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Then Amaziah the priest of Beth-el sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words.
For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.
Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: but prophesy not again any more at Beth-el; for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court.
Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit: and the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.
Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any
Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail.
The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.
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.
And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation, and 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And Jeroboam reigned in Samaria forty and one years.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
Amos is supposed to have begun to prophesy about six years before the death of Jeroboam the second, king of Israel; in the reign of Uzziah king of Judah.
By these extracts from the predictions of Amos, we learn, that the public crimes, for which the Jews were threatened with public calamities, were forsaking and neglecting the worship of GOD; and being guilty of fraud, deceit, cruelty, and oppression. Every nation, therefore, in which such sins prevail, may justly fear God's judgments; for this reason every individual should take warning by the prophetic writings, to contribute his part towards a general reformation of the kingdom he belongs to.
THE REIGN OF UZZIAH (CALLED ALSO
KING OF JUDAH.
From 2 Chronicles, Chap. xxvi.
AFTER the death of Amaziah all the people of Judah took Uzziah his son, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father.
In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Uzziah son of Amaziah, king of Judah, to reign.
Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign. And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lona, according to all that his father Amaziah did in the beginning of his reign.
And he sought GOD in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of GoD: and as long as he sought the LORD, GOD made him to prosper. And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and GOD helped him against the Philistines.
And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt: for he strengthened himself exceedingly.
Also he built towers in Jerusalem, and in the desert, and digged many wells for he had much cattle, and vine-dressers; for he loved husbandry.
And he had an host of fighting men: the whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour were two thousand and six hundred.
And under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred that
2 Kings xv. 1.
made war with mighty power, to help the king against
And Uzziah prepared for them, throughout all the host, shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones.
And he made in Jerusalem engines invented by cunning men to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad: for he was marvellously helped till he was strong.
But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his GOD, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD that were valiant men: and they withstood Uzziah, the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense; go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed, neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD GOD.
Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar.
And Azariah the high priest, and all the priests looked upon him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence: yea, himself hasted also to go out; because the LORD had smitten him.
And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for
he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land.
Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet the son of Amos write.
So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers, in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings: for they said, He is a leper. And Jotham his son reigned in his stead.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The reign and character of Uzziah bear so great a resemblance to those of former kings, that it is needless to enlarge much upon them. He does not appear to have been at any time given to idolatrous practices, but to have grown careless in the discharge of his religious duties, after the death of Zechariah. Who this good man was, to whom the king was so much indebted, we are not told; but some imagine he was the son of that Zechariah who was murdered by king Joash.
Uzziah was the means of raising the kingdom of Judah, through the blessing of GOD, to such a pitch of eminence as it had not known for a number of years; for he attended to every particular which constitutes the temporal greatness of a nation. From the punishment inflicted upon this king, we learn that it is a very presumptuous act for any who are not properly consecrated to invade the priest's office; and we find that Uzziah was humbled in a most exemplary manner: hẹ could no longer contest with the priests, for they had an undoubted right to exclude all lepers from the congregation, and even from society.
We understand, from some passages in Scripture,