Amos 1:2
He said: "The LORD roars from Zion and raises His voice from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds mourn, and the summit of Carmel withers."
The Penalty of SinJ. Telford, B. A.Amos 1:2
The Stern Voice of GodAmos 1:2
The Voice of TerrorJ.R. Thomson Amos 1:2

This imagery is evidently derived from the prophet's own experience. In the southeast of Palestine the lion was a frequent and formidable visitor, which every herdsman had reason to dread. The majestic roar of the king of beasts is here employed to denote the judgments of the Lord upon the disobedient and rebellious, especially of Israel.


1. It is the voice of the Lord - that voice which assumes now the accents of compassion and mercy, and again the tones of wrath, but which is always authoritative.

2. It proceeds from the sacred city, which was the favoured abode of Jehovah.

II. AND WHITHER THE VOICE OF THREATENING PENETRATES. From the habitations of the shepherds in the south, to the flowery Carmel in the north, this roar makes itself heard. That is to say, it fills the land. Judah and Israel alike have by disobedience and rebellion incurred Divine displeasure, and against both alike the denunciations of the prophet go forth.


1. Reverent attention.

2. Deep humiliation and contrition.

3. Repentance and prayer.

4. Such reformation as the heavenly summons imperatively demands. - T.

The Lord will roar from Zion.
The prophet not only shows here, that God was the Author of his doctrine, but at the same time he distinguishes between the true God, and the idols, which the first Jeroboam made, when by this artifice he intended to withdraw the ten tribes from the house of David, and wholly to alienate them from the tribe of Judah: it was then that he set up the calves in Dan and Bethel. The prophet now shows that all these superstitions are condemned by the true God. "Jehovah then will roar from Zion, He will utter His voice from Jerusalem." He, no doubt, wished here to terrify the Israelites, who thought they had peace with God. Since, then, they abused His long-suffering, Amos now says that they would find at length that He was not asleep. "When God, then, shall long bear with your iniquities, He will at last rise up for judgment." By "roaring" is signified the terrible voice of God; but the prophet here speaks of God's voice, rather than of what are called actual judgments really executed, that the Israelites might learn that the examples of punishments which God executes in the world happen not by chance or at random, but proceed from His threatenings; in short, the prophet intimates that all punishments which God inflicts on the ungodly and the despisers of His Word. are only the executions of what the prophets proclaimed, in order that men, should there be any hope of their repentance, might anticipate the destruction which they hear to be nigh. The prophet commends very highly the truth of what God teaches, by saying that it is not what vanishes, but what is accomplished; for when He destroys nations and kingdoms, it comes to pass according to prophecies.

( John Calvin.)

I. THE CHANGE WHICH SIN WORKS IN THE RELATIONS BETWEEN EARTH AND HEAVEN. "The Lord will roar from Zion." The figure is that of a lion ready for its prey. Can this be He of whose tenderness Moses spoke? (Deuteronomy 32:9-14.) What had wrought such a change between God and His people? Years of wandering, and rebellion, and sin can alone explain this change. Contrast between the friendship and the enmity of God a fruitful means to awaken the sinner and save His own people from wandering (Isaiah 40:11).

II. THE PLACE FROM WHICH DANGER SHOULD COME — Zion and Jerusalem. These were the centres of the old national worship — places that God had chosen to put His name there. In the palaces of Zion God had been known for a refuge. Sin turned the sources of peace and prosperity into the seat of their mightiest enemy.

III. THE TIME OF THE PROPHECY OF WOE. An era of hope. Prosperity had returned (2 Kings 14:25). The prophecy burst upon them like thunder out of a blue sky, or as if one, in full tide of health, should see his own funeral procession pass. However dazzling the prosperity to which sin may have raised men, its time of most luxuriant growth is often the hour of its blasting. "The Judge standeth at the door."

IV. THE VISITATION WAS TO TOUCH THEM ON THE SIDE WHERE THEY WOULD MOST FEEL IT — temporal prosperity. "The habitations of the shepherds shall mourn" — poetic personification of the ruin that should come to that class of which Amos had so recently been a member. "Carmel" — the place of surpassing fertility — abounding in rich pastures, olives, and vines. God takes what men prize most if haply their heart may be softened by His visitation. Application(1) The concurrence of testimony among all Divine messengers to the certainty of vengeance due for wrong. Only false prophets can utter the "smooth things" which sinners would fain hear.(2) The change in God's dealings with men wrought by sin.

(J. Telford, B. A.)

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