Amos 4:5
And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this likes you, O you children of Israel, said the Lord GOD.
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(5) The margin is more correct, and gives the key to the passage. Render, and offer by burning your thank-offering of leaven. Leaven was not allowed in any sacrifice offered by fire. Amos ironically calls upon them to break the Levitical law (Leviticus 7:13; Leviticus 23:17), as he knew they were in the habit of doing.

4:1-5 What is got by extortion is commonly used to provide for the flesh, and to fulfil the lusts thereof. What is got by oppression cannot be enjoyed with satisfaction. How miserable are those whose confidence in unscriptural observances only prove that they believe a lie! Let us see to it that our faith, hope, and worship, are warranted by the Divine word.And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven - But amid this boastful service, all was self-will. In little or great, the calf-worship at Bethel, or the use of leaven in the sacrifice, they did as they willed. The prophet seems to have joined purposely the fundamental change, by which Jeroboam substituted the worship of nature for its God, and a minute alteration of the ritual, to show that one and the same temper, self-will, reigned in all, dictated all they did. The use of leaven in the things sacrificed was forbidden, out of a symbolic reason, that is, not in itself, but as representing something else. The Eastern leaven, like that used in France, consisting of what is sour, had the idea of decay and corruption connected with it. Hence, it was unfit to be offered to God. For whatever was the object of any sacrifice, whether of atonement or thanksgiving, perfection in its kind was essential to the idea of offering. Hence, it was expressly forbidden. "No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto the Lord, shall be made with leaven, for ye shall burn no leaven in an offering of the Lord made by fire" (Leviticus 2:11; add. Leviticus 6:17). At other times it is expressly commanded, that "unleavened bread" should be used. In two cases only, in which the offering was not to be burned, were offerings to be made of leavened bread:

(1) the two loaves of first-fruits at Pentecost Leviticus 23:17, and

(2) an offering with which the thank offering was accompanied, and which was to be the priest's Leviticus 7:13-14.

The special meat offering of the thank offering was to be without leaven Leviticus 7:12. To "offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven" was a direct infringement of God's appointment. It proceeded from the same frame of mind, as the breach of the greatest. Self-will was their only rule. What they willed, they kept; and what they willed, they brake. Amos bids them then go on, as they did in their willfulness, breaking God's commands of set purpose, and keeping them by accident.

Rup.: "This is a most grave mode of speaking, whereby He now saith, 'Come and do so and so, and He Himself who saith this, hateth those same deeds of theirs. He so speaketh, not as willing, but as abandoning not as inviting, but as expelling; not in exhortation but in indignation. He subjoins then, (as the case required,) 'for so ye loved.' As if He said, 'I therefore say, 'come to Bethel' where is your god, your calf, because 'so ye loved,' and hitherto ye have come. I therefore say, 'transgress,' because ye do transgress, and ye will to transgress. I say, 'come to Gilgal,' where were idols (Judges 3:19, English margin) long before Jeroboam's calves, because ye come and ye will to come. I say, 'multiply transgressions,' because ye do multiply it, and yet will to multiply it. I say, 'bring your sacrifices,' because ye offer them and ye will to offer them, to whom ye ought not. I say, 'offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven,' because ye so do, and ye will do it, leavened as ye are with 'the old leaven of malice and wickedness,' against the whole authority of the holy and spiritual law, which forbiddeth to offer in sacrifice anything leavened.

This pleaseth your gods, that ye be leavened, and without 'the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth' 1 Corinthians 5:8. To them then 'sacrifice the sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven,' because to Me ye, being sinners, cannot offer a seemly sacrifice of praise. And so doing, 'proclaim and publish the free offerings,' for so ye do, and so ye will to do, honoring the sacrifices which ye offer to your calves with the same names, whereby the authority of the law nameth those which are offered unto Me; 'burnt offerings,' and 'peace offerings;' and 'proclaim' them 'with the sound of trumpet and harp, with timbrel and dancing, with strings and organ, upon the well turned cymbals and the loud cymbals' Psalm 150:1-6, that so ye may be thought to have sung louder and stronger than the tribe of Judah or the house of David in the temple of the Lord, because ye are more.' All these things are said, not with the intention of one willing, but with the indignation of one forsaking, as in many other instances. As that which the same Lord said to His betrayer; 'what thou doest, do quickly' John 13:27. And in the Revelations we read, 'He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still' Revelation 22:11. These things, and the rest of the like sort, are not the words of one commanding, or, of His own Will, conceding, but permitting and forsaking. 'For He was not ignorant, (Wisdom saith) (Wisdom Revelation 12:10) that they were a naughty generation, and their malice was inbred, and that their cogitation never would be changed. '"

Proclaim and publish the free offerings - o: "Account much of what ye offer to God, and think that ye do great things, as though ye honored God condignly, and were under no obligation to offer such gifts. The whole is said in irony. For some there are, who appreciate magnificently the gifts and services which they offer to God, and think they have attained to great perfection, as though they made an adequate return to the divine benefits, not weighing the infinite dignity of the Divine Majesty, the incomparable greatness of the divine benefits, the frailty of their own condition and the imperfection of their service. Against whom is that which the Saviour saith, 'When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants, we have done that which was our duty to do' Luke 17:10. Hence, David saith 'all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee.' 1 Chronicles 19:14."

5. offer—literally, "burn incense"; that is, "offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with burnt incense and with leavened bread." The frankincense was laid on the meat offering, and taken by the priest from it to burn on the altar (Le 2:1, 2, 8-11). Though unleavened cakes were to accompany the peace offering sacrifice of animals, leavened bread was also commanded (Le 7:12, 13), but not as a "meat offering" (Le 2:11).

this liketh you—that is, this is what ye like.

Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven; as all the rest of your will-worship, so this also is against the express law, Leviticus 2:11, but yet you will persist in it; and do so at your peril, try whether it end in good to you.

Proclaim and publish the free-offerings; publicly, frequently, and earnestly persuade your people to voluntary sacrifices, in which you think to please me; but you offer them all to idols; this your religion is impiety.

This liketh you; as you invented it, so it pleaseth you, and you will not be reclaimed.

Ye children of Israel; ye idolatrous, apostate Israelites.

Saith the Lord God; for these you shall be punished by the Lord your God. And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven,.... Which some observe was contrary to the law, which forbids all leaven in a meat offering; or "burning" it in any offering, Leviticus 2:11; which the word (t) here used suggests was done by these idolaters, as well as eaten by them, their priests not liking to eat unleavened bread; but; though it was forbidden in the meat offering, was allowed, yea, ordered, with the sacrifice of thanksgiving, Leviticus 7:13. So Abarbinel understands it here, as what was according, to law, but ironically commanded to be offered to idols:

and proclaim and publish the free offerings; let all know of them when you make your freewill offerings, and invite them to partake of them:

for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord God; or ye love to offer such sacrifices to your idols, rather than to the Lord God; preferring these to him, and delighting more in the worship of them than of him.

(t) "incendendo", Munster, Tigurine version; "incendito incensum", Vatablus.

And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving {f} with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this {g} liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

(f) As Le 7:13.

(g) You only delight in these outward ceremonies and care for nothing else.

5. offer] make into sweet smoke (the Homeric κνίση, Il. I. 319), a term used technically of the consumption of sacrifices upon the altar (Leviticus 1:9, &c.). The idea is that of a repast: comp. Genesis 8:19. The root ḳatara in Arabic signifies to exhale an odour in roasting.

a sacrifice of thanksgiving] The tôdâh, or thanksgiving-offering, of Jeremiah 17:26; Jeremiah 33:11; Leviticus 7:12-13; Leviticus 7:15; Leviticus 22:29; 2 Chronicles 29:31; 2 Chronicles 33:16; Psalm 56:12, c. title, Psalm 107:22, Psalm 116:17.

with leaven] of that which is leavened (R.V.). “Leaven,”—a term including, as Leviticus 2:11 shews, not only yeast, but also dibs or grape-honey,—was forbidden as an ingredient in sacrifices (Exodus 23:18; Leviticus 2:11; Leviticus 6:17) on account of its liability to putrefy. In Leviticus 7:14 cakes of leavened bread are, it is true, to be offered with the thanksgiving offering: they are not, however, to be consumed upon the altar, but to be eaten by the offerer, with the flesh of the offering, at a sacrificial feast: the leaven was thus not a part of the sacrifice itself. The custom of not offering leaven prevailed, it may be inferred, at Beth-el: the Israelites of Amos’s day, however, with mistaken zeal, thought to make their thanksgiving-offerings more acceptable by using yeast or grape-honey in their preparation. It is not improbable that luscious sacrifices of this kind were a feature in the Canaanite worship of Baal, and were for this reason viewed with particular disfavour by the prophet (cf. Hosea 3:1; W. R. Smith, O.T.J.C.1, p. 434; Rel. Sem.2 p. 220 f.).

proclaim free-will offerings and publish them] i.e. announce them ostentatiously (cf. Matthew 6:2; Matthew 23:5), and invite all the world to the sacrificial feast accompanying them. The free-will offerings are such as were prompted by the spontaneous devotion of the worshipper: they are mentioned in Deuteronomy 12:6; Deuteronomy 12:17 as a common form of sacrifice.

this liketh you] lit. so ye love (Jeremiah 5:31): this is what pleases you; act accordingly: it is not Jehovah’s choice, and will not deliver you from the impending doom. To like in Old English = to please: so Deuteronomy 23:16, Esther 8:8.Verse 5. - Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven; more definitely, offer by burning a thank offering of that which is leavened. This is an alteration of the prescribed ritual in two particulars. The Law forbade leaven in any meat offering consumed by fire (Leviticus 2:11; Leviticus 7:12); and if it allowed cakes of leavened bread to be offered on one occasion, these were not to be placed on the altar and burned, but one was to be assigned to the officiating priest, and the rest eaten at the sacrificial meal (Leviticus 7:13, 14). The ironical charge to the Israelites is that in their unlicensed zeal they should not only burn on the altar that which was leavened, but, with the idea of being more bountiful, they should also offer by fire that which was to be set apart for other uses. The Septuagint Version can only be explained by considering the translators to have had a different reading, καὶ ἀνέγνωσαν ἔγω νόμον, "and they read the Law without." Proclaim... publish. Make public proclamation that free will offerings are to be made, or else, like the Pharisees (Matthew 6:2), announce with ostentation that you are about to offer. The essence of such offerings was that they should be voluntary, not of command or compulsion (Leviticus 22:18, etc.; Deuteronomy 12:6). Septuagint, καὶ ἐπεκαλέσαντο ὁμολογίας, "and called for public professions" (as Deuteronomy 12:6, 17, 18). This liketh you; this ye love; Septuagint, "Proclaim ye that the children of Israel loved these things." Their whole heart was set on this will worship. This punishment Israel well deserved. Hosea 12:12. "And Jacob fled to the fields of Aram; and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife did he keep guard. Hosea 12:13. And through a prophet Jehovah brought Israel out of Egypt, and through a prophet was he guarded. Hosea 12:14. Ephraim has stirred up bitter wrath; and his Lord will leave his blood upon him, and turn back his shame upon him." In order to show the people still more impressively what great things the Lord had done for them, the prophet recals the flight of Jacob, the tribe-father, to Mesopotamia, and how he was obliged to serve many years there for a wife, and to guard cattle; whereas God had redeemed Israel out of the Egyptian bondage, and had faithfully guarded it through a prophet. The flight of Jacob to Aramaea, and his servitude there, are mentioned not "to give prominence to his zeal for the blessing of the birthright, and his obedience to the commandment of God and his parents" (Cyr., Theod., Th. v. Mops.); nor "to bring out the double servitude of Israel - the first the one which the people had to endure in their forefather, the second the one which they had to endure themselves in Egypt" (Umbreit); nor "to lay stress upon the manifestation of the divine care towards Jacob as well as towards the people of Israel" (Ewald); for there is nothing at all about this in Hosea 12:12. The words point simply to the distress and affliction which Jacob had to endure, according to Genesis 29-31, as Calvin has correctly interpreted them. "Their father Jacob," he says, "who was he? what was his condition?... He was a fugitive from his country. Even if he had always lived at home, his father was only a stranger in the land. But he was compelled to flee into Syria. And how splendidly did he live there? He was with his uncle, no doubt, but he was treated quite as meanly as any common slave: he served for a wife. And how did he serve? He was the man who tended the cattle." Shâmar, the tending of cattle, was one of the hardest and lowest descriptions of servitude (cf. Genesis 30:31; Genesis 31:40; 1 Samuel 17:20). Sedēh 'ărâm (the field of Aram) is no doubt simply the Hebrew rendering of the Aramaean Paddan-'ărâm (Genesis 28:2; Genesis 31:18 : see at Genesis 25:20). Jacob's flight to Aramaea, where he had to serve, is contrasted in sv. 10 with the leading of Israel, the people sprung from Jacob, out of Egypt by a prophet, i.e., by Moses (cf. Deuteronomy 18:18); and the guarding of cattle by Jacob is placed in contrast with the guarding of Israel on the part of God through the prophet Moses, when he led them through the wilderness to Canaan. The object of this is to call to the nation's remembrance that elevation from the lowest condition, which they were to acknowledge with humility every year, according to Deuteronomy 26:5., when the first-fruits were presented before the Lord. For Ephraim had quite forgotten this. Instead of thanking the Lord for it by love and faithful devotedness to Him, it had provoked Him in the bitterest manner by its sins (הכעיס, to excite wrath, to provoke to anger: tamrūrı̄m, an adverbial accusative equals bitterly). For this should its blood-guiltiness remain upon it. According to Leviticus 20:9., dâmı̄m denotes grave crimes that are punishable by death. Nâtash, to let a thing alone, as in Exodus 23:11; or to leave behind, as in 1 Samuel 17:20, 1 Samuel 17:28. Leaving blood-guiltiness upon a person, is the opposite of taking away (נשׂא) or forgiving the sin, and therefore inevitably brings the punishment after it. Cherpâthō (its reproach or dishonour) is the dishonour which Ephraim had done to the Lord by sin and idolatry (cf. Isaiah 65:7). And this would be repaid to it by its Lord, i.e., by Jehovah.
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