9:5 The Lord, the LORD Almighty, he who touches [God’s touch is powerful; this may be a reference to an earthquake; note what God’s power can cause the earth to do…] the earth and it melts [dissolves], and all who live in it mourn—the whole land rises like the Nile, then sinks like the river of Egypt—
9:6 he who builds his lofty palace in the heavens [beyond the range of human access] and sets its foundation on the earth, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land [reference to rain]—the LORD [when spelled with small capital letters is the translation of “Yahweh” (the personal, covenant name of God); cf. Ex. 3:14-15] is his name.
9:7 [God told the people of Israel that He would judge them on the same moral basis as any other people; God indicated that Israel’s past deliverance was not a guarantee for future security] “Are not you Israelites the same to me as the Cushites [Ethiopians]?” declares the LORD. “Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor [probably Crete] and the Arameans from Kir [far to the northeast of Israel]?
9:8 “Surely the eyes of the Sovereign LORD are on the sinful kingdom [most likely designates Israel, the Northern Kingdom]. I [God Himself holds people and nations accountable] will [certainty of judgment] destroy it [“the sinful kingdom”] from the face of the earth—yet I will not totally [indicates survival of a remnant] destroy the house of Jacob [reference to Northern and Southern Kingdoms],” declares the LORD.
9:9 “For I will give the command, and I will shake [reference to judgment] the house of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, and not a pebble will reach the ground.
Note: If you could put all areas of your life in a sieve and shake out the bad, what would fall through the holes of the sieve?
9:10 All the sinners among my people will die by the sword, all those who say [presumption], ‘Disaster will not overtake or meet us.’
9:11 [Note: James quoted verses 11-12 in Acts 15:15-17 re: early church’s mission to bring Gentiles into God’s kingdom] “In that day [in this case refers to a day of unprecedented blessing] I will restore [cf. 2 Sam. 7:5-16 re: God’s promise that David and his descendants would reign forever] David’s fallen [probably refers to destruction of Southern Kingdom (defeated by Babylon in 857/86 BC) and Northern Kingdom (defeated by Assyria in 722/21 BC)] tent [David’s kingdom]. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be [in the days of David and Solomon],
Note: What blessings are you currently experiencing as you walk in fellowship with God?
9:12 so that they may possess [enjoy power over] the remnant of Edom [descendants of Esau; old enemies of the Israelites (cf. Num. 20:14-21; 1 Sam. 14:47); conquered by David (2 Sam. 8:14)] and all the nations that bear my name,” declares the LORD, who will do these things.
9:13 [prophecy of productivity and prosperity] “The days are coming [day of hope and restoration for Israel],” declares the LORD, “[separate agricultural tasks will overlap one another; compare with Amos 4:6-11] when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills [picture of plentiful grapes hanging on vines].
9:14 I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities [cities desolated by God’s judgment] and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
9:15 I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted [promise of security and stability] from the land I have given them,” says the LORD your God.