Amos 3

Listen to Amos 3

Israel's Guilt and Punishment

1 1Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel, against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt:
2 2"You only have I known of all the families of the earth; 3therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
3 "Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?
4 Does a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey? Does a young lion cry out from his den, if he has taken nothing?
5 Does a bird fall in a snare on the earth, when there is no trap for it? Does a snare spring up from the ground, when it has taken nothing?
6 4Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? 5Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?
7 "For the Lord GOD does nothing 6without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.
8 The lion has roared; who will not fear? 7The Lord GOD has spoken; who can but prophesy?"
9 Proclaim to the strongholds in 8Ashdod and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt, and say, "Assemble yourselves on 9the mountains of Samaria, and see the great tumults within her, and 10the oppressed in her midst."
10 "They do not know how to do right," declares the LORD, 11"those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds."
11 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: 12"An adversary shall surround the land and bring down[a] your defenses from you, and 13your strongholds shall be plundered."
12 Thus says the LORD: 14"As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, 15so shall the people of Israel 16who dwell in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part[b] of a bed.
13 "Hear, 17and testify against the house of Jacob," declares the Lord GOD, 18the God of hosts,
14 "that on the day I punish Israel for his transgressions, 19I will punish the altars of Bethel, and 20the horns of the altar shall be cut off and fall to the ground.
15 21I will strike 22the winter house along with 23the summer house, and 24the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses[c] shall come to an end," 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 24

  • 1. Amos 7:16; [Amos 2:10]
  • 2. Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 10:15; Psalms 147:19, 20; [Hosea 5:3; Hosea 13:5; Micah 2:3]
  • 3. [Matthew 10:15; Matthew 11:21, 22; Luke 10:13, 14; Luke 12:47; Romans 2:9]
  • 4. Ezekiel 33:4; See Joel 2:1
  • 5. [Isaiah 45:7; Lamentations 3:38; Micah 1:12]
  • 6. Genesis 18:17; [Jeremiah 15:1]
  • 7. [Numbers 22:38]
  • 8. Amos 1:8
  • 9. Amos 4:1; Amos 6:1; [1 Kings 16:24]
  • 10. Psalms 94:5, 6; Psalms 103:6; See 1 Kings 21:1-16
  • 11. [Amos 6:3; Isaiah 3:14, 15]; See Micah 6:10-12
  • 12. [2 Kings 17:5, 6]; See 2 Kings 18:9-12
  • 13. [Isaiah 39:6]
  • 14. [Exodus 22:13]
  • 15. See Jeremiah 31:8, 9
  • 16. [Amos 6:4]
  • 17. [Psalms 50:7; Psalms 81:8]
  • 18. Amos 4:13; Ps. 80:4, 7, 14
  • 19. [Hosea 10:15]; See 1 Kings 13:1-3
  • 20. [2 Kings 23:15]
  • 21. [Amos 6:11]
  • 22. Jeremiah 36:22
  • 23. Judges 3:20
  • 24. 1 Kings 22:39; Psalms 45:8

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Hebrew An adversary, one who surrounds the land - he shall bring down
  • [b]. The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
  • [c]. Or and many houses

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.