Amos 3

1 "Listen to this word which ADONAI has spoken against you, people of Isra'el, against the entire family that I brought up from the land of Egypt:
2 "Of all the families on earth, only you have I intimately known. This is why I will punish you for all your crimes."
3 Do two people travel together without having so agreed?
4 Does a lion roar in the forest when it has no prey? Does a young lion growl in his lair if it has caught nothing?
5 Does a bird get caught in a trap on the ground if it hasn't been baited? Does a trap spring up from the ground when it has taken nothing?
6 When the shofar is blown in the city, don't the people tremble? Can disaster befall a city without ADONAI's having done it?
7 ADONAI, God, does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.
8 The lion has roared. Who will not fear? ADONAI, God, has spoken. Who will not prophesy?
9 "Proclaim it on the palaces in Ashdod and on the palaces in the land of Egypt; say: 'Assemble yourselves on the hills of Shomron! See what great tumult is seething within it, how much oppression is being done there.'
10 For they don't know how to do right," says ADONAI. "They store up violence and robbery in their palaces."
11 Therefore, here is what Adonai ELOHIM says: "An enemy will surround the land. He will strip you of your strength, and plunder your palaces."
12 This is what ADONAI says:
13 "As a shepherd rescues from the mouth of a lion a couple of leg bones or a piece of an ear; so the people of Isra'el in Shomron will be rescued, huddled under cushions in the corners of their beds. "Hear, and testify against the house of Ya'akov," says Adonai ELOHIM Elohei-Tzva'ot.
14 "For when I punish Isra'el's crimes, I will also punish the altars of Beit-El. The horns of the altar will be cut off, and they will fall to the ground.
15 I will tear down winter houses as well as summer houses; houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed; the mansions will be no more," says ADONAI.

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.

Chapter Summary


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

Complete Jewish Bible Copyright 1998 by David H. Stern. Published by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.