Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Amos 5:8

    Amos 5:8 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Seek him that makes the seven stars and Orion, and turns the shadow of death into the morning, and makes the day dark with night: that calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    seek him that maketh the Pleiades 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 (Jehovah is his name);

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Go for help to him who makes Orion and the Pleiades, by whom the deep dark is turned into morning, who makes the day black with night; whose voice goes out to the waters of the sea, sending them out over the face of the earth: the Lord is his name;

    Webster's Revision

    seek him that maketh the Pleiades 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 (Jehovah is his name);

    World English Bible

    seek him who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns the shadow of death into the morning, and makes the day dark with night; who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the surface of the earth, Yahweh is his name,

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    seek him that maketh the Pleiades 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;

    Definitions for Amos 5:8

    Sea - Large basin.

    Clarke's Commentary on Amos 5:8

    That maketh the seven stars and Orion - Or, Hyades and Arcturus, Kimah and Kesil. See my notes on Job 9:9; Job 38:32, where the subject of this verse is largely considered.

    Turneth the shadow of death into the morning - Who makes day and night, light and darkness.

    Calleth for the waters of the sea - Raising them up by evaporation, and collecting them into clouds.

    And poureth them out - Causing them to drop down in showers upon the face of the earth. Who has done this? Jehovah is his name.

    Barnes' Notes on Amos 5:8

    Seek Him that maketh the seven stars - Misbelief effaces the thought of God as He Is. It retains the name God, but means something quite different from the One True God. So people spoke of "the Deity," as a sort of First Cause of all things, and did not perceive that they only meant to own that this fair harmony of things created was not (at least as it now exists,) self-existent, and that they had lost sight of the Personal God who had made known to them His Will, whom they were to believe in, obey, fear, love. "The Deity" was no object of fear or love. It was but a bold confession that they did not mean to be Atheists, or that they meant intellectually to admire the creation. Such confessions, even when not consciously atheistic, become at least the parents of Atheism or Panotheism, and slide insensibly into either. For a First Cause, who is conceived of as no more, is an abstraction, not God. God is the Cause of all causes.

    All things are, and have their relations to each other, as cause and effect, because He so created them. A "Great First Cause," who is only thought of as a Cause, is a mere fiction of a man's imagining, an attempt to appear to account for the mysteries of being, without owning that, since our being is from God, we are responsible creatures whom He created for Himself, and who are to yield to Him an account of the use of our being which He gave us. In like way, Israel had probably so mixed up the thought of God with Nature, that it had lost sight of God, as distinct from the creation. And so Amos, after appealing to their consciences, sets forth God to them as the Creator, Disposer of all things, and the Just God, who redresseth man's violence and injustice. The "seven stars," literally, "the heap," are the striking cluster of stars, called by Greeks and Latins the Pleiades, , which consist of seven larger stars, and in all of above forty.

    Orion, a constellation in one line with the Pleiades, was conceived by the Arabs and Syrians also, as a gigantic figure. The Chaldee also renders, the "violent" or "the rebel." The Hebrew title "כּסיל Keciyl, fool," adds the idea of an irreligious man, which is also the meaning of Nimrod, "rebel," literally, "let us rebel." Job, in that he speaks of "the bands of Orion Job 38:31, pictures him as "bound," the "belt" being the "band." This falls in with the later tradition, that Nimrod, who, as the founder of Babel, was the first rebel against God , was represented by the easterns in their grouping of the stars, as a giant chained , the same constellation which we call Orion.

    And turneth the shadow of death into the morning - This is no mere alternation of night and day, no "kindling" of "each day out of night." The "shadow of death" is strictly the darkness of death, or of the grave Job 3:5; Job 10:21-22; Job 34:22; Job 38:17; Psalm 23:4; Jeremiah 13:16. It is used of darkness intense as the darkness of the grave Job 28:3, of gloom Job 24:17, or moral benightening (Isaiah 9:2, (1 Hebrew)) which seems to cast "the shadow of death" over the soul, of distress which is as the forerunner of death Job 16:16; Psalm 44:19; Psalm 107:10, Psalm 107:14; Jeremiah 2:6; Jeremiah 13:16, or of things, hidden as the grave, which God alone can bring to light Job 12:22. The word is united with darkness, physical, moral, mental, but always as intensifying it, beyond any mere darkness. Amos first sets forth the power of God, then His goodness. Out of every extremity of ill, God can, will, does, deliver. He who said, "let there be light and there was light," at once changeth any depth of darkness into light, the death-darkness of sin into the dawn of grace, the hopeless night of ignorance into "the day-star from on high," the night of the grave into the eternal morn of the Resurrection which knoweth no setting. But then on impenitence the contrary follows;

    And maketh the day dark with night - Literally, "and darkeneth day into night." As God withdraws "the shadow of death," so that there should be no trace of it left, but all is filled with His light, so, again, when His light is abused or neglected, He so withdraws it, as at times, to leave no trace or gleam of it. Conscience becomes benighted, so as to sin undoubtingly: faith is darkened, so that the soul no more even suspects the truth. Hell has no light.

    That calleth for the waters of the sea - This can be no other than a memory of the flood, "when the waters prevailed over the earth Genesis 7:24. The prophet speaks of nothing partial. He speaks of "sea" and "earth," each, as a whole, standing against the other. "God calleth the waters of the sea and poureth them over the face of the earth." They seem ever threatening the land, but for Him "which hath placed the sand for the bound of the sea, that it cannot pass it" Jeremiah 5:22. Now God calls them, and "pours them over the face," that is, the whole surface. The flood, He promised, should not again be. But it is the image of that universal destruction, which shall end man's thousands of years of rebellion against God. The words then of Amos, in their simplest sense, speak of a future universal judgment of the inhabitants of the earth, like, in extent, to that former judgment, when God "brought in the flood upon the world of the ungodly" 2 Peter 2:5.

    The words have been thought also to describe that daily marvel of God's Providence, how, from the salt briny sea, which could bring but barrenness, He, by the heat of the Sun, draws up the moisture, and discharges it anew in life-giving showers on the surface of the earth. God's daily care of us, in the workings of His creatures is a witness Acts 14:17 of His relation to us as our Father; it is an earnest also of our relation, and so of our accountableness, to Him.

    The Lord is His name - He, the One Self-existent Unchangeable God, who revealed Himself to their forefathers, and forbade them to worship Him under any form of their own device.

    Wesley's Notes on Amos 5:8

    5:8 The seven stars - A constellation, whose rising about September was usually accompanied with sweet showers. Orion - Which arising about November brings usually cold, rains and frosts intermixt very seasonable for the earth. The shadow of the earth - The greatest adversity into as great prosperity. Dark with might - Changes prosperity into adversity. That calleth - Commands the vapour to ascend, which he turns into rain; and then pours from the clouds to make the earth fruitful.
    Book: Amos