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Commentary On Joel Amos Obadiah by Jean Calvin

Amos 6:9

9. And it shall come to pass, if there remain ten men in one house, that they shall die.

9. Et erit, si restabunt decem homines in domo una, morientur.

The Prophet here amplifies the calamity, which was nigh the people; as though he had said, that God would not now take moderate vengeance on that reprobate people, for he did nothing by dealing moderately with them: there was therefore nigh at hand the heaviest vengeance, which would reduce the people to nothing. This is the import of the Prophet's words when he says, that ten, if remaining in the same house, would die But in naming ten survivors, he intimates that a slaughter had preceded, which had taken away either the half or at least some part of the family, since ten remained. At the same time this number shows how severe and dreadful a judgment of God awaited that people, that ten would be taken away together. But it rarely happens, even when a direful pestilence prevails, that so numerous a family entirely perishes; when three out of four, or six or five out of eight, are taken away, it is a diminution which usually greatly terrifies men: but when ten are taken away together, and no one is left, it is an evidence of an awful vengeance.

We see then that the Prophet here denounces on the people utter ruin, for they could not be reformed by milder punishments: when God tried to recall them to a sane mind, he effected nothing. There was therefore no remedy for their desperate diseases: it was hence necessary entirely to take away those who were thus incurable. Perish then shall the ten, who shall remain in one house It follows --

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