Amos 5:3
For thus said the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel.
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(3) Shall leave an hundred.—i.e., shall have an hundred only as a remnant of the thousand who went forth to war. The great cities were to be decimated in the coming struggle with Assyria.

5:1-6 The convincing, awakening word must be heard and heeded, as well as words of comfort and peace; for whether we hear or forbear, the word of God shall take effect. The Lord still proclaims mercy to men, but they often expect deliverance from such self-invented forms as make their condemnation sure. While they refuse to come to Christ and to seek mercy in and by him, that they may live, the fire of Divine wrath breaks forth upon them. Men may make an idol of the world, but will find it cannot protect.The city that went out by a thousand - (that is, probably that sent out a thousand fighting men, as the word "went out" is often used for, "went out" to fight,) "shall have" literally, "shall retain, an hundred." She was to be decimated. Only, the tenth alone was to be reserved alive; the nine-tenths were to be destroyed. And this, alike in larger places and in the small. The city "that went forth an hundred shall retain ten." Smaller places escape for their obscurity, the larger from their strength and situation. One common doom was to befall all. Out of all that multitude, one tithe alone was to he preserved , "dedicated to God," that remnant which God always promised to reserve. 3. went out by a thousand—that is, "the city from which there used to go out a thousand" equipped for war. "City" is put for "the inhabitants of the city," as in Am 4:8.

shall leave … hundred—shall have only a hundred left, the rest being destroyed by sword and pestilence (De 28:62).

Thus saith the Lord God: this solemnly attesteth the certainty of the thing.

The city that went out by a thousand, that sent out one thousand soldiers as the quota they were assessed at to help against an invader,

shall leave a hundred; shall lose nine parts of ten, so great shall the slaughter be which the prevailing enemy shall make upon Israel; and here the prophet useth a certain number to express an uncertain; or proverbially, scarce a tenth man shall escape.

That which went forth by a hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel; the kingdom of the ten tribes; and this perhaps may refer backward to Jehoahaz’s time, 2 Kings 13; to be sure it is fulfilled in the wars of Shalmaneser and the taking Samaria. For thus saith the Lord God,.... This is a reason why there were none to raise her up: since

the city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred; that is, the city in which there were a thousand constantly going in and out; or which sent, caused to go out, or furnished, a thousand men upon occasion for war, had only a hundred persons left in it; or there remained but a hundred of the thousand they sent out, the rest being destroyed by one means or another:

and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel; where there were a hundred persons going out and coming in continually; or which sent out a hundred men to the army to fight their battles had now only ten remaining; to such a small number were they reduced all over the land, so that there were none, or not a number sufficient to raise up Israel to its former state and glory.

For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave {b} an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel.

(b) Meaning, that the tenth part would hardly be saved.

3. The justification of the mournful anticipation of Amos 5:2 : Jehovah has declared that the military strength of the nation will be reduced, by defeat or other causes, to one tenth of what it now is.Verse 3. - The vindication of the prophet's lament. The city that went out by a thousand. Septuagint and Vulgate, "from which went forth thousands," or, "a thousand;" i.e. which could send out a thousand warriors to the fight, in such a city only a tenth of the inhabitants shall remain; and this shall happen to small cities as well as great. Hosea 13:9 commences a new strophe, in which the prophet once more discloses to the people the reason for their corruption (Hosea 13:9-13); and after pointing to the saving omnipotence of the Lord (Hosea 13:14), holds up before them utter destruction as the just punishment for their guilt (Hosea 13:15 and Hosea 14:1). Hosea 13:9. "O Israel, it hurls thee into destruction, that thou (art) against me, thy help. Hosea 13:10. Where is thy king? that he may help thee in all thy cities: and (where) they judges? of whom thou saidst, Give me king and princes! Hosea 13:11. I give thee kings in my anger, and take them away in my wrath." שׁחתך does not combine together the verbs in Hosea 13:8, as Hitzig supposes; nor does Hosea 13:9 give the reason for what precedes, but shichethkhâ is explained by Hosea 13:10, from which we may see that a new train of thought commences with Hosea 13:9. Shichēth does not mean to act corruptly here, as in Deuteronomy 32:5; Deuteronomy 9:12, and Exodus 32:7, but to bring into corruption, to ruin, as in Genesis 6:17; Genesis 9:15; Numbers 32:15, etc. The sentence כּי בי וגו cannot be explained in any other way than by supplying the pronoun אתּה, as a subject taken from the suffix to שׁחתך (Marck, and nearly all the modern commentators). "This throws thee into distress, that thou hast resisted me, who am thy help." בעזרך: as in Deuteronomy 33:26, except that ב is used in the sense of against, as in Genesis 16:12; 2 Samuel 24:17, etc. This opposition did not take place, however, when all Israel demanded a king of Samuel (1 Samuel 8:5). For although this desire is represented there (Hosea 13:7) as the rejection of Jehovah, Hosea is speaking here simply of the Israel of the ten tribes. The latter rebelled against Jehovah, when they fell away from the house of David, and made Jeroboam their king, and with contempt of Jehovah put their trust in the might of their kings of their own choosing (1 Kings 12:16.). But these kings could not afford them any true help. The question, "Where" ('ehı̄ only occurs here and twice in Hosea 13:14, for אי or איה, possibly simply from a dialectical variation - vid. Ewald, 104, c - and is strengthened by אפוא, as in Job 17:15), "Where is thy king, that he may help thee?" does not presuppose that Israel had no king at all at that time, and that the kingdom was in a state of anarchy, but simply that it had no king who could save it, when the foe, the Assyrian, attacked it in all its cities. Before shōpheteykhâ (thy judges) we must repeat 'ĕhı̄ (where). The shōphetı̄m, as the use of the word sârı̄m (princes) in its stead in the following clause clearly shows, are not simple judges, but royal counsellors and ministers, who managed the affairs of the kingdom along with the king, and superintended the administration of justice. The saying, "Give me a king and princes," reminds us very forcibly of the demand of the people in the time of Samuel; but they really refer simply to the desire of the ten tribes for a king of their own, which manifested itself in their dissatisfaction with the rule of the house of David, and their consequent secession, and to their persistence in this secession amidst all the subsequent changes of the government. We cannot therefore take the imperfects אתּן and אקּח in Hosea 13:11 as pure preterites, i.e., we cannot understand them as referring simply to the choice of Jeroboam as king, and to his death. The imperfects denote an action that is repeated again and again, for which we should use the present, and refer to all the kings that the kingdom of the ten tribes had received and was receiving still, and to their removal. God in His wrath gives the sinful nation kings and takes them away, in order to punish the nation through its kings. This applies not merely to the kings who followed one another so rapidly through conspiracy and murder, although through these the kingdom was gradually broken up and its dissolution accelerated, but to the rulers of the ten tribes as a whole. God gave the tribes who were discontented with the theocratical government of David and Solomon a king of their own, that He might punish them for their resistance to His government, which came to light in the rebellion against Rehoboam. He suspended the division of the kingdom not only over Solomon, as a punishment for his idolatry, but also over the rebellious ten tribes, who, when they separated themselves from the royal house to which the promise had been given of everlasting duration, were also separated from the divinely appointed worship and altar, and given up into the power of their kings, who hurled one another from the throne; and God took away this government from them to chastise them for their sins, by giving them into the power of the heathen, and by driving them away from His face. It is to this last thought, that what follows is attached. The removal of the king in wrath would occur, because the sin of Ephraim was reserved for punishment.
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