Amos 1:14
But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind:
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(14) Jeremiah gives a vivid account of the impending doom of Ammon, quoting and expanding this very passage (Jeremiah 49:1-3).

1:18-21 There shall be abundant Divine influences, and the gospel will spread speedily into the remotest corners of the earth. These events are predicted under significant emblems; there is a day coming, when every thing amiss shall be amended. The fountain of this plenty is in the house of God, whence the streams take rise. Christ is this Fountain; his sufferings, merit, and grace, cleanse, refresh, and make fruitful. Gospel grace, flowing from Christ, shall reach to the Gentile world, to the most remote regions, and make them abound in fruits of righteousness; and from the house of the Lord above, from his heavenly temple, flows all the good we daily taste, and hope to enjoy eternally.I will kindle afire in the wall of Rabbah - Rabbah, literally, "the great," called by Moses "Rabbah of the children of Ammon" Deuteronomy 3:11, and by later Greeks, "Rabathammana" , was a strong city with a yet stronger citadel. Ruins still exist, some of which probably date back to these times. The lower city "lay in a valley bordered on both sides by barren hills of flint," at 12 an hour from its entrance. It lay on a stream, still called by its name Moyet or Nahr Amman, "waters" or "river of Ammon," which ultimately falls into the Zurka (the Jabbok) . "On the top of the highest of the northern hills," where at the divergence of two valleys it abuts upon the ruins of the town, "stands the castle of Ammon, a very extensive rectangular building," following the shape of the hill and wholly occupying its crest. "Its walls are thick, and denote a remote antiquity; large blocks of stone are piled up without cement, and still hold together as well as if they had been recently placed; the greater part of the wall is entire. Within the castle are several deep cisterns."

There are remains of foundations of a wall of the lower city at its eastern extremity . This lower city, as lying on a river in a waterless district, was called the "city of waters" 2 Samuel 12:27, which Joab had taken when he sent to David to come and besiege the Upper City. In later times, that Upper City was resolutely defended against Antiochus the Great, and taken, not by force but by thirst . On a conspicuous place on this castle-hill, stood a large temple, some of its broken columns 3 12 feet in diameter , probably the Grecian successor of the temple of its idol Milchom. Rabbah, the capital of Ammon, cannot have escaped, when Nebuchadnezzar , "in the 5th year of his reign, led an army against Coele-Syria, and, having possessed himself of it, warred against the Ammonites and Moabites, and having made all these nations subject to him, invaded Egypt, to subdue it."

Afterward, it was tossed to and fro in the desolating wars between Syria and Egypt. Ptolemy II called it from his own surname Philadelphia , and so probably had had to restore it. It brought upon itself the attack of Antiochus III and its own capture, by its old habit of marauding against the Arabs in alliance with him. At the time of our Lord, it, with "Samaria, Galilee and Jericho," is said by a pagan to be "inhabited by a mingled race of Egyptians, Arabians and Phoenicians." It had probably already been given over to "the children of the East," the Arabs, as Ezekiel had foretold Ezekiel 25:4. In early Christian times Milchom was still worshiped there under its Greek name of Hercules . Trajan recovered it to the Roman empire , and in the 4th century it, with Bostra , was still accounted a "vast town most secured by strong walls," as a frontier fortress "to repel the incursions of neighboring nations." It was counted to belong to Arabia . An Arabic writer says that it perished before the times of Muhammed, and covered a large tract with its ruins . It became a station of pilgrims to Mecca, and then, until now, as Ezekiel foretold , a stable for camels and a couching place.

I will kindle a fire in the wall - It may be that the prophet means to speak of some conflagration from within, in that he says not, as elsewhere, "I will send afire upon," but, "I will kindle a fire in" Amos 1:4, Amos 1:7, Amos 1:10, Amos 1:12; Amos 2:2, Amos 2:5. But "the shouting" is the battle-cry (Job 39:25; Jeremiah 20:16; Zephaniah 1:16, etc.) of the victorious enemy, the cheer of exultation, anticipating its capture. That onslaught was to be resistless, sweeping, like a whirlwind, all before it. The fortress and walls of Rabbah were to yield before the onset of the enemy, as the tents of their caravans were whirled flat on the ground before the eddying of the whirlwinds from the desert, burying all beneath them.

14. Rabbah—the capital of Ammon: meaning "the Great." Distinct from Rabbah of Moab. Called Philadelphia, afterwards, from Ptolemy Philadelphus.

tempest—that is, with an onset swift, sudden, and resistless as a hurricane.

day of the whirlwind—parallel to "the day of battle"; therefore meaning "the day of the foe's tumultuous assault."

I will kindle a fire in the wall: see Amos 1:4, where the phrase is explained: as to the time when this prophecy was fulfilled, it was partly when the Assyrian kingdom flourished, and partly by Nebuchadnezzar, as was foretold by Ezekiel, Ezekiel 25:1-3, &c., which see.

Rabbah; the chief city of the kingdom of Ammon, 2 Samuel 11:1 12:26, which by a usual figure compriseth all the Ammonites, and all their strength, wealth, and glory, all which shall be devoured. It shall devour the palaces thereof: see Amos 1:4.

With shouting in the day of battle; a mixed and horrid noise of trumpets, and alarms of war, with howlings of the distressed, groans of the dying, and acclamations of the conquerors.

With a tempest in the day of the whirlwind, i.e. with irresistible force, and surprising swiftness, as the similitude imports. But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah,.... Which was the metropolis of the children of Ammon, and their royal city, 2 Samuel 12:26. This is to be understood of an enemy that should destroy it, perhaps Nebuchadnezzar; or of war being kindled and raised in their country; this place being put for the whole; See Gill on Jeremiah 49:2;

and it shall devour the palaces thereof; the palaces of the king, and his nobles:

with shouting in the day of battle; with the noise of soldiers when they make their onset, or have gained the victory; see Jeremiah 49:2;

with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind; denoting that this judgment should come suddenly, and at an unawares, with great force, irresistibly; and a tempest added to fire, if literally taken, must spread the desolation more abundantly, and make it more terrible.

But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind:
14. But I will kindle a fire] Varied from I will send of the other cases: see on Amos 1:4.

in the wall of Rabbah] The capital city of the Ammonites, and indeed the only Ammonite city mentioned in the O.T.: named elsewhere, 2 Samuel 11:1; 2 Samuel 12:27; 2 Samuel 12:29 (1 Chronicles 20:1); Joshua 13:25; Jeremiah 49:3; Ezekiel 25:5; called more fully ‘Rabbah of the Ammonites,’ Deuteronomy 3:11; 2 Samuel 12:26; 2 Samuel 17:27; Jeremiah 49:2; Ezekiel 21:25 (Heb. 20). From Ptolemy Philadelphia (b.c. 287–245) it received the name of Philadelpheia: in the Middle Ages it was known as ‘Ammân, a name which it still bears. It was situated about 25 miles N.E. of the N. end of the Dead Sea, in the valley forming the upper course of the Jabbok, now called the Wâdy ‘Ammân. The stream is perennial, and is well-stocked with fish: one of its sources, the ‘Ain ‘Ammân, is a little above the city, to the W. The present remains are chiefly of the Roman period, comprising a fortress, theatre, odeum, baths, a street of columns and gate, mausolea, &c. The fortress stands upon a hill, which rises on a triangular piece of ground on the N. of the stream to a height of some 300–400 ft., the city lying in the valley to the South. This lower city, situated on the banks of the ‘Ammân, is probably the “city of the waters” stated to have been taken by Joab in 2 Samuel 12:27. There is a full description, with plan and views, of the existing ruins, in the Survey of Eastern Palestine (published by the Palestine Exploration Society) 19–64: see also D.B[138]1 s.v. (with a view).

[138] .B.Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, ed. 1, or (from A to J) ed. 2.

with shouting in the day of battle] The ‘shouting’ is the battle-cry of the advancing foe: cf. Job 39:25; Jeremiah 4:19; Jeremiah 49:2 (A.V., R.V., ‘alarm’), &c., and the corresponding verb, Jdg 7:21; 1 Samuel 17:52.

with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind] A figurative description of the onslaught of the foe: it will level all before it, like a destructive hurricane.Verse 14. - Rabbah, "the Great," or Rabbath-Ammon, the capital of Ammon, was situated on the southern arm of the Jabbok, and was a place of remarkable strength (see Deuteronomy 3:11; 2 Samuel 11:1; 2 Samuel 12:26, etc.; 1 Chronicles 20:1-3). "For picturesqueness of situation, I know of no ruins to compare with Ammon. The most striking feature is the citadel, which formerly contained not merely the garrison, but an upper town, and covered an extensive area. The lofty plateau on which it was situated is triangular in shape; two sides are formed by the valleys which diverge from the apex, where they are divided by a low neck, and thence separating, fall into the valley of the Jabbok, which forms the base of the triangle, and contained the lower town. Climbing up the citadel, we can trace the remains of the moat, and, crossing it, find ourselves in a maze of ruins. The massive walls - the lower parts of which still remain, and which, rising from the precipitous sides of the cliff, rendered any attempt at scaling impossible - were evidently Ammonite. As I leant over them and looked sheer down about three hundred feet into one wady, and four hundred feet into the other, I did not wonder at its having occurred to King David that the leader of a forlorn hope against these ramparts would meet with certain death, and consequently assigning the position to Uriah.... Joab afterwards took the lower city, which he called 'the city of waters,' indicating very probably that the Jabbok was dammed into a lake near the lower city, to which the conformation of the valley would lend itself" (Oliphant, 'Land of Gilead,' p. 259, etc.). There is a sketch of the citadel hill in the 'Dictionary of the Bible,' 2:985. The city was taken by Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 27:3, 6; Jeremiah 49:2, 3), either at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, or in the course of his Egyptian campaign (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 10:09. 7). The expression, I will kindle a fire (not "send," as elsewhere), possibly implies, as Pusey suggests, a conflagration from within. The shouting is the battle cry of the opposing host, which adds to the horror of the scene (Job 39:25). With a tempest. The idea is that the walls should fall before the invaders, as if they were teats swept away in a whirlwind. The thoughts of Hosea 10:2, Hosea 10:3 are carried out still further in Hosea 10:4-7. Hosea 10:4. "They have spoken words, sworn falsely, made treaties: thus right springs up like darnel in the furrows of the field. Hosea 10:5. For the calves of Beth-aven the inhabitants of Samaria were afraid: yea, its people mourn over it, and its sacred ministers will tremble at it, at its glory, because it has strayed from them. Hosea 10:6. Men will also carry it to Asshur, as a present for king Jareb: shame will seize upon Ephraim, and Israel will be put to shame for its counsel." The dissimulation of heart (Hosea 10:3) manifested itself in their speaking words which were nothing but words, i.e., in vain talk (cf. Isaiah 58:13), in false swearing, and in the making of treaties. אלות, by virtue of the parallelism, is an infin. abs. for אלה, formed like כּרת, analogous to שׁתות (Isaiah 22:13; see Ewald, 240, b). כּרת בּרית, in connection with false swearing, must signify the making of a covenant without any truthfulness in it, i.e., the conclusion of treaties with foreign nations - for example, with Assyria - which they were inclined to observe only so long as they could promise themselves advantages from them. In consequence of this, right has become like a bitter plant growing luxuriantly (ראשׁ equals רושׁ; see at Deuteronomy 29:17). Mishpât does not mean judgment here, or the punitive judgment of God (Chald. and many others), for this could hardly be compared with propriety to weeds running over everything, but right in its degeneracy into wrong, or right that men have turned into bitter fruit or poison (Amos 6:12). This spreads about in the kingdom, as weeds spread luxuriantly in the furrows of the field (שׂדי a poetical form for שׂדה, like Deuteronomy 32:13; Psalm 8:8). Therefore the judgment cannot be delayed, and is already approaching in so threatening a manner, that the inhabitants of Samaria tremble for the golden calves. The plural ‛eglōth is used with indefinite generality, and gives no warrant, therefore, for the inference that there were several golden calves set up in Bethel. Moreover, this would be at variance with the fact, that in the sentences which follow we find "the (one) calf" spoken of. The feminine form ‛eglōth, which only occurs here, is also probably connected with the abstract use of the plural, inasmuch as the feminine is the proper form for abstracts. Bēth-'âven for Bēth-'ēl, as in Hosea 4:15. Shâkhēn is construed with the plural, as an adjective used in a collective sense. כּי (Hosea 4:5) is emphatic, and the suffixes attached to עמּו and כּמריו do not refer to Samaria, but to the idol, i.e., the calf, since the prophet distinctly calls Israel, which ought to have been the nation of Jehovah, the nation of its calf-idol, which mourned with its priests (kemârı̄m, the priests appointed in connection with the worship of the calves: see at 2 Kings 23:5) for the carrying away of the calf to Assyria. גּיל does not mean to exult or rejoice here, nor to tremble (applied to the leaping of the heart from fear, as it does from joy), but has the same meaning as חיל in Psalm 96:9. עליו is still further defined by על־כּבודו, "for its glory," i.e., not for the temple-treasure at Bethel (Hitzig), nor the one glorious image of the calf, as the symbol of the state-god (Ewald, Umbreit), but the calf, to which the people attributed the glory of the true God. The perfect, gâlâh, is used prophetically of that which was as good as complete and certain (for the fut. exact., cf. Ewald, 343, a). The golden calf, the glory of the nation, will have to wander into exile. This cannot even save itself; it will be taken to Assyria, to king Jareb (see at Hosea 5:13), as minchâh, a present of tribute (see 2 Samuel 8:2, 2 Samuel 8:6; 1 Kings 5:1). For the construing of the passive with את, see Ges. 143, 1, a. Then will Ephraim ( equals Israel) be seized by reproach and shame. Boshnâh, a word only met with here; it is formed from the masculine bōshen, which is not used at all (see Ewald, 163, 164).
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