The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
THE BOOK OF AMOS Commentary by A. R. Faussett
Amos (meaning “a burden” in Hebrew) was (Amos 1:1) a shepherd from Tekoa, a small town in Judah six miles southeast of Bethlehem and twelve miles from Jerusalem, on the borders of the great desert (2Ch. 20:20; compare 2Ch 11:6). The sandy region was more suitable for pastoral than agricultural purposes. Amos therefore owned and tended flocks and gathered sycamore figs; not that the former was a ministry, but the kings themselves, like Mesa of Moab (2Ki 3:4), exercised it. Amos, however (from Am 7:14, 15) seems to have been of low rank.
Although he belonged to Judah, he was commissioned by God to exercise his prophetic office in Israel; Since the last kingdom was full of deceivers and the prophets of God generally fled to Judah in fear of the kings of Israel, it was there that a true prophet of Judah was most needed. His name should not be confused with that of Isaiah's father, Amoz.
The time of his prophecy was in the reigns of Uzziah king of Judea and of Jeroboam II the son of Joash king of Israel (Amos 1:1), i. H. in that part of the time when the two kings were simultaneous; probably in Jeroboam's later years, after the Syrian monarch had reconquered "the coast of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the sea of the plain" (2Ki 14:25-27); for Amos foretells that these very shores, "from the entrance of Hamath unto the river of the wilderness," would be the scene of Israel's misery (Amos 6:14); also his references to the then existing state of luxurious security (Am 6:1, 4, 13) and its speedy termination by the Assyrian enemy (Am 1:5; 3:12, 15; 5:27; 8:2). to the latter part of Jeroboam's reign, which ended in 784 B.C. ended the twenty-seventh year of Uzziah's reign, which ended in 759 B.C.
He was a contemporary of Hosea, only the latter continued to prophesy in the subsequent reigns of Uzziah (Hosea 1:1); while Amos ceased to prophesy during that monarch's reign. The scene of his ministry was Bethel, where the idol calves were set up (Amos 7:10-13). There his prophecies awoke Amaziah, the idol priest, to accuse him of conspiracy and try to bring him back to Judah.
The first six chapters have no character; the last three symbolic, but with an explanation attached. He first denounces the neighboring nations, then the Jews, then Israel (from the third chapter to the end) and concludes with the promise or restoration under the Messiah (Amos 9:11-15). His style is thought by Jerome to betray his humble beginnings; but though not sublime, it is regular, distinct, and energetic; his pictures come from scenes in nature with which he was familiar; his rhythms are flowing, his parallelisms precise and his descriptions detailed and vivid. Some peculiar expressions occur: "Tooth brushing", i. H. lack of bread (Amos 4:6); "the Excellency of Jacob" (Amos 6:8; 8:7); "the heights of Isaac" (Amos 7:9); "the house of Isaac" (Amos 7:16); "who creates the wind" (Amos 4:13).
Hengstenberg draws a useful argument for the authenticity of the Mosaic record from the evidence in Amos that the institutions existing in Israel as well as in Judah (with the exception of Jeroboam's calves) were modeled on the rules of the Pentateuch.
Two quotations from Amos occur in the New Testament (compare Acts 7:42, 43 with Am 5:25, 26; and Acts 15:16, 17 with Am 9:11).
Philo, Josephus, the catalog of Melito, Jerome, Justin Martyr (Dialogue with Trypho, 22, citing the fifth and sixth chapters of Amos as "one of the twelve lesser prophets"), and the sixtieth canon of the Council of Laodicea support the book's canonicity amos
Amos 1:1-15. God's judgments on Syria, Philistia, Tyre, Edom and Ammon.
1. The Words of Amos - That is, the oracular communications of Amos. A heading found only in Jeremiah 1:1.
among the shepherds—rather “shepherds”; owning and caring for sheep; from an Arabic root, "to mark with goads," i.e., to select the best among a species of sheep and goats, misshapen and short-footed (as others explain the name from an Arabic root), but distinguished by their wool [mason]. God chooses "the weak of the world to confuse the mighty" and has a humble shepherd rebuke the arrogance of Israel and its king, born of prosperity (cf. 1Sa 17:40).
which he saw - in supernatural vision (Isa. 1:1).
two years before the earthquake - mentioned in Zec 14:5. The earthquake occurred in the reign of Uzziah, when he was stricken with leprosy because he usurped the functions of priest [Josephus, Antiquities, 9:10.4]. This clause must have been inserted by Ezra and the writers of the Jewish canon.
And he said, The Lord will roar from Zion, and will raise his voice from Jerusalem; and the shepherds' dwellings will howl, and the top of Mount Carmel will wither.
2. Roar like a lion (Joel 3:16). Where Jehovah is there shown roaring in the name of Israel, here He is roaring against them (cf. Psalm 18:13; Jer 25:30).
from Zion...Jerusalem - the seat of the theocracy from which they arose; not of Dan and Bethel, the seat of their idolatrous calf worship.
Flats ... mourn - poetic personification. Its inhabitants will mourn and bring sadness into their homes.
Carmel - the headland of the mountain north of Israel, in Asher, rich in fertile pastures, olive trees and vineyards. The name is the symbol of fertility. If Carmel itself "withers away," how immeasurable the desolation! (So 7:5; Isa 33:9; 35:2; Jer 50:19; Na 1:4).
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions from Damascus, and for four, I will not err.the punishmentof that; because they threshed Gilead with threshers of iron:
3. Here begins a series of threats of vengeance against six other states, followed by one against Judah and ending with one against Israel, picking up the rest of the prophecy. The eight prophecies are in symmetrical stanzas, each preceded by "Thus saith the Lord." Beginning with the sins of others that Israel would be willing to acknowledge, he proceeds to lay his own guilt on Israel. Henceforth Israel must not think that such judgments are accidental matters, because it sees others being visited in a similar way to itself; no, they are foreseen and preordained by God and are affirmations of the truth that God will not absolve the guilty. If God does not spare nations that do not know the truth, how much less Israel who willfully sins (Luke 12:47, 48; James 4:17)!
for three transgressions... and for four - If Damascus had sinned but once or twice I would have spared them, but as they continue thus, having been forgiven so many times, I will no longer "avoid" their punishment. The Hebrew is simply, "I will not undo this," i.e., H. the sentence that follows; the negative expression implies more than it expresses; that is, "I will surely execute him"; God's fulfillment of His threats is more terrible than human language can express. “Three and four” means sin multiplied by sin (compare Exodus 20:5; Proverbs 30:15, 18, 21; “six and seven,” Job 5:19; “once and twice,” Job 33:14; “twice ". and three times", margin; "many times", English version, Job 33:29; "seven and also eight", Ec 11:2). seven, expressing the full completion of the measure of their guilt (Lev 26:18, 21, 24; cf. Mt 23:32).
piebald—the very term used for the Syrian king Hazael's oppression of Israel under Jehu and Jehoahaz (2Ki 10:32, 33; 13:7). The victims were thrown in front of the threshing sleds, whose teeth tore open their bodies. So David to Ammon (2Sa 12:31; compare Isa 28:27).
But I will send a fire to the house of Hazael that will consume the palaces of Ben-Hadad.
4. Hazael...Ben-Hadad - A black marble obelisk found in the central palace of Nimroud and now in the British Museum is mentioned by the names of Hazael and Ben-Hadad of Syria and Jehu of Israel tributaries of "Shalmanubar" , king of Assyria. Jehu's type of tribute is mentioned: gold, pearls, precious oil, etc. [G. V Smith]. The ben-hadad here is the son of Hazael (2Ki 13:3), not the ben-hadad who was supplanted and killed by Hazael (2Ki 8:7, 15). The phrase "I will send fire," that is, the flame of war (Ps 78:63), also occurs at Am 1:7, 10, 12, 14 and Am 2:2, 5; Jeremiah 49:27; The 8:14.
I will also break down the wall of Damascus and cut off the inhabitants of the plain of Aven and the scepter from the house of Eden; and the people of Syria shall go into captivity to Kir, saith the LORD.
5. Bolt of Damascus, i.e. the bolt of its gates (cf. Jer 51:30).
the resident - singular to plural "residents". Henderson, because of the parallel, "who holds the scepter", translates "the ruler". But the parallelism is that one clause complements the other, "the inhabitant" or subject here responding to "he who holds the sceptre" or ruler there, with both ruler and subject cut off.
Aven - the same as Oon or Un, an enchanting valley four hours drive from Damascus towards the desert. In the East, literally as a place of joy [Josephus Abassus]. It is here parallel to "Eden", which also means "pleasant"; is in Lebanon. Since Josephus Abassus is a dubious authority, perhaps the reference refers more to the valley between Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon called El-Bekaa, where the ruins of the sun temple at Baal-Bek are located; thus the Septuagint renders its On, the same name as the city in Egypt dedicated to the worship of the sun (Genesis 41:45; Heliopolis, "the city of the sun," Ezekiel 30:17, margin). It is called "the valley of Aven" or "Vanity" by Amos because of the worship of idols in it.
Kir – a region subject to Assyria (Isa. 22:6) in the Iberian Peninsula, as it is now called Kur in Armenian, situated on the Cyrus River, which empties into the Caspian Sea. Tiglath-pileser fulfilled this prophecy when Ahaz asked his help against Rezin king of Syria, and the Assyrian king took Damascus, killed Rezin, and captured his people after Kir.
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions from Gaza and for four I will not go astray.the punishmentof that; because they have all taken captive in order to set freeSheto Edom:
6. Gaza - The southernmost of the five capitals of the five divisions of Philistia and the key to Palestine in the south: so the whole nation of the Philistines. Uzziah began the fulfillment of this prophecy (see 2Ch 26:6).
because they ... took all captivity - that is, they left none. Compare the expression here, Jeremiah 13:19, "Judah...took all these captive...totally taken away." Already under Joram the Philistines had all the possessions of the king of Judah, his wives and his children, "that he had no more sons but Jehoahaz"; and after the time of Amos (when the reference includes the future, which in the eyes of the prophet is as if it had already happened) they conquered under Ahaz (2Ch 28:18) all the towns and villages of the netherlands and south of Judah .
delivers them to Edom - Judah's fiercest enemy; as slaves (Am 1:9; compare Joe 3:1, 3, 6). Grotius refers to the fact (Isa. 16:4) that when Sennacherib invaded Judah, many fled to neighboring lands; Instead of hosting the fugitives with hospitality, the Philistines sold them as prisoners of war to their enemies, the Idumeans.
But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza that will consume its palaces:
7. Fire - that is, the flame of war (Numbers 21:28; Isa 26:11). Hezekiah fulfilled the prophecy by defeating the Philistines in Gaza (2 Kings 18:8). Also predicted at Isa 14:29, 31.
And I will cut off the inhabitant of Ashdod and the scepter of Ashkelon, and I will turn my hand against Ekron; and the rest of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.
8. Ashdod etc. - Gath alone is not mentioned of the five capitals of the Philistines. It had already been subdued by David; and she, like Ashdod, was captured by Uzziah (2Ch 26:6). Gath may have lost its position as one of the five capitals before Amos uttered this prophecy, hence his omission. So Zep 2:4, 5. Compare Jer 47:4; Ezekiel 25:16. After the Philistines' subjugation by Uzziah and then Hezekiah, they were reduced by Psammetichus of Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar, the Persians, Alexander, and finally the Hasmoneans.
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions from Tire, and for four I will not go astray.the punishmentof that; for they delivered all the captivity to Edom, not thinking of the brotherly bond:
9. Tyre...delivered the...captivity to Edom - the same charge against the Philistines (Amos 1:6).
did not remember the brotherly covenant—the covenant of Hiram of Tire with David and Solomon, with the former providing cedars for the building of the temple and the royal house in exchange for oil and grain (2Sa 5:11; 1Ki 5:2-6 ; 9:11-14, 27; 10-22; 1Ch 14:1; 2Ch 8:18; 9:10).
But I will send fire upon the walls of Tire that will consume its palaces.
10. Fire - (Compare Am 1:4-7; Isa 23:1-18; Ezek 26:1-28:26). Much of Tire was burned to the ground by rocket fire from the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar. Alexander of Macedonia then overthrew him.
Thus saith the LORD; For three trespasses of Edom, and for four, I shall not err.the punishmentof that; for he pursued his brother with the sword, and despised all mercy, and his anger kept torn, and he kept his anger forever:
11. Edom...persecuted his brother - (Isa 34:5). The main complication of Edom's violence against Israel was that they both came from the same parents, Isaac and Rebekah (cf. Ge 25:24, 26; De 23:7, 8; Ob 10, 12; Mal 1:2).
cast off all pity - literally "destroy the pity," that is, suppressed all natural feelings of pity for a brother in need.
his wrath forever - As Esau harbored his grudge against Jacob for twice supplanting him concerning the birthright and blessing ( Genesis 27:41 ), so did Esau's posterity against Israel ( Numbers 20:14 -- 21 ) . Edom first showed its displeasure by not letting Israel through its borders when they came out of the desert, but by threatening to "go out with the sword against them"; next, when the Syrians attacked Jerusalem under Ahaz (compare 2Ch 28:17 with 2Ki 16:5); next, when Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem (Ps 137:7, 8). In any case, Edom chose the day of Israel's catastrophe to vent his anger. This is the point of Edom's guilt in Ob 10-13. God does not punish children for the sin of their fathers, but for themselves filling up their fathers' measure of guilt, since children often follow in and even surpass their fathers' footsteps (compare Exodus 20:5).
But I will send fire upon Teman, and it will consume the palaces of Bozra.
12. Teman, a city of Edom, called a grandson of Esau (Gen 36:11, 15; Ob 8, 9); five miles from Petra; south of present-day Wady Musa. His people were renowned for their wisdom (Jer 49:7).
Bozrah—a city of Edom (Isaiah 63:1). Selah or Petra are not mentioned as they were overthrown by Amaziah (2Ki 14:7).
Thus saith the LORD; Because of three transgressions of the children of Ammon and because of four I will not go astray.the punishmentof that; because they tore the pregnant women of Gilead to enlarge their borders:
13. Ammon - The Ammonites under Nahash attacked Jabesh-Gilead and refused to accept his offer of salvation unless the Jabesh-Gileadites plucked out all their right eyes (1Sa 11:1 etc.). Saul saved Jabeshgilead. The Ammonites joined the Chaldeans in their invasion of Judea for plunder.
tore ... pregnant women - as did Hazael of Syria (2Ki 8:12; compare Hos 13:16). Ammon's goal in this cruel act was to leave Israel without "heirs" in order to usurp Israel's inheritance (Jer 49:1).
But I will kindle a fire on the wall of Rabba, and it will consume its palaces, with noise on the day of battle, with storm on the day of the hurricane:
14. Rabbah - the capital of Amun: means "the great one". Unlike Rabbah of Moab. Named after Ptolemy Philadelphus.
Storm - that is, with a rapid, sudden, and irresistible onset, like a hurricane.
whirlwind day parallel to "fight day"; hence means "the day of the stormy attack of the enemy".
And their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together, saith the LORD.
15. their king... princes or also "their Molech (the idol of Amun) and their priests" [Grotius and Septuagint]. Isaiah 43:28 also uses "princes" for "priests." Sun Am 5:26, "your Moloch"; and Jeremiah 49:3, margin. However, the English version is perhaps preferable here and at Jeremiah 49:3; see Jer 49:3.
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The prophecies of Amos mark an important point in the development of the religion of the Old Testament. The prophet was indeed a spokesman for Yahweh. That he was not speaking for himself or trying to please his listeners is made clear by the content of the message he delivered.
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The book may be divided into three sections: (1) oracles against foreign nations and Israel (chapters 1–2); (2) oracles of indictment against Israel for her sins and injustices (chapters 3–6); and (3) visions and words of judgment (chapters 7–9).What is the most comprehensive Bible commentary? ›
1. New International Commentary on the Old and New Testaments (NICOT/NICNT) NICOT/NICNT volumes are some of the highest-rated evangelical commentaries in existence.What is the most famous sermon ever preached? ›
- Technical or Critical or Exegetical: Includes very detailed, technical discussion of text. Requires some understanding of the original languages. ...
- Expositional or Essential or Semi-Technical: Includes less technical, but still extensive discussion. ...
- Homiletical: Intended to aid in sermon preparation.
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Bio. At 32 years of age, Matt Poole is the oldest competitor to take to the surf in the 2021/22 Nutri-Grain Series. After 15 years at the top, Pooley has announced that the 2021/22 Nutri-Grain series will be his last.Who wrote the Seventh Day Adventist Bible Commentary? ›
The project began with the Bible Commentary, which was first published from 1953 to 1957. Francis D. Nichol served as the editor-in-chief, and oversaw 37 contributors which included associate editors Raymond Cottrell and Don Neufeld, and assistant editor Julia Neuffer. It was revised in 1980.