Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Amos. His name is written in a different manner, in Hebrew, from that of the third among the minor prophets, (Worthington) though St. Augustine has confounded them. — Ezechias. He wrote this title towards the end of his life, or it was added by Esdras, &c.
Ver. 2. Earth. He apostrophises these insensible things, (Calmet) because they contain all others, and are the most durable. (Theodoret) (Deuteronomy xxxi. 1.)
Ver. 5-7. Sad. This was spoken after Ozias had given way to pride, when the Ammonites, &c., began to disturb Juda, (4 Kings xv. 37., and 2 Paralipomenon xxvii. 7.) under Joathan, who was a good prince, but young. (Calmet) — Enemies. At the last siege, (St. Jerome) or rather when Jerusalem was taken by the Chaldeans. (Calmet) — Many, from the highest to the lowest, had prevaricated: but God always preserved his Church. (Worthington)
Ver. 8. Cucumbers. Or melons, which grew in the fields, and huts were erected for guards, till they were gathered.
Ver. 10. Sodom. Juda is so styled reproachfully, (Calmet) because the princes imitated the crimes of that devoted city, Ezechiel xvi. 49., and infra[Isaias] chap. ii. 6., and iii. 9. (Menochius)
Ver. 11. Victims. Without piety, they are useless. God tolerated bloody victims to withdraw the people from idolatry, but he often shewed that they were not of much importance, in order that they might be brought to offer the sacrifice of the new law, which eminently includes all the rest. (St. Jerome) (Psalm xlix. 9., Amos v. 21., and Jeremias vi. 20.) (Theodoret)
Ver. 14. Bearing. Hebrew, &c., “pardoning,” (Calmet) or “bearing.” Septuagint, “I will no longer pardon your sins.” (Haydock)
Ver. 16. Wash. Interiorly. (Calmet) — He seems to allude to baptism. (Eusebius) (Theodoret)
Ver. 18. Accuse me. If I punish you without cause.
Ver. 22. Water. There is no sincerity in commerce. (Calmet) — Teachers give false interpretations of the law. (St. Jerome) — Iniquity abounded before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans and Romans. (Worthington)
Ver. 24. Ah! God punishes with regret. (Menochius) — Comfort. I will take complete vengeance under Joathan, (4 Kings xv. 37.) Achaz, &c.
Ver. 25. Tin. I will reform abuses in the reign of Ezechias, but much more by establishing the Church of Christ, which shall be the faithful city. (Calmet)
Ver. 26. Judges. The Jews explain this of the judges, and priests, who governed after the captivity; though it refer rather to the apostles, &c. (St. Jerome) (Worthington)
Ver. 29. Idols. Protestants, “oaks, which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens,” &c. (Haydock) — The groves were sacred to Venus, and the gardens to Adonis, and were scenes of the greatest immorality and profanation, chap. lxv. 3.
Ver. 31. It. The efforts of Achan and Ezechias against the enemy proved in vain. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The prophet complains of the sins of Juda and Jerusalem: and exhorts them to a sincere conversion.
1 The vision of Isaias, the son of Amos, which he saw concerning Juda and Jerusalem in the days of Ozias, *Joathan, Achaz, and Ezechias, kings of Juda.
2 Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken. I have brought up children, *and exalted them, but they have despised me.
3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel hath not known me, and my people hath not understood.
4 Woe to the sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a wicked seed, ungracious children: they have forsaken the Lord, they have blasphemed the holy One of Israel, they are gone away backwards.
5 For what shall I strike you any more, you that increase transgression? the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is sad.
6 From the sole of the foot unto the top of the head, there is no soundness therein: wounds and bruises, and swelling sores: they are not bound up, nor dressed, nor fomented with oil.
7 *Your land is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your country strangers devour before your face, and it shall be desolate as when wasted by enemies.
8 And the daughter of Sion shall be left as a covert in a vineyard, and as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, and as a city that is laid waste.
9 *Except the Lord of hosts had left us seed, **we had been as Sodom, and we should have been like to Gomorrha.
10 Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom, give ear to the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrha.
11 *To what purpose do you offer me the multitude of your victims, saith the Lord? I am full, I desire not holocausts of rams, and fat of fatlings, and blood of calves, and lambs, and buck-goats.
12 When you came to appear before me, who required these things at your hands, that you should walk in my courts?
13 Offer sacrifice no more in vain: incense is an abomination to me. The new moons, and the sabbaths, and other festivals, I will not abide, your assemblies are wicked.
14 My soul hateth your new moons, and your solemnities: they are become troublesome to me, I am weary of bearing them.
15 And when you stretch forth your hands, I will turn away my eyes from you: and when you multiply prayer, I will not hear: *for your hands are full of blood.
16 *Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from my eyes: cease to do perversely,
17 Learn to do well: seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge for the fatherless, defend the widow.
18 And then come, and accuse me, saith the Lord: if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool.
19 If you be willing, and will hearken to me, you shall eat the good things of the land.
20 But if you will not, and will provoke me to wrath: the sword shall devour you, because the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
21 How is the faithful city, that was full of judgment, become a harlot? justice dwelt in it, but now murderers.
22 Thy silver is turned into dross: thy wine is mingled with water.
23 Thy princes are faithless, companions of thieves: they all love bribes, they run after rewards. *They judge not for the fatherless: and the widow’s cause cometh not in to them.
24 Therefore, saith the Lord, the God of hosts, the mighty one of Israel: Ah! I will comfort myself over my adversaries: and I will be revenged of my enemies.
25 And I will turn my hand to thee, and I will clean purge away thy dross, and I will take away all thy tin.
26 And I will restore thy judges as they were before, and thy counsellors as of old. After this thou shalt be called the city of the just, a faithful city.
27 Sion shall be redeemed in judgment, and they shall bring her back in justice.
28 And he shall destroy the wicked, and the sinners together: and they that have forsaken the Lord, shall be consumed.
29 For they shall be confounded for the idols, to which they have sacrificed: and you shall be ashamed of the gardens which you had chosen.
30 When you shall be as an oak with the leaves falling off, and as a garden without water.
31 And your strength shall be as the ashes of tow, and your work as a spark: and both shall burn together, and there shall be none to quench it.
1: A.M. 3219, A.C. 785.
2: Osee xi. 3.
7: Isaias v. 6.
9: Romans ix. 29. — ** Genesis xix. 24.
11: Jeremias vi. 20.; Amos v. 21.
15: Isaias lix. 3.
16: 1 Peter iii. 11.
23: Jeremias v. 28.