Amos 6

Woe to the Complacent

1 Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come!
2 Go to Kalneh and look at it; go from there to great Hamath, and then go down to Gath in Philistia. Are they better off than your two kingdoms? Is their land larger than yours?
3 You put off the day of disaster and bring near a reign of terror.
4 You lie on beds adorned with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves.
5 You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments.
6 You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.
7 Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile; your feasting and lounging will end.

The LORD Abhors the Pride of Israel

8 The Sovereign LORD has sworn by himself—the LORD God Almighty declares: “I abhor the pride of Jacob and detest his fortresses; I will deliver up the city and everything in it.”
9 If ten people are left in one house, they too will die.
10 And if the relative who comes to carry the bodies out of the house to burn them[a] asks anyone who might be hiding there, “Is anyone else with you?” and he says, “No,” then he will go on to say, “Hush! We must not mention the name of the LORD.”
11 For the LORD has given the command, and he will smash the great house into pieces and the small house into bits.
12 Do horses run on the rocky crags? Does one plow the sea[b] with oxen? But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness—
13 you who rejoice in the conquest of Lo Debar[c]and say, “Did we not take Karnaim[d] by our own strength?”
14 For the LORD God Almighty declares, “I will stir up a nation against you, Israel, that will oppress you all the way from Lebo Hamath to the valley of the Arabah.”

Amos 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

The danger of luxury and false security. (1-7) Punishments of sins. (8-14)

Verses 1-7 Those are looked upon as doing well for themselves, who do well for their bodies; but we are here told what their ease is, and what their woe is. Here is a description of the pride, security, and sensuality, for which God would reckon. Careless sinners are every where in danger; but those at ease in Zion, who are stupid, vainly confident, and abusing their privileges, are in the greatest danger. Yet many fancy themselves the people of God, who are living in sin, and in conformity to the world. But the examples of others' ruin forbid us to be secure. Those who are set upon their pleasures are commonly careless of the troubles of others, but this is great offence to God. Those who placed their happiness in the pleasures of sense, and set their hearts upon them, shall be deprived of those pleasures. Those who try to put the evil day far from them, find it nearest to them.

Verses 8-14 How dreadful, how miserable, is the case of those whose eternal ruin the Lord himself has sworn; for he can execute his purpose, and none can alter it! Those hearts are wretchedly hardened that will not be brought to mention God's name, and to worship him, when the hand of God is gone out against them, when sickness and death are in their families. Those that will not be tilled as fields, shall be abandoned as rocks. When our services of God are soured with sin, his providences will justly be made bitter to us. Men should take warning not to harden their hearts, for those who walk in pride, God will destroy.

Cross References 38

  • 1. Luke 6:24
  • 2. Zephaniah 1:12
  • 3. S Job 24:23
  • 4. S Amos 3:9
  • 5. Isaiah 32:9-11
  • 6. S Genesis 10:10
  • 7. S 2 Kings 17:24; S Jeremiah 49:23; 2 Kings 18:34
  • 8. S Joshua 11:22; 2 Chronicles 26:6
  • 9. Nahum 3:8
  • 10. S Isaiah 56:12; S Ezekiel 12:22; Amos 9:10
  • 11. S Esther 1:6; S Proverbs 7:17
  • 12. S Isaiah 1:11; S Ezekiel 34:2-3; S Amos 3:12
  • 13. S Psalms 137:2; S Isaiah 14:11; Isaiah 5:12; Amos 5:23
  • 14. S 1 Chronicles 15:16
  • 15. S Isaiah 28:1; S Amos 2:8
  • 16. S Ezekiel 9:4
  • 17. S Ezekiel 16:49
  • 18. S Amos 5:27
  • 19. S Jeremiah 16:9; S Lamentations 4:5
  • 20. S Genesis 22:16; Hebrews 6:13
  • 21. S Leviticus 26:30
  • 22. S Psalms 47:4
  • 23. S Jeremiah 12:8
  • 24. Amos 4:2
  • 25. S Leviticus 26:19; Deuteronomy 32:19
  • 26. S Amos 5:3
  • 27. S 1 Samuel 31:12
  • 28. Amos 8:3
  • 29. S Isaiah 34:5
  • 30. S Amos 3:15
  • 31. Isaiah 55:11
  • 32. Hosea 10:4
  • 33. S Amos 3:10
  • 34. S Isaiah 1:21; S Amos 5:7
  • 35. S Job 8:15; Isaiah 28:14-15
  • 36. Jeremiah 5:15
  • 37. S Numbers 13:21; 1 Kings 8:65
  • 38. S Amos 3:11

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Or "to make a funeral fire in honor of the dead"
  • [b]. With a different word division of the Hebrew; Masoretic Text "plow there"
  • [c]. "Lo Debar" means "nothing."
  • [d]. "Karnaim" means "horns" ; "horn" here symbolizes strength.

Chapter Summary


This chapter seems to be directed both to the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and the ten tribes of Israel, under the names of Zion and Samaria, and to the principal men in both; who are reproved and threatened for their carnal security and self-confidence, being in no fear of the evil day, though they had no reason for it no more than other people, Am 6:1-3; are charged with wantonness, luxury, intemperance, and want of sympathy with those in distress, Am 6:4-6; therefore are threatened to be carried captive first, and their city to be delivered up; which, for the certainty of it, is not only said, but swore to, Am 6:7,8; and a great mortality in every house, and the destruction of all houses, both great and small, Am 6:9-11; and since a reformation of them seemed impracticable, and not to be expected, but they gloried in their wealth, and boasted of their strength, therefore they should be afflicted by a foreign nation raised against them, which affliction should be general, from one end of the country to the other, Am 6:12-14.

Amos 6 Commentaries

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