Amos 7

Locusts, Fire and a Plumb Line

1 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the late crops were coming up.
2 When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, “Sovereign LORD, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”
3 So the LORD relented. “This will not happen,” the LORD said.
4 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: The Sovereign LORD was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land.
5 Then I cried out, “Sovereign LORD, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”
6 So the LORD relented. “This will not happen either,” the Sovereign LORD said.
7 This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb,[a] with a plumb line[b] in his hand.
8 And the LORD asked me, “What do you see, Amos?” “A plumb line,” I replied. Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.
9 “The high places of Isaac will be destroyed and the sanctuaries of Israel will be ruined; with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam.”

Amos and Amaziah

10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: “Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words.
11 For this is what Amos is saying: “ ‘Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel will surely go into exile, away from their native land.’ ”
12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there.
13 Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.”
14 Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees.
15 But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’
16 Now then, hear the word of the LORD. You say, “ ‘Do not prophesy against Israel, and stop preaching against the descendants of Isaac.’
17 “Therefore this is what the LORD says: “ ‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city, and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword. Your land will be measured and divided up, and you yourself will die in a pagan[c] country. And Israel will surely go into exile, away from their native land.’ ”

Amos 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

Visions of judgments to come upon Israel. (1-9) Amaziah threatens Amos. (10-17)

Verses 1-9 God bears long, but he will not bear always with a provoking people. The remembrance of the mercies we formerly received, like the produce of the earth of the former growth, should make us submissive to the will of God, when we meet with disappointments in the latter growth. The Lord has many ways of humbling a sinful nation. Whatever trouble we are under, we should be most earnest with God for the forgiveness of sin. Sin will soon make a great people small. What will become of Israel, if the hand that should raise him be stretched out against him? See the power of prayer. See what a blessing praying people are to a land. See how ready, how swift God is to show mercy; how he waits to be gracious. Israel was a wall, a strong wall, which God himself reared as a defence to his sanctuary. The Lord now seems to stand upon this wall. He measures it; it appears to be a bowing, bulging wall. Thus God would bring the people of Israel to the trial, would discover their wickedness; and the time will come, when those who have been spared often, shall be spared no longer. But the Lord still calls Israel his people. The repeated prayer and success of the prophet should lead us to seek the Saviour.

Verses 10-17 It is no new thing for the accusers of the brethren, to misrepresent them as enemies to the king and kingdom, as traitors to their prince, and troublers of the land, when they are the best friends to both. Those who make gain their godliness, and are governed by the hopes of wealth and preferment, are ready to think these the most powerful motives with others also. But those who have a warrant from God, like Amos, ought not to fear the face of man. If God, that sent him, had not strengthened him, he could not thus have set his face as a flint. The Lord often chooses the weak and foolish things of the world to confound the wise and mighty. But no fervent prayers, or self-denying labours, can bring proud sinners to bear faithful reproofs and warnings. And all who oppose or despise the Divine word, must expect fatal effects to their souls, unless they repent.

Cross References 41

  • 1. ver 7; Amos 8:1
  • 2. Psalms 78:46; S Jeremiah 51:14; S Joel 1:4
  • 3. S Exodus 10:15
  • 4. S Isaiah 37:4
  • 5. S Ezekiel 11:13; S Amos 4:9
  • 6. S Exodus 32:14; Deuteronomy 32:36; S Jeremiah 18:8; Jeremiah 26:19; John 3:10
  • 7. S Hosea 11:8
  • 8. S Isaiah 66:16; S Joel 1:19
  • 9. Deuteronomy 32:22
  • 10. S ver 1-2; Joel 2:17
  • 11. S Exodus 32:14; S Jeremiah 18:8; John 3:10
  • 12. Jeremiah 42:10; S Ezekiel 9:8
  • 13. Jeremiah 1:11,13
  • 14. Isaiah 28:17; Lamentations 2:8; Amos 8:2
  • 15. S 2 Kings 21:13
  • 16. S Jeremiah 15:6; Ezekiel 7:2-9
  • 17. S Leviticus 26:30
  • 18. S Leviticus 26:31
  • 19. S 1 Kings 13:34; 2 Kings 15:9; Isaiah 63:18; S Hosea 10:8
  • 20. S Joshua 7:2; 1 Kings 12:32
  • 21. S 2 Kings 14:23
  • 22. Jeremiah 38:4
  • 23. 2 Kings 14:24; Jeremiah 26:8-11
  • 24. S Amos 5:27
  • 25. Jeremiah 36:16
  • 26. S 1 Samuel 9:9
  • 27. Matthew 8:34
  • 28. S Joshua 7:2; S 1 Kings 12:29
  • 29. Jeremiah 36:5
  • 30. S Jeremiah 20:2; S Amos 2:12; Acts 4:18
  • 31. S 1 Samuel 10:5; 2 Kings 2:5; 2 Kings 4:38; Zechariah 13:5
  • 32. S 1 Kings 10:27; S Isaiah 9:10
  • 33. S Genesis 37:2; S 2 Samuel 7:8
  • 34. S Isaiah 6:9
  • 35. S Jeremiah 26:12
  • 36. Jeremiah 7:1-2; S Ezekiel 2:3-4
  • 37. Jeremiah 22:2
  • 38. S Ezekiel 20:46; Micah 2:6
  • 39. S Hosea 4:13
  • 40. S Amos 5:27
  • 41. S 2 Kings 17:6; S Ezekiel 4:13; S Hosea 9:3; Amos 2:12-13

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  • [b]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain; also in verse 8.
  • [c]. Hebrew "an unclean"

Chapter Summary


In this and the two following chapters are the visions of Amos, in number five; three of which are contained in this chapter, and with which it begins. The first is of the grasshoppers or locusts eating up the later grass of the land, which are stopped at the intercession of the prophet, Am 7:1-3; the second is of fire the Lord called for to contend by, whose devouring flames are made to cease by the same interposition, Am 7:4-6; and the other is of the plumbline, signifying the utter destruction of the people of Israel, according to the righteous judgment of God, Am 7:7-9; upon the delivery of which prophecies and visions, the priest of Bethel forms a charge against the prophet to the king; and advises Amos to flee into Judea, and prophesy there, and not at Bethel, being willing to be rid of him at any rate, Am 7:10-13; next follows the prophet's vindication of himself showing his divine call to the prophetic office, and his mission and express order he had from the Lord to prophesy unto Israel, Am 7:14,15; and concludes with a denunciation of divine judgments on the priest's family, and upon the whole land of Israel, Am 7:16,17.

Amos 7 Commentaries

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