on Amos 9 :7
Children of the Ethiopians - Or Cushites. Cush was the son of Ham, Genesis 10:6; and his descendants inhabited a part of Arabia Petraea and Arabia Felix. All this stock was universally despised. See Bochart.
The Philistines from Caphtor - The island of Crete, the people of which were the Cherethim. See, 1 Samuel 30:14; Ezekiel 25:16; Zephaniah 2:5.
The Syrians from Kir? - Perhaps a city of the Medes, Isaiah 22:6. Aram, from whom Syria had its name, was the son of Shem, Genesis 10:22. Part of his descendants settled in this city, and part in Aram Naharaim, "Syria of the two rivers," viz., Mesopotamia, included between the Tigris and the Euphrates.
The meaning of the verse is this: Do not presume on my having brought you out of the land of Egypt and house of bondage, into a land flowing with milk and honey. I have brought other nations, and some of your neighbors, who are your enemies, from comparatively barren countries, into fruitful territories; such, for instance, as the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir.
on Amos 9 :7
Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto Me, O children of Israel! - Their boast and confidence was that they were children of the patriarch, to whom God made the promises. But they, not following the faith nor doing the deeds of Israel, who was a "prince with God," or of Abraham, the father of the faithful, had, for "Bene Israel," children of Israel, become as "Bene Cushiim, children of the Ethiopians," descendants of Ham, furthest off from the knowledge and grace of God, the unchangeableness of whose color was an emblem of unchangeableness in evil. "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil" Jeremiah 13:23.
Have I not brought up - (Did I not bring up) Israel out of the land of Egypt? Amos blends in one their plea and God's answer. God by bringing them up out of Egypt, pledged His truth to them to be their to protect and preserve them. True! so long as they. retained God as their God, and kept His laws. God chose them, that they might choose Him. By casting Him off, as their Lord and God, they cast themselves off and out of God's protection. By estranging themselves from God, they became as strangers in His sight. His act in bringing them up from Egypt had lost its meaning for them. It became no more than any Other event in His Providence, by which He brought up "the Philistines from Caphtor," who yet were aliens from Him, and "the Syrians from Kir," who, He had foretold, should be carried back there.
This immigration of the Philistines from Caphtor must have taken place before the return of Israel from Egypt. For Moses says, "The Caphtorim, who came forth from Caphtor" had at this time "destroyed the Avvim who dwelt in villages unto Gazah, and dwelt in their stead" Deuteronomy 2:23 An entire change in their affairs had also taken place in the four centuries and a half since the days of Isaac. In the time of Abraham and Isaac, Philistia was a kingdom; its capital, Gerar. Its king had a standing army, Phichol being "the captain of the host" Genesis 21:22; Genesis 26:26 : he had also a privy councillor, Ahuzzath Genesis 26:26. From the time after the Exodus, Philistia had ceased to be a kingdom, Gerar disappears from history; the power of Philistia is concentrated in five new towns, Gaza, Ashdod, Askelon, Gath, Ekron, with five heads, who consult and act as one (see above, the note at Amos 1:6-8).
The Caphtorim are in some sense also distinct from the old Philistines. They occupy a district not co-extensive with either the old or the new land of the Philistines. In the time of Saul, another Philistine clan is mentioned, the Cherethite. The Amalekites made a marauding inroad into the south country of the Cherethites; 1 Samuel 30:14; which immediately afterward is called "the land of the Philistines" 1 Samuel 30:16. Probably then, there were different immigrations of the same tribe into Palestine, as there were different immigrations of Danes or Saxons into England, or as there have been and are from the old world into the new, America and Australia. They, were then all merged in one common name, as English, Scotch, Irish, are in the United States. The first immigration may have been that from the Casluhim, "out of whom came Philistim" Genesis 10:14; a second, from the Caphtorim, a kindred people, since they are named next to the Casluhim Genesis 10:14, as descendants of Mizraim. Yet a third were doubtless the Cherethim. But all were united under the one name of Philistines, as Britons, Danes, Saxons, Normans, are united under the one name of English. Of these immigrations, that from Caphtor, even if (as seems probable) second in time, was the chief; which agrees with the great accession of strength, which the Philistines had received at the time of the Exodus; from where the Mediterranean had come to be called by their name, "the sea of the Philistines" Exodus 23:31 : and, in Moses' song of thanksgiving, "the inhabitants of Philistia" are named on a level with "all the inhabitants of Canaan" Exodus 15:14-15; and God led His people by the way of Mount Sinai, in order not to expose them at once to so powerful an enemy Exodus 13:17.
A third immigration of Cherethim, in the latter part of the period of the Judges, would account for the sudden increase of strength, which they seem then to have received. For whereas heretofore those whom God employed to chasten Israel in their idolatries, were Kings of Mesopotamia, Moab, Hazor, Midian, Amalek, and the children of the East Judges 3-10:5, and Philistia had, at the beginning of the period, lost Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron Judges 1:18, to Israel, and was repulsed by Shamgar, thenceforth, to the time of David, they became the great scourge of Israel on the west of Jordan, as Ammon was on the east.
The Jewish traditions in the Septuagint, the Vulgate, and three Targums, agree that Caphtor was Cappadocia, which, in that it extended to the Black Sea, might be callad "I, seacoast," literally, "habitable land, as contrasted with the sea which washed it, whether it surrounded it or no. The Cherethites may have come from Crete, as an intermediate resting place in their migrations.
on Amos 9 :7
9:7 The Arabians - A wild, thievish, and servile nation. Have not I brought - And whereas you boast my kindness to you, bringing you out of Egypt, and thereupon conclude, God cannot leave you whom he hath so redeemed; you argue amiss, for this aggravates your sin. From Kir - Conquered by some potent enemies, and sent away to Kir, a country of Media, yet at last delivered. Should these nations, argue themselves to be out of danger of divine justice, because I had done this for them.