on Amos 4 :2
He will take you away with hooks - Two modes of fishing are here alluded to:
1. Angling with rod, line, and baited hook.
2. That with the gaff, eel-spear, harpoon, or such like; the first used in catching small fish, by which the common people may be here represented; the second, for catching large fish, such as leave the sea, and come up the rivers to deposit their spawn; or such as are caught in the sea, as sharks, whales, dolphins, and even the hippopotamus, to which the more powerful and opulent inhabitants may be likened.
But as the words in the text are generally feminine, it has been supposed that the prophecy is against the proud, powerful, voluptuous women. I rather think that the prophet speaks catachrestically; and means men of effeminate manners and idle lives. They are not the bulls of Bashan, but the cows; having little of the manly character remaining. Some understand the latter word as meaning a sort of basket or wicker fish-nets.
on Amos 4 :2
The Lord God hath sworn by His holiness - They had sinned to profane His "Holy Name" (see the note at Amos 2:7). God swears by that holiness which they had profaned in themselves on whom it was called, and which they had caused to be profaned by others. He pledges His own holiness, that He will avenge their unholiness. : "In swearing "by His holiness," God sware by Himself. For He is the supreme uncreated justice and Holiness. This justice each, in his degree, should imitate and maintain on earth, and these had sacrilegiously violated and overthrown."
Days shall come (literally, are among) upon you - God's Day and eternity are ever coming. He reminds them of their continual approach. He says not only that they will certainly come, but they are ever coming. They are holding on their steady course. Each day which passes, they advance a day closer upon the sinner. People put out of their minds what "will come;" they "put far the evil day." Therefore, God so often in His notices of woe to come, (1 Samuel 2:31; Isaiah 39:6; Jeremiah 7:32; Jeremiah 9:25; Jeremiah 17:14; Jeremiah 19:6; Jeremiah 23:5, Jeremiah 23:7; Jeremiah 30:3; Jeremiah 31:27-31, Jeremiah 31:38; Jeremiah 33:14; Jeremiah 48:12; Jeremiah 49:2; Jeremiah 51:47, Jeremiah 51:52. (Ges.); Amos 8:11), brings to mind, that those "days are" ever "coming" ; they are not a thing which shall be only; in God's purpose, they already "are;" and with one uniform steady noiseless tread "are coming upon" the sinner. Those "days shall come upon you," heavily charged with the displeasure of God, crushing you, as ye have crushed the poor. They come doubtless, too, unexpectedly upon them, as our Lords says, "and so that day come upon you unwares."
He (that is one) will take you away - In the midst of their security, they should on a sudden be taken away violently from the abode of their luxury, as the fish, when hooked, is lifted out of the water. The image pictures (see Habakkuk 1:15; Ezekiel 29:4-5,) their utter helplessness, the contempt in which they would be had, the ease with which they would be lifted out of the flood of pleasures in which they had immersed themselves. People can be reckless, at last, about themselves, so that their posterity escape, and they themselves survive in their offspring. Amos foretells, then, that these also should be swept away.
on Amos 4 :2
4:2 By his holiness - By himself as he is the holy God. The days - Of famine, desolation and captivity. He - God by the Assyrian army will take you, as fish are taken with the hook. Your posterity - The children of these oppressors.