Amos 2:15
Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself.
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(15) Is omitted in some of Kennicott’s and De Rossi’s MSS., but without authority.

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."

Neither shall he stand; though at distance from the enemies, yet shall not dare to keep his place.

That handleth the bow; much used in the wars of those times, and used by strong and valiant men, but now both strength and valour should fail Israel’s bow-men.

He that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: this is the same, and explains that in the 14th verse.

Neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself: here the prophet foretells that the swiftness of the horse, which some will make use of, shall as little avail, nor his strength joined with his speed shall deliver the rider; neither the strength of the horse shall carry him through, nor his swiftness carry him away from the hand of the pursuer.

Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow,.... That is, at some distance, and can make use of his instruments of war afar off; yet will not think it safe to stand his ground, but will betake himself to his heels as fast as he can to save himself:

and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself; this is repeated, lest any should place confidence in their agility, and to show how complete and inevitable the affliction will be:

neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself; by fleeing on horseback, no more than he that is on foot; no ways that can be devised or thought on would preserve from this general calamity; see Psalm 33:17.

Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself.
15. stand] i.e. keep his place, or halt in the flight: so Nahum 2:8; Jeremiah 46:21.

swift of foot] For this virtue of a warrior cf. 2 Samuel 1:23; 2 Samuel 2:18 (the same expression as here), 1 Chronicles 12:8.

deliver himself] As the text stands, himself must be understood from the next clause: but it is better, with a change of vowel-points, to read yimmâlçṭ, which will itself mean ‘deliver himself.’

Verse 15. - Stand (Jeremiah 46:21; Nahum 2:8). The skilled archer shall not stand firm. That handleth the bow (Jeremiah 46:9). Amos 2:15This base contempt of their covenant mercies the Lord would visit with a severe punishment. Amos 2:13. "Behold, I will press you down, as the cart presses that is filled with sheaves. Amos 2:14. And the flight will be lost to the swift, and the strong one will not fortify his strength, and the hero will not deliver his soul. Amos 2:15. And the carrier of the bow will not stand, and the swift-footed will not deliver, and the rider of the horse will not save his soul. Amos 2:16. And the courageous one among the heroes will flee away naked in that day, is the saying of Jehovah." The Lord threatens as a punishment a severe oppression, which no one will be able to escape. The allusion is to the force of war, under which even the bravest and most able heroes will succumb. העיק, from עוּק, Aramaean for צוּק, to press, construed with tachath, in the sense of κατὰ, downwards, to press down upon a person, i.e., to press him down (Winer, Ges., Ewald). This meaning is established by עקה in Psalm 55:4, and by מוּעקה in Psalm 66:11; so that there is no necessity to resort to the Arabic, as Hitzig does, or to alterations of the text, or to follow Baur, who gives the word the meaning, "to feel one's self pressed under another," for which there is no foundation in the language, and which does not even yield a suitable sense. The comparison instituted here to the pressure of a cart filled with sheaves, does not warrant the conclusion that Jehovah must answer to the cart; the simile is not to be carried out to this extent. The object to תּעיק is wanting, but may easily be supplied from the thought, namely, the ground over which the cart is driven. The להּ attached to המלאה belongs to the latitude allowed in ordinary speech, and gives to מלאה the reflective meaning, which is full in itself, has quite filled itself (cf. Ewald, 315, a). In Amos 2:14-16 the effects of this pressure are individualized. No one will escape from it. אבד מנוס, flight is lost to the swift, i.e., the swift will not find time enough to flee. The allusion to heroes and bearers of the bow shows that the pressure is caused by war. קל בּרגליו belong together: "He who is light in his feet." The swift-footed will no more save his life than the rider upon a horse. נפשׁו .esroh in Amos 2:15 belongs to both clauses. אמּץ לבּו, the strong in his heart, i.e., the hearty, courageous. ערום, naked, i.e., so as to leave behind him his garment, by which the enemy seizes him, like the young man in Mark 14:52. This threat, which implies that the kingdom will be destroyed, is carried out still further in the prophet's following addresses.
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