Amos 2:14
Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:
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(14) This doom Amos darkly foreshadows to be invasion and military overthrow, with all its attendant calamities.

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.Israel relied, against God, on his own strength. "Have we not," they said, "taken to us horns by our own strength?" Amos 6:13. Amos tells them then, that every means of strength, resistance, flight, swiftness of foot, of horse, place of refuge, should fail them. Three times he repeats, as a sort of dirge, "he shall not deliver himself."

Therefore the flight shall perish - (Probably place of flight Job 11:20; Psalm 142:5; Jeremiah 25:35). They had despised God, as their "place of refuge" , so "the place of refuge, should perish from the swift," as though it were not. He should flee amain, but there would be no "place to flee unto." God alone "renews strength;" therefore "the strong" man should not "strengthen his force or might," should not be able to gather or "collect his strength" as we say. Fear should disable him. "The handler of the bow" (as in Jeremiah 46:9), and who by habit is a skilled archer, although himself out of the immediate reach of the enemy, and able, unharmed, to annoy him and protect the fugitives, "shall not stand" (as in Jeremiah 46:21; Nahum 2:8). Panic should overtake him. The "mighty" man, the "fleet of foot" should "not deliver," yea, "the horseman" should not "deliver himself;" yea, he who, "among the mighty," was "strongest of his heart," firm-souled among those of mightiest prowess, "shall flee away naked," that is, bared of all, armor or dress, which might encumber his flight "in that day" which the Lord made a day of terror His own day.

Saith the Lord - Probably literally, "the secret utterance of the Lord." Amos, more than Hosea, uses this special authentication of his words , which is so common in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah. He claims a knowledge, which those around him had not, and ratifies it by the express appeal to the direct, though secret, revelation of God; what those who were not of God, would deny; what they who were of God, would believe.

14. flight shall perish from … swift—Even the swift shall not be able to escape.

strong shall not strengthen his force—that is, shall not be able to use his strength.

himself—literally, "his life."

Therefore; because they first loaded God with their sins, and now he loads them with punishments, no way of escape shall be left.

The flight shall perish from the swift; not by swiftness of foot fleeing from the judgments, for their enemies shall be swifter than they, Isaiah 30:16.

The strong shall not strengthen his force; natural strength of body shall not deliver; such, though they might do more than weaker men, yet shall not save themselves, for they shall not know how to use their strength they shall want courage to do it.

The mighty, the valiant, and man of greatest courage, shall not be able to deliver himself, his courage shall fail. Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift,.... They should be so straitened and cooped up, and be so loaded with pressures, that those, as swift of foot as Asahel, should not be able to make their escape by fleeing:

and the strong shall not strengthen his force; should not increase it, or muster it up, and exert it to such a degree, as to be able to defend and secure himself from the enemy:

neither shall the mighty deliver himself; "his soul" or "life"; a soldier, a man of war, an expert and courageous officer at the head of his troop, or even the general of the army; see Psalm 33:16.

Therefore the flight shall perish from the {l} swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:

(l) None will be delivered by any means.

14–16. A disaster, in which neither the swiftest nor the best equipped warrior will be able to escape, brings the kingdom of Israel to its end.

Therefore] simply And (as R.V.).

the flight shall perish from the swift] rather place of flight, refuge; for perish from we should say fail (R.V. marg.). The idiom used occurs elsewhere, viz. Jeremiah 25:35; Job 11:20 (see R.V. marg.); Psalm 142:4 (A.V. “refuge failed me”).

the strong shall not strengthen his force] i.e. not collect his powers; he will be unmanned in presence of the foe.

the mighty] or the warrior. The word means specifically one mighty in war: see Isaiah 3:2; Jeremiah 46:6; Jeremiah 46:12; Isaiah 42:13; Nahum 2:4 (noticing in each case the context): in the plural it is the term used to denote David’s select band of warriors, 2 Samuel 16:6; 2 Samuel 23:8, &c.Verse 14. - In this and the two following verses Amos individualizes the "pressure" that awaits them, when every means of resistance and escape shall fail. The flight shall perish from the swift. The swift of foot shall have no time or way to flee (Jeremiah 25:35; Jeremiah 46:6), Ewald, Pusey, Gandell, for "flight" render "place of flight, refuge," as Job 11:20; Psalm 142:5; Septuagint, φυγή: Vulgate, fuga. Shall not strengthen his force. The strong man shall not be able to collect or put forth his strength to any good purpose (comp. Proverbs 24:5; Nahum 2:1). Neither shall... himself. Some of the Greek manuscripts omit this clause. Deliver himself occurs three times - a kind of solemn refrain. Nevertheless the Lord continued to show love to them. Hosea 11:3, Hosea 11:4. "And I, I have taught Ephraim to walk: He took them in His arms, and they did not know that I healed them. I drew them with bands of a man, with cords of love, and became to them like a lifter up of the yoke upon their jaws, and gently towards him did I give (him) food." תּרגּלתּי, a hiphil, formed after the Aramaean fashion (cf. Ges. 55, 5), by hardening the ה into ת, and construed with ל, as the hiphil frequently is (e.g., Hosea 10:1; Amos 8:9), a denom. of רגל, to teach to walk, to guide in leading-strings, like a child that is being trained to walk. It is a figurative representation of paternal care foz a child's prosperity. קחם, per aphaeresin, for לקחם, like קח for לקח in Ezekiel 17:5. The sudden change from the first person to the third seems very strange to our ears; but it is not uncommon in Hebrew, and is to be accounted for here from the fact, that the prophet could very easily pass from speaking in the name of God to speaking of God Himself. קח cannot be either an infinitive or a participle, on account of the following word זרועתיו, his arms. The two clauses refer chiefly to the care and help afforded by the Lord to His people in the Arabian desert; and the prophet had Deuteronomy 1:31 floating before his mind: "in the wilderness the Lord thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son." The last clause also refers to this, רפאתים pointing back to Exodus 15:26, where the Lord showed Himself as the physician of Israel, by making the bitter water at Marah drinkable, and at the same time as their helper out of every trouble. In Hosea 11:4, again, there is a still further reference to the manifestation of the love of God to Israel on the journey through the wilderness. חבלי אדם, cords with which men are led, more especially children that are weak upon their feet, in contrast with ropes, with which men control wild, unmanageable beasts (Psalm 32:9), are a figurative representation of the paternal, human guidance of Israel, as explained in the next figure, "cords of love." This figure leads on to the kindred figure of the yoke laid upon beasts, to harness them for work. As merciful masters lift up the yoke upon the cheeks of their oxen, i.e., push it so far back that the animals can eat their food in comfort, so has the Lord made the yoke of the law, which has been laid upon His people, both soft and light. As הרים על על does not mean to take the yoke away from (מעל) the cheeks, but to lift it above the cheeks, i.e., to make it easier, by pushing it back, we cannot refer the words to the liberation of Israel from the bondage of Egypt, but can only think of what the Lord did, to make it easy for the people to observe the commandments imposed upon them, when they were received into His covenant (Exodus 24:3, Exodus 24:7), including not only the many manifestations of mercy which might and ought to have allured them to reciprocate His love, and yield a willing obedience to His commandments, but also the means of grace provided in their worship, partly in the institution of sacrifice, by which a way of approach was opened to divine grace to obtain forgiveness of sin, and partly in the institution of feasts, at which they could rejoice in the gracious gifts of their God. ואט is not the first pers. imperf. hiphil of נטה ("I inclined myself to him;" Symm., Syr., and others), in which case we should expect ואט, but an adverb, softly, comfortably; and אליו belongs to it, after the analogy of 2 Samuel 18:5. אוכיל is an anomalous formation for אאכיל, like אוביד for אאביד in Jeremiah 46:8 (cf. Ewald, 192, d; Ges. 68, 2, Anm. 1). Jerome has given the meaning quite correctly: "and I gave them manna for food in the desert, which they enjoyed."
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