|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:1-6 The convincing, awakening word must be heard and heeded, as well as words of comfort and peace; for whether we hear or forbear, the word of God shall take effect. The Lord still proclaims mercy to men, but they often expect deliverance from such self-invented forms as make their condemnation sure. While they refuse to come to Christ and to seek mercy in and by him, that they may live, the fire of Divine wrath breaks forth upon them. Men may make an idol of the world, but will find it cannot protect.
Verse 1-ch. 6:14. - § 8. Third address: the prophet utters a lamentation over the fall of Israel. (Vers. 1-3.) He calls her to repentance, while he shows wherein she has declined from the right way. To make this plain, he contrasts God's power and majesty with the people's iniquity, instances of which he gives (vers. 4-12). The only condition of safety is amendment (vers. 13-15); and as they refuse to reform, they shall have cause to lament (vers. 16, 17). This threat is enforced by the two emphatic "woes" that follow, the first of which demonstrates the baselessness of their trust in their covenant relation to God (vers. 18-27); the second denounces the careless lives of the chiefs, who, revelling in luxury, believed not in the coming judgment (Amos 6:1-6). Therefore they shall go into captivity, and the kingdom shall be utterly overthrown (vers. 7-11), because they act iniquitously and are self-confident (vers. 12-14). Verse 1. - Hear ye this word. To show the certainty of the judgment and his own feeling about it, the prophet utters his prophecy in the form of a dirge (kinah, 2 Samuel 1:17; 2 Chronicles 35:25). Which I take up against you; or, which I raise over you, as if the end had come. O house of Israel; in the vocative. The Vulgate has, Domus Israel cecidit; so the LXX. But the present Hebrew text is most suitable, making the dirge begin at ver. 2. The ten tribes are addressed as in ver. 6.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Hear ye the word which I take up against you,.... And which was not his own word, but the word of the Lord; and which he took up, by his direction as a heavy burden as some prophecies are called, and this was; and which, though against them, a reproof for their sins, and denunciation of punishment for them, yet was to be heard; for every word of God is pure, and to be hearkened to, whether for us or against us; since the whole is profitable, either for doctrine and instruction in righteousness, or for reproof and correction. It may be rendered, "which I take up concerning you", or "over you" (z):
even a lamentation, O house of Israel; a mournful ditty, an elegiac song over the house of Israel, now expiring, and as it were dead. This word was like Ezekiel's roll, in which were written "lamentation, and mourning, and woe", Ezekiel 2:10; full of mournful matter, misery, and distress, as follows:
(z) "de vobis", Tigurine version, Mercerus, Piscator, Cocceius; "super vos", Pagninus, Montanus; "pro vobis", Vatablus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Am 5:1-27. Elegy over the Prostrate Kingdom: Renewed Exhortations to Repentance: God Declares that the Coming Day of Judgment Shall Be Terrible to the Scorners Who Despise It: Ceremonial Services Are Not Acceptable to Him Where True Piety Exists Not: Israel Shall Therefore Be Removed Far Eastward.
1. lamentation—an elegy for the destruction coming on you. Compare Eze 32:2, "take up," namely, as a mournful burden (Eze 19:1; 27:2).
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