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Bible Study: Amos

by PastorMinton on April 18th, 2012

THE PROPHECY OF AMOS

Prophet: Amos, shepherd from Tekoa (1:1), dresser of sycamore-fig trees (7:14-15)

Date: King Uzziah of Judah’s and King Jeroboam II of Israel’s reigns (1:1) – 767-753 BC

Theme: God’s Justice and Righteousness (5:24)

The first two chapters of Amos’ prophecy take issue with Israel and her neighbors. All of these begin with the words: “For three transgressions of *NATION*, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment”. These prophecies are the source for the rabbinical idea that a sin could only be forgiven three times but the fourth was unforgivable (cf. Matthew 18:21-22).

  1. Damascus/Syria (1:3-5)
  2. Gaza/Philistia (1:6-8) – Gath is the only prominent city of the Philistines not mentioned.
  3. Tyre (1:9-10)
  4. Edom (1:11-12)
  5. Ammon (1:13-15)
  6. Moab (2:1-3)
  7. Judah (2:4-5)
  8. Israel (2:6-16)

While Amos is given prophecies about the surrounding nations, the bulk of his prophecy is against the Northern Kingdom. It receives the largest condemnations of the nations in the first two chapters, but it also receives the terrible warnings of chapters 3-6. However, Amos will not leave Israel without hope. After the announcement of the Exile, there will be divine retribution and Israel will be restored.

In 3:1-4:5, God declares the relationships that Israel has refused to accept with God. In 4:6-13, God tells of all the things He had sent upon the nation to bring them to repentance but they refused to obey. In 5:1-17, God repetitively invites the wayward back into His presence. 5:18-27 contains the major theme for Amos’ prophecies. What is missing in Israel is justice and righteousness. Chapter 6 takes issue with those who have become complacent and comfortable in their unrepentance.

With all these things in mind, Amos then proclaims the visions of what is going to happen in the coming days. For these prophecies Amos is brought before Jeroboam II by Amaziah the priest of Bethel (7:10-17). In chapter 8, God takes issue with those who fulfill the letter of the Law but only so that they might check it off their to-do list to get on with the rest of life (8:4-6). In retaliation for the high-handed sinning against God and His Law, God promises Jesus’ crucifixion (8:9-10). This event would follow days of a famine of God’s Word (8:11-12). This is the first of the prophecies of the four centuries of no prophecies between Malachi and John the Baptist.

In 9:1-10, God declares the complete destruction of Israel. It is quickly followed up by the promise of the eternal restoration to the Promised Land. This is taken by many premilennialists to show that God continues to favor Israel and will not bring about the End until Israel has been established with peace as its own country.

From → Thru the Bible

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