Amos 9:12
That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, said the LORD that does this.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Amos 9:12. That they may possess the remnant of Edom — This the restored Jews did in the time of Hyrcanus, when they made an entire conquest of Edom, as Josephus relates. And of all the heathen (or nations) which are called by my name — Or rather, which have been called by my name; for so it is rendered in other versions. The Ishmaelites, Ammonites, Moabites, and other neighbouring nations, were in the beginning worshippers of the true God, as being descendants from Abraham, Lot, &c., with whom the knowledge of the true God was preserved. And the Jews subdued a considerable part of these nations in the times of the Maccabees. But this is also a prophecy of setting up the kingdom of the Messiah, and bringing in the Gentiles.9:11-15 Christ died to gather together the children of God that were scattered abroad, here said to be those who were called by his name. The Lord saith this, who doeth this, who can do it, who has determined to do it, the power of whose grace is engaged for doing it. Verses 13-15 may refer to the early times of Christianity, but will receive a more glorious fulfilment in the events which all the prophets more or less foretold, and may be understood of the happy state when the fulness both of the Jews and the Gentiles come into the church. Let us continue earnest in prayer for the fulfilment of these prophecies, in the peace, purity, and the beauty of the church. God marvellously preserves his elect amidst the most fearful confusions and miseries. When all seems desperate, he wonderfully revives his church, and blesses her with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. And great shall be the glory of that period, in which not one good thing promised shall remain unfulfilled.That they may possess - rather, "inherit

The remnant of Edom - The restoration was not to be for themselves alone. No gifts of God end in the immediate object of His bounty and love. They were restored, in order that they, the first objects of God's mercies, might win others to God; not Edom only, "but all nations, upon whom," God says, "My Name is called." Plainly then, it is no temporal subjugation, nor any earthly kingdom. The words, "upon whom the name is called," involve, in any case, belonging to, and being owned by, him whose name is called upon them. It is said of the wife bearing the name of the husband and becoming his, "let thy name be called upon us Isaiah 4:1. When Jacob especially adopts Ephraim and Manasseh as his he says, "let my name be named upon them, and the name of My fathers, Abraham and Isaac" Genesis 48:16. In relation to God, the words are used of persons and of places especially appropriated to God; as the whole Jewish Church and people, His Temple 1 Kings 8:43; Jeremiah 7:10-11, Jeremiah 7:14, Jeremiah 7:30; Jeremiah 34:15, His prophets Jeremiah 15:16, the city of Jerusalem Daniel 9:18-19 by virtue of the temple built there. Contrariwise, Isaiah pleads to God, that the pagan "were never called by Thy Name" Isaiah 63:19. This relation of being "called" by the "Name" of God, was not outward only, nor was it ineffective. Its characteristics were holiness imparted by God to man, and protection by God. Thus Moses, in his blessing on Israel if obedient, says, "The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto Himself, as He hath sworn to thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in His ways; and all the people of the earth shall see that the Name of the Lord thy God is called upon thee, and they shall fear thee" Deuteronomy 28:9-10. And Jeremiah says to God , "Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart, for Thy name was called upon me, O Lord God of Hosts."

Israel then, or the Jewish Church, was to inherit, or take into itself, not Edom only, but all nations, and that, by their belonging to God. Edom, as the brother of Israel and yet his implacable enemy, stands as a symbol of all who were alien from God, over against His people. He says, the "residue of Edom," because he had foretold the destruction which was first to come upon Edom; and Holy Scripture everywhere speaks of those who should be converted, as a "remnant" only. The Jews themselves are the keepers and witnesses of these words. Was it not foretold? It stands written. Is it not fulfilled? The whole world from this country to China, and from China round again to us, as far as it is Christian, and as, year by year, more are gathered into the fold of Christ, are the inheritance of those who were the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

James quoted these words in the Council of Jerusalem, to show how the words of the prophet were in harmony with what Peter had related, how "God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His Name" Acts 15:14. He quotes the words as they stood in the version which was understood by the Gentiles who came from Antioch. In it the words are paraphrased, but the meaning remains the same. The Greek translators took away the metaphor, in order, probably, to make the meaning more intelligible to Greeks, and paraphrased the Hebrew words, imagining other words, as like as might be to the Hebrew. They render, "that the residue of men may seek, and all the nations upon whom My name is called." The force of the prophecy lies in these last words, that "the Name of God should be called upon all nations." James, then, quoted the words as they were familiar to his hearers, not correcting those which did not impair the meaning. The so doing, he shows us incidentally, that even imperfection of translation does not empty the fullness of God's word. The words, "shall seek the Lord," although not representing anything expressed here in the original, occur in the corresponding prophecy of Isaiah as to the root of Jesse, "In that day there shall be a root" (that is, a sucker from the root) "of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people, and to it shall the Gentiles seek" Isaiah 11:10. It may be, that James purposely uses the plural, "the words of the prophets," in order to include, together with the prophet Amos, other prophets who had foretold the same thing. The statements, that the Jewish Church should inherit the Gentiles, that the Name of God should be called upon the Gentiles, and that the Gentiles should seek the Lord, are parts of one whole; that they should be called, that they should obey the call, and, obeying, he enrolled in the one family of God.

12. That they may possess … remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen—"Edom," the bitter foe, though the brother, of Israel; therefore to be punished (Am 1:11, 12), Israel shall be lord of the "remnant" of Edom left after the punishment of the latter. James quotes it, "That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles," &c. For "all the heathen" nations stand on the same footing as Edom: Edom is the representative of them all. The residue or remnant in both cases expresses those left after great antecedent calamities (Ro 9:27; Zec 14:16). Here the conversion of "all nations" (of which the earnest was given in James's time) is represented as only to be realized on the re-establishment of the theocracy under Messiah, the Heir of the throne of David (Am 9:11). The possession of the heathen nations by Israel is to be spiritual, the latter being the ministers to the former for their conversion to Messiah, King of the Jews; just as the first conversions of pagans were through the ministry of the apostles, who were Jews. Compare Isa 54:3, "thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles" (compare Isa 49:8; Ro 4:13). A remnant of Edom became Jews under John Hyrcanus, and the rest amalgamated with the Arabians, who became Christians subsequently.

which are called by my name—that is, who belong to Me, whom I claim as Mine (Ps 2:8); in the purposes of electing grace, God terms them already called by His name. Compare the title, "the children," applied by anticipation, Heb 2:14. Hence as an act of sovereign grace, fulfilling His promise, it is spoken of God. Proclaim His title as sovereign, "the Lord that doeth this" ("all these things," Ac 15:17, namely, all these and such like acts of sovereign love).

That they; literally and historically the Jews, or they of the two tribes, and with them such of the ten tribes as did unite to them, and returned to Jerusalem.

May possess, both the lands of Edom, and some of the posterity of Edom; these as servants, the other as their propriety. The remnant, left by Nebuchadnezzar, or that fled out of his reach and lived privately where they could find a hiding-place till Israel’s return.

Of Edom; the posterity of Esau, wasted by Nebuchadnezzar, and ruined so that they never did recover to be a kingdom, but who remained of them did shelter themselves as retainers to other nations, and among these some did betake themselves to the Jews, and lived under them. Though formerly they had been desperate enemies to the Jews, Edomites, who cried, Rase, rase, Psalm 137:7, shall now assist as servants in laying the foundations, and building Jerusalem.

All the heathen, i.e. round about, as Moabites, Ammonites, &c., by usual phrase called all the heathen.

Which are called by my name: these words either must refer to heathen and Edomites proselyted, or they are by a trajection laid here, but in construction are to be joined with the foregoing words thus. That they which are called by my name may possess, & c.

Saith the Lord; this immutably confirms the promise.

That doeth this; who saith and doth, who willeth and effecteth, whose command is almighty. That this is a prophecy of setting up the kingdom of the Messiah, and bringing in the Gentiles, is very certain, but appertains to the mystic sense, not to the literal, which is our work. That they may possess the remnant or Edom, and of all the Heathen, which are called by my name,.... Or that these may be possessed; that is, by David or Christ, who shall have the Heathen given him for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession, Psalm 2:8; when the remnant, according to the election of grace, in those nations that have been the greatest enemies to Christ and his Gospel, signified by Edom, shall be converted, and call upon the name of the Lord, and worship him; and be called by his name, Christians, and so become his inheritance and possession. The Targum understands, by the Heathen or people, all the people of the house of Israel; and Kimchi, Aben Ezra, and Ben Melech, think the words are to be inverted, thus,

"that all the people on whom my name is called, nay possess the remnant of Edom;''

and the forager says, that all the Edomites shall be destroyed in the days of the Messiah, but Israel shall inherit their land; and Aben Ezra says, that if this prophecy is interpreted of the Messiah, the matter is clear; as it is in the sense we have given, and as the apostle explains it; See Gill on Acts 15:17. Some render the words, "that the remnant of Edom, and of all the Heathen, that are" (that is, shall be) "called by my name, may possess me the Lord" (x). The truth and certainty of its performance is expressed in the following clause,

saith the Lord, that doeth this: whose word is true, whose power is great, whose grace is efficacious, to accomplish all that is here promised and foretold.

(x) "Ut possideant reliquiae Edom", De Dieu. See Bishop Chandler's Defence of Christianity, p. 172.

That they may possess the remnant of {k} Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.

(k) Meaning, the very enemies (as were the Edomites) and others would be united with the Jews in one society and body, of which Christ would be the head.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. That they may possess the remnant of Edom &c.] i.e. that the empire of David may be restored to its former limits. The allusion is to the nations—the Philistines, Moab, Ammon, Aram of Zobah, Damascus, Edom, &c.—which, though they had been conquered by David (2 Samuel 8, &c.), had afterwards revolted: these, Amos promises, should again be incorporated in the restored empire of David.

the remnant of Edom] No doubt Edom is named specially on account of the ancient rivalry subsisting between it and Israel; in the happy future which the prophet here anticipates, he pictures it as reduced to a mere remnant (cf. Amos 1:12; Obadiah 1:18-21). This seems better than to suppose an allusion to recent defeats, whether the victory of Amaziah (2 Kings 14:7),—which, however, must have taken place some 30 years previously,—or the subjugation by Uzziah, which appears to be presupposed by 2 Kings 14:22 (cf. 2 Kings 16:6 R.V. marg.).

and all the nations, over whom my name has been called] viz. in token of conquest, or ownership. The reference is to the nations which, as just stated, had been conquered by David: in virtue of their subjugation by him, they had passed under the dominion of Jehovah. The sense of the expression, over whom my name was called, appears clearly from 2 Samuel 12:28, where Joab, while besieging Rabbah of the Ammonites, invites David to come and take it himself “lest I (emph.) take the city, and my name be called over it,” i.e. lest I get the credit of having captured it, and it be counted as my conquest. The phrase expresses thus the fact of ownership—whether acquired by actual conquest or otherwise (cf. Isaiah 4:1). It is used especially of the people of Israel, Jerusalem, or the temple, as owned by Jehovah: see Deuteronomy 28:10; Jeremiah 7:10-11; Jeremiah 7:14; Jeremiah 7:30; Jeremiah 14:9; Jeremiah 15:16 (of Jeremiah himself), Jeremiah 25:29, Jeremiah 32:34, Jeremiah 34:15; 1 Kings 8:43 (= 2 Chronicles 6:33); Isaiah 63:19; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Daniel 9:18-19; and the newly-recovered Hebrew text of Sir 47:18. In A.V., R.V., the phrase is often, unfortunately, represented by the obscure paraphrase, “called by my name”; but the literal rendering, which is both clearer and more forcible than the paraphrase, is sometimes added in the margin of R.V. (e.g. 1 Kings 8:43).

that doeth this] An epithet confirmatory of the preceding promise; cf. Jeremiah 33:2.

Amos 9:11-12 stands in the LXX. (cod. B) thus: ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἀναστήσω τὴν σκηνὴν Δαυεὶδ τὴν πεπτωκυῖαν, καὶ ἀνοικοδομήσω τὰ πεπτωκότα αὐτῆς, καὶ τὰ κατεσκαμμένα (AbQ* κατεστραμμένα) αὐτῆς ἀναστήσω, καὶ ἀνοικοδομήσω αὐτὴν καθὼς αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ αἰῶνος, 12ὅπως (A+ἂν) ἐκζητήσωσιν οἱ κατάλοιποι τῶν ἀνθρώπων (A+τὸν Κύριον), καὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ἐφʼ οὒς ἐπικέκληται τὸ ὄνομά μου ἐπʼ αὐτούς, λέγει Κύριος ὁ ποιῶν ταῦτα. In Acts 15:17 the verses are quoted by St James—or by St Luke in his report of St James’ speech—in this form (μετὰ ταῦτα ἀναστρέψω καὶ ἀνοικοδομήσω τὴν σκηνὴν Δαυεὶδ τὴν πεπτωκυῖαν, καὶ τὰ κατεστραμμένα αὐτῆς ἀνοικοδομήσω, καὶ ἀνορθώσω αὐτήν, ὅπως ἂν ἐκζητήσωσιν οἱ κατάλοιποι τῶν ἀνθρώπων τὸν Κύριον, καὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ἐφʼ οὒς ἐπικέκληται τὸ ὄνομά μου ἐπʼ αὐτούς, λέγει Κύριος ποιῶν ταῦτα γνωστὰ ἀπʼ αἰῶνος), for the purpose of shewing that God’s having visited the Gentiles “to take out of them a people to his name” was in accordance with the teaching of the prophets. The passage illustrates the freedom which New Testament writers allow themselves in quoting from the Old Testament. Not only are there many minor variations from the text of the LXX.; but in the most important part of the quotation, the rendering adopted implies a reading of the Hebrew text (אָדָם למען יִדְרְשׁוּ שארית “that the remnant of men may seek [the Lord],” for למען יִירְשׁוּ את שארית אֱדֹם “that they may inherit the remnant of Edom”), which cannot be right, and can hardly even express a thought implicit in Amos’ words, though it is no doubt one found in other prophets, viz. that the ultimate aim of Israel’s restoration is to exert upon the nations a spiritual influence, and bring them to the knowledge of the true God (cf. Isaiah 55:5). Τὸν Κύριον (“the Lord”), to which nothing corresponds in the Heb., has been supplied, it will be observed, in order to provide the verb “seek” with an object. The text of the Vatican MS. of the LXX. (cod. B) is purer and more original than that of the Alexandrian MS. (cod. A): the quotation in the Acts agrees in several particulars with the latter against the former; and it is not improbable that the text of cod. A has been corrected on the basis of the quotation. In Psalms 14 (13) 3, the composite quotation of St Paul (Romans 3:13-18) has found its way even into the text of Cod. B.Verse 12. - That they (the true children of Israel) may possess the remnant of Edom; i.e. those who were nearest in blood, and yet most hostile of all men. David had subdued the Edomites (2 Samuel 8:14; 1 Kings 11:16), and Amaziah had inflicted a great slaughter upon them (2 Kings 14:7); but later they recovered their independence (2 Kings 16:6, where "Edomites" should be read for "Syrians;" 2 Chronicles 28:17), and were actively hostile against the Jews. It was on this account that they were emphatically denounced by Obadiah. "The remnant" is mentioned because, according to the threat in Amos 1:11, 12, they would be punished so that only a few would escape. The Septuagint gives ,Ὅπως ἐκζητήσωσιν οἱ κατάλοιποι τὼν ἀνθρώπων, [τὸν κύριον, Alexandrian], "That the remnant of men may earnestly seek the Lord," regarding Edom as a representative of aliens from God, and altering the text to make the sense more generally intelligible, This version, which reads "Adam," men, instead of "Edom," is endorsed by St. James. Which are called by my Name; "over whom my Name hath been called" (Septuagint). This is closer to the Hebrew; but the meaning is much the same, viz. all those who are dedicated to God and belong to him being by faith incorporated into the true Israel. (For the phrase, comp. 2 Samuel 12:28; Isaiah 4:1; and to illustrate the idea, refer to Deuteronomy 28:10; Isaiah 44:5; Psalm 87:5, 6.) The Messianic kingdom shall be established in order that salvation may be extended to all hastens who embrace it. Saith the Lord; is the saying of Jehovah. This is added to show the immutability of the promise. The covenant God himself hath predicted it. "Sun and moon have become black, and the stars have withdrawn their shining. Joel 3:16. And Jehovah roars out of Zion, and He thunders out of Jerusalem; and heaven and earth quake: but Jehovah is a refuge to His people, and a stronghold to the sons of Israel. Joel 3:17. And ye will perceive that I Jehovah am your God, dwelling upon Zion, my holy mountain: and Jerusalem will be a sanctuary, and strangers will not pass through it any more." On the forebodings of the judgment in Joel 3:15, see at Joel 2:10. Out of Zion, the place of His throne, will Jehovah cause His thunder-voice to sound, will roar like a lion which is rushing upon its prey (Hosea 5:14; Amos 3:4), so that heaven and earth tremble in consequence. But it is only to His enemies that He is terrible; to His people, the true Israel, He is a refuge and strong tower. From the fact that He only destroys His enemies, and protects His own people, the latter will learn that He is their God, and dwells upon Zion in His sanctuary, i.e., that He there completes His kingdom, that He purifies Jerusalem of all foes, all the ungodly through the medium of the judgment, and makes it a holy place which cannot be trodden any more by strangers, by Gentiles, or by the unclean of either Gentiles or Israelites (Isaiah 35:8), but will be inhabited only by the righteous (Isaiah 60:21; Zechariah 14:21), who, as Revelation 21:27 affirms, are written in the Lamb's book of life. For Zion or Jerusalem is of course not the Jerusalem of the earthly Palestine, but the sanctified and glorified city of the living God, in which the Lord will be eternally united with His redeemed, sanctified, and glorified church. We are forbidden to think of the earthly Jerusalem or the earthly Mount Zion, not only by the circumstance that the gathering of all the heathen nations takes place in the valley of Jehoshaphat, i.e., in a portion of the valley of the Kidron, which is a pure impossibility, but also by the description which follows of the glorification of Judah.
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