Darby's Bible Synopsis
Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings.
God had long waited patiently. More than once He had been on the point of giving Israel up to judgment. The intercession of the prophet, that is to say, of the Spirit of Christ which wrought in the prophets (an intercession, indeed, that owed its efficacy to His sufferings; see Psalm 18), had arrested the scourge. But now Jehovah would arise to judgment, with the measuring-line in His hand, and nothing should turn Him aside. With the house of Jehu Israel should fall. In fact this is what took place. It may be that the preceding judgments apply to the downfall of the family of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat; and to that of the family of Ahab. Israel had been raised up again after each of those events, but not so after the house of Jehu had fallen.
A prophecy like this was out of place in the king's chapel. A religion, arranged by the policy of man without the fear of God, cannot endure the testimony of truth. Bethel was the house of the kingdom. The priest reports it all to the king. Let the prophet go away to Judah. There Judah was owned, and the truth might be proclaimed; but this was not the place for such unpalatable truths. The king was the ruler in all religious matters: man was master. But Jehovah does not renounce His own rights. Amos was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. He had not this function from man, nor from the desire of his own heart. Jehovah, in His sovereign will, had appointed him, and his word was the word of Jehovah. The priest, who opposed it, should suffer the consequences of his rashness, and Israel should surely go into captivity.
And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord GOD, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.
The LORD repented for this: It shall not be, saith the LORD.
Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord GOD called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part.
Then said I, O Lord GOD, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.
The LORD repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord GOD.
Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.
And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:
And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.
Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.
For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.
Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:
But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court.
Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:
And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.
Now therefore hear thou the word of the LORD: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac.
Therefore thus saith the LORD; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.