|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:18-27 Woe unto those that desire the day of the Lord's judgments, that wish for times of war and confusion; as some who long for changes, hoping to rise upon the ruins of their country! but this should be so great a desolation, that nobody could gain by it. The day of the Lord will be a dark, dismal, gloomy day to all impenitent sinners. When God makes a day dark, all the world cannot make it light. Those who are not reformed by the judgments of God, will be pursued by them; if they escape one, another stands ready to seize them. A pretence of piety is double iniquity, and so it will be found. The people of Israel copied the crimes of their forefathers. The law of worshipping the Lord our God, is, Him only we must serve. Professors thrive so little, because they have little or no communion with God in their duties. They were led captive by Satan into idolatry, therefore God caused them to go into captivity among idolaters.
Verse 21. - Outward, formal worship will not avert the threatened danger or secure the favour of God in the day of visitation. Your feast days (chaggim); your feasts; your counterfeit worship, the worship of the true God under an idol symbol (compare God's repudiation of merely formal worship in Isaiah 1:11-15). I will not smell; οὐ μὴ ἀσφρανθῶ θυσίας (Septuagint). No sweet savour ascends to God from such sacrifices; so the phrase is equivalent to "I will not accept," "I will take no delight in" (comp.. Genesis 8:21; Exodus 29:18; Leviticus 26:31). Solemn assemblies; πανηγύρεσιν (Septuagint); atsaroth; the convocations for the keeping of the great festivals.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I hate, I despise your feast days,.... Kimchi thinks this is said, and what follows, with respect to the kingdom of the house of Judah, which kept the feast the Lord commanded; but it is not necessary so to understand it; for doubtless the ten tribes imitated the worship at Jerusalem, and kept the feasts as the Jews did there, in the observance of which they trusted; but the Lord rejects their vain confidence, and lets them know that these were no ways acceptable to him; and were so far from atoning for their sins, that they were hated, abhorred, and despised by him, being observed in such a manner and with such a view as they were;
and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies; a sweet savour of rest, as in Genesis 8:21; take no pleasure in their duties and services performed, in their solemn assemblies convened together for religious purposes, nor accept of them; but, on the contrary, dislike and abhor them; see Isaiah 1:11.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
21. I hate, I despise—The two verbs joined without a conjunction express God's strong abhorrence.
your feast days—yours; not Mine; I do not acknowledge them: unlike those in Judah, yours are of human, not divine institution.
I will not smell—that is, I will take no delight in the sacrifices offered (Ge 8:21; Le 26:31).
in your solemn assemblies—literally, "days of restraint." Isa 1:10-15 is parallel. Isaiah is fuller; Amos, more condensed. Amos condemns Israel not only on the ground of their thinking to satisfy God by sacrifices without obedience (the charge brought by Isaiah against the Jews), but also because even their external ritual was a mere corruption, and unsanctioned by God.
Amos 5:21 Parallel Commentaries
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