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a vast extent with their bodies, and fill the rivers ; or, if upon the sea, at no great distance from the land, the continued storms, or the common operation of wind and tide, cast up their bodies on the shore, which they line in dense masses, casting an intolerable odour far around, and by which pestilential disorders are necessarily generated. In connection with the whole account, and the humiliation and supplication recommended on the occasion, we have been much struck by a passage in Alvarez, relating a visitation of locusts in Abyssinia, and the measures taken on the occasion by the Portuguese missionaries. “The plague of God being come upon us, the priests of the place repaired unto me, beseech. ing me to give them some remedy to chase them away. To which I answered, that I could tell them none other remedy save only to pray devoutly to God, that He would chase them out of the country.” This was done by the Portuguese · according to their custom, and I commanded those of the town to cry unto God like as we did, saying in their language • Zio Marina Christos / that is, •O Lord God, have mercy upon us !'... It pleased God to hear us sinners; for as we returned homeward, there came so many of them (the locusts) behind us, that it seemed they would break our heads and our shoulders ; they struck us so hard,* that they seemed to be blows of stones and of staves, and went from this part towards the sea. The men, women, and children which stayed in the town were gotten up to the roofs of the houses, praising God, because the locusts began to depart and fly before us, and part of them followed after us. In the meanwhile arose a great storm and thunder towards the sea, which came right against them, and lasted three hours, with an exceeding great shower and tempest which filled all the rivers : and when the water ceased, it was a dreadful thing to behold the locusts, which we measured to be above two fathoms high upon the banks of the rivers, and in some rivers there were exceeding great mountains of them, in such wise that on the next morning there was not one of them found alive upon the ground.” (“Purchas his Pilgrimes,' p. 1046-7.)
Out of numerous other illustrations we can only afford room for another from De Tott, who states that he often saw the shores of the Black Sea, towards the Bosphorus of Thrace, covered with the dried remains of locusts, in such multitudes that one could not walk along the strand without sinking half leg deep into a bed of their skinny skeletons. He had opportunities of observing the true cause of this destruction, being witness to their ruin by a storm which overtook them so near the shore that their bodies were cast upon the land while yet entire. This produced so great an infection that it was several days before they could be approached.
return your recompence upon your own
head: i God's judgments against the enemies of his people. 8 And I will sell your sons and your
9 God will be known in his judgment. 18 His | daughters into the hand of the children of blessing upon the church.
Judah, and they shall sell them to the SaFor, behold, in those days, and in that time, beans, to a people far off: for the Lord hath when I shall bring again the captivity of spoken it. Judah and Jerusalem
99 Proclaim ye this among the Gen2 I will also gather all nations, and will tiles; *Prepare war, wake up the mighty bring them down into the valley of Jeho- men, let all the men of war draw near, let shaphat, and will plead with them there for them come up: my people and for my heritage Israel, whom 10 •Beat your plowshares into swords, they have scattered among the nations, and and your 'pruninghooks into spears : let the parted my land.
weak say, I am strong. 3 And they have cast lots for my people; 11 Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold heathen, and gather yourselves together a girl for wine, that they might drink. round about: thither @cause thy mighty ones
4 Yea, and what have ye to do with me, to come down, O LORD. 0 Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of 12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come Palostine? will ye render me a recompence? up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there and if ye recompense me, swiftly and will I sit to judge all the heathen round speedily will I return your recompence upon about. your own head;
13 "Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is 5 Because ye have taken my silver and ripe: come, get you down; for the press is my gold, and have carried into your tem full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness ples my goodly 'pleasant things :
is great. 6 The children also of Judah and the 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto of decision : for the day of the LORD is near
the Grecians, that ye might remove them in the valley of decision. far from their border.
15 The sun and the moon shall be dark7 Behold, I will raise them out of the ened, and the stars shall withdraw their place whither ye have sold them, and will l shining. 1 Hebo desirable. Heb. the sons of the Grecians. 3 Heb. sanctify. Isa. 2. 4. Or, scythes. Or, the LORD shall bring down.
7 Rev. 14. 15. 8 Or, concision, or threshing. Chap. 2. 31.
* We know no other traveller who has made this observation ; but we can vouch for its accuracy, having had occasion to experience the very hard raps which they give in flying against any person or object standing in their way.
16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and all the rivers of Judah "shall flow with and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the house of the LORD, and shall water the the LORD will be the "hope of his people, | valley of Shittim. and the strength of the children of Israel. 19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom
17 So shall ye know that I am the LORD | shall be a desolate wilderness, for the vioyour God dwelling in Zion, my holy moun | lence against the children of Judah, because tain: then shall Jerusalem be "holy, and they have shed innocent blood in their land. there shall no 'strangers pass through her 20 But Judah shall 'dwell for ever, and any more.
Jerusalem from generation to generation. 18 | And it shall come to pass in that 21 For I will cleanse their blood that I day, that the mountains shall i*drop down have not cleansed : "for the Lord dwelleth new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, | in Zion. 10 Jer. 23. 30. Amos 1.2. 11 Heb. place of repair, or harbour. 19 Heb. holiness. 13 Rev.21. 27. 4 Amos 9. 13. 15 Heb.go.
18 Or, abide. 17 Or,even I the LORD that dwelleth in Zion.
Verse 2. “ The valley of Jehoshaphat.”—The word Jehoshaphat, which gave a name to the famous king of Judah, means “ the judgment of Jehovah :” and hence a question arises, whether the valley here mentioned is to be understood as taking the word as a proper name, after this king, or should be rendered “the valley of the Lord's judgment.” On this point interpreters are divided ; as also on-whether a particular valley is definitively indicated, or that the expression is to be figuratively understood. We are very strongly of opinion that the word is not to be understood here as a proper name, that no particular valley is pointed out, and, consequently, that the expression is figurative. However, a great weight of authority, Jewish, Christian, and Mohammedan, supports the opposite alternative, and points definitively to the so-called “valley of Jehoshaphat," near Jerusalem, as the subject of this reference. Why it got this name, nobody can tell—whether because Jehoshaphat erected some building, did some work, gained some victory, or was buried, in the valley. Possibly the name was imposed on the valley posterior to the time of Juel, from the notion that he referred to the particular valley by this name. We have already mentioned that the valley in question is that to the east of the city, between it and the Mount of Olives, being that through which the Kidron flows, and hence sometimes called the valley of Kidron. Some extend the denomination to the whole length of this valley, while others restrict it to the VOL. III. 2 M
lower or southern part of it, where its expansion is greatest. It is noticed by most travellers. Sandys thus speaks of it, “ The valley of Jehoshaphat (so called of that good king) from hence extendeth full north, and then inclineth a little to the west, first presenting (though natural) no other than a large dry ditch to the east of the city, contracted between it and the over-peering hills of the opposite Olivet. It is said to be two miles long; and if it be so, but short ones; where broadest, fruitful; watered by the torrent Kidron, which runneth no longer than fed with showers, losing his intermitted streams in the lake Asphaltis. It was also called the valley of the Kidron, and of the King; where the general judgment shall be, if the Jews or Latins may be believed ; who ground their opinions upon the prophecy of Joel: which I will not gainsay, for some of our own divines have of late so laboured to approve it. Of the same opinion are the Mohametans. In the wall above it, there is a window, not far from the golden gate: where they say that Mahomet shall sit while Christ shall execute justice” Maundrell, and other later travellers, notice in the place of this window, "a short end of a pillar, jutting out of the wall." as marking the place which the Moslems suppose Mohammed shall occupy at the day of judgment. This tradition of the Mohammedans is differently reported—some making Mohammed himself the judge, and others as an assessor with Christ, who shall sit enthroned on Olivet to judge the multitudes assembled in the vale below. But the Jerusalem Moslems must have founded this notion on the traditions of the Jews and Christians, as it is not one of the general doctrines of the sect, and is incompatible with what those ductrines teach. We cannot find it in the Koran, in the Book of Traditions, or in Jalal-Addin's · History of the Temple.
The valley is now for the most part a rocky flat, with a few patches of earth here and there. The western side is formed by the high chalk cliff supporting the city wall, and the opposite side by the declivities of the Mount of Olives and that of Offence. It was evidently a burial-place of the ancient Jews, from the number of old sepulchral remains and excavations which it offers, and which the Jews have had neither the means nor power to execute since their own desolation. That it was the cemetery of their fathers, and that they here expect the final judgment to take place, is a sufficient inducement to them to desire to lay their bones in this valley. For this reason many of the more devout Hebrews resort to Jerusalem from all parts of the world, to die there, and to be buried in the valley of Jehoshaphat. For the privilege of interment in this venerated spot, immense prices are often paid to the exacting Turks, and not seldom a grave is stolen in the solitude and darkness of the night. The modern Jews content themselves for the most part with placing Hebrew inscriptions on small upright slabs of marble, or of common limestone, raised after the manner generally in use in the East. Many of these are broken-many fallen; and altogether the scene offers a most desolate and melancholy appearance. “ From the stillness of Jerusalem," says Chateaubriand, “ whence no smoke arises and no noise proceeds—from the solitude of these hills where no living creature is seen,—from the ruinous state of all the tombs, overthrown, broken, and half open, one might imagine that the trumpet of judgment had already sounded, and that the valley of Jehoshaphat was about to render up its dead” (vol. č. p. 39). See also Clarke, vol. ii. ch. 7; Buckingham, i. 293, &c. ; Richardson, ii. 363.
transgressions of 'Gaza, and for four, I will
not turn away the punishment thereof; be1 Amos sheweth God's judgment upon Syria, 6 upon the Philistines, 9 upon Tyrus, il upon Edom, 13
cause they carried away captive the whole upon Ammon.
captivity, to deliver them up to Edom :
7 But I will send a fire on the wall of
Gaza, which shall devour the palaces
concerning 9 | Thus saith the LORD; For three
of Israel, two 11 | Thus saith the LORD; For three years before the 'earthquake.
transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will 2 And he said, The LORD will 'roar from not turn away the punishment thereof; beZion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem ; cause he did pursue his brother with the and the habitations of the shepherds shall | sword, and did cast off all pity, and his mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither. anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his
3 Thus saith the LORD: For three trans- wrath for ever: gressions of Damascus, Sand for four, I will 12 But I will send a fire upon Teman, not turn away the punishment thereof; be- which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah. cause they have threshed Gilead with thresh 13 | Thus saith the LORD; For three ing instruments of iron :
transgressions of the children of Ammon, 4 But I will send a fire into the house of and for four, I will not turn away the punishHazael, which shall devour the palaces of ment thereof; because they have ripped Ben-hadad.
up the women with child of Gilead, that 5 I will break also the bar of Damascus, they might enlarge their border: and cut off the inhabitant from 'the plain of 14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces "the house of Eden: and the people of Syria thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind :
15 And their king shall go into captivity, 6. Thus saith the LORD; For three he and his princes together, saith the LORD.
Toel 3. 16. 8 Or, yen for four. Or, convert it, or let it be quiet: and so verse 6, &c. Or, Bikath-aven. Or, Beth-eden. 72 Chron. 28. 18. Or, carr
8 Or, carried them away with an entire captivity. Heb the covenant of brethren. 10 Heb. corrupted his compassions. 11 Or, divided the mountains.
Axos.- In the first verse, Amos describes himself as of Tekoa, a town in the tribe of Judah (see 2 Sam. xv. 2): but as in eh. vii., we find him prophesying at Bethel, it appears that he went into the land of Israel to deliver his prophecies relating to the ten tribes, if he did not commonly reside there. As on this occasion, when his presence at Bethel is intimated, he is warned by Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, to retire into the land of Judah and prophesy there, this may Beem equivalent te telling him to go home again ; and thus confirm the impression, given by the introductory verse,
that he was of the tribe of Judah. From the passage mentioned, however, a contrary inference has been deduced, br Calmet and others, who suppose that he was of Israel, and went to Tekoa when warned to withdraw into Judah bi Amaziah, and hence that the first verse describes him as resident at Tekoa, not as being a native of the place; and thi notion is supposed to receive confirmation from the almost exclusive reference of the prophecies of Amos to the tea tribes. We have, however, very little hesitation in considering the first explanation the most probable of the two.
Amos particularly informs us concerning his condition of life. He was a herdsman and shepherd, and a gathere (or cultivator) of sycamore fruit (ch. i. 1 ; vii. 14): he was not a prophet, neither a prophet's son (vii. 1), by which w are doubtless to understand that he had not been brought up in those "schools of the prophets " which appear to har: been founded by Samuel (see 1 Sam. x. 5), and the students in which were called "prophets," and "sons of the prophets." It was not from these colleges, but from the sheepfolds, that the Lord called him to prophesy. We have no other information concerning the life or death of this prophet: but a doubtful tradition, preserved by the Pseudo-Epiphanius states that he was often beaten and buffeted by Amaziah, the priest at Bethel, whose son at last drove a nail into his temples, upon which he was carried. alive, into his own country, where he died and was buried in the sepulchre of his fatbers at Tekoa. The following is what Bishop Lowth says with respect to the style of Amos:
“ Jerome calls Amos “rude in speech, but not in knowledge;' applying to him what St. Paul modestly professes of himself (2 Cor. xi. 6). Many have followed the authority of Jerome in speaking of this prophet, as if he were indeed quite rude, ineloquent, and destitute of all the embellishments of composition. The matter is however far otherwise. Let any person who has candour and perspicuity enough to judge, not from the man, but from his writings, open the volume of his predictions, and I think he will agree with me, that our shepherd is not a whit behind the very chief of the prophets.'' He will agree that as in sublimity and magnificence he is almost equal to the greatest, so in splendour of diction and elegance of expression he is scarcely inferior to any. The same celestial Spirit indeed actuated Isaiah and Daniel in the court, and Amos in the sheepfold, constantly selecting such interpreters of the Divine will as were best adapted to the occasion, and sometimes • from the mouth of babes and sucklings perfecting praise: occasionally employing the natural eloquence of some, and occasionally making others eloquent."
Verse 1. “ Two years before the earthqunke.”—This earthquake appears to have been a well known and marked event of this period. Many years after, it was referred to by Zechariah (xiv. 5), as a terrible calamity which happened in the time of Uzziah ; and Lowth thinks it is also alluded to in Isa. v. 23. The Jewish writers, including Josephus, and, after them, many Christian commentators, assign this to an earthquake which they allege to have attended the attempt of this king to burn incense upon the golden altar (2 Chron. xxvi. 16). Josephus says, that on this occasion a great earthquake shook the ground, and a rent was made in the temple, through which the bright rays of the sun shone in upon the king's face, and made apparent the leprosy which was upon him. At the same time, at a place called Eroge before the city on the west, the mountain was rent, and one half fell and rolled itself four furlougs, stopping at the foot of the east mountains, so that the road and the royal gardens were spoiled by the obstruction. This is not mentioned in the Scriptural narrative of the event; which does however mention the occurrence of an earthquake in the time of Uzziah. It is possible that the real earthquake was such, substantially, as Josephus describes, but that he erroneously connects it with the sacrilege of Uzziah. It is perfectly clear that the earthquake mentioned by Amos must have been earlier than the latter transaction ; for this prophecy, “two years before the earthquake,” was delivered in the lifetime of Jeroboam II., king of Israel. This king died in the fifteenth of Uzziah, and consequently the earthquake could not have been later than the seventeenth of the same reign, and may have been considerably sooner. But Uzziah reigned in all fifty-two years, and his sacrilegious attempt was made towards the end of his reign, as appears from the circumstance that, then becoming a leper, the regency was assumed by his son; and as this son was but twenty-five years old at the demise of his father (2 Chron. xxvii. 1), he was so far from being in a condition to aet as regent at the latest date assignable to the earthquake of Amos, that he was not born till ten years later. It is therefore quite evident that the earthquake mentioned in Scripture, and the sacrilege of Uzziah, are events between which there was an interval of many years.
3. “ For three transgressions ... and for four."--Houbigant renders this frequent expression by,_"After three transgressions of Damascus, I will not bear that which was the fourth ; because," &c. This certainly produces a clear meaning ; but it seems better to understand the phrase as a colloquial expression of plurality, equivalent to “ many." The meaning would therefore be correctly conveyed by translating, “ For the repeated transgressions of Damascus," &c. A similar form of expression occurs in the Greek and Latin poets; as in Homer (Odyss. v. 306), repeated by Virgil (Æn. i. 98), where he makes Æneas exclaim
"O terque quaterque beati!”
O thrice and four times happy! 5. “I will break also the bar of Damascus." —Here we have the singular “bar” for the plural « bars"- meaning the gates and fortifications of Damascus. Hewlett, in illustration, aptly notices that one of the city gates of London is still called Temple-bar;' another entrance was called • Holborn-bars;' and a third, Smithfield-bars.
¡ it shall devour the palaces of Kirioth: and CHAPTER II.
Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, 1 God's wrath against Moab, 4 upon Judah, 6 and and with the sound of the trumpet : upon Isruel. 9 God complaineth of their unthank- | 3 And I will cut off the judge from the
midst thereof, and will slay all the princes Thus saith the Lord; For three transgres thereof with him, saith the LORD. sions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn 4 | Thus saith the LORD; For three away the punishment thereof; because he transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will 'burned the bones of the king of Edom into not turn away the punishment thereof; be. lime:
cause they have despised the law of the 2 But I will send a fire upon Moab, and | LORD, and have not kept his command
12 Kings 3.27.