Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Amos 8:10

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I will turn your feasts into mourning - See on Amos 8:3; (note).

A bitter day - A time of grievous calamity.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

I will turn your feasts into mourning - He recurs to the sentence which he had pronounced Amos 8:3, before he described the avarice and oppression which brought it down. Hosea too had foretold, “I will cause all her mirth to cease, her feast-days, etc” Hosea 2:11. So Jeremiah describes, “the joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning” Lamentations 5:15. The Book of Tobit bears witness how these sayings of Amos lived in the hearts of the captive Israelites. The word of God seems oftentimes to fail, yet it finds those who are His. “I remembered,” he said, “that prophecy of Amos, your feasts shall be turned into mourning” (Joel 1:8, Joel 1:13, pp. 107,109), was wearing to the frame) “and baldness upon every head.” The mourning of the Jews was no half-mourning, no painless change of one color of becoming dress for another. For the time, they were dead to the world or to enjoyment. As the clothing was coarse, uncomely, distressing, so they laid aside every ornament, the ornament of their hair also (as English widows used, on the same principle, to cover it). They shore it off; each sex, what was the pride of their sex; the men, their beards; the women, their long hair. The strong words, “baldness, is balded Jeremiah 16:6, shear Micah 1:16; Jeremiah 7:29, hew off, enlarge thy baldness”, are used to show the completeness of this expression of sorrow. None exempted themselves in the universal sorrow; “on every head” came up “baldness.”

And I will make it - (probably, the whole state and condition of things, everything, as we use our “it”) as the mourning of an only son As, when God delivered Israel from Egypt, “there was not,” among the Egyptians: “a house where there was not one dead Exodus 12:30, and one universal cry arose from end to end of the land, so now too in apostate Israel. The whole mourning should be the one most grievous mourning of parents, over the one child in whom they themselves seemed anew to live.

And the end thereof as a bitter day - Most griefs have a rest or pause, or wear themselves out. “The end” of this should be like the beginning, nay, one concentrated grief, a whole day of bitter grief summed up in its close. It was to be no passing trouble, but one which should end in bitterness, an unending sorrow and destruction; image of the undying death in hell.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
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. They have no regard to man: those who have lost the savour of piety, will not long keep the sense of common honesty. They cheat those they deal with. They take advantage of their neighbour's ignorance or necessity, in a traffic which nearly concerns the labouring poor. Could we witness the fraud and covetousness, which, in such numerous forms, render trading an abomination to the Lord, we should not wonder to see many dealers backward in the service of God. But he who thus despises the poor, reproaches his Maker; as it regards Him, rich and poor meet together. Riches that are got by the ruin of the poor, will bring ruin on those that get them. God will remember their sin against them. This speaks the case of such unjust, unmerciful men, to be miserable indeed, miserable for ever. There shall be terror and desolation every where. It shall come upon them when they little think of it. Thus uncertain are all our creature-comforts and enjoyments, even life itself; in the midst of life we are in death. What will be the wailing in the bitter day which follows sinful and sensual pleasures!