Amos 7:11
For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.
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(11) 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.

7:10-17 It is no new thing for the accusers of the brethren, to misrepresent them as enemies to the king and kingdom, as traitors to their prince, and troublers of the land, when they are the best friends to both. Those who make gain their godliness, and are governed by the hopes of wealth and preferment, are ready to think these the most powerful motives with others also. But those who have a warrant from God, like Amos, ought not to fear the face of man. If God, that sent him, had not strengthened him, he could not thus have set his face as a flint. The Lord often chooses the weak and foolish things of the world to confound the wise and mighty. But no fervent prayers, or self-denying labours, can bring proud sinners to bear faithful reproofs and warnings. And all who oppose or despise the Divine word, must expect fatal effects to their souls, unless they repent.For thus Amos saith - Amos had said, "Thus saith the Lord;" he never fails to impress on them, whose words he is speaking. Amaziah, himself bound up in a system of falsehood and imposture, which, being a creature-worship, gave itself out as the worship of the true God, believed all besides to be fraud. Fraud always suspects fraud; the irreligious think devotion, holiness, saintliness to be hypocrisy: vice imagines virtue to be well-masked vice. The false priest, by a sort of law of corrupt nature, supposed that Amos also was false, and treats his words as the produce of his own mind.

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.

11. Jeroboam shall die, &c.—Amos had not said this: but that "the house of Jeroboam" should fall "with the sword" (Am 7:9). But Amaziah exaggerates the charge, to excite Jeroboam against him. The king, however, did not give ear to Amaziah, probably from religious awe of the prophet of Jehovah. 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.

For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword,.... Which was not saying truth; for Amos said not that Jeroboam should die by the sword, but that God would raise up the sword against his house or family; nor did Jeroboam die by the sword, but his son Zachariah did:

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.
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. Amos 7:11Opposition to the Prophet at Bethel. - The daring announcement of the overthrow of the royal family excites the wrath of the high priest at Bethel, so that he relates the affair to the king, to induce him to proceed against the troublesome prophet (Amos 7:10 and Amos 7:11), and then calls upon Amos himself to leave Bethel (Amos 7:12 and Amos 7:13). That this attempt to drive Amos out of Bethel was occasioned by his prophecy in Amos 7:7-11, is evident from what Amaziah says to the king concerning the words of Amos. "The priest of Bethel" (Kōhēn Bēth-ēl) is the high priest at the sanctuary of the golden calf at Bethel. He accused the prophet to the king of having made a conspiracy (qâshar; cf. 1 Kings 15:27, etc.) against the king, and that "in the midst of the house of Israel," i.e., in the centre of the kingdom of Israel - namely at Bethel, the religious centre of the kingdom - through all his sayings, which the land could not bear. To establish this charge, he states (in Amos 7:11) that Amos has foretold the death of Jeroboam by the sword, and the carrying away of the people out of the land. Amos had really said this. The fact that in Amos 7:9 Jeroboam is named, and not the house of Jeroboam, makes no difference; for the head of the house if naturally included in the house itself. And the carrying away of the people out of the land was not only implied in the announcement of the devastation of the sanctuaries of the kingdom (Amos 7:9), which presupposes the conquest of the land by foes; but Amos had actually predicted it in so many words (Amos 5:27). And Amaziah naturally gave the substance of all the prophet's addresses, instead of simply confining himself to the last. There is no reason, therefore, to think of intentional slander.
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