Amos 9

 

 

The fifth vision (vs. 1-10) displays the Lord standing by the altar and commanding

the destruction of the temple (v. 1). No one shall escape this judgment, flee whither

he will (vs. 2-4); for GOD IS ALMIGHTY (vs. 5, 6). Their election shall not save

the guilty Israelites; still they shall not be utterly destroyed (vs. 7-10).

 

1 “I saw the LORD standing upon the altar: and He said, Smite the

lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the

head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword:

he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of

them shall not be delivered.”  I saw the Lord. It is now no longer a mere

emblem that the prophet sees, but actual destruction. He beholds the majesty of God,

as Isaiah 6:1; Ezekiel 10:1. Upon (or, by) the altar; i.e. the altar of

burnt offering at Jerusalem, Where, it is supposed, the whole nation,

Israelites and Judaeans, are assembled for worship. It is natural, at first

sight, to suppose that the sanctuary of the northern kingdom is the scene of

this vision, as the destruction of idolatry is here emblemized; but more

probably Bethel is not meant, for there were more altars than one there

(ch. 3:14), and one cannot imagine the Lord standing by the symbol

of the calf worship. Smite. The command is mysteriously addressed to the

destroying angel (compare Exodus 12:13; II  Samuel 24:15-17; II  Kings 19:35).

The lintel of the door; to< iJlasth>rion-  to ilastaerion - (Septuagint);

cardinem (Vulgate); better, the chapiter (Zephaniah 2:14); i.e. the

capital of the columns. The word kaphtor is used in Exodus 25:31, etc.,

for the knop or ornament on the golden candlesticks; here the idea is that

the temple receives a blow on the top of the pillars which support it

sufficient to cause its overthrow. The Septuagint  rendering arises from a

confusion of two Hebrew words somewhat similar. The posts; the

thresholds; i.e. the base. The knop and the threshold imply the total

destruction from summit to base. Cut them in the head, all of them;

rather, break them [the capital and the thresholds] to pieces upon the

 head of all. Let the falling building cover them with its ruins. The Vulgate

renders, avaritia enim in capite omnium, confounding two words. Jerome

had the same Hebrew reading, as he translates, quaetus eorum, avaritia, as

if giving the reason for the punishment. The overthrown temple presents a

forcible picture of the destruction of the theocracy. The last of them

(ch.4:2); the remnant; any who escape the fall of the temple. He

that fleeth, etc. All hope of escape shall be cut off.

 

We have here a vivid picture of a dreadful subject. The prophet makes a

new departure in his mode of figuration. In other visions we saw the

judgments of Heaven painted in terror-moving forms; the mighty forces of

nature let loose and working destruction on sinners of men. Here we see,

not judgments merely, but THE JUDGE HIMSELF,  active for destruction,

fulminating His thunders, brandishing His two-edged sword, and spreading

devastation where His anger rests. It is true all natural forces are His

instruments, and their results His work. But they do not so reveal

themselves to our sense. It is Scripture that shows us an omnipotent God in

the forces of nature, and in every disaster they work a judgment from His hand.

 

2 “Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them;

though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:”

The thought of v. 1 is further expanded, the notion of flight being, as Jerome says,

dissected. For dig, the Septuagint reads, “be hidden;” but the expression implies

a breaking through (Ezekiel 8:8). Hell (Sheol) is supposed to be in the inmost

part of the earth (compare Psalm 139:7-8; Obadiah 1:4). Take them. To receive

punishment.

 

3 “And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will

search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my

sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent,

and he shall bite them:” The top of Carmel.  Among the woods and thickets.

There are no caves on the summit of Carmel. “Amos tells us that in his day the

top of it was a place to hide in; nor has it changed its character in this respect ... I

would not have been prompted to place ‘the top of Carmel’ third in such a

series of hiding places, yet I can fully appreciate the comparison from my

own experience. Ascending from the south, we followed a wild, narrow

wady overhung by trees, bushes, and tangled creepers, through which my

guide thought we could get up to the top; but it became absolutely

impracticable, and we were obliged to find our way back again. And even

after we reached the summit, it was so rough and broken in some places,

and the thorn bushes so thickset and sharp, that our clothes were torn and

our hands and faces severely lacerated; nor could I see my guide at times

ten steps ahead of me. From such biblical intimations, we may believe that

Carmel was not very thickly inhabited” (Thomson, ‘The Land and the

Book,’ Central Palestine, p. 237, etc.). Other writers speak of the

occurrence of caves and deep valleys in the Carmel range. In the bottom

of the sea. Both this and heaven (v. 2) are impracticable hiding places,

and are used poetically to show the absolute impossibility of escape.

Serpent (nachash, elsewhere called leviathan and tannin, Isaiah 27:1),

some kind of sea monster supposed to be venomous. Dr. Pusey mentions

that certain poisonous hydrophidae are found in the Indian and Pacific

Oceans. and may probably infest the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.

 

4 “And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will

I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine

eyes upon them for evil, and not for good.” Captivity itself, in which state

men generally, at any rate, are secure of their lives, shall not save them from the

sword (Leviticus 26:33; Deuteronomy 28:65-67 – the murder of  captives

was not unusual). The prophet looks forward to the Assyrian deportation.

For evil. The people are indeed subject to God’s special attention, but only in

order to punish them (Psalm 34:15-16; Jeremiah 44:11).

 

God’s eyes follow the wicked.  His “eyes are upon the righteous” (Psalm 34:15-16)

but on the wicked they rest in a very different sense.  Divine omniscience is an

uncomfortable fact which the wicked try not to realize. “They seek deep to hide

 their counsel from the Lord” (Isaiah 29:15).  Their whole aim is to get away from

Him; to be able to think thoughts He shall not know, and cherish desires He shall not

sift, and do works He shall not observe (John 3:20; Isaiah 40:27). But the project is

futile (Jeremiah 23:24; Psalm 33:13-14; Proverbs 15:3). GOD IS EVERYWHERE,

SEES EVERYTHING AND FILLS HEAVEN AND EARTH!   No dispensation

in inadvertency is possible. God will not ignore. He cannot be inattentive.  Events of

whatever kind, and everywhere, are infallibly submitted to His cognizance as the

movements of the clouds above are faithfully mirrored in the glassy lake. He fills

all things, and ALL THAT HAPPENS, HAPPENS IN HIS PRESENCE!

“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight:  but all

things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have

to do.”  (Hebrews 4:13)

 

God is very merciful in warning the sinner.  He makes no secret of His attitude and

way in reference to sin. Both are made known to those whom they most concern.

This course is merciful as it gives the sinner an advantage. He sees the moral quality

of sin as hateful in God’s sight, and its inevitable result as provoking His hostile action.

He can neither sin ignorantly nor incur the penalty unawares. Forewarned, it

is the sinner’s fault if he is not forearmed.

 

God’s warnings are moral and are designed to deter from sin, and so to save sinners

from sin’s penal consequences. The thought that it is under God’s eye ought to make

sin, more difficult if not impossible!  The knowledge that it ends inevitably in ruin

should do much to stay the transgressor’s hand.  God’s warnings are judicial!

Sin done consciously under God’s  eye, and deliberately in defiance of His wrath,

is ESPECIALLY GUILTY!   The warning which being heeded might have deterred

from sinning will greatly aggravate the guilt of it if disregarded. The truth will be, as we

treat it, a buoy lifting us out of the sinful sea, or a millstone sinking us deeper

in its devouring waters.

 

5  And the Lord GOD of hosts is He that toucheth the land, and it

shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise

up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of

Egypt.”  To confirm the threats just uttered, the prophet dwells upon

God’s omnipotence, of which he gives instances. He who will do this is

THE LORD GOD OF HOSTS!  There is no copula in the Hebrew here.

(So ch. 4:13; 5:8.) This title, Jehovah Elohim Zebaoth, represents God not only

as Ruler of the heavenly bodies, but as THE MONARCH  of a multitude of

heavenly spirits who execute His will, worship Him in His abiding place,

 and are attendants and witnesses of His glory. Shall melt;  saleu>wn –-

saleuon - (Septuagint); compare Psalm 46:6; 97:5; Micah 1:4; Nahum 1:5.

The expression denotes the destructive effects of the judgments of God.

Shall mourn. The last clauses of the verse are a repetition of ch. 8:8, with

some slight variation.

 

6 “It is He that buildeth His stories in the heaven, and hath founded His

troop in the earth; He that calleth for the waters of the sea, and

poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is His

name.”  Stories; ajna>basin - anabasin - (Septuagint) – margin spheres;

ascensionem (Vulgate); upper chambers, or the stages by which is the ascent

to the highest heavens (compare Deuteronomy 10:14; I Kings 8:27; Psalm 104:3).

His troop (aguddah); vault. The word is used for “the bonds” of the yoke in

Isaiah 58:6; for “the bunch” of hyssop in Exodus 12:22. So the

Vulgate here renders fasciculum suum, with the notion that the stories or

chambers just mentioned are bound together to connect heaven and earth.

But the clause means, God hath founded the vault or firmament of heaven

upon (not in) the earth, where His throne is placed, and whence He sends

the rain. The Septuagint renders, th<n ejpaggeli>an aujtou~ - taen

epaggelian autou - “his promise.”  So the Syriac. The waters of the sea.

The reference is to the Flood (ch. 5:8; Genesis 7:4, 11).

 

7 “Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of

Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the

land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians

from Kir?”  Israel’s election to be God’s people should not save them,

unless their conduct corresponded with God’s choice. If they obeyed not,

they were no better in His eyes than the heathen, their delivery from Egypt

had no more significance than the migration of pagan nations. Here is a

contrast to ch.6:1-2. The children of Israel were now no dearer

than the children of the Ethiopians (Cushites). The Cushites are

introduced as being descendants of the wicked Ham, and black in

complexion (as Jeremiah 13:23) -  The Philipstines from Caphtor; from

Cappadocia (Septuagint and Vulgate). This rendering is

mistaken. The immigration spoken of took place before the Exodus (see

Deuteronomy 2:23; Jeremiah 47:4); and Caphtor is either Crete (see

Dillman on Genesis 10:14) or the coast land of the Delta, which was

occupied from an early period by Phoenician colonists, and thus came to be

known to the Egyptians as Keft ur, or ‘greater Phoenicia, Keft being the

Egyptian name of Phoenicia. Medieval Jewish writers identified it with Damiette.

The Syrians (Arum, Hebrew) from Kir; tou<v Su>rouv ejk bo>qrou

Tous Surous ek bothrou -  the Syrians out .of the ditch” (Septuagint); Syros

 de Cyrene (Vulgate); see note on ch.1:5. Aram here probably means the

Damascenes, Damascus shortly before the time of Moses having been

occupied by a powerful body of immigrants from Armenia.

 

Acts done because of a spiritual relation existing lose their meaning

when it is broken off. “Have I not brought Israel,” etc.? They might think

that, after bringing them out of Egypt, God could never disown them,

however unfilial and unfaithful. But had not the circumstances of their

idolatry and corruption altered the case? Theirs was not the only exodus.

He had brought “the Philistines out of Caphtor, and the Syrians out of Kir;”

yet these nations were aliens, and to be destroyed (ch.1:5). If Israel

conformed itself to these in character and way, then Israel’s exodus would

lose its significance, and be no more than events of a like kind in their

distant past. What the father did for the son is no binding precedent for the

case of the prodigal.

 

8 “Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom,

and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will

not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD.”

The sinful kingdom. The kingdom of all Israel and Judah, the

same as the house of Jacob just below, though a different fate awaits this,

regarded as the covenant nation, whose are the promises. Destroy it, etc.,

as was threatened (Deuteronomy 6:15). Saving that. In spite of the

destruction of the wicked people, God’s promises hold good, and there is

still a remnant who shall be saved (Jeremiah 30:11).

 

9 “For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among

all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least

grain fall upon the earth.” For, lo! He explains how and why the whole

nation is not destroyed. I will sift. Israel is to be dispersed among the nations,

tried and winnowed among them by affliction and persecution, that the evil may

fall to the ground and perish, and the good be preserved. The word rendered

sift implies “to shake to and fro;” and this shaking shall show who are the

true Israelites and who are the false, who retain their faith and cleave to the

Lord under all difficulties, and who lose their hold of true religion and

assimilate themselves to the heathen among whom they dwell. These last

shall not return from captivity. The least grain; Hebrew, tseror, “pebble;”

so the Vulgate, lapillus; Septuagint, su>ntrimma suntrimma -  fragment.

It is used in II Samuel 17:13 of small stones in a building; here as hard grain in

distinction from loose chaff . The solid grain, the good wheat, are the

righteous, who, when the chaff and dust are cast away, are stored in the

heavenly garner, prove themselves of the election, and inherit the promises

(compare Isaiah 6:13; Ezekiel 20:38; Matthew 3:12). Fall upon

the earth; i.e. perish, be lost (I Samuel 26:20).

 

God’s people shall be sifted out of the mass. In these graphic words the

righteous minority are corn, and the corrupt masses the chaff. The nations

are the sieve, and the Divine judgments the shaking of it. The result is not

destruction of the grain, but separation between it and the chaff.  In every

quarter of the world, and in well nigh every nation in every quarter, Jews

have been found. The whole earth is, as it were, one vast sieve in the hands

of God, in which Israel is shaken from one end to the other.... The chaff

and dust would be blown away by the air;… but no solid corn, NOT

ONE GRAIN should fall to the earth. So in other cases. GOD’S

JUDGMENTS WINNOW MEN discerning clearly between clean and unclean.

(Malachi 3:17-18).  When the storm is over, the seaworthy vessels are easy of

identification, for they alone survive.

 

10 “All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The

evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.”  If any are to be saved, it will not be

the sinners; they need not flatter themselves that their willful blindness shall secure

them. The evil shall not overtake. They lulled themselves into a false security,

and shut their ears against the warnings of the prophets; but that would

avail them nothing. Prevent; come upon suddenly, surprise.

 

Sin may be forgiven, BUT IMPENITENCE NEVER!

 

The folly of Self-Confidence (v. 10)

 

The conduct of these Israelites, and their fate, may well stand as a beacon

of warning to all who have heard the Word of God with indifference and

unbelief.

 

  • THE REASONS WHICH SHOULD PROMPT THE SINNER TO

CONCERN.

 

Ø      The voice of his own conscience assures him of guilt and ill desert.

Ø      The warnings of Scripture should not be lost upon him, and revelation

abounds with such warnings uttered upon the highest authority.

Ø      The examples of the impenitent who have been overtaken by judgment

and destruction enforce the faithful admonitions of Holy Writ.

 

  • THE EXPLANATIONS OF THE SINNER’S SELF-CONFIDENCE

AND PRESUMPTION. It is unquestionable that there are many who say,

“The evil shall not reach nor overtake us.” How can this be accounted for?

 

Ø      The voice of conscience may be silenced or unheeded.

Ø      The warnings of Scripture may be utterly disregarded.

Ø      The sinner may think rather of those instances in which judgment has

been delayed than of those in which it has been hastened and fulfilled.

 

  • THE WISDOM AND DUTY OF IMMEDIATE REPENTANCE.

 

Ø      God’s Word will certainly be verified.

Ø      No human power can save the impenitent.

Ø      THE TIME OF PROBATION IS SHORT  and may nearly

HAVE EXPIRED!  (The theme of this web site is:

THE TIME IS SHORT – CY – 2013)

 

 

 

 

Vs. 11-15 contain the epilogue which tells of the establishment of the NEW

KINGDOM and THE REIGN OF THE MESSIAH.  The kingdom

shall embrace all nations (vs. 11-12), and they shall be enriched with

superabundant spiritual blessins (vs. 13-14), and SHALL ENDURE

FOR EVER!  (V. 15).

 

11 “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and

close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I

will build it as in the days of old:”  In that day. When the judgment has fallen.

The passage is quoted by James (Acts 15:16), mostly from the Greek, in

confirmation of the doctrine that the Church of God is open to all, whether

Jew or Gentile. The tabernacle (sukkah): hut, or tent (as Jonah 4:5);

no palace now, but fallen to low esthete, a “little house” (ch.6:11).

The prophet refers probably to the fall of the kingdom of David in the ruin

wrought by the Chaldeans. Interpreted spiritually, the passage shadows

forth the universal Church of Christ, raised from that of the Jews. Pusey

notes that in the Talmud Christ is called “the Son of the fallen.” The

breaches. The house of David had sustained breaches under the hands of

Jeroboam and Joash, and in the severance of the ten tribes at the hands of

Assyrians and Chaldees;

 

  • these should be repaired.
  • unity should be restored,
  • the captives should return, and
  •  another kingdom should be established under another David,

THE MESSIAH!

 

Judah’s temporary prosperity under Uzziah and Hezekiah would have been a

totally inadequate fulfillment of the prophecy. Prophecies of the temporal and

spiritual are, as usual, blended together and run up into each other. His

ruins. The destroyed places of David! will build it; Hebrew, her. The

whole Jewish Church (compare Jeremiah 31:4; 33:7). As in the days of

old. The days of David and Solomon, the most flourishing times of the

kingdom (II Samuel 7:11-12,16). In the expression, “of old,” Hebrew,

of eternity,” may lurk an idea of the length of time that must elapse before

the fulfillment of the promise. Septuagint, jAnoikodomh>sw aujth<n kaqw<v

aiJ hJme>rai tou~ aijw~nov Anoikodomaeso autaen kathos hai

haemerai tou aionos -  I will build it up as are the days of eternity.”

This seems to signify that the building is TO LAST FOR EVER!

 

12 “That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the

heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth

this.” That they (the true children of Israel) may possess the

remnant of Edom; i.e. those who were nearest in blood, and yet most

hostile of all men. David had subdued the Edomites (II Samuel 8:14;

I Kings 11:16), and Amaziah had inflicted a great slaughter upon them

(II Kings 14:7); but later they recovered their independence (II Kings 16:6,

where Edomites should be read for “Syrians;” II Chronicles 28:17),

and were actively hostile against the Jews. It was on this account that they were

emphatically denounced by Obadiah. “The remnant” is mentioned because,

according to the threat in ch.1:11-12, they would be punished so that only a

few would escape. The Septuagint gives ,[Opwv ejkzhth>swsin

oiJkata>loipoi tw<n ajnqrw>pwn, [to<n ku>rion – Alexandrian]

Hopos ekzaetaesosin hoikataloipoi ton anthropon [ton kurion]

Alexandrian], “That the remnant of men may earnestly seek the Lord,”

regarding Edom as a representative of aliens from God, and altering the

text to make the sense more generally intelligible, This version, which reads

“Adam,” men, instead of Edom,” is endorsed by James. Which are

called by my Name; “over whom my Name hath been called”

(Septuagint). This is closer to the Hebrew; but the meaning is much the

same, viz. all those who are dedicated to God and belong to Him being by

faith incorporated into the true Israel. (For the phrase, compare II Samuel

12:28; Isaiah 4:1; and to illustrate the idea, refer to Deuteronomy 28:10;

Isaiah 44:5; Psalm 87:5-6.) The Messianic kingdom shall be

established in order that SALVATION MAY BE EXTENDED

TO ALL NATIONS WHO EMBRACE IT.   Saith the Lord; is the

saying of Jehovah. This is added to show the immutability of the promise.

The Covenant-God Himself hath predicted it.

 

 

The Rebuilding of the Waste Places (vs. 11-12)

 

“God hath not cast away His people, which He foreknew” (Romans 11:2),

as the cumulative series of woes announced might seem to indicate. As a people

they conspire, rebel, and cast Him off, and as a people they are scattered,

decimated, and disowned. In their corporate character they cannot longer

survive, but there were individuals among them who had either remained

loyal or come back to their allegiance, and these stood in a different

position. Not only would they be spared, but made the nucleus of A NEW

PEOPLE and their existence the occasion of a new dispensation. Such is the

burden of these verses. The sinners are destroyed, and a new prosperity

blooms for the faithful remnant that survives. The waifs of the national

wreck are drawn in safety from the waves, and the desolated land is

renovated for their home.

 

David’s house here is not merely the dynasty of David, but the kingdom of David,

and this as a type of the kingdom of Christ. Its restoration, in the ultimate sense, is

accomplished only in the establishment of THE MESSIANIC KINGDOM

WHICH IT SYMBOLIZED.   The raising up of the fallen hut of David commenced

with THE COMING OF CHRIST and the founding of the Christian Church

 by the apostles.

 

This house has degenerated into a fallen hut before its true dignity is

reached. Judah shrinks into a petty province, the royal line is represented

by a carpenter’s wife, and the Jewish Church is a little flock with many a

black sheep, ere the set time to favor Zion comes. Strange comment on

human greatness, that the royal line was not to be employed in the salvation

of the world until it was fallen. The royal palace had to become the hut of

Nazareth ere the Redeemer of the world could be born, whose glory and

kingdom were not of this world.

 

This restoration will be a work of Divine power. “In the days of these

kingdoms shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be

destroyed(Daniel 2:44). The Church, composed of Spirit-quickened

men, is the creature of God as no political kingdom can be. Redeemed by

Jesus Christ, quickened by the Holy Ghost, made one in the white heat of

heavenly grace, it is altogether a Divine thing. Every energy it has is God

given; every grace is Spirit-wrought. In this is the special glory of the

Jerusalem which is above. And when, among the ruins of a Hebrew

monarchy, there rises, radiant in the beauties of holiness, the kingdom of

our God, then indeed the bricks are changed to hewn stones, and the

sycamores to cedars, and the palace of David is rebuilt as in the days of old.

 

In the restored kingdom there will be Gentiles as well as Jews. (v.12.)

James, in his speech at the council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:14-17), declares the

fulfillment of this prophecy in the calling of the Gentiles. Edom, as the nation

most hostile to the Jews and furthest from David’s house, is put by a natural figure

for the whole Gentile world. The “remnant of Edom,” whether mystic or natural,

are the few called in each case out of the many (ch.1:12; Matthew 20:16).

“All the heathen  (nations),” etc., is a fuller and more literal statement of the

ingathering of “the fulness of the Gentiles,” when God brings His sons from

afar, and His daughters from the ends of the earth. The gospel kingdom is

to be the universal kingdom, “FILLING THE WHOLE EARTH”  covering

it with the knowledge of God, and making it, as the home of righteousness, a

transfigured place.

 

saith the Lord doeth this” – The Divine Word pledges the exercise of this

DIVINE ENERGY!   “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:

and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be

called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting

Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace

THERE SHALL BE NO END upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom,

 to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth

even for ever. THE ZEAL OF THE LORD OF HOSTS WILL PERFORM

THIS.”  (Isaiah 9:6-7)

 

13 “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall

overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed;

and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall

melt.”  The prophet expatiates upon the rich blessings which shall

follow the establishment of the kingdom. Under the figure of a supernatural

fertility are represented the victories of grace (compare Isaiah 11:6; Ezekiel 34:25-31).

The blessing is founded on the Mosaic promise (Leviticus 26:3-6).   The ploughman

shall overtake the reaper.  Ploughing and harvest shall be  continuous, without

sensible interval. The treader of grapes him that soweth  seed. The vintage

should be so abundant that it should last till sowing time.  The mountains shall

drop sweet wine. This is from Joel 3:18. And all the  hills shall melt.

As Joel says, “shall flow with milk,” in this promised land  flowing with milk

and honey.” Septuagint, pa>ntev oiJ bounoi< su>mfutoi  e]sontai

pantes hoi bounoi sumphutoi esontai - all the hills shall be planted” with

vines and olives.  The hyperbolical expressions in the text are not to be taken

literally; they depict in bright colors the blessings of the kingdom of Messiah.

 Material and temporal blessings are generally represented as closely

 connected with spiritual, and as figurative of them.

 

14 “And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they

shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant

vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make

gardens, and eat the fruit of them.” I will bring again the captivity;

i.e. I will repair the misery which they have suffered. Shall build the waste cities

(Isaiah 54:3). All these promised blessings are in marked contrast to the punishments

threatened (Deuteronomy 28:30, 33, 39; compare similar promises in Isaiah 65:21-22).

 

15 “And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be

pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the

LORD thy God.”  The blessing shall last forever. They shall no more be

pulled up. This was not true of the literal Israel; it must be taken of the spiritual

seed, planted in God’s land, the Church of Christ, against which the gates

of hell shall not prevail. (Matthew 16:18) “Lo,” says Christ, “I am with you

alway, even unto the end of the world” (Ibid. ch.28:20)

 

The conversion of Israel in the latter days is distinctly and repeatedly foretold

(Hosea 3:4-5; Romans 12:12,15,23; II Corinthians 3:16). National restoration,

(Israel became a nation again in 1948;  Jerusalem was reacquired after the

Six Days War in 1967 - Luke 21:24 – Isaiah 66:8-10 implies that there will

be a national conversion in one day – How long does it take to be saved?

All it takes is a look!  “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends

of the earth:    FOR I AM GOD , AND THERE IS NONE ELSE.” –

 Isaiah 45:22 – “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up,

and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth night”- Luke

21:28 - CY – 2013).  When the long wandering return, when the hearts cold

and embittered for ages glow with heavenly love, when the veil drops that hung

on mind and sense, when the broken-off branches are set again in the good old

olive tree (Romans 11:23-24), a spiritual fulfillment will have come of Amos’s

words, more glorious than any literal or local one, as the glory of the second

temple exceeds the glory of the first.  (I will say again that in the 1950’s at

Oak Hill Baptist Church in Somerset, KY, that we studied the book of

Revelation quite a bit, and I remember Odell Merrick saying that the

Jews already had the stone (Bedford stone from Indiana) to rebuild

the temple.  Recently – 2012 – I googled and found that Israel has

500 train car loads of Bedford stone for this purpose – CY – 2013)

 

 

The Golden Age (vs. 13-15)

 

Nothing short of inspiration can account for such a close to such a book.

Throughout his prophecies Amos has been exposing national sinfulness,

threatening Divine chastisement, picturing the degradation, the desolation,

the captivity of the kingdoms of Israel and of Judah. How comes it that he

is able to transcend this distressing representation? to look beyond these

gloomy clouds? to discern, whether far or near, the vision of a smiling

earth, a happy people, a splendid prosperity, an eternal joy? It is not the

force of human reasoning; it is not the impulse of delusive hope. No; IT IS

THE PRESENCE OF THE DIVINE SPIRIT that has purged the prophet’s

spiritual vision, so that he sees the glory yet to be; it is this that touches the

prophet’s tongue, so that the wail of sorrow and distress is changed into

the shout of triumph and the song of joy.

 

“The world’s great age begins anew,

     The golden years return;

The earth doth, like a snake, renew

    Her winter weeds outworn;

Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam

    Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.”

 

  • THE PICTURE OF PROSPERITY. We notice as depicted:

 

Ø      The fruitfulness of the soil. The crops of corn, the summer

vintage, follow each other in quick succession. From the laden

vineyards and adown the sunny slopes flow rivers of delicious

wine. The boughs of the trees are weighed down with fruit. For

the tillers of the soil and the dwellers in the cities there is “enough

 and to spare.  (Luke 15:17)

 

Ø      The peopling of the towns and villages. The banished ones have

returned. The once-silent streets resound with the noise of traffic,

with the voices of men, with the songs of the happy.

 

Ø      Security and perpetual possession. No longer do the dwellers

in the fenced cities arm themselves and man their walls against the

foe; no longer do the husbandmen dread the incursions of marauders.

Quiet resting places and a sure habitation are secured by THE

GOODNESS OF PROVIDENCE!  Earth is transformed

into PRIMAEVAL PARADISE! 

 

  • THE REALITY WHICH THIS PICTURE REPRESENTS.

 

Ø      By many interpreters this vision of peace and happiness is deemed

predictive of national prosperity still awaiting the scattered children of

Israel. The land of promise shall again flow with milk and honey.

Jerusalem shall again be the seat of a mighty kingdom. The hills of

Judah and the plains of Ephraim shall again be tilled by the children

of Jacob. A converted Israel shall — from the Mediterranean to the

Jordan, and from the Jordan to the desert, from the heights of Lebanon

to the river of Egyptwitness to the faithfulness of the Eternal,

 to the Messiah long rejected, but now and henceforth to be held

in honor and to be served with devotion. Planted, and no more to

be plucked up, the chosen people shall flourish like the green bay tree,

like the cedar in Lebanon.

 

Ø      Other interpreters pass straight from this vision of prosperity and

gladness to the spiritual prospect which it opens up to the eyes of the

believers in God’s Word, of the disciples of Christ. There is peace

of which the seat is the conscience, the heart, of man. There is plenty

for the satisfaction of man’s deepest wants. There is a sure abiding

place for the faithful in the care and love of the Eternal There is a

kingdom which is “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy

Ghost  (Romans 14:17).  There is a city of which every renewed

man becomes a denizen, nay, an immortal citizen. There is

prosperity in which the poor, the feeble, the despised may share.

And there are songs of gladness and of thanksgiving in which

 all the redeemed and saved shall join!

 

 

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