on Amos 5 :25
But thou hast been weary of me, O Israel "Neither on my account hast thou lahoured, O Israel" - For כי יגעת ki yagata, the Septuagint and Vulgate read ויגעת veyagata. - Houbigant. The negative is repeated or referred to by the conjunction ו vau, as in many other places. See note on Isaiah 23:4.
Amos 5:25Have ye offered unto me sacrifices - Some have been led to think that "during the forty years which the Israelites spent in the wilderness, between Egypt and the promised land, they did not offer any sacrifices, as in their circumstances it was impossible; they offered none because they had none." But such people must have forgotten that when the covenant was made at Sinai, there were burnt-offerings and peace-offerings of oxen sacrificed to the Lord, Exodus 24:5; and at the setting up of the tabernacle the twelve princes of the twelve tribes offered each a young bullock, a ram, and a lamb, for a burnt-offering; a kid for a sin-offering; two oxen, five rams, five he-goats, and five lambs, for a peace-offering, Numbers 7:12, etc.; which amounted to an immense number of victims offered in the course of the twelve days during which this feast of the dedication lasted. At the consecration of priests, bullocks and rams to a considerable number were offered, see Leviticus 8:1, etc.; but they were not offered so regularly, nor in such abundance, as they were after the settlement in the promised land. Learned men, therefore, have considered this verse as speaking thus: Did ye offer to me, during forty years in the wilderness, sacrifices in such a way as was pleasing to me? Ye did not; for your hearts were divided, and ye were generally in a spirit of insurrection or murmuring.
on Amos 5 :25
Have ye offered - (better, "Did ye offer") unto Me sacrifices and offerings? Israel justified himself to himself by his half-service. This had been his way from the first. "Their heart was not whole with God, neither abode they in His covenant" Psalm 78:37. He thought to be accepted by God, because he did a certain homage to Him. He acknowledged God in his own way. God sets before him another instance of this half-service and what it issued in; the service of that generation which He brought out of Egypt, and which left their bones in the wilderness. The idolatry of the ten tribes was the revival of the idolatry of the wilderness. The ten tribes owned as the forefathers of their worship those first idolaters . They identified themselves with sin which they did not commit. By approving it and copying it, they made that sin their own. As the Church of God in all times is one and the same, and Hosea says of God's vision to Jacob, "there He spake with us" , so that great opposite camp, the city of the devil, has a continuous existence through all time. These idolaters were "filling up the measure of" their forefathers, and in the end of those forefathers, who perished in the wilderness where they sinned, they might behold their own. As God rejected the divided service of their forefathers, so He would their's.
God does not say that they did not offer sacrifice at all, but that they did not offer unto "Him." The "unto Me" is emphatic. If God is not served wholly and alone, He is not served at all. : "He regardeth not the offering, but the will of the offerer." Some sacrifices were offered during the 38 years and a half, after God had rejected that generation, and left them to die in the wilderness. For the rebellion of Korah and his company was a claim to exercise the priesthood, as Aaron was exercising it Numbers 16:5, Numbers 16:9-10. When atonement was to be made, the "live coals" were already on the altar Numbers 16:46. These, however, were not the free-will offerings of the people, but the ordinance of God, performed by the priests. The people, in that they went after their idols, had no share in nor benefit from what was offered in their name. So Moses says, "they sacrificed to devils, not to God" Deuteronomy 32:17; and Ezekiel, "Their heart went after their idols" Ezekiel 20:16.
Those were the gods of their affections, whom they chose. God had taken them for His people, and had become their God, on the condition that they should not associate other gods with Him Exodus 20:2-5. Had they loved God who made them, they would have loved none beside Him. Since they chose other gods, these were the objects of their love. God was, at most, an object of their fear. As He said by Hosea, "their bread is for themselves, it shall not enter into the house of the Lord" Hosea 9:4, so here He asks, and by asking denies it, "Did ye offer unto Me?" Idolatry and heresy feign a god of their own. They do not own God as He has revealed Himself; and since they own not God as He is, the god whom they worship, is not the true God, but some creature of their own imaginings, such as they conceive God to be. Anti-Trinitarianism denies to God His essential Being, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Other heresies refuse to own His awful holiness and justice; others, the depth of His love and condescension. Plainly, their god is not the one true God. So these idolaters, while they associated with God gods of cruelty and lust, and looked to them for things which God in His holiness and love refused them, did not own God, as the One Holy Creator, the Sole Disposer of all things.
on Amos 5 :25