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Amos 8 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Amos 8 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit.

2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.

"Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come."
God tells Amos that the end has come for the people of Israel. He won't wait any longer to kill them all.
Once, true for every sinner, the end will come. These people were not innocent, see chapter 6:8 and in this chapter verses like verse 4 and verse 6. Or is it that the author of the SAB rather has that they continue to oppress the poor and sell people into slavery?

3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.

(8:3-14) "There shall be many dead bodies in every place." God will kill so many people that dead bodies will lay everywhere.
See verse 2.

4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,

5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?

6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?

7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.

God swears "by the excellency of Jacob."
I'm not sure why the author of the SAB scoffs here. Wasn't Jacob, i.e. his descendants, excelled above other nations?

8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.

"Shall not the land tremble for this?"
(Earthquakes are a punishment from God.)
Amos does not say that every earthquake is a punishment. But he asks: “Shall not the earth quake because of the oppression of the poor?” Note that an earthquake did happen, two years after Amos began to preach, chapter 1:1.

9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:

10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.

11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

"They shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it." Can God be found?
This was a punishment. And the reason they were seeking God was that they would live, so that they could continue to sin. That's making a mockery of seeking God.

13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.

14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beer-sheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.