|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:1-3 Amos saw a basket of summer fruit gathered, and ready to be eaten; which signified, that the people were ripe for destruction, that the year of God's patience was drawing towards a conclusion. Such summer fruits will not keep till winter, but must be used at once. Yet these judgments shall not draw from them any acknowledgement, either of God's righteousness or their own unrighteousness. Sinners put off repentance from day to day, because they think the Lord thus delays his judgments.
Verses 1-14. - § 5. In the fourth vision, the basket of summer fruit, the Lord shows that the people is ripe for judgment. Explaining this revelation, Amos denounces the oppression and greed of the chieftains (vers. 4-10), and warns them that those who despise the Word of God shall some day suffer from a famine of the Word (vers. 11-14). Verse 1. - A basket of summer fruit; Septuagint, ἄγγος ἰξευτοῦ, "a fowler's vessel;" Vulgate, uncinus pomorum, which Jerome explains," Sicut uncino rami arborum detrahuntur ad poma carpenda, ita ego proximum captivitatis tempus attraxi." The word chelub is taken to mean "a basket of wickerwork;" it is used for "a cage" in Jeremiah 5:27, but is found nowhere else. The gathering of fruit was the last harvest of the year, and thus fitly typified the final punishment of Israel. This is set forth by the play on the word in the next verse.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thus hath the Lord God showed unto me,.... Another vision, which is the fourth, and after the following manner:
and, behold, a basket of summer fruit; not of the first ripe fruit, but of such as were gathered at the close of the summer, when autumn began. So the Targum,
"the last of the summer fruit;''
such as were fully ripe, and would not keep till winter; or, if kept, would rot; but must be eaten directly, as some sort of apples, grapes, &c. denoting the people of Israel being ripe for destruction, and would be quickly devoured by their enemies; and that, as they had had a summer of prosperity, they would now have a sharp winter of adversity.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Am 8:1-14. Vision of a Basket of Summer Fruit Symbolical, of Israel's End. Resuming the Series of Symbols Interrupted by Amaziah, Amos Adds a Fourth. The Avarice of the Oppressors of the Poor: The Overthrow of the Nation: The Wish for the Means of Religious Counsel, when There Shall Be a Famine of the Word.
1. summer fruit—Hebrew, kitz. In Am 8:2 "end" is in Hebrew, keetz. The similarity of sounds implies that, as the summer is the end of the year and the time of the ripeness of fruits, so Israel is ripe for her last punishment, ending her national existence. As the fruit is plucked when ripe from the tree, so Israel from her land.
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