We are taught by the example of the holy fathers that those only are impressed with a lively sense of the Divine presence who shake and tremble at beholding him, and that those are stupid and insensible who hear his voice without alarm. Fear not, Zacharias. The glory of God, it ought to be observed, is not so appalling to the saints as to swallow them up entirely with dread, but only to cast them down from a foolish confidence, that they may behold him with humility.
As soon, therefore, as God has abased the pride of the flesh in those who believe in him, he stretches out his hand to raise them up. He acts differently towards the reprobate; for at whatever time they are dragged before the tribunal of God, they are overwhelmed by absolute despair: and thus does God justly reward their vain delights, in which they give themselves up to the intoxicating antonness of sin. We ought, therefore, to accept this consolation, with which the angel soothes Zacharias, that we have no reason to fear, when God is gracious to us.
Thy prayer is heard. Zacharias may seem to have acted an improper part, and inconsistent with the nature of his office, if, on entering the Holy Place in the name of all the people, he prayed as a private man that he might obtain offspring; for, when the priest sustained a public character, he ought, in forgetfulness as it were of himself, to offer prayers for the general welfare of the Church.
If we say that there was no absurdity in Zacharias, after performing the chief part of the prayer, devoting the second part of it to private meditations about himself, the reply will not be without weight. I interpret it, therefore, simply that his prayer was at length heard, which he had poured out before God for a long period. That the desire of having children, if it be not excessive, is consistent with piety and holiness, may be gathered from Scripture, which assigns to it not the lowest place among the blessings of God.
Thou shalt call his name John. The name was given, I think, to the Baptist in order to heighten the authority of his office. Many suppose that the son of Zacharias was so called, because he was beloved of God. I rather think that it was intended to recommend not the grace which God bestowed upon him as a private individual, but that grace which his mission would bring to all. The force and weight of the name are increased by its date; for it was before he was born that God inscribed on him this token of his favor. He shall be to thee joy. The angel describes a greater joy than what Zacharias could derive from the recent birth of a child; for he informs him that he would have such a son as he had not even ventured to wish.
He even proceeds farther to state that the joy would not be domestic, enjoyed by the parents alone, or confined within private walls, but shared alike by strangers, to whom the advantage of his birth should be made known. It is as if the angel had said that a son would be born not to Zacharias alone, but would be the Teacher and Prophet of the whole people. The Papists have abused this passage for the purpose of introducing a profane custom in celebrating the birth-day of John.
I pass over the disorderly scene of a procession accompanied by dancing and leaping, and licentiousness of every description, strangely enough employed in observing a day which they pretend to hold sacred, and even the amusements authorized on that day taken from magical arts and diabolical tricks, closely resembling the mysteries of the goddess Ceres.
It is enough for me, at present, to show briefly that they absurdly torture the words of the angel to mean the annual joy of a birth-day, while the angel restricts his commendation to that joy which all godly persons would derive from the advantage of his instruction. They rejoiced that a prophet was born to them, by whose ministry they were led to the hope of salvation,.
For he shall be great. He confirms what he said about joy, for John had been selected for a great and extraordinary purpose. But we must not on this ground imagine that the worship of God consists in abstinence from wine, as apish copyists select some part of the actions of the fathers for an object of imitation. Only let all practice temperance, let those who conceive it to be injurious to drink wine abstain of their own accord, and let those who have it not endure the want with contentment.
He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost. By disposition I mean not such as is found even in ungodly men, but what corresponds to the excellence of his office. From the womb, means from his earliest infancy. As to fullness, there is no occasion for entering into the subtle disputations, or rather the trifling, of the sophists; for Scripture conveys nothing more by this word than the pre-eminent and very uncommon abundance of the gifts of the Spirit. But those who are more plentifully endued with grace beyond the ordinary capacity, are said to be full of the Holy Ghost.
Now, as the more plentiful influence of the Spirit was in John an extraordinary gift of God, it ought to be observed that the Spirit is not bestowed on all from their very infancy, but only when it pleases God. John bore from the womb a token of future rank. Let us learn by this example that, from the earliest infancy to the latest old age, the operation of the Spirit in men is free. And many of the children of Israel shall he bring back. These words show the shamefully dissolute conduct which then prevailed in the Church, for those in whom conversion to God could take place must have been apostates.
And certainly corrupt doctrine, depraved morals, and disorderly government, were such as to render it next to a miracle that a very few continued in godliness. But if the ancient Church was so awfully dissolute, it is a frivolous pretext by which the Papists defend their own superstitions, that it is impossible for the Church to err, particularly since they include under this designation not the genuine and elect children of God, but the crowd of the ungodly.
But John appears to have more ascribed to him here than belongs to man. In this way ministers might seem to be made equal, and even superior, to God viewed as Creator; since to be born again to a heavenly life is a greater work than to be born as mortals on the earth. The answer is easy; for when the Lord bestows so great praise on the outward doctrine, he does not separate it from the secret influence of his Spirit.
As God chooses men to be his ministers whose services he employs for the edification of his Church, he at the same time operates by them, through the secret influence of his Spirit, that their labors may be efficacious and fruitful. Wherever Scripture applauds this efficacy in the ministry of men, let us learn to attribute it to the grace of the Spirit, without which the voice of man would have spent itself uselessly in the air. These expressions are worthy of remark; because Satan labors, with amazing contrivance, to lower the effect of doctrine, in order that the grace of the Spirit connected with it may be weakened.
That the glory of conversion and faith, on the other hand, may remain undivided with God alone, Scripture frequently reminds us that ministers are nothing in themselves; but in such cases he compares them with God, that no one may wickedly steal the honor from God and convey it to them. In short, those whom God, by the aid of the minister, converts to himself, are said to be converted by the minister, because he is nothing more than the hand of God; and both are expressly asserted in this passage. Of the efficacy of the doctrine we have now said enough. That it lies not in the will and power of the minister to bring men back to God, we conclude from this that John did not indiscriminately bring all back, which he would unquestionably have done, if every thing had yielded to his wish, but only brought those back whom it pleased the Lord effectually to call.
And he shall go before him. Thus also the Lord speaks by Malachi,. In short, the calling of John had no other design than to secure for Christ a willing ear, and to prepare for him disciples. As to the angel making no express mention of Christ in this passage, but declaring John to be the usher or standard-bearer of the eternal God, we learn from it the eternal divinity of Christ. With the spirit and power of Elijah. By the words spirit and power, I understand the power or excellency of the Spirit, with which Elijah was endued; for we must not here indulge in a dream like that of Pythagoras, that the soul of the prophet passed into the body of John, but the same Spirit of God, who had acted efficaciously in Elijah, afterwards exerted a similar power and efficacy in the Baptist.
The latter term, power, is added, by way of exposition, to denote the kind of grace which was the loftiest distinction of Elijah, that, furnished with heavenly power, he restored in a wonderful manner the decayed worship of God; for such a restoration was beyond human ability.
What John undertook was not less astonishing; and, therefore, we ought not to wonder if it was necessary for him to enjoy the same gift. That he may bring back the hearts of the fathers. Here the angel points out the chief resemblance between John and Elijah. He declares that he was sent to collect the scattered people into the unity of faith: for to bring back the hearts of the fathers is to restore them from discord to reconciliation; from which it follows, that there had been some division which rent and tore asunder the people.
We know how dreadful was the revolt of the people in the time of Elijah, how basely they had degenerated from the fathers, so as hardly to deserve to be reckoned the children of Abraham. Those who were thus disunited Elijah brought into holy harmony. Such was the reunion of parents with children, which was begun by John, and at length finished by Christ. The doctrine of Scripture had degenerated through countless inventions, the worship of God was corrupted by very gross superstition, religion was divided into various sects, priests were openly wicked and Epicureans, the people indulged in every kind of wickedness; in short, nothing remained sound.
The expression, bring back the hearts of the fathers to the children, is not literally true; for it was rather the children who had broken the covenant and departed from the right faith of their fathers, that needed to be brought back. But though the Evangelist does not so literally express that order of bringing back, the meaning is abundantly obvious, that, by the instrumentality of John, God would again unite in holy harmony those who had previously been disunited. Both clauses occur in the prophet Malachi, who meant nothing more than to express a mutual agreement. But as men frequently enter into mutual conspiracies which drive them farther from God, the angel explains, at the same time, the nature of that bringing back which he predicts, the disobedient to the wisdom of the just.
This deserves attention, that we may not foolishly allow ourselves to be classed with ungodly men under a false pretense of harmony. Peace is a sounding and imposing term, and, whenever the Papists meet with it in scripture, they eagerly seize upon it for the purpose of raising dislike against us, as if we, who are endeavoring to withdraw the world from its base revolt, and bring it back to Christ, were the authors of divisions. But this passage affords a fine exposure of their folly, when the angel explains the manner of a genuine and proper conversion; and declares its support and link to be the wisdom of the just.
Accursed then be the peace and unity by which men agree among themselves apart from God. By the wisdom of the just is unquestionably meant Faith, as, on the contrary, by the disobedient are meant Unbelievers. And certainly this is a remarkable encomium on faith, by which we are instructed, that then only are we truly wise unto righteousness when we obey the word of the Lord. The world too has its wisdom, but a perverse and therefore destructive wisdom, which is ever pronounced to be vanity; though the angel indirectly asserts that the shadowy wisdom, in which the children of the world delight, is depraved and accursed before God.
This is therefore a settled point, that, with the view of becoming reconciled to each other, men ought first to return to peace with God. This meaning will not agree ill with the present passage. John was commissioned to fit or mould to Christ a people which, formerly ignorant and uneducated, had never shown a desire to learn.
And Zacharias said to the angel. Next follows the doubt of Zacharias, and the punishment which the Lord inflicted on his unbelief. He had prayed that he might obtain offspring, and now that it is promised, he distrusts, as if he had forgotten his own prayers and faith. It might, at first sight, appear harsh that God is so much offended by his reply. He brings forward his old age as an objection. Abraham did the same; and yet his faith is so highly applauded that Paul declares, he.
Zacharias inquires how, or by what proof, he might arrive at certainty. How comes it then that God punishes Zacharias so severely, as if he had been guilty of a very heinous sin? I do acknowledge that, if the words only are considered, either all were equally to blame, or Zacharias did nothing wrong. Unquestionably, the Lord beheld in Zacharias something worse than his words may bear, and therefore his anger was kindled against him for throwing back with distrust the promised favor. We have no right, indeed, to lay down a law to God which would not leave him free to punish in one the fault which he pardons in others.
But it is very evident that the case of Zacharias was widely different from that of Abraham, or Gideon, or Mary. This does not appear in the words; and therefore the knowledge of it must be left to God, whose eyes pierce the depths of the heart. The reason why Zacharias doubted was, that, stopping at the ordinary course of nature, he ascribed less than he ought to have done to the power of God.
They take a narrow and disparaging view of the works of God, who believe that he will do no more than nature holds out to be probable, as if his hand were limited to our senses or confined to earthly means. But it belongs to faith to believe that more can be done than carnal reason admits. Zacharias had no hesitation with regard to its being the voice of God, but as he looked too exclusively at the world, an indirect doubt arose in his mind if what he had heard would really happen.
In that respect he did no slight injury to God, for he went so far as to reason with himself, whether God, who had undoubtedly spoken to him, should be regarded as worthy of credit. At the same time, we ought to know that Zacharias was not so unbelieving as to turn aside wholly from the faith; for there is a general faith which embraces the promise of eternal salvation and the testimony of a free adoption. Such was the unbelief of Zacharias; for while he held the root and foundation of faith, he hesitated only on one point, whether God would give to him a son.
Let us know, therefore, that those who are perplexed or disturbed by weakness on some particular occasion do not entirely depart or fall off from the faith, and that, though the branches of faith are agitated by various tempests, it does not give way at the root. Besides, nothing was farther from the intention of Zacharias than to call in question the truth of a divine promise; but while he was convinced generally that God is faithful, he was cunningly drawn by the craft and wiles of Satan to draw a wicked distinction.
It is all the more necessary for us to keep diligent watch: for which of us shall be secure against the snares of the devil, when we learn that a man so eminently holy, who had all his life maintained strict watchfulness over himself, was overtaken by them? I am Gabriel. By these words the angel intimates that it was not his veracity, but that of God who sent him, and whose message he brought, that had been questioned; and so he charges Zacharias with having offered an insult to God. To stand before God signifies to be ready to yield obedience. Nay, the apostle, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, not satisfied with elevating the word of the gospel, which speaks by the mouth of men, to an equality with the law brought by angels, draws an argument from the less to the greater.
Let us learn to render to God the obedience of faith, which he values more highly than all sacrifices. Gabriel means the strength, or power, or pre-eminence of God, and this name is given to the angel on our account, to instruct us that we must not ascribe to angels any thing of their own, for whatever excellence they possess is from God. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb. It was suitable that this kind of punishment should be inflicted on Zacharias, that, being dumb, he might await the fulfillment of the promise, which, instead of interrupting it by noisy murmurs, he ought to have heard in silence.
Faith has its silence to lend an ear to the Word of God. It has afterwards its turn to speak and to answer Amen, according to that passage,. But as Zacharias had rashly interrupted the Word of God, he is not allowed this favor of breaking out immediately in thanksgiving, but is denied for a time the use of his tongue, which had been too forward.
Yet God is pleased graciously to mitigate the punishment, first, by limiting its duration to ten months, and next by not withholding from Zacharias the favor which he was unworthy to enjoy. With the same gentleness does he treat us every day: for when our faith is weak, and we throw out many obstacles, the truth of God, in continuing to flow toward us, must of necessity break through them with a kind of violence. And so Zacharias is not a little relieved by learning that his fault has not made void the promise of God, which will afterwards be displayed in a more remarkable manner.
It does sometimes happen that, notwithstanding the opposition made by unbelievers, the Lord bestows and fulfils what he had promised to them. But that resulted, without any advantage to him, in the salvation of the chosen people. It was otherwise with Zacharias, in whom the Lord chastises, and at the same time pardons, the weakness of faith. And the people were waiting. Luke now relates that the people were witnesses of this vision. Zacharias had tarried in the temple longer than usual. This leads to the supposition that something uncommon has happened to him. When he comes out, he makes known, by looks and gestures, that he has been struck dumb.
There is reason to believe, also, that there were traces of alarm in his countenance. Hence they conclude that God has appeared to him. True, there were few or no visions in that age, but the people remembered that formerly, in the time of their fathers, they were of frequent occurrence. It is not without reason, therefore, that they draw this conclusion from obvious symptoms: for it was not an ordinary occurrence, [it was not a common accident, but rather an astonishing work of God, f6 ] that he became suddenly dumb without disease, and after a more than ordinary delay came out of the temple in a state of amazement.
From this place the priests, after performing their sacred functions, were wont to go out into their own court, for the purpose of blessing the people. When the days were fulfilled. We are told that, when the time of his office had expired, Zacharias returned home. Hence we conclude that, so long as the priests were attending in their turns, they did not enter their own houses, that they might be entirely devoted and attached to the worship of God. While they were commanded to change their mode of living, it was advantageous for them not to depart from the temple, that the very sight of the place might remind them to cultivate such purity as the Lord had enjoined.
It was proper also to withdraw every means of gratification, that they might devote themselves more unreservedly to their office. The Papists of the present day employ this as a pretense for defending the tyrannical law of celibacy. They argue thus. The priests were formerly enjoined to withdraw from their wives, while they were engaged in religious services. Most properly is perpetual continence now demanded from the priests, who not in their turn, but every day, offer sacrifices; more especially since the importance of religious services is far higher than it was under the law.
But I should like to know why they do not also abstain from wine and strong drink. For we are not at liberty to separate commandments which God has joined, so as to keep the one half and disregard the other. If, under the pretense of the law, the Pope enjoins celibacy on his priests, why does he allow them wine?
Nay, on this principle, all priests ought to be thrown into some retired apartments of the churches, to pass their whole life immured in prisons, and excluded from the society of women and of the people. It is now abundantly clear that they wickedly shelter themselves under the law of God, to which they do not adhere.
But the full solution of the difficulty depends on the distinction between the law and the gospel. A priest stood in the presence of God, to expiate the sins of the people, to be, as it were, a mediator between God and men. He who sustained that character ought to have had something peculiar about him, that he might be distinguished from the common rank of men, and recognised as a figure of the true Mediator.
Such, too, was the design of the holy garments and the anointing. In our day the public ministers and pastors of the church have nothing of this description. I speak of the ministers whom Christ has appointed to feed his flock, not of those whom the Pope commissions, as executioners rather than priests, to murder Christ. And hid herself.
An Interpretation of the English Bible
This appears very strange, as if she had been ashamed of the blessing of God. Some think that she did not, venture to appear in public, so long as the matter was uncertain, for fear of exposing herself to ridicule, if her expectation were disappointed. In my opinion, she was so fully convinced of the promise made to her, that she had no doubt of its accomplishment.
But her words show clearly that her expectation was not doubtful or uncertain. By saying, thus hath the Lord done to me, she expressly and boldly affirms that his favor was ascertained. There might be two reasons for the delay. Until this extraordinary work of God was manifest, she might hesitate to expose it to the diversified opinions of men, for the world frequently indulges in light, rash, and irreverent talking about the works of God.
Another reason might be that, when she was all at once discovered to be pregnant, men might be more powerfully excited to praise God. Thus hath the Lord done to me. She extols in private the goodness of God, until the time is fully come for making it generally known. There is reason to believe that her husband had informed her by writing of the promised offspring, in consequence of which she affirms with greater certainty and freedom that God was the author of this favor. This is confirmed by the following words, when he looked, that he might take away my reproach; for she assigns it as the cause of her barrenness that the favor of God had been at that time withdrawn from her.
Among earthly blessings, Scripture speaks in the highest terms of the gift of offspring. And justly: for, if the productiveness of the inferior animals is his blessing, the increase and fruitfulness of the human race ought to be reckoned a much higher favor. It is no small or mean honor, that God, who alone is entitled to be regarded as a Father, admits the children of the dust to share with him this title.
Let us, therefore, hold this doctrine, that. But Elisabeth looked farther; for, though barren and old, she had conceived by a remarkable miracle, and contrary to the ordinary course of nature. That he might take away my reproach. Not without reason has barrenness been always accounted a reproach: for the blessing of the womb is enumerated among the signal instances of the divine kindness.
Some think that this was peculiar to the ancient people: because Christ was to come from the seed of Abraham. But this had no reference, except to the tribe of Judah. Let parents learn to be thankful to God for the children which he has given them, and let those who have no offspring acknowledge that God has humbled them in this matter. Elisabeth speaks of it exclusively as a reproach among men: for it is a temporal chastisement, from which we will suffer no loss in the kingdom of heaven. Now in the sixth month. It was a wonderful dispensation of the divine purpose, and far removed from the ordinary judgment of men, that God determined to make the beginning of the generation of the herald more illustrious than that of his own Son.
The prophecy respecting John was published in the temple and universally known: Christ is promised to a virgin in an obscure town of Judea, and this prophecy remains buried in the breast of a young woman. But it was proper that, even from the birth of Christ, that saying should be fulfilled,. The treasure of this mystery was committed by him to a virgin in such a manner, that at length, when the proper time came, it might be communicated to all the godly.
It was, I own, a mean kind of guardianship; but whether for trying the humility of faith, or restraining the pride of the ungodly, it was the best adapted. It was, I think, for the same reason that he chose a virgin betrothed to a man. Yet the entrance of Christ into the world was not destitute of glory; for the splendor of his Godhead was manifested from the commencement by his heavenly Father. Yet we see how God kept his Son, as it were, in concealment, until the time of his full manifestation arrived, and then erected for him a platform, that he might be beheld by all.
Luke says that Joseph was of the house of David; for families are usually reckoned by the names of the men; but on this point we shall speak more fully in another place. Hail, thou who hast obtained favor. And certainly, since our limited capacities admit too slender a portion of knowledge for comprehending the vast greatness of the works of God, our best remedy is, to elevate them to meditation on his boundless grace. A conviction of the Divine goodness is the entrance of faith, and the angel properly observes this order, that, after preparing the heart of the virgin by meditation on the grace of God, he may enlarge it to receive an incomprehensible mystery.
The angel adds, the Lord is with thee. Next comes the third clause, that she is blessed among women. Blessing is here put down as the result and proof of the Divine kindness. The word Blessed does not, in my opinion, mean, Worthy of praise; but rather means, Happy. They unwarrantably assume an office which does not belong to them, and which God committed to none but an angel. Their silly ambition leads them into a second blunder, for they salute a person who is absent. When she had seen him, she was agitated. Luke does not say that she was agitated by the presence of the angel, but by his address.
Why then does he also mention his presence? Perceiving in the angel something of heavenly glory, she was seized with sudden dread arising out of reverence for God. She was agitated, because she felt that she had received a salutation, not from a mortal man, but from an angel of God. But Luke does not say that she was so agitated as to have lost recollection. On the contrary, he mentions an indication of an attentive and composed mind; for he afterwards adds, and was considering what that salutation would be: that is, what was its object, and what was its meaning.
It instantly occurred to her that the angel had not been sent for a trifling purpose. This example reminds us, first, that we ought not to be careless observers of the works of God; and, secondly, that our consideration of them ought to be regulated by fear and reverence. Fear not, Mary. He bids her lay aside fear. When we become aware, in good earnest, of the presence of God, we cannot think of it apart from its effects. The holy virgin saw in her own nation such a mass of crimes, that she had good reason for dreading heavier punishments.
To remove this fear, the angel declares that he has come to certify and announce an inestimable blessing. Instances of this are so well known, that it would be of no use to quote them. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb. It was not without the purpose of God, that the agreement, between ancient prophecies and the present message respecting the manifestation of Christ, was so clearly pointed out.
The word conceive is enough to set aside the dream of Marcion and Manichaeus: for it is easy to gather from it that Mary brought forth not an ethereal body or phantom, but the fruit which she had previously conceived in her womb. Thou shalt call his name Jesus. Let us remember that not by the will of men, but by the command of God, was this name given to him by the angel, that our faith may have its foundation, not in earth, but in heaven. The Rabbins everywhere write the word Jesu; and they do this with evident malice, that they may not bestow on Christ an honorable name, but, on the contrary, may insinuate that he is some pretended Jew.
Their manner of writing it, accordingly, is of no more importance than the barking of a dog. The objection that it is far beneath the dignity of the Son of God to have a name in common with others, might equally apply to the name Christ, or Anointed. But the solution of both is easy. What was exhibited in shadow under the law is fully and actually manifested in the Son of God; or, what was then a figure is in him a substance.
There is another objection of as little weight. For Paul does not attribute to him a magical name, as if in its very syllables majesty resided, but his language simply means that Christ has received from the Father the highest authority, to which the whole world ought to submit. Let us then bid adieu to such imaginations, and know, that the name J esus was given to Christ, in order that believers may be instructed to seek in him what had formerly been shadowed out under the Law.
He shall be great. After hearing of the Baptist's death, Jesus withdraws by boat privately to a solitary place near Bethsaida , where he addresses the crowds who had followed him on foot from the towns, and feeds them all by " five loaves and two fish " supplied by a boy. Major teachings in this period include the Discourse on Defilement in Matthew —20 and Mark —23 where in response to a complaint from the Pharisees Jesus states: "What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.
Following this episode Jesus withdraws into the "parts of Tyre and Sidon " near the Mediterranean Sea where the Canaanite woman's daughter episode takes place in Matthew —28 and Mark — Your request is granted. In the Gospel of Mark, after passing through Sidon Jesus enters the region of the Decapolis , a group of ten cities south east of Galilee, where the Healing the deaf mute miracle is reported in Mark —37 , where after the healing, the disciples say: "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.
The Confession of Peter refers to an episode in the New Testament in which in Jesus asks a question to his disciples: "Who do you say that I am? The proclamation is described in the three Synoptic Gospels : Matthew —20 , Mark —30 and Luke — Peter's Confession begins as a dialogue between Jesus and his disciples in which Jesus begins to ask about the current opinions about himself among "the multitudes", asking: "Who do the multitudes say that I am? Jesus then asks his disciples about their own opinion: But who do you say that I am?
In Matthew Jesus blesses Peter for his answer, and later indicates him as the rock of the Church, and states that he will give Peter "the keys of the kingdom of heaven". In blessing Peter, Jesus not only accepts the titles Christ and Son of God which Peter attributes to him, but declares the proclamation a divine revelation by stating that his Father in Heaven had revealed it to Peter.
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The Transfiguration of Jesus is an episode in the New Testament narrative in which Jesus is transfigured or metamorphosed and becomes radiant upon a mountain. On the mountain, Jesus begins to shine with bright rays of light. Then the prophets Moses and Elijah appear next to him and he speaks with them. Jesus is then called " Son " by a voice in the sky, assumed to be God the Father , as in the Baptism of Jesus.
The Transfiguration is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels. After the death of John the Baptist and the Transfiguration, Jesus starts his final journey to Jerusalem, having predicted his own death there. This period of ministry includes the Discourse on the Church in which Jesus anticipates a future community of followers, and explains the role of his apostles in leading it. The general theme of the discourse is the anticipation of a future community of followers, and the role of his apostles in leading it.
The discourse emphasizes the importance of humility and self-sacrifice as the high virtues within the anticipated community. It teaches that in the Kingdom of God, it is childlike humility that matters, not social prominence and clout. At the end of this period, the Gospel of John includes the Raising of Lazarus episode in John —46 in which Jesus brings Lazarus of Bethany back to life four days after his burial. The description of the last week of the life of Jesus often called the Passion week occupies about one third of the narrative in the canonical gospels.
The last week in Jerusalem is the conclusion of the journey which Jesus had started in Galilee through Perea and Judea. At the beginning of the week as Jesus enters Jerusalem, he is greeted by the cheering crowds, adding to that tension.
The week begins with the Triumphal entry into Jerusalem. During the week of his "final ministry in Jerusalem", Jesus visits the Temple, and has a conflict with the money changers about their use of the Temple for commercial purposes. This is followed by a debate with the priests and the elder in which his authority is questioned. One of his disciples, Judas Iscariot , decides to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Towards the end of the week, Jesus has the Last Supper with his disciples, during which he institutes the Eucharist , and prepares them for his departure in the Farewell Discourse.
After the supper, Jesus is betrayed with a kiss while he is in agony in the garden , and is arrested. After his arrest, Jesus is abandoned by most of his disciples, and Peter denies him three times, as Jesus had predicted during the Last Supper. In Matthew —46 , Mark —42 , Luke —46 and John , immediately after the Last Supper, Jesus takes a walk to pray, Matthew and Mark identifying this place of prayer as Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is accompanied by Peter, John and James the Greater , whom he asks to "remain here and keep watch with me.
Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it. Returning to the disciples after prayer, he finds them asleep and in Matthew he asks Peter: "So, could you men not keep watch with me for an hour? While in the Garden, Judas appears, accompanied by a crowd that includes the Jewish priests and elders and people with weapons. Judas gives Jesus a kiss to identify him to the crowd who then arrests Jesus.
In Matthew Jesus makes the well known statement: all who live by the sword, shall die by the sword. In the narrative of the four canonical gospels after the betrayal and arrest of Jesus, he is taken to the Sanhedrin , a Jewish judicial body. Pilate then orders Jesus' crucifixion. After the Sanhedrin trial Jesus is taken to Pilate's court in the praetorium. Herod Antipas the same man who had previously ordered the death of John the Baptist had wanted to see Jesus for a long time, because he had been hoping to observe one of the miracles of Jesus.
Herod and his soldiers mock Jesus, put a gorgeous robe on him, as the King of the Jews, and sent him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate become friends with each other that day: for before they were at enmity. After Jesus' return from Herod's court, Pilate publicly declares that he finds Jesus to be innocent of the charges, but the crowd insists on capital punishment.
The universal rule of the Roman Empire limited capital punishment strictly to the tribunal of the Roman governor  and Pilate decided to publicly wash his hands as not being privy to Jesus' death. Pilate thus presents himself as an advocate pleading Jesus' case rather than as a judge in an official hearing, yet he orders the crucifixion of Jesus.
Jesus' crucifixion is described in all four canonical gospels, and is attested to by other sources of that age e. Josephus and Tacitus , and is regarded as an historical event. After the trials, Jesus made his way to Calvary the path is traditionally called via Dolorosa and the three synoptic gospels indicate that he was assisted by Simon of Cyrene , the Romans compelling him to do so.
Matthew's and Mark's gospels state that he refused this. The soldiers then crucified Jesus and cast lots for his clothes. Above Jesus' head on the cross was the inscription King of the Jews , and the soldiers and those passing by mocked him about the title. Jesus was crucified between two convicted thieves, one of whom rebuked Jesus, while the other defended him.
In the three synoptic gospels, various supernatural events accompany the crucifixion, including darkness of the sky , an earthquake, and in Matthew the resurrection of saints. Following Jesus' death on Friday, Joseph of Arimathea asked the permission of Pilate to remove the body. The body was removed from the cross , was wrapped in a clean cloth and buried in a new rock-hewn tomb , with the assistance of Nicodemus. The gospels state that the first day of the week after the crucifixion typically interpreted as a Sunday , The followers of Jesus encounter him risen from the dead, after his tomb was discovered to be empty.
The resurrected Jesus then appears to his followers that day and a number of times thereafter, delivers sermons and has supper with some of them, before ascending to Heaven. The gospels of Luke and Mark include brief mentions of the Ascension, but the main references to it are elsewhere in the New Testament. The four gospels have variations in their account of the resurrection of Jesus and his appearances, but there are four points at which all gospels converge:  the turning of the stone that had closed the tomb, the visit of the women on "the first day of the week;" that the risen Jesus chose first to appear to women or a woman and told them her to inform the other disciples; the prominence of Mary Magdalene in the accounts.
In Matthew , Mark , Luke and John his resurrection is announced and explained to the followers who arrive there early in the morning by either one or two beings either men or angels dressed in bright robes who appear in or near the tomb. What of the canonicity of this book? What of the style and character of the book? To whom was this prophecy given and how do you explain the use of the name "Israel" in ; , 16? What the essential points in the analysis of this book? What formula of introduction found in the title to this book and what the three formulas found in the introductions to the prophets?
What the interpretation of the coming of the locusts? What the arguments showing that the literal view of the plague of locusts is inconsistent? According to this position, then how interpret to ? What promise in and where do we find the fulfilment? What the judgments of and when their fulfilment? What ideas appear for the first time in Joel and what their application? What the most important lessons of this book?
Jonah is both the author and the hero of the book by this name. He was the son of Amittai, a reference to whom is also found in 2 Kings "He [Jeroboam II] restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath unto the sea of the Arabah, according to the word of Jehovah, the God of Israel, which he spake by his servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was of Gath-hepher.
The place of his birth was Gath-hepher, a town in Zebulun Josh. The time in which he lived is clearly shown to be the reign of Jeroboam II, the "Indian Summer" of Israel's history after the division of the kingdom 2 Kings There are several traditions relating to Jonah. It is needless to say that these traditions are without foundation in history but they indicate somewhat the impress of this striking character upon the literature of the world.
There is a reference to this prophecy of Jonah in Tobit , 15, an apocryphal book, in which Nineveh is said to have been overthrown according to this prophecy of Jonah. There are three references to Jonah the prophet in the Koran, viz: In chapter X, p. He adds several items of detail to the story of Jonah's extraordinary experience in the sea, giving his objective as Tarsus in Cilicia and the point of landing as the Euxine Sea.
There is little weight of authority to these statements but they indicate a conviction as to the historicity of the book of Jonah. There are three legends that illustrate the extraordinary features of the book of Jonah, viz: 1 Hesione and Hercules, 2 Andromeda and Perseus, and 3 Saint George and the Dragon. These legends, the scenes of which are located on the Mediterranean Sea, reflect, perhaps, the impression made upon the ancient mind by this story of Jonah.
There are several scriptural references to the book, viz: 2 Kings ; Matthew ; ; Luke , the import of which is that the book is historical and that Jonah is typical of our Lord Jesus Christ. The occasion of this prophecy against Nineveh was the. To this, other prophets add their I testimony: "Woe to the bloody city I" Nah. The annals of Assyria are nothing but a register of militarycampaigns, spoilations, and cruelties. Their monuments display men of calm and unmoved ferocity, whose moral and mental qualities are overborne by the faculties of the lower, brutal nature.
The style of this book is simple, pure Hebrew. The author believed that God prepared everything and the book bears the stamp of a simple, truthful narrative. It is not prophecy, in the strict sense of the word, but history, inserted among the prophets because written by a prophet. There is no moralizing I and no reflection. The tale is told graphically and has quite a dramatic interest, advancing in regular stages to the conclusion, and leaving an impression upon the mind as though its various scenes had been enacted before the eyes of the reader.
The miraculous element of the book is twofold: 1 the physical, 2 the moral. The physical miracles are the experience of Jonah in the sea and the incident of the gourd. The moral miracle is the salvation of the Ninevites. There are three great doctrines illustrated in the incidents of the book. No one can doubt this who reads Matthew Man and beast together wear the symbols of penitence. See his forbearance toward wicked Nineveh and his great loving kindness as here displayed toward a lost world. Nineveh, the great city here referred to, was founded by Nimrod, a descendant of Ham Gen.
After this simple statement in Genesis the record is silent respecting Nineveh for a long time. The next mention of these people we find in the prophecy of Balaam Num. The next reference to Assyria is found in Psalm which finds its historical reality in 2 Chronicles This is the real beginning of Assyria's strength and greatness.
Her power is now beginning to be felt for the first time in her history. This brings us in the Bible account of Assyria up to the time of Jonah and Jeroboam II, where Nineveh again enters by name on the biblical record. This reappearing of the name Nineveh is incidental, and shows that the Bible does not profess to give an orderly and systematic history of the world. The record here in Jonah says that Nineveh was a "great city. Its walls were sixty feet high, with 1, towers, feet high. The walls were broad enough on top to receive three chariots driving side by side.
It is almost certain that this city was larger than Babylon, especially if we include in the estimate its suburbs. Jonah calls it "an exceeding great city of three days' -journey" and with , infants, all of which indicate that Nineveh was no ordinary city. Nineveh was destroyed by the combined forces of the Medes and Babylonians, the Median king being Cyaxares and the city was complete. Xenophon with 10, Greeks passed by it two centuries later and did not even mention it, unless he referred to it as one of the "uninhabited" cities of which he speaks.
The remains of this city must have been in evidence in the days of the Roman emperors, since Tacitus refers to a Nineveh on the Tigris, and there is another reference to it as late as the thirteenth century. The ruins now present a rampart and foss, four miles in circuit, with a moss-covered wall about twenty feet high. The archaeologists in recent years have done much to make Nineveh live before the minds of this generation. Their discoveries of the libraries have thrown a flood of light on the history of these people of the Far East; but the Bible account of Nineveh and the rest of the Oriental empires remains unmolested.
The Ninevites worshiped the fish god and in excavating in this vicinity many stone images of a fish have been found with a man coming out of its mouth. There is evidently a connection between Jonah's experience and these stone images. This seems to be a confirmation of the story of Jonah as a sign to the Ninevites. Since they worshiped the fish god, the Lord accredited Jonah unto them by means of such a miracle as would leave no doubt in their minds as to the superior power of Jehovah over their object of worship.
There is an abundance of literature on this book but I will name only a few of the very best helps to its interpretation. Rowland's monograph on Jonah is very fine. The article on Jonah in Smith's Bible Dictionary is a pretty fair article. Sampey's Syllabus is fine. A sermon on Jonah by Melville, a Scotch preacher, is able and good. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown, and Matthew Henry are also good. The chapters constitute the divisions of the analysis of this book, as follows:. Jonah's mission, disobedience, and punishment His call, commission, and flight God's intervention and Jonah's revelation Jonah's prayer, thanksgiving, and deliverance His prayer His thanksgiving His deliverance Jonah's recall, obedience, and success His recall His obedience His success Jonah's displeasure and correction His displeasure His correction The word "now" v.
We come across the expression, "the word of Jehovah," in our Bible first in Genesis and there it means the Son of God, the Logos of John There seems to be the same meaning here. The word of Jehovah came "saying. We find three parallels in the Bible to Jonah , "their wickedness has come up before me," viz: 1 the case of Cain, 2 the case of the flood, and 3 the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, in each of which most solemn judgment followed.
The striking difference in this case and those mentioned above is the repentance of the Ninevites which moved God to repentance and averted the awful judgment. In his going from the presence of Jehovah, Jonah renounced his prophetic office; he went away from "standing before Jehovah"; gave up his credentials and "took to the woods" waters , to Tarshish, a city in Spain, far away from the Jehovah country. Thus he thought to leave the land of Jehovah was to get away from the call of Jehovah. Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh, 1 because of his hatred for the idolatrous Gentiles, 2 because of his fear that God would show them mercy and his prediction would be discredited, 3 because of Nineveh's growing strength and if spared she would become Israel's rival and 4 because, perhaps, he feared ill treatment at the hands of the cruel and ferocious Assyrians.
In , "he paid the fare thereof," we have a picture of the preacher renouncing his call of God upon which he must pay his own way, a hard fare indeed when one has lost the divine favor.
But he sends a messenger after him, viz: a storm, and sometimes the fires of affliction are kindled all about him and sore distress comes upon him. God must be obeyed. See Psalm But what the significance of "cast forth the wares" ? This expression illustrates the fact that there is something to do besides to pray. Work is the handmaiden of prayer. Jonah's being asleep is an illustration of a man who is guilty of sin, more especially the backslider.
Sin stupefies and therefore they need to be aroused. Compare Acts et multa al. This was simply a method of casting the vote. Jonah, understanding fully that the trouble was all on account of him, asked that they dispose of him by casting him into the sea and let him take the chance for his life, but the sailors saw only death for Jonah in such procedure and were not willing to take the risk of having upon them innocent blood.
As the last resort they yielded. There are three distinct things affirmed in , which need special notice, viz: 1 that they feared Jehovah, 2 that they offered sacrifice unto Jehovah, and 3 that they made vows, the explanation of which is, that Jonah had convinced them that Jehovah had brought the storm and therefore he was the one who was to be appeased.
As to the nature of their fear, sacrifice, and vows we are not told but we are not to suppose that it was the reverential fear that brings salvation. It is probable that they acknowledged Jehovah as one of their gods after this event but there is nothing here to show that they accepted Jehovah as the only God to the exclusion of their own gods. The fish that swallowed Jonah may have been a whale of the kind found in the Mediterranean Sea which is able to swallow a man whole, or it may have been the white shark of the same waters, as it is sometimes found in this section twenty-five feet long and has been known to swallow a man whole, and even a horse.
There have been found in this sea three kinds of sea-animals that could easily swallow a man, viz: the Great Spermaceti Whale, the White Shark, and the Rorqual, one specimen of which has been found in this sea seventy-five feet long. So the contention that no whale or fish that could swallow a man is found in these parts is utterly baseless. Jonah's hymn is evidently made up of quotations from other passages of Scriptures which a comparison of the following passages will prove: Jonah equals Psalm ; Jonah equals Psalm and ; Jonah equals Psalm ; Jonah equals Psalm , 5; Jonah equals Psalm last clause and ; Jonah equals Psalm These correspondences could not have been fortuitous: the one poet must have had sounding in his mind the language of the other.
Jonah evidently was well acquainted with the Psalms. The second commission to Jonah is recorded in "And the word of Jehovah came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. There are three distinct things here relative to God's relation to the ministry that need to be emphasized, viz: 1 God calls his ministers by a direct appeal to them: "and the word of Jehovah came unto Jonah, saying"; 2 God selects the field of labor for his ministers: "Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city"; 3 God gives the message: "and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.
With these three essentials in his life and work the minister knows no failure. The "yet" in indicates an implied promise; that this was not an announcement of an absolute decree of God, but was a conditional decree. God repented when they repented. Note that there are three particular cases of repentance in this book: 1 the preacher repents; 2 the people repent; 3 God repents. Observe the order. When the preacher repents, the people generally repent, and when the preacher and the people repent, God always repents.
The "yet" here indicates God's attitude toward a sinner. Though he thunders the law of Sinai over the sinner's head, it is only that the sinner may be prepared to hear the voice from Calvary. Fasting and sackcloth are external evidences of repentance. In we see the call to real fasting and repentance. In the animals lowing for fodder were crying to God. The prayers of the people and the crying of the cattle make a powerful appeal to God. But praying and crying were not enough.
This is both a moral and spiritual miracle. It is the biggest case of conversion in the Old Testament on a foreign field. Jonah was the first foreign mission preacher and had but one credential. Some say people cannot be moved religiously by fear but it is a mistake. People are influenced both by the fear of punishment and by the hope of reward. The motive in Luke 15 is "Joy in heaven. Jonah was much displeased with and angry at the Lord's attitude, but the Lord dealt gently with him giving him the lesson of the gourd It was not right for Jonah to be angry at what God did, nor is it ever right to be angry at what God does, especially in the salvation of the people.
In this connection he gives the reason for his unwillingness to go to Nineveh at the outset, but he was wrong in his attitude toward the people of Nineveh. This attitude culminated in madness at Jehovah's attitude toward them and went to the extent of wishing for death. But it is a very cowardly thing to wish for death under such circumstances. To this foolishness of Jonah the Lord answered that Jonah's regard for the gourd was but a small matter compared to his regard for the , infants and the much cattle of Nineveh. This is a beautiful lesson of God's attitude toward the irresponsible and gives us a splendid Old Testament view of God's attribute of mercy.
As Jonah, after his resurrection, became a missionary to the Gentiles, so Christ after his resurrection declared his "all authority" and commissioned his church to go to the ends of the world. The resurrection had a marvelous effect in enlarging the commission. What the traditions relating to Jonah? Who was Jonah and what the time of his writing? What references to this book in literature and what the testimony in each case?
What three legends may be mentioned as illustrating the extraordinary features of the story of Jonah? What the scriptural references to the book and what the import of their teaching? What the purpose of this book? What the occasion of this book and how is it proved from the history of Nineveh? What of the miraculous element of the book? What doctrines illustrated by the incidents of the book? Give an account of Nineveh. What the form of idolatry in Nineveh at this time and what the evidence of Jonah's impress on the Ninevites?
What helps on this book commended? What the analysis of this book? What is the force of the word "now" of verse I? Where do we first find the expression, "the word of Jehovah," in the Bible and what does it mean there? What parallels to Jonah , "their wickedness is come up before me," do we find elsewhere in the Bible and what striking difference in this case? What is the meaning of "Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of Jehovah"? What Jonah's reasons for not wanting to go to Nineveh? What the meaning and application of , "he paid the fare thereof"?
What the significance in of "cast forth the wares"? What the suggestion from Jonah's being asleep? What of casting lots in ? What the remedy for the case as proposed by Jonah and how did it meet the approval of the sailors? How do you explain, their fearing Jehovah and sacrificing unto him? What of the fish that swallowed Jonah? What the relation of Jonah's hymn to other passages of Scripture? What the meaning of "lying vanities" in Jonah ? What Jonah's second commission, what its circumstances and what three things in this commission, illustrative of God's relation to the minister and his work?
What is the force of "yet" in ? What the points of ? How did Jonah receive the fact of the conversion of the Ninevites and God's mercy to them and how did God deal with him? Was it right for Jonah to be angry, what the extent of his madness and what do you think of his wish?
What was Jehovah's answer to all this foolishness of Jonah? How is the relation of the resurrection and the commission of Christ illustrated in this book? Amos to Amos, the author of the book by his name, was a. He was not educated for a prophet but was called by the Lord from his rural employment to bear his message to the Northern Kingdom Amos ; Tekoa, the home of Amos, was a city about twelve miles south of Jerusalem, six miles south of Bethlehem, built for defense by Rehoboam 2 Chron.
It was situated on an eminence, beyond which south there was no village, not even crude cottages or huts. Such is the vast wilderness which stretches to the Red Sea and the borders of the Persians, Ethiopians, and Indians. The country is a dry, sandy soil and full of shepherds that make amends for the barrenness of the land by the multitude of their flocks. Its elevation gave it a wide prospect. On the west is seen the sweep of the range from Mizpah to Hebron; on the east, the wilderness of Judah; on the north, Bethlehem; to the right, in the bottom of a wild ravine, is the cave of Adullam.
Farther down, on the shores of the Dead Sea, are "the cliffs of the wild goats," from whose side springs the fountain of Engedi. Beyond the Dead Sea is the wall-like ridge of Moab, and to the south, the ruddy-tinted mountains of Edom. Now a mournful and solitary silence broods over that wonderful panorama. Tekoa now lies in ruins covering four or five acres, without building sufficient to shade a man from the scorching sun. Such was the surroundings of the boy, Amos, who used the geographical peculiarities of his native land with telling effect in his prophecies.
The date of his prophecy is given in Amos I: I: "In the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake. The earthquake referred to is mentioned in only one other place Zech. The occasion of these prophecies is found in the history of the times in which he wrote. It was when Israel and Judah both enjoyed great prosperity and there was much indulgence in the luxuries of wealth by the upper classes while the poor were suffering from their extreme poverty.
The moral condition of the people was terrible. Crime was perverted, and almost every form of iniquity abounded in the land.source site
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The nations round about were also corrupt and Judah had turned away from the law of Jehovah. There was enough in the vision of Amos from his lofty position at Tekoa to stir his righteous soul into an outburst of denunciation. Such was the occasion of his prophecy. The canonicity of the book of Amos is abundantly supported by both Jewish and Christian writers.
The force, beauty, and freshness of the images freely employed by Amos are very evident. Oratorical in style, graphic in description, powerful in thought, observation, and expression he exhibits a wonderful natural ability. The very simplicity of his language makes it impressive. In simple, unadorned eloquence, in structural regularity, in natural vigor, and in loftiness of thought, Amos reaches a well-grounded eminence, and the author of such writings was in no wise behind the very chiefest of the prophets.
His prophecy is after the model of a well-ordered discourse. The second verse gives his text: "Jehovah will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the pastures of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither. The outline is simple in its general features. There are three main divisions and a conclusion. Title, author, and date The text and subject Denunciations of the nations to Syria Philistia Phoenicia Edom Ammon Moab Judah Israel Proclamations to Israel Jehovah's verdict and sentence 3.
Jehovah's indictment and summons 4. Jehovah's judgment and woe Revelations for all to The locusts — judgment threatened and restrained The fire — judgment threatened and restrained The plumb line — judgment determined Historical interlude — conflict with Amaziah The basket of fruit — judgment imminent Jehovah himself — judgment executed Conclusion — restoration The subject of the prophecy of Amos is judgment, or national accountability. This is indicated by his text: "Jehovah will roar from Zion," which means that God would soon spread terror, like wild beasts when they roar, or that he would soon display his power in executing judgment.
The next clause of the text is a parallel thought in which the figure is extended. At the sound of God's voice all nature withers. See Job for a parallel case. Fire is used in these several denunciations to symbolize all the severities of war see Numbers , and as an emblem of God's wrath see Deuteronomy However, in some instances here it has a literal fulfilment in the devouring flame itself. The charge here brought against Syria is that they threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron, the account of which we find in 2 Kings ; The judgment here denounced with the destruction of their city and the captivity of the people, which was fulfilled when Tiglath-pileser took Damascus, carried the people captive to Kir, and slew Rezen, the king 2 Kings The charge preferred against Philistia was that she had carried captive the whole people, meaning that neither age nor sex was spared 2 Chron.
The judgment denounced was the complete destruction of the Philistines, which was fulfilled at different times and by different parties. Ashdod was taken by Uzziah, by Sargon's chief, Tartan, and by Psammetichus, king of Egypt, and finally destroyed by the Maccabees 1 Mace. Ashkelon was taken by Sennacherib who also took Ekron. There seems to have been a more distinct fulfilment of the prophecies relating to these cities by Hezekiah 2 Kings ; Isa. The remnant of the Philistines perished at the hands of the Assyrians Isa.
The charge against Phoenicia Tyre was that they had delivered up all their captives to Edom and had disregarded the brotherly covenant made by Hiram with David and Solomon. The judgment denounced was Tyre's destruction, which was fulfilled in the thirteen years' siege by Nebuchadnezzar and its final and complete destruction by Alexander the Great. The charge preferred against Edom was that of his perpetual hatred against his brother, Jacob, and consequent pursuit of Israel without pity.
The judgment denounced was a fire upon Teman and Bozrah, the two principal cities of Edom. This was fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar when he captured these cities and invaded Egypt. The charge preferred against Ammon was her cruelty to the people of Gilead, which occurred, perhaps, in connection with the cruelties perpetrated by Hazael, king of Syria 2 Kings 8: 12; ; cf. The punishment denounced upon Ammon was the destruction of Rabbah and the captivity of their king, perhaps meaning their god, Molech. This prophecy was fulfilled when the city was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, either at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, or in the course of his Egyptian invasion.
The charge preferred against Moab was that "he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime," which was done, doubtless, in connection with Israel or Judah, and may have been when the Edomites joined Jehoram and Jehoshaphat in the league against Mesha, the king of Moab 2 Kings , 9. There is a Jewish tradition that after this war the Moabites, in revenge for assistance which the king of Edom had given to the Israelites, dug up and dishonored his bones. This sacrilegious act was meant to redound to the disgrace of Israel. Hence this prophecy against Moab. The judgment denounced was that Moab should be destroyed, which was fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar conquered this country Jer.
The charge preferred against Judah was that he had rejected the law of Jehovah, and had not kept his statutes; that their lies had caused them to err, after which their fathers had walked. The judgment denounced in this case was that Jerusalem should be destroyed, which was literally fulfilled by Nebuzaradan, the captain of Nebuchadnezzar's guard 2 Kings Amos shows that Judah was already in 'possession of God's law but had broken his statutes.
This refutes the radical theory as to the date of the writing of the Pentateuch. The charge preferred against Israel was fourfold: 1 injustice; 2 hardness of heart toward the poor; 3 incest; 4 luxury combined with idolatry. The judgment denounced here against Israel was the severest oppression and the most degrading captivity, which found fulfilment in the captivity wrought by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria 2 Kings The prophet in this connection cites several incidents in the history of Israel which should have taught them that God was their defender and preserver when they humbled themselves before him and kept his law.
These examples are: 1 the destruction of the Amorites; 2 their deliverance from Egypt and forty years in the wilderness; 3 God gave them prophets and Nazarites of their own sons to instruct and lead them in the right ways. There is here an additional charge, twofold: 1 they had caused the Nazarites to drink wine and 2 they had refused to let the prophets prophesy. The passage, , is important since it shows that there were prophets and Nazarites long known in Israel before Amos — another refutation of radical criticism.
In general, there is a difference between the sins of Judah and Israel for which they were all punished. The heathen were punished for cruelty or inhumanity in some form; Judah, for forsaking the law of Jehovah; Israel, for covetousness, injustice, lasciviousness, sacrilege, and forgetting Jehovah's kindness and rejecting his messengers.
This is positive evidence that all nations as well as individuals are under the law of retribution. Who was Amos? What can you say of the city of Tekoa? What the date of his prophecy? What the occasion of the prophecies? What of the canonicity of the book of Amos? What the character of this prophecy? What wag his text and where did he get it? What was his outline? What the subject of this discourse and what the meaning of "Jehovah will roar from Zion"?
What the meaning of the phrase, "For three transgressions. What the meaning of "I will send a fire, etc. What the charge against Syria here denounced, what the judgment and when fulfilled? What the charge preferred against Philistia, what the judgment denounced and when fulfilled? What the charge against Phoenicia, what the judgment and when. What the charge against Edom, what the judgment and when. What the charge preferred against Ammon, what the judgment denounced and when fulfilled?
What the charge preferred against Moab, what the judgment denounced and when was it fulfilled? What the charge preferred against Judah, what the judgment denounced and when was it fulfilled? What the importance of What the charge preferred against Israel, what the judgment denounced against her and when was it fulfilled? What lessons of history here cited by the prophet and what additional charge brought against Israel?
What the importance of ? What, in general, the difference between the sins of the heathen. The section, to , consists of three parts, or three distinct addresses, each commencing with the words, "Hear this word. The first address consists, in particular, of the verdict and sentence of Jehovah against all Israel, and is divided as follows: 1 a principle stated ; 2 a reason assigned ; 3 a sentence announced The principle stated in is that an effect proves a cause. This principle is enforced by seven illustrative questions, viz: 1 communion proves agreement; 2 the lion's roar proves the prey; 3 the cry of the young lion proves the prey possessed; 4 the fall of the bird proves the bait; 5 the springing of the snare proves the bird to be taken; 6 the sounding of the trumpet proves the alarm; 7 calamity in the city proves Jehovah.
The application of all this is made by the prophet bringing in his text, as follows: "The lion [Jehovah] hath roared; therefore I fear. The Lord hath spoken, therefore I prophesy. In we hear the prophet giving a special invitation to the Philistines and Egyptians, Israel's inveterate enemies, to assemble in Samaria to witness the great wickedness and destruction of Israel because they did not do right, storing up violence and robbery in their palaces, and whose tumults and oppressions abounded toward the people.
The judgment to follow was to be like the work of the lion devouring his prey. The sentence announced is the complete destruction of Israel, and the thoroughness of its execution is indicated by the sentence of destruction against its objects and places of worship and the smiting of the habitations of the rulers, showing the complete desolation of their city, Samaria. The second address consists, in particular, of an indictment and a summons of Jehovah, and its parts are as follows: 1 the king of Bashan threatened ; 2 a sarcastic command ; 3 a list of providences ; 4 a summons to an account In we have Jehovah's threat against the carousing and oppressive women.
Bashan was famous for its flocks and herds. The proud and luxurious matrons of Israel are here described as like the cattle of Bashan, because the cattle of the pastures of Bashan were uncommonly large, wanton, and headstrong by reason of their full feeding. These women because of their luxuries were oppressing the poor and crushing the needy. How perverted their natures must have been from the true instincts of womanhood!
But such is the effect of luxury without grace. How depraved and animal-like to say, "Bring and let us drink," but such are the marks of a well-developed animal nature. No wonder that just here we should hear Jehovah's oath and threat announced: "they shall take you away with hooks," indicating their humiliation in contrast with their present luxury and pride.
How true the proverb: "Pride goeth before a fall. In we have a sample of the prophet's sarcasm, commanding the people to multiply their offerings in their transgression at Gilgal and Bethel, the two most prominent places of worship in Israel. At these places they worshiped the calf after the pattern of Jeroboam 1. In there are mentioned five distinct providences of the Lord as follows: 2 a scarcity of food, or a famine, per- haps the famine of 2 Kings ; 2 a severe drought; 3 a blasting with mildew; 4 a pestilence; 5 a destruction of cities.