King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Amos 4

Israel is reproved. (1-5) Their impenitence shown. (6-13)

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Israel is reproved

1 Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink.

2 The Lord GOD hath sworn by his holiness, that, lo, the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.

3 And ye shall go out at the breaches, every cow at that which is before her; and ye shall cast them into the palace, saith the LORD.

4 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:

5 And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

Their impenitence shown

6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.

8 So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

9 I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

11 I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.

13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Fat kine. He means the great ones that lived in plenty and wealth, (Ch.) and without restraint, (Is. xv. 5. Jer. xlvi. 20. C.) having no compassion for the poor. W. — The women who had too great an ascendency over their husbands, like Jezabel, may also be meant. Theod. Grot. — In many parts of the East the women affect being fat.

Ver. 2. Holiness. He has none but himself to swear by. Heb. vi. 13. His word is infallible; but he condescends to use an oath to make a deeper impression on man. — Pikes; spits, or large shields. Heb. also, “They will lead you away with hooks, (in the nose, Is. xxxvii. 29.) and your children with fish-hooks,” or pots. You shall be treated like victims, being either roasted or boiled. No part shall be left.

Ver. 3. Breaches of the city. C. — Sept. “naked.” Heb. “apart.” H. — The victors shall divide you among them. C. — Armon, a foreign country; some understand it of Armenia, (Ch.) and this is the general opinion. M. — Sept. “on Mount Remmon.” Theodot. “Mona.” Israel was removed into Armenia, “the mountain of Menni.” Jer. li. 27.

Ver. 4. Galgal. Thither the people went of their own accord, as to a place of devotion. Osee iv. 15. Amos ironically tells them to proceed, as Christ addressed the Jews. Mat. xxiii. 32. C. — After many admonitions have proved fruitless, God suffers infidels to act as they please. W. — This is the most dreadful of his judgments. H. — Morning, with haste. — Three days. This also may denote the false exactitude of the Israelites to perform what God did not require, while they neglected the most essential duties, like the Pharisees. It may also imply the giving tithes every third year, (Deut. xiv. 28.) or presenting themselves at the three great festivals. Ex. xxiii. 14. The schismatics observed parts of the law, and had a devotion of their own choice. C.

Ver. 5. With. Heb. mechamets, (H.) also “without leaven.” It was expressly forbidden, (Lev. ii. 11.) though not in the first fruits. Lev. xxiii. 17. — It, to beg that God would remember you. Num. x. 10. Hence the Pharisees did so when they gave alms, (Mat. vi. 2. C.) but out of ostentation. H. — Sept. “And they read the law of their own invention, (Theod.) or of God, out of the land, (which the Jews were not to do. S. Chrys. or. 3. c. Jud. Const. Apost. vi. 24.) and proclaimed praise or confession.” H. — These interpreters read inaccurately, (C.) krau méuts thure, &c. yet S. Jerom explains their words of heretics reading the Scriptures out of the true Church, and misapplying them.

Ver. 6. Dulness, (stuporem) as when the teeth have bitten at a stone (H.) and are edged. Jer. xxxi. 29. Sept. “gnashing.” Heb. “cleanness,” through want of food. Eliseus foretold a famine under Achab. 4 K. viii. 1. That of Joel (i.) seems to have happened later than this. C. — God sent these afflictions for their amendment. W.

Ver. 7. Months. The latter rain falls in April. See Deut. xi. 14. C. — Harvest. Sept. have as usual, “vintage.” But this is less accurate, as it never rains in the preceding summer months. S. Jer.

Ver. 9. Wind. Prot. “blasting.” H. — “Pestilential air,” (Sept. Sym. &c.) which destroys the corn (C.) and men. H.

Ver. 10. Egypt, as I published the Egyptians, (C.) or the Hebrews, when they came thence, and wished to return. Chal. S. Cyr. — Horses. I have deprived you of them, (H.) under Achab and Joachaz. 4 K. vi. and xiii. — Nostrils. Hazael slew many subjects of Jehu. 4 K. x. 32. C. — The stench of their carcasses and of the locusts caused death or the plague. H.

Ver. 11. Burning. This comparison shews the condition of Israel. Hardly any escaped. Zac. iii. 2. and 1 Cor. iii. 15. C.

Ver. 12. These. He mentions not what, to keep them in greater suspense and dread; (S. Jer.) or he will put in execution what he had threatened before. v. 2. — Meet. Sept. “beseech.” Aq. “oppose,” or to receive the Messias. S. Jer. — Prepare by repentance to find mercy. C. — After long captivity, Christ will save some. W.

Ver. 13. Wind. Sept. “the Spirit, and announcing to man his Christ,” (H.) or Cyrus. Theod. — But this version has read improperly. C. — Some hence brought an argument against the divinity of the Holy Spirit. S. Jer. — Mist. Sept. “the morning and the cloud,” spreading light or darkness over man. — Earth, on the wings of the wind. Ps. xvii. 11. C.