WE are altogether uncertain concerning the time when this prophet prophesied; it is probable that it was about the same time Amos prophesied, not for the reason that the rabbin give, “Because Amos begins his prophecy with that wherewith Joel concludes his, The Lord shall roar out of Zion,” but for the reason Dr. Lightfoot gives, “Because he speaks of the same judgments of locusts, and drought, and fire, that Amos laments, which is an intimation that they appeared about the same time, Amos in Israel and Joel in Judah. Hosea and Obadiah prophesied about the same time; and it appears that Amos prophesied in the says of Jeroboam, the second king of Israel, Amos vii. 10. God sent a variety of prophets, that they might strengthen the hands one of another, and that out of the mouth of two or three witnesses every word might be established. In this prophecy,
I. The desolations made by hosts of noxious insects is described, ch. i. and part of ch. ii.
II. The people are hereupon called to repentance, ch. ii.
III. Promises are made of the return of mercy upon their repentance (ch. ii.), and promises of the pouring out of the Spirit in the latter days.
IV. The cause of God’s people is pleaded against their enemies, whom God would in due time reckon with (ch. iii.); and glorious things are spoken of the gospel–Jerusalem and of the prosperity and perpetuity of it.