on Amos 5 :21
So has Persius; see Sat. 2 v. 71-75: -
"Quin damus id Superis, de magna quod dare lanae," etc.
The two or three last pages of Plato's Euthyphro contain the same idea. Sacrifices and prayers are not profitable to the offerer, nor acceptable to the gods, unless accompanied with an upright life.
The fat of fed beasts, etc. - The fat and the blood are particularly mentioned, because these were in all sacrifices set apart to God. The fat was always burnt upon the altar, and the blood was partly sprinkled, differently on different occasions, and partly poured out at the bottom of the altar. See Leviticus 4.
Amos 5:21I hate, I despise your feast days - I abominate those sacrificial festivals where there is no piety, and I despise them because they pretend to be what they are not. This may refer to the three annual festivals which were still observed in a certain way among the Israelites.
on Amos 5 :21
Is the multitude - There was no deficiency in the amount of offerings. It was admitted that they complied in this respect with the requirements of the law; and that they offered an abundance of sacrifices, so numerous as to be called a multitude - רב rôb, a vast number. Hypocrites abound in outward religious observances just in proportion to their neglect of the spiritual requirements of God's word; compare Matthew 23:23.
Your sacrifices - זבחיכב zibechēykeb, from זבח zâbach, to slay; especially to slay for sacrifice. The word used here denotes any sacrifice which was made by blood; but is distinguished from the burnt-offering from the fat, that this was not entirely consumed. It is applied to the sin-offering, trespass-offering, thank-offering. The word also stands opposed to the offerings which were made without blood מנחה minchāh. Any offering that consisted in an animal that was slain came under this general denomination of sacrifice, Exodus 10:25; Leviticus 17:8; Numbers 15:5.
burnt-offerings - עלות 'olôth, from עלה ‛âlâh, to go up, ascend. It is applied to a sacrifice that was wholly consumed, or made to ascend on an altar. It corresponds to the Greek ὁλόκαυστον holokauston, that which is entirely consumed. Such offerings abounded among the Hebrews. The burnt-offering was wholly consumed on the altar, excepting the skin and the blood. The blood was sprinkled round the altar, and the other parts of the animal which was slain, were laid upon the altar and entirely burned; see Leviticus 1. This was commonly a voluntary offering; and this shows their zeal to comply with the external forms of religion.
I am full - שׂבעתי s'âba‛etı̂y, I am satiated. The word is usually applied to food and drink, denoting satisfaction, or satiety. It is used here with great force, denoting that their offerings had been so numerous and so incessant, that God was satiated with them. It means that he was weary, tired, disgusted with them. Thus, in Job 7:4 : 'I am full - שׂבעתי s'âba‛etı̂y - of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.' Proverbs 25:17 :
Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbor's house,
Lest he be weary (Hebrew full) of thee, and hate thee.
Fat ... - They were required to offer, not the lame, or the diseased Deuteronomy 15:21; Deuteronomy 17:1; Leviticus 23:12; Malachi 1:7-8; and God admits here that they had externally complied with this requirement. The fat was burned on the altar.
I delight not - That is; I delight; not in them when offered without the heart; or I delight not in them in comparison with works of righteousness; see Amos 5:21-24; Psalm 4:9-13; Psalm 51:16-19.
Amos 5:21I hate, I despise your feasts - Israel clave to its heart's sin, the worship of the true God, under the idol-form of the calf; else, it would fain be conscientious and scrupulous. It had its "feasts" of solemn "joy" and the "restraint" of its "solemn assemblies" , which all were constrained to keep, abstaining from all servile work. They offered "whole burnt offerings," the token of self-sacrifice, in which the sacrificer retained nothing to himself, but gave the whole freely to God. They offered also "peace offerings," as tokens of the willing thankfulness of souls at peace with God. What they offered, was the best of its kind, "fatted beasts." Hymns of praise, full-toned chorus, instrumental music! What was missing, Israel thought, to secure them the favor of God? Love and obedience. "If ye love Me, keep My commandments." And so those things, whereby they hoped to propitiate God, were the object of His displeasure. "I hate, I despise, I will not accept" with good pleasure; "I will not regard," look toward, "I will not hear, will not smell." The words, "I will not smell," reminded them of that threat in the law" Leviticus 26:31, "I will make your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savor of your sweet odors." In so many ways does God declare that He would not accept or endure, what they all the while were building upon, as grounds of their acceptance. And yet so secure were they, that the only sacrifice which they did not offer, was the sin or trespass offering. Worshiping "nature," not a holy, Personal, God, they had no sense of unholiness, for which to plead the Atoning Sacrifice to come. Truly each Day of Judgment unveils much self-deceit. How much more the Last!
on Amos 5 :21
5:21 I hate - Impure and unholy as they are. Will not smell - A savour, of rest or delight, I will not accept and be pleased with.