Amos 3:13
Hear you, and testify in the house of Jacob, said the Lord GOD, the God of hosts,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Hear ye.—Addressed to the foreign nations Egypt and Philistia referred to in Amos 3:9.

Amos 3:13-15. Hear ye, and testify, &c. — These words are directed to the prophets whom God sends to declare his will. In the day that I shall visit, &c. — In the general destruction of the ten tribes, my judgments will be particularly visible upon the places dedicated to idolatrous worship, especially Beth-el, the principal place of that kind. And the horns of the altar shall be cut off — These were squares placed at the four corners of the altar, and hollow in the middle, into which some of the blood of the sacrifices was poured. And I will smite the winter-house with the summer- house — The kings and great men had different houses and apartments for spending the winter and summer in. These were placed and made suitable to those different seasons. And the houses of ivory shall perish — We read 1 Kings 22:49, that King Ahab built himself an ivory house, that is, a house ceiled or wainscoted with ivory: or at least inlaid in some parts of it with ivory; and it is probable that other great men followed his example. 3:9-15 That power which is an instrument of unrighteousness, will justly be brought down and broken. What is got and kept wrongfully, will not be kept long. Some are at ease, but there will come a day of visitation, and in that day, all they are proud of, and put confidence in, shall fail them. God will inquire into the sins of which they have been guilty in their houses, the robbery they have stored up, and the luxury in which they lived. The pomp and pleasantness of men's houses, do not fortify against God's judgments, but make sufferings the more grievous and vexatious. Yet a remnant, according to the election of grace, will be secured by our great and good Shepherd, as from the jaws of destruction, in the worst times.Hear ye and testify ye in - (Rather unto or against ) the house of Israel; first "hear" yourselves, then "testify," that is, solemnly "protest," in the Name of God; and "bear witness unto" and "against" them, so that the solemn words may sink into them. It is of little avail to "testfy," unless we first "hear;" nor can man "bear witness" to what he doth not know; nor will words make an "impression," that is, leave a trace of themselves, be stamped in or on people's souls, unless the soul which utters them have first hearkened unto them.

Saith the Lord God of hosts - "So thundereth, as it were, the authority of the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of the shepherd. Foretelling and protesting the destruction of the altar of Bethel, he sets his God against the god whom Israel had chosen as theirs and worshiped there, "the Lord God of hosts," against "the similitude of a calf that eateth hay" Psalm 106:20. Not I, a shepherd, but so speaketh my God against your god."

13. testify in the house, &c.—that is, against the house of Jacob. God calls on the same persons as in Am 3:9, namely, the heathen Philistines and the Egyptians to witness with their own eyes Samaria's corruptions above described, so that none may be able to deny the justice of Samaria's punishment [Maurer].

God of hosts—having all the powers of heaven and earth at His command, and therefore One calculated to strike terror into the hearts of the guilty whom He threatens.

Hear ye; prophets.

Testify, publicly declare and witness, make what proof you can of this thing, in the house of Jacob; to the ten tribes, as first and most nearly concerned herein, and to the two tribes also, who, as guilty of many and great sins, so are in danger of many and great judgments, and these hastening on them.

Saith the Lord God; assure them the message comes from the Lord God.

The God of hosts, who is Lord of all, and hath all power in his hand; when he commands, all the hosts of creatures attend to execute his commands, so that what he threateneth he will surely execute. Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob,.... The prophets and priests, whose business it was to speak to the people from the Lord, and declare his will to them, and to admonish them of their sin and danger, are here called upon to hearken to what the Lord was about to say, and to testify and publish it to the people of Israel, the posterity of Jacob, though sadly degenerated:

saith the Lord God, the God of hosts; the eternal Jehovah, the Being of beings, the God of the whole earth, the God of the armies above and below; and, being so great, ought to be heard with the greatest attention and reverence in what follows.

Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord GOD, the God of hosts,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. Hear ye, and testify against, &c.] The persons addressed might be the heathen nobles of Philistia and Egypt (Amos 3:9 b). But in view of the fact that they are not to see, but to hear, and that it is the divine sentence in Amos 3:14 which is to be virtually the subject of their testimony, it is probable that, as in Amos 3:9 a, ideal bearers of the divine message are intended by the prophet. Testify, i.e. declare solemnly, as Genesis 43:3; Deuteronomy 8:19; Psalm 50:7; Psalm 80:8; and frequently.

the Lord Jehovah, the God of hosts] In Amos 4:13, Amos 5:14-15, Amos 6:8; Amos 6:14, Hosea 7:5, “Jehovah, the God of hosts”; in ch. Amos 5:27, “the God of hosts”; in Amos 5:16, “Jehovah, the God of hosts, the Lord”; in Amos 9:5, “The Lord, Jehovah of hosts”; in the prophets generally, simply “Jehovah of hosts.” The finest and most expressive of Jehovah’s titles, used pre-eminently by the prophets, and designating Him, in a word, as the Omnipotent. See the Additional Note, p. 231 f.Verse 13. - Hear ye; Septuagint, Ἱερεῖς ἀκούσατε, "Hear, O ye priests." The address is to the heathen, already summoned (ver. 9) to witness the sins of Israel, and now called to witness her punishment, In the house; better, against the house of Jacob, the tribes of Israel (ver. 1). God of hosts. God of the powers of heaven and earth, and therefore able to execute his threats. Septuagint, ὁ Παντοκράτωρ, "the Almighty." "Canaan, in his hand is the scale of cheating: he loves to oppress. Hosea 12:8. And Ephraim says, Yet I have become rich, have acquired property: all my exertions bring me no wrong, which would be sin." Israel is not a Jacob who wrestles with God; but it has become Canaan, seeking its advantage in deceit and wrong. Israel is called Canaan here, not so much on account of its attachment to Canaanitish idolatry (cf. Ezekiel 16:3), as according to the appellative meaning of the word Kena‛an, which is borrowed from the commercial habits of the Canaanites (Phoenicians), viz., merchant or trader (Isaiah 23:8; Job 40:30), because, like a fraudulent merchant, it strove to become great by oppression and cheating; not "because it acted towards God like a fraudulent merchant, offering Him false show for true reverence," as Schmieder supposes. For however thoroughly this may apply to the worship of the Israelites, it is not to this that the prophet refers, but to fraudulent weights, and the love of oppression or violence. And this points not to their attitude towards God, but to their conduct towards their fellow-men, which is the very opposite of what, according to the previous verse, the Lord requires (chesed ūmishpât), and the very thing which He has forbidden in the law, in Leviticus 19:36; Deuteronomy 24:13-16, and also in the case of ‛âshaq, violence, in Leviticus 6:2-4; Deuteronomy 24:14. Ephraim prides itself upon this unrighteousness, in the idea that it has thereby acquired wealth and riches, and with the still greater self-deception, that with all its acquisition of property it has committed no wrong that was sin, i.e., that would be followed by punishment. און does not mean "might" here, but wealth, opes, although as a matter of fact, since Ephraim says this as a nation, the riches and power of the state are intended. כּל־יגיעי is not written at the head absolutely, in the sense of "so far as what I have acquired is concerned, men find no injustice in this;" for it that were the case, בּי would stand for לי; but it is really the subject, and יצמצאוּ is to be taken in the sense of acquiring equals bringing in (cf. Leviticus 5:7; Leviticus 12:8, etc.).
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