|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:1-9 God bears long, but he will not bear always with a provoking people. The remembrance of the mercies we formerly received, like the produce of the earth of the former growth, should make us submissive to the will of God, when we meet with disappointments in the latter growth. The Lord has many ways of humbling a sinful nation. Whatever trouble we are under, we should be most earnest with God for the forgiveness of sin. Sin will soon make a great people small. What will become of Israel, if the hand that should raise him be stretched out against him? See the power of prayer. See what a blessing praying people are to a land. See how ready, how swift God is to show mercy; how he waits to be gracious. Israel was a wall, a strong wall, which God himself reared as a defence to his sanctuary. The Lord now seems to stand upon this wall. He measures it; it appears to be a bowing, bulging wall. Thus God would bring the people of Israel to the trial, would discover their wickedness; and the time will come, when those who have been spared often, shall be spared no longer. But the Lord still calls Israel his people. The repeated prayer and success of the prophet should lead us to seek the Saviour.
Verse 3. - Repented for this; or, concerning this destruction. The punishment was conditioned by man's behaviour or other considerations. Here the prophet's intercession abates the full infliction of the penalty (compare analogous expressions, Deuteronomy 32:36; 1 Samuel 15:11; 2 Samuel 24:16; Jeremiah 18:8; Jeremiah 42:10; Jonah 3:10, where see note). Amos may have had in memory the passage in Joel 2:13. The LXX. here and in ver. 6 has Μετανόησον Κύριε ἐπὶ τούτῳ καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ ἔσται λέγει Κύριος, "Repent, O Lord, for this; and this shall not be, saith the Lord." Hence some early commentators gathered that the prophet's intercession was rejected; but the words do not necessarily bear that sense (see St. Cyril Alex. and Theodoret, in loc.). It shall not be. This respite refers to the retreat of the Assyrians under Pul, the usurping monarch who assumed the name of Tiglath-Pileser II. (2 Kings 15:17, etc.). Some commentators consider the judgment to be literally plague of locusts; but this is not probable.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The Lord repented for this,.... He heard the prayer of the prophet, and at his intercession averted, the threatened judgment; thus the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much, James 5:16; this is spoken after the manner of men; as men, when they repent of a thing, desist from it, so the Lord desisted from going on with this judgment; he did not change his mind, but changed the dispensations of his providence according to his mind and will:
it shall not be, saith the Lord; these grasshoppers or locusts, the Assyrian army, shall not at this time destroy the land of Israel: Pul king of Assyria took a sum of money of the king of Israel, and so turned back, and stayed not in the land, 2 Kings 15:19.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. repented for this—that is, of this. The change was not in the mind of God (Nu 2:19; Jas 1:17), but in the effect outwardly. God unchangeably does what is just; it is just that He should hear intercessory prayer (Jas 5:16-18), as it would have been just for Him to have let judgment take its course at once on the guilty nation, but for the prayer of one or two righteous men in it (compare Ge 18:23-33; 1Sa 15:11; Jer 42:10). The repentance of the sinner, and God's regard to His own attributes of mercy and covenanted love, also cause God outwardly to deal with him as if he repented (Jon 3:10), whereas the change in outward dealing is in strictest harmony with God's own unchangeableness.
It shall not be—Israel's utter overthrow now. Pul was influenced by God to accept money and withdraw from Israel.
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