Amos 3:6
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD has not done it?
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(6, 7) Surely the Lord . . .—In this, and the preceding verse, the future tense should be replaced by a present. Render doeth nothing, and in Amos 3:6 is a trumpet sounded . . . are not afraid . . . is there evil; for the prophet intends to express a continually-recurring fact. The word translated “evil” is commonly, but not universally, used for moral evil. (See Genesis 19:19; Genesis 44:34; Exodus 32:14.) “Evil which is sin the Lord hath not done, evil which is punishment for evil the Lord bringeth.” (Augustine.) Compare, as illustrations of the truth of Amos 3:7, the revelation of the Divine purpose to Noah with reference to the Deluge, to Abraham with respect to Sodom, to Joseph about the famine in Egypt, and to Moses concerning Pharaoh. The prophets of the Lord have given full warning of the judgment of God upon all sin.

3:1-8 The distinguishing favours of God to us, if they do not restrain from sin, shall not exempt from punishment. They could not expect communion with God, unless they first sought peace with him. Where there is not friendship, there can be no fellowship. God and man cannot walk together, except they are agreed. Unless we seek his glory, we cannot walk with him. Let us not presume on outward privileges, without special, sanctifying grace. The threatenings of the word and providence of God against the sin of man are certain, and certainly show that the judgments of God are at hand. Nor will God remove the affliction he has sent, till it has done its work. The evil of sin is from ourselves, it is our own doing; but the evil of trouble is from God, and is his doing, whoever are the instruments. This should engage us patiently to bear public troubles, and to study to answer God's meaning in them. The whole of the passage shows that natural evil, or troubles, and not moral evil, or sin, is here meant. The warning given to a careless world will increase its condemnation another day. Oh the amazing stupidity of an unbelieving world, that will not be wrought upon by the terrors of the Lord, and that despise his mercies!Is there evil in the city and the Lord hath not done it? - Evil is of two sorts, evil of sin, and evil of punishment. There is no other; for evil of nature, or evil of fortune, are evils, by God's Providence, punishing the evil of sin. Augustine, c. Adim. 26: "Evil, which is sin, the Lord hath not done; evil, which is punishment for sin, the Lord bringeth." The Providence of God governing and controlling all things, man doth ill which he wills, so as to suffer ill which he wills not. Only, evil which is by God's Providence the punishment of sin is in this life remedial and through final impenitence alone becomes purely judicial.

Rib.: "Refer not, the prophet would say, the ills which ye suffer and will suffer, to any other causes, as people are accustomed to do. God, in His displeasure, sends them upon you. And that ye may know this the more certainly, whatever He shall send He will first reveal to the prophets and by them ye shall be forewarned. See then that ye despise not my words, or the words of the other prophets. People ascribe their sufferings to fortune, accident, any cause, rather than the displeasure of God. The intemperate will think anything the cause of their illness rather than their intemperance. People love the things of the world and cannot and will not be persuaded that so many evils are brought on them by the things which they love. So then God explains through the prophets the punishment which He purposes to bring on people."

6. When the sound of alarm is trumpeted by the watchman in the city, the people are sure to run to and fro in alarm (Hebrew, literally). Yet Israel is not alarmed, though God threatens judgments.

shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?—This is the explanation of the preceding similes: God is the Author of all the calamities which come upon you, and which are foretold by His prophets. The evil of sin is from ourselves; the evil of trouble is from God, whoever be the instruments.

Shall a trumpet be blown, when an alarm is sounded, by which notice is given of danger approaching, of an enemy invading the land, in the city, any city, but particularly in a frontier city, in which were watchmen on the walls and towers to give notice of an enemy, Isaiah 52:8 Ezekiel 3:17 33:7,

and the people not be afraid; affected with the danger, to weigh how great it is, how near it is; whether it be best to prepare to resist it, or to flee from it? Such-like affections doth the alarm of war work in the minds of men ordinarily, and there is good reason for it: but though God hath sounded the alarm, yet brutish, stupid, and sinful Israel fear not, neither consult what is the best course to prevent the danger.

Shall there be evil, of affliction and sorrow, such as plague, famine, &c., in a city, or any where else, and the Lord, the eternal, holy, and righteous Governor of all in heaven and on earth, hath not done it, either immediately by his own hand, or mediately by the hands of those he employs? the evil of punishment he will execute and bring upon Israel; he will by the hands of the Assyrians in due time execute it. Shall a trumpet be blown in the city,.... Meaning not any trumpet blown, as the silver trumpet for the gathering of the people to worship, or the jubilee trumpet, which proclaimed liberty to them, or any other, expressive of joy and gladness; but the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war, or what is blown by the watchmen on the walls, descrying an enemy, or some danger, near:

and the people not be afraid? they must, they usually are, lest their lives, and their children's, should be taken away, and their substance become a prey to the enemy: or, "and the people not run together" (f); into some one place for shelter, or to consult together how to provide for their safety, and secure themselves from danger. So when the prophets of the Lord, by his order, lift up their voice like a trumpet, to show his people their transgressions; or when, as watchmen, they blow the trumpet, to give notice of approaching danger; can they hear such denunciations of his wrath for their sins, and not tremble at them, or not take some ways and methods to escape it?

shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it? which is not to be understood of the evil of sin, of which God is not the author, it being contrary to his nature and will; and though he permits it to be done by others, yet he never does it himself, nor so much as tempts men to it, James 1:13; unless the words should be rendered, as they may be, "shall there be evil in a city, and shall not the Lord do" or "work" (g)? shall sin be committed in a city, all sorts of sin, in the most bold and extravagant manner, and will not the Lord do something to show his resentment of it? is it not time for him to arise and work for his name's sake? will he not visit for these things, and be avenged on such a city, and the inhabitants of it? but this may be interpreted of the evil of affliction or judgment; which, wherever it comes, is by the order and appointment of God, and is inflicted by him; thus evil, as well as good, comes out of the mouth and hand of the most High; and he creates the evil of adversity, as well as makes peace and prosperity; see Job 2:10.

(f) "non accurrit", Drusius, Tarnovius. (g) "and shall not the Lord do somewhat?" margin of our Bibles.

{f} Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there {g} be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

(f) Will the Prophet's threaten God's judgments and the people not be afraid?

(g) Does any adversity come without God's appointment? Isa 45:7

6. Is a horn (Amos 2:2) blown in a city, and are the people not in alarm?] Of course they are: for they know it to be the signal of approaching danger. The horn was blown as a summons to repel an invader, &c. (Hosea 5:8; Jeremiah 6:1; Ezekiel 33:3 f.; 1 Corinthians 14:8).

will evil happen in (R.V. befall) a city, and Jehovah hath not done it?] Will evil—i.e. calamity, misfortune, as 1 Samuel 6:9—happen in a city without having its sufficient cause in Jehovah’s purpose? The Hebrews often took no account of what we term ‘secondary causes’; and a calamity, such as famine or pestilence, which might be the natural consequence of some physical antecedent, is thus referred here directly to Jehovah’s operation.

6–8. Similarly the horn is a signal of danger; calamity is a sign that Jehovah has willed it; and the appearance of a prophet is an indication that Jehovah has sent him.Verse 6. - The prophet must needs speak: shall not his denunciation arouse alarm among the people, as the trumpet suddenly heard in a city excites the terror of the inhabitants (comp. Ezekiel 33:2-5)? Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it? The "evil" is affliction, calamity, malum poenae. As states have no future, all temporal calamities in their case may rightly be regarded as the punishment of sin. Thus the ruin impending, on Israel was sent by the Lord, whose agent was the enemy now approaching. All phenomena are ascribed in the Bible to Divine operation, no second causes being allowed to interfere with this appropriation (see Job 1; 1 Samuel 18:10; 1 Kings 22:19, etc.; Isaiah 45:7). The verb "do" is often used absolutely, the context defining the result (see note on Haggai 2:4). "They will go after Jehovah; like a lion will He roar; for He will roar: and sons will tremble from the sea. Hosea 11:11. Tremble like birds out of Egypt, and like doves out of the land of Asshur: and I cause them to dwell in their houses, is the saying of Jehovah." When the Lord turns His pity towards the people once more, they will follow Him, and hasten, with trembling at His voice, from the lands of their banishment, and be reinstated by Him in their inheritance. The way for this promise was opened indeed by Hosea 11:9, but here it is introduced quite abruptly, and without any logical particle of connection, like the same promise in Hosea 3:5. הלך אחרי יי, to walk after the Lord, denotes not only "obedience to the gathering voice of the Lord, as manifested by their drawing near" (Simson), but that walking in true obedience to the Lord which follows from conversion (Deuteronomy 13:5; 1 Kings 14:8), so that the Chaldee has very properly rendered it, "They will follow the worship of Jehovah." This faithfulness they will exhibit first of all in practical obedience to the call of the Lord. This call is described as the roaring of a lion, the point of comparison lying simply in the fact that a lion announces its coming by roaring, so that the roaring merely indicates a loud, far-reaching call, like the blowing of the trumpet in Isaiah 27:13. The reason for what is affirmed is then given: "for He (Jehovah) will really utter His call," in consequence of which the Israelites, as His children, will come trembling (chârēd synonymous with pâchad, Hosea 3:5). מיּם, from the sea, i.e., from the distant islands and lands of the west (Isaiah 11:11), as well as from Egypt and Assyria, the lands of the south and east. These three regions are simply a special form of the idea, "out of all quarters of the globe;" compare the more complete enumeration of the several remote countries in Isaiah 11:11. The comparison to birds and doves expresses the swiftness with which they draw near, as doves fly to their dovecots (Isaiah 60:8). Then will the Lord cause them to dwell in their houses, i.e., settle them once more in their inheritance, in His own land (cf. Jeremiah 32:37, where לבטח is added). On the construing of הושׁיב with על, cf. 1 Kings 20:43, and the German auf der Stube sein. The expression נאם יי affixes the seal of confirmation to this promise. The fulfilment takes place in the last says, when Israel as a nation shall enter the kingdom of God. Compare the remarks on this point at Hosea 2:1-3.
Amos 3:6 Interlinear
Amos 3:6 Parallel Texts

Amos 3:6 NIV
Amos 3:6 NLT
Amos 3:6 ESV
Amos 3:6 NASB
Amos 3:6 KJV

Amos 3:6 Bible Apps
Amos 3:6 Parallel
Amos 3:6 Biblia Paralela
Amos 3:6 Chinese Bible
Amos 3:6 French Bible
Amos 3:6 German Bible

Bible Hub

Amos 3:5
Top of Page
Top of Page