1. Vision of Locust swarms (7:1-3)
2. Vision of Consuming fire (7:4-6),
3. Vision of the Plumb line (7:7-17)
4. Vision of the Basket of Summer fruit (8:1-14)
5. Vision of the LORD beside the altar (9:1-10)
Amos 8:Vision of the Basket of summer fruit (Vision of the terrible end)
The near approach of the ruin of Israel.(1-3).This vision is not about harvest, but about the reaping fruit of their action. Though the message is the same as the 3rd vision, this vision has an additional information. God stated in the 3rd vision that HE will not forgive, whereas God says in this fourth vision that HE can’t hold the judgement too long as one can’t keep the summer fruit for too long. Sinners should not put off repentance too long thinking God would delay HIS judgement.
Vs.1 & 2 …Summer fruit…: ‘Summer fruit’ can also be translated as ‘end fruit,’ which means the very end of the harvest (Read Jeremiah 8:20). The summer of God’s forgiveness and patience has finally reached it’s peak and has come to an end. In Jeremiah 1:11 & 12, we read about ‘a branch of an Almond tree.’ Almond tree blooms early in the spring almost at the very end of summer (as soon as the harvest is over).
V. 3 …In that day…: Also mentioned as ‘the Day of the LORD.’ In fact, this is not a 24 hrs. day, but start of line of events in terms of God executing Judgement. …dead bodies… a signal that the day of the LORD has come. …song of the temple…,means the paganized worship will come to an end and there will be quietness.
Oppression reproved. (4-10):
The rich and powerful of the land were the most guilty of oppression, as well as the foremost in idolatry. They were weary of the restraints of the sabbaths and the new moons, and wished them over, because no common work might be done therein. This is the character of many who are called Christians. The sabbath day and sabbath work are a burden to carnal hearts. It will either be profaned or be accounted a dull day. But can we spend our time better than in communion with God? When employed in religious services, they were thinking of marketings. They were weary of holy duties, because their worldly business stood still the while. Those are strangers to God, and enemies to themselves, who love market days better than sabbath days, who would rather be selling corn than worshipping God -Mathew Henry Concise Commentary.
Vs. 4-6 …swallow up the needy, and make the poor of the land fail,…: The rich and powerful were oppressing the poor and weak rather than helping them. But those who sought to bring the poor of the land to an end were themselves going to face a terrible end. The indictments against religious hypocrisy are stated here. The wealthy are continuing in their religious duty, but are exploiting the poor. God will not forget their social injustices in the spite of their being strict Sabbath-keepers. …false balances…are the symbol of injustice. …buy the poor for silver,…needy for a pair of sandals… Instead of helping the poor, the rich buy them into slavery.
V. 7 …pride of Jacob…: In this particular context, this mention as ‘pride of Jacob’ seems to be positive and may be a synonym for God Himself.
V. 8 …swell like the River, Heave and subside…like the river of Egypt…: This is the analogy from Nile River which rose and fell/subside annually. This may be about earthquake or about flood.
Vs. 9 & 10…sun go down…:
Israel’s destruction will be so terrible that even nature will go into mourning, with the sun hiding its face. This is reminiscent of the darkness that covered the earth when God’s only Son died for the sins of Israel and the whole world (see Mark 15:33). Darkening can serve as a symbol of judgment (Joel 3:15; see also Rev. 6:12; 8:12). – ESV Study Bible.
A famine of the word of God. (11-14):
Vs. 11 & 12…
Here was a token of God’s highest displeasure. At any time, and most in a time of trouble, a famine of the word of God is the heaviest judgment. To many this is no affliction, yet some will feel it very much, and will travel far to hear a good sermon; they feel the loss of the mercies others foolishly sin away. But when God visits a backsliding church, their own plans and endeavours to find out a way of salvation, will stand them in no stead. And the most amiable and zealous would perish, for want of the water of life, which Christ only can bestow. Let us value our advantages, seek to profit by them, and fear sinning them away. – Mathew Henry Concise Commentary.
Famine and draught were two of the punishments God had used against Israel. Now, Amos speaks of a new kind of famine – a lack of the Word of God. This refers specifically to the message delivered by a prophet. No assurance will be available that God has heard their cry from help. No direction from God will guide them in their cry for help. No direction from God will guide them in their time of need. All will be silent. – Sprit-filled Bible
Israel had rejected the words of the Lord from Amos and so they would go into exile, where there would be no word from the Lord at all. In its absence they will find that the revelation from God had been their most precious possession. they shall not find it. People who have repeatedly rejected God’s words will suddenly be unable to find God’s words at all. In 7:17 severe judgment came to a priest for rejecting God’s words, but here severe judgment comes upon the people as a whole for the same sin. – ESV Study Bible.
Vs. 13 & 14…sin of Samaria… The prominent shrines of their false gods were located at Dan and Beersheba. The reference of these two cities encompasses the whole of the land.