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Commentary On Joel Amos Obadiah by Jean Calvin

Amos 3:15

15. And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the Lord.

15. Et percutiam domum hyemalem cum domo aestiva, et peribunt domus eburneae et deficient domus magnae, dicit Jehova.

Amos shows again that in vain the great people trusted in their wealth and fortified places; for these could not hinder God from drawing them forth to punishment. As then abundance blinds men, and as they imagine themselves to be as it were inaccessible, especially when dwelling in great palaces, the Prophet here declares, that these houses would be no impediment to prevent God's vengeance to break through; I will then destroy the winter-house together with the summer-house. Amos no doubt intended by this paraphrase to designate the palaces. The poor deem it enough to have a cottage both for winter and summer; for they change not the parts of their buildings, so as to inhabit the hotter in winter, and to refresh themselves in the colder during summer: no such advantage is possessed by the poor, for they are content with the same dwelling through life. But as the rich sought warmth in winter, and had their summer compartments, the Prophet says, that their large and magnificent buildings would be no protection to the rich, for God's vengeance would penetrate through them; I will destroy then the winter with the summer house

And then he says, Fail shall the houses of ivory. We now see more clearly that the Prophet speaks here against the rich and the wealthy, who inhabited splendid and magnificent palaces. Perish then shall the houses of ivory and fail shall the great houses; some say, many houses, but improperly; for the Prophet continues the same idea; and as he had before mentioned houses of ivory so he now calls them great houses; for they were not only built for use and convenience, like common and plebeian houses, but also for show and display; for the rich, we know, are ever lavish and profuse, not only in their table and dress, but also in their palaces. This is the meaning. Now follows --

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