In this chapter Amos relates the fourth vision, the basket of summer fruit, the
Lord shows that the people is RIPE FOR JUDGMENT. Explaining this
revelation, Amos denounces the oppression and greed of the chieftains (Vs. 4-10),
and warns them that those who despise the Word of God shall some day
suffer from A FAMINE OF THE WORD (vs. 11-14).
1 “Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of
summer fruit.” Septuagint, a]ggov ijxeutou~ - aggos ixeutou - “a
fowler’s vessel;” Vulgate, uncinus pomorum, which Jerome explains,”
Sicut uncino rami arborum detrahuntur ad poma carpenda, ita ego
proximum captivitatis tempus attraxi.” The word chelub is taken to mean
“a basket of wickerwork;” it is used for “a cage” in Jeremiah 5:27, but
is found nowhere else. The gathering of fruit was the last harvest of the
year, and thus fitly typified THE FINAL PUNISHMENT OF
This is set forth by the play on the word in the next verse.
2 “And He said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of
summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon
my people of
The end (kets). This is very like the word for “fruit” (kaits).
Pass by (see note on ch.7:8).
3 “And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the
Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they
shall cast them forth with silence.” The songs of the temple; Septuagint,
ta< fatnw>mata tou~ naou~ - ta phatnomata tou naou - “the pannels of the
temple;” Vulgate, cardines templi. These versions point to a different reading.
It is better rendered, “the songs of the palace,” referring to the songs of the
revelers mentioned already (ch. 6:5). These shall be changed into howlings
of lamentation for the dead which lie around (compare v.10). The inevitable
tendency of sin is to turn songs of gladness into HOWLINGS OF
DISTRESS. There shall be many dead bodies. The Hebrew is more forcible:
“Many the corpses: in every place He hath cast them forth. Hush!” The Lord is
represented as casting dead bodies to the ground, so that DEATH IS
EVERYWHERE and the interjection “hush!” (compare ch.6:10) is an
admonition to bend beneath the hand of an avenging God (compare Zephaniah
1:7). Orelli takes it as an expression of the apathy that accompanies severe and
Irremediable suffering — suffering too deep for words. The Greek and Latin
versions take this onomatopoetic word has! “hush!” as a substantive. Thus the
Septuagint, ejpirjrJi>yw siwph>n, - epirripso siopaen - “I will cast upon
them silence;” Vulgate, projicietur silentium — an expressive rendering,
but one not supported by grammatical considerations.
A Nation Ripe for Ruin (vs. 1-3)
While immunity lasts iniquity will go on. “Because sentence against an evil
work is executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set
in them to do evil.” (Ecclesiastes 8:11). Men only love it less than they
fear suffering. In the actual presence of the penalty the hand of the
transgressor is stayed. The murderer will not strike the death blow under a
policeman’s eye. The blasphemer will not move a lip when the thunderbolt
is crashing through his roof. But by so little does the one feeling master the
other that if punishment be not both certain and at hand, the fear of it will
fail to deter from sin. “My lord delayeth his coming” (Matthew 24:48).
Let escape be out of the question, yet even the chance of respite will turn the
scale in favor of doing the forbidden thing. Israel, sentenced and to be destroyed
some time, sinned with a high hand. Israel, sentenced to be destroyed soon,
yet sinned still. Perhaps Israel, sentenced to be destroyed at once, may be
brought to bay. Here God tries the experiment.
FRUIT. Sin has its day. It disturbs the harmony of things, and when
derangement reaches a climax a catastrophe comes, and arrests the process
with a “thus far and no further.” (Job 38:11) Israel’s wicked course had
reached this critical point.
Ø Idolatry, the archetypal sin against the first table, had practically
superseded the worship of God. It was the religion of the king,
and court and people. IT WAS ESTABLISHED AND ENDOWED
BY THE STATE (the
reconsider her actions of the last half century – by being
HELL BENT on separation of church and state – she had better
watch it that she makes not the same mistake by THE
INSTITUTION OF IDOLATRY THAT IS ESTABLISHED
AND ENDOWED BY THE UNITED STATES – it would be
profitable for her if she, of all things, would take a page out of
the book of one of the most wicked kings of
Ahab, who, when he heard of his doom, the sentence of the
Lord, through Elijah, “WALKED SOFLY” - I Kings 21:21-24 –
CY – 2013) Its
rites were observed
profane mimicry of the Levitical worship at
substitution of it for the worship of Jehovah was part of the
royal policy. Short of this the national apostasy could go no
further. Interference, if it would be in time to save anything,
must take place at once.
Ø Oppression, the archetypal sin against the second table, had
reduced society to dissolution. The safeguards of property, liberty,
and life were alike removed (ch.3:9-10; 5:7,12; 6:3). The order of
society had been converted into chaos. Incapable of using liberty
perverting it into license, it was high time to deprive
of the grossly abused trust. As slaves they would be under a regime
of the strong arm, which was the only one that suited them in present
circumstances. There are chains forging somewhere for the man
who can neither consider others NOR RULE HIMSELF!
“The end is come upon my people of
soon as the harvest is ripe. No practical husbandry could delay the
Ø The crop has then reached the limits of its growth. Like the corn
ripe unto harvest, or the grape purple and mellow, the natural life of
and characters settled into crystalline form. Things generally had put
on AN ASPECT OF FINALITY and the sickle of judgment that
follows the ripening of character need no longer wait. Let the ripe
sinner BEWARE THE SCYTHE (Revelation 14:14-20). The
fruits of unrighteousness full grown are suggestive of the harvesters
on their way.
Ø It is then ready to serve its natural purpose. Green grapes are
useless in the vat, and green faggots would only put out the fire. It is
in the harvest, when both are mature, that the wheat and the tares
alike are sent to their ultimate destination (Matthew 13:24-30).
One purpose, a high and
unfitness to serve; their exclusive fitness for another purpose
had only now by the same events become apparent. Reward and
punishment alike take typical form only when they have reference to
lives and characters which have assumed an aspect of finality.
The hard grain and the dry faggot are waiting respectively for the
mill and for the fire.
Ø After this it will be in the way of the next crop. When the reaper
goes the ploughman comes. If the harvesting were neglected the plowing
must be postponed.
mission, and, left longer alone, would only prevent its accomplishment
by other agency. “Take the talent from him, and give it to him that
hath ten talents.” (Matthew 25:28). The unfruitful become in a little
while cumberers of the ground, and a necessary measure of practical
husbandry is then to cut them off. (Luke 13:7)
Ø At this stage it will begin naturally to decay. Overripe fruit
will “go bad “at once. If not used or preserved when ripe, it will be
lost altogether. NATIONAL DECLINE WAITS ON NATIONAL
according to a natural law, even if the Assyrian never came. Indeed,
it was in the degeneracy already apparent that the invader saw
his opportunity and found the occasion of his coming. The disease
that stops the career of the sensualist means GOD’S
JUDGMENT ON ONE SIDE and the natural breakdown of
his constitution on the other. (Proverbs 5:11; Romans 1:27)
PRODUCE. (v. 3.) The incorrigible wrong doer is involved at last in
OVERWHELMING CALAMITY. God’s judgments must fall, His mercy
notwithstanding. Indeed, they are an aspect of it. “A God all mercy is a
God unjust.” He is leaving the lion to prey on the lamb. The most merciful
course is that which offers most effective opposition to the wicked doings
of wicked men.
By their intolerable ABUSE OF FREEDOM they showed their fitness
only to be slaves. And according to character and capacity they must be treated.
What is bad for the table may be good for the dunghill. The life of many had
become a curse, and it only remained to stop that, and MAKE THEIR
DEATH A WARNING! That is one crop which even the sluggard’s garden
cannot refuse to bear (Proverbs 24:30-32).
DEPLORABLE FOR WORDS. (v. 3, “Hush!”). When judgment is
overwhelming, SILENCE IS FITTING!
Ø As opposed to songs. These had resounded from the palace.
They spoke of mirth and revelry. But they would be turned into yells
ere long. In awestruck anticipation of the utterance of pain and horror,
the prophet bids the revelers be silent.
Ø As opposed to lamentations. You cannot always “give sorrow words.”
There is a grief that “speaks not” — the grief of the overwrought heart. “I
was dumb, opening not the mouth, because this stroke was thine”
(Psalm 39:9-10). Such grief would befit a time like this. Words, however
strong, must be beneath the occasion. Let them then remain unspoken,
and let the eloquence of silence meet the overwhelming severity
of the visitation.
As opposed to reproaches.
and therefore of expostulation. Its “great transgression” was committed,
its course unchangeably chosen, its doom sealed. The condemned and
sentenced murderer is removed to his cell in silence. In sterner measures
than abuse of words MUST HIS CRIME BE EXPIATED. (See
Numbers 35:16-34 – this web site – CY – 2013) His very life is to be
exacted, and windy denunciation may well be spared. “Let him alone”
(Hosea 4:17) is of all measures the most sternly significant. It is the
preternatural hush of the elemental world, presaging the thunder crash
that shall make the very earth to reel.
4 “Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor
of the land to fail,” The prophet, by admonishing the grandees of their iniquities,
which they will not cast away, shows HOW RIPE THEY ARE FOR
JUDGMENT! That swallow up; better, that pant after (ch. 2:6-7), like a beast
after its prey, eager to devour. Even to make the poor of the land to fail; and
cause the meek of the land to fail. They grasp at the property of the
unresisting poor, adding field to field, and impoverishing them in various
ways, to root them out of the land.
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?”
When? expresses impatience and desire, as in the hymn —
“Thy joys when shall I see?”
The new moon. The first day of the month was a holiday, on which all
trade was suspended. It is not mentioned in Exodus, Leviticus, or
Deuteronomy; but its observance is enjoined in Numbers 28:11, and
various notices of this occur in later Scriptures; e.g. I Samuel 20:5;
II Kings 4:23; Hosea 2:11; Colossians 2:16. These greedy
sinners kept the festivals, indeed, but they grudged the time given to them,
and considered it as wasted. The sabbath. Compare the difficulties with
which Nehemiah had to contend in upholding the sanctity of the sabbath
(Nehemiah 10:31; 13:15-22). May set forth; literally, open; so Septuagint,
kai< ajnoi>xomen qhsauro>n – kai anoixomen thaesauron – that we may
market. The word expresses the opening of the granaries and storehouses.
The ephah, by which corn was measured (The ephah was about three pecks.
according to Josephus (‘
which would be nearly a bushel and a half. Fraudulent weights and
measures are often denounced (Leviticus 19:35-37; Deuteronomy 25:14-16;
Proverbs 20:10, 23; and here - from note on Micah 6:10). This
they made small, and so gave less than was paid for. The shekel. The weight
by which money was weighed. This they made great, and thus gained too high
a price for the quantity of corn. Coined money of determined value seems
not to have been used before the return from Captivity, all payments of fixed
amount previous to that period being made by weighing (compare Genesis 23:16;
33:19; 43:21; Exodus 30:13; Isaiah 46:6). Falsifying the balances by deceit;
better, as in the Revised Version, dealing falsely with balances of deceit.
To increase their gains they falsified their scales or used fraudulent weights
(see Leviticus 19:36). Thus they cheated the poor probably in three ways —
by SMALL MEASURE, EXORBITANT PRICE and LIGHT WEIGHT.
6 “That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of
shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?” Buy the poor for silver
(compare ch.2:6). The probable meaning is that they so reduced the poor
man by their exactions and injustice, that he was compelled to pay his debt
by selling himself into slavery (Leviticus 25:39; Deuteronomy 15:12).
For a pair of shoes. For the smallest debt they would deal in this harsh
manner. The refuse; literally, that which fell through the sieve; Septuagint,
gennh>matov ejmporeuso>meqa –
emporeusometha - “We will trade in every kind of produce;” Vulgate,
Quisquilias frumenti vendamus, “Let us sell the refuse of corn.”
The Covetous Man’s Way (vs. 4-6)
Punishment, however stern, is proportioned rigidly to sin. They answer to
each other as face to face. From the contemplation of
fate we turn to the horrors of her crime. And they are dark beyond
exaggerating. To idolatry, DETHRONING HIM AND ROBBING
HIM OF HIS GLORY is added covetousness DEFRAUDING
AND DESTROYING MEN! Indeed, the one is but a department of the
other. The worst type of mammon worshipper, the covetous, is an idolater in
a very real sense (Colossians 3:5). And
detached as it was from all religious restraints, and operating in a purely
heathen connection, was of the most aggravated and repulsive kind. Acting
in character, observe that:
Ø The poor cannot defend themselves. Their poverty makes
them helpless, and the weakness which ought to commend them
to protection commends them to plunder. Covetousness, the
meanest of the vices in any circumstances, goes down to the
nadir of paltriness when it wrings its gold “from the hard hands”
of the poor.
Ø The meek will not resist. Their position and disposition are
both against it. They would “rather suffer wrong.” And they
get enough of it to suffer. Weak on one hand, and unresisting on the
other, they are a doubly tempting prey to the pitiless vulture’s beak.
prey its victim at hand. There is a covetousness that puts its own paltriest
gain above another’s life. It will have men’s money ALTHOUGH
THEIR LIFE SHOULD PAY THE FORFEIT. This is the very spirit
of murder. To make money, at the necessary cost of human life, is to break
the sixth commandment as well as the eighth.
new moon over,” etc.?) These people retained the form of sabbath
observance, but the reality had been altogether abandoned. They occupied
its sacred hours with wishes that they were over. “Sabbath days and
sabbath work are a burden to carnal hearts” (Matthew Henry). The
hours drag heavily. Time-killing devices are exhausted. “Behold, what
a weariness it is!” (Malachi 1:13) is the verdict on God’s day, given
weekly through all their years. (The best analogy I know is: Once
there was a man who had seven dollars in his pocket, who came upon
a man down and out. He gave the beggar six of his dollars and then
the beggar turned around and robbed him of the seventh. That is what
men try to do to God. – CY – 2013) “When shall I come add appear
before God?” (Psalm 42:2) - a question that the spiritually minded ask,
is one which the carnally minded CANNOT EVEN UNDERSTAND!
They are making markets mentally in the very house of God, and, with the
words of worship on their lips, “their heart goes after covetousness.” From
Sunday devising to Sunday transacting of business the step is but a small
one — too small not to be taken when opportunity and temptation meet.
God, neither do they regard man. When religion is abandoned, MORALITY
IS UNDERMINED. Given greed present, and religious restraint absent,
and DISHONEST DEALING IS INEVITABLE!
Ø One device is the use of a false balance. “Make the ephah small,
and the shekel great,” i.e. give thirteen pounds to the stone, and
charge twenty-one shillings to the pound. They perpetrate thus
a double swindle, robbing “with both hands earnestly.” Such fraud
is too unscientific and direct for any but the coarser cheats. There
are more delicate ways of fraudulent dealing, which the more refined
rogues affect. Such a method is:
Ø Selling an adulterated or inferior article. “The refuse of the
corn we will sell” (v. 6). This is probably the commonest form
of commercial fraud. There are few who possess the strength of
moral fiber to avoid it entirely. We might arrange it on a graduated
scale. At one end is the man who bluntly sells one thing under the
name of another. At the other end is the man who, in selling,
insinuates the impression that the thing is of better
quality than it really is. Between these two are dishonest artifices
of all varieties and shades. All, however, originate in covetousness,
eventuate in injustice, and deserve the generic name of FRAUD.
CONTEMPTIBLE PRICE. (v. 6.) The law, compelling the poor to sell
themselves to their creditors to work for what they owed, was enforced in
the case of the paltriest debts, and the needy might be brought into
bondage for want of the price of even a pair of shoes. To work such
hardship on such trifling occasion argues inhumanity too gross to be long
endured. The worker has inverted the natural order, has lost out the sense
of reverence, is blind to the dignity of human nature, and has conclusively
shown that he is an eyesore, and his life a curse, to the society in
which he lives. His selfishness puts the least interest of his own above
the most essential interest of others. His greed of gain has so intensified
that he is blind at last to all other considerations. He has fallen altogether
beneath the human level, and when a man has done this, the chances are
that he has lived his day. Well may we pray, “Incline my heart to thy
testimonies, and not to covetousness.” (Psalm 119:36)
The Moral Disease of Covetousness (v. 6)
The symptoms of covetousness may differ in different states of society; and there are
details in the text which apply rather to the state of
the west of today. But the malady is the same, deep-rooted in the moral constitution
of sinful men. This sin is:
this world’s good, who carries his selfishness so far as to deprive, or even
to wish to deprive, his neighbor of what is his — far more he who uses
fraud or violence to gratify this desire — is working his own ruin. He is
subverting the standard of value, by SETTING THE MATERIAL
ABOVE THE SPIRITUAL. He is dragging his aspirations down from
the stars above his head to the dust beneath his feet.
and long for the possessions of others, then human society becomes a den
of wild beasts bent upon devouring one another, and earth becomes a very
hell. Instead of being members one of another, in the case supposed, every
man sees an enemy in his neighbor, and seeks his harm. The bonds of
society are strained, are even broken.
prohibition of this spiritual offence: “Thou shalt not covet.” This fact is
sufficient to show how hateful is this sin in the eyes of the great Lord and
Ruler of all.
The Divine Remedy for Covetousnes:
cometh down “every good gift and every perfect boon” (James 1:17).
He is the Giver of all, who openeth His hands, and supplieth the
need of every living thing. (Psalm 104:27-28; 145:15-16). He who would
share the Divine nature must cherish an ungrudging and liberal spirit.
of the incomparable sacrifice of the Redeemer. Our Saviour’s whole aim
was to impart to men the highest blessings, and in the quest of this aim He
gave His life for us. His constraining love alone is able to extirpate that
selfishness which in human nature is the very root of covetousness.
It was His saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
7 “The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will
never forget any of their works.” Such crimes as these, WHICH SAP
THE VERY FOUNDATIONS OF SOCIAL LIFE, SHALL MEET
WITH VENGEANCE! The Excellency of Jacob. This is a title of
God Himself, as in Hosea 5:5; 7:10, where it is rendered “pride.” Thus
the Lord is said to swear by His holiness (ch.4:2), by His soul (ch.6:8;
compare I Samuel 15:29). So here He swears by Himself, who is
THE GLORY AND PRIDE OF ISRAEL; as truly as He is this, He will
punish. The Vulgate treats the sentence differently, Juravit in superbium
Jacob, i.e. “The Lord hath sworn against the pride of Jacob,” against the
arrogancy with which they treat the poor, and trust in their riches, and
deem themselves scours. So the Septuagint, jOmnu>ei Ku>riov kata< th~v
uJperhfani>av jIakw>b – Omneui Kurios kata taes huperaephanias
Iakob - the Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob - I will never forget, so as
to leave unpunished. Literally, if I forget, equivalent to a most decided
denial, as Hebrews 4:3, 5.
Confirming by an Oath (v.7)
God’s judgments sometimes take, and will continue to take, the wicked by
surprise (Matthew 24:36-39). But this need not be, and should not be,
and can be only where blindness, or heedlessness, or incredulity make
warning useless. God always warns before He strikes. Sometimes He warns
by divers methods at once. Often He warns again and again. Invariably He
warns with a solemnity that makes disbelief a crime and stupid. Here is a
case in point.
He should lie” (Numbers 23:19). To do so would be a natural impossibility,
a contradiction of Himself. For the same reason His truthfulness can have no
degrees; His slightest word is absolutely inviolable. Yet to human apprehension
an oath is peculiarly convincing, and, accommodating Himself to men’s
weakness, God condescends, on peculiarly, solemn occasions, not merely to say,
but swear. Here He swears:
Ø By Himself. “The Pride of Jacob” is JEHOVAH HIMSELF!
Elsewhere explicitly God swears by “Himself” (Jeremiah 51:14),
by His “great Name” (Ibid. 44:26), by His “holiness” (ch.4:2),
by His “life” (Ezekiel 33:11). This is of necessity. Men “swear by
the greater.” God, “because He can swear by no greater,
swears by Himself” (Hebrews 6:17, 13). In this form of oath the
greatest Being is invoked, and so the maximum of solemnity is
reached, whether it is God who swears or man.
Ø By Himself in His ideal relation to Israel. “By the Pride of Jacob”
“These be thy gods,
which brought thee out of the
(Exodus 32:4), they had said, in their blind fatuity, of the molten calf.
God had been forgotten and His wonders ignored before they were
many days accomplished, and in this forgetfulness THEY HAD
PERSISTENLY GONE ON! Yet was He none the less their
Glory still, the
Founder, Builder, Sustainer, of their kingdom, the ONE
SOURCE and SPRING of all that made them great! This
fundamental relation He emphasizes here in vowing vengeance
on their sin. By this character, as their Life and Strength and
Excellence, He swears He will now degrade and destroy them
utterly. The nearer God’s tie to the rebels, the greaser outrage is
their rebellion, and the more embittered the after relations. It is
on the ruins of violated friendship that the most
irreconcilable enmity arises. Not even the heathen is as hateful, or
doomed to a fate as direful, as THE APOSTATE!
forever.” To forget is to forgive, put out of sight, treat as non-existent. “I
will remember their iniquities no more” (Hebrews 8:13). Sin unatoned
cannot be forgiven. God must be just in His justifying, and justice demands
satisfaction. From the provided satisfaction the unbelieving sinner has
turned away, and so from the grace of his own salvation. Neither can sin
unforsaken. The sinner is in actual conflict with God, and the rebel may not
be forgiven with arms in his hands. Neither can sin unrepented of. Still
loving sin, the impenitent is not in a moral condition to appreciate pardon,
and the gift of God is not to be thrown away. By such a threefold cord
8 “Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that
dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall
be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of
tremble for this? “This” is THE COMING JUDGMENT, or the oath with
which God announced it in the previous verse and the prophet asks,
“Shall not the land tremble as with an earthquake when the Lord comes to
judgment?” The Septuagint, rendering ejpi< tou>toiv – epi toutois – and
for this - takes the reference to be to the “works” or sins of the people (v. 7);
but the thought in these two verses is the punishment of the transgressions, not
the transgressors themselves. And it shall rise up wholly as a flood (ch.
9:5). The Septuagint, pointing differently, renders, Kai< ajnabh>setai wJv
potamo<v sunte>leia, - kai anabaesetai hospotamos sunteleia - “And destruction
shall come up as a river;” the Vulgate, Et ascendet quasi fluvius universus; it is
best, however, to refer both clauses to the
like the river” —
the land shall heave and swell like the waters of the
its annual rising. And it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt;
shall be tossed up and sink again, like the
picturesque comparison, which would allude to a phenomenon well known
to the Israelites. It is as though the whole earth were turned into a sea,
tossing and laboring under a tempestuous wind (compare Isaiah 24:4).
(for a sense of this, I recommend typing in your browser images of the 2010
Japanese tsunami - CY - 2013).
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:” I will cause the sun to go down at noon. This is probably to
be taken metaphorically of a sudden calamity occurring in the very height
of seeming prosperity, such as the fate of
Pekah’s own murder (II Kings 15:29-30; see also Ibid. ch.17:1-6) - (However,
I would never sell God short, as He is Omnipotent! – Remember, He is
El Shaddai – The One who can go against nature – I highly recommend
Genesis 17 – El Shaddai – Names of God by Nathan Stone – this web
site – about half of the following references seem MUCH MORE THAN
A METAPHOR - CY – 2013). A like metaphor is common enough; e.g.
Joel 2:2: 3:15; Micah 3:6; Job 5:14; Isaiah 13:10; Jeremiah 15:9. Hind calculates
that there were two solar eclipses visible in
B.C. 763, and February 9, B.C. 784. Some have suggested that the prophet
here predicts the latter in the year of Jeroboam’s death; but this, it is
discovered, would have been so partial as hardly to be noticeable at
Samaria. And it is improbable that such natural phenomena, unconnected
with God’s moral government, should be the subject of the prophet’s
prediction. Doubtless a sudden reverse is signified (compare Matthew 24:29-31),
expressed in terms rendered particularly appropriate by some late and well
remembered eclipse. The Fathers note here how the earth was darkened at the
Passion of our Lord.
God’s judgments, long threatened, will take the incredulous and unbelieving
by surprise at last. The antediluvians were no better prepared for the Flood by
their hundred and twenty years’ warning. They absorbed themselves in their work
and pleasure, and knew not till the Flood came (Matthew 24:38-39). So with the
Sodomites, warned by Lot (Genesis 19:14); and the
capture, warned by Christ (Matthew 24:33). Warning is thrown away
on unbelief, and its end is always a surprise. In this case the sun would set
at noon. The end would come untimely. In the midst of days and prosperity
suspicion even, of such an event. So with the ungodly at last, the judgment
will surprise them and look untimely, but only because their incredulity will
A Sunset at Noon (v. 9)
This language is at once prophetic and figurative. It predicts an event in the
moral world under the figure of an analogous event in the physical world.
The symbolical event is not an eclipse of the sun, which the language does
not suit, but his going down at midday; and the event symbolized is clearly
death in the midst of young life.
To all outward seeming she was just in the meridian of her life. But her sun
would never reach the west. Her end would be premature, sudden, and
tragic. As if the sun dropped in an instant beneath the horizon from mid-sky,
and the radiancy of noon gave place in that instant to the darkness of
a sky all lit with the golden glow of noon.
IS THEIR DAY. There is a natural life term to all earthly creatures. This
varies endlessly for each, between limits so far apart as a millennium and a
day. There are cheloniae that lengthen out their slow existence to centuries,
and there are insects that sport out their little life in an afternoon.
Intermediate between these widely distant limits is man with his three score
years and ten (Psalm 90:10). This period is his day. Beyond it few may
hope, and none expect, to live. To reach it even there must be normal
conditions of life within and around. This is not a long time at best, Let the
utmost diligence be used, and the work that can be done in it is not much.
Take from it the two childhoods, infancy and infirm age, and it becomes
greatly shorter still. Not more than fifty active years enter into the longest
life. On the most sanguine assumption these are the working hours of our
day of life. What we do for God and men is done while they pass. They
may not be so many, but they can scarcely be more, and if they are all given
us we may thankfully reckon that we have lived our time.
IS CUT SHORT. The normal life term is not the actual one. The
overwhelming majority never see it. When the septuagenarian has his
birthday feast, the friends of his youth are not one in ten among the guests.
From childhood till that hour they have been dropping off, and now nine-tenths
and more are gone.
Ø Many of the race die in childhood. Infant mortality is an obscure
subject. Whether from the standpoint of equity or economy, there is
much in it we cannot explain. Their death before they have transgressed
brings up the solemn mystery of original sin, and the suffering of
one for the sin of another (Romans 5:14). Then their death before
activity begins or consciousness dawns, and so apparently before they
have been used, raises the almost equally perplexing question —Is
there, so far as this life goes, a single human being made in vain?
(And to think we have 55,000,000 of them since 1973 – WHAT
Ø Many more die before or at maturity. They are healthy till growth is
almost complete. The body has acquired the strength and hardness
needed for the burden of life’s work. The mind has received the
training which fits it to solve the problems of existence, and govern
and use the body in accomplishing the highest purposes of both.
Yet just now, when the tool has been formed and tempered and
finished, it is broken before it has once been used at its best in the
more serious work of life. Here we are face to face not only with
an apparently purposeless creation, but also with what
seems an unproductive training.
Ø Many also die with their work to all appearance unfinished,
or only well begun. Their capacity is growing; their field is widening;
their influence is increasing. They are in the full swing of activity and
usefulness. Yet at the very moment when the richest fruit of their life
work is beginning to form, they are cut down — cut down, too,
where their death leaves a permanent blank, and no one is available
to take up their work. Their mysterious character and solemn interest
prepare a field for faith in the fact that:
cause,” - To kill and to make alive are Divine prerogatives. Let the sun
set where he will, the event is God’s doing.
Ø Take noon sunsets in sin. These are often untimely and far from
o Sin is war against God.. The wickedness of men is a
continual provocation of His just judgment, and therefore
an inevitable shortener of life.
o Sin is also war against the species. The wicked are hateful
and hating one another. The essential selfishness of the
corrupt heart is misanthropy in another aspect. Misanthropy,
again, is murder in its earlier stage (I John 3:15), leading on
to the other stages of it (James 4:1-2); and a dispensation of
universal murder must mean many a life cut short and many
a sun untimely set.
o Sin does violence to our cure nature The normal life of the
body is a pure one; the direction of appetites only to their
legitimate objects, and to these in the strictest moderation.
This is obviously the royal road to health and length of days.
Perversion of appetite on the one hand, and excessive
indulgence of it on the other, do violence to the natural order.
If the life is impure, in fact, and as it is impure, it is unnatural,
and therefore likely to be short. There is no “fleshly lust” which
does not “war against the life” (I Peter 2:11) of soul and body
both. Of course, the operation of second causes, such as the
laws of reciprocity and health, is not something distinct
from the Divine agency, but the instrumentality it employs.
The laws of nature are simply God’s executive, the hands
and fingers which weave the threads of His purpose into
the web of His work.
Ø Take noon sunsets in grace. These also are not unknown. The good
die young. Sometimes they die through the sin of others, sometimes in
consequence of sin of their own. These, however, are the occasions
only of their removal. The reason of it lies deep in the purposes of God.
o Some are taken away from the evil to come. (Isaiah 57:1.) The
young Ahijah, “because in him was found some good thing
toward the Lord God of
was carried peacefully to his rest before the falling of the
provoked disaster (I Kings 14:10-14). The good King Josiah
also, because he repudiated
and mourned the sin of
“was gathered to his grave in peace, that his eyes did not
see all the evil which God
(II Kings 22:19-20). In many a family, on whose
survivors the shock of a great calamity falls, the previous
removal of some gentle spirit from their circle becomes
intelligible as a merciful folding of the tender lamb before
the crash of the nearing storm.
o Some are taken away because their work, although
apparently only beginning, is really done. Not every man’s
life work can be identified, during its progress, by either
his cotemporaries or himself. Sometimes it is incidental,
aside from his line of effort, and altogether unconscious.
A child lives to awake by its endearing ways a parent’s
sleeping heart. A youth lives by the tokens of early grace
to bring brothers and sisters to look at the unseen, and
the life for God. A man lives to carry some movement
over its crisis, which, in its after stages, will require a
different hand. If we only knew “the end of the Lord,
that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”
(James 5:11), we should see that it is always attained
before the means are discontinued; that he never breaks a
tool till its work is done.
o Some can only do their work by dying. The errand of
Bathsheba’s first child into the world was by its death
to bring David to his knees and a right mind (II Samuel
12:18-23). And how many an early death in a careless
family has been that family’s salvation! Even the minister
cut down in his early prime, with a life of usefulness
opening out, as it seems, before him, may preach a sermon
by his death more potent for good than all he could
have said alive. Untimely death may even in certain cases
anticipate the loss of influence for good. We know men
of influence in the Church who in their erratic age are
undoing the good they were honored to do in their
earlier years. Such men have only lived too long. If their
sun had set at noon their life work would have been far
greater, humanly speaking, than it will now be. Looking
as we do at the surface of things, and blind to their
deeper relations and far-reaching issues, we are not in a
position (and never are – CY – 2013) to criticize the
providential arrangements of God. To believe that there
is order in the seeming tangle, and ultimate and wider
good behind the present partial evil, is the attitude of
that enlightened faith which argues that Infinite Wisdom,
omnipotent on the one hand and benevolent on the other,
being at the helm of things, will steer in character.
10 “And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into
lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and
baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an
only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.” I will turn your feasts into
mourning, etc. (compare v. 3; ch.5:16-17; Lamentations 5:15; Hosea 2:11).
Sackcloth. A token of mourning (I Kings 20:31; Isaiah 15:3; Joel 1:8, 13).
Baldness. On shaving the head as a sign of mourning, note Make thee bald –
of Micah 1:16 - The Hebrew word implies “to make the back of the head
bald.” Micah addressee Zion as the mother of the children who are to be
led into captivity. Shaving the head in sign of mourning seems to have been
retained as a traditional custom in spite of the prohibition of the Law
against certain forms which the practice assumed (see Leviticus 19:27;
Deuteronomy 14:1; and for the actual custom, compare Isaiah 3:24;
Jeremiah 7:29; and the note here, on v.10). Compare Job 1:20;
Jeremiah 16:6; 47:5; Ezekiel 7:18). I will make it; Ponam eam
(Vulgate); sc. terram. But it is better to take it to refer to the whole state
of things mentioned before. The mourning for an only son was proverbially
severe, like that of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:12-16; compare Jeremiah 6:26;
Zechariah 12:10). That is bitter mourning indeed. The loss of an
only one is total loss, including our all. It is irreparable loss, for the dead
cannot come back. It is loss not physical merely, nor sentimental merely,
but loss wringing the heart strings, and leaving us with the very jewel of
life torn from its setting. Such is the mourning in which UNFORGIVEN
SIN is expiated at last. It is heart agony, unrelieved, unmitigated, and never to
end. “Son, remember” (Luke 16;25); “There shall be wailing and
gnashing of teeth”(Matthew 13:42,50); “Their worm dieth not, and
their fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:46). And the end thereof as a bitter
day. The calamity should not wear itself out; IT SHOULD BE BITTER
UNTO THE END. Septuagint, Qh>somai… tou<v me>t aujtou~ wJv hJme>ran
ojdu>nhv – thaesomai…..tous met Autou hos haemeran odunaes - “I will
make… those with him as a day of anguish.”
11 “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a
famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but
of hearing the words of the LORD:” This shall be the bitterness at the end;
they had rejected the warnings of the prophets (ch.7:12-13); now the Word of
God and the light of His teaching should fail them. Famine. When the light of God’s
revelation is withdrawn, their longing for the Word, however sore and
great, shall remain unsatisfied, like that of Saul (I Samuel 28:6). They
may grieve like the psalmist, “We see not our signs; there is no more any
prophet; neither is there among us any that knoweth how long” (Psalm
74:9); but it will be in vain (see a similar punishment threatened, Lamentations 2:9;
Ezekiel 7:26; Micah 3:7).
A Famine of the Word of God (v. 11)
There are many blessings which are not suitably valued until they are
withdrawn and missed. It is so with bodily health, with political liberty,
with domestic happiness. And the prophet assumes that it will be found the
same with the Word of God. When it is possessed — when the Scriptures
are read and the Gospel is heard — it is too often the case that the privilege is
unappreciated. But what must it be TO BE SHUT OFF FROM ALL
COMMUNICATION WITH HEAVEN! And such, it was foretold, was to
be the lot of
WATER TO THE BODY. Man’s bodily constitution is such that food and
drink are a necessity to health and even to life; to be even partially starved
is to be disabled and to be rendered wretched. Even so, the truth, the
righteousness, the love of God, are the necessary aliment of THE
SPIRITUAL NATURE. “Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
(Matthew 4:4). Fellowship with God by His Word is
INDISPENSABLY NECESSARY in order that a high, holy, and
acceptable service may be rendered.
DETRIMENTAL TO SPIRITUAL LIFE AND WELL BEING.
Ø If the knowledge of God Himself be withheld, there is for man NO
SOLUTION of all the mysteries of the universe, the mysteries of his
Ø If the Law of God be concealed, there is NO SUFFICIENT
GUIDE THROUGH HUMAN LIFE.
Ø If the gospel of Christ be withheld, there is NO PEACE FOR
THE CONSCIENCE, NO SUFFICIENT INSPIRATION
FOR DUTY, NO ASSURANCE OF IMMORTALITY.
Ø If revelation be denied, there is NO POWER, NO
PRINCIPLE SUFFICIENT TO GUIDE AND TO
GOVERN HUMAN SOCIETY. (Vide ‘The Eclipse of Faith,’
by the late Henry Rogers, where a chapter “The Blank Bible,”
sets forth the consequences which may be supposed to follow
upon the disappearance of the Holy Scriptures.) (For an
account of this see Amos 8 – The Blank Bible by Henry
Rogers – this web site – Very Good - CY – 2013)
THESE CONSIDERATIONS BE INDUCED TO STUDY IT AND TO
USE IT ARIGHT. Neglect of the Divine Word may not in our case entail
the actual deprivation foretold in the text. But it certainly will entail an
indifference and insensibility to the truth, which will be equally injurious
and disastrous. Now the Word is ours; let us listen to it with reverence and
faith; let us obey it with alacrity and diligence. “Walk in the light while ye
have the light, lest darkness come upon you.” (John 12:35)
12 “And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to
the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD,
and shall not find it.” They shall wander; literally, they shall reel. The
verse implies THE EAGERNESS OF THEIR UNSATISFIED DESIRE
which seeks everywhere for the revelation WHICH FOR THEIR SIN
IS DENIED THEM. From sea to sea. This expression is taken, by Keil and
others, to mean here “all the world over,” as Psalm 72:8; Micah 7:12;
Zechariah 9:10; but it is probably used by the prophet in a more restricted sense,
as it would not be natural for him to refer in the first place to the seeking of the
words of God beyond the limits of the
means from the Sea of Galilee or the Dead Sea to the
the north even to the east — from the north round again to the east, the
south not being mentioned, because there alone was the true worship of
God to be found, and they refused to seek it there. Of course,
according to the wide scope taken by prophecy, which is not exhausted by
one fulfillment, we may see here the fate of the Jews to the present time
hopelessly seeking Messiah and the Word of God, never finding that
which they once recklessly rejected. (They are too busy running organizations
like THE AMERICAN
make a head road in the land – CY – 2013)
13 “In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.”
This verse is parallel to the preceding. The thirst, spiritual and physical, shall affect
the fair virgins and young men — those in all the freshness, beauty, and vigor
of youth. Shall faint; literally, shall be veiled, covered, expressive of the feeling
of faintness, when the sight grows dim and a mantle of darkness drops over one
(Jonah 4:8). If the strongest thus fail, much more will the rest succumb to the
that swear by the sin of
liveth; and, The manner of
and never rise up again.” They who trusted in idols shall find no help in them.
They who swear by. Those who reverence and worship, as Deuteronomy 6:13;
10:20. The sin of
9:21; Hosea 8:5-6). Septuagint, kata< tou~ iJlasmou~ Samarei>av – kata
Tou ilasmou Samareias
- “by the propitiation
O Dan, liveth; - i.e. as thy god liveth, by the life of thy god. This was the other
calf erected at
Dan, near the source of the
12:29). The manner
bhrsabee> - Zae ho Theos sou
baersabee - “Thy god, O
Some commentators, ancient and modem, think that the actual road which led to
“By the life of
the way to
“way,” as oJdo<v – hodos – way - is used in Acts (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23) for mode of
worship, or form of religion, the ritual, or use of the service there. (For
hundred and forty-four miles. They shall fall - . This was partially
fulfilled by the destruction of the
its inhabitants; and its truth to this day is demonstrated by the fate of the Jews
WHO WILL NOT RECEIVE JESUS AS THE PROMISED MESSIAH!
The Scarcity that Swallows the Residue of Good (vs. 11-14)
To waste is to want, in things temporal and spiritual alike. Abuse is
inevitably followed by deprivation, and the prodigal is one who is
purveying for himself a SUIT OF RAGS. God caps our “will not” with
His “SHALL NOT” and the rude hand of change soon spills the cup of good
we have refused to taste. Under the operation of this law the nation of Israel
would now come. They had wasted the Word of God, neglecting it, despising it,
and at last forbidding it to be spoken. (Dear Reader, can you not see this
result. It would, be taken from them in anger, and that at a time when even
their inappreciation would long for it as for life itself. Observe here:
thirst for water, BUT TO HEAR THE WORDS OF JEHOVAH. This is
A NEW FORM OF DISASTER and one that is specially severe. This
follows from the fact that:
Ø It is in the spiritual sphere. “Fear not them which kill the body.”
(Luke 12:4). IT IS THE LEAST PART OF US. Whether it
live or die, enjoy life or suffer, is a question involving trivial interests,
and these during a limited period. THE SOUL IS THE MAN AND
HIS WELL BEING; next to God’s glory, the great interest. FOR
ITS INJURY THERE IS NO COMPENSATION, FOR ITS
LOSS, NO PARALLEL! When it suffers, the worst has happened.
Ø It is due to the loss of a necessary of spiritual life. The deepest need
of humanity is a communication from God. “This is life eternal, to
know thee the only true God” (John 17:3). Hence the Word
which God speaks is the Word of life. Apart from it SPIRITUAL
LIFE IS IMPOSSIBLE.
o It is the revelation of spiritual things. God and His will and
way; the soul, its duty and destiny, — are subjects on which it
alone throws adequate light. The light of nature makes known
the existence of God, and some features of His character. But
its twilight, whilst touching here and there a mountain top,
leaves all the valleys in darkness. After trying four
thousand years, “the world by wisdom knew not God,”
(I Corinthians 1:21) and did not because it COULD NOT!
In all saving relations Christ is the Revelation of the
Father (Hebrews 1:1; John 1:18), and SCRIPTURE
ALONE REVEALS CHRIST (John 5:39), and the way
of life THROUGH HIM.
o It is the vehicle of spiritual power. “The power of God unto
salvation” (Romans 1:16) is Paul’s synonym for the gospel.
Spiritual energy, no doubt, inheres in the Holy Spirit, but He
operates only through or with the truth It carries:
§ the power by which life is given (I Peter 1:23),
§ by which life functions are discharged (Romans 10:17),
§ by which the life principle is sustained (Jeremiah 15:16),
§ by which growth is promoted (I Peter 2:2).
In fine, the “engrafted Word,” received with meekness,
“is able to save our souls” (James 1:21). The power that begins,
that sustains, that develops, that matures religious life is a power
linked inseparably to the Word. That any saving grace is attainable
in the absence of it is a thing impossible of proof, and
which all Scripture testimony bears against.
o It is the assurance of spiritual good. “We are saved by hope,”
and it is through patience and comfort of the Scriptures that
this heavenly candle is lighted in the soul (Romans 8:24; 15:4).
The Scriptures reveal the heavenly blessings in store, and thus
supply the warp and woof out of which the WEB OF
COMFORT IS WOVEN. What we shall have, and that we
shall have it, is the burden of the Word of promise, which,
making the rich FUTURE SURE makes thus THE
PRESENT GLAD AND STRONG. Poor indeed would
man be if there were no such word to twine the heart’s-ease
when his brow is wrung in anguish and distress. To Israel,
sinful but penitent, God elsewhere, allotting the bread of
adversity, promises, “Thine eyes shall see thy teachers,” etc.
(Isaiah 30:20-21). This is calamity, but with compensation.
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that
cometh out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4); and with
God, their Guide and Counselor, no scarcity of bread could
make them altogether wretched. But, vice versa, the
proposition will not hold. (Without God, man is designed
that no amount of bread could keep him from being
wretched – CY – 2013). For the loss of the Word
THERE IS NO OFFSET POSSIBLE! The impoverishment
is central and radical, and all hedging is out of the question.
Ø This loss at a time when it would be most keenly felt. “The Word
of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.”
(I Samuel 3:1). The mere fact of the sudden withdrawal of the
Word would create an immediate demand for it. In this case the
demand would rest on a practical necessity. Crushed
by oppressors, hearing only of gods more cruel than those who
make them, how will they hunger and thirst for any tidings of One
who cares for the weary and heavy laden?
the penalty suggests some special circumstances in the provoking crime.
One of these would be:
Ø Extreme heinousness. “There is a sin unto death” (I John 5:16).
It will never be forsaken. It precludes the idea of penitence. It
involves the perversion, or rather inversion, of character, which
“calls evil good, and good evil” (And there are woes attached
(Isaiah 5:20 – CY - 2013). There is nothing for it but the
extreme penalty of being LET ALONE (Hosea 4:17). And even
that will be inflicted. Saul had provoked it when “God answered
him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets”
(I Samuel 28:6). Israel had provoked it when God said to His servant,
“Thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover” (Ezekiel
3:26; 7:26). When a man sins on principle, he is not far off “a famine
of hearing the words of the Lord.”
Ø Failure of other judgments to turn. “Why should ye be stricken
any more? ye will revolt more and more” (Isaiah 1:5). Other
judgments had been for reformation and had failed; this would be
FOR DESTRUCTION – THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE LEFT.
When “cure” is out of the question, what else is to be done
Ø Chafing under and rejecting the Word itself. Israel had heard
more of the words of the Lord than they wished. They had made
an effort to get rid of them, or some of them, by forbidding His
prophets to speak His message. More of the Word to men in that
mind would have been thrown away (When I first became aware
of the account of the she bears and kids/teenagers of II Kings
2:23-25, I felt sorry for them until I realized that if they had
grown up, the would have been just like their fathers – CY –
2013) and God never wastes his gifts. If we shut our eyes, He
will take away the light. If we close our ears, “the voice of the
charmer” (Psalm 58:5) will soon be silent. The men who will not
have the words of the Lord shall be treated to A DISPENSATION
the righteous often suffer with the wicked. Yet here there are persons
against whom the shock is especially directed. They are:
Ø Those who put their trust in idols. The idolater would
naturally feel the extreme of dislike to the Word of God,
and adopt the strongest measures against His prophets. He
was therefore in that moral condition which needed, and that
opposing attitude which provoked, the heaviest stroke.
God will not give His “praise to graven images” (Isaiah 42:8),
and He will give the man who trusts in them an early opportunity
of discovering whether they will suffice for his needs. The more
unreservedly he has chosen them, the more entirely will he be
left to them.
Ø The young and buoyant among these. (v. 13.) Youth and hope are
hardest to overcome. There is a buoyancy in them, and a recuperative
energy, that rises above calamity to which the old and broken would
succumb. Yet even these would not avail. Physical suffering, breaking
down even youth and vigor, mental suffering, overwhelming the most
buoyant hopefulness, were among the enginery of the wrath of God.
producing them is stern (v. 12).
Ø They seek the Word in vain. It is sought as a last resource. (when
in reality, it is to be sought first – Matthew 6:33 – CY – 2013). In the
extremity of trouble, and the failure of other help, men turn perforce to
God. And then the quest is vain. It is made too late, and from a
motive to which there is no promise given (Proverbs 1:24-28).
It is sought in an extremity, as the lesser evil of two; and in abject fear,
in which there is no element of loyalty or love; and, thus sought,
cannot in the nature of things be found. The time for God to give it
has passed, because the time has passed in which men might have
received it to any effect of spiritual good. (Today is the only
day acceptable to God – Tomorrows never come – See How
to be Saved - # 5 – This web site – CY – 2013).
Ø They faint in the search. “They shall reel from sea to sea”
(v.12). The word [reel] is used of the reeling of drunkards, of the
swaying to and fro of trees in the wind, of the quivering of the lips
of one agitated, and then of the unsteady seeking of persons
bewildered, LOOKING FOR WHAT THEY KNOW NOT
TO FIND! It is characteristic that search is made everywhere
but in the South, where alone the true worship of God was, and
where, if anywhere, His Word might have been found. Wrong
seeking is wrong all round, and so is of necessity in vain. It wearies
itself out in aimless blind exertion, made out of season, and vitiated
by the very ills that drive men to make it.
Ø They fall and never rise. God will “make an end.” The time for
it had come. (And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea
and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And swear
by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and
the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things
that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein,
THAT THERE SHOULD BE TIME NO LONGER.” Revelation
10:5-6). Sin had reached a climax. Evil character had reached a final
fixity. Calamity had ceased to improve them. The tardy anxiety for a
Divine communication meant simply that every other resource was
exhausted. “Cut it down” is the one process of husbandry for which
the tree is fitted. (Luke 13:7)
There is a famine of the Word on
in part has happened” to them, in that, “when Moses is read,
the veil is on their heart.” (II Corinthians 3:14-16)
This practically amounts to the removal of the Word. It is a
sealed book to them — sealed by their blindness to its
spiritual sense. Not heathen ignorance is more effectually cut
off from the knowledge of the truth than Jewish prejudice and
hate. (Many Jews are a part of the American Civil Liberties
o It rests on them for the same reason for which it came.
Persistently, blindly, bitterly, they rejected the truth of the
gospel. They made it evident that they would not have it
(Acts 13:46). And so sadly, reluctantly, but sternly, it was
taken from them. “Lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” (The
wonderful result, of which we are blessed to be a part is:
“Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation
Of God is sent unto the Gentiles, AND THAT THEY
WILL HEAR IT” (Ibid. ch. 28:28). When that
Word was spoken,
DARKNESS IT LOVED. In that chosen darkness
THEY STILL GROPE, AND WIL till the latter-day
o It will give place one day to a period of plenty. “God
hath not cast off His people which He foreknew”
(Romans 11:2). There is a remnant to which the promise
belongs, and with which it will be kept (Ibid. ch.9:27; 11:5).
“When it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken
away” (II Corinthians 3:16). The period, extent, and
occasion of this turning are not revealed, but it will be the
crowning triumph of the “GLORIOUS GRACE” of God.
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