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Amos Four

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Amos 4:1 Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink.

Amos 4:2 The Lord GOD hath sworn by his holiness, that, lo, the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.

Amos 4:3 And ye shall go out at the breaches, every cow at that which is before her; and ye shall cast them into the palace, saith the LORD.

Amos 4:4 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:

transgress. This ironic invitation recognizes the divisiveness of the false altar at Bethel, established by Jeroboam I (1 Kings 12:29-33) and condemned by God. Although God had blessed the altars at Bethel established by Abraham and Jacob (Genesis 12:8; 28:17-19), He had by this time ordained the temple at Jerusalem as the sole place of sacrificial worship (Deuteronomy 12:1-14).

Amos 4:5 And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

Amos 4:6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

Amos 4:7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.

Amos 4:8 So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

Amos 4:9 I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

Amos 4:10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

Amos 4:11 I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

Sodom and Gomorrah. The terrible destruction of the wicked cities of the plain (Genesis 19:24-25) was still regarded as historical fact, some twelve or more centuries after the event.

Amos 4:12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.

meet thy God. God had sent judgment after judgment on Israel, warning them to repent, but they would not heed. Now, nothing but destruction and dispersion awaited them.

Amos 4:13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.

createth the wind. Here is a parenthetical insertion, in the midst of dire warnings of judgment because of following false gods, asserting the right and power of the true God to pronounce such judgments. The Creator and Controller of all things, including the very thoughts of men, is none other than the Lord (Jehovah), the God (Elohim) of all the hosts of heaven.

the morning darkness. This is probably an indirect reference to the awful judgment of the great flood when, for the first time, dark clouds obscured the sun, turning the bright mornings into dark mornings, with the waters finally covering all the high places on earth. Then, when it was over, God formed our present mountains, causing the Flood sediments to rise up and the waters to go down (Psalm 104:7-9). See also the note on Amos 5:8.