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Amos 5:27

27. Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.

27. Et migrare faciam vos ultra Damascum, dicit Jehova, Deus exercituum nomen ejus.


Here the Prophet at last denounces exile on the Israelites as though he had said that God would not suffer them any longer to contaminate the Holy Land, which had been given them as an heritage, on the condition that they acknowledged him as the only true God. God had now, for a long time, borne with the Israelites though they had never ceased to pollute his land with superstitions. He comes now to cleanse it. I will cause you, he says, to migrate beyond Damascus; for they thought that enemies were driven, by means of that fortress, from the whole country, and they took shelter there as in a quiet nest. The expression would have otherwise no meaning, and this is what interpreters have not noticed. They say, “I will cause you to migrate beyond Damascus” 4040     Here is another instance in which the meaning and not the words, is given by Stephen in Acts 7:43. In this instance, the Septuagint is the same with the Hebrew text, “beyond Damascus;” but Stephen says, “beyond Babylon.” The same quarter is meant, though the name of the place is different. — Ed. that is, to a far country; but why did the Prophet mention Damascus? This reason ought to be observed. It was because the Israelites thought that all the attacks of enemies would be prevented by having the city Damascus as their defense, which they supposed was impregnable. “That fortress,” the Lord says, “will not prevent me from taking you away, and removing you as far as the Assyrians.” We now see what the Prophet means, and why he expressly added the name of Damascus.

It follows, The God of hosts is his name 4141     There seems to be a peculiar propriety in introducing this sentence. The Israelites became the worshippers of the hosts of heaven; then the Prophet says, that Jehovah is the God of Hosts. What folly, then, it was to worship the hosts of heaven, and to forsake the God of them! — Ed. Here the Prophet confirms his threatening, lest hypocrites should think that he did not speak in earnest: for we know how readily they flattered themselves; and when the Lord fulminated, they remained secure. Hence the Prophet, that he might strike terror, says, that the speaker is the God of hosts, as though he said, “Ye cannot hope to escape the vengeance which God now denounces on you; for his power is infinite, he is the Lord of hosts. See then that he is prepared to destroy you except ye timely repent.” This is the meaning. I will not now proceed farther.

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