King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Amos 1

Judgments against the Syrians, Philistines, Tyrians, Edomites, and Ammonites.

Amos 1 Audio:

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1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

2 And he said, The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.

3 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:

4 But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad.

5 I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the LORD.

6 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom:

7 But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof:

8 And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.

9 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant:

10 But I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces thereof.

11 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever:

12 But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.

13 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border:

14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind:

15 And their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together, saith the LORD.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Herdsmen. S. Jerom’s MSS. after Aquila, have “pastorals,” (H.) pastoralibus. C. — Theodotion retains Nokedim. Sept. read Accarim, (H.) substituting r for d, (S. Jer.) and perhaps a for n. H. — They have also “Jerusalem,” for Israel, though the prophecy regard the latter. The country south of Thecua has no towns, and is solely for pasture. S. Jer. — Amos might have many flocks, like Mesa and king Dejotarus. 4 K. iii. 4. C. — David was taken from the flocks to be king, and Amos to be a prophet. W. — King. These two lived long in prosperity. C. — Earthquake. Many understand this of a great earthquake, which, they say, was felt at the time that king Ozias attempted to offer incense in the temple. But the best chronologists prove that the earthquake here spoken of must have been before that time: because Jeroboam the second, under whom Amos prophesied, was dead long before that attempt of Ozias. Ch. — This is asserted by Usher. Yet his arguments are not conclusive. If the attempt and earthquake happened in the 23d year of Ozias, Amos might commence A. 3215, six years before the death of Jeroboam. 4 K. xv. 5. Zac. xi. 15. C. — Josephus (ix. 1.) fixes upon the former period. Jeroboam, however, died in the 38th of Ozias, who was deposed 14 years later. W.

Ver. 2. Carmel. “God’s vineyard,” may dente any fruitful mountain. Amos refers to pastoral affairs. C.

Ver. 3. Three—four. That is, for their many unrepented of crimes. Ch. — three is the first number of which we can say “many or all.” Four denotes excess. Thus God forgives many sins, yet punishes when they become excessive. W. — Thus profane authors say, (C.)

Terque quaterque pectus percussa decorum. Æn. iv.

Convert it. That is, I will not spare them, nor turn away the punishments I design to inflict upon them. Ch. — My decree is absolute. — Wains, designed to make the corn come out, (C.) or to cut the straw. S. Jer. — Such instruments were sometimes trailed over men. Sept. “they have sawed the pregnant women,” &c. This circumstance is borrowed from 4 K. viii. Damascus was often at war with Israel. But Jeroboam punished it as Theglathphalassar did afterwards, v. 5. and 4 K. xvi. 9. Amos might witness the ravages of the former. C. — Azael, or Hazael, who slew his master, Benadad. H.

Ver. 5. Plain. The city “Bikhath-Aven,” or the latter word, probably denotes Baal, as the Syrians style Baal-Bek, the city which the Greeks call Heliopolis. The valley between the two mountains extending northward, is still called Bucca. — Pleasure. Heb. “Beth Heden.” We find Eden in a delightful part of Libanus. — Cyrene, not in Africa, but on the river Cyrus, in Albania. 4 K. xv. 29.

Ver. 6. Edom. the Philistines and Tyrians (v. 9.) exercised this inhumanity on the Idomeans, probably before they had thrown off the yoke of Juda, under Joram, (4 K. viii. 21.) as the Lord seems concerned for them; (C.) or they sold the captive Israelites to Edom, to increase their misery. S. Jer. — Sept. “the captivity of Solomon,” or the subjects of that monarch. But the Heb. word means also perfect, (H.) or absolute, (Jer. xiii. 19. C.) or “pacific,” seizing the citizens in times of peace. H.

Ver. 7. Gaza. Ozias, Ezechias, and Psammetichus, ravaged the country. 2 Par. xxvi. 6. and 4 K. xviii. 8. Is. xiv. 29. The Philistines recovered strength; but Nabuchodonosor, Alexander, and the Machabees conquered them again.

Ver. 9. Brethren; for Edom and the Jews sprung from the same stock. Some think that he alludes to the alliance of the king of Tyre and David. But that had long ceased, and was not agreeable to the law; (Ex. xxii. 32. and 3 K. ix. 13. C.) at least when it was attended with much danger. H.

Ver. 10. Thereof. Salmanasar besieged it five years (Menander) and Nabuchodonosor thirteen, when he destroyed Tyre. Ezec. xxvi.

Ver. 11. Sword. Edom was subdued by David, and remained tributary till Joram. It attempted to recover its liberty under Josaphat, though the Heb. text have improperly Aram. 2 Par. xx. 2, 23. The two nations were often at variance. C. — Cast off. Sept. “violated the womb, or the mother on the earth.”

Ver. 12. Houses, &c. Sept. “its foundations,” (H.) or the fortified country. S. Jer. — Bosor lay towards Philadelphia, in the ancient territory of Edom. Their strong places were seized by Ozias, by the Chaldeans, and by the Machabees.

Ver. 13. Border. They pretended that Galaad belonged to them. Judg. xi. 12. David subdued Ammon; but after the division of the kingdom, they recovered their independence, and took occasion to commit these cruelties, while Israel had to contend with Syria. Jeremias (xlix. 1.) speaks of a later period.

Ver. 14. Babba, the capital, called also Philadelphia. Ozias and Joatham attacked the people with advantage. C.

Ver. 15. Melchom, the god or idol of the Ammonites, otherwise called Moloch, and Melech; which, in Heb. signifies a king, or Melchom their king. Ch. — He assumed the title of “their king.” Judg. xi. 14. Jer. xlix. 3. H. — Blind people, who could not see the vanity of such impotent gods! C. — Both he. Sept. “and their priests.” H.