Amos 1:3

Thus says the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Three four. That is, for their many unrepented of crimes. (Challoner) Three is the first number of which we can say "many or all. "Four denotes excess. Thus God forgives many sins, yet punishes when they become excessive. (Worthington) Thus profane authors say, (Calmet) Terque quaterque pectus percussa decorum. (Virgil, Æneid iv.) Convert it. That is, I will not spare them, nor turn away the punishments I design to inflict upon them. (Challoner) My decree is absolute. Wains, designed to make the corn come out, (Calmet) or to cut the straw. (St. Jerome) Such instruments were sometimes trailed over men. Septuagint, "they have sawed the pregnant women "This circumstance is borrowed from 4 Kings viii. Damascus was often at war with Israel. But Jeroboam punished it as Theglathphalassar did afterwards, ver. 5., and 4 Kings xvi. 9. Amos might witness the ravages of the former. (Calmet) Azael, or Hazael, who slew his master, Benadad. (Haydock)


AD 420
You must slay the allurements to vice while they are still only thoughts and dash the little ones of the daughter of Babylon against the stones where the serpent can leave no trail. Be wary and lay claim to the Lord’s promise: “Let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” For elsewhere also the Scripture testifies, “I will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.” That is to say, God will not punish us at once for our thoughts and resolves but will send retribution upon their offspring or upon the evil deeds and habits of sin, which arise out of the offspring. As he says by the mouth of Amos, “For three transgressions of such and such a city and for four I will not turn away the punishment thereof.”

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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