The Words of Amos

Chapter 3

The necessity of God's judgment against Israel, 1-8. The publication of it, with the causes thereof, 9-15.

1 Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which he brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,

"I have only known you of all the families of the earth;/
therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities."

Can two walk together/
unless they have agreed?

Will a lion roar in the forest/
when he has no prey?/
Will a young lion cry out of his den/
if he has taken nothing?

Can a bird fall in a trap upon the earth/
where no snare is for him?/
Shall one take up a trap from the earth/
and have taken nothing at all?

Shall a trumpet be blown in the city/
and the people not be afraid?/
Shall there be evil in a city/
and the LORD has not done it?

Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing/
unless he reveals his secret/
to his servants the prophets.

The lion has roared./
Who will not fear?/
The Lord GOD has spoken./
Who can but prophesy?

Publish in the palaces at Ashdod/
and in the palaces in the land of Egypt,/
and say, "Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria,/
and behold the great tumults in the midst of it/
and the oppressed in the midst of it."

10 "For they do not know to do right,"

says the LORD,

"who store up violence and robbery/
in their palaces."

11 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD:

"There shall even be an adversary around the land,/
and he shall bring down your strength from you,/
and your palaces shall be plundered."

12 Thus says the LORD:

"As the shepherd rescues out of the mouth of the lion/
two legs, or a piece of an ear,/
so the children of Israel shall be rescued/
who dwell in Samaria/
on the corner of a bed/
and in Damascus on a couch.

13 Hear, and testify in the house of Jacob,"

says the Lord GOD, the God of hosts,

14 "For in the day that I visit the transgressions of Israel upon him,/
I will also visit the altars of Beth-el./
And the horns of the altar shall be cut off/
and fall to the ground.

15 And I will smite the winter-house/
together with the summer-house,/
the houses of ivory shall perish,/
and the great houses shall have an end,"

says the LORD.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Amos, Chapter 3[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

In this chapter the prophet goes on with his prophecy against Israel, whom God had highly favored, and yet sinned against him, and therefore must expect to be punished by him; and the rather, since he and they were not in agreement; and therefore there could be no communion between them (verses 1-3); and by various similes are set forth the cause of divine judgments, the certain design of them, and their continuance, until the end is answered; which should be attended to, since everything 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 (verses 4-8); and even the Heathen nations are appealed to as witnesses of the sins of Israel, that caused such a denunciation of wrath; their tumults, oppression, injustice, violence, and robbery (verses 9-10); therefore an adversary is threatened to be sent among them, that should utterly destroy them, so that few should escape (verses 11-12); particularly their idolatry and luxury seem to have been reigning sins, which had a great hand in bringing on their ruin, and for which the Lord would punish them (verses 13-15).

[v.3] - Reference, 1st Corinthians 6:14-16.

[v.4] - Reference, Hosea 11:10; Amos 1:2, 3:8.

[v.5a] - "snare" - That is, a lure or bait.

[v.5b] - Reference, Ecclesiastes 9:12; Daniel 9:14.

[v.6] - "Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD has not done it?" - In other words, "No calamity happens, except through God." Reference, Isaiah 45:7.

[v.7] - Reference, Psalm 25:14; Daniel 2:47; John 15:15; Revelation 10:7.