Amos 8:14. They that swear by the sin of Samaria That is, by the calf which Jeroboam set up as an object of worship at Beth-el, not far from Samaria, committing a great sin in so doing, and making Israel to sin. Swearing, according to the sense in which the word is here taken, is a solemn invocation of the name of God, and an appeal to him; and, as such, is a proper part of divine worship, (see Deuteronomy 6:13; Deuteronomy 10:20,) and therefore ought not to be given to idols. And say, Thy God Or, As thy God, O Dan, liveth That is, who say in the way of an oath, As the god who is worshipped in Dan liveth: at Dan was placed another of Jeroboam’s calves. And, The manner of Beer-sheba liveth The LXX. render it, the god of Beer-sheba liveth; expressing the sense rather than the words of the original. The way or manner signifies the same with the way of worship; so that the people swore by the religion of Beer-sheba, or the manner of worship used there, which they looked upon as sacred. Thus the Papists swear by the mass: but they who thus give that honour to idols which is due to God alone, will find the God whom they thus affront is made their enemy. And they shall fall, &c. And the gods they serve cannot raise them up; so that without better help they shall never rise again.
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