But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Judges 1:1-2, Judges 1:18, or by great conquerors. All Philistia, probably, submitted to David; we hear of no special conquest of its towns 2 Samuel 8:1. Its siege cost Alexander 2 months , with all the aid of the engines with which he had taken Tyre, and the experience which he had there gained. The Egyptian accounts state, that when besieged by Tothmosis III it capitulated . Thenceforth, it had submitted neither to Egypt nor Assyria. Yet Amos declared absolutely, that Gaza should be destroyed by fire, and it was so. Sennacherib first, then, after Jeremiah had foretold anew the destruction of Gaza, Ashkelon, and the Philistines, Pharaoh Necho "smote Gaza" Jeremiah 47:1. Yet who, with human foresight only, would undertake to pronounce the destruction of a city so strong? I will send a fire; see Amos 1:4; desolating judgments, expressed here by fire.
On the wall; which was strong, and a mighty defence to the city; this only mentioned, but all the power and strength of Gaza, and of whole Palestina, is here included, and the judgment denounced is here intended against all the munitions of that people: Gaza: see Amos 1:6.
Devour: see Amos 1:4.
The palaces thereof: see Amos 1:4. What is here foretold was fulfilled partly by Uzziah, 2 Chronicles 26:6-8, and partly by Hezekiah, 2 Kings 18:8, and partly by Sennacherib, Isaiah 20:1. 2 Chronicles 26:6; or else in the times of Hezekiah, who smote the Philistines unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, 2 Kings 18:8; or however in the times of Nebuchadnezzar, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah, Jeremiah 25:20; as also in the times of Alexander the great, who, after he had taken Tyre, besieged Gaza, and after two months' siege took it, as Diodorus Siculus relates (p); the wall being undermined and thrown down, he entered in at the ruins of it, as Curtius (q) says; in the times of the Maccabees the suburbs of it were burnt by Jonathan, and the place taken:
"61 From whence he went to Gaza, but they of Gaza shut him out; wherefore he laid siege unto it, and burned the suburbs thereof with fire, and spoiled them. 62 Afterward, when they of Gaza made supplication unto Jonathan, he made peace with them, and took the sons of their chief men for hostages, and sent them to Jerusalem, and passed through the country unto Damascus.'' (1 Maccabees 11)
which shall devour the palaces thereof; the palaces of the governor, and of other great men in it; (the governor of it, when Alexander took it, was Batis;) and the stately towers of it, of which there were many. This city was about fifteen miles south of Askelon, and about four or five north of the river Bezor, and at a small distance from the Mediterranean. It was situated on an eminence, surrounded with the most beautiful and fertile valleys, watered by the above mentioned river, and a number of other springs; and at a further distance encompassed on the inland side with hills, all planted with variety of fine fruit trees. The city itself was strong, both by its situation, and by the stout "walls" and stately "bowers" that surrounded it, and built after the Philistine manner (r) Arrian also says (s), it was a great city built on high ground, and encompassed with a strong wall, and was distant from the sea at least two and a half miles; See Gill on Acts 8:26.But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. But I will send a fire &c.] The verse is framed exactly as Amos 1:4. Wall, with allusion to Gaza’s being a stronghold.Verse 7. - A fire. Each guilty city is to have its own special punishment, though probably the calamity of each is common to all. Gaza was conquered by Sennacherib when he invaded Judea in the time of Hezekiah, by Pharaoh-Necho (Jeremiah 47:1), and by Alexander the Great, who spent more than two months in its siege (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 11:08, 4; Arrian., 2:27; see note on Zephaniah 2:4). Hosea 9:13. "Ephraim as I selected it for a Tyre planted in the valley; so shall Ephraim lead out its sons to the murderer. Hosea 9:14. Give them, O Jehovah: what shalt Thou give him? Give them a childless womb and dry breasts." In Hosea 9:13 Ephraim is the object to ראיתי (I have seen), but on account of the emphasis it is placed first, as in Hosea 9:11; and ראה with an accusative and ל dna evi signifies to select anything for a purpose, as in Genesis 22:8. The Lord had selected Ephraim for Himself to be a Tyre planted in the meadow, i.e., in a soil adapted for growth and prosperity, had intended for it the bloom and glory of the rich and powerful Tyre; but now, for its apostasy, He would give it up to desolation, and dedicate its sons, i.e., its people, to death by the sword. The commentators, for the most part, like the lxx, have overlooked this meaning of ראה, and therefore have not only been unable to explain letsōr (for a Tyre), but have been driven either to resort to alterations of the text, like letsūrâh, "after the form" (Ewald), or to arbitrary assumptions, e.g., that tsōr signifies "palm" after the Arabic (Arnold, Hitzig), or that letsōr means "as far as Tyre" (ל equals עד), in order to bring a more or less forced interpretation into the sentence. The Vav before 'Ephraim introduces the apodosis to כּאשׁר: "as I have selected Ephraim, so shall Ephraim lead out," etc. On the construction להוציא, see Ewald, 237, c. In Hosea 9:14 the threat rises into an appeal to God to execute the threatened punishment. The excited style of the language is indicated in the interpolated mah-titteen (what wilt Thou give?). The words do not contain an intercessory prayer on the part of the prophet, that God will not punish the people too severely but condemn them to barrenness rather than to the loss of the young men (Ewald), but are expressive of holy indignation at the deep corruption of the people.
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