AMOS CHAPTER 9.
A Final Rebuke and a Wonderful Promise.
THE WICKED KINGDOM OVERTHROWN. — V. 1. I saw, in a fifth vision, the Lord standing upon the altar, most likely that of the idolatrous sanctuary at Bethel, to which reference has just been made; and He said, Smite the lintel of the door, the prophet himself striking the blow against the supporting pillars, that the posts may shake, and cut them in the head, all of them, dashing down the pieces, as the building collapses, upon the heads of the whole people assembled about the national sanctuary; and I will slay the last of them with the sword, namely, the remnant which would succeed in escaping the downfall of the building. He that fleeth of them shall not flee away, though he may fancy himself safe, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered, not succeed in saving his life. V. 2. Though they dig into hell, in the uttermost depths of the universe, thence shall Mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down, cp. Ps. 139, 7. 8; v. 3. and though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, whose wooded heights were at the extreme western boundary of their kingdom, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from My sight in the bottom of the sea, in the nethermost caves of the ocean, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them; v. 4. and though they go into captivity before their enemies, hoping to save their lives by surrendering to the foe, thence will I command the sword, wielded by those who hated them, and it shall slay them; and I will set Mine eyes upon them for evil and not for good, keeping them under observation without ceasing, so that escape would be an utter impossibility. The omnipresence and the almighty power of the Lord is further brought out. V. 5. And the Lord God of hosts is He that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, cp. Ps. 46, 7; 75, 4, and all that dwell therein shall mourn, for the melting is done by the judgments of the Lord, who makes the invaders and conquerors of the land His instruments; and it shall rise up wholly like a flood, rather, "the whole of it riseth like the Nile," and shall be drowned as by the flood of Egypt, the annual overflow of the Nile being once more made a picture of the overwhelming judgments of the Lord. V. 6. It is He that buildeth His stories in the heaven, literally, "His upper chambers," to which one would have to ascend by steps, and hath founded His troop in the earth, firmly fixing the vault of His sky above; He that calleth for the waters of the sea and poureth them. out upon the face of the earth, either in tidal waves or in another deluge: The Lord is His name. After this emphatic declaration of His almighty power and sovereignty the Lord shows the children of Israel that they may not rely upon the fact of their being His chosen people. V. 7. Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto Me, O children of Israel? saith the Lord. Since they had broken the covenant, they stood no nearer to Him than the heathen. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt, this being a deed for which He alone should receive credit, and the Philistines from Caphtor, from the island of Crete, and the Syrians from Kir? very likely a province of Assyria. V. 8. Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, directed against it to work His punishment, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth, namely, the sinful people as such, saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the Lord, namely, the spiritual Israel, the true descendants of the patriarchs, V. 9. For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel, shaking them as in a colander, or sieve, among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. The nations of the world are the sieve by which Israel is cleaned of the chaff found in its midst of the godless people that claimed membership in the congregation of the Lord. V. 10. All the sinners of My people, namely, those who persist in their godlessness and false security, shall die by the sword, which say. The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us, that is, precede or reach us. When God is once determined to punish the wicked, there is no power which may stop Him, and all the efforts of the godless to escape His wrath are futile.
THE KINGDOM OF MESSIAH ESTABLISHED. — V. 11. In that day, in the great Messianic period to which the entire Old Testament looks forward, will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, the monarchy and family of David, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old, so that the kingdom of the true Son of David, of the Messiah, would once more be secure, established forever, v. 12. that they .may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen which are called by My name, rather, "upon whom My name is called," that is, all those whom He had chosen from all the people of the earth, saith the Lord that doeth this. V. 13. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed, by spreading it broadcast. So fruitful would the land be that the ripe grain would be cut while the plowman was still preparing the soil for the seed, and the harvest of grapes would be so plentiful that it would take till seeding-time to tread out the grapes. And the mountains shall drop sweet wine, so that new wine would be continually dripping from them, and all the hills shall melt, dissolving themselves in blessings. V. 14. And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel, all those who accept the deliverance from the powers of evil being assembled in the congregation of the Lord's people, and they shall build the waste cities, being secure in their citizenship, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens and eat the fruit of them. V. 15. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord, thy God. Thus the prophet, in the conclusion of his book, under the type of Israel restored to its land, pictures the peace and prosperity of the true spiritual Israel, of the Church of the New Testament, in which every congregation is a garden of His mercy, and the streams of His love come down in the preaching of the Gospel, in order to bring peace to the hearts of poor sinners throughout the world.