|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:7-17 The same almighty power can, for repenting sinners, easily turn affliction and sorrow into prosperity and joy, and as easily turn the prosperity of daring sinners into utter darkness. Evil times will not bear plain dealing; that is, evil men will not. And these men were evil men indeed, when wise and good men thought it in vain even to speak to them. Those who will seek and love that which is good, may help to save the land from ruin. It behoves us to plead God's spiritual promises, to beseech him to create in us a clean heart, and to renew a right spirit within us. The Lord is ever ready to be gracious to the souls that seek him; and then piety and every duty will be attended to. But as for sinful Israel, God's judgments had often passed by them, now they shall pass through them.
Verse 7. - The prophet brings out the con-trust between Israel's moral corruption and God's omnipotence. Ye who turn judgment to wormwood. As Jerome puts it," Converterunt dulcedinem judicii in absinthii amaritudinem," "They turned the sweetness of judgment into the bitterness of absinth" (comp. Amos 6:12). Who make judgment the occasion of the bitterest injustice. There is no syntactical connection between this verse and the last, but virtually we may append it to "seek the Lord." It would sound in people's ears as a reminiscence of Deuteronomy 29:18, 20. The LXX. reads, ὁ ποιῶν εἰς ὕψος κρίμα. "that executeth judgment in the height," referring the sentence to the Lord, or else taking laanah, "wormwood," in a metaphorical sense, as elsewhere they translate it by ἀνάγκη πικρία, ὀδύνη (Deuteronomy 29:18; Proverbs 5:4; Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 23:15). The name "wormwood" is applied to all the plants of the genus that grow in Palestine the taste of which was proverbially bitter. And leave off righteousness in the earth; rather, cast down righteousness to the earth (as Isaiah 28:2), despise it and trample it underfoot (comp. Daniel 8:12). This is Israel's practice; and yet God, as the next verse shows, is almighty, and has power to punish. Righteousness includes all transactions between man and man. The LXX. (still referring the subject to the Lord), καὶ δικαιοσύνην εἰς γῆν ἔθηκεν, "and he established righteousness on earth."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ye who turn judgment to wormwood,.... This seems to be spoken to kings and judges, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi observe; in whose hands is the administration of justice, and who often pervert it, as these did here addressed and complained of; that which was the most useful and salubrious, and so the most desirable to the commonwealth, namely, just judgment, was changed into the reverse, what was as bitter and as disagreeable as wormwood; or "hemlock", as it might be rendered, and as it is in Amos 6:12; even injustice:
and leave off righteousness in the earth; leave off doing it among men: or rather, "leave it on the earth" (c); who cast it down to the ground, trampled upon it, and there left it; which is expressive not only of their neglect, but of their contempt of it; see Daniel 8:12.
(c) "in terram prosterunt", Piscator; "justitiam in terram reliquerunt, i.e. humi prosternitis et deseritis", Mercerus; "collocantes humi", Junius & Tremellius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. turn judgment to wormwood—that is, pervert it to most bitter wrong. As justice is sweet, so injustice is bitter to the injured. "Wormwood" is from a Hebrew root, to "execrate," on account of its noxious and bitter qualities.
leave on righteousness in … earth—Maurer translates, "cast righteousness to the ground," as in Isa 28:2; Da 8:12.
Amos 5:7 Parallel Commentaries
Amos 5:7 NIV
Amos 5:7 NLT
Amos 5:7 ESV
Amos 5:7 NASB
Amos 5:7 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible