1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of a Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of b Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the c earthquake.
The Argument - Among many other Prophets that God raised up to admonish the Israelites of his plagues for their wickedness and idolatry, he stirred up Amos, who was a herdman or shepherd of a poor town, and gave him both knowledge and constancy to reprove all estates and degrees, and to make known Gods horrible judgments against them, unless they repented in time. And he showed them, that if God did not spare the other nations around them, who had lived as it were in ignorance of God compared to them, but for their sins punished them, then they could look for nothing, but a horrible destruction, unless they turned to the Lord in true repentance. And finally, he comforts the godly with hope of the coming of the Messiah, by whom they would have perfect deliverance and salvation. 1:2 And he said, The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top d of Carmel shall wither.
(a) Which was a town five miles from Jerusalem in Judea, but he prophesied in Israel.
(b) In his days the kingdom of Israel flourished the most.
(c) Which as Josephus writes, was when Uzziah would have usurped the priests office, and therefore was smitten with leprosy.
(d) Whatever is fruitful and pleasant in Israel, will shortly perish. 1:3 Thus saith the LORD; For e three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because they have f threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:
(e) He shows first that all the people round about would be destroyed for their manifold sins: which are meant by three and four, which make seven, so that the Israelites would the more deeply consider Gods judgments toward them. 1:4 But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the g palaces of Benhadad.
(f) If the Syrians will not be spared for committing this cruelty against one city, it is not possible that Israel would escape punishment, which has committed so many and such grievous sins against God and man.
(g) The antiquity of their buildings will not avoid my judgments. See 1:5 I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto h Kir, saith the LORD.
(h) Tiglath Pileser led the Assyrians captive, and brought them to Cyrene, which he here calls Kir. 1:6 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because they i carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver [them] up to Edom:
(i) They united themselves with the Edomites their enemies, who carried them away captive. 1:9 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the k brotherly covenant:
(k) For Esau (from whom came the Edomites) and Jacob were brothers, therefore they ought to have admonished them by their brotherly friendship, and not to have provoked them to hatred. 1:11 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath l for ever:
(l) He was a continual enemy to him. 1:13 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because they m have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border:
(m) He notes the great cruelty of the Ammonites, that did not spare the women, but most tyrannously tormented them, and yet the Ammonites came from Lot, who was of the household of Abraham.