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Amos 1:2

Amos 1:2

And he said
That is, the Prophet Amos, before described; he, being under divine inspiration, said as follows: the Lord will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem;
not from Samaria, nor from Dan and Bethel, but from Zion and Jerusalem, where the temple of the Lord stood; and out of the holy of holies in it, where was the seat of the divine Majesty; and his voice being compared to the roaring of a lion, denotes his wrath and vengeance; and is expressive of some terrible threatening prophecy he would send from hence, by one or other of his prophets; perhaps Amos may mean himself; and who, having been a shepherd or herdsman in the wilderness, had often heard the terrible roaring of the lion, to which he compares his prophecy concerning the judgments of God on nations. Some think reference is had to the earthquake, as Aben Ezra; and which might be attended with thunder and lightning, the voice of God: and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn;
that is, the huts or cottages they dwell in, erected for the more convenient care of their flocks; these, by a figure, are said to mourn, because exposed to the violent heat of the sun in this time of drought; or because forsaken by the shepherds; or it may design the shepherds themselves that dwelled in them, that should mourn because there was no pasture for their flocks, the grass being dried up, and withered away: and indeed it may be rendered, "the pastures of the shepherds shall mourn" F19; being destroyed by the drought, as the cattle upon them are said to mourn and groan, ( Joel 1:18 ) ; and the top of Carmel shall wither;
a fruitful mountain in the land of Israel; there were two of this name, one in the tribe of Judah, near which Nabal dwelt, ( 1 Samuel 25:2 ) ; another in the tribe of Asher, near to Ptolemais or Aco; some think the former is meant, as being nearer Tekoa, and more known to Amos; others the latter, because Israel or the ten tribes are prophesied against; though Carmel may be taken for any and all fruitful places in the land; and the top or chief of it withering may signify the destruction of everything pleasant and useful. Some think Amos speaks figuratively in the language of a herdsman or shepherd, as artificers and mechanics do in their own way F20; and so by "shepherds" he means kings and princes; and, by their "habitations", their kingdoms, cities, towns, and palaces; and, by "Carmel", their wealth, riches, and precious things, which should all be destroyed; and to this agrees the Targum,

``the habitations of kings shall become desolate, and the strength of their fortresses shall be made a desert.''

FOOTNOTES:

F19 (Myerh twan) "pascua pastorum", Vatablus, Piscator, Grotius, Burkius.
F20 "Navita de ventis, de tauris narrat arator, Enumerat miles vulnera, pastor oves". Propert. I. 2. Eleg. 1.
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