Amos 3

Witnesses Summoned Against Israel

1 Hear this word, people of Israel, the word the LORD has spoken against you—against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt:
2 “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your sins.”
3 Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?
4 Does a lion roar in the thicket when it has no prey? Does it growl in its den when it has caught nothing?
5 Does a bird swoop down to a trap on the ground when no bait is there? Does a trap spring up from the ground if it has not caught anything?
6 When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?
7 Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.
8 The lion has roared— who will not fear? The Sovereign LORD has spoken— who can but prophesy?
9 Proclaim to the fortresses of Ashdod and to the fortresses of Egypt: “Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria; see the great unrest within her and the oppression among her people.”
10 “They do not know how to do right,” declares the LORD, “who store up in their fortresses what they have plundered and looted.”
11 Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “An enemy will overrun your land, pull down your strongholds and plunder your fortresses.”
12 This is what the LORD says: “As a shepherd rescues from the lion’s mouth only two leg bones or a piece of an ear, so will the Israelites living in Samaria be rescued, with only the head of a bed and a piece of fabric[a] from a couch.[b]
13 “Hear this and testify against the descendants of Jacob,” declares the Lord, the LORD God Almighty.
14 “On the day I punish Israel for her sins, I will destroy the altars of Bethel; the horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground.
15 I will tear down the winter house along with the summer house; the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed and the mansions will be demolished,” declares the LORD.

Amos 3 Commentary

Chapter 3

Judgments against Israel. (1-8) The like to other nations. (9-15)

Verses 1-8 The distinguishing favours of God to us, if they do not restrain from sin, shall not exempt from punishment. They could not expect communion with God, unless they first sought peace with him. Where there is not friendship, there can be no fellowship. God and man cannot walk together, except they are agreed. Unless we seek his glory, we cannot walk with him. Let us not presume on outward privileges, without special, sanctifying grace. The threatenings of the word and providence of God against the sin of man are certain, and certainly show that the judgments of God are at hand. Nor will God remove the affliction he has sent, till it has done its work. The evil of sin is from ourselves, it is our own doing; but the evil of trouble is from God, and is his doing, whoever are the instruments. This should engage us patiently to bear public troubles, and to study to answer God's meaning in them. The whole of the passage shows that natural evil, or troubles, and not moral evil, or sin, is here meant. The warning given to a careless world will increase its condemnation another day. Oh the amazing stupidity of an unbelieving world, that will not be wrought upon by the terrors of the Lord, and that despise his mercies!

Verses 9-15 That power which is an instrument of unrighteousness, will justly be brought down and broken. What is got and kept wrongfully, will not be kept long. Some are at ease, but there will come a day of visitation, and in that day, all they are proud of, and put confidence in, shall fail them. God will inquire into the sins of which they have been guilty in their houses, the robbery they have stored up, and the luxury in which they lived. The pomp and pleasantness of men's houses, do not fortify against God's judgments, but make sufferings the more grievous and vexatious. Yet a remnant, according to the election of grace, will be secured by our great and good Shepherd, as from the jaws of destruction, in the worst times.

Cross References 34

  • 1. Zephaniah 2:5
  • 2. S Amos 2:10
  • 3. S Exodus 19:6; Deuteronomy 7:6; Luke 12:47
  • 4. ver 14
  • 5. S Jeremiah 14:10; Micah 2:3; 1 Peter 4:17
  • 6. S Isaiah 42:13
  • 7. Psalms 104:21; S Hosea 5:14
  • 8. S Psalms 119:110
  • 9. S Numbers 10:2; S Job 39:24; S Jeremiah 4:21
  • 10. S Isaiah 31:2
  • 11. Isaiah 14:24-27; Isaiah 45:7
  • 12. Genesis 18:17; S 1 Samuel 3:7; S Daniel 9:22; John 15:15; Revelation 10:7
  • 13. S Jeremiah 23:22
  • 14. S Isaiah 31:4
  • 15. S Isaiah 42:13
  • 16. S Jeremiah 20:9; John 1:1-3; Jonah 3:1-3; Acts 4:20
  • 17. S Joshua 13:3; S 2 Chronicles 26:6
  • 18. Amos 4:1; Amos 6:1
  • 19. Jeremiah 4:22; Amos 5:7; Amos 6:12
  • 20. Habakkuk 2:8
  • 21. S Psalms 36:3; Micah 6:10; Zephaniah 1:9
  • 22. Amos 2:5; Amos 6:14
  • 23. S 1 Samuel 17:34
  • 24. S Esther 1:6; Amos 6:4
  • 25. Ezekiel 2:7
  • 26. S ver 2; S Leviticus 26:18
  • 27. S Genesis 12:8; Amos 5:5-6
  • 28. S Exodus 27:2
  • 29. Jeremiah 36:22
  • 30. Judges 3:20
  • 31. S 1 Kings 22:39
  • 32. Amos 5:11; Amos 6:11
  • 33. S Isaiah 34:5
  • 34. Hos 10:5-8,14-15

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  • [b]. Or "Israelites be rescued," / "those who sit in Samaria" / "on the edge of their beds" / "and in Damascus on their couches."

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO AMOS 3

In this chapter the prophet goes on with his prophecy against Israel, whom God had highly favoured, and yet sinned against him, and therefore must expect to be punished by him; and the rather, since he and they were not agreed; and therefore there could be no communion between them, Am 3:1-3; and by various similes are set forth the cause of divine judgments, the certain design of them, and their continuance, till the end is answered; which should be attended to, since every thing of this kind is of God, who giving his prophets notice of it, they are under an absolute necessity of declaring it; nor should they be blamed for it, Am 3:4-8; and even the Heathen nations are appealed unto as witnesses of the sins of Israel, that caused such a denunciation of wrath; their tumults, oppression, injustice, violence, and robbery, Am 3:9,10; wherefore an adversary is threatened to be sent among them, that should utterly destroy them, so that few should escape, Am 3:11,12; particularly their idolatry and luxury seem to have been reigning sins, which had a great hand in bringing on their rum, and for which the Lord would punish them, Am 3:13-15.

Amos 3 Commentaries