Daily Devotions

There shall be many dead bodies!

Amos 8:3

‘The end has come upon My people of Israel! I will not again pass by them, any more!… The songs of the temple shall be howlings, in that day!… There shall be many dead bodies, in every place! They shall cast them forth — with silence!’ Amos 8:2-3.

Calvin comments: “‘Come had the end on My people Israel!’ We perceive…that the people had hitherto been warned by moderate punishments. But that as they had become hardened, extreme vengeance was nigh at hand when God would no longer perform the part of a Father…but would utterly destroy those whom He had long borne with….

“We indeed know that the most grievous calamities had happened to the people of Israel, even before this time. But whenever God showed forbearance, He ever allured them to true penitence.

“Lest then they should promise such a treatment to themselves hereafter and by self-flatteries protract time as hypocrites are wont to do, the Prophet here expressly declares that the end had come. As though he said, ‘Your iniquity is ripe. Now then, gather the fruit! For you cannot proceed farther…, ever for one day!’….

“‘The end,’ then, ‘is come!… I will no more add to pass by them!’ To ‘pass by’…is to be referred to punishment. For why does God chastise His people, except that He is solicitous for their salvation?

“He says, then, that He would make an end. That He would not spend labour hereafter in correcting the people, for He says that nothing availed.

“Hence, ‘I will not pass by them (any more)!’ That is, I will execute My extreme vengeance. Il n’y faudra plus retourner‘ — as we commonly say….

“A special vice is here noticed by the Prophet, namely that the people of Israel sang songs in their temples. In the same way, the Papists act in the present day…. While they bellow and chant, they think that God is two or three times pacified!….

“‘For many a carcase shall be cast down in every place!’…. He intimates that there would be such a slaughter, as would prevent them from burying the dead bodies…. When then dead bodies are thrown down in silence — it is an evidence of a most grievous calamity….

“The Prophet distinctly expresses here that many a dead body would be cast down in every place in silence; that is, that there would be no burying of the dead…. God did not deal cruelly with them…. Though He would consume and obliterate the whole people — it would yet be for just reasons. Inasmuch as they had reached the very extremity of wickedness!”

Yes, there shall be many dead bodies! God grant that we, however, may go to Heaven!