Amos 2:5
But I will send a fire on Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.
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(5) Judah.—Such high privilege does not involve immunity from punishment. Judah shall be chastised with the same penalty as Edom, Philistia, Ammon, and Moab.

2:1-8 The evil passions of the heart break out in various forms; but the Lord looks to our motives, as well as our conduct. Those that deal cruelly, shall be cruelly dealt with. Other nations were reckoned with for injuries done to men; Judah is reckoned with for dishonour done to God. Judah despised the law of the Lord; and he justly gave them up to strong delusion; nor was it any excuse for their sin, that they were the lies, the idols, after which their fathers walked. The worst abominations and most grievous oppressions have been committed by some of the professed worshippers of the Lord. Such conduct leads many to unbelief and vile idolatry.I will send a fire upon Judah - All know now, how Jerusalem, its temple, and its palaces perished by fire, first by Nebuchadnezzar, then by the Romans. Yet some two centuries passed, before that first destruction came. The ungodly Jews flattered themselves that it would never come. So we know that a "fiery stream" Daniel 7:10 will issue and come forth from Him; "a fire" that "consumeth to destruction" Job 31:12, all who, whether or no they are in the body of the Church, are not of the heavenly Jerusalem; dead members in the body which belongs to the Living Head. And it will not the less come, because it is not regarded. Rather, the very condition of all God's judgments is, to be disregarded and to come, and then most to come, when they are most disregarded. 5. a fire—Nebuchadnezzar. I will send a fire: see Amos 1:4.

Judah; the kingdom of the two tribes; Benjamin is to be included with Judah, as elsewhere hath been already often observed. It shall devour the palaces: see Amos 1:4.

Jerusalem; the chief city of Judah’s kingdom, the city of God, where was the temple of God, and where were the seats of judicature; the holy city, but now to be destroyed for its sins, as well as other incorrigible nations. Now this was fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar, about two hundred years after this prophecy of Amos. But I will send a fire upon Judah,.... An enemy, Nebuchadnezzar, who should burn, waste, and destroy, all that were in his way:

and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem; the chief city of Judah, the royal city, where stood the temple, the palace of the most High, and the palaces of the king and his nobles; these were burnt with fire when it was taken by the Chaldean army, about two hundred years after this prophecy, Jeremiah 52:13.

But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.
5. But I will send a fire upon Judah, &c.] hence, with verbal variations, Jeremiah 17:27 b. In the case of Judah, Amos’s threat did not take effect for more than a century and a half: the ‘fire’ did not ‘devour the palaces of Jerusalem’ until it was taken by the Chaldaeans in b.c. 586 (2 Kings 25:9). On the authenticity of these two verses, see p. 117 f.Verse 5. - The destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans is here briefly foretold (Jeremiah 17:27; Hosea 8:14; 2 Kings 25:9, 10). After the threatening of punishment has thus been extended in Hosea 10:8, even to the utter ruin of the kingdom, the prophet returns in Hosea 10:9 to the earlier times, for the purpose of exhibiting in a new form and deeply rooted sinfulness of the people, and then, under cover of an appeal to them to return to righteousness, depicting still further the time of visitation, and (in Hosea 10:14, Hosea 10:15) predicting with still greater clearness the destruction of the kingdom and the overthrow of the monarchy. Hosea 10:9. "Since the days of Gibeah hast thou sinned, O Israel: there have they remained: the war against the sons of wickedness did not overtake them at Gibeah. Hosea 10:10. According to my desire shall I chastise them; and nations will be gathered together against them, to bind them to their two transgressions." Just as in Hosea 9:9, the days of Gibeah, i.e., the days when that ruthless crime was committed at Gibeah upon the concubine of the Levite, are mentioned as a time of deep corruption; so are those days described in the present passage as the commencement of Israel's sin. For it is as obvious that מיממי is not to be understood in a comparative sense, as it is that the days of Gibeah are not to be taken as referring to the choice of Saul, who sprang from Gibeah, to be their king (Chald.). The following words, שׁם עמדוּ גגו, which are very difficult, and have been variously explained, do not describe the conduct of Israel in those days; for, in the first place, the statement that the war did not overtake them is by no means in harmony with this, since the other tribes avenged that crime so severely that the tribe of Benjamin was almost exterminated; and secondly, the suffix attached to תּשּׂיגם evidently refers to the same persons as that appended to אסּ'רם in Hosea 9:10, i.e., to the Israelites of the ten tribes, to which Hosea foretels the coming judgment. These are therefore the subject to עמדוּ, and consequently עמד signifies to stand, to remain, to persevere (cf. Isaiah 47:12; Jeremiah 32:14). There, in Gibeah, did they remain, that is to say, they persevered in the sin of Gibeah, without the war at Gibeah against the sinners overtaking them (the imperfect, in a subordinated clause, used to describe the necessary consequence; and עלוה transposed from עולה mo, like זעוה in Deuteronomy 28:25 for זועה). The meaning is, that since the days of Gibeah the Israelites persist in the same sin as the Gibeahites; but whereas those sinners were punished and destroyed by the war, the ten tribes still live on in the same sin without having been destroyed by any similar war. Jehovah will now chastise them for it. בּאוּתי, in my desire, equivalent to according to my wish - an anthropomorphic description of the severity of the chastisement. ואסּ'רם from יסר (according to Ewald, 139, a), with the Vav of the apodosis. The chastisement will consist in the fact, that nations will be gathered together against Israel בּאסרם, lit., at their binding, i.e., when I shall bind them. The chethib עינתם cannot well be the plural of עין, because the plural עינות is not used for the eyes; and the rendering, "before their two eyes," in the sense of "without their being able to prevent it" (Ewald), yields the unheard-of conception of binding a person before his own eyes; and, moreover, the use of שׁתּי עינות instead of the simple dual would still be left unexplained. We must therefore give the preference to the keri עונת, and regard the chethib as another form, that may be accounted for from the transition of the verbs עי into עו, and עונת as a contraction of עונת, since עונה cannot be shown to have either the meaning of "sorrow" (Chald., A. E.), or that of the severe labour of "tributary service." And, moreover, neither of these meanings would give us a suitable thought; whilst the very same objection may be brought against the supposition that the doubleness of the work refers to Ephraim and Judah, which has been brought against the rendering "to bind to his furrows," viz., that it would be non solum ineptum, sed locutionis monstrum. לשׁתּי עונתם, "to their two transgression" to bind them: i.e., to place them in connection with the transgressions by the punishment, so that they will be obliged to drag them along like beasts of burden. By the two transgressions we are to understand neither the two golden calves at Bethel and Daniel (Hitzig), nor unfaithfulness towards Jehovah and devotedness to idols, after Jeremiah 2:13 (Cyr., Theod.); but their apostasy from Jehovah and the royal house of David, in accordance with Hosea 3:5, where it is distinctly stated that the ultimate conversion of the nation will consist in its seeking Jehovah and David their king.
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