Amos 9:6
It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
9:1-10 The prophet, in vision, saw the Lord standing upon the idolatrous altar at Bethel. Wherever sinners flee from God's justice, it will overtake them. Those whom God brings to heaven by his grace, shall never be cast down; but those who seek to climb thither by vain confidence in themselves, will be cast down and filled with shame. That which makes escape impossible and ruin sure, is, that God will set his eyes upon them for evil, not for good. Wretched must those be on whom the Lord looks for evil, and not for good. The Lord would scatter the Jews, and visit them with calamities, as the corn is shaken in a sieve; but he would save some from among them. The astonishing preservation of the Jews as a distinct people, seems here foretold. If professors make themselves like the world, God will level them with the world. The sinners who thus flatter themselves, shall find that their profession will not protect them.He that buildeth His stories - The word commonly means "steps," nor is there any reason to alter it. We read of "the third heavens 2 Corinthians 12:2, the heavens of heavens Deuteronomy 10:14; 1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 148:4; that is, heavens to which this heaven is as earth. They are different ways of expressing the vast unseen space which God has created, divided, as we know, through the distance of the fixed stars, into countless portions, of which the lower, or further removed, are but as "steps" to the presence of the Great King, where, "above all heavens" Ephesians 4:10, Christ sitteth at the Right Hand of God. It comes to the same, if we suppose the word to mean "upper chambers." The metaphor would still signify heavens above our heavens.

And hath founded His troop - (literally, band in the earth Probably, "founded His arch upon the earth," that is, His visible heaven, which seems, like an arch, to span the earth. The whole then describes" all things visible and invisible;" all of this our solar system, and all beyond it, the many gradations to the Throne of God. : "He daily "buildeth His stories in the heavens," when He raiseth up His saints from things below to heavenly places, presiding over them, ascending in them. In devout wayfarers too, whose "conversation is in heaven Philippians 3:20, He ascendeth, sublimely and mercifully indwelling their hearts. In those who have the fruition of Himself in those heavens, He ascendeth by the glory of beatitude and the loftiest contemplation, as He walketh in those who walk, and resteth in those who rest in Him."

To this description of His power, Amos, as before Amos 5:8, adds that signal instance of its exercise on the ungodly, the flood, the pattern and type of judgments which no sinner escapes. God then hath the power to do this. Why should He not?

6. stories—literally, "ascents," that is, upper chambers, to which the ascent is by steps [Maurer]; evidently referring to the words in Ps 104:3, 13. Grotius explains it, God's royal throne, expressed in language drawn from Solomon's throne, to which the ascent was by steps (compare 1Ki 10:18, 19).

founded his troop—namely, all animate creatures, which are God's troop, or host (Ge 2:1), doing His will (Ps 103:20, 21; Joe 2:11). Maurer translates, "His vault," that is, the vaulted sky, which seems to rest on the earth supported by the horizon.

It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven; he that threatens and will execute his just severities on you is that mighty, glorious King, whose palace inconceivably surpasseth all the royal palaces of the mightiest monarchs on earth; his chambers, as Psalm 104:3, are in the heavens: he by a word of his mouth prepared and garnished those rooms of state, where is glory that ravisheth the mighty angels; how easily can he demolish and ruin your cells, and with the breath of his nostrils, by one command, blow away and scatter your little dust heaps, which you call cities, fortresses, and impregnable munitions!

And hath founded his troop in the earth; he laid the foundations of this lower world, and can as easily shake or overturn as at first he laid them. All that is below the royal pavilions of God is but as a little bundle which he can soon untie and scatter about, nor are the things tied up of such worth and value that he should lose by doing it; how much more easy is it for him to destroy (as he hath spoken) your land and cities, which are a very small thing compared with the whole world, and this as a point compared with the unmeasurable greatness of the heavens! You set a value on yourselves, and are proud, and think that God will not lose, such jewels; as if a king in his royalty should fear to lose a pin’s head, or one atom of dust that lieth on his footstool.

Calleth; the easiest way a man can take to get any thing done; nothing so easy for man to do, as it is easy for God to drown a sinful nation or world: possibly God by this may mind them what seeming impossibility he did when he called for the waters of the sea to drown the old world, and would hereby make them see that he can now do the like.

For the waters of the sea; either by wholesale in judgment to drown, or by retail by vapours in mercy to give rain.

And poureth them out, in storms and violence, or in gentler showers, to punish or refresh.

Upon the face of the earth; either a particular nation, or the whole world.

The Lord is his name; eternal, unchangeable, almighty, and just: see Amos 5:8.

It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven,.... The three elements, according to Aben Ezra, fire, air, and water; the orbs, as Kimchi, one above another; a word near akin to this is rendered "his chambers", which are the clouds, Psalm 104:3; perhaps the heaven, and the heaven of heavens, which are three stories high, may be meant; we read of the third heaven, 2 Corinthians 12:2; and particularly the throne of God is in the highest heaven; and the "ascents" (y) to it, as it may be rendered. The Targum is,

"who causeth to dwell in a high fortress the Shechinah of his glory:''

and hath founded his troop in the earth; this Kimchi interprets of the three above elements. So the words are translated in the Bishops' Bible in Queen Elizabeth's time,

"he buildeth his spheres in the heaven, and hath laid the foundation of his globe of elements in the earth.''

Aben Ezra interprets it of animals; it may take in the whole compass of created beings on earth; so Jarchi explains it of the collection of his creatures; though he takes notice of another sense given, a collection of the righteous, which are the foundation of the earth, and for whose sake all things stand. Abarbinel interprets it of the whole of the tribe of Israel; and so the Targum paraphrases it of his congregation or church on earth: he beautifies his elect, which are "his bundle" (z), as it may be rendered; who are bound up in the bundle of life with the Lord their God, and are closely knit and united, as to God and Christ, so to one another; and perhaps is the best sense of the words (a):

he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth, the Lord is his name; either to drown it, as at the general deluge; or to water and refresh it, as he does by exhaling water from the sea, and then letting it down in plentiful showers upon the earth; See Gill on Amos 5:8; now all these things are observed to show the power of God, and that therefore there can be no hope of escaping out of his hands.

(y) "ascensiones suus", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Tigurine version, "gradus suo", Vatablus, Drusius, Cocceius. (z) "fasciculum suum", Montanus, Munster, Mercerus, Vatablus, Drusius, Burkius. (a) Schultens in Observ. ad Genesin, p. 197, 198, observes, that "agad", with the Arabs, signifies primarily to "bind", and is by them transferred to a building firmly bound, and compact together; and so may intend here in Amos the Lord's building, the church, which he hath founded in the earth; and so with Golius and Castellus is a building firmly compacted together. is used for a bunch of hyssop, Exodus 12.27. and in the Misnic language for a handful or bundle of anything; see Buxtorf. Lex. Talmud. rad.

It is he that buildeth his {d} stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.

(d) He declares by the wonderful power of God, by the making of the heavens and the elements, that it is not possible for man to escape his judgments when he punishes.

6. That buildeth his upper chambers in the heaven, and hath founded his vault upon the earth] The Hebrews pictured the sky as a solid vault (firmamentum), resting at its extremities upon the earth (Job 26:11): in this vault the heavenly bodies were imagined to revolve: “in front of it” (i.e. in the open air below its lower surface) the birds flew (Genesis 1:20): above it were reservoirs in which rain was stored (as also snow and hail); and above these “waters above the firmament” Jehovah sat enthroned. The words are thus intended to illustrate Jehovah’s power by pointing to the palace which He has constructed for Himself on high, and firmly secured, by resting its foundations upon the solid earth. The word rendered upper chambers elsewhere means ascent, steps (hence A.V. stories, i.e. successive heights), which has been adopted by some commentators here (as though the reference were to the ascent or steps by which Jehovah’s heavenly palace was to be reached). But most authorities treat ma‘ălâh here as a synonym of ‘ăliyyâh in Psalm 104:3, “Who layeth the beams of his upper chambers in the waters,” cf. Amos 9:14 “Who watereth the mountains from his upper chambers.”

vault] lit. band,—properly, it is probable, like the Arab.’ijâd, an arch, as something firmly held together. The word (which is a rare one) is used elsewhere of a bunch of hyssop (Exodus 12:22), of the bands of a yoke (Isaiah 58:6), and of a band of men (2 Samuel 2:25). Here it denotes what is usually called the râḳîa‘(lit. something beaten or spread out)[199], the (στερέωμα, or “firmament,” the vast hemi-spherical vault which, to the eye innocent of the truths of astronomy, seems to rest as a huge cupola upon the earth.

[199] Comp. the cognate verb, as applied to metals, Exodus 39:3; Numbers 16:39 : Jeremiah 10:9; Isaiah 40:19 (R.V. spreadeth over).

that calleth for the waters of the sea, &c.] repeated from Amos 5:8 b (where see note). The violent, and long-continued rains, occurring in Eastern climates, are another proof of Jehovah’s power over nature.

Verse 6. - Stories; ἀνάβασιν (Septuagint); ascensionem (Vulgate); upper chambers, or the stages by which is the ascent to the highest heavens (comp. Deuteronomy 10:14; 1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 104:3). His troop (aguddah); vault. The word is used for "the bonds" of the yoke in Isaiah 58:6; for "the bunch" of hyssop in Exodus 12:22. So the Vulgate here renders fasciculum suum, with the notion that the stories or chambers just mentioned are bound together to connect heaven and earth. But the clause means, God hath founded the vault or firmament of heaven upon (not in) the earth, where his throne is placed, and whence he sends the rain. The Septuagint renders, τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν αὐτοῦ, "his promise." So the Syriac. The waters of the sea. The reference is to the Deluge (Amos 5:8; Genesis 7:4, 11). Amos 9:6To strengthen this threat, Amos proceeds, in Amos 9:5, Amos 9:6, to describe Jehovah as the Lord of heaven and earth, who sends judgments upon the earth with omnipotent power. Amos 9:5. "And the Lord Jehovah of hosts, who toucheth the earth, and it melteth, and all the inhabitants of thereupon mourn; and the whole of it riseth like the Nile, and sinketh like the Nile of Egypt. Amos 9:6. Who buildeth His stories in heaven, and His vault, over the earth hath He founded it; who calleth to the waters of the sea, and poureth them out over the earth: Jehovah is His name." This description of God, who rules with omnipotence, is appended, as in Amos 4:13 and Amos 5:8, without any link of connection whatever. We must not render it, "The Lord Jehovah of hosts is He who toucheth the earth;" but we must supply the connecting thought, "And He who thus directeth His eye upon you is the Lord Jehovah of hosts, who toucheth the earth, and it melteth." The melting or dissolving of the earth is, according to Psalm 46:7, an effect produced by the Lord, who makes His voice heard in judgments, or "the destructive effect of the judgments of God, whose instruments the conquerors are" (Hengstenberg), when nations reel and kingdoms totter. The Lord therefore touches the earth, so that it melts, when He dissolves the stability of the earth by great judgments (cf. Psalm 75:4). "Israel could not fail to test the truth of these words by painful experience, when the wild hordes of Assyria poured themselves over the western parts of Asia" (Hengstenberg). The following words, depicting the dissolution of the earth, are repeated, with very inconsiderable alterations, from Amos 8:8; we have merely the omission of ונגרשׁה, and the kal שׁקעה substituted for the niphal נשׁקה. In Amos 9:6 there is evidently an allusion to the flood. God, who is enthroned in heaven, in the cloud-towers built above the circle of the earth, possesses the power to pour the waves of the sea over the earth by His simple word. Ma‛ălōth is synonymous with עליּות in Psalm 104:3 : upper rooms, lit., places to which one has to ascend. 'Aguddâh, an arch or vault: that which is called râqı̄ă‛, the firmament, in other places. The heaven, in which God builds His stories, is the heaven of clouds; and the vault, according to Genesis 1:7, is the firmament of heaven, which divided the water above the firmament from the water beneath it. Consequently the upper rooms of God are the waters above the firmament, in or out of which God builds His stories (Psalm 104:3), i.e., the cloud-tower above the horizon of the earth, which is raised above it like a vault. Out of this cloud-castle the rain pours down (Psalm 104:13); and out of its open windows the waters of the flood poured down, and overflowed the earth (Genesis 7:11). When God calls to the waters of the sea, they pour themselves over the surface of the earth. The waves of the sea are a figurative representation of the agitated multitude of nations, or of the powers of the world, which pour their waves over the kingdom of God (see at Amos 7:4).
Amos 9:6 Interlinear
Amos 9:6 Parallel Texts

Amos 9:6 NIV
Amos 9:6 NLT
Amos 9:6 ESV
Amos 9:6 NASB
Amos 9:6 KJV

Amos 9:6 Bible Apps
Amos 9:6 Parallel
Amos 9:6 Biblia Paralela
Amos 9:6 Chinese Bible
Amos 9:6 French Bible
Amos 9:6 German Bible

Bible Hub

Amos 9:5
Top of Page
Top of Page