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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Amos 5:21-27

The scope of these verses is to show how little God valued their shows of devotion, nay, how much he detested them, while they went on in their sins. Observe, I. How unpleasing, nay, how displeasing, their hypocritical services were to God. They had their feast-days at Bethel, in imitation of those at Jerusalem, in which they pretended to rejoice before God. They had their solemn assemblies for religious worship, in which they put on the gravity of those who come before God as his people come,... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Amos 5:21

I hate, I despise your feast days ,.... Kimchi thinks this is said, and what follows, with respect to the kingdom of the house of Judah, which kept the feast the Lord commanded; but it is not necessary so to understand it; for doubtless the ten tribes imitated the worship at Jerusalem, and kept the feasts as the Jews did there, in the observance of which they trusted; but the Lord rejects their vain confidence, and lets them know that these were no ways acceptable to him; and were so far... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Amos 5:21

I hate, I despise your feast days - I abominate those sacrificial festivals where there is no piety, and I despise them because they pretend to be what they are not. This may refer to the three annual festivals which were still observed in a certain way among the Israelites. read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Amos 5:21

Verse 21 Here the Prophet, anticipating an objection, shows that the Israelites deceived themselves, for they believed that God was pacified by their sacrifices: he declares all these to be useless; not only, as I think, because they themselves were impure; but because all their sacrifices were mere profanations. We have said elsewhere that sacrifices are often reprehended by the Prophets, when not accompanied by godliness and sincerity: for why did God command sacrifices to be offered to him... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Amos 5:18-27

The prophet enforces the threat by denouncing woe on those that trust to their covenant relation to God, expecting the day when he would punish the heathen for their sakes, and thinking that external, heartless worship was acceptable to him. read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Amos 5:21

Outward, formal worship will not avert the threatened danger or secure the favour of God in the day of visitation. Your feast days ( chaggim ); your feasts ; your counterfeit worship, the worship of the true God under an idol symbol (compare God's repudiation of merely formal worship in Isaiah 1:11-15 ). I will not smell; οὐ μὴ ἀσφρανθῶ θυσίας . No sweet savour ascends to God from such sacrifices; so the phrase is equivalent to "I will not accept," "I will take no delight... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Amos 5:21-23

The autograph of the unreal. Wicked Israel, strange to say, was worshipping Israel still. Theirs was sanctimonious sinning. It was done more or less in a religious connection. It was accompanied, and attempted to be covered, by an unstinted dressing of pietistic cant. But it only smelled the more rank to Heaven. Unreal worship is no mitigation, but only an aggravation, of the guilt of unholy living. I. INSINCERITY IS OFTEN SCRUPULOUS ABOUT ALL THE CIRCUMSTANTIALS OF ... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Amos 5:21-23

Ceremonialism disdained. Although the Jewish religion prescribed, as is evident especially from the Book of Leviticus, innumerable observances, elaborate ritual, frequent and costly sacrifices, still nowhere are there to be found more disclaimers, more denunciations, of a merely ritual and ceremonial piety than in the Scriptures of the Old Testament. This is but one of many declarations that the true and living God will not accept any tribute of the hands which may be offered in lieu of... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Amos 5:21-24

The divinely abhorrer and the divinely demanded. "I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies," etc. Notice - I. THE DIVINELY ABHORRENT . What is that? Mere ceremonial religion; empty ritual. "I hate, I despise your feast days, and 1 will not smell in your solemn assemblies," etc. "The same aversion from the ceremonial observances of the insincere and rebellious Israelites which Jehovah here expresses he afterwards employed Isaiah to declare... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Amos 5:21

I hate, I despise your feasts - Israel clave to its heart’s sin, the worship of the true God, under the idol-form of the calf; else, it would fain be conscientious and scrupulous. It had its “feasts” of solemn “joy” and the “restraint” of its “solemn assemblies” , which all were constrained to keep, abstaining from all servile work. They offered “whole burnt offerings,” the token of self-sacrifice, in which the sacrificer retained nothing to himself, but gave the whole freely to God. They... read more

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