Amos 7:8

8 And the LORD said to me, 1"Amos, what do you see?" And I said, "A plumb line." Then the Lord said, "Behold, I am setting 2a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; 3I will never again pass by them;

Amos 7:8 Meaning and Commentary

Amos 7:8

And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou?
&c.] This question was put to him, the rather, since he was silent, and did not upon this vision, as the former, make any supplication to the Lord; as also, because this vision portended something of moment and importance, which he would have the prophet attend to: and I said, a plumbline;
the same word as before, and is differently rendered, as already observed. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "a plasterer's" or "mason's trowel"; with which they lay their plaster and mortar on in building: the Septuagint, an adamant: and which, by Pliny {f}, is called "anachites"; a word in sound near to this here used: the Targum renders it, "judgment": but Jarchi and Aben Ezra observe, that in the Arabic tongue it signifies lead or tin, as it does F7; and so a line with lead at the end of it; then said the Lord, behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my
people Israel;
take an exact account of their actions, and see how they agree or disagree with the rule of the word; and in the most strict and righteous manner deal with them for their sins and transgressions, "lay judgment to the line, and righteousness to the plummet", ( Isaiah 28:17 ) ; I will not again pass by them any more;
wink at their sins, and overlook their transgressions, by not correcting and punishing for them; or will not pardon them, but inflict punishment on them. So the Targum,

``behold, I will exercise judgment in the midst of my people Israel, and I will not add any more to pardon them.''
Though some understand it of God's making such an utter end of them, that he should no more "pass through them" F8, to destroy them, having done it at once, and thoroughly.

F6 Nat. Hist. l. 3. c. 4.
F7 <arabic> "plumbum, sive nigrum, sive album puriusque", Camusus; "plumbum et stannum", Ibn Maruph apud Golium, col. 176. Avicenna apud Castel. col. 161. Vid. Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. l. 1. c. 7. p. 122.
F8 (wl rwbe dwe Pyowa al) "non adjiciam ultra pertransire eum", Montanus; "non ultra per eum transibit", some in Mercerus.

Amos 7:8 In-Context

6 The LORD relented concerning this: "This also shall not be," said the Lord GOD.
7 This is what he showed me: behold, the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand.
8 And the LORD said to me, "Amos, what do you see?" And I said, "A plumb line." Then the Lord said, "Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass by them;
9 the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword."
10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, "Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words.

Cross References 3

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