And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs
Either their religious feasts, the feasts of pentecost, tabernacles, and passover; at which three feasts there were eclipses of the sun, a few years after this prophecy of Amos, as Bishop Usher F17 observes: the first was an eclipse of the sun about ten digits, in the year 3213 A.M. or 791 B.C., June twenty fourth, at the feast of pentecost; the next was almost twelve digits, about eleven years after, on November eighth, 780 B.C., at the feast of the tabernacles; and the third was more than eleven digits in the following year, 779 B.C., on May fifth, at the feast of the passover; which the prophecy may literally refer to, and which might occasion great sorrow and concern, and especially at what they might be thought to forebode: but particularly this was fulfilled when these feasts could not be observed any longer, nor the songs used at them sung any more; or else their feasts, and songs at them, in their own houses, in which they indulged themselves in mirth and jollity; but now, instead thereof, there would be mourning and lamentation the loss of their friends, and being carried captive into a strange land; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins;
of high and low, rich and poor; even those that used to be covered with silk and rich embroideries: sackcloth was a coarse cloth put on in times of mourning for the dead, or on account of public calamities: and baldness upon every head:
the hair being either shaved off or pulled off; both which were sometimes done, as a token of mourning: and I will make it as the mourning of an only [son];
as when parents mourn for an only son, which is generally carried to the greatest height, and continued longest, as well as is most sincere and passionate; the case being exceeding cutting and afflictive, as this is hereby represented to be: and the end thereof as a bitter day;
a day of bitter calamity, and of bitter wailing and mourning, in the bitterness of their spirits; though the beginning of the day was bright and clear, a fine sunshine, yet the end of it dark and bitter, distressing and sorrowful, it being the end of the people of Israel, as in ( Amos 8:2 ) .
F17 Annales Vet. Test. ad A. M. 3213.