thoughts, which were thoughts of peace; it was set on foot by him in the council of peace, and concluded in the covenant of peace; and his Son was sent to bring it about; and through his obedience, sufferings, and death, through his sacrifice and satisfaction, the agreement is made on the part of God, his justice is satisfied; but still it is necessary man should be agreed too; this is brought out by the Spirit of God, who shows the sinner the enmity of his mind, the sin and danger of it, slays this enmity, and puts in new principles of light, life, and love; when the soul is reconciled to God's way of salvation, and loves the Lord, and delights in him; and both being thus agreed, the one by the satisfaction of Christ, and the other by the Spirit of Christ, see Romans 5:10; they walk comfortably together: the saint walks with God, not only as in his sight and presence, but by faith, and in his fear, in the ways and ordinances of the Lord; and particularly is frequent in prayer and meditation, in which much of his walk with God lies: and God walks with him; he grants his gracious presence; manifests his love and favour to him; talks with him by the way; discloses the secrets of his heart; and indulges him with nearness and communion with him; but all is founded on mutual agreement. And so it must be between men and men, that walk in a religious way; regenerate and unregenerate persons cannot walk together, there being no concord, 2 Corinthians 6:14; nor can all sorts of professors; they must agree in the way Christ, and in the fundamental principles of religion; and in worship, and the manner of it; and in all the ordinances of the Gospel, and the manner of administering them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3-6. Here follow several questions of a parable-like kind, to awaken conviction in the people.
Can two walk together, except they be agreed?—Can God's prophets be so unanimous in prophesying against you, if God's Spirit were not joined with them, or if their prophecies were false? The Israelites were "at ease," not believing that God was with the prophets in their denunciations of coming ruin to the nation (Am 6:1, 3; compare 1Ki 22:18, 24, 27; Jer 43:2). This accords with Am 3:7, 8. So "I will be with thy mouth" (Ex 4:12; Jer 1:8; Mt 10:20). If the prophets and God were not agreed, the former could not predict the future as they do. In Am 2:12 He had said, the Israelites forbade the prophets prophesying; therefore, in Am 3:3, 8, He asserts the agreement between the prophets and God who spake by them against Israel [Rosenmuller]. Rather, "I once walked with you" (Le 26:12) as a Father and Husband (Isa 54:5; Jer 3:14); but now your way and Mine are utterly diverse; there can therefore be no fellowship between us such as there was (Am 3:2); I will walk with you only to "punish you"; as a "lion" walks with his "prey" (Am 3:4), as a bird-catcher with a bird [Tarnovius]. The prophets, and all servants of God, can have no fellowship with the ungodly (Ps 119:63; 2Co 6:16, 17; Eph 5:11; Jas 4:4).
Amos 3:3 Parallel Commentaries
Amos 3:3 NIV
Amos 3:3 NLT
Amos 3:3 ESV
Amos 3:3 NASB
Amos 3:3 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible