Amos 3:4-6. Will a lion roar, &c., when he hath no prey? “Naturalists assert that when the lion sees his prey, he roars before he rushes on it; and that at this roaring many animals show great fear. He likewise roars over his prey. The sense seems to be, As the lion roareth on account of his prey, so by my prophets I cry aloud against you, because ye are the objects of my vengeance.” Newcome. Can a bird fall in a snare where no gin is for him As a bird does not fall into a snare, unless one has been laid for him, so the people of Israel and Judah would not fall into the calamities coming upon them, had not God, for their ingratitude and other sins, brought these punishments upon them. Figuratively speaking, the Assyrians and Chaldeans were gins or snares which God had laid to take the Israelites. Shall one take up a snare and have taken nothing As it is not usual for the fowler or hunter to take up the snares he has laid, till he has taken something in them; so neither will the enemies which God will bring upon Israel and Judah depart from them without executing the purpose for which they were brought, namely, making a conquest of the country, and spoiling its inhabitants. Or, God will not remove his judgments when they have begun to take place, till they have attained their proper end, the people’s repentance and reformation. Shall a trumpet be blown and the people not be afraid? Will not the people of the city, when they first hear the alarm-trumpet blown, be affected with the danger, and run to their arms? and will not ye be moved by the warnings God gives you of approaching judgments? and will ye not be stirred up to repent and amend your ways? Shall there be evil Such as famine, plague, and war; in a city Or country; and the Lord hath not done it? Either immediately by his own hand, or by the hands of those whom he employs. Whoever are the instruments of chastising a people, God is the principal agent. The meaning here is, You may be assured that the calamities you feel, or have just cause to fear, are not the effect of chance, but come upon you by the special direction of Providence.
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