Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Amos 9:13

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The ploughman shall overtake the reaper - All the seasons shall succeed in due and natural order: but the crops shall be so copious in the fields and in the vineyards, that a long time shall be employed in gathering and disposing of them; so that the seasons of ploughing, sowing, gathering the grapes, treading the wine-press, etc., shall press on the heels of each other; so vast will be the abundance, and so long the time necessary to gather and cure the grain and fruits. We are informed by travelers in the Holy Land, Barbary, etc., that the vintage at Aleppo lasts from the fifteenth of September to the middle of November; and that the sowing season begins at the close of October, and lasts through all November. Here, then, the ploughman, sower, grape-gatherer, and operator at the wine-press, not only succeed each other, but have parts of these operations going on at the same time. But great fertility in the land, abundance in the crops, and regularity of the seasons, seem to be the things which the prophet especially predicts. These are all poetical and prophetical images, by which happy times are pointed out.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Behold the days are coming - The Day of the Lord is ever coming on: every act, good or bad, is drawing it on: everything which fills up the measure of iniquity or which “hastens the accomplishment of the number of the elect;” all time hastens it by. “The plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed.” The image is taken from God‘s promise in the law; “Your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time” Leviticus 26:5; which is the order of agriculture. The harvest should be so copious that it should not be threshed out until the vintage: the vintage so large, that, instead of ending, as usual, in the middle of the 7th month, it should continue on to the seed-time in November. Amos appears purposely to have altered this. He describes what is wholly beyond nature, in order that it might the more appear that he was speaking of no mere gifts of nature, but, under natural emblems, of the abundance of gifts of grace. “The plowman,” who breaks up the fallow ground, “shall overtake,” or “throng, the reaper. The “plowman” might “throng,” or “join on to the reaper,” either following upon him, or being followed by him; either preparing the soil for the harvest which the reaper gathers in, or breaking it up anew for fresh harvest after the in-gathering.

But the vintage falls between the harvest and the seed-time. If then by the “plowmen thronging on the reaper,” we understand that the harvest should, for its abundance, not be over before the fresh seed-time, then, since the vintage is much nearer to the seed-time than the harvest had been, the words, “he that treadeth out the grapes, him that soweth the seed,” would only say the same less forcibly. In the other way, it is one continuous whole. So vast would be the soil to be cultivated, so beyond all the powers of the cultivator, and yet so rapid and unceasing the growth, that seed-time and harvest would be but one. So our Lord says, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest” John 4:35. “Four months” ordinarily intervened between seed-time and harvest. Among these Samaritans, seed-time and harvest were one.

They had not, like the Jews, had teachers from God; yet, as soon as our Lord taught them, they believed. But, as seed time and harvest should be one, so should the vintage be continuous with the following seed-time. “The treader of grapes,” the last crowning act of the year of cultivation, should join on to “him that soweth” (literally, “draweth” forth, soweth broadcast, scattereth far and wide the) “seed.” All this is beyond nature, and so, the more in harmony with what went before, the establishment of a kingdom of grace, in which “the pagan” should have “the Name of God called upon” them. He had foretold to them, how God would “send famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord” Amos 8:11. Now, under the same image, he declares the repeal of that sentence. He foretells, not the fullness only of God‘s gifts, but their unbroken continuance.

Jerome: “All shall succeed one another, so that no day should be void of grain, wine, and gladness.” And they shall not follow only on one another, but shall all go on together in one perpetual round of toil and fruitfulness. There shall be one unceasing inpouring of riches; no break in the heavenly husbandry; labor shall at once yield fruit; the harvest shall but encourage fresh labor. The end shall come swiftly on the beginning; the end shall not close the past only, but issue forth anew. Such is the character of the toils of the Gospel. All the works of grace go on in harmony together; each helps on the other; in one, the fallow-ground of the heart is broken up; in another, seed is sown, the beginning of a holy conversation; in another, is the full richness of the ripened fruit, in advanced holiness or the blood of martyrs. And so, also, of the ministers of Christ, some are adapted especially to one office, some to another; yet all together carry on His one work. All, too, patriarchs, prophets, Apostles, shall meet together in one; they who, before Christ‘s coming, “sowed the seed, the promises of the Blessed Seed to come,” and they who “entered into their labors,” not to displace, but to complete them; all shall rejoice together in that Seed which is Christ.

And the mountains shall drop sweet wine and all the hills shall melt - Amos takes the words of Joel, in order to identify their prophecies, yet strengthens the image. For instead of saying, “the hills shall flow with milk,” he says, “they shall melt, dissolve themselves. Such shall be the abundance and super-abundance of blessing, that it shall be as though the hills dissolved themselves in the rich streams which they poured down. The mountains and hills may be symbols, in regard either to their height, or their natural barrenness or their difficulty of cultivation. In past times they were scenes of idolatry. In the time of the Gospel, all should be changed; all should be above nature. All should be obedient to God: all, full of the graces and gifts of God. What was exalted, like the Apostles should be exalted not for itself, but in order to pour out the streams of life-giving doctrine and truth, which would refresh and gladden the faithful. And the lesser heights, “the hills,” should, in their degree, pour out the same streams. Everything, heretofore barren and unfruitful, should overflow with spiritual blessing. The mountains and hills of Judaea, with their terraced sides clad with the vine were a natural symbol fruitfulness to the Jews, but they themselves could not think that natural fruitfulness was meant under this imagery. It would have been a hyperbole as to things of nature; but what, in naturl things, is a hyperbole, is but a faint shadow of the joys and rich delights and glad fruitfulness of grace.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Christ died to gather together the children of God that were scattered abroad, here said to be those who were called by his name. The Lord saith this, who doeth this, who can do it, who has determined to do it, the power of whose grace is engaged for doing it. Verses
Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
may refer to the early times of Christianity, but will receive a more glorious fulfilment in the events which all the prophets more or less foretold, and may be understood of the happy state when the fulness both of the Jews and the Gentiles come into the church. Let us continue earnest in prayer for the fulfilment of these prophecies, in the peace, purity, and the beauty of the church. God marvellously preserves his elect amidst the most fearful confusions and miseries. When all seems desperate, he wonderfully revives his church, and blesses her with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. And great shall be the glory of that period, in which not one good thing promised shall remain unfulfilled.
Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 16

But I speak not my own words when I say that God's Spirit will pass by those who have had their day of test and opportunity, but who have not distinguished the voice of God or appreciated the movings of His Spirit. Then thousands in the eleventh hour will see and acknowledge the truth. 2SM 16.1

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed” (Amos 9:13). 2SM 16.2

These conversions to truth will be made with a rapidity that will surprise the church, and God's name alone will be glorified.—Letter 43, 1890. 2SM 16.3

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 300

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” Amos 9:13-15. PK 300.1

“Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?” “Thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered.” “They shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.” Isaiah 49:24, 25; 42:17.

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