Israel relied, against God, on his own strength. "Have we not," they said, "taken to us horns by our own strength?" Amos 6:13. Amos tells them then, that every means of strength, resistance, flight, swiftness of foot, of horse, place of refuge, should fail them. Three times he repeats, as a sort of dirge, "he shall not deliver himself."
Therefore the flight shall perish - (Probably place of flight Job 11:20; Psalms 142:5; Jeremiah 25:35). They had despised God, as their "place of refuge" , so "the place of refuge, should perish from the swift," as though it were not. He should flee amain, but there would be no "place to flee unto." God alone "renews strength;" therefore "the strong" man should not "strengthen his force or might," should not be able to gather or "collect his strength" as we say. Fear should disable him. "The handler of the bow" (as in Jeremiah 46:9), and who by habit is a skilled archer, although himself out of the immediate reach of the enemy, and able, unharmed, to annoy him and protect the fugitives, "shall not stand" (as in Jeremiah 46:21; Nahum 2:8). Panic should overtake him. The "mighty" man, the "fleet of foot" should "not deliver," yea, "the horseman" should not "deliver himself;" yea, he who, "among the mighty," was "strongest of his heart," firm-souled among those of mightiest prowess, "shall flee away naked," that is, bared of all, armor or dress, which might encumber his flight "in that day" which the Lord made a day of terror His own day.
Saith the Lord - Probably literally, "the secret utterance of the Lord." Amos, more than Hosea, uses this special authentication of his words , which is so common in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah. He claims a knowledge, which those around him had not, and ratifies it by the express appeal to the direct, though secret, revelation of God; what those who were not of God, would deny; what they who were of God, would believe.
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