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Amos 6:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and to them that are secure in the mountain of Samaria, the notable men of the chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel come!
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Woe to them [that are] at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, [which are] named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Woe to those who are at ease in Zion And to those who [feel] secure in the mountain of Samaria, The distinguished men of the foremost of nations, To whom the house of Israel comes.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Woe to them [that are] at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, [who are] named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Woe to them that are at ease in Zion and that are secure in the mountain of Samaria, the renowned of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel come.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Alas for the careless in Zion, and for them who put confidence in the mountain of Samaria,—the distinguished among the first group of nations, to whom came in the house of Israel.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Woe [to] those secure in Zion, And those confident in the mount of Samaria, The marked of the chief of the nations, And come to them have the house of Israel.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Woe to you that are wealthy in Sion, and to you that have confidence in the mountain of Samaria: ye great men, heads of the people, that go in with state into the house of Israel.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountaine of Samaria, which are named chiefe of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Woe to them that set at nought Zion{gr.Sion}, and that trust in the mountain of Samaria: they have gathered [the harvest of] the heads of the nations, and they have gone in themselves.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Woe to them [that are] at ease in Tziyyon, and trust in the mountain of Shomron, [which are] named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Yisrael came!

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Woe 1945
{1945} Prime
A prolonged form of H1930 (akin to H0188); oh!.
to them [that are] at ease 7600
{7600} Prime
From H7599; secure; in a bad sense, haughty.
in Xiyyn צִיּוֹן, 6726
{6726} Prime
The same (regular) as H6725; Tsijon (as a permanent capital), a mountain of Jerusalem.
and trust 982
{0982} Prime
A primitive root; properly to hie for refuge (but not so precipitately as H2620); figuratively to trust, be confident or sure.
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
in the mountain 2022
{2022} Prime
A shortened form of H2042; a mountain or range of hills (sometimes used figuratively).
of mrn שֹׁמרוֹן, 8111
{8111} Prime
From the active participle of H8104; watch station; Shomeron, a place in Palestine.
[which are] named 5344
{5344} Prime
A primitive root; to puncture, literally (to perforate, with more or less violence) or figuratively (to specify, designate, libel).
<8803> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Passive (See H8815)
Count - 1415
chief 7225
{7225} Prime
From the same as H7218; the first, in place, time, order or rank (specifically a firstfruit).
of the nations, 1471
{1471} Prime
Apparently from the same root as H1465 (in the sense of massing); a foreign nation; hence a Gentile; also (figuratively) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts.
to whom the house 1004
{1004} Prime
Probably from H1129 abbreviated; a house (in the greatest variation of applications, especially family, etc.).
of Yi$rl יִשׂרָאֵל 3478
{3478} Prime
From H8280 and H0410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity.
came! 935
{0935} Prime
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Amos 6:1

_ _ Amos 6:1-14. Denunciation of both the sister nations (especially their nobles) for wanton security — Zion, as well as Samaria: Threat of the exile: Ruin of their palaces and slaughter of the people: Their perverse injustice.

_ _ named chief of the nations — that is, you nobles, so eminent in influence, that your names are celebrated among the chief nations [Ludovicus De Dieu]. Hebrew, “Men designated by name among the first-fruits of the nations,” that is, men of note in Israel, the people chosen by God as first of the nations (Exodus 19:5; compare Numbers 24:20) [Piscator].

_ _ to whom ... Israel came — that is, the princes to whom the Israelites used to repair for the decision of controversies, recognizing their authority [Maurer]. I prefer to refer “which” to the antecedent “Zion” and “Samaria”; these were esteemed “chief” strongholds among the heathen nations “to whom ... Israel came” when it entered Canaan; Amos 6:2 accords with this.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Amos 6:1-7

_ _ The first words of the chapter are the contents of these verses; but they sound very strangely, and contrary to the sentiments of a vain world: Woe to those that are at ease! We are ready to say, Happy are those that are at ease, that neither feel any trouble nor fear any, that lie soft and warm, and lay nothing to heart; and wise we think are those that do so, that bathe themselves in the delights of sense and care not how the world goes. Those are looked upon as doing well for themselves that do well for their bodies and make much of them; but against them this woe is denounced, and we are here told what their ease is, and what the woe is.

_ _ I. Here is a description of their pride, security, and sensuality, for which God would reckon with them.

_ _ 1. They were vainly conceited of their own dignities, and thought those would secure them from the judgments threatened and be their defence against the wrath both of God and man. (1.) Those that dwelt in Zion thought that was honour and protection enough for them, and they might there be quiet from all fear of evil, because it was a strong city, well fortified both by nature and art (we read of Zion's strong-holds and her bulwarks), and because it was a royal city, where were set the thrones of the house of David (it was the head-city of Judah, and therefore truly great), and especially because it was the holy city, where the temple was, and the testimony of Israel; those that dwelt there doubted not but that God's sanctuary would be a sanctuary to them and would shelter them from his judgments. The temple of the Lord are these, Jeremiah 7:4. They are haughty because of the holy mountain, Zephaniah 3:11. Note, Many are puffed up with pride, and rocked asleep in carnal security, by their church-privileges, and the place they have in Zion. (2.) Those that dwelt in the mountain of Samaria, though it was not a holy hill, like that of Zion, yet they trusted in it, because it was the metropolis of a potent kingdom, and perhaps, in imitation of Jerusalem, was the head-quarters of its religion; and by lapse of time the hill of Shemer became with them in as good repute as the hill of Zion ever was. They hoped for salvation from these hills and mountains. (3.) Both these two kingdoms valued themselves upon their relation to Israel, that prince with God, which they looked upon as masking them the chief of the nations, more ancient and honourable than any of them; the first-fruits of the nations (so the word is), dedicated to God and sanctifying the whole harvest. The house of Israel came to them, that is, was divided into those kingdoms, of which Zion and Samaria were the mother cities. Those that were at ease were the princes and rulers, the great men, that were chief of the nations, chief of those two kingdoms, and to whom, having their residence in Zion and Samaria, the whole house of Israel applied for judgment. Note, It is hard to be great and not to be proud. Great nations and great men are apt to overvalue themselves, and to overlook their neighbours, because they think they a little overtop them. But, for a check to their pride and security, the prophet bids them take notice of those cities that were within the compass of their knowledge, that had been as illustrious in their time as ever Zion or Samaria was, and yet were destroyed, Amos 6:2. “Go to Calneh (which was an ancient city built by Nimrod, Genesis 10:10), and see what has become of that, it is now in ruins; so is Hamath the great, one of the chief cities of Syria. Sennacherib boasts of destroying the gods of Hamath. Gath was likewise made desolate by Hazael, and not long ago, 2 Kings 12:17. Now were they better than these kingdoms of Judah and Israel? Yes, they were, and their border greater than your border, so that they had more reason than you to be confident of their own safety; yet you see what has become of them, and dare you be secure? Art thou better than populous No?Nahum 3:8. Note, The examples of others' ruin forbid us to be secure.

_ _ 2. They persisted in their wicked courses upon a presumption that they should never be called to an account for them (Amos 6:3): “You put far away the evil day, the day of reckoning, as a thing that shall never come, or you look upon it as at such a distance that it makes no impression at all upon you; you put it far away, and think you can still put it yet further, and adjourn it de die in diemfrom day to day, and therefore you cause the seat of violence to draw near; you venture upon all acts of injustice and oppression, and have fellowship with the throne of iniquity, which frames mischief by a law, Psalms 94:20. You cause that to come near, as if that would be your protection from these judgments which really ripens you for them.” Note, Therefore men take sin to be near them, because they take judgment to be far off from them; but those deceive themselves who thus mock God.

_ _ 3. They indulged themselves in all manner of sensual pleasures and delights, Amos 6:4-6. These Israelites were perfect epicures and slaves to their appetites. Their dignities (in consideration of which they ought to have been examples of self-denial and mortification), they thought, would justify them in their sensuality; the gains of their oppression and violence, they thought, would bear the charge of it; and they put the evil day at a distance, that they might give them no disturbance in it. That which they are here charged with is not in itself sinful (these things might be soberly and moderately used), but they placed their happiness in the gratification of their carnal appetites; and though they were men in office, that had business to mind, they gave themselves up to their pleasures, spent their time in them, and threw away their thoughts, and cares, and estates upon them. They were in these enjoyments as in their element. Their hearts were upon them; they exceeded all bounds in them, and this at a time when God in his providence was calling them to weeping and mourning, Isaiah 22:12, Isaiah 22:13. When they were under guilt and wrath, and the judgments of God were ready to break in upon them, they called for wine and strong drink, presuming that tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant (Isaiah 56:12), thus walking contrary to God and setting his justice at defiance. (1.) They were extravagant in their furniture. Nothing would serve them but beds of ivory to sleep upon, or to sit on at their meat, when sackcloth and ashes would have become them better. (2.) They were lazy, and humoured themselves in the love of ease. They did not only lie down, but stretched themselves upon their couches, when they should have stirred up themselves to their business; they were willingly slothful, and took a pride in doing nothing; they abound in superfluities (so the margin reads it), when many of their poor brethren wanted necessaries. (3.) They were nice and curious in their diet, must have every thing of the best and abundance of it: They ate the lambs out of the flock (lambs by wholesale) and the calves out of the midst of the stall, the fattest they could lay their hand on; and these perhaps not out of their own flock and their own stall, but taken by oppression from the poor. (4.) They were merry and jovial, and diverted themselves at their feasts with music and singing: They chant to the sound of the viol, sing and play in concert, and they invent new-fashioned instruments of music, striving herein, more than in any thing else, to excel their ancestors; they set their wits on work to contrive how to please their fancy. Some men never show their ingenuity but in their luxury; on that they bestow all their faculty of invention and contrivance. They invent instruments of music, like David, entertain themselves with that which formerly used to be the entertainment of kings only. Or it intimates their profaneness in their mirth; they mimicked the temple-music, and made a jest of that, because, it may be, it was old-fashioned, and they took a pride in bantering it as the Babylonians did when they urged the captives to sing to them the songs of Zion; such was Belshazzar's profaneness when he drank wine in temple-bowls, and such is theirs that sing vain and loose songs in psalm-tunes, on purpose to ridicule a divine institution. (5.) They drank to excess, and never thought they could pour down enough: They drank wink in bowls, not in glasses, or cups (as Jeremiah 35:5); they hate to be stinted, and must have large draughts, and therefore make use of vessels that they can steal a draught out of. (6.) They affected the strongest perfumes: They anoint themselves with the chief ointments, to please the smell, and to make them more in love with their own bodies, and to guard against those presages of putrefaction which they carry about with them while they live. No ordinary ointments would serve their turn; they must have the chief, such as were far-fetched and dear-bought, when cheaper would have served as well.

_ _ 4. They had no concern at all for the interests of the church of God, and of the nation, that were sinking and going to decay: They are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph; the church of God, including both the kingdoms of Judah and Israel (which are called Joseph, Psalms 80:1), was in distress, invaded, insulted, and broken in upon. As to their own kingdom which they were entrusted with the government of, the affairs of which they were directors of, the peace of which they were the conservators of, great breaches were made upon it, upon its peace and welfare; and they were so besotted that they were not aware of them, so indulgent of their pleasures that they never laid them to heart, and had such an aversion to the thing called business that they were in no care or concern to get them repaired. It is all one to them whether the nation sink or swim, so that they can but lie at ease and live in pleasure. Particular persons that belonged to Joseph were in affliction, and they took no cognizance of their case of the wrongs and hardships they sustained and the troubles they were in, nor took any care to relieve them, and right them, contrary to the temper of holy Job, who, when he was in prosperity, wept with him that was in misery and his soul was grieved for the poor, Job 30:25. Some think that, in calling the afflicted church Joseph, there is an allusion to the story of Pharaoh's butler, who, when he preferred to give the cup again into his master's hand, remembered not Joseph, but forgot him, Genesis 40:21, Genesis 40:23. Thus they drank wine in bowls, but were not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. Note, Those are commonly careless of the troubles of others who are set upon their own pleasures; and it is a great offence to God when his church is in affliction and we are not grieved for it, nor lay it to heart.

_ _ II. Here is the doom passed upon them (Amos 6:7): Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and shall fall into all the miseries that attend captives; and the banquet of those that stretched themselves upon their couches shall be removed. Their plenty shall be taken from them, and they from it, because they made it the food and fuel of their lusts. 1. Those who lived in luxury shall lose even their liberty; and by being brought into servitude shall be justly punished for the abuse of their dignity and dominion. 2. Those who trusted in the delights and pleasures of their own land shall be carried away into a strange land, and so made ashamed of their pride and confidence; they shall go captive. 3. Those who placed their happiness in the pleasures of sense, and set their hearts upon them, shall be deprived of those pleasures; their banquet shall be removed, and they shall know what it is to fare hard. 4. Those who stretched themselves shall be made to contract themselves, and to come into a less compass. 5. Those who put the evil day far from them shall find it nearer to them than it is to others; those shall go captive with the first who flattered themselves with hopes that if trouble did come they should be the last who should be seized by it. Those are ripening apace for trouble themselves who lay not to heart the trouble of others and of the church of God. Those who give themselves to mirth, when God calls them to mourning, will find it a sin that shall not go unpunished, Isaiah 22:14.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Amos 6:1

At ease — That neither fear nor believe the threatened judgments of God. In Zion — That is put for the kingdom of the two tribes, and principally the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Samaria — Woe to them also who rely upon the strength, wealth, and policy of the kingdom of Samaria or Israel. Which — Which two cities, Zion and Samaria. Named chief — Accounted the chief cities of that part of the world. To whom — To which place all Israel had recourse, the two tribes to Zion, the ten tribes to Samaria.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Amos 6:1

Woe to (a) them [that are] at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, (b) [which are] named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!

(a) The Prophet threatens the wealthy, who did not regard God's plagues, nor threatenings by his Prophets.

(b) These two cities were famous from their first inhabitants the Canaanites: and seeing that before they did not avail those that were born here, why should you think that they should save you who were brought in to dwell in other men's possessions?

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
to them:

Judges 18:7 Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people that [were] therein, how they dwelt careless, after the manner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure; and [there was] no magistrate in the land, that might put [them] to shame in [any] thing; and they [were] far from the Zidonians, and had no business with [any] man.
Isaiah 32:9-11 Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. ... Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird [sackcloth] upon [your] loins.
Isaiah 33:14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
Jeremiah 48:11 Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.
Jeremiah 49:31 Arise, get you up unto the wealthy nation, that dwelleth without care, saith the LORD, which have neither gates nor bars, [which] dwell alone.
Luke 6:24-25 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. ... Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
Luke 12:17-20 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? ... But God said unto him, [Thou] fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
James 5:5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

at ease:
or, secure,
Jeremiah 7:4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, [are] these.

and trust:

Amos 4:1 Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that [are] in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink.
Amos 8:14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.
1 Kings 16:24 And he bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill, Samaria.


Exodus 19:5-6 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine: ... And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Lamentations 1:1 How doth the city sit solitary, [that was] full of people! [how] is she become as a widow! she [that was] great among the nations, [and] princess among the provinces, [how] is she become tributary!

or, firstfruits,
James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
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Ex 19:5. Jg 18:7. 1K 16:24. Is 32:9; 33:14. Jr 7:4; 48:11; 49:31. Lm 1:1. Am 4:1; 8:14. Lk 6:24; 12:17. Jm 1:18; 5:5. 1P 5:7.

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