on Amos 3 :11
An adversary, round about the land - Ye shall not be able to escape, wherever ye turn, ye shall meet a foe.
on Amos 3 :11
Therefore thus saith the Lord God - There was no human redress. The oppressor was mighty, but mightier the Avenger of the poor. Man would not help; therefore God would. "An adversary" there shall be, "even round about the land;" literally, "An enemy, and around the land!" The prophets speaks, as seeing him. The abruptness tells how suddenly that enemy should come, and hem in the whole land on all sides. What an unity in their destruction! He sees one "enemy, and" him everywhere, all "around," encircling, encompassing, as with a net, their whole land, narrowing in, as he advanced, until it closed around and upon them. The corruption was universal, so should be the requital.
And he shall bring down thy strength from - (that is, away from) thee The word "bring down" implies a loftiness of pride which was to be brought low, as in Obadiah, "thence will I bring thee down" Obadiah 1:4; and in Isaiah, "I will bring down their strength to the earth" Isaiah 63:6. But further, their strength was not only, as in former oppressions, to be "brought down," but "forth from thee. Thy palaces shall be spoiled;" those palaces, in which they had heaped up the spoils of the oppressed. Man's sins are, in God's Providence, the means of their punishment. "Woe to thee that spoilest and" Isaiah 33:1 (that is, whereas) thou wert "not spoiled, and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherowsly with thee! when thou perfectest, spoiling, thou shalt be spoiled; when thou accomplihest dealing treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee." Their spoiling should invite the spoiler, their oppressions should attract the oppressor and they, with all which they held to be their strength, should go "forth" into captivity.
Rib.: "The Lord will be justified in His sayings, and in His works, when He executeth judgment on 'us and shall be cleared,' even by the most unjust judges, 'when He is judged.' Psalm 51:4. He cites the Ashdodites and Egyptians as judges, who were witnesses of His benefits to this people, that they might see how justly He punished them. And now the hardened Jews themselves, Turks and all Hagarenes, might be called to behold at once our iniquities, and 'the mercies of the Lord, that we are not consumed' Lamentations 3:22. If these were gathered on the mountains of Samaria, and surveyed from aloft our sins, who worship Mammon and Vain-glory and Venus for God, doubtless the Name of God would through us be blasphemed among the pagan. 'Imagine yourselves withdrawn for a while to the summit of some lofty mountain,' says the blessed martyr Cyprian , 'view thence the face of things, as they lie beneath you, yourself free from contact of earth, cast your eyes hither and thither, and mark the turmoils of this billowy world.
You too, recalled to self-remembrance, will pity the world; and, made more thankful to God, will congratulate yourself with deeper joy that you have escaped it. See thou the ways obstructed by bandits, the seas infested by pirates, war diffused everywhere by the camp's bloodstained fierceness: a world reeking with mutual slaughter; and homicide, a crime in individuals, called virtue when worked by nations. Not innocence but the scale of its ferocity gains impunity for guilt. Turn thy eyes to the cities, thou wilt see a populated concourse more melancholy than any solitude.' This and much more which he says of the life of the Gentiles, how it fits in with our's, any can judge. What greater madness than that people, called to heavenly thrones, should cling to trifles of earth? immortal man glued to passing, perishable things people, redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ, for lucre wrong their brethren, redeemed by the same Price, the same Blood! No marvel then, that the Church is afflicted, and encompassed by unseen enemies, and her strength drawn down from her spoiled houses."
"Samaria is also every soul, which willeth to please man by whom it thinketh it may be holpen, rather than God, and, boasting itself to be Israel, yet worshipeth the golden calves, that is, gold, silver, honors, and pleasures. Let people alien from the light of the Gospel survey 'its tumults,' with what ardor of mind riches, pleasures are sought, how ambition is served, how restless and disturbed the soul is in catching at nothings, how forgetful of God the Creator and of heavenly things and of itself, how minded, as if it were to perish with the body! What tumults, when ambition bids one thing, lust another, avarice another, wrath another, and, like strong winds on the sea, strong, unbridled passions strive together! They 'know not to do right,' bad ends spoiling acts in themselves good. They 'treasure up violence,' whereas they ought to treasure up grace and charity against that Day when God shall judge the secrets of people. And when they ascribe to themselves any benefits of the divine mercy, and any works pleasing to God, which they may have done or do, what else do they than 'store up robbery?' So then the powers of the soul are "spoiled," when truths as to right action, once known and understood by the soul, fade and are obscure, when the memory retaineth nothing usefill, when the will is spoiled of virtues and yields to vicious affections."
on Amos 3 :11
3:11 Therefore - Because of all the violence and rapine with other crying sins. An adversary - The Assyrian. Round about - Shall beset the whole land as one besieged city.