Amos 2:10
Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.
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(10) Forty years.—The forty years’ wandering was a punishment for fickleness and cowardice, but during the incidence of this judgment, of which we have only one or two events recorded in the Book of Numbers, God was disciplining and organising a tribe of restless wanderers into a nation. (Deuteronomy 32:9-13.)

2:9-16 We need often to be reminded of the mercies we have received; which add much to the evil of the sins we have committed. They had helps for their souls, which taught them how to make good use of their earthly enjoyments, and were therefore more valuable. Faithful ministers are great blessings to any people; but it is God that raises them up to be so. Sinners' own consciences will witness that he has not been wanting to them in the means of grace. They did what they could to lead believers aside. Satan and his agents are busy to corrupt the minds of young people who look heavenward; they overcome many by drawing them to the love of mirth and pleasure, and into drinking company. Multitudes of young men who bade fair as professors of religion, have erred through strong drink, and have been undone for ever. The Lord complains of sin, especially the sins of his professing people, as a burden to him. And though his long-suffering be tired, his power is not, and so the sinner will find to his cost. When men reject God's word, adding obstinacy to sin, and this becomes the general character of a people, they will be given up to misery, notwithstanding all their boasted power and resources. May we then humble ourselves before the Lord, for all our ingratitude and unfaithfulness.Also I-- (Literally, "And I," I, emphatic; thus and thus did ye to Me; and thus and thus, with all the mercy from the first, did I to you,) I brought you up from the land of Egypt It is this language in which God, in the law, reminded them of that great benefit, as a motive to obedience; "I brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage" Exodus 20:2; Deuteronomy 5:6; Deuteronomy 6:12; only there, since God has not as yet "brought them up" into the land which He promised them, but they were yet in the wilderness, He says, "brought them forth;" here, "brought them up," as to a place of dignity, His own land.

And led you forty years through the wilderness - These are the very words of the law (Deuteronomy 29:4, (5 English), and reminded them of so many benefits during the course of those "forty years," which the law rehearsed; the daily supply of manna, the water from the rock, the deliverance from the serpents and other perils, the manifold forgivenesses. To be "led forty years through the wilderness," alone, had been no kindness, but a punishment. It was a blending of both. The abiding in the wilderness was punishment or austere mercy, keeping them back from the land which they had shown themselves unqualified to enter: God's "leading" them was, His condescending mercy. The words, taken from the law, must have re-awakened in the souls of Israelites the memory of mercies which they did not mention, how that same book relates "He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; He led him about; He instructed him; He kept him as the apple of His eye. The Lord alone did lead him" Deuteronomy 32:10, Deuteronomy 32:12. In the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the Lord thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went until ye came to this place" Deuteronomy 1:31; or that minute tender care, mentioned in the same place (Deuteronomy 29:4, (5, English)), "your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot." But unless Israel had known the law well, the words would only have been very distantly suggestive of mercy, that it must have been well with them even in the wilderness, since God "led them." They had then the law in their memories, in Israel also , but distorted it or neglected it.

10. brought you up from … Egypt—"brought up" is the phrase, as Egypt was low and flat, and Canaan hilly.

to possess the land of the Amorite—The Amorites strictly occupied both sides of the Jordan and the mountains afterward possessed by Judah; but they here, as in Am 2:9, stand for all the Canaanites. God kept Israel forty years in the wilderness, which tended to discipline them in His statutes, so as to be the better fitted for entering on the possession of Canaan.

You did not rescue yourselves out of the hands of your enemies, I did in mere mercy with a mighty arm save and rescue you, and brought you up from the land of Egypt, where you were oppressed servants, and exposed to ruin.

Led you, as a shepherd leads his flock: nay, miraculously conducting by the pillar of a cloud and fire, and feeding with manna from heaven.

Forty years, reckoning from their coming out of Egypt.

Through the wilderness: they passed through many wildernesses, named in Scripture according as they were then called, but all these lay so contiguous to each other, that they all made up one great wilderness, as the many names given to parts of the sea make us know what particular part is spoken of, but all make one sea.

To possess, as an heir possesseth that he hath a hereditary right to, the land of the Amorite, including all the rest of the accursed and dispossessed nations. Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt,.... Where they were bond slaves, and in great affliction and distress, and unable to help themselves; but the Lord wrought deliverance for them, and brought them out of this house of bondage with a high hand and a mighty arm:

and led you forty years through the wilderness: going before them in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night; providing them with all things necessary, with food and raiment, and protecting them from all their enemies:

to possess the land of the Amorite; the whole land of Canaan, so called from a principal nation of it.

Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.
10. Also I brought you up, &c.] as before, “And I (emph.)” &c. The providential guidance in the wilderness is instanced as a further motive to obedience, the appeal to it being made the more forcible and direct, by the change from the 1st to the 2nd person. Comp. the same motive, Deuteronomy 6:12, Hosea 13:4 (R.V. marg.), and elsewhere.

forty years] Deuteronomy 2:7; Deuteronomy 8:2; Deuteronomy 29:5 (in nearly the same phrase) &c.Verse 10. - The deliverance from Egypt and the guidance through the desert, though chronologically first, are mentioned last, as the great and culminating example of the favour and protection of God. First God prepared the land for Israel, and then trained them for possessing it. From the many allusions in this section, we see how familiar Amos and his hearers were with the history and law of the Pentateuch. Led you forty years (Deuteronomy 2:7; Deuteronomy 8:2-4). "And tumult will arise against thy peoples, and all thy fortifications are laid waste, as Shalman laid Beth-Arbeel waste in the day of the war: mother and children are dashed to pieces. Hosea 10:15. Thus hath Bethel done to you because of the wickedness of your wickedness: in the morning dawn the king of Israel is cut off, cut off." קאם with א as mater lect. (Ewald, 15, e), construed with ב: to rise up against a person, as in Psalm 27:12; Job 16:8. שׁאון, war, tumult, as in Amos 2:2. בּעמּיך: against thy people of war. The expression is chosen with a reference to rōbh gibbōrı̄m (the multitude of mighty men), in which Israel put its trust. The meaning, countrymen, or tribes, is restricted to the older language of the Pentateuch. The singular יוּשּׁד refers to כּל, as in Isaiah 64:10, contrary to the ordinary language (cf. Ewald, 317, c). Nothing is known concerning the devastation of Beth-Arbeel by Shalman; and hence there has always been great uncertainty as to the meaning of the words. Shalman is no doubt a contracted form of Shalmanezer, the king of Assyria, who destroyed the kingdom of the ten tribes (2 Kings 17:6). Bēth-'arbē'l is hardly Arbela of Assyria, which became celebrated through the victory of Alexander (Strab. Isaiah 16:1, Isaiah 16:3), since the Israelites could scarcely have become so well acquainted with such a remote city, as that the prophet could hold up the desolation that befel it as an example to them, but in all probability the Arbela in Galilaea Superior, which is mentioned in 1 Maccabees 9:2, and very frequently in Josephus, a place in the tribe of Naphtali, between Sephoris and Tiberias (according to Robinson, Pal. iii. pp. 281-2, and Bibl. Researches, p. 343: the modern Irbid). The objection offered by Hitzig, - viz. that shōd is a noun in Hosea 9:6; Hosea 7:13; Hosea 12:2, and that the infinitive construct, with ל prefixed, is written לשׁדד in Jeremiah 47:4; and lastly, that if Shalman were the subject, we should expect the preposition את before בּית, - is not conclusive, and the attempt which he makes to explain Salman-Beth-Arbel from the Sanscrit is not worth mentioning. The clause "mother and children," etc., a proverbial expression denoting inhuman cruelty (see at Genesis 32:12), does not merely refer to the conduct of Shalman in connection with Beth-arbel, possibly in the campaign mentioned in 2 Kings 17:3, but is also intended to indicate the fate with which the whole of the kingdom of Israel was threatened. In 2 Kings 17:16 this threat concludes with an announcement of the overthrow of the monarchy, accompanied by another allusion to the guilt of the people. The subject to כּכה עשׂה is Beth-el (Chald.), not Shalman or Jehovah. Bethel, the seat of the idolatry, prepares this lot for the people on account of its great wickedness. עשׂה is a perf. proph.' and רעת רעתכם, wickedness in its second potency, extreme wickedness (cf. Ewald, 313, c). Basshachar, in the morning-dawn, i.e., at the time when prosperity is once more apparently about to dawn, tempore pacis alluscente (Cocc., Hgst.). The gerund נדמה adds to the force; and מלך ישׂ is not this or the other king, but as in 2 Kings 17:7, the king generally, i.e., the monarchy of Israel.
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