Amos 6:2. Pass ye unto Calneh To check their pride and carnal security, the prophet bids them consider the state of those cities in the neighbourhood of Canaan that had been as illustrious in their time as ever Zion and Samaria were, and yet had been destroyed. Calneh, called Calno, (Isaiah 10:9,) was a city in the land of Shinar, or the territory of Babylon, (Genesis 10:10,) supposed by St. Jerome to be the same as Ctesiphon; and, it seems, had been taken and destroyed, probably by some king of Assyria, not long before the uttering of this prophecy. Thence go ye to Hamath the great A city of Syria, on the Orontes. It was conquered by Jeroboam, 2 Kings 14:25; and by the Assyrians, 2 Kings 19:34. It is called here Hamath the great, to distinguish it from another Hamath, mentioned Amos 6:14, which was the northern boundary of Palestine. Then go down to Gath This city was taken by Uzziah, in whose reign Amos prophesied, 2 Chronicles 26:6. Be they better than these kingdoms? The kingdoms of Judah and Israel? The answer seems to be, Yes; they were better, and their border greater than your border. So that they had more reason to be confident of their safety than you have; yet you see what is become of them, and dare you be secure? Thus Nahum asks Nineveh, (Nahum 3:8,) Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, whose rampart was the sea? &c.; yet she was carried away, she went into captivity. By these examples, then, learn to amend your ways, or expect to perish in them. Or, the sense may be, Were these cities more favoured of God than Israel and Judah? or had they a larger and more fertile country to live in, and therefore were more deserving of the wrath of God for their ingratitude? or had they greater riches to tempt the avarice of invaders? In this sense Archbishop Newcome seems to have understood the passage, and therefore supposes the prophet to ask, “Why then do ye worship their gods? and why are ye not grateful to Jehovah?” The prophet, however, seems to have intended rather to check and reprove their presumption than their ingratitude, as appears by the next verse.
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