Amos 6:9-11. If there remain ten men in one house, &c. Those that escape the hands of the enemy shall die by the pestilence. And a man’s uncle (or kinsman) shall take him up Some friend or relation, whose duty it is to perform the last offices for the deceased, shall take him up directly and burn him: for so it should be rendered, and not, AND HE THAT burneth him. The meaning is, that he should not stay to perfume the body with rich ointments, as was the usual custom; nor should he bury it, but burn it to ashes, to prevent infection. To bring out the bones out of the house, &c. Or rather, that he may bring out, &c., that is, that he may, as soon as possible, cleanse the house by the removal of the body. All that is said here, is strongly expressive of what is the case where a deadly pestilence rages. And shall say unto him that is by the sides of the house Or near the house, out of which the bones are carried; Is there any yet with thee Is there any yet living besides thyself belonging to this house? And he shall say, No All the inhabitants of the house are dead. Then shall he say, Hold thy tongue; for we may not make mention of the name of the Lord As this clause has no immediate connection with, or relation to, the negative answer contained in the preceding clause, it is to be supposed that when the person has given that answer, and said that there was none left alive in the house, he utters, as is natural, some prayer to God for mercy or deliverance; on which the other speaks to him in this manner: as much as to say, It is in vain now to pray, or make supplication; for God will not now hear us, but we also shall be cut off by this dreadful pestilence, as the rest have been. Archbishop Newcome puts a different sense on the last clause, thus: “Solitude shall reign in the house; and if one is left, he must be silent (see Amo 8:3 ) and retired, lest he be plundered of his scanty provisions.” For behold, the Lord commandeth Gives forth his commands to the enemy, namely, the Assyrians, to come against Israel. And he will smite the great house, and the little house, &c. People of all ranks, high and low, shall be sufferers in the common calamities.
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