Bible Commentaries

Amos 3

Verses 1-15

Having thus uttered the declamations of Jehovah's judgment on all the nations, the prophet delivered his special message to Israel in a series of three discourses. In each the introductory word is, "Hear this word."

The first discourse consists of a statement of Jehovah's verdict and sentence. It opens with a simple announcement that the privileged people were to be punished; their privileges were named, and their punishment described.

In view of the probability that the people would object to his message, the prophet, in an interpolation, defended himself. By a series of seven questions he illustrated a principle which may thus be stated-an effect proves a cause. The illustrations may be summarized thus: communion proves agreement; the lion roaring proves the prey; the cry of the young lion proves the prey possessed; the fall of a bird proves the bait; the springing of the snare proves the bird to be taken; the trumpet proves alarm; calamity in the city proves Jehovah. From this principle the prophet deduced an application: Jehovah hath roared, therefore fear; Jehovah hath spoken, therefore prophesy.

Turning back to the main argument, Amos proclaimed the punishment of the privileged and declared its reason. The reason was stated to the heathen, who were invited to witness the justice of the doom.