King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Amos 8

The near approach of the ruin of Israel. (1-3) Oppression reproved. (4-10) A famine of the word of God. (11-14)

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The near approach of the ruin of Israel

1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit.

2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.

3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.

Oppression reproved

4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,

5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?

6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?

7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.

8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.

9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:

10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.

A famine of the word of God

11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.

14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Hook. Heb. “basket of summer fruit.” Sept. “bird cage or net.” H. — Israel was ripe for destruction. v. 2. C. vii. 8. C. — Not only those who were near, (4 K. xv. 29.) but the rest also were taken, (4 K. xvii. 6.) as we pull with a hook the fruit when we cannot reach otherwise. W.

Ver. 3. Temple, when God comes like a mighty warrior; or when the profane temples shall be pillaged. C. ix. 1. Heb. also, “the canticles of the temple or palace shall be changed into lamentations.” — Place. Heb. “a multitude of dead bodies shall be cast in every place. Keep silence.” C.

Ver. 5. Mouth: the first day was observed as a festival. Num. x. 10. H. — At the expiration of the month usurers demanded their money. Hor. i. sat. 3. Aristoph. Nub. ii. 1. — Corn, to sell after the sabbatical year, when it was dearest. Sabbath also denotes all “festivals.” These misers think that there are too many. — Sicle. Having a large measure to buy, and a small one to sell again. Deut. xxv. 13. Prov. xx. 10.

Ver. 6. Shoes, for almost nothing. Thus they forced the poor to serve, or to sell their effects.

Ver. 7. Jacob, because the rich despise the poor. It may also mean, that he swore by heaven, or the temple, (Lev. xxvi. 19.) or that he would destroy the high places. C.

Ver. 8. Altogether. Sept. “its total ruin shall rise as a river.” — Egypt. The whole land shall be visited with misery, as Egypt is by the Nile. H. — The enemy shall retire with the booty. The Nile overflows in summer, and covers Egypt for six weeks, carrying much earth with its impetuous waves. Is. xviii. 2.

Ver. 9. Light. Usher (A. 3213.) explains this of an eclipse, at Pentecost. The Fathers generally understand that which accompanied the death of Christ; but it only implies great desolation and terror. Jer. xv. 9. Joel iii. 11. S. Jer. &c. C. — In their greatest prosperity, calamities shall unexpectedly fall upon them. W.

Ver. 10. Baldness, the hair being cut in mourning. Job i. 20. — Son, most afflicted. Zac. xii. 10. Jer. vi. 26. C.

Ver. 11. Lord. During the siege provisions were wanting, but instruction still more so. W. — Israel had banished Amos. They would be left destitute. We find no prophet among the during the captivity, except Tobias. C. xiii. 3. We may apply this to the state of the Jews since the death of Christ. They have no guides. C. — They read incessantly, and do not understand (S. Jer. Mercer.) the Bible, which non will ever penetrate who refuse to receive the key from the Church. H.

Ver. 12. Sea to sea: from west to south, or to the ocean; in whatever part of the world they may be. C.

Ver. 14. Sin. Sept. “propitiation,” which the pagans deemed requisite; (Hor. i. ode 2.) or worship (H.) of Baal, (4 K. xvii. 16. C.) and all the other superstitions. H. — Way. Sept. “thy God,” or religion, (Acts ix. 2.) or pilgrimage to Bersabee. C. v. 5. Perhaps the true God was here adored; but it was in a manner which he condemned. C. — In vain do those pretend to honour Him, who follow the traditions of unbelieving men. H.