Amos 5
Virgin Israel has fallen; she hates reproof; a remnant will remain
 1 ¶ Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel.
.2  The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up.
 3  For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel.
  1 - Hear We begin the third of the three messages of Amos. Others begin at am0301 and am0412. The significance of this one is seen in verse 4.
  1 - Lamentation Although Amos had been called to rebuke the wicked nation, he was sorry about their situation. Compare Jesus' attitude lu1940-44.
  2 - Virgin of Israel ... no more rise Those who see the modern nation of Israel as a restoration of the old nation may not have noticed this verse. Compare ez2736.
  3 - City that went out A picture of military weakness.
.4 ¶ For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:
 5  But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.
 6  Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.
 7  Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,
  4 - Seek ye me Appeal of a loving God. He could work for them if they would stop their rebellion.
  5 - Bethel Not a house of God as the name implies. It had become the temple of an idol. Ber-sheba about 45 miles (72 km.) south of Jerusalem was into idolatry 2ki2308. See southern edge of map
 8  Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:
 9  That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.
  Shadow of death into the morning Contrast to verse 7 ps02304.
   9 - Or "Who makes destruction flash forth against the strong, so that destruction comes upon the fortress." RSV.
 10  They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.
.11  Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them.
 12  For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.
.13  Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.
  12 - Bribe ... turn aside the poor Not unlike our modern world. Even in the US, people and companies give money to those in congress and are rewarded by their votes.
  13 - Prudent ... silence See on ps6205.
 14  Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.
 15  Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.
  15 - Remnant of Joseph Amos turns their minds back to their popular and righteous ancestor who remained true to God.
.16 ¶ Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus; Wailing shall be in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.
 17  And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the LORD.
  17 - I will pass through thee Compare ex1212.
.18  Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.
 19  As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
 20  Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
  18 - Desire Why would they desire it? To destroy all their enemies. But, judgment was coming to them. Of course the primary meaning here is for us. The day of the Lord is the coming time of trouble. We will escape only if found totally committed to our Lord.
 21 ¶ I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.
 22  Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.
.23  Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.
.24  But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
  21 - Despise ... assemblies Going to church is not enough.
  23 - Noise ... viols "They had both vocal and instrumental music in those sacrificial festivals; and God hated the noise of the one and shut his ears against the melody of the other. In the first there was nothing but noise, because their hearts were not right with God; and in the latter there could be nothing but (... zimrath) cutting and scraping, because there was no heart—no religious sense in the thing, and nearly as little in them that used it." (Clarke). 
   The Hebrew word translated "viol" is nehbel and is translated as a skin bag, a vase, a pitcher, a lyre, and so on. The viol was a stringed instrument with frets and played with a bow. It was used in the 16th and 17th centuries. The KJV translators used the best English word they could find. The message for us is that music played in church is not necessarily pleasing to God.
 25  Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
 26  But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.
 27  Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.


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