New American Standard Bible
"On garments taken as pledges they stretch out beside every altar, And in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined.
King James Bible
And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.
Darby Bible Translation
And they lay themselves down by every altar upon clothes taken in pledge, and they drink in the house of their God the wine of the condemned.
World English Bible
and they lay themselves down beside every altar on clothes taken in pledge; and in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined.
Young's Literal Translation
And on pledged garments they stretch themselves near every altar, And the wine of fined ones they drink in the house of their gods.
Amos 2:8 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
They lay themselves down - They condensed sin. By a sort of economy in the toil of sinning, they blended many sins in one; idolatry, sensuality, cruelty, and, in all, the express breach of God's commandments. The "clothes" here are doubtless the same as the "raiment" in the law, the large enfolding cloak, which by day was wrapped over the long loose shirt , the poor man's only dress besides, and by night was his only bedding Exodus 22:26-27. God had expressly commanded, "If the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge" Deuteronomy 24:12-13; in any case "thou shalt deliver him the pledge again, when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee; and it shall be righteousness to thee before the Lord thy God." Here the "garments laid to pledge" are treated as the entire property of the creditors.
They "stretch" their listless length along upon them in their idol-feasts "by every altar." Ezekiel speaks of a "stately bed," upon which they "sat, and a table prepared before it" Ezekiel 23:41. Isaiah; "Upon a lofty and high mountain, hast thou set up thy bed; even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice; thou hast enlarged thy bed; thou hast loved their bed; thou providedst room" Isaiah 57:7-8. In luxury and state then, and withal in a shameless publicity, they "lay on the garments" of the despoiled "by every altar." The multiplication of altars Hosea 8:11; Hosea 10:1; Hosea 12:11 was, in itself, sin. By each of these multiplied places of sin they committed fresh sins of luxury and hard-heartedness, (perhaps, from the character of the worship of nature, yet grosser sins,) "and drink the wine of the condemned," or (as the English margin more exactly) "the amerced," those whom, unjustly, persons in any petty judicial authority had "amerced," expending in revelry and debanchery in the idol's temple what they had unjustly extorted from the oppressed.
There is no mask too transparent to serve to hide from himself one who does not wish to see himself. Nothing serves so well as religion for that self-deceit, and the less there is of it, or the more one-sided it is, the better it serves. For the narrower it is, the less risk of impinging on the awful reality of God's truth; and half a truth as to God is mostly, a lie which its half-truth makes plausible. So this dreadful assemblage of cruelty, avarice, malice, mockery of justice, unnatural debauchery, hard-heartedness, was doubtless smoothed over to the conscience of the ten tribes by that most hideous ingredient of all, that "the house of their god" was the place of their ill-purchased revelry. People do not serve their idols for nothing; this costly service at Bethel was not for nought. They did all these things; but they did something for "the Deity" or "Nature" or "Ashtoreth;" and so "the Deity" was to be at peace with them. Amos, with wonderful irony, marks the ghastly mixture of sin and worship, "they drank the wine of the amerced" - where? "in the house of their God," condemning in five words their luxury, oppression, perversion of justice, cruelty, profaneness, unreal service and real apostasy. What hard-heartedness to the willfully-forgotten poor is compensated by a little Church-going!
LibraryThe Kingdom of God Conceived as the Inheritance of the Poor.
These maxims, good for a country where life is nourished by the air and the light, and this delicate communism of a band of children of God reposing in confidence on the bosom of their Father, might suit a simple sect constantly persuaded that its Utopia was about to be realized. But it is clear that they could not satisfy the whole of society. Jesus understood very soon, in fact, that the official world of his time would by no means adopt his kingdom. He took his resolution with extreme boldness. …
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus
"If you ever take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge, you are to return it to him before the sun sets,
if a man does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing,
And they do not cry to Me from their heart When they wail on their beds; For the sake of grain and new wine they assemble themselves, They turn away from Me.
"For on the day that I punish Israel's transgressions, I will also punish the altars of Bethel; The horns of the altar will be cut off And they will fall to the ground.
Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on the mountain of Samaria, Who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, Who say to your husbands, "Bring now, that we may drink!"
Who drink wine from sacrificial bowls While they anoint themselves with the finest of oils, Yet they have not grieved over the ruin of Joseph.
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