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Amos 6:6-7

6. That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.

6. Qui bibunt in phialis vinum, et primitiis oleorum sese ungunt, et non condolescunt super contritionem Joseph.

7. Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.

7. Propterea nunc transferentur (voluentur) in capite migrantium, et veniet luctus extensorum (est deductum ab eodem verbo jrs; diximus plura significare sed accipio pro extendere; et aliquid rursus dicendum erit in fine.)

 

Amos now reproaches the chiefs of both kingdoms for drinking wine in bowls, that is, in vessels either elegantly formed or precious. Some think “silver” to be understood “in vessels of silver:” but there is no need of regarding any thing as understood in the Prophet’s words. The meaning is, that those men were sufficiently convicted of brutish stupidity, inasmuch as they did not forsake their indulgences, when God manifested his terrible vengeance. Since God then did thus what tended to humble them, their madness and blindness were conspicuous enough; for they indulged themselves, they drank wine according to their usual custom, when they ought to have betaken themselves, as we have said, to fasting, lamentation, and mourning, to sackcloth and ashes.

They drank wine in bowls, and further, they anointed themselves with the chief ointments Christ, we know, was anointed at least twice, (Luke 7:38 Matthew 26:7) and this practice was not blamed in David, nor in king Hezekiah, nor in others. Since then anointing was not in itself sinful, we see that the Prophet must have something particular in view. He meant to show, that when God manifested tokens of his wrath, nothing then remained for those who were conscious of having done evil, but humbly to abstain, like guilty persons, from all indulgences, that they might, by fasting and mourning, excite the mercy of God: as the Israelites had not done this, the Prophet expostulated with them. There is no need of seeking, any other interpretation of this place.

For he immediately subjoins, that they grieved not for the bruising of Joseph These words are to be read in connection with the former, and ought to be applied to the whole discourse. The Prophet then does not specifically blame the Jews and Israelites because they drank wine in bowls, because they anointed themselves with the best and most precious ointment, because they reposed on ivory beds, because they extended themselves on their couches, because they ate the best meat; but because they securely indulged in such delights, and grieved not for the distress of their brethren, for God had miserably afflicted the whole kingdom before their eyes. How much had four tribes already suffered? and how much the whole land and those who lived in the country? Ought God to have spared any longer these chiefs? It is indeed certain, that those who were still free from these calamities were especially culpable. Since then they did not consider the wrath of God, which was evident enough before their eyes, it was a proof of stupidity wholly insane, and showed them who still indulged themselves to have been utterly besides themselves.

We now then understand the full meaning of the Prophet; and hence he says, They shall emigrate at the head of the emigrants, that is, “when there shall be an emigration, they shall be the first in order of time. I have hitherto indulgently spared you; but as I see that you have abused my forbearance, ye shall certainly be the forerunners of others; for ye shall go first into captivity. And my rigor shall begin with you, because I see that I have hitherto lost all my labor in attempting, kindly and paternally to call you to repentance. Ye shall now then migrate at the head of the emigrants

And come shall the mourning of those who extend themselves, סרוחים, saruchim 4343     The words are וסר מרזה סרוחים, usar merezach saruchim, — an instance of striking alliteration. But Calvin’s rendering, though amounting in its general import to the same thing, is certainly not the correct one. סר never means to come, but the reverse, to depart. To decline, to turn aside or away, or to depart, is its common signification. Then מרזה is properly shouting, either for grief or for joy; here evidently for the latter; and it may be rendered here mirth; so the clause may be thus translated —
   And depart shall the mirth of the recumbents,
or, of those who stretch themselves.

   Dr. Henderson’s version is the following: —

   And the shouting company of those that recline shall depart.

   The translation of Symmachus is, “Taken away shall be the company of the voluptuous, ἑταιρεία τρυφητων” The idea of “banquet” for the word here used, is what the Rabbins have given to it. — Ed.
; that is, “Ye indeed lie down, (as he had said before,) ye extend yourselves on your couches; but mourning shall come to you. Ye think that you can escape punishment, when ye repose quietly on your beds; but though your chambers be closed, though ye move not a finger, yet mourning shall come to you.” We now see the connection between the words, mourning and resting in idleness and indulgence. The word סרח, sarech, means indeed properly to recumb; and hence some render the passage, “Mourning shall rest on you:” but the more received meaning is, Mourning shall come on you while recumbing. Though then they stretched out themselves on their beds, that they might pleasantly and softly recumb and rest themselves, yet mourning would come to them, that is, would enter into their chambers.


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