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V. 24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
No; notwithstanding all these your outward services, I will cause my judgments to gush out upon you as waters; and my righteous vengeance, as a mighty stream, shall bear you over.
V. 25 Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wildernessforty years, 0 house of Israel?
Have ye not whole forty years together, in the wilderness, bewrayed your averseness from me, and your inclination to idolatry? was it to me, that in this while ye offered your sacrifices, O ye house of Israel?
V. 26 But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.
No; howsoever ye pretended to bear my tabernacle, yet indeed ye did your services and oblations to your god Moloch, and the other images of those planetary gods, whom ye worshipped.
VI. 1 Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!
Woe to those, that live securely and pleasurably in Zion, and that trust to the impregnable situation of the city of Samaria, the mountains whereof are held the strongest forts of that nation, whereto the house of Israel resorts!
VI. 2 Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border?
Look ye unto the most famous and best traded cities and countries, round about you: look to Calneh, that wealthy city of Assyria: look to the great city Antiochia; then take view of Gath, the well known city of the Philistines; and compare your blessings with theirs; and tell me whether these kingdoms be richer, and stronger, and larger than yours: yet these shall ye shortly see brought down.
VI. 3 Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near.
Yet ye are careless and confident, and put away from you all fear of danger; and thereupon grow outrageous and cruel, insomuch as ye strike into others a fear of your violence and oppression.
VI. 4 That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall.
Ye give up yourselves to pride, and ease, and delicacy; stretching yourselves upon your soft couches and beds of ivory, and pampering yourselves with the daintiest fare.
VI. 5 That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music, like David.
They make themselves merry with the most pleasant music; and devise instruments of melody for their vain and wanton mirth, such as David invented for the praising and cheerful service of God.
VI. 6 That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grievedfor the ajfiiction ofJoseph. They let themselves loose to all intemperance and carnal pleasure, pouring in wine out of their large bowls, and anointing themselves with themost precious and fragrant ointments; but, in the mean time, they are not sensible of the miserable condition of God's wrongfully oppressed servants.
VI. 7 Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.
Therefore, since ye are the prime offenders, and, as it were, leaders of these sins, ye shall be the first in the punishment thereof, even in that woeful captivity, which shall shortly ensue, and then there shall be an end of these your riotous and wanton pleasures.
VI. 8 / abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein. I abhor this proud excess of my people of Israel, and hate those their palaces, which they have built in blood and oppression; and therefore I will deliver up Samaria, and all that is therein, to the hands of the Assyrians.
VI. 10 And a man's uncle shall take him up, and he that burneth him, to bring out the bones out of the house, and shall say unto him that is by the sides of the house, Is there yet any with thee? and he shall say,No. Then shall he say, Hold thy tongue: for we may not make mention of the name of the Lord. And a man shall not have a brother or a son left, to do him the last offices of his burial; but if his uncle or kinsman shall undertake to bring out his corpse, he, that is the overseer of these funeral rites of burning the dead, joining with him in that work, shall say to that one which is left alive in the house, Is there any more remaining of the whole number of the family? and he shall say, No. Then shall the other answer again, Rest thou humbly and silently in the just pleasure of the Almighty: this is his work: as for us, our sins have been so grievous, that, in the conscience thereof, it is not for us to call upon the name of the Lord, for a release or mitigation of his judgment.
VI. 11 For, behold, the Lord commandeth, and he will smite the great house with breaches, and the little house with clefts. For, behold, the Lord, whom we have provoked, commandeth these executions from the hands of the Assyrians, and will by their arm smite both the small and the great.
VI. 12 Shall horses run upon the rock? will one plow therewith oxen? for ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock:
Js it possible, that horses should run upon the steep and craggy cliffs? or can it be, that the husbandman should draw his plough through those hard rocks? so impossible is it, that ye Israelites should continue to prosper, while ye remain thus sinful; for ye have corrupted judgment and justice, and made it hateful, and deadly to the innocent:
VI. 13 Ye which rejoice in a thing of nought, which say, Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength? Ye, which rejoiceinyour own strength, whichisvain and nothing worth; and say, in the pride of your heart, Have we not made ourselves strong and impregnable by our wit and power?
VI. 14 But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, 0 house of Israel, saith the Lord, the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of the wilderness.
But, behold, I will raise up against you, O house of Israel, a mighty nation, even that of Assyria; and they shall plague you, even from the one end of your country to the other; from Hamath, which is in the borders of the north, to Sihor the river of the wilderness, to the south.
VII. 1 Thus hath the Lord Gon 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.
Thus hath the Lord God shewed me the judgment, which he is about to bring upon the land; even that extreme famine, which he shall cause, through the abundance of locusts and other noisome worms, which he will send upon the earth: early therefore in the shooting up of the grass, after the first mowing thereof for the king's use, which is wont to be sooner than the common mathe, he formed store of those hurtful vermin, and sent them upon the land.
VII. 2 Then I said, O Lord God, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.
Then I, seeing the proceedings of this famine, said, O Lord God, forgive us I beseech thee: if thou go on thus to plague us, who shall be left alive, to continue the name and generation of thy people? For even now, as it is, the number of thy people is but small.
VII. 3 The Lord repented for this: it shall not be, saith the Lord.
The Lord thereupon ceased from this plague; and, did, as it were, say, No; it shall not proceed; Israel shall not be quite wasted.
VII. 4 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.
The Lord God foreshewed me the judgment that he meant to bring upon Israel, by the sword of Tigleth Pileser, king of Assyria; represented by a fire, which should devour up the deep, and did eat up a part; signifying, that the fury and force of this king of Asshur should utterly swallow up the kingdom of Syria first, and afterwards that part of Israel which is beyond Jordan.
VII. 8 Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more. As I have built up Israel by line and level, so will I also now make an exquisite destruction of it, and will lay it level with the ground; and I will not any more pardon and pass by their wickednesses.
VII. 10 Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words. Amos hath conspired against thee in Beth-el, where is the greatest confluence of thy subjects. The words of his prophecy are intolerable; for he dishearteneth the people, and works in them a mean and dishonourable opinion of thy government, and despair of their own safety.
VII. 12 Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:
And Amaziah said to Amos, What makest thou here, O thou pro
J>het, out of thine own country: go thy ways home: take this friendly and private counsel from me; retire home closely to thy own country of Judah, and there maintain thyself, and there bestow thy pains and admonitions:
VII. 13 But prophesy not again any more at Beth-el: for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court.
But venture not any more to vent thy prophecies in Beth-el; for thou knowest the condition of this place: it is both the king's sanctuary, for his devotion; and the king's court, for state: meddle notany more with prophesying here, lest thou provoke the king's anger against thee.
VII. 14 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 sycamore fruit:
I was no prophet by my breeding and institution: I never was trained up to any such vocation; but was by my profession a herdman, and spent my time amongst my cattle; and, in that solitary life, contented myself with such wild diet, as the sycamores did afford me:
VII. 15 And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. And even then, when I little thought of any such matter, it pleased the Lord to take me from that homely employment, and enjoined me this task of prophesying.
VII. 16 And drop not thy word against the house of Isaac. Do not let fall the menaces of judgment upon the chosen people of God.
VII. n Therefore thus saith tlx Lord Kc. Thou shalt die in a polluted land.
Because thou hast forbidden me to prophesy, thus saith the Lord, &c. Thou shalt die in the land of Assyria, which is polluted by detestable idolatries.
VIII. 2 And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the *
4* PARAPHRASE UPON THE HARD TEXTS OF SCRIPTURE.Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.
And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the Lord unto me, I have heretofore gathered and plucked off some of thy fruits, that is thy people; but now I come to thee, with a basket, to gather all that grows upon Israel; and will so make an end of this gathering, that there shall be no more of this kind left for hereafter.
VIII. 3 And the songs of the temples shall be howlings in the day, saith the Lord God.
Instead of the songs and music of the temples of Beth-el, and other high places, there shall be nothing but howlings and shriekings of those that are slain.
VIII. 5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
Saving, When shall we have done with these solemn feasts, wherein we are not allowed to buy and sell? Would to God, these new moons and sabbaths were once past, that we might sell our corn at a high rate; making the measure of the wheat small, and the weights, wherein the silver is weighed, great and heavy; and falsifying the balances by deceit.
VIII. 6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; and sell the refuse of the wheat? That we may cause the poor to sell themselves to our servitude, for a little silver, as being not able to sustain themselves; and that we may buy the needy for a pair of shoes, even for the basest necessaries: yea, and that, by this means, we may put off, at an unrensonable rate, the very refuse and offal of the wheat.
VIII. 8 And it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. And the judgment of God shall rise up, and overflow the land, as a flood; and the whole country shall be overspread and drowned therewith, as the plains are wont to be by the inundations of the river Nilus.
VIII. 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.
Your sorrow shall be so extreme in that day, and that day shall be to you so black and gloomy, as if the sun were gone down at noon-day, and as if darkness had covered the earth in the clearest day.
VIII. 10 And I will make it as the mourning of an only son. Such a mourning will I cause amongst you, as when a mother mourns for her only son.
VIII. 1! Not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.
Not a famine of material bread, &c. but a spiritual famine of the word of God, which is only able to feed and save your souls.
VIII. 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the