Amos, like Hosea, was a countryman. He described himself as 'no prophet, neither a prophet's son,' (that is, not trained in the regular prophetic schools, like Elijah and Elisha), but 'an herdsman and a gatherer of sycamore fruit'. He was a native of Tekoa, a few miles south of Jerusalem, and therefore belonged to the southern Kingdom of Judah. His writings contain many allusions to natural objects and agricultural occupations. His style is direct, logical and artistic, and his character appears to have been of that independence and fearlessness which often is typical of the true countrymen who has a living faith (allegiance) in Yahweh.
He lived when Uzziah was king in Judah, and Jeroboam II was king in Israel.
Amos turned from an agriculturalist into a preacher because of his knowledge of the prevailing evil conditions in the neighboring northern Kingdom, and his personal conviction of what was right and his confidence of Divine counsel.
The message of Amos to his own time.
It was to Bethel, the very stronghold of idolatry, that he came and proclaimed that if Israel persisted in apostasy: Jeroboam II would die by the sword, and his people would be carried away as captives out of their own land.
The message of Amos to Israel down the corridors of time.
Amos then proceeded to foretell two things which seemed self-contradictory: The thorough dispersal of the people of this northern Kingdom of Israel among other nations, 'I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve' and the amazing contrast – their retention of individual entity – 'yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.'
Prince Yahshua said the Kingdom of heaven was like a 'grain of seed.' Yahweh's principle of selectivity and Yahweh's Kingdom (grain of seed) though hidden for a time, would persist and live, and that far ahead in time, Yahweh's people Israel would finally emerge, to be seen and recognized.
The message of Amos for the time of the end of this age.
Amos, like Joel, spoke of the far distant future which he called 'the day of the Prince.' 'It is darkness and not light, even very dark and no brightness in it,' but after it's troubles, there will be a re-establishment of the people of Yahweh (the Kingdom) under a monarch of the royal Davidic line.
The promise to Abraham that his seed would possess all of the land from Egypt to the Euphrates was indeed fulfilled in the days of King David.
Genesis 15:18-21: “18 In the same day Yahweh made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto your seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: 19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, 20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, 21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
Now it is clear from Scripture that the children of Israel did not exterminate all of the tribes of Canaan as they were so commanded.
The fulfillment of this promise of Genesis 15:18 is evident in 2 Samuel chapter 8:1-18.
So it is evident, that the Philistines, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, were all subjected to Israel in the days of King David, and that his kingdom did indeed stretch from the border of Egypt to the Euphrates, and that David's sons were delegated rulership over parts of this territory.
The children of Israel also began to mingle with these subject people, which is evident throughout the Biblical narrative, that they went “a whoring after the heathen” (Ezekiel 23:30) and begat “strange children” (Hosea 5:7).
The Edomites were subject to Judah for many many years, at least until the days of King Jehoram, when they first revolted. (2 Chronicles 21:8-10)
The Philistines were also subject to Judah for a very long time. In the days of Jehoshaphat, who ruled around 872-847 BC. (2 Chronicles 17:11)
Later the Philistines successfully revolted, around the same time that the Edomites did, in the reign of Jehoram king of Judah, the son of Jehoshaphat.
The Moabites were subject to Israel, not Judah, until the days of Joram [Jehoram] king of Israel. (2 Kings 3:1-5)
The Moabites were defeated, but rebelled and fought Israel again in the days of Jehoahaz (814-798 BC, 2 Kings chapter 13), and once more in the days of Jehoshaphat king of Judah did they take league with the Ammonites and Edomites against Judah, and their armies were all destroyed (2 Chronicles chapter 20).
Likewise the Ammonites were still tribute to Judah in the days of Uzziah the king of Judah, around the very time when Amos is prophesying, where at 2 Chronicles 26:8 we read: “And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.”
Here in the opening chapters of Amos we see seven nations being chastised by Yahweh: Damascus and the people of the Syrians (Aram), Gaza (a Philistine city, it was not a region at that time) and the Philistines, the Tyrians, the Edomites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, Judah and Israel all being chastised by Yahweh. Until this time, or not long before, all of these regions were part of the kingdom left behind by David, all were occupied by a great number of Israelites, and all were ruled over by the princes of Judah. After the time of Solomon Israel and Judah were divided
2 Kings chapter 14 describes the reign of Jeroboam II during which Amos prophesied, and a reading of it will help to establish the context of the prophet to some degree.
With this general context now understood we can now begin to examine the Book of Amos.
Amos prophesied between 765-755 BC
The name Amos means burden.
The prophecy of Amos begins with oracles against both Israel and Judah, and also against the Edomites, Syrians, Philistines, Moabites and Ammonites and certain of their cities.
Amos 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen 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. (2Ki 15:1-7; 2Chr 26:1-23; 2Ki 14:23-29)
Tekoa was a city of Judah fortified in the days of Rehoboam, the first king of Judah after Solomon, as can be seen in 2 Chronicles chapter 11. So Amos was literally a shepherd in Judah.
The phrase “two years before the earthquake” may itself be a prophecy, or it may be that these words were written later, and in retrospect. However verse 2 is a prophetic statement which seems to forebode that earthquake. The earthquake mentioned in several places in Amos is generally believed by archaeologists to have occurred circa 750 BC and to have been as high as 8.0 on the Richter scale.
Zechariah 14:5 And you shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, you shall flee, like as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and Yahweh my God shall come, and all the saints with you.
Isaiah 5:25 Therefore is the anger of Yahweh kindled against His people, and He hath stretched forth His hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still. (and Micah 1:3-6)
1:2 And he (Amos) said, Yahweh will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations (pastures) of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither. (Joel 3:16)
This seems to forebode the coming great earthquake which is mentioned in verse 1. The following verses of Amos are an oracle against Damascus. Syria was subjected to Israel by David. Damascus first revolted under Rezon in the days of Solomon (1 Kings chapter 11). In 1 Kings chapter 15, Damascus is still independent and in league with Judah against Israel.
1:3 Thus saith Yahweh; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:
Isaiah 8:4 For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.
1:4 But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces (fortresses) of Benhadad.
Jeremiah 17:27 But if you will not hearken unto Me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.
Hazael was anointed king by the prophet Elijah. (1 Kings 19:15-17)
In 1 Kings chapter 20 we see an account concerning “Benhadad the king of Syria”. Now here it is possible that Benhadad is a reference to Hazael, and since the name presumably means son of hadad, a Syrian idol, it may simply be a title. Hazael's death is recorded in 2 Kings 13:24, where it is described that he is succeeded by his son, who is called Benhadad.
The Shalmaneser of 2 Kings chapters 17 and 18 is known to archaeologists as Shalmaneser V, and he ruled in Assyria near the middle of the 8th century BC.
But by the middle of the 9th century BC, the time of Elijah, the Assyrians are already making conquests of the cities of the Syrians, Hittites and others of the north, and put Hamath, Damascus, Byblos, Sidon and Tyre under tribute. All of these things are known from ancient Assyrian inscriptions.
There were at least 4 campaigns described in the inscriptions by Salmanassar III against Damascus, but he never took the inhabitants nor did he destroy the city.
The prophet Jonah wrote during the time of these earlier Assyrian conquests, and for that reason he feared the Assyrians and had hoped that Yahweh would destroy them.
Some years later Jeroboam II, the king of Israel at the time of Amos, subjected Syria to Israel once again. (2 Kings 14:28)
Of course, the victories of Jeroboam II were short-lived and within a few decades of his passing, all of the cities of Syria and Samaria itself would fall to the Assyrians.
1:5 I will break also the bar (city gates) of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith Yahweh. (Isa 17:1-3; Jer 49:23-27; Zech 9:5-7)
Aven is from a Hebrew word meaning vanity, and the “high places of Aven” is a term describing the centers of idolatry at Hosea 10:8.
The “house of Eden”, or “Beth Eden”, seems only to mean “house of pleasure” and in some commentaries it is considered to be an allegory. However there is a place in ancient Syria of which has one mention in the inscriptions which was called Bit Adini. It is mentioned in an inscription of Ashurnasirpal II, who ruled Assyria from 883 to 859 BC.
Under Tiglath Pileser III, who presumably ruled Assyria from 744 to 727 BC, Assyria “conquered the town of Hadara, the inherited property of Rezon of Damascus, the place where he was born” (ANET, p. 282), fully verifying 2 Kings 16:9 where it says “9 And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him: for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin.” The Assyrian inscription cited above goes on to describe many of the prisoners taken away by the Assyrians at this time, and says that “592 towns … of the 16 districts of Damascus I destroyed (making them look) like hills of (ruined cities over which) the flood (had swept).” (ANET, p. 282)
In the text of Amos, the name Kir is not accompanied with the article, and the word simply means wall.
Strong's Concordance states that Kir was “a place in Assyria; also one in Moab”
There was a city named Kirkuk in ancient Mesopotamia, in a district formerly known as Arrapha, which is mentioned in several inscriptions, which still exists in Iraq today.
1:6 Thus saith Yahweh; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom:
Slave trade. The Jews continue this practice today.
1:7 But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof:
1:8 And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn Mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith Yahweh GOD. (Isa 14:29-31; Jer 47:1-7; Joel 3:4-8; Zeph 2:4-7; Zech 9:5-7)
Zephaniah 2:4 For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.
Ezekiel 25:16 Therefore thus saith Yahweh GOD; Behold, I will stretch out Mine hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethims, and destroy the remnant of the sea coast.
The Philistines also helped turn over Israel to the Edomites, so they were doomed as well.
1:9 Thus saith Yahweh; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant:
Isaiah 23:1 The burden of Tyre. Howl, you ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.
1:10 But I will send a fire (enemy troops) on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces (fortresses) thereof. (Eze 26:1-28:19; Joel 3:4-8; Zech 9:1-4; Matt 11:21-22)
Tyre is a city, not a nation. In Amos, we are at a point where the empire of David had become fractured
Here the Tyrians are promised punishment “because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant”. The Philistines, while not a part of the “brotherly covenant”, would nevertheless be punished for the identical charge.
In the inscriptions of Adad-nirari III who ruled from 810 to 783 BC, and Tiglath-pileser III who ruled from 744 to 727 BC, Edom is listed among the tributaries to Assyria (ANET, pp. 281-282). In the inscriptions of Sennacherib, 704 to 681 BC, and in those of Esarhaddon, 680 to 669 BC, and Ashurbanipal, 668 to 633 BC, Edom was depicted among those nations who were willing tributaries and subjects (ANET, pp. 287, 291, 294).
Evidently, Edom was always a willing subject of the Assyrians. Because of this, it is plausible that Edom was rewarded after the breaking of the rebellious kingdoms of Israel and Judah and deportations of much of the populations. In Ezekiel chapter 35 we find the following:
Hatred for the children of Jacob. The age old enmity that started with Cain and Abel renewed with Esau and Jacob.
It is evident that Edom supplied armies to their Assyrian overlords as well as tribute, and so did the Tyrians and the Philistines. Therefore the judgement against the Tyrians and Philistines was for assisting Edom, joined with Assyria, in their designs against Israel and Judah which are spelled out here by Ezekiel. While very many of the Israelites and people of Judah were taken captive and deported by the Assyrians, many were also left behind, and from what we see in Ezekiel chapter 35 these surely would have been a prey for Edom.
It also seems from Amos as though the Edomites were the driving force behind the slave trade in the ancient world. How fitting it is to see the Edomite Jews of today engaged in sex and chattel slavery wherever they are allowed to conduct such a business, and especially in their own private criminal enclave in modern Palestine. Canaanite-Edomite Jews and Arabs pillaged the coasts of Europe looking for slaves throughout the Middle Ages, bringing them back to the Levant and Africa to use as they wished. Edomite Jews were also the principals behind the slave trade of both negroes and Irishmen into the Caribbean and America in the 17th through the 19th centuries, in concert with Edomite Arabs.
1:11 Thus saith Yahweh; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever:
1:12 But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah. (Isa 34:5-17, 63:1-6; Jer 49:7-22; Eze 25:12-14, 35:1-15; Obadiah; Mal 1:2-5)
Edom is found mentioned in inscriptions as early as the 19th Egyptian dynasty (ANET, p. 259). We are not told in the inscriptions how Edom became tributary to the Assyrians, except that the Edomites appear to have subjected themselves willingly.
Jeremiah chapter 49. There it says of Teman, in verses 7 and 20: “7 Concerning Edom, thus saith Yahweh of hosts; Is wisdom no more in Teman? is counsel perished from the prudent? is their wisdom vanished? ... 20 Therefore hear the counsel of Yahweh, that He hath taken against Edom; and his purposes, that He hath purposed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely He shall make their habitations desolate with them.” It also says of Bozrah, in verses 13 and 22: “13 For I have sworn by Myself, saith Yahweh, that Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; and all the cities thereof shall be perpetual wastes. 22 Behold, he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah: and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.”
Teman was the name of a place in Edom, but it was also the name of one of the chief families of the Edomites (Genesis 36:11). Bozrah is modern Busaira, located in what is now southern Jordan. It was the capital city of ancient Edom (Genesis 36:31-33).
Isaiah 63:1-6 Here it may be evident that in Isaiah Bozrah is used prophetically as Jerusalem is used prophetically, to represent the capitals of the Edomites wherever they may happen to be. At the Advent of Christ here as it is described by Isaiah, Christ is depicted as having come from Bozrah with garments stained red with blood because His garments are stained red with the blood of the Edomites whom He has destroyed! This passage in Isaiah describes vengeance upon Edom, and not Salvation originating from Edom!
1:13 Thus saith Yahweh; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not
turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead,
that they might enlarge their border:
Jeremiah 49:1 Concerning the Ammonites, thus saith Yahweh; Hath Israel no sons? hath he no heir? why then doth their king inherit Gad, and his people dwell in his cities?
Ezekiel 25:2 Son of Adam, set your face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them;
1:14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces (fortresses) thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind:
1:15 And their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes (officers) together, saith Yahweh. (Eze 21:28-32; Zeph 2:8-11)
Jeremiah 49:3 Howl, O Heshbon, for Ai is spoiled: cry, you daughters of Rabbah, gird you with sackcloth; lament, and run to and fro by the hedges; for their king shall go into captivity, and his priests and his princes together.
Rabbah is listed among the vassal states of Egypt in the days of Thutmose III, one of the last Pharaohs before the Exodus. In a broken inscription from the reign of Shalmaneser III, who presumably ruled Assyria from 858 to 824 BC, at least a thousand Ammonite soldiers were a part of an opposition army allied with the Syrians against him, whom he defeated.
The second chapter of Amos opens with an oracle against Moab, and the reason given for Moab's punishment was a hideous act performed by Mesha, king of Moab (2 Kings chapter 3)
The Moabite Stone
Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, James Pritchard, editor, published in 1969 by Princeton University Press, pp. 320-321
This important inscription was discovered intact in 1868; it was subsequently broken by the Arabs and in 1873 it was taken to the Louvre.
The date of the Mesha Stone is roughly fixed by the reference to Mesha, king of Moab, in II Kings 3:4, approximately 849 B.C.
It is reported in 2 Kings chapter 1 that Moab revolted after the death of Ahab, however there it only says “Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab.” The Moabite Stone tells us the extent of that revolt, from the Moabite point of view.
The Moabite Stone is with all certainty an authentic discovery, which is but one of many that prove beyond doubt that the ancient kingdoms of the Hebrew Bible indeed existed as the Bible describes them.
Amos 2:1 Thus saith Yahweh; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:
2Kings 3:27 Then he (King of Moab) took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And there was great indignation against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.
So did the Moabite King Mesha burn his own son in sacrifice? Or is it possible that the pronoun “his” in 2 Kings 3:27 refers to the king of Edom, and did he burn the son of the king of Edom, captured in battle, who would have been the king of Edom? (2 Kings 3:21-27 Antiquities 9:38-43)
The pronoun is misunderstood in 2 Kings 3:27 and “his” refers instead to the king of Edom. Israel would indeed be grieved if such a thing happened to an ally.
Why would Israel grieve for the King of Edom? And why would Yahweh care for the king of Edom? Because the king of Edom at the time was an Israelite, and not an Edomite. This time in 2 Kings chapter 3 is still the time of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and under his rule Edom was subject to Judah. Therefore in 1 Kings 22: 47 we read “There was then no king in Edom, a deputy was king.” This appointed deputy sitting as king was the king of 2 Kings chapter 3, who joined under the kings of Judah and Israel to go to war with Moab. It is this appointed king, or his son, on behalf of whom Yahweh takes issue with Moab here in Amos.
2:2 But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces (fortresses) of Kerioth: and Moab shall die with tumult (crash of battle), with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet: (Jer 48:41)
Kerioth is where Judas Ishcarioth came from. Ishcarioth means man (ish) of Qeriyoth. Judas was a mix of Moabite and Edomite. A devil.
2:3 And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith Yahweh. (Isa 15:1-16:14, 25:10-12; Jer 48:1-47; Eze 25:8-11; Zeph 2:8-11)
The next part of the prophecy of Amos contains oracles against Judah and Israel.
2:4 Thus saith Yahweh; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law (torah) of Yahweh, and have not kept His commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their (fore) fathers have walked:
Leviticus 26:14 But if you will not hearken unto Me, and will not do all these commandments;
2:5 But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces (fortresses) of Jerusalem.
We have an account of the beginnings of the fulfillment of this oracle against Judah at 2 Kings 18:13-16
Judah was primarily chastised here for having despised the law of Yahweh their God and not keeping His commandments. Scriptural evidence of this is found in 2 Chronicles, chapters 34 and 35, where the later reforms of the young king Josiah are described.
2:6 Thus saith Yahweh; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;
Isaiah 29:21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.
2:7 That pant after the dust of the earth (land) on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane My holy name:
Ezekiel 22:11 And one hath committed abomination with his neighbour's wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter in law; and another in you hath humbled his sister, his father's daughter.
2:8 And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every (pagan) altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.
Paganism and worship of golden calves.
Ezekiel 22:26 Her priests have violated My law, and have profaned Mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
1Corinthians 8:10 For if any man see you which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
2:9 Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath. (Deut 3:8-11)
Numbers 21:24 And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Arnon unto Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon: for the border of the children of Ammon was strong.
2:10 Also I brought you (Israel) up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite. (Ex 12:51)
In this passage from Amos we see reference to the Exodus from Egypt and the destruction of the Amorites before the children of Israel are presented as examples of God's favor for them. The Amorites, called both Martu and Amurru in the ancient inscriptions, were a once-powerful people who dwelt to the west of Babylonia. In some of the earliest known sources, the inscriptions of ancient Sumer which date as far back as the first half of the third millennium BC, which is over 500 years before the time of Abraham.
2:11 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O you children of Israel? saith Yahweh.
Numbers 6:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto Yahweh:
2:12 But you gave the Nazarites wine to drink (they had oaths to not drink); and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not. Don't preach.
Isaiah 30:30 And Yahweh shall cause His glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of His arm, with the indignation of His anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones. (Jer 11:21)
2:13 Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.
Isaiah 1:14 Your new moons (new beginnings) and your appointed feasts My soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
2:14 Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:
2:15 Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself.
2:16 And he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith Yahweh.
While of course the pagan worship was not right in the eyes of God, it was nevertheless inevitable. Yet Israel is chastised here in Amos because “they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god”, references to the fornication committed in their paganism. They were also chastised for the manner in which they treated their fellows, selling the righteous and the poor into slavery, abandoning brotherly love.
They also gave the Nazarites wine to drink, meaning that those who would be righteous before God, they resented and corrupted, forcing them to comply with the general immorality of the nation. We see those same circumstances throughout the West today, that if one desires to act righteously, he is resented and persecuted by society.
In addition to these things, Amos here chastises the children of Israel because they forbid the prophets from prophesying. That they did not want the prophets to speak the truth and to teach the Word of God.
From the beginning of Amos chapter 3, we see the prophet turn his full attention to the children of Israel, and prophesy many punishments against them throughout the remainder of his book. The purpose for this punishment is summarized by Yahweh through the prophet in the opening lines of the chapter:
Amos 3:1 Hear this word that Yahweh hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,
3:2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth (land): therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
Deuteronomy 7:6 For you art an holy people unto Yahweh your God: Yahweh your God hath chosen you to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the land.
In order to understand the phrase “all the families of the earth” we must review certain Scriptures, beginning with Genesis chapter 10. This chapter describes the descendants of Noah and his family, the only family of Adam said to have survived the great flood.
The tower had come to be referred to as Babel, which basically means confusion in Hebrew, because that is where Yahweh confounded the tongues of men in order to encourage the Genesis 10 families to separate from one another.
This same event, the separation of the Adamic families descended from Noah into nations, is also recollected again at Deuteronomy 32:8-9
Where it says “all the families of the earth”, these are all of the Genesis 10 Adamic families, and none others, as we see Paul profess in Acts 17:26. All the earth is not the entire globe. Rather, it is all of the land where those families of Genesis 10 were divided, as we see in Acts 17:26.
Now we shall read the promise to Abraham, as it is first found in Genesis 12:2-3 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curseth you: and in you shall all families of the land be blessed.
Note the use of the term families in Genesis chapters 10 and 12 and here in Amos 3:2. In all cases it is the same word, mishpachah. It is a family, or a circle of relatives.
Of all of these Adamic Genesis 10 families, here in Amos Yahweh says to the children of Israel: “You only have I known of all the families of the land: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” The children of Israel were not chosen out of the world among the other races. Rather, they were chosen out of the world from among the other Genesis 10 families of the White Adamic race. The non-Adamic so-called races were never even in the picture.
3:3 (Amos speaking) Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
The Septuagint version of Amos 3:3 has, according to Brenton, “Shall two walk together at all, if they do not know one another?”
3:4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?
The words of Yahweh are not vain. He tells Israel “I will punish you for your iniquities”, and if He roars (as He says in verse 8), He will indeed take a prey, which here are the children of Israel.
3:5 Can a bird fall (accidentally) in a snare upon the earth (ground), where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth (ground), and have taken (caught) nothing at all?
The analogy is clear in the 124th Psalm, said to be a “A Song of degrees of David”: “1 If it had not been Yahweh who was on our side, now may Israel say; 2 If it had not been Yahweh who was on our side, when men rose up against us: 3 Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: 4 Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: 5 Then the proud waters had gone over our soul. 6 Blessed be Yahweh, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. 7 Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. 8 Our help is in the name of Yahweh, who made heaven and earth.” However here Yahweh is against Israel, and the nation would indeed soon fall prey to the Assyrians. This time the snare shall not be broken.
3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil (calamity) in a city, and Yahweh hath not done it?
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I Yahweh do all these things.
The trumpet is the sound of war, blown by those on watch as a call to arms for the defense of a city.
If evil comes upon a city of Israel, that evil is a punishment from Yahweh.
3:7 Surely Yahweh GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.
John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his master doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.
3:8 The lion hath roared, who will not fear? Yahweh GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?
Acts 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
The lion is Yahweh, through His prophets He has roared, and therefore the prey would be taken.
3:9 Publish in the palaces (fortresses) at Ashdod, and in the palaces (fortresses) in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.
3:10 (Yahweh speaking) For they know not to do right, saith Yahweh, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.
Jeremiah 4:22 For My people is foolish, they have not known Me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
As it has been elucidated from the Assyrian inscriptions, the armies of the neighboring states which were already subject to Assyria would join in the conquest of other states, which includes Israel. After the Assyrian king Sennacherib had subjected the cities of the Philistines, the Philistines in turn had joined him in his campaigns against both Israel and Judah. After that, Philistine kings were rewarded with portions of Israelite territory for their booty.
3:11 Therefore thus saith Yahweh GOD; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down your strength from you, and your palaces shall be spoiled.
The Septuagint version of this verse is quite different: “Therefore thus saith Yahweh God; O Tyre, your land shall be made desolate round about you; and he shall bring down your strength out of you, and your countries shall be spoiled.”
Why should Tyre be referenced in a prophecy which is against the children of Israel, when there has already been an oracle against the Tyrians in Amos chapter 1?
While there are many other evidences in Scripture and in archaeology that the ancient Tyrians were indeed Israelites, the final proof that this is so rests in the words of this prophet at Amos 1:9: “Thus saith Yahweh; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant.”
3:12 Thus saith Yahweh; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.
Tyre was an Israelite city, and here Amos attests that many Israelites also dwelt in Damascus.
3:13 Hear you, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith Yahweh GOD, the God of hosts,
3:14 That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the (pagan) altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground. (2Ki 23:15)
Horns of the alter are referencing the powers of the false worshipers.
3:15 And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith Yahweh.
The winter (autumn) house is as a palace during a harvest. The summer house is a symbol of the ripening fruit in it's harvest. Their commercialism is symbolized in the ivory house which was an item of commerce among rich merchants.
The crops were going to fail, the trade would fail, and the rich apostasized Israelites would be punished.
The terms winter house and summer house may be allegorical references to the northward and southward towns of Dan and Bethel, which are the locations of the golden calves of Jeroboam.
Amos 4:1 Hear this word, you kine (cows- duragatory figure for women) of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppres the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink.
Psalm 22:12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
Ezekiel 39:18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
Bashan means fruitful. The land of king Og of Bashan fell to the lot of Manasseh when the land was taken from the Canaanites and divided by Israel (Joshua 17).
4:2 Yahweh GOD hath sworn by His holiness, that, lo, the days shall come upon you, that He will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.
The Septuagint has “2 Yahweh swears by His holiness, that, behold, the days come upon you, when they shall take you with weapons, and fiery destroyers shall cast those with you into boiling caldrons.”
4:3 And you shall go out at the breaches, every cow at that which is before her; and you shall cast them into the palace, saith Yahweh.
Ezekiel 12:5 Dig you through the wall in their sight, and carry out thereby.
Notice the reference to cows is in italics, which means it was added by the translators of the KJV. From the NAS, Amos 4:3 reads thus: “You will go out through breaches in the walls, Each one straight before her, And you will be cast to Harmon," declares Yahweh.”
From Brenton's Septuagint, Amos 4:3: “And you shall be brought forth naked in the presence of each other; and you shall be cast forth on the mountain Romman, saith Yahweh.”
The Greek has Rimmon in 2 Kings 5:18 where the “house of Rimmon” is a place of idolatry.
The next part of Amos' prophecy chastises the idolaters:
4:4 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:
Bethel was the seat of idolatry of one of the two golden calves set up by Jeroboam I, the other being Dan. Gilgal was a center for the prophets, and often criticized by Hosea. From Hosea 9:15: “All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.”
4:5 And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you (for you love this), O you children of Israel, saith Yahweh GOD.
Leviticus 7:13 Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings.
Leviticus 2: “11 No grain offering, which you shall bring unto Yahweh, shall be made with leaven: for you shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of Yahweh made by fire.” Leaven was forbidden in such offerings.
They are not to burn the bread. This is a mocking of their false worship.
Again the Septuagint reading is quite different: “And they read the law without [meaning publicly], and called for public professions: proclaim aloud that the children of Israel have loved these things, saith Yahweh.”
In the Masoretic Text (KJV), it seems the children of Israel publicly proclaimed the acts of their own idolatry, without shame. The Septuagint version seems to be saying that the law would be read publicly that the sin of the children of Israel would be openly confessed.
4:6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have you not returned unto Me, saith Yahweh. (Is 26:11, Jer 5:3, Hag 2:17)
Cleanness of teeth is famine. Even in famine Israel does not call on Yahweh their God. Cleanness of teeth and want of bread refer to the same thing.
Wisdom of Solomon 12:2 Therefore chastenest You them by little and little that offend, and warnest them by putting them in remembrance wherein they have offended, that leaving their wickedness they may believe on You, O Yahweh.
12:10 But executing Your judgments upon them by little and little, You gavest them place of repentance, not being ignorant that they were a naughty generation, and that their malice was bred in them, and that their cogitation would never be changed.
4:7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.
4:8 So two or three cities wandered (tottered- staggering from thirst) unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have you not returned unto Me, saith Yahweh.
4:9 I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have you not returned unto Me, saith Yahweh. (Duet 28:22)
4:10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have you not returned unto Me, saith Yahweh. (Ex 9:3,6, Deut 28:27)
4:11 I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have you not returned unto Me, saith Yahweh.
4:12 Therefore thus will I do unto you, O Israel: and because I will do this unto you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel.
Israel would meet their God by experiencing His judgment, which He pronounces here through the prophet.
The Septuagint version has “prepare to call on your God.”
4:13 For, lo, He that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man (adam) what is His thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth (land), Yahweh, The God of hosts, is His name.
Psalm 139:2 You knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, You understandest my thought afar off.
Chapter 5 is a funeral dirge against the house of Israel.
Amos 5:1 Hear you this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel.
Jeremiah 7:29 Cut off your hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for Yahweh hath rejected and forsaken the generation of His wrath.
5:2 The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up.
The virgin of Israel is a virgin no more, but she is now the great whore of the Revelation, which has joined herself to the beast.
5:3 For thus saith Yahweh GOD; (Yahweh speaking) The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel.
Ninety percent of the people would die or go into the Assyrian captivity.
5:4 For thus saith Yahweh unto the house of Israel, Seek you Me, and you shall live:
5:5 But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.
Lot's of pagan practices and worship going on in Bethel and Gilgal.
5:6 Seek Yahweh, and you shall live; lest He break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.
Bethel was one of the major seats of idolatry, and home to one of the two golden calves set up as the new state religion by Jeroboam after the kingdom was split from Judah.
5:7 Ye who turn judgment to wormwood (poison hemlock- figurative for bitterness), and leave off (knock down) righteousness in the earth (ground),
Knock down righteousness to the ground is to pervert justice.
The Septuagint interpreted verse 7 quite differently, where it is esteemed that Yahweh refers to Himself and says: “It is He that executes judgment in the height above, and He has established justice on the earth:”
5:8 Seek Him (He) that maketh the seven stars (kiymah- Pleiades, a constellation of seven stars) and Orion (kesiyl- Orion the constellation), and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth (ground): Yahweh is His name:
Many people confuse God with Nature. Here we see that God is not merely Nature, but that He is indeed a being, a personality, which transcends Nature.
Orion is also mentioned in the Book of Job, along with others of the constellations, at Job 9:9 and 38:31.
5:9 That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.
5:10 They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly (what is complete).
Isaiah 29:21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.
They hate us for telling the truth, for proclaiming the Word.
Uprightly is from H8549 tamiym, meaning complete, whole, sound, entirely in accord with truth and fact.
5:11 Forasmuch therefore as your treading (trampling) is upon the poor, and you take from him burdens (gifts- as by unjust means) of wheat: you (the rich) have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink wine of them.
Micah 6:15 You shalt sow, but you shalt not reap; you shalt tread the olives, but you shalt not anoint you with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine.
5:12 For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.
Trials were held and heard at the gate.
20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:
21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.
5:13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.
Proverbs 22:3 A prudent (cautious) man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
5:14 Seek good, and not evil, that you may live: and so Yahweh, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as you have spoken.
5:15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that Yahweh God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.
Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
So we see that while the prudent are silent, because it is an evil time, they are not doing that which is Godly. Here Yahweh is chastising those in Israel who have committed evils, and those who seek good are to oppose them as well.
5:16 Therefore Yahweh, the God of hosts, Yahweh, saith thus; Wailing shall be in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman (who tends the land) to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.
Jeremiah 9:17 Thus saith Yahweh of hosts, Consider you, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, that they may come:
5:17 And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through you, saith Yahweh.
5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of Yahweh! to what end is it for you? the day of Yahweh is darkness, and not light.
They were relying on the temple, but being in the presence of the temple will not prevent Yahweh's wrath.
Isaiah 5:19 That say, Let Him make speed, and hasten His work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!
Jeremiah 17:15 Behold, they say unto Me, Where is the word of Yahweh? let it come now.
Joel 2:2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.
At the fall of the old world, Israel went into captivity. At the fall of the present world, Israel shall be regathered to Christ.
5:19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
5:20 Shall not the day of Yahweh be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
For most of Israel, there was no escaping the expected calamity. One would be slain, or taken captive. Even if one survived, there would be little left of his old life once the Assyrians were done destroying the kingdom.
5:21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell (delight) in your solemn assemblies.
5:22 Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your meat (grain) offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. (Isa 1:11-14)
Isaiah 66:3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
5:23 Take you away from Me the noise of your songs; for I will not hear the melody of your viols.
5:24 But let judgment (justice) run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty (constant) stream.
It is evident that the sacrificial rituals were abused and that the people were unrepentant of their sin, not offering their sacrifices sincerely. Neither did the people judge one another justly, but commonly took advantage of the disadvantaged.
5:25 Have you offered unto Me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
Deuteronomy 32:17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.
5:26 But you have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which you made to yourselves. (1 Ki 11:33)
Tabernacle here is H5522 sikkuth, a Babylonian deity.
Moloch was the god of the Ammonites and Phoenicians to whom some Israelites sacrificed their infants in the valley of Hinnom.
Chiun, is a statue or pillar, probably a statue of the Assyrian-Babylonian god of the planet Saturn and used to symbolize Israelite apostasy.
The star of your god is a reference to Venus.
At verse 26 the Septuagint has: “Yea, you took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Raephan, the images of them which you made for yourselves”
Another translation reads: “You lifted up your god, KING CAIN, the star (messenger) of Satan, that you appointed to yourselves.
5:27 Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith Yahweh, whose name is The God of hosts.
Acts 7:42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of the sky; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to Me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?
7:43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.
The offerings of the children of Israel were apparently insincere from the beginning.
Amos 6:1 Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria (Shomeron), which are named (distinguished) chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!
Luke 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich! for you have received your consolation.
Amos is addressing the rulers, the societal elites, in Israel. The House of Israel had come to these people.
Shemer owned the mountain of Samaria. He was a Canaanite chief. It was purchased from him. When Israel split from Judah, they put their capital in that hill and did worship there, but mixed their paganism with Yahweh worship, which is unacceptable.
1Kings 16:23 In the thirty and first year of Asa king of Judah began Omri to reign over Israel, twelve years: six years reigned he in Tirzah.
16:24 And he bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill, Samaria.
16:25 But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of Yahweh, and did worse than all that were before him.
This is why the Samaritans were despised in Yahshua's time because they were pagan and had mixed blood.
6:2 Pass you unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go you to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border?
Calneh was one of the great cities of Babylonia, and one of the original cities of the empire of Nimrod. The city Calneh is mentioned among the conquests of the Assyrian kings Shalmaneser III and Tiglath-pileser III.
Hamath the Great was the city in Northern Syria which seems to have been the northern extent of the empire of David, restored to Israel in this time by Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:28).
Not long after Amos had written his prophecy, Calneh, Hamath, and Gath all fell to the Assyrians, and Israel was soon to follow.
6:3 Ye that put far away (thrust off- refuse to think of) the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;
Unrighteous people do not imagine that the day of their punishment shall come, and they continue to act unrighteously – in essence mocking and scoffing at God. Yet the Septuagint reading of the verse is “Ye who are approaching the evil day, who are drawing near and adopting false sabbaths”.
6:4 That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch (sprawl) themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall (stall fattened calves);
6:5 That chant (parat- meaning unknown) to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music, like David;
Isaiah 5:12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of Yahweh, neither consider the operation of His hands.
6:6 That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved (concerned) for the affliction (fracture) of Joseph. (Gen 37:23-27)
The reference to “the affliction of Joseph” is a reference to the poverty of many of the people of the land, as the wealthy in Israel enjoy its fruits.
They are not concerned for the fracture of Joseph is figurative to a broken bone. Their worship was false and broken.
6:7 Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.
The cry of revelry (festivity) of the sprawlers (spread or lie carelessly) shall be removed first.
So we see the result of not abiding in the warnings of Deuteronomy chapter 8 concerning the wealth and increase which Yahweh our God provides us.
6:8 Yahweh GOD hath sworn by Himself, saith Yahweh the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob (poetic designation for the northern kingdom because of their pagan worship), and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city (Samaria) with all that is therein.
Ezekiel 24:21 Speak unto the house of Israel, Thus saith Yahweh GOD; Behold, I will profane My sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom you have left shall fall by the sword.
The city (Samaria) was besieged by Shalmaneser V for three years (2 Kings 17:1-6) and was taken by his successor, Sargon II, circa 722 or 721 BC.
6:9 And it shall come to pass, if there remain ten men in one house, that they shall die.
6:10 And a man's uncle shall take him up (lift up a body for removal), and he that burneth him (burn spices for the dead), to bring out the bones out of the house, and shall say unto him that is by the sides of the house, Is there yet any with you? and he shall say, No. Then shall he say, Hold your tongue: for we may not make mention of the name of Yahweh.
The Septuagint reads the beginning of verse 10: “But a remnant shall be left behind, and their relations shall take them, and shall strenuously endeavor to carry forth their bones from the house: and one shall say to the heads of the house, Is there yet any one else with you?”
A remnant of Israel was left behind in the city by Sargon II
The text also infers that cremation was used to dispose of the dead in a time of war, where the city was under siege.
The latter part of verse 10 indicates that the children of Israel in their distress would not call upon Yahweh their God. Yet we must also bear in mind that the greater number of them had been practicing paganism for well over two hundred years, since the kingdom was divided and Jeroboam I instituted the priesthood and worship of the golden calves.
The Canaanite-Edomite Jews had brought that Babylonianism to Israel and they were doing Jewish practices in the Israelite priesthood.
The Jewish rabbis made this a command that the name of Yahweh was too holy to pronounce. They hate the name of Yahweh. This has carried over to today because the “churches” do not know nor use the name of Yahweh. Scripture teaches and Yahweh demands we use His name.
6:11 For, behold, Yahweh commandeth, and He will smite the great house with breaches, and the little house with clefts.
Isaiah 55:11 So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
6:12 Shall horses run upon the rock? will one plow there with oxen? for you have turned judgment (justice) into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock :
Hosea 10:4 They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.
Septuagint 6:13(12) Will horses run upon rocks? will they refrain from neighing at mares? for you have turned judgment into poison, and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness:
Worshiping a Jewish Jesus seems like a righteous act, but is nothing but a poisonous deception that turns the fruit into bitterness.
6:13 Ye which rejoice in a thing of nought, which say, Have we not taken to us horns (two horns) by our own strength?
This reflects the attitude which Israel was warned about in Deuteronomy 8:17 where Yahweh says: “And you say in your heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.”
In a thing of nought comes from H3810 lo' debar, Lo-debar is a town in Manasseh in Gilead east of the Jordan. (2Sam 9:4-5, 17:27)
6:14 But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, saith Yahweh the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hemath unto the river of the wilderness.
This nation is, of course, Assyria.
The reference to the “river of the wilderness” seems to be a reference to the “river of Egypt”, or Sihor (Joshua 13:3, “Sihor, which is before Egypt”; Jeremiah 2:18, “the waters of Sihor”), which was the name for the canal of Egypt, the easternmost branch of the Nile. These would be references to the northernmost and southernmost frontiers of the ancient empire of David.
Vision of the plumbline
Amos 7:1 Thus hath Yahweh GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, He formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth (spring crop); and, lo, it was the latter growth (spring crop) after the king's mowings.
7:2 And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Yahweh GOD, forgive, I beseech You: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small. (Is 55:17)
7:3 Yahweh repented (regretful) for this: It shall not be, saith Yahweh.
This is reminiscent of the parallel prophecy in Joel chapter 1:2-7
This prophecy in Amos, like all of the prophecies concerning the great Day of Judgment of the people of Yahweh, seems to be a dual prophecy corresponding to the judgment against the mountains of Israel in the latter days which we see in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. The locusts, caterpillars, palmerworms and cankerworms, the “great army” which Yahweh sends among His people (Joel 2:25), represent alien races.
Here in Amos, we see the grasshoppers did not come to devour the land until “the latter growth after the king's mowings.” This seems to indicate that the government gets its share of the produce of the people first, and then the aliens eat up whatever is left. This is precisely what we perceive of our national situation today, after the swarms of the enemy have come in like a cloud to cover the land (Ezekiel 38:9, 16).
Deuteronomy 32:36 For Yahweh shall judge His people, and repent Himself for His servants, when He seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.
7:4 Thus hath Yahweh GOD shewed unto me: and, behold, Yahweh GOD called to contend (for a trial) by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part.
The Septuagint reads: “...Yahweh called for judgment by fire,...”.
The Hebrew has: “...Yahweh Elohiym called for a trial by fire,...”.
7:5 Then said I, O Yahweh GOD, cease, I beseech You: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.
The people of Israel in Samaria had been greatly reduced from their former glory.
7:6 Yahweh repented (was regretful) for this: This also shall not be, saith Yahweh GOD.
7:7 Thus He shewed me: and, behold, Yahweh stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in His hand.
7:8 And Yahweh said unto me, Amos, what seest you? And I said, A plumbline. Then said Yahweh, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of My people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:
Yahweh divides the people with a plumbline, which ostensibly determines which of them would survive and go into captivity, and which of them would remain behind, either dead or alive.
7:9 And the high places (of pagan worship) of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.
The “house of Jeroboam” is a reference is to Jeroboam II, who was king as Amos was prophesying. The places of idolatry would all be destroyed.
From the account of the reign of Josiah in Chronicles we also see that there was indeed a remnant of Israel left behind by the Assyrians, who were later known generally as Samaritans. Of course, the later Samaritans also consisted of many Canaanites and many of the aliens who were brought into the land and resettled there by the Assyrians.
7:10 Then Amaziah the (apostate) priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.
Bethel was the seat of one of the golden calves set up by Jeroboam I. Therefore this Amaziah would be one of the priests of the idolatrous priesthood which Jeroboam I instituted at that time, nearly 180 years before Amos had written. (1Kings 12:26 - 32)
7:11 For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam II shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.
Amaziah, an apostate priest was bad mouthing Amos.
7:12 Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O you seer, go, flee you away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:
7:13 But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court.
Amaziah had informed on Amos for his prophesying, by complaining about Amos' message to Jeroboam. Now Amaziah plays the other side of the fence and warns Amos of possible danger.
Here we see that Bethel is “the king's chapel, and … the king's court”. This demonstrates that the custom initiated by Jeroboam I about one hundred and eighty years before this time had been continued to this day.
Amos was not a seer, he was called by Yahweh for this message of prophecy.
7:14 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:
7:15 And Yahweh took me as I followed the flock, and Yahweh said unto me, Go, prophesy unto My people Israel.
7:16 Now therefore hear you the word of Yahweh: You sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not your word against the house of Isaac.
7:17 Therefore thus saith Yahweh; Your wife shall be an harlot in the city, and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword, and your land shall be divided by line (regions); and you shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.
Amaziah was to be severely punished for attempting to silence Amos. His wife would become a whore, and his children would be slain.
In Amos chapters 1 and 2, while Yahweh pronounced judgments upon Israel because they oppressed the poor and the righteous, He also pronounced judgments upon Judah and the other surrounding nations for their various transgressions. Beginning with Amos Chapter 3 and through to the end of the book, Yahweh pronounces a series of judgments upon Israel alone which are actually repetitive pronouncements foretelling the same punishment, but giving differing reasons for that punishment in different ways.
In Amos chapter 3 Yahweh announces to Israel that “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” The reasons given in this chapter are that “they know not to do right, saith Yahweh, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.” This means that the riches they had gained for themselves were accumulated through those unjust means.
In Amos chapter 4 another pronouncement of judgment is made upon Israel, for reason that they oppress the poor and crush the needy of their tribesmen, as Yahweh singles out those who live sumptuously. Again, references are made to Bethel and also to Gilgal in verse 4 of the chapter, which in turn illustrate the idolatry of Israel and the corruption of the prophets.
In Amos chapter 5 another judgment is pronounced, this time in the form of a lamentation. Israel is warned that nine-tenths of the people would be taken away. Bethel and Gilgal are again mentioned, and by this it is clear that idolatry is the main cause of Israel's offense against God. The lamentation ends with the pronouncement of verse 27, “Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith Yahweh, whose name is The God of hosts.”
Amos chapter 6 is yet another pronouncement of judgment upon Israel, and the nation is warned that this judgment is imminent and unavoidable. Samaria is singled out, and the people are again chastised for their sumptuous living and forewarned of their captivity and the loss of all of their city and all of their riches. The overall lesson is that, with their idolatry and their merchandising they have neglected the poor of their brethren. Therefore because their riches were acquired unjustly, and because they oppressed rather than assisted their kinsmen, Yahweh would ensure that they lose all that they had.
Beginning in Amos chapter 7 the prophet pronounces how Israel would be punished, and in doing so he is given three visions. The first vision is of grasshoppers, who would eat the grass of the land. This seems to represent the produce of the people of Israel. The destruction of Israel is assured. The second vision is of a plumbline by which the people themselves would be divided. Those for whom captivity or death is destined are already assured of their fate, and Israel would be laid to waste.
Before the third vision, the basket of summer fruit at the beginning of chapter 8, Amos seems to have been interrupted by Amaziah, priest of the idol of Bethel, who tries to stop him from prophesying. Because of that, Amos pronounces that the wife of Amaziah would become a whore, his children would be slain, and he would die in a polluted land, a reference to what would be left of Israel. Then Amos once again pronounced that Israel would be taken into captivity.
The vision of Israel's ruin
Amos 8:1 Thus hath Yahweh GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit.
8:2 And He said, Amos, what seest you? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said Yahweh unto me, The end is come upon My people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.
A basket of ripe summer fruit would not have long before it rots. Therefore the judgment of Israel would not be far off.
8:3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith Yahweh GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.
The punishment of the people is to be significant. The Septuagint has “And the ceilings of the temple shall howl in that day, saith Yahweh God: there shall be many a fallen one in every place; I will bring silence upon them.”
8:4 Hear this, O you (the rich) that swallow up (trample upon) the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,
Psalm 14:4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up My people as they eat bread, and call not upon Yahweh.
Proverbs 30:14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the land, and the needy from among men.
8:5 Saying, When will the new moon (month) be gone, that we may sell corn (new grain)? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
Nehemiah 13:15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.
8:6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse (sweepings) of the wheat?
Aside from their idolatry, the charge of transgression in Israel by the oppression of the poor and needy has been made throughout the prophecy of Amos. Here we see that the people against whom the charge is laid care more for their riches gained in commerce than they do for the state of their nation and especially for the needy of the land. They also care more for their commerce than they do for the feast days and sabbaths appointed by Yahweh their God. They see the sabbaths as a time of missed opportunity for trade, as an inconvenience to their commerce.
8:7 Yahweh hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.
The judgment which Amos has pronounced upon Israel would not be repented of. Mercy would not be granted. The punishment shall be executed.
Hosea 8:13 They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of Mine offerings, and eat it; but Yahweh accepteth them not; now will He remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt (captivity).
8:8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.
The nation will be washed away as if by a mighty river of water. The Assyrians.
Hosea 4:3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of the sky; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.
8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith Yahweh GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth (land) in the clear day:
9 Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.
10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.
8:10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head (pagan practice of mourning); and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. (Is 15:2-3)
The signs of darkness forebode the evil coming upon the land. The feasts were never celebrated in righteousness, so they would become a time of evil. The people who had rejoiced in their unseemly riches would mourn as though they had lost an only son.
8:11 Behold, the days come, saith Yahweh GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Yahweh: (1 Sam 3:1)
8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of Yahweh, and shall not find it.
8:13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.
Amaziah, the idol priest of Amos chapter 7, was but one example of those who would seek to silence the men who were pronouncing the Word of Yahweh God.
8:14 They that swear by the sin (guilt- the idols) of Samaria, and say, Your god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again. (Hos 4:15)
Dan represents the northernmost, Beersheba the southernmost of the cities of Israel proper in Palestine.
1Kings 12:28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold your gods, O Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
12:29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.
Amos 9:1 I saw Yahweh standing upon the altar: and He said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts (threshold) may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them (the apostates in the temple); and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.
Amos was in Bethel, and this is a reference to the temple housing that idol of the golden calf which had represented the state religion of Israel since the days of Jeroboam I.
9:2 Though they dig into hell (the land of the dead), thence shall Mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven (the sky), thence will I bring them down:
Psalm 139:8 If I ascend up into the sky, You art there: if I make my bed in the grave, behold, You art there.
9:3 And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from My sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them:
Bite is 'nashak', to oppress with usury.
This is all figurative. In other words, wherever they go, Yahweh's going to find them.
9:4 And though they go into captivity before their (hated) enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set Mine eyes upon them for evil (harm), and not for good. (Lev 26:33, 17:10)
There is no escaping the judgment of Yahweh, and He will punish even those taken captive, if it is their destiny to be punished so, which had already been determined by the plumbline in the vision of Amos chapter 7.
9:5 And Yahweh GOD of hosts is He that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.
9:6 It is He that buildeth His stories (stairs) in the heaven (sky), and hath founded (as a foundation) His troop (vault of the sky) in the earth (land); He that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth (land): Yahweh is His name.
This is poetic allegory for the destruction which Yahweh would bring upon the kingdom of Israel at the hands of the Assyrians.
9:7 Are you not as children of the Ethiopians (Kushiy) unto Me, O children of Israel? saith Yahweh. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians (Arameans) from Kir? (Deut 2:23)
Jeremiah 47:4 Because of the day that cometh to spoil all the Philistines, and to cut off from Tyrus and Zidon every helper that remaineth: for Yahweh will spoil the Philistines, the remnant of the country of Caphtor.
The Ethiopians are properly Cushites. The children of Cush dwelt in Mesopotamia, where Nimrod founded the first Adamic empire as described in Genesis 10:8-12, which would be the first Babylonian Empire to archaeologists and historians.
The Greek name for Cush was Ethiopia, a word from Greek which ostensibly means “sun-burnt face”.
It can be demonstrated that all of these people were originally White. However around the very time of the prophet Amos, Ethiopia had been overrun with Nubians, and Egypt would shortly follow thereafter. In Isaiah chapter 43, addressing the children of Israel Yahweh says “3 For I am Yahweh your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour: I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for you.” Egypt and Ethiopia having been overrun with Nubians, surrendered to the enemies of Yahweh, we now see why they are no longer White nations.
Scripture tells us that the Philistines were an offshoot of the early Egyptians, although by the time of the Pharaoh Merneptah in the 13th century BC they were counted among the “sea peoples” (Dan and Asher Judges Ch5) who were the enemies of Egypt.
9:8 Behold, the eyes of Yahweh GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth (land); saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith Yahweh.
Jeremiah 30:11 For I am with you, saith Yahweh, to save you: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered you, yet will I not make a full end of you: but I will correct you in measure, and will not leave you altogether unpunished.
9:9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn (grain) is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth (ground).
Corn in modern English is simply grain.
Grain is sifted through a sieve in order to refine it.
The deportations of Israel occurred so that Yahweh could sift Israel, thereby refining them and removing the impurities. For no man puts into the sieve chaff along with the grain. The grain must first be winnowed.
9:10 All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.
It is one thing to be a sinner. It is quite another to be a sinner and to scoff at the possibility that Yahweh God judges His people.
9:11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof (of Jerusalem); and I will raise up his ruins, and I will (re)build it as in the days of old:
9:12 That they may (dis)possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen (nations), which are called by My name, saith Yahweh that doeth this.
Obadiah 1:19 And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.
Of course, the “remnant of Edom” was possessed by Israelite kings for many centuries, as the Jews were chattel property in Europe in the Middle Ages. But they are ultimately to be destroyed, as so many other prophecies promise, even Obadiah 1:18 tells this.
The Septuagint reading is far more plausible, and it is very easy for copyists and translators to confuse Adam and Edom, since in Hebrew the words are virtually identical, the difference only being the vowel points. Here the Septuagint has: “that the remnant of men, and all the (Israelite) Nations upon whom My name is called, may earnestly seek Me, saith Yahweh who does all these things.”
9:13 Behold, the days come, saith Yahweh, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
A promise that Israel shall once again live bountifully, a sign of hope in their captivity.
Joel 3:18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of Yahweh, and shall water the valley of Shittim.
9:14 And I will bring again the captivity (return the captives) of My people of Israel, and they shall (re)build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. (Jer 30:3, Is 61:14)
9:15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith Yahweh your God.
Speaking of the land we live in now, America, not Palestine. Because true Israel does not live in the Middle East anymore, we are regathered here in America, as prophesied (2Sam 7:10 and many other places).
AMOS – CHURCH DOCTRINE VS. SCRIPTURE
Below are 3 sources of what the modern churches preach today about the book of Amos.
The purpose is to expose the apostasy and perversion of the scriptures, and to educate our people about the truth of our heritage. That we, the anglo-saxon race who are the descendants of ancient Israel, are the people of Abraham's seed and therefore the heirs of the promises of Yahweh. Not the Jews who distort and pervert the scriptures and teach the 'traditions of men'.
The purpose of the book of Amos was to announce God’s holy judgment on the Kingdom of Israel (the Northern Kingdom), call them to repentance, and to turn from their self-righteous sins and idolatry. God raised up the prophet Amos, as an act of His great mercy to a people who repeatedly shunned and disobeyed Him.
• Chapter 1-3, Amos came as the days of the wicked Northern Kingdom were winding down. The people were religious but it was sadly superficial. Just like today's “churches”. Amos announces that the neighboring nations would be punished. There were many of these wicked nations including Damascus, Gaza, Edom, and Tyre.
• In chapters 4-8, Amos warns that Israel will be destroyed, and gives examples of this judgment. Amos comes, announces God’s coming judgment to the Northern Kingdom and uses the phrase, “the day of the Lord” referring to God intervening to punish and judge the wicked city, which would eventually be exile by the Assyrians.
“Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and thus may the LORD God of hosts be with you, just as you have said!” (5:14).
• In chapter 9, Amos tells of the restoration and hope of Israel, “In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, and wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins And rebuild it as in the days of old” (9:11).
Summary of the Book of Amos
Amos was from Tekoa (1:1), a small town in Judah about 6 miles south of Bethlehem and 11 miles from Jerusalem. He was not a man of the court like Isaiah, or a member of a priestly family like Jeremiah and Ezekiel. He earned his living from the flock and the sycamore-fig grove (1:1; 7:14-15). Whether he owned the flocks and groves or only worked as a hired hand is not known. His skill with words and the strikingly broad range of his general knowledge of history and the world preclude his being an ignorant peasant. Though his home was in Judah, he was sent to announce God's judgment on the northern kingdom (Israel). He probably ministered for the most part at Bethel (7:10-13; see 1Ki 12:28-30), Israel's main religious sanctuary, where the upper echelons of the northern kingdom worshiped.
The book brings his prophecies together in a carefully organized form intended to be read as a unit. It offers few, if any, clues as to the chronological order of his spoken messages -- he may have repeated them on many occasions to reach everyone who came to worship. The book is ultimately addressed to all Israel (hence the references to Judah and Jerusalem).
Date and Historical Situation
According to the first verse, Amos prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah over Judah (792-740 b.c.) and Jeroboam II over Israel (793-753). The main part of his ministry was probably carried out c. 760-750. Both kingdoms were enjoying great prosperity and had reached new political and military heights ( 2Ki 14:23 -- 15:7; 2Ch 26). It was also a time of idolatry, extravagant indulgence in luxurious living, immorality, corruption of judicial procedures and oppression of the poor. As a consequence, God would soon bring about the Assyrian captivity of the northern kingdom (722-721).
Israel at the time was politically secure and spiritually smug. About 40 years earlier, at the end of his ministry, Elisha had prophesied the resurgence of Israel's power (2Ki 13:17-19), and more recently Jonah had prophesied her restoration to a glory not known since the days of Solomon (2Ki 14:25). The nation felt sure, therefore, that she was in God's good graces. But prosperity increased Israel's religious and moral corruption. God's past punishments for unfaithfulness were forgotten, and his patience was at an end -- which he sent Amos to announce.
With Amos, the messages of the prophets began to be preserved in permanent form, being brought together in books that would accompany Israel through the coming debacle and beyond. (Since Amos was a contemporary of Hosea and Jonah, see Introductions to those books.)
Theological Theme and Message
The dominant theme is clearly stated in 5:24, which calls for social justice as the indispensable expression of true piety. Amos was a vigorous spokesman for God's justice and righteousness, whereas Hosea emphasized God's love, grace, mercy and forgiveness. Amos declared that God was going to judge his unfaithful, disobedient, covenant-breaking people. Despite the Lord's special choice of Israel and his kindnesses to her during the exodus and conquest and in the days of David and Solomon, his people continually failed to honor and obey him. The shrines at Bethel and other places of worship were often paganized, and Israel had a worldly view of even the ritual that the Lord himself had prescribed. They thought performance of the rites was all God required, and, with that done, they could do whatever they pleased -- an essentially pagan notion. Without commitment to God's law, they had no basis for standards of conduct. Amos condemns all who make themselves powerful or rich at the expense of others. Those who had acquired two splendid houses (3:15), expensive furniture and richly laden tables by cheating, perverting justice and crushing the poor would lose everything they had.
God's imminent judgment on Israel would not be a mere punitive blow to warn, but an almost total destruction. The unthinkable was about to happen: Because they had not faithfully consecrated themselves to his lordship, God would uproot his chosen people by the hands of a pagan nation. Even so, if they would repent, there was hope that "the Lord God Almighty (would) have mercy on the remnant" (5:15; see 5:4-6,14). In fact, the Lord had a glorious future for his people, beyond the impending judgment. The house of David would again rule over Israel -- even extend its rule over many nations -- and Israel would once more be secure in the promised land, feasting on wine and fruit (9:11-15). The God of Israel, the Lord of history, would not abandon his chosen people or his chosen program of redemption.
The God for whom Amos speaks is God of more than merely Israel. God has power over everything, but He is only the God of Israel and Israel are His people. And in case you believe your “church”, I pray you realize that the Jews are not Israel. They are Edom, they are the children of Cain and Esau, the family of the Devil. We are the true Israelites. He also uses one nation against another to carry out his purposes (6:14). He is the Great King who rules the whole universe (4:13; 5:8; 9:5-6). Because he is all-sovereign, the God of Israel holds the history and destiny of all peoples and of the world in his hands. Israel must know not only that he is the Lord of her future, but also that he is Lord over all, and that he has purposes and concerns that reach far beyond her borders. Israel had a unique, but not an exclusive, claim on God. The Bible is exclusive to Israel, the race of Adam, both the OT and the NT. You will not find God accepting anyone else in the scriptures. She needed to remember not only his covenant commitments to her but also her covenant obligations to him. Yes, covenants, God only made them with the generations of ADAM. Adam is the white race. Only the children of Israel were chosen, given the law, punished, divorced, redeemed, and a special people unto Yahweh. No one else can fit into these promises and covenants. The Bible is the history and heritage of the race of Adam. The Jews are the enemies and the children of Satan. Hence the enmity of Genesis 3:15.
Who wrote the book?
The prophet Amos lived among a group of shepherds in Tekoa, a small town approximately ten miles south of Jerusalem. Amos made clear in his writings that he did not come from a family of prophets, nor did he even consider himself one. Rather, he was “a grower of sycamore figs” as well as a shepherd (Amos 7:14–15). Amos’s connection to the simple life of the people made its way into the center of his prophecies, as he showed a heart for the oppressed and the voiceless in the world.
Where are we?
Amos prophesied “two years before the earthquake” (Amos 1:1; see also Zechariah 14:5), just before the halfway point of the eighth century BC, during the reigns of Uzziah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam, king of Israel. Their reigns overlapped for fifteen years, from 767 BC to 753 BC.
Though he came from the southern kingdom of Judah, Amos delivered his prophecy against the northern kingdom of Israel and the surrounding nations, leading to some resistance from the prideful Israelites (Amos 7:12). Jeroboam’s reign had been quite profitable for the northern kingdom, at least in a material sense. However, the moral decay that also occurred at that time counteracted any positives from the material growth.
Why is Amos so important?
Amos was fed up. While most of the prophets interspersed redemption and restoration in their prophecies against Israel and Judah, Amos devoted only the final five verses of his prophecy for such consolation. Prior to that, God’s word through Amos was directed against the privileged people of Israel, a people who had no love for their neighbor, who took advantage of others, and who only looked out for their own concerns.
More than almost any other book of Scripture, the book of Amos holds God’s people accountable for their ill-treatment of others (of their own kin). It repeatedly points out the failure of the people to fully embrace God’s idea of justice. They were selling off needy people for goods, taking advantage of the helpless, oppressing the poor, and the men were using women immorally (Amos 2:6–8; 3:10; 4:1; 5:11–12; 8:4–6). Drunk on their own economic success and intent on strengthening their financial position, the people had lost the concept of caring for one another; Amos rebuked them because he saw in that lifestyle evidence that Israel had forgotten God.
What's the big idea?
With the people of Israel in the north enjoying an almost unparalleled time of success, God decided to call a quiet shepherd and farmer to travel from his home in the less sinful south and carry a message of judgment to the Israelites. The people in the north used Amos’s status as a foreigner as an excuse to ignore his message of judgment for a multiplicity of sins.
However, while their outer lives gleamed with the rays of success, their inner lives sank into a pit of moral decay. Rather than seeking out opportunities to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly, they embraced their arrogance, idolatry, self-righteousness, and materialism. Amos communicated God’s utter disdain for the hypocritical lives of His people (Amos 5:21–24). His prophecy concludes with only a brief glimpse of restoration, and even that is directed to Judah, rather than the northern kingdom of Israel (9:11–15).
How do I apply this?
Injustice permeates our world, yet as Christians we often turn a blind eye to the suffering of others for “more important” work like praying, preaching, and teaching. But the book of Amos reminds us that those works, while unquestionably central to a believer’s life, ring hollow when we don’t love and serve others in our own lives. Do you find yourself falling into that trap at times—prioritizing prayer over service?
The prophecy of Amos should simplify the choices in our lives. Instead of choosing between prayer and service, the book of Amos teaches us that both are essential. God has called Christians not only to be in relationship with Him but also to be in relationships with others. For those Christians whose tendency has been to focus more on the invisible God than on His visible creation, Amos pulls us back toward the center, where both the physical and the spiritual needs of people matter in God’s scheme of justice.