Amos 2:4
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Thus says the LORD, "For three transgressions of Judah and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they rejected the law of the LORD And have not kept His statutes; Their lies also have led them astray, Those after which their fathers walked.

King James Bible
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:

Darby Bible Translation
Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not revoke its sentence; because they have despised the law of Jehovah, and have not kept his statutes; and their lies have caused them to err, after which their fathers walked.

World English Bible
Thus says Yahweh: "For three transgressions of Judah, yes, for four, I will not turn away its punishment; because they have rejected Yahweh's law, and have not kept his statutes, and their lies have led them astray, after which their fathers walked;

Young's Literal Translation
Thus said Jehovah: For three transgressions of Judah, And for four, I do not reserve it, Because of their loathing the law of Jehovah, And His statutes they have not kept, And their lies do cause them to err, After which their fathers did walk,

Amos 2:4 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For three transgressions of Judah etc. - Rup.: "Here too there is no difference of Jew and Gentile. The word of God, a just judge, spareth no man's person. whom sin joins in one, the sentence of the Judge disjoins not in punishment" Romans 2:12. "As many as have sinned without law, shall also perish without law, and as many as have signed in the law, shall be judged by the law." Jerome: "Those other nations, Damascus and the rest, he upbraids not for having cast away the law of God, and despised His commandments, for they had not the written law, but that of nature only. So then of them he says, that "they corrupted all their compassions" - and the like. But Judah, who, at that time, had the worship of God and the temple and its rites, and had received the law and commandments and judgments and precepts and testimonies, is rebuked and convicted by the Lord, for that it had "cast aside His law and not kept His commandments;" wherefore it should be punished as it deserved.

And since they rejected and despised these, then, in course, "their lies deceived them," that is, their idols; "lies" on their part who made them and worshiped them for the true God, and "lies" and lying to them, as deceiving their hopes. "For an idol is nothing in the world" 1 Corinthians 8:4, as neither are all the vanities in the world whereof people make idols, but they deceive by a vain show, as though they were something. Jerome: "They would not have been deceived by their idols, unless they had first rejected the law of the Lord and not done His commandments." They had sinned with a high hand: "despising" and so rejecting the law of God; and so He despised and rejected them, leaving them to be deceived by the lies which they themselves had chosen. So it ever is with man. Man must either "love God's law and hate and abhor lies" Psalm 119:163, or he will despise God's law and cleave to lies.

He first in act "despises" God's law, (and whoso does not keep it, despises it,) and then he must needs be deceived by some idol of his own, which becomes his God. He first chooses willfully his own "lie," that is, whatever he chooses out of God, and then his own "lie" deceives him. So, morally, liars at last believe themselves. So, whatever false maxim anyone has adopted against his conscience, whether in belief or practice, to justify what he wills against the will of God, or to explain away what God reveals and he mislikes, stifling and lying to his conscience, in the end deceives his conscience, and at the last, a man believes that to be true, which, before he had lied to his conscience, he knew to be false. The prophet uses a bold word in speaking of man's dealings with his God, "despises." Man carries on the serpent's first fraud, "Hath God indeed said?" Man would not willingly own, that he is directly at variance with the Mind of God. Man, in his powerlessness, at war with Omnipotence, and, in his limited knowledge, with Omniscience! It were too silly, as well as too terrible.

So he smoothes it over to himself, "lying" to himself. "God's word must not be taken so precisely;" "God cannot have meant;" "the Author of nature would not have created us so, if He had meant;" and all the other excuses, by which he would evade owning to himself that he is directly rejecting the Mind of God and trampling it under foot. Scripture draws off the veil. Judah had the law of God, and did not keep it; then, he "despised" it. On the one side was God's will, His Eternal Wisdom, His counsel for man for good; on the other, what debasements! On the one side were God's awful threats, on the other, His exceeding promises. Yet man chose whatever he willed, lying to himself, and acting as though God had never threatened or promised or spoken. This ignoring of God's known Will and law and revelation is to despise them, "as effectually as to curse God to His face" Job 2:5. This rejection of God was hereeditary.

Their lies were those "after which their fathers walked," in Egypt and from Egypt onward, in the wilderness (see the note at Amos 5:25-26) , "making the image of the calf of Egypt and worshiping Baalpeor and Ashtoreth and Baalim." Evil acquires a sort of authority by time. People become inured to evils, to which they have been used. False maxims, undisputed, are thought indisputable. They are in possession; and "possession" is held a good title. The popular error of one generation becomes the axiom of the next. The descent "of the image of the great goddess Diana from Jupiter" or of the Coran, becomes a "thing" which cannot be spoken against" Acts 19:35-36. The "lies after which the fathers walked" deceive the children. The children canonize the errors of their fathers." Human opinon is as dogmatic as revelation. The second generation of error demands as implicit submission as God's truth.

The transmission of error against himself, God says, aggravates its evil, does not excuse it Nehemiah 5:5. "Judah is the Church. In her the prophet reproves whosoever, worshiping his own vices and sins, cometh to have that as a god by which he is overcome; as Peter saith, "Whereby a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage" 2 Peter 2:19. The covetous worshipeth mammon; the glutton, his belly Philippians 3:19; the impure, Baalpeor; she who, "living in pleasure, is dead while she liveth" 1 Timothy 5:6, the pleasure in which she liveth." Of such idols the world is full. Every fair form, every idle imagination, everything which gratifies self-love, passion, pride, vanity, intellect, sense, each the most refined or the most debased, is such a "lie," so soon as man loves and regards it more than his God.

Amos 2:4 Parallel Commentaries

The Kingdom of God Conceived as the Inheritance of the Poor.
These maxims, good for a country where life is nourished by the air and the light, and this delicate communism of a band of children of God reposing in confidence on the bosom of their Father, might suit a simple sect constantly persuaded that its Utopia was about to be realized. But it is clear that they could not satisfy the whole of society. Jesus understood very soon, in fact, that the official world of his time would by no means adopt his kingdom. He took his resolution with extreme boldness.
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus

Cross References
Judges 2:17
Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly from the way in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the LORD; they did not do as their fathers.

2 Kings 17:19
Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the customs which Israel had introduced.

2 Kings 22:11
When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes.

Isaiah 9:15
The head is the elder and honorable man, And the prophet who teaches falsehood is the tail.

Isaiah 9:16
For those who guide this people are leading them astray; And those who are guided by them are brought to confusion.

Isaiah 28:15
Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception."

Jeremiah 6:19
"Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people, The fruit of their plans, Because they have not listened to My words, And as for My law, they have rejected it also.

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