Amos 3:7
Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Amos 3:7-8. The Lord will do nothing, but he revealeth, &c. — As if he had said, You cannot complain of your not being forewarned of these calamities coming upon you, for God hath not done, nor will do any thing, without revealing it to his prophets, and by them to you; so that you have now warning of all that he intends to do, unless you prevent it by an alteration in your behaviour. It may be observed further on this verse, that there was no great revolution in the affairs, either of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, or in those of the neighbouring nations, which the prophets of God did not foretel; in order that the Jews might constantly be reminded of their God, either as a rewarder or punisher. The lion hath roared, who will not fear? — As when a lion roars, no one who hears can avoid fearing, so now, God having threatened, all who are made acquainted with the threatening ought to be alarmed and to stand in awe. The Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy? — When God himself speaks, or commands, who will dare to do otherwise than obey? or, what prophet will have courage to refuse or forbear uttering what God reveals to him, and orders him to utter; for if the anger of a lion is to be feared, how much more the anger of God?

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!Surely the Lord God will do - For the Lord God "doeth"

Nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets - So our Lord saith, "And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe" (John 14:29; compare John 13:19). While it is yet a "secret" counsel within Himself, He admitteth to it His servants the prophets. The same word signifies "secret" and "secret counsel with a friend." So , "God revealed to Noah that tie would bring the deluge, and to Abraham and Lot, that He would destroy the cities of the plain, and to Joseph the 7 years' famine in Egypt, and to Moses its plagues, and to Moses and Joshua all the chastisements of His people, and to Jonah the destruction of Nineveh, that they who heard of the coming punishment, might eithcr avoid it by repentance, or, if they should despise it, might be more justly punished. And so now the Lord is about to reveal through Amos, His servant and prophet, what He willeth to do to the 10 tribes, that forsaking their idols and turning to Him, they might be freed from the impending peril; which is of the great mercy of God. He foretelleth evil to come, that He may not be compelled to inflict it. For He who forewarneth, willeth not to punish sinners."

Lap.: "So He inflicted not on Egypt any plagues by the hand of Moses, but He first forewarned Pharaoh and the Egyptians by him; nor the sufferings by the Ammonites, Midianites and Philistines, related in the Book of Judges, but He foremonished Israel by Joshua Jos 23:12-16; Joshua 24:19-20; nor did He inflict on the Jews that destruction by Titus and the Romans, but He foremonished them by Christ Luke 19:42-44 and the Apostles. So neither will He bring that last destruction on the world, without having first sent the prophets and Angels, who, sounding with the seven trumpets, shall proclaim it throughout the world" Revelation 8:2.

7. his secret—namely, His purpose hidden from all, until it is revealed to His prophets (compare Ge 18:17). In a wider sense, God's will is revealed to all who love God, which it is not to the world (Ps 25:14; Joh 15:15; 17:25, 26).

unto his servants—who being servants cannot but obey their Lord in setting forth His purpose (namely, that of judgment against Israel) (Jer 20:9; Eze 9:11). Therefore the fault which the ungodly find with them is groundless (1Ki 18:17). It aggravates Israel's sin, that God is not about to inflict judgment, without having fully warned the people, if haply they might repent.

Surely, since that, or, forasmuch as, the Lord God will do nothing; usually the Lord doth no great tiring for or against his people, neither brings great judgments upon them for sin, nor bestows great good upon them for their encouragement to duty,

but he revealeth, but he foretelleth the one and the other by his prophets to his people, that they may by repentance prevent the evil threatened, and by constancy in obedience attain the good promised.

His secret; his purpose and determinate counsel, which would never be known aforehand if he did not reveal it.

Unto his servants; who fear the Lord, and do his will in the midst of worst of times; they are holy men of God to whom the Lord revealeth his will.

The prophets; by office called of God to this, and by gifts fitted for this, and by extraordinary assistance carried through this work.

Surely the Lord God will do nothing,.... In the world, in a nation or city; no remarkable event has happened, or shall happen, to the sons of men:

but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets; what he willed and determined to do, which was a secret in his own breast, till revealed; and this generally, and for the most part, he makes known to those that fear and serve him; and especially to whom he employs in public service, as his prophets and ministers, previous to his accomplishment of it: thus he revealed to Noah the drowning of the old world by the flood; to Abraham the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah; and to the same servant and friend of his the affliction of his posterity four hundred years in a strange land, and then to be brought out with great substance; to Abijah the Shilonite the rending of ten tribes from the house of David; to Jeremiah the seventy years' captivity of the Jews in Babylon; to Isaiah their deliverance from thence, through Cyrus by name; to Daniel the four monarchies, the nature, rise, and fall of them; and to John, the disciple of Christ, all the material things that should come to pass, relating to the church and world, from the first times of the Gospel to the second coming of Christ; which that book is a revelation of that bears that name; see Genesis 18:17; and so that grand affair, which God has brought about in the world, the salvation of his people by his Son, which was a secret hid in his heart before the world began, this he revealed to his servants before it was effected; not only the scheme of it, but the author of it, whom he very early gave notice of; and who was spoken of by the mouth of all the prophets, from the beginning of the world; declaring who and what he was, the Son of God; that he should be incarnate, and born of a virgin; when he should appear, and where, and in what part of the world; also in what way and manner he should obtain salvation, by his obedience and sufferings; and all the circumstances relating thereunto are most minutely and exactly declared by him. Yea, God reveals unto his saints in common the secret of his purposes, respecting their election, redemption, and regeneration, which is made known in the effectual calling; and of the blessings of his grace in the covenant, and also of his providences; and of his love, grace, and mercy; and of his Gospel, and the mysteries of it; thus he deals with them as his friends, rather than as his servants; see Psalm 25:14.

Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he {h} revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

(h) God does not deal with the Israelites as he does with other people: for he always warns them before of his plagues by his Prophets.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. Surely] For,—the reason, however, following not in Amos 3:7 but in Amos 3:8 (to which Amos 3:7 is subordinate): ‘I give all these examples of events and occurrences in nature being due regularly to their proper cause, for Jehovah does nothing without communicating His purpose to His prophets, and when He does so the call to declare it is an irresistible one (Amos 3:8)’: hence when the prophet speaks, and especially when he comes forward with a message such as that contained in Amos 3:2, it may be inferred that it is because he has heard Jehovah’s voice commanding him to do so.

doeth nothing, except he have revealed &c.] An exaggeration, of course, of the actual fact; but Amos means naturally nothing of importance, so far as Israel was concerned. Prophets, whose mission it was to guide and advise Israel, appeared at all important crises in the national history.

secret] Heb. sôd, properly friendly or confidential conversation (ὁμιλία, which the corresponding word in Syriac is often used to express), Psalm 55:14 : then, on the one hand, friendliness, friendship (Job 29:4; Psalm 25:14; Proverbs 3:32,—see R.V. marg. in these passages), and in a more concrete sense, a secret (Proverbs 25:9); on the other hand, a body holding confidential intercourse together, a council, or conclave, of familiar friends (Job 19:19, R.V. marg.; Jeremiah 15:17). In the latter sense sôd occurs in two passages illustrating the present one, Jeremiah 23:18; Jeremiah 23:22, where Jeremiah implies that the true prophets have access to the “council” of Jehovah, and preach the principles which are there approved (cf. Job 15:8, R.V. marg.; also Psalm 89:7).

his servants the prophets] An expression otherwise used chiefly by writers of the age of Jeremiah (2 Kings 17:13; 2 Kings 17:23; 2 Kings 21:10; 2 Kings 24:2; Jeremiah 7:25; Jeremiah 25:4; Jeremiah 26:5; Jeremiah 29:19; Jeremiah 35:15; Ezekiel 38:17; also Zechariah 1:6; Daniel 9:10).

Verse 7. - This and the following verse apply the foregoing, parables All the evils announced come from the Lord; but he brings none of them on the people without first warning by his prophets (comp. John 13:19; John 14:29). His secret (sod); unrevealed till then. Septuagint, παιδείαν, "instruction;" so the Arabic. Amos 3:7But this truth met with contradiction in the nation itself. The proud self-secure sinners would not hear such prophesying as this (compare Amos 2:4; Amos 7:10.). Amos therefore endeavours, before making any further announcement of the judgment of God, to establish his right and duty to prophesy, by a chain-like series of similes drawn from life. V. 3. "Do two walk together without having agreed? Amos 3:4. Does the lion roar in the forest, and he has no prey? does the young lion utter his cry out of his den, without having taken anything? Amos 3:5. Does the bird fall into the trap on the ground, when there is no snare for him? does the trap rise up from the earth without making a capture? Amos 3:6. Or is the trumpet blown in the city, and the people are not alarmed? or does misfortune happen in the city, and Jehovah has not done it? Amos 3:7. For the Lord Jehovah does nothing at all, without having revealed His secret to His servants the prophets. Amos 3:8. The lion has roared; who does not fear? the Lord Jehovah hath spoken; who must not prophesy?" The contents of these verses are not to be reduced to the general thought, that a prophet could no more speak without a divine impulse than any other effect could take place without a cause. There was certainly no need for a long series of examples, such as we have in Amos 3:3-6, to substantiate or illustrate the thought, which a reflecting hearer would hardly have disputed, that there was a connection between cause and effect. The examples are evidently selected with the view of showing that the utterances of the prophet originate with God. This is obvious enough in Amos 3:7, Amos 3:8. The first clause, "Do two men walk together, without having agreed as to their meeting?" (nō‛Ad, to betake one's self to a place, to meet together at an appointed place or an appointed time; compare Job 2:11; Joshua 11:5; Nehemiah 6:2; not merely to agree together), contains something more than the trivial truth, that two persons do not take a walk together without a previous arrangement. The two who walk together are Jehovah and the prophet (Cyril); not Jehovah and the nation, to which the judgment is predicted (Cocceius, Marck, and others). Amos went as prophet to Samaria or Bethel, because the Lord had sent him thither to preach judgment to the sinful kingdom. But God would not threaten judgment if He had not a nation ripe for judgment before Him. The lion which roars when it has the prey before it is Jehovah (cf. Amos 1:2; Hosea 11:10, etc.). טרף אין לו is not to be interpreted according to the second clause, as signifying "without having got possession of its prey" (Hitzig), for the lion is accustomed to roar when it has the prey before it and there is no possibility of its escape, and before it actually seizes it (cf. Isaiah 5:29).

(Note: The most terrible feature in the roaring of a lion is that with this clarigatio, or, if you prefer it, with this classicum, it declares war. And after the roar there immediately follows both slaughter and laceration. For, as a rule, it only roars with that sharp roar when it has the prey in sight, upon which it immediately springs (Bochart, Hieroz. ii. 25ff., ed. Ros.).)

On the contrary, the perfect lâkjad in the second clause is to be interpreted according to the first clause, not as relating to the roar of satisfaction with which the lion devours the prey in its den (Baur), but as a perfect used to describe a thing which was as certain as if it had already occurred. A lion has made a capture not merely when it has actually seized the prey and torn it in pieces, but when the prey has approached so near that it cannot possibly escape. Kephı̄r is the young lion which already goes in pursuit of prey, and is to be distinguished from the young of the lion, gūr (catulus leonis), which cannot yet go in search of prey (cf. Ezekiel 19:2-3). The two similes have the same meaning. The second strengthens the first by the assertion that God not only has before Him the nation that is ripe for judgment, but that He has it in His power.

The similes in Amos 3:5 do not affirm the same as those in Amos 3:4, but contain the new thought, that Israel has deserved the destruction which threatens it. Pach, a snare, and mōqēsh, a trap, are frequently used synonymously; but here they are distinguished, pach denoting a bird-net, and mōqēsh a springe, a snare which holds the bird fast. The earlier translators have taken mōqēsh in the sense of yōqēsh, and understand it as referring to the bird-catcher; and Baur proposes to alter the text accordingly. But there is no necessity for this; and it is evidently unsuitable, since it is not requisite for a bird-catcher to be at hand, in order that the bird should be taken in a snare. The suffix lâh refers to tsippōr, and the thought is this: in order to catch a bird in the net, a springe (gin) must be laid for it. So far as the fact itself is concerned, mōqēsh is "evidently that which is necessarily followed by falling into the net; and in this instance it is sinfulness" (Hitzig); so that the meaning of the figure would be this: "Can destruction possibly overtake you, unless your sin draws you into it?" (cf. Jeremiah 2:35). In the second clause pach is the subject, and ועלה is used for the ascent or springing up of the net. Hitzig has given the meaning of the words correctly: "As the net does not spring up without catching the bird, that has sent it up by flying upon it, can ye imagine that when the destruction passes by, ye will not be seized by it, but will escape without injury?" (cf. Isaiah 28:15). Jehovah, however, causes the evil to be foretold. As the trumpet, when blown in the city, frightens the people out of their self-security, so will the voice of the prophet, who proclaims the coming evil, excite a salutary alarm in the nation (cf. Ezekiel 33:1-5). For the calamity which is bursting upon the city comes from Jehovah, is sent by Him as a punishment. This thought is explained in Amos 3:7, Amos 3:8, and with this explanation the whole series of figurative sentences is made perfectly clear. The approaching evil, which comes from the Lord, is predicted by the prophet, because Jehovah does not carry out His purpose without having (כּי אם, for when, except when he has, as in Genesis 32:27) first of all revealed it to the prophets, that they may warn the people to repent and to reform. Sōd receives a more precise definition from the first clause of the verse, or a limitation to the purposes which God is about to fulfil upon His people. And since (this is the connection of Amos 3:8) the judgment with which the Lord is drawing near fills every one with fear, and Jehovah has spoken, i.e., has made known His counsel to the prophets, they cannot but prophesy.

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