Amos 3:10
For they know not to do right, saith the LORD, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.
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(10) Know not to do right.—Not merely have lost the perception of what is and what is not right, but are indifferent to such distinctions. They know not and care not; the awful state of utter moral impotence, wherein not only the intellectual consciousness, but the impulses to action, are languid or even paralysed—a dead conscience! Nothing is more condemnatory than this brief sentence. The light within them is darkness.

3:9-15 That power which is an instrument of unrighteousness, will justly be brought down and broken. What is got and kept wrongfully, will not be kept long. Some are at ease, but there will come a day of visitation, and in that day, all they are proud of, and put confidence in, shall fail them. God will inquire into the sins of which they have been guilty in their houses, the robbery they have stored up, and the luxury in which they lived. The pomp and pleasantness of men's houses, do not fortify against God's judgments, but make sufferings the more grievous and vexatious. Yet a remnant, according to the election of grace, will be secured by our great and good Shepherd, as from the jaws of destruction, in the worst times.For - (and) they know not to do right They "have not known," they have least all sense and knowledge, how "to do right" (literally, what is "straight-forward") because they had so long ceased to do it. It is part of the miserable blindness of sin, that, while the soul acquires a quick insight into evil, it becomes, at last, not paralyzed only to "do" good, but unable to perceive it. So Jeremiah says, "they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge" Jeremiah 4:22. Whence of the Christian Paul says, "I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil" Romans 16:19. People, step by step, lose the power of understanding either good or evil, the love of the world or the love of God. Either becomes "a strange language" to ears accustomed to the "songs of Zion" or the din of the world. When our Lord and God came to His own, they said, "we know that God spake unto Moses: as for this man we know not whence He is" John 9:29. And this blindness was brought about by covetousness which "blindeth the eyes" even of "the wise" Exodus 23:8, as he adds;

Who store - (Literally, with indignation, "the storers"

With violence and robbery - They could not understand what was right, while they habitually did what was wrong. They "stored up," as they deemed, the gains and fruits; the robbery and injustice they saw not, because they turned away from seeing. But what is "stored" up, is not what wastes away, but what abides. Who doubts it? Then, what they treasured, were not the perishing things of earth, but, in truth, the sins themselves, as "a treasure of wrath against the Day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God" Romans 2:5. Strange treasure, to be so diligently accumulated, guarded, multiplied! Yet it is, in fact, all which remains. "So is he that layeth up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God" Luke 12:21. He adds, as an aggravation, "in their palaces." Deformed as in all oppression, yet to "oppress the poor, to increase his riches" Proverbs 22:16, has an unnatural hideousness of its own. What was wrung from the poor, laid up "in places!" Yet what else is it to cheapen luxuries at the cost of the wages of the poor?

10. know not to do—Their moral corruption blinds their power of discernment so that they cannot do right (Jer 4:22). Not simple intellectual ignorance; the defect lay in the heart and will.

store up violence and robbery—that is, treasures obtained by "violence and robbery" (Pr 10:2).

For they know not; those who oppress others do it as unlearned lawyers and judges do, they are shamefully ignorant of the law of God.

To do right; what is equal between man and man they will not consider, nor do they care whether it be done or not.

Store up; as men lay up wealth in their treasures, they fill their houses.

Violence; perverting judgment, first condemning the innocent, next seizing all as forfeited by law; so they did, no doubt, in those times of rebellion and usurpations; sequestrations and decimations, &c. were then too.

Robbery; the true name of all their proceedings, however palliated.

In their palaces: this intimates to us that the greatest among them were chief actors herein; see Zephaniah 1:9; but as they stored up violence, they also treasured up misery and desolation too, as the Hebrew elegantly imports.

For they know not to do right, saith the Lord,.... What is just and fight between man and man, no, not in one single instance; they did not regard it, or advert to it; they were under no concern about it; and were so much under the power of their lusts, that they knew not how to do it; and had used themselves so long to such wicked and unjust ways, that they had lost at least the practical knowledge of doing justice; they knew what was right in the theory, but not in the practice; bribes blinded their eyes; for this seems to design judges, civil magistrates, such who had the administration of justice and the execution Of the laws in their hands. The Targum is,

"they know not to execute the law;''

see Jeremiah 4:22;

who store up violence and robbery in their palaces; treasured up riches in their palaces, gotten in a violent way, by oppression and injustice; and which was no other, nor better, than robbery. This shows that persons in power and authority, that lived in palaces, in great splendour and grandeur, are here meant.

For they know not to do right, saith the LORD, who store up violence and robbery {l} in their palaces.

(l) The fruit of their cruelty and theft appears by their great riches, which they have in their houses.

10. know not to do right] Wrong-doing has become their second nature. Right (a rare word) is properly what is straight in front, fig. clear, true, straightforward (Isaiah 26:10; Isaiah 59:14; 2 Samuel 15:3).

store up violence and robbery in their palaces] The nobles and great men, in Samaria as in Jerusalem (Isaiah 1:23; Isaiah 3:14, &c.) the irresponsible oppressors of the poor, are referred to: they accumulate treasures, but as these are amassed by violence and robbery, they in reality treasure up violence and robbery in their palaces (cf. Isaiah 3:14, end).

robbery] A strong word, implying violent treatment, and often more adequately represented by wasting or devastation (cf. Amos 5:9; cp. on Joel, p. 81). Coupled with violence, as here, Jeremiah 6:7; Jeremiah 20:8, Ezekiel 45:9, Habakkuk 1:3 (A. V. spoil or spoiling).

Verse 10. - They know not how to do right. The Samaritans have lost all sense of justice, the foundation of social life (Jeremiah 4:22). LXX., Οὐκ ἔγνις α} ἔσται ἐναντίον αὐτῆς, "She knew not what things shall be before her." Store up violence; i.e. the fruits of violence and robbery (ταλαιπωρίαν, "misery," Septuagint), what they had wrung from the poor by oppression and rapine. Amos 3:10Amos has thus vindicated his own calling, and the right of all the prophets, to announce to the people the judgments of God; and now (Amos 3:9-15) he is able to proclaim without reserve what the Lord has resolved to do upon sinful Israel. Amos 3:9. "Make it heard over the palaces in Ashdod, and over the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumult in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the heart thereof. Amos 3:10. And they know not to do the right, is the saying of Jehovah, who heap up violence and devastation in their palaces." The speaker is Jehovah (Amos 3:10), and the prophets are addressed. Jehovah summons them to send out the cry over the palaces in Ashdod and Egypt (על as in Hosea 8:1), and to call the inhabitants of these palaces to hear, (1) that they may see the acts of violence, and the abominations in the palaces of Samaria; and (2) that they may be able to bear witness against Israel (Amos 3:13). This turn in the prophecy brings out to view the overflowing excess of the sins and abominations of Israel. The call of the prophets, however, is not to be uttered upon the palaces, so as to be heard far and wide (Baur and others), but over the palaces, to cause the inhabitants of them to draw near. It is they alone, and not the whole population of Ashdod and Egypt, who are to be called nigh; because only the inhabitants of the palace could pronounce a correct sentence as to the mode of life commonly adopted in the palaces of Samaria. Ashdod, one of the Philistian capitals, is mentioned by way of example, as a chief city of the uncircumcised, who were regarded by Israel as godless heathen; and Egypt is mentioned along with it, as the nation whose unrighteousness and ungodliness had once been experienced by Israel to satiety. If therefore such heathen as these are called to behold the unrighteous and dissolute conduct to be seen in the palaces, it must have been great indeed. The mountains of Samaria are not the mountains of the kingdom of Samaria, or the mountains upon which the city of Samaria was situated - for Samaria was not built upon a plurality of mountains, but upon one only (Amos 4:1; Amos 6:1) - but the mountains round about Samaria, from which you could look into the city, built upon one isolated hill. The city, built upon the hill of Semer, was situated in a mountain caldron or basin, about two yours in diameter, which was surrounded on all sides by lofty mountains (see at 1 Kings 16:24).

(Note: "As the mountains round the hill of Semer are loftier than this hill itself, the enemy might easily discover the internal state of besieged Samaria." V. de Velde, R. i. p. 282.)

Mehūmâh, noise, tumult, denotes a state of confusion, in which everything is topsy-turvy, and all justice and order are overthrown by open violence (Maurer, Baur). ‛Ashūqı̄m, either the oppressed, or, taken as an abstract, the oppression of the poor (cf. Amos 2:6). In Amos 3:10 the description is continued in the finite verb: they do not know how to do right; that is to say, injustice has become their nature; and they who heap up sins and violence in their palaces like treasures.

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