on Amos 3 :15
I will smite the winter house with the summer house - I will not only destroy the poor habitations and villages in the country, but I will destroy those of the nobility and gentry as well as the lofty palaces in the fortified cities in which they dwell in the winter season, as those light and elegant seats in which they spend the summer season. Dr. Shaw observes that "the hills and valleys round about Algiers are all over beautified with gardens and country seats, whither the inhabitants of better fashion retire during the heats of the summer season. They are little white houses, shaded with a variety of fruit trees and evergreens, which beside shade and retirement, afford a gay and delightful prospect toward the sea. The gardens are all well stocked with melons, fruits, and pot herbs of all kinds; and (which is chiefly regarded in these hot countries) each of them enjoys a great command of water."
And the houses of ivory - Those remarkable for their magnificence and their ornaments, not built of ivory, but in which ivory vessels, ornaments, and inlaying abounded. Thus, then, the winter houses and the summer houses, the great houses and the houses of uncommon splendor, shall all perish. There should be a total desolation in the land. No kind of house should be a refuge, and no kind of habitation should be spared. Ahab had at Samaria a house that was called the ivory house, 1 Kings 22:39. This may be particularly referred to in this place. We cannot suppose that a house constructed entirely of ivory can be intended.
on Amos 3 :15
And I will smite the winter house with the summer house - Upon idolatry, there follow luxury and pride. "So wealthy were they," says Jerome, "as to possess two sorts of houses, "the winter house" being turned to the south, the "summer house" to the north, so that, according to the variety of the seasons, they might temper to them the heat and cold." Yet of these luxuries, (so much more natural in the East where summer-heat is so intense, and there is so little provision against cold) the only instance expressly recorded, besides this place, is "the winter house" of Jehoiakim. In Greece and Rome , the end was attained, as with us, by north and south rooms in the same house. These, which Amos rebukes, were like our town and country houses, separate residences, since they were to be destroyed, one on the other. "Ivory houses" were houses, paneled, or inlaid, with ivory. Such a palace Ahab built 1 Kings 22:39. Even Solomon "in all his glory" had but an ivory throne 1 Kings 10:18. Else "ivory palaces" Psalm 45:8 are only mentioned, as part of the symbolic glory of the King of glory, the Christ. He adds, "and the great (or many) houses shall have an end, saith the Lord." So prosperous were they in outward show, when Amos foretold their destruction. The desolation should be wide as well as mighty. All besides should pass away, and the Lord alone abide in that Day. : "What then shall we, if we would be right-minded, learn hence? How utterly nothing will all earthly brightness avail, all wealth, glory, or ought besides of luxury, if the love of God is lacking, and righteousness be not prized by us! For "treasures of wickedness profit nothing; but righteousness delivereth from death" Proverbs 10:2.
on Amos 3 :15
3:15 The winter - house - Which probably was in the chief city, whither the great men retired in the winter. The summer - house - The houses of pleasure, where the nobles and rich men spent the summer time. Of ivory - Beautified with ivory.