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Commentary On Joel Amos Obadiah by Jean Calvin

Amos 3:10

10. For they know not to do right, saith the Lord, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.

10. Et non noverunt facere rectum, dicit Jehova, thesaurizantes rapinam et praedam in palatiis suis.

In this verse he confirms what I have already said of oppressions: he says that they despised every thing right. But not to know this lessens not their guilt, as though they ignorantly offended; but the Prophet means, on the contrary, that they had cast away far from them everything that was just and allowed themselves all liberty in sinning, without any discrimination, without any shame; as though he said, |They are brute animals, who are void of all judgments of all reason, and of all shame; for they seek not to have a light understanding any more.| here then he accuses the Israelites of wilful blindness; for they hardened themselves in every evil, and extinguished all judgments shame and reasons so that they no longer distinguished between what was just and unjust: and he mentions one thing in particular -- that they accumulated much wealth by plunder and robbery. The Israelites were no doubt guilty of many other crimes; but by stating a part for the whole, he mentions one thing which includes other things, and intimates, that the people were wholly given to all kinds of crimes, and that as they had cast aside every shame, obliterated every distinction, and repudiated every regard for justice, they abandoned themselves to every kind of wickedness. This, is the import of the Prophet's words.

But our Prophet points out here the gross sins of the Israelites, because he had previously constituted the blind as their judges. Hence it was the same as though he had said, |Though the Egyptians and the Idumeans are void of light, yet your iniquity is so palpable, that they will be able to perceive it. There is indeed no necessity of any subtle disputation, since plunders and pillages are carried on with so much violence, since no moderation or equity is any longer observed, and no shame exists; but men rush headlong with blind impetuosity into every kind of evil; so that the very blind, though without eyes, can know what your state is. Then the Egyptians and Idumeans will perceive your vices, when located on the neighboring mountains.| This is the meaning. It now follows --

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