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The ripeness of Israel for judgment is proclaimed.

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.

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.

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 Beer-sheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.


The peril of not using God's word when we have it. The basket of summer fruit, shewn to Amos in vision, was an emblem signifying, that the people were ripe for punishment: "I will not again pass by them any more." We hang as fruit upon a tree, with One watching our progress, and many times passing by, when conscience might make us feel that we are ripe for judgment, and perhaps taking us at last when we least expect

it. Oh may we be found, whensoever we are taken, meet for our heavenly Owner's use, ripe not for perdition but for glory, not for the silence of death, or the wailings of torment, but for joining in the songs of heaven to all eternity!

We may learn here what are some of the sins which canker the fruit in the garden of the Lord, and draw down his wrath upon his people. Oppression of the poor, often dwelt on by this prophet, is here once more very forcibly pointed out. It must have been a very crying sin in Israel at that time. It is a sin very offensive unto God at all times. And it concerns every one of us, when we find it so fearfully denounced, to examine whether we do our duty fully by our poorer brethren, in the spirit of brotherly kindness. A distaste for sabbaths and other holy days is another sin here dwelt upon; such distaste as arises from anxiety to pursue the gains of a worldly calling by means ever so dishonest. This too is a sin which we all have need to watch against, whether we are engaged in trade or not, and however fairly we may design to deal. Are we glad or sorry when the Lord's day comes round? Are we vexed to be hindered in our worldly callings, or glad to be summoned to the work of heaven and to the house of prayer? And do we really hallow the day by abstaining from all such work as properly belongs to the other days of the week? Or are we even worse than these Israelites, as some Christians are in this respect that they are in no haste for the sabbath to be gone, because it makes no difference in their occupations, they never hallowing it at all?

Of all these threatened judgments, and the signs and fearful portents by which they were to be accompanied, no one is so appalling as the famine here described, "not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord." Miserable indeed must God's people be, when in such a case; to have enjoyed the use of his Scriptures, to have heard the voice of his prophets, but to be cut off from this chiefest of comforts in trouble, that which alone holds up the light of hope in the lowest depths of distress! Wretched indeed are they that are in such a case! How much more wretched and wicked too, they who might enjoy these benefits, and will not; who starve, by their own folly, in the midst of plenty! Better to run to and fro, and seek without finding, than to refuse to hear, when sought out and spoken to. Better, in the case of God's word, to hunger and thirst, and not to have, than to have, and not care to use. Oh may God, who has given us of his blessed word abundantly, also give us the disposition to use it, and to profit by it, to enjoy it, to be thankful for it, and to prove our thankfulness, by believing as He herein teaches us, and doing as He herein commands us!

Israel's desolation denounced. 1 I saw the Lord standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.

2 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:

3 And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them:

4 And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good. 5 And the Lord Gop of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.

6 It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.

7 Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor,

A restoration promised. and the Syrians from Kir? 8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD.

9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.

10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.

11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old;

12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.

13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.

14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.

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.


The prospect of a holy universal church.

The Prophet Amos saw the Lord standing on the altar, the idolatrous altar set up by Jeroboam in Samaria, and heard Him issue the divine directions for the destruction of the building, and utter the awful sentence of his irresistible purpose to overtake the idolaters, whithersoever they might fly, with a swift and sure destruction. Is there any object that we idolize? any creature of God that we prefer in our affections to Himself? Let us endeavour by faith to see the Lord standing upon the altar of our idolatry, and to hear Him decreeing its overthrow, and warning those who so rob Him of his honour, that no flight shall save them, no mountain height, nor ocean depth, not hell beneath, nor heaven above, shall hide them from his all searching eye, or deliver them from his almighty hand. Earth melts at his touch; heaven was constructed at his bidding; all creation is subject to his pleasure, and is ready to execute his judgments. "The LORD is his name.' And He is the Lord not of one people but of all, not of one world but of the whole universe. How vain then is the thought that we can escape his wrath! How mad must we be to persist in disobeying his commandments!

But though the Lord is God every where, and his eyes are in every place, He would have his chosen people know, that his view is especially fixt on them, and fixt on them in displeasure by reason of their sins. His "sinful kingdom," doubly sinful inasmuch as it was his, must be utterly destroyed from off the face of the earth; the kingdom, and yet not the whole house of Jacob. Destruction and preservation are to go hand in hand. The house of Israel, every where dispersed, shall be every where kept separate, against a day of signal restoration. And whilst the presumptuous sinners amongst them must assuredly perish, God will raise up again the fallen tabernacle of David, repair its ruins, and rebuild it in all its former glory, the glory of his favour and protection. Wide extent of dominion, fruitfulness in all good things, and permanent enjoyment of God's good gifts, such are the blessings heaped together in these precious promises, with which the prophecies of Amos conclude. What a comfort to the devout Israelite, as he viewed in consternation the ruin impending on his country, to see, however dimly, in the prospect of the future, a hope of better things! What a confirmation of our hopes in the Gospel, to find so much of what is here foretold fulfilled in our present privileges, and in those of our Christian brethren throughout the world! See Acts 15. 17. Soon may God accomplish all! Soon may the day arrive, when Jew and Gentile, all Jews, all Gentiles, every where, unite to form one holy universal church, wide as the world, fruitful in every good word and work, and lasting as eternity!



The destruction of Edom is foretold.

1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle,

2 Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.

3 The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?

4 Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.

5 If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had enough? if the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not leave some grapes? 6 How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up!

7 All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.

8 Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, andunderstanding out of the mount of Esau?

9 And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off

by slaughter.

10 For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.

11 In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.

12 But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.

13 Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;

14 Neither shouldest thou have stood in the causeway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.

15 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.

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