Amos 2
Judah and Israel would be punished as certainly as were the heathen nations
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.1 ¶ Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:
 2  But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet:
 3  And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the LORD.
  1 - Moab is the last of a list of "nations" to be punished. The others were Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, and Ammon. Each would have been forgiven for three or four transgressions. This was a form of speech. Compare ec1102.
   Transgressions of Edom 2ch2022.
.4  Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:
 5  But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.

 4 - For three transgressions of Judah ... The readers of Amos' book must have become uncomfortable here. God would punish His professed people as certainly as He had the others. This three-four expression begins at am0103.
  4 - Law Torah or the whole body of rules both ceremonial and moral.
  4 - Lies Their idols were deceptive because they were wood or stone. Of course Satan works with such things.
  Jerusalem was burned by Babylon 2ki2508f
  5 - Send a fire Fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem 2ki2508,9, je1727, ho0814. This happened again in AD70 when Jerusalem was again destroyed. God will send fire again in the destruction of the wicked at the coming of Jesus and finally when the holy city descends and the wicked are completely and finally destroyed re2009.
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.6  Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;
 7  That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:
 8  And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.
  6 - Israel ... sold ... pair of shoes Even the simple possessions of the poor were affected by injustice.
  7 - Pant after dust Great covetousness. The poor had nothing but dust to wear on their heads.
  8 - Clothes These were the large robes of the poor which were to be returned by nightfall because they were needed for blankets. ex2226f.
 9 ¶ Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.
.10  Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.
 11  And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the LORD.
 12  But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not.
  A sad picture the Lord was good to them as He is to us. The Nazarite reformers and the prophets were despised. nu0602ff.
 13  Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.
 14  Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:
 15  Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself.
 16  And he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith the LORD.
  13 - Pressed under you "The marginal reading is better: "Behold, I will press your place, as a cart full of sheaves presseth." I will bring over you the wheel of destruction; and it shall grind your place your city and temple, as the wheel of a cart laden with sheaves presses down the ground, gravel, and stones over which it rolls." (Clarke).
  14 - Therefore ... flight shall parish This and the other failures expressed picture a hopeless situation of the professed people of promise.
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