For thus Amos said, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Die by the sword.—So far as the words of the prophecy are concerned, it was not accurate to say that Amos had threatened Jeroboam with the sword.
Jeroboam shall die by the sword - Amos had not said this. The false prophet distorts the last words of Amos, which were yet in his ears, and reports to Jeroboam, as said of himself, what Amos had just said of his "house." Amos "was" opposed to the popular religion or irreligion of which Jeroboam was the head, to the headship over which he had succeeded. Jeroboam, like the Roman Emperors, was high priest, Pontifex Maximus, in order to get the popular worship under his control. The first Jeroboam had himself consecrated the calf-priests 1 Samuel 22:8, 1 Samuel 22:13; 1 Kings 15:27; 1 Kings 16:9, 1 Kings 16:16; 2 Kings 10:9; 2 Kings 14:19; 2 Kings 15:10, 2 Kings 15:15, 2 Kings 15:25; 2 Kings 21:23. Amos bore also the message from God, that the reprieve, given to the house of Jehu, would not be extended, but would end. Amaziah would act on the personal fears of the king, as though there had been some present active conspiracy against him. A lie, mixed with truth, is the most deadly form of falsehood, the truth serving to gain admittance for the lie, and color it, and seeming to require explanation, and being something to full back upon. Since thus much is certainly true, why should not the rest be so? In slander, and heresy which is slander against God, truth is used to commend the falsehood; and falsehood, to destroy the truth. The poison is received the more fearlessly because wrapt up in truth, but loses none of its deadliness.
And Israel shall surely be led away captive - This was a suppression of truth, as the other was a falsification of it. Amaziah omits both the ground of the threat, and the hope of escape urged and impressed upon them. On the one side he omits all mention of what even such a king as Jeroboam would respect, the denunciation of oppression of the poor, injustice, violence, robbery, and all their other sins against man. On the other hand, he omits the call to repentance and promises on it, "seek ye the Lord and live." He omits too the prophet's intercession for his people, and selects the one prophecy, which could give a mere political character to the whole. Suppression of truth is a yet subtler character of falsehood. Hence, witnesses on oath are required to tell, not the truth only., but the whole truth. Yet in daily life, or in accusation of others, in detraction, or evil-speaking, people daily act, as though, suppression were no lie.Thus Amos saith; so Amaziah falsely reports the prophet.
Jeroboam shall die by the sword: he no where said so, nor did he insinuate so much, but spake of his house distinguished from his person, as Amos 7:9.
Israel shall surely be led away captive: this indeed he foretold, but did no more contribute to it, or contrive it, than the physician doth who foretells the death of an uncounsellable patient, sick of a mortal disease.
Out of their own land: this is added to signify the greatness of the captivity.
and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land; this was true; Amos did say this, and he afterwards confirms it. This is the amount of the charge brought against the prophet, which has some truth and some falsehood mixed together; and by which method the priest hoped to gain his point, and get the prophet either banished or put to death.For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. Jeroboam shall die by the sword] This had not been said by Amos,—at least, if the extant book of his prophecies contains all that he said upon the subject. It was the house of Jeroboam which Amos had threatened in Amos 7:9 : but Amaziah, it seems, gives the prophecy a more personal character, hoping thereby to produce a more powerful effect upon the king.
go into exile away from his land] See Amos 5:5; Amos 5:27, Amos 6:7.Verse 11. - This is a partly correct account of what the prophet had said, but it differed in some important particulars. Amaziah carefully omits the fact that Amos had merely been the mouthpiece of God in all his announcements; he says falsely that a violent death had been predicted for Jeroboam himself; and, in stating that Amos had foretold the captivity of Israel, he says nothing of the sins which led to this doom, or of the hope held out to repentance, or of the prophet's intercession. Joel 2:15. "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, proclaim a meeting. Joel 2:16. Gather the people together, sanctify an assembly, bring together the old men, gather together the children and sucklings at the breasts. Let the bridegroom go out of his chamber, and the bride out of her room. Joel 2:17. Between the porch and the altar are the priests, the servants of Jehovah, to weep and say, Spare, O Jehovah, Thy people, and give not up Thine inheritance to shame, so that the heathen scoff at them. Wherefore should men say among the nations, Where is their God?" Joel 2:15 is a literal repetition from Joel 2:1 and Joel 1:14; Joel 1:16 a more detailed expansion of Joel 1:14, in which, first of all, the people generally (עם) are mentioned, and then the objection of the summons explained in the words קדּשׁוּ קהל, "Call a holy meeting of the congregation." But in order that none may think themselves exempt, the people are more precisely defined as old men, children, and sucklings. Even the bride and bridegroom are to give up the delight of their hearts, and take part in the penitential and mournful worship. No age, no rank, is to stay away, because no one, not even the suckling, is free from sin; but all, without exception, are exposed to the judgment. "A stronger proof of the deep and universal guilt of the whole nation could not be found, than that on the great day of penitence and prayer, even new-born infants were to be carried in their arms" (Umbreit). The penitential supplication of the whole nation is to be brought before the Lord by the priests as the mediators of the nation. יבכּוּ in Joel 1:17 is jussive, like יצא in Joel 1:16, though Hitzig disputes this, but on insufficient grounds. The allusion to the priests in the former could only be unsuitable, if they were merely commanded to go to the temple like the rest of the people. But it is not to this that Joel 1:17 refers, but to the performance of their official duty, when the people had assembled for the penitential festival. They were to stand between the porch of the temple and the altar of burnt-offering, i.e., immediately in front of the door of the holy place, and there with tears entreat the Lord, who was enthroned in the sanctuary, not to give up the people of His possession (nachălâh as in 1 Kings 8:51; cf. Deuteronomy 4:20; Deuteronomy 32:9) to the reproach of being scoffed at by the heathen. למשׁל־בּם גּוים is rendered by Luther and others, "that heathen rule over them," after the ancient versions; and Psalm 106:41; Deuteronomy 15:6, and Lamentations 5:8, might be appealed to in support of this rendering. But although grammatically allowable, it is not required by the parallelism, as Hengstenberg maintains. For even if the reproach of Israel could consist in the fact that they, the inheritance of the Lord, were subjected to the government of heathen, this thought is very remote from the idea of the passage before us, where there is no reference at all in the threatening of punishment to subjection to the heathen, but simply to the devastation of the land. משׁל with ב also signifies to utter a proverb ( equals to scoff) at any one, for which Ezekiel indeed makes use of משׁל משׁל (Ezekiel 17:2; Ezekiel 18:2, and in Ezekiel 12:23 and Ezekiel 18:3 construed with ב); but it is evident that mâshal was sometimes used alone in this sense, from the occurrence of mōshelı̄m in Numbers 21:27 as a term applied to the inventors of proverbs, and also of meshōl as a proverb or byword in Job 17:6, whether we take the word as an infinitive or a substantive. This meaning, as Marck observes, is rendered probable both by the connection with חרפּה, and also by the parallel clause which follows, viz., "Wherefore should men among the heathen say," etc., more especially if we reflect that Joel had in his mind not Deuteronomy 15:6, which has nothing in common with the passage before us except the verb mâshal, but rather Deuteronomy 28:37, where Moses not only threatens the people with transportation to another land for their apostasy from the Lord, and that they shall become "an astonishment, a proverb (mâshâl), and a byword" among all nations, but (Deuteronomy 28:38, Deuteronomy 28:40-42) also threatens them with the devastation of their seed-crops, their vineyards, and their olive-grounds by locusts. Compare also 1 Kings 9:7-8, where not only the casting out of Israel among the heathen, but even the destruction of the temple, is mentioned as the object of ridicule on the part of the heathen; also the combination of לחרפּה and למשׁל in Jeremiah 24:9. But Joel 2:19 is decisive in favour of this view of למשׁל בם ג. The Lord there promises that He will send His people corn, new wine, and oil, to their complete satisfaction, and no longer make them a reproach among the nations; so that, according to this, it was not subjugation or transportation by heathen foes that gave occasion to the scoffing of the nations at Israel, but the destruction of the harvest by the locusts. The saying among the nations, "Where is their God?" is unquestionably a sneer at the covenant relation of Jehovah to Israel; and to this Jehovah could offer no inducement, since the reproach would fall back upon Himself. Compare for the fact itself, Exodus 32:12; Micah 7:10, and Psalm 115:2. Thus the prayer closes with the strongest reason why God should avert the judgment, and one that could not die away without effect.
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