Amos 8:8
Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(8) Shall not the land . . .?—The rendering should be, The whole of it rises as the Nile, surges and subsides (or sinks) as the Egyptian Nile. The solid land shall rise up in earthquake, like the Nile that ascends twenty feet in the time of its inundation, and then subsides.

Amos 8:8. Shall not the land tremble — Shall not the state, or government, and all the people of the land, be terribly afraid, and greatly troubled; for this — This, that you have done, O house of Israel, in sinning, and this that God will do in punishing? And every one mourn that dwelleth therein — Shall not all be deeply concerned and distressed, since all have sinned and deserved punishment, and all will suffer in the approaching calamity? Certainly they shall. Observe, reader, those that will not tremble and mourn as they ought for national sins, shall be made to tremble and mourn for national judgments; those that look unconcerned upon the sins of oppressors, which should make them tremble, and upon the miseries of the oppressed, which should make them mourn, God will find out a way to make them tremble at the fury of those that oppress them, and mourn for their own losses and sufferings by it. And it shall rise up wholly as a flood — The LXX. read, with a very small alteration in the Hebrew points, και αναβησεται ως ποταμος συντελια, Destruction shall rise up like a flood; that is, the judgment, the calamity of a hostile invasion by the Assyrians, shall be like an inundation, which in a short time overflows a whole country. And it shall be cast out and drowned — The inhabitants of the land shall be cast out of their possessions, or the land itself shall be overwhelmed as by the flood, or rather, the river of Egypt, that is, as Egypt is by the inundation of the river Nile. Thus the Chaldee paraphrase: He shall make a king come up against it [the land] with a numerous army like a flood, and he shall drive out the inhabitants thereof, and [the land itself]

shall be drowned as when the flood of Egypt [overflows.]

8:4-10 The rich and powerful of the land were the most guilty of oppression, as well as the foremost in idolatry. They were weary of the restraints of the sabbaths and the new moons, and wished them over, because no common work might be done therein. This is the character of many who are called Christians. The sabbath day and sabbath work are a burden to carnal hearts. It will either be profaned or be accounted a dull day. But can we spend our time better than in communion with God? When employed in religious services, they were thinking of marketings. They were weary of holy duties, because their worldly business stood still the while. Those are strangers to God, and enemies to themselves, who love market days better than sabbath days, who would rather be selling corn than worshipping God. They have no regard to man: those who have lost the savour of piety, will not long keep the sense of common honesty. They cheat those they deal with. They take advantage of their neighbour's ignorance or necessity, in a traffic which nearly concerns the labouring poor. Could we witness the fraud and covetousness, which, in such numerous forms, render trading an abomination to the Lord, we should not wonder to see many dealers backward in the service of God. But he who thus despises the poor, reproaches his Maker; as it regards Him, rich and poor meet together. Riches that are got by the ruin of the poor, will bring ruin on those that get them. God will remember their sin against them. This speaks the case of such unjust, unmerciful men, to be miserable indeed, miserable for ever. There shall be terror and desolation every where. It shall come upon them when they little think of it. Thus uncertain are all our creature-comforts and enjoyments, even life itself; in the midst of life we are in death. What will be the wailing in the bitter day which follows sinful and sensual pleasures!Shall not the land tremble for this? - o: "For the greater impressiveness, he ascribes to the insensate earth sense, indignation, horror, trembling. For all creation feels the will of its Creator." "It shall rise up wholly as a flood," literally, "like the river." It is the Egyptian name for "river, which Israel brought with it out of Egypt, and is used either for the Nile, or for one of the artificial "trenches," derived from it. "And it shall be cast out and drowned," literally, "shall toss to and fro" as the sea, "and sink as the river of Egypt." The prophet represents the land as heaving like the troubled sea. As the Nile rose, and its currents met and drove one against the other, covered and drowned the whole land like one vast sea, and then sank again, so the earth should rise, lift up itself, and heave and quake, shaking off the burden of man's oppressions, and sink again. It may be, he would describe the heaving, the rising and falling, of an earthquake. Perhaps, he means that as a man forgat all the moral laws of nature, so inanimate nature should be freed from its wonted laws, and shake out its inhabitants or overwhelm them by an earthquake, as in one grave. 8. the land … rise up wholly as a flood—The land will, as it were, be wholly turned into a flooding river (a flood being the image of overwhelming calamity, Da 9:26).

cast out and drowned, &c.—swept away and overwhelmed, as the land adjoining the Nile is by it, when flooding (Am 9:5). The Nile rises generally twenty feet. The waters then "cast out" mire and dirt (Isa 57:20).

Shall not the land tremble? either literally, are not such sins and judgments enough to shake the very foundations of the earth? Or, metonymically, the land for the people of it, as after in the verse, they that dwell therein.

For this; this that you have done, O house of Israel, in sinning, and this that God will do in punishing, enough to melt the earth, as Psalm 46:6.

And every one mourn; since every one hath sinned too much, and every one shall suffer in this approaching calamity, every one at the news may well mourn and lament;

that dwelleth therein; in the land of Israel.

It shall rise up wholly as a flood; or, by an interrogation, shall it not? i.e. shall not the judgment, the invading troops of Assyria, the displeasure of God, rise and grow as a mighty, wasting flood? or else thus, the whole land shall rise up; soaked in these judgments, it shall seem to swell and grow greater, ready, like a hydropic, to burst asunder: or else it is a hypallage, the land shall rise up, i.e. the flood shall rise over the land; or, which I rather incline to, the whole judgment shall rise as a flood.

It shall be cast out; the land, the state, people, and what they have, shall be, as in a shipwreck, or mighty flood which breaks all down before it, tossed in the surges and waves;

and drowned as by the flood of Egypt; and at last, by the continuance of this tempest, drowned all as the overflowing on Nilus doth drown all the plains of Egypt.

Shall not the land tremble for this,.... For this wickedness committed, in using the poor with so much inhumanity? may not an earthquake be expected? and which happened two years after Amos began to prophesy, Amos 1:1; or that the earth should gape and swallow up these men alive, guilty of such enormities? or shall not the inhabitants of the land tremble at such judgments, which the Lord hath sworn he will bring upon it?

and everyone mourn that dwelleth therein? at the hearing of them, and especially when they shall come upon them: as the calamity would be general, the mourning should be universal:

and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; that is, the calamity threatened shall rise up at once like a flood of waters, like Noah's flood, and cover the whole land, and wash off and utterly destroy man and beast:

and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt; or the river of Egypt, the Nile, which overflows at certain times, and casts up its waters and its mud, and drowns all the country; so that the whole country, during its continuance, looks like a sea: it overflows both its banks, both towards Lybia or Africa, and towards Arabia, and on each side about two days' journey, as Herodotus (d) relates; and this it does regularly every year, in the summer solstice, in the higher and middle Egypt, where it seldom rains, and its flood is necessary; but is not so large in the lower Egypt, where it more frequently rains, and the country needs it not. Strabo (e) says this flood remains more than forty days, and then it decreases by little and little, as it increased; and within sixty days the fields are seen and dried up; and the sooner that is, the sooner they plough and sow, and have the better harvests. Herodotus (f) says it continues a hundred days, and is near the same in returning; and he says, unless it rises to sixteen, or at least fifteen cubits, it will not overflow the country (g): and, according to Pliny (h), the proper increase of the waters is sixteen cubits; if only they arise to twelve, it is a famine; if to thirteen, it is hunger; if to fourteen, it brings cheerfulness; if to fifteen, security; and if to sixteen, delights. But Strabo (i) relates, that the fertility by it is different at different times; before the times of Petronius, the greatest fertility was when the Nile arose to the fourteenth cubit; and when to the eighteenth, it was a famine: but when he was governor of that country, when it only reached the twelfth cubit, there was great fruitfulness; had when it came to the eighth (the eighteenth I suppose it should be) no famine was perceived. An Arabic writer (k) gives an account of the Nilometry, or measures of the Nile, from the year of Christ 622 to 1497; and he says, that, when the depth of the channel of the Nile is fourteen cubits, a harvest may be expected that will amount to one year's provision; but, if it increases to sixteen, the corn will be sufficient for two years; less than fourteen, a scarcity; and more than eighteen makes a famine. Upon the whole, it seems that sixteen cubits have been reckoned the standard that portends plenty, for many generations, to which no addition has appeared to have been made during the space of five hundred years.

"This we learn (says Dr. Shaw) (l), not only from the sixteen children that attend the statue of the Nile, but from Pliny also; and likewise from a medal of Hadrian in the great brass where we see the figure of the Nile, with a boy upon it, pointing to the number sixteen. Yet in the fourth century, which it will be difficult to account for, fifteen cubits only are recorded by the Emperor Julian (m) as the height of the Nile's inundation; whereas, in the middle of the sixth century, in the time of Justinian, Procopius (n) informs us that the rise of the Nile exceeded eighteen cubits; in the seventh century, after Egypt was subdued by the Saracens, the amount was sixteen or seventeen cubits; and at present, when the river rises to sixteen cubits, the Egyptians make great rejoicings, and call out, "wafaa Allah", that is, "God has given them all they wanted".''

The river begins to swell in May, yet no public notice is taken of it till the twenty eighth or twenty ninth of June; by which time it is usually risen to the height of six or eight pikes (or cubits, a Turkish measure of twenty six inches); and then public criers proclaim it through the capital, and other cities, and continue in the same manner till it rises to sixteen pikes; then they cut down the dam of the great canal. If the water increases to the height of twenty three or twenty four pikes, it is judged most favourable; but, if it exceed that, it does a great deal of mischief, not only by overflowing houses, and drowning cattle, but also by engendering a great number of insects, which destroy the fruits of the earth (o). And a late learned traveller (p) tells us, that

"eighteen pikes is an indifferent Nile (for so high it is risen when they declare it but sixteen); twenty is middling; twenty two is a good Nile, beyond which it seldom rises; it is said, if it rises above twenty four pikes, it is looked on as an inundation, and is of bad consequence.''

And to such a flood the allusion is here. Thus the land of Israel should be overwhelmed and plunged into the utmost distress, and sink into utter ruin, by this judgment coming upon them; even the Assyrian army, like a flood, spreading themselves over all the land, and destroying it. So the Targum,

"a king shall come up against it with his army, large as the waters of a river, and shall cover it wholly, and expel the inhabitants of it, and shall plunge as the river of Egypt;''

see Isaiah 8:7.

(d) Euterpe, sive l. 9. c. 19. (e) Geograph. l. 17. p. 542. (f) Ut supra. (Euterpe, sive l. 9. c. 19.) (g) Ibid. c. 13. (h) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 9. (i) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 17. p. 542.) (k) Apud Calmet. Dictionary, in the word "Nile". (l) Travels, p. 384. Ed. 2.((m) Ecdicio, Ephesians 50. (n) De Rebus Gothicis, l. 3.((o) Universal History, vol. 1. p. 413. (p) Pocock's Description of the East, p. 200.

Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and {f} drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.

(f) That is, the inhabitants of the land will be drowned, as the Nile drowns many when it overflows.

8–9. A hyperbolical description of the terrible nature of the coming judgement. On account of such enormities, the land will tremble, and rise up in mighty convulsions against the offenders; and darkness at noon-day will envelope the heavens.

Shall not on this account &c.] Cf. (esp. in the Heb.) Jeremiah 5:9; Jeremiah 5:29; Jeremiah 9:9 (Hebrews 8).

mourn] viz. in terror, as they feel the earth beginning to shake.

and it shall rise up, all of it, as the Nile, and it shall be tossed about (Isaiah 57:20), and sink (again), as the Nile of Egypt] As the Nile, at the time of its annual inundation, rises, overflows, and sinks again, so will the land of Israel, in all its length and breadth, heave, and be convulsed, as by an earthquake, as it labours to rid itself of its guilty inhabitants (Isaiah 24:19-20). The acquaintance shewn by Amos with a natural phenomenon peculiar to Egypt is interesting; comp. the knowledge of Egypt shewn by Isaiah (Isaiah 19:2; Isaiah 19:5-9), and Nahum (Amos 3:8). There was no doubt more intercourse between Canaan and Egypt, during the period of the kings, than is commonly supposed. The verse (except the first clause) is repeated with unsubstantial alterations in Amos 9:5.

Verse 8. - Shall not the land tremble for this? "This" is the coming judgment, or the oath with which God announced it in the previous verse and the prophet asks, "Shall not the land tremble as with an earthquake when the Lord comes to judgement?" The LXX., rendering ἐπὶ τούτοις, takes the reference to be to the "works" or sins of the people (ver. 7); but the thought in these two verses is the punishment of the transgressions, not the transgressors themselves. And it shall rise up wholly as a flood (ch. 9:5). The LXX., pointing differently, renders, Καὶ ἀναβήσεται ὡς ποταμὸς συντέλεια, "And destruction shall come up as a river;" the Vulgate, Et ascendet quasi fluvius universus; it is best, however, to refer both clauses to the Nile: "Yea, it shall rise up wholly like the river" - the land shall heave and swell like the waters of the Nile at its annual rising. And it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt; better, it shall be tossed up and sink again, like the river of Egypt - a picturesque comparison, which would allude to a phenomenon well known to the Israelites. It is as though the whole earth were turned into a sea, tossing and labouring under a tempestuous wind (comp. Isaiah 24:4). Amos 8:8Such wickedness as this would be severely punished by the Lord. Amos 8:7. "Jehovah hath sworn by the pride of Jacob, Verily I will not forget all their deeds for ever. Amos 8:8. Shall the earth not tremble for this, and every inhabitants upon it mourn? and all of it rises like the Nile, and heaves and sinks like the Nile of Egypt." The pride of Jacob is Jehovah, as in Hosea 5:5 and Hosea 7:10. Jehovah swears by the pride of Jacob, as He does by His holiness in Amos 4:2, or by His soul in Amos 6:8, i.e., as He who is the pride and glory of Israel: i.e., as truly as He is so, will He and must He punish such acts as these. By overlooking such sins, or leaving them unpunished, He would deny His glory in Israel. שׁכח, to forget a sin, i.e., to leave it unpunished. In Amos 8:8 the negative question is an expression denoting strong assurance. "For this" is generally supposed to refer to the sins; but this is a mistake, as the previous verse alludes not to the sins themselves, but to the punishment of them; and the solemn oath of Jehovah does not contain so subordinate and casual a thought, that we can pass over Amos 8:7, and take על זאת as referring back to Amos 8:4-6. It rather refers to the substance of the oath, i.e., to the punishment of the sins which the Lord announces with a solemn oath. This will be so terrible that the earth will quake, and be resolved, as it were, into its primeval condition of chaos. Râgaz, to tremble, or, when applied to the earth, to quake, does not mean to shudder, or to be shocked, as Rosenmller explains it after Jeremiah 2:12. Still less can the idea of the earth rearing and rising up in a stormy manner to cast them off, which Hitzig supports, be proved to be a biblical idea from Isaiah 24:20. The thought is rather that, under the weight of the judgment, the earth will quake, and all its inhabitants will be thrown into mourning, as we may clearly see from the parallel passage in Amos 9:5. In Amos 8:8 this figure is carried out still further, and the whole earth is represented as being turned into a sea, heaving and falling in a tempestuous manner, just as in the case of the flood. כּלּהּ, the totality of the earth, the entire globe, will rise, and swell and fall like waters lashed into a storm. This rising and falling of the earth is compared to the rising and sinking of the Nile. According to the Parallel passage in Amos 9:5, כּאר is a defective form for כּיאר, just as בּוּל is for יבוּל in Job 40:20, and it is still further defined by the expression כּיאור מצרים, which follows. All the ancient versions have taken it as יאור, and many of the Hebrew codd. (in Kennicott and De Rossi) have this reading. Nigrash, to be excited, a term applied to the stormy sea (Isaiah 57:20). נשׁקה is a softened form for נשׁקעה, as is shown by שׁקעה in Amos 9:5.
Amos 8:8 Interlinear
Amos 8:8 Parallel Texts

Amos 8:8 NIV
Amos 8:8 NLT
Amos 8:8 ESV
Amos 8:8 NASB
Amos 8:8 KJV

Amos 8:8 Bible Apps
Amos 8:8 Parallel
Amos 8:8 Biblia Paralela
Amos 8:8 Chinese Bible
Amos 8:8 French Bible
Amos 8:8 German Bible

Bible Hub

Amos 8:7
Top of Page
Top of Page