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Amos 8:9

    Amos 8:9 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And it shall come to pass in that day, said the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord Jehovah, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And it will come about in that day, says the Lord God, that I will make the sun go down in the middle of the day, and I will make the earth dark in daylight:

    Webster's Revision

    And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord Jehovah, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.

    World English Bible

    It will happen in that day," says the Lord Yahweh, "that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.

    Clarke's Commentary on Amos 8:9

    I will cause the sun to go down at noon - This may either refer to that darkness which often precedes and accompanies earthquakes, or to an eclipse. Abp. Usher has shown that about eleven years after Amos prophesied there were two great eclipses of the sun; one at the feast of tabernacles, and the other some time before the passover. The prophet may refer to the darkness occasioned by those eclipses; yet I rather think the whole may refer to the earthquake.

    Barnes' Notes on Amos 8:9

    I will cause the sun to go down - Darkness is heaviest and blackest in contrast with the brightest light; sorrow is saddest, when it comes upon fearless joy. God commonly, in His mercy, sends heralds of coming sorrow; very few burst suddenly on man. Now, in the meridian brightness of the day of Israel, the blackness of night should fall at once upon him. Not only was light to be displaced by darkness, but "then," when it was most opposite to the course of nature. Not by gradual decay, but by a sudden unlooked-for crash, was Israel to perish. Pekah was a military chief; he had reigned more than seventeen years over Israel in peace, when, together with Rezin king of Damascus, he attempted to extirpate the line of David, and to set a Syrian, one "on of Tabea" Isaiah 7:6, on his throne. Ahaz was weak, with no human power to resist; his "heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the forest are moved with the wind" Isaiah 7:2. Tiglath-pileser came upon Pekah and carried off the tribes beyond Jordan 2 Kings 15:29. Pekah's sun set, and all was night with no dawn. Shortly after, Pekah himself was murdered by Hoshea 2 Kings 15:30, as he had himself murdered Pekahiah. After an anarchy of nine years, Hoshea established himself on the throne; the nine remaining years were spent in the last convulsive efforts of an expiring monarchy, subdual to Shalmaneser, rebellious alliance with So, king of Egypt, a three years' siege, and the lamp went out 2 Kings 17:1-9.

    And I will darken the earth at noon-day - To the mourner "all nature seems to mourn." "Not the ground only," says Chrysostom in the troubles at Antioch , "but the very substance of the air, and the orb of the solar rays itself seems to me now in a manner to mourn and to shew a duller light. Not that the elements change their nature, but that our eyes, confused by a cloud of sorrow, cannot receive the light from it's rays purely, nor are they alike impressible. This is what the prophet of old said mourning, 'Their sun shall set to them at noon, and the day shall be darkened.' Not that the sun was hidden, or the day disappeared, but that tile mourners could see no light even in mid-day, for the darkness of their grief." No eclipse of the sun, in which the sun might seem to be shrouded in darkness at mid-day, has been calculated which should have suggested this image to the prophet's mind.

    It had been thought, however, that there might be reference to an eclipse of the sun which took place a few years after this prophecy, namely, Feb. 9. 784, b.c. the year of the death of Jeroboam II. This eclipse did reach its height at Jerusalem a little before mid-day, at 11:24 a.m..

    An accurate calculation, however, shows that, although total in southern latitudes, the line of totality was, at the longitude of Jerusalem or Samaria, about 11 degrees south Latitude, and so above 43 degrees south of Samaria, and that it did not reach the same latitude as Samaria until near the close of the eclipse, about 64 degrees west of Samaria in the easternmost part of Thibet . : "The central eclipse commenced in the southern Atlantic Ocean, passed nearly exactly over Helena , reached the continent of Africa in Lower Guinea, traversed the interior of Africa, and left it near Zanzibar, went through the Indian Ocean and entered India in the Gulf of Gambay, passed between Agra and Allahabad into Tibet and reached its end on the frontiers of China." The eclipse then would hardly have been noticeable at Samaria, certainly very far indeed from being an eclipse of such magnitude, as could in any degree correspond with the expression, "I will cause the sun to go down at noon."

    Ussher suggests, if true, a different coincidence. "There was an eclipse of the sun of about 10 digits in the Julian year 3923 (791 b.c.,) June 24, in the Feast of Pentecost; another, of about 12 digits, 20 years afterward, 3943, 771 b.c., Nov. 8, on the Day of the Feast of Tabernacles; and a third of more than 11 digits, on the following year 3944, May 5, on the Feast of the Passover. Consider whether that prophecy of Amos does not relate to it, "I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day, and I will turn your feasts into mourning."

    Which, as the Christian fathers have adapted in an allegorical sense to the darkness at the time of our Lord's Passion in the Feast of the Passover, so it may have been fulfilled, in the letter, in these three great eclipses, which darkened the day of the three festivals in which all the males were bound to appear before the Lord. So that as, among the Greeks, Thales, first, by astronomical science, predicted eclipses of the sun , so, among the Hebrews, Amos first seems to have foretold them by inspiration of the Holy Spirit." The eclipses, pointed out by Ussher, must have been the one total, the others very considerable . Beforehand, one should not have expected that an eclipsc of the sun, being itself a regular natural phaenomenon, and having no connection with the moral government of God, should have been the subject of the prophet's prediction.

    Still it had a religious impressiveness then, above what it has now, on account of that wide-prevailing idolatry of the sun. It exhibited the object of their false worship, shorn of its light and passive. If Ussher is right as to the magnitude of those eclipses in the latitude of Jerusalem, and as to the correspondence of the days of the solar year, June 24, Nov. 8, May 5, in those years, with the days of the lunar year upon which the respective feasts fell, it would be a remarkable correspondence. Still the years are somewhat arbitrarily chosen, the second only 771 b.c., (on which the house of Jehu came to an end through the murder of the weak and sottish Zechariah,) corresponding with any marked event in the kingdom of Israel. On the other hand, it is the more likely that the words, "I will cause the sun to go down at noon," are an image of a sudden reverse, in that Micah also uses the words as an image, "the sun shall go down upon the prophets and the day shall be dark upon" (or, "over") "them" Micah 2:6.
    Book: Amos