1:4 a fire. A “fire” from God is promised to each offending nation (Amos 1:4,7,10,12,14; 2:2,5) around Judah, implying severe destruction. The nations later implementing these fires were Assyria, Babylonia, Persia and Greece, but there may also be a secondary reference to the “fire on Magog” and his confederate nations around Israel in the last days (Ezekiel 39:6).
1:4 house of Hazael. Hazael and Ben-Hadad were kings of Syria who invaded Israel during the reign of Ahab, in the times of Elijah and Elisha. Both names have been found on archaeological inscriptions dating from this period, recognizing their importance as Kings of Syria.