Amos 7:7
Thus he showed me: and, behold, the LORD stood on a wall made by a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand.
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(7) Wall made by a plumbline—i.e., a perpendicular wall, the stability of the kingdom being represented by the closely-fitting well-jointed stones of a lofty wall. Right in the heart of this strong-built city, the Lord Himself marks the extent of the desolation, the plumb-line being used in dismantling buildings, as well as erecting them (2Kings 21:13; Isaiah 34:11).

Amos 7:7-9. The Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumb-line — A wall strongly and beautifully built. God’s judgments are sometimes represented in Scripture by a line and a plummet, to denote that they are measured out by the exactest rules of justice. Behold, I will set a plumb-line in the midst of my people Israel — I will exactly measure my people Israel; I will take a particular view of the whole kingdom of the ten tribes, and notice how far it is right, or how far it is out of order, and will judge and punish according to their sins. I will not again pass by them any more — I will not any longer pass over their transgressions. The high places of Isaac shall be desolate — The idolatrous altars and groves which they have erected at Beer-sheba, where their holy ancestor Jacob erected an altar to the true God, and devoutly worshipped him, shall be entirely spoiled and made desolate. And the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste — All the other places in Israel, set apart for idolatrous worship, shall also be entirely destroyed.7:1-9 God bears long, but he will not bear always with a provoking people. The remembrance of the mercies we formerly received, like the produce of the earth of the former growth, should make us submissive to the will of God, when we meet with disappointments in the latter growth. The Lord has many ways of humbling a sinful nation. Whatever trouble we are under, we should be most earnest with God for the forgiveness of sin. Sin will soon make a great people small. What will become of Israel, if the hand that should raise him be stretched out against him? See the power of prayer. See what a blessing praying people are to a land. See how ready, how swift God is to show mercy; how he waits to be gracious. Israel was a wall, a strong wall, which God himself reared as a defence to his sanctuary. The Lord now seems to stand upon this wall. He measures it; it appears to be a bowing, bulging wall. Thus God would bring the people of Israel to the trial, would discover their wickedness; and the time will come, when those who have been spared often, shall be spared no longer. But the Lord still calls Israel his people. The repeated prayer and success of the prophet should lead us to seek the Saviour.Stood upon - (Rather "over" "a wall" made by "a plumbline;" lit. "a wall of a plumbline," that is, (as our's has it) "made" straight, perpendicular, "by" it. The wall had been "made by a lead" or "plumbline;" by it, that is, according to it, it should e destroyed. God had made it upright, He had given to it an undeviating rule of right, He had watched over it, to keep it, as He made it. Now "He stood over it," fixed in His purpose, to destroy it. He marked its inequalities. Yet this too in judgment. He destroys it by that same rule of right wherewith He had built it. By that law, that right, those providential leadings, that grace, which we have received, by the same we are judged. 7. wall made by a plumb-line—namely, perpendicular. Thus he shewed me: and, behold: see Amos 7:1.

The Lord; the great God, who had long tried Israel, and often spared.

Stood upon a wall; possibly it may denote his fixed purpose now to proceed to demolish this state.

Made by a plumbline; strongly, regularly, and beautifully built, as art could build it.

With a plumbline in his hand; ready, as an artist, to take the measures of this wall, to discover all the defects of it, and how much it was varied from what it was at first built. This shall be the last measuring it, and on this measuring, whatever is faulty shall be pulled down, though to the very foundation. This was visionally represented to the prophet. Thus he showed me,.... A third vision, which was in the following manner:

and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand: this "wall" was the people of Israel, who were built up as a wall, firm and strong; and so stood against their enemies, while supported by the Lord, and he stood by them. The Septuagint version is, "an adamantine wall". In their constitution, both civil and ecclesiastic, they were formed according to the good and righteous laws of God, which may be signified by the plumbline; and so the Targum renders it, "the wall of judgment". And now the Lord appears standing upon this wall, to trample it down, and not to support it; and with a plumbline in his hand, to examine and try whether this wall was as it was first erected; whether it did not bulge out, and vary from its former structure, and was not according to the line and rule of his divine word, which was a rule of righteousness.

Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, {e} with a plumbline in his hand.

(e) Signifying that this would be the last measuring of the people, and that he would defer his judgment no longer.

7. upon] or leaning over (cf. Amos 9:1), i.e. (R.V.) beside. The prophet sees Jehovah stationed (Genesis 28:13; Isaiah 3:13 a, Isaiah 21:8 b),—niẓẓâb, implying a rather more set and formal attitude than ‘ômçd, ‘standing,’—beside a plummet-wall (i.e. a wall built to the plummet), and holding a plummet in his hand: the design of the vision is thus to represent Him as a builder, whose aim is to secure that everything with which he has to do is built true. The application of the figure follows in Amos 7:8.

7–9. The third vision. The plumb-line. Here Amos does not see the calamity itself, but only the symbol that it is decreed (cf. the almond-tree, and the seething pot, in Jeremiah 1:11; Jeremiah 1:13).Verses 7-9. - § 3. The third vision, the plumb line, represents the Lord himself as coming to examine the conduct of Israel, and finally deciding on its entire ruin. Verse 7. - Upon (rather, over) a wall made by a plumb line. The word translated "plumb line" (anakh) occurs only here. Septuagint ἀδάμας: so the Syriac; Vulgate, trulla caementarii; Aquila, γάνωσις, "brightening," "splendor;" Theodotion, τήκομενον. As the word in other dialects means tin or lead, it is usually taken here to mean the plumb line which builders use to ascertain that their work is even and perpendiculur (see a very different explanation in Knabenbauer, p. 314, etc.). The "wall" is the kingdom of Israel, once carefully built up, solidly constructed, accurately arranged. God had made it upright; how was it now? The whole universe trembles at this judgment of God. Joel 2:10. "Before it the earth quakes, the heavens tremble: sun and moon have turned black, and the stars have withdrawn their shining. Joel 2:11. And Jehovah thunders before His army, for His camp is very great, for the executor of His word is strong; for the day of Jehovah is great and very terrible, and who can endure it?" The remark of Jerome on Joel 2:10, viz., that "it is not that the strength of the locusts is so great that they can move the heavens and shake the earth, but that to those who suffer from such calamities, from the amount of their own terror, the heavens appear to shake and the earth to reel," is correct enough so far as the first part is concerned, but it by no means exhausts the force of the words. For, as Hitzig properly observes, the earth could only quake because of the locusts when they had settled, and the heavens could only tremble and be darkened when they were flying, so that the words would in any case be very much exaggerated. But it by no means follows from this, that לפניו is not to be taken as referring to the locusts, like מפּניו in Joel 2:6, but to the coming of Jehovah in a storm, and that it is to be understood in this sense: "the earth quakes, the air roars at the voice of Jehovah, i.e., at the thunder, and storm-clouds darken the day." For although nâthan qōlō (shall utter His voice) in Joel 2:11 is to be understood as referring to the thunder, Joel is not merely describing a storm, which came when the trouble had reached its height and put an end to the plague of locusts (Credner, Hitzig, and others). לפניו cannot be taken in any other sense than that in which it occurs in Joel 2:3; that is to say, it can only refer to "the great people and strong," viz., the army of locusts, like מפּניו. Heaven and earth tremble at the army of locusts, because Jehovah comes with them to judge the world (cf. Isaiah 13:13; Nahum 1:5-6; Jeremiah 10:10). The sun and moon become black, i.e., dark, and the stars withdraw their brightness ('âsaph, withdraw, as in 1 Samuel 14:19), i.e., they let their light shine no more. That these words affirm something infinitely greater than the darkening of the lights of heaven by storm-clouds, is evident partly from the predictions of the judgment of the wrath of the Lord that is coming upon the whole earth and upon the imperial power (Isaiah 13:10; Ezekiel 32:7), at which the whole fabric of the universe trembles and nature clothes itself in mourning, and partly from the adoption of this particular feature by Christ in His description of the last judgment (Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24-25). Compare, on the other hand, the poetical description of a storm in Psalm 18:8., where this feature is wanting. (For further remarks, see at Joel 3:4.) At the head of the army which is to execute His will, the Lord causes His voice of thunder to sound (nâthan qōl, to thunder; cf. Psalm 18:14, etc.). The reason for this is given in three sentences that are introduced by kı̄. Jehovah does this because His army is very great; because this powerful army executes His word, i.e., His command; and because the day of judgment is so great and terrible, that no one can endure it, i.e., no one can stand before the fury of the wrath of the Judge (cf. Jeremiah 10:10; Malachi 3:1).
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