Amos 5:10
They hate him that rebukes in the gate, and they abhor him that speaks uprightly.
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(10) Rebuker in the Gate.—The person so described might be the prophet himself. So also he that speaketh uprightly.

Amos 5:10. They hate him that rebuketh in the gate — The usual place of administering justice, and of reproving and passing judgment on iniquity. The prophet now, after having descanted upon God’s wondrous power, returns to enumerate the crimes of the Israelites; and begins with telling them, that they in general hated the judges who reproved them for their injurious conduct and acts of fraud or violence, and endeavoured to do justice to the oppressed. And besides this, they hated the prophets and private persons who rebuked ungodliness and unrighteousness, and exhorted men to the practice of piety and virtue.5:7-17 The same almighty power can, for repenting sinners, easily turn affliction and sorrow into prosperity and joy, and as easily turn the prosperity of daring sinners into utter darkness. Evil times will not bear plain dealing; that is, evil men will not. And these men were evil men indeed, when wise and good men thought it in vain even to speak to them. Those who will seek and love that which is good, may help to save the land from ruin. It behoves us to plead God's spiritual promises, to beseech him to create in us a clean heart, and to renew a right spirit within us. The Lord is ever ready to be gracious to the souls that seek him; and then piety and every duty will be attended to. But as for sinful Israel, God's judgments had often passed by them, now they shall pass through them.They hate him that rebuketh - "The gate" is the well-known place of concourse, where just or, in Israel now, unjust judgment was given Deuteronomy 25:7; Job 5:4; Job 31:21; 2 Samuel 15:2; Proverbs 22:22; Isaiah 29:21, where all was done which was to be done publicly Ruth 4:1, Ruth 4:11. Samaria had a large area by its chief gate, where two kings could hold court, and the 400 false prophets and the people, in great numbers, could gather 1 Kings 22:10; 2 Chronicles 18:9, and a market could be held 2 Kings 7:1. Josiah brake down an idol-shrine, which was in one of the gates of Jerusalem 2 Kings 23:8. The prophets seized the opportunity of finding the people together, and preached to them there. So it was even in the days of Solomon. "Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets; she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates, in the city she uttereth her words, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity?..." Proverbs 1:20-22, and again, "She standeth in the top of high places, by the way, in the meeting of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors; Unto you, O men, I call, "Pro 8:2-4. Jeremiah mentions two occasions, upon which God bade him reprove the king and people in the gates of Jerusalem Jeremiah 17:19; Jeremiah 19:2. There doubtless Amos and Hosea reproved them, and, for reproving, were "hated." As Isaiah says, "they lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate" Isaiah 29:21. They sinned publicly, and therefore they were to be rebuked publicly. They sinned "in the gate" by injustice and oppression, and therefore were to be "rebuked before all, that others also might fear" 1 Timothy 5:20.

And they abhor him that speaketh uprightly - Literally, "perfectly." The prophets spoke "perfectly" , "for they spoke the all-perfect word of God, of which David says, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul" Psalm 19:7. "Carnal eyes hate the light of truth, which they cast aside for execrable lies, closing to themselves the fountain of the divine mercy" . Rup.: "This is the sin which hath no remission; this is the sin of the strong and mighty, who sin not out of ignorance or weakness, but with impenitent heart proudly defend their sin, and 'hate him that rebuketh arid abhor him who' dareth to 'speak perfectly,' that is, not things which please them, but resisting their evil." This, like all other good of God and evil of man, met most in and against Christ. Rup.: "Who is he who 'rebuked in the gate' or who 'spake perfectly?' David rebuked them, and spake much perfectly, and so they hated him and said, 'what portion have we in David, or what inheritance have we in the son of Jesse?' 1 Kings 12:16, Him also who spake these very words, and the other prophets they hated and abhorred. But as the rest, so this too, is truly and indubitably fulfilled in Christ, rebuking justly and speaking perfectly. He Himself saith in a Psalm, 'They that sat in the gate spake against Me' Psalm 69:12, wherefore, when He had said, 'he that hateth Me hateth My Father also' John 15:23-25, and, 'now they have. both seen and hated both Me and My Father,' He subjoined, 'that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, they hated Me without a cause.' Above all then, we understand Christ, whom they hated, 'rebuking in the gate,' that is, openly and in public; as He said, 'I spake openly to the world, and in secret have I said nothing' John 18:20. He alone spake perfectly, 'Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.' 1 Peter 2:22. In wisdom also and doctrine, He alone spake perfectly, perfectly. and so wonderfully, that 'the officers of the chief priests and Pharisees' who were 'sent to take, Him, said, Never man spake like this Man.' John 7:45-46.

Jerome: "it is a great sin to hate him who rebuketh, especially if he rebuke thee, not out of dislike, but out of love, if he doth it 'between thee and him alone Matthew 18:15-17, if, taking with' him a brother, if afterward, in the presence of the Church, so that it may be evident that he does not blame thee out of any love of detraction, but out of zeal for thine amendment."

10. him that rebuketh in the gate—the judge who condemns their iniquity in the place of judgment (Isa 29:21).

abhor him that speaketh uprightly—the prophet telling them the unwelcome truth: answering in the parallelism to the judge, "that rebuketh in the gate" (compare 1Ki 22:8; Pr 9:8; 12:1; Jer 36:23).

Either this is the prophet’s complaint of them without further expecting their compliance with his advice, or he foretells what they will do, judges and people.

They hate him that rebuketh; they both hate them that rebuke; judges hate the prophets, who rebuke corrupt judges; and the people hate impartial judges, if any such be among them.

In the gate; where judges sat, and where the prophets did many times deliver their message.

They abhor him that speaketh uprightly; they cannot brook any one that deals plainly and honestly with them, whether judge, prophet, or private person. They hate him that rebuketh in the gate,.... Openly and publicly in the courts of judicature: wicked judges hated the prophets of the Lord, such as Amos, who faithfully reproved them for the perversion of justice, even when they were upon the bench: or the people were so corrupt and degenerate, that they hated those faithful judges who reproved them for their vices in the open courts of justice, when they came before them, The former sense seems best, and more agreeable to the context:

and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly; not only hate him, but abhor him, cannot bear the sight of him, or to hear his name mentioned that speaks out his mind freely and honestly, and tells them of their sins, and advises them to repent of them, and leave them.

They hate him {f} that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.

(f) They hate the Prophets, who reprove them in the open assemblies.

10. The prophet reverts to the subject of Amos 5:7, which was interrupted by Amos 5:8-9.

They hate him that reproveth in the gate, &c.] They are heedless (Amos 5:7) of the claims of justice: they will not listen either to the exposure of wrong-doing or to the defence of innocence, in the public place of judgement. The same phrase, ‘the reprover in the gate,’ in a similar connexion, recurs Isaiah 29:21 : it denotes the person, whether judge or advocate, who indicts, impeaches, seeks to convict, the wrong-doer; cf. Job 13:10; Job 22:4, and the corresponding subst. ‘reproof,’ or ‘indictment’ (R.V. ‘reasoning’), Job 13:6 The ‘gate’—more exactly the ‘gate-way,’ with a depth corresponding to the thickness of the wall, in which it was constructed, and no doubt with seats along each side—is the Oriental forum: and it is often alluded to as the place in which the ‘elders’ sat, and justice was administered (e.g. Amos 5:12; Amos 5:15; Deuteronomy 21:19; Deuteronomy 22:15; Deuteronomy 25:7; Ruth 4:1-2; Ruth 4:11; Job 31:21; Psalm 127:5).

him that speaketh uprightly] sincerely or blamelessly (Jdg 9:16; Psalm 15:2); any one who comes forward to speak honestly in defence of the innocent, is the object of their undisguised ‘abhorrence.’ Abhor forms a climax upon hate: cf. Psalm 5:5 b, 6b.Verses 10-12. - The prophet gives further instances of the people's corruption. Verse 10. - Him that rebuketh in the gate (Isaiah 29:21). The gate of Eastern cities was the place of public resort (Proverbs 1:21), either for business (Deuteronomy 25:7), or the administration of justice (2 Samuel 15:2), or for gossip. So "he that rebuketh in the gate" may be a judge, or a chief, or a prophet (Jeremiah 17:19; Jeremiah 19:2). It seems better to take the words thus than to join "in the gate" to "they hate," with the meaning that those who resort to the gate - kings, chiefs, judges - hate the prophet's reproof, for the following verses show that Amos is referring chiefly to judicial proceedings, and not to his own mission. Uprightly; literally, perfectly; Vulgate, perfecte; i.e. without reserve, keeping nothing back. After the prophet has set before the sinful nation in various ways its own guilt, and the punishment that awaits it, viz., the destruction of the kingdom, he concludes his addresses with a call to thorough conversion to the Lord, and the promise that the Lord will bestow His grace once more upon those who turn to Him, and will bless them abundantly (Hosea 14:1-8). Hosea 14:1. (Heb. Bib. v. 2). "Return, O Israel, to Jehovah thy God; for thou hast stumbled through thy guilt. Hosea 14:2. Take with you words, and turn to Jehovah; say ye to Him, Forgive all guilt, and accept what is good, that we may offer our lips as bullocks. Hosea 14:3. Asshur will not help us: we will not ride upon horses, nor say 'Our God' any more to the manufacture of our own hands; for with Thee the orphan findeth compassion." There is no salvation for fallen man without return to God. It is therefore with a call to return to the Lord their God, that the prophet opens the announcement of the salvation with which the Lord will bless His people, whom He has brought to reflection by means of the judgment (cf. Deuteronomy 4:30; Deuteronomy 30:1.). שׁוּב עד יי, to return, to be converted to the Lord, denotes complete conversion; שׁוּב אל is, strictly speaking, simply to turn towards God, to direct heart and mind towards Him. By kâshaltâ sin is represented as a false step, which still leaves it possible to return; so that in a call to conversion it is very appropriately chosen. But if the conversion is to be of the right kind, it must begin with a prayer for the forgiveness of sin, and attest itself by the renunciation of earthly help and simple trust in the mercy of God. Israel is to draw near to God in this state of mind. "Take with you words," i.e., do not appear before the Lord empty (Exodus 23:15; Exodus 34:20); but for this ye do not require outward sacrifices, but simply words, sc. those of confession of your guilt, as the Chaldee has correctly explained it. The correctness of this explanation is evident from the confession of sin which follows, with which they are to come before God. In כּל־תּשּׂא עון, the position of col at the head of the sentence may be accounted for from the emphasis that rests upon it, and the separation of ‛âvōn, from the fact that col was beginning to acquire more of the force of an adjective, like our all (thus 2 Samuel 1:9; Job 27:3 : cf. Ewald, 289, a; Ges. 114, 3, Anm. 1). Qach tōbh means neither "accept goodness," i.e., let goodness be shown thee (Hitzig), nor "take it as good," sc. that we pray (Grotius, Ros.); but in the closest connection with what proceeds: Accept the only good thing that we are able to bring, viz., the sacrifices of our lips. Jerome has given the correct interpretation, viz.: "For unless Thou hadst borne away our evil things, we could not possibly have the good thing which we offer Thee;" according to that which is written elsewhere (Psalm 37:27), "Turn from evil, and do good." שׂפתינוּ ... וּנשׁלּמה, literally, "we will repay (pay) as young oxen our lips," i.e., present the prayers of our lips as thank-offerings. The expression is to be explained from the fact that shillēm, to wipe off what is owing, to pay, is a technical term, applied to the sacrifice offered in fulfilment of a vow (Deuteronomy 23:22; Psalm 22:26; Psalm 50:14, etc.), and that pârı̄m, young oxen, were the best animals for thank-offerings (Exodus 24:5). As such thank-offerings, i.e., in the place of the best animal sacrifices, they would offer their lips, i.e., their prayers, to God (cf. Psalm 51:17-19; Psalm 69:31-32). In the Sept. rendering, ἀποδώσομεν καρπὸν χείλεων, to which there is an allusion in Hebrews 13:15, פּרים has been confounded with פּרי, as Jerome has already observed. but turning to God requires renunciation of the world, of its power, and of all idolatry. Rebellious Israel placed its reliance upon Assyria and Egypt (Hosea 5:13; Hosea 7:11; Hosea 8:9). It will do this no longer. The riding upon horses refers partly to the military force of Egypt (Isaiah 31:1), and partly to their own (Hosea 1:7; Isaiah 2:7). For the expression, "neither will we say to the work of our hands," compare Isaiah 42:17; Isaiah 44:17. אשׁר בּך, not "Thou with whom," but "for with Thee" ('ăsher as in Deuteronomy 3:24). The thought, "with Thee the orphan findeth compassion," as God promises in His word (Exodus 22:22; Deuteronomy 10:18), serves not only as a reason for the resolution no longer to call the manufacture of their own hands God, but generally for the whole of the penitential prayer, which they are encouraged to offer by the compassionate nature of God. In response to such a penitential prayer, the Lord will heal all His people's wounds, and bestow upon them once more the fulness of the blessings of His grace. The prophet announces this in Isaiah 44:4-8 as the answer from the Lord.
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