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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



AMOS 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

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.

 

 








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