We continue with Amos, and his 9 chapters, perhaps with a little more structure and detail than in Part 1. I know that these are largely neglected books, so I trust the notes will be helpful both for those who are reading the Minor Prophets for the first time and others who have been reading them for many years. May it be true for us all as we read the Word of God… “The entrance of Thy Words giveth light…” (Psalm 119:130).
Introduction: The Prophet Amos! Chapter 1:1-2.
“The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem…” (1:2). Not Samaria, the capital of Israel. The herdsman and gatherer of sycamore fruit (wild figs) from Tekoa in Judah, has arrived at Bethel. Although his message at times encompassed the whole of Israel and Judah (3:1; 6:1), the focus was mainly to Israel (the Northern 10 tribes). A prophet out of Judah has arrived in Israel at Bethel (7:13) to speak against Jeroboam II (the son of Joash). Did the like of this ever happen before? Note: (1 Kings 13:1). A prophet out of Judah has arrived at Bethel to speak against Jeroboam I (the son of Nebat) as he stood by the altar to burn incense.
Announcement of Judgment on the Nations! Chapter 1:3-2:16.
Three transgressions and four, God is keeping account of Gentile Nations. Iniquity filling up and overflowing!
Near relations… those close to Israel by Blood Relationships.
Edom. Esau is Edom (Gen 36:1), Esau a twin brother of Jacob (Gen 25:19-28).
Ammon. A son (Ben-ammi) born to the younger daughter of Lot, Abraham’s nephew (Gen 19:29-38).
Moab. A son (Moab) born to the firstborn daughter of Lot, Abraham’s nephew (Gen 19:29-38).
Three transgressions and four, God is keeping account regarding His Covenant People, Judah, and Israel.
Judah. The men of Israel may have clapped their hands at their “Southern Countrymen”. But Israel!!!
Israel. Amos has now reached those whom the message is largely for. Israel!!!
Ingratitude toward the goodness of God was a terrible characteristic of the Nation of Israel. In chapter 2:9-16 this is rehearsed as one of the reasons for the coming judgment. "Yet destroyed I… yet I destroyed…" (v 9). "Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt… and led you forty years…" (v 10). "And I raised up of your sons for prophets… Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel?" (v 11). "But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink…" (v 12). "Behold, I am pressed under you…" (v 13). "Therefore…" (v 14). "Neither…" (v 15). "And…" (v 16).
Announcement of Judgment Particularly on Israel! Chapter 3:1-6:14.
To help with the division here, there are three messages beginning with “Hear this Word”, and two “Woe’s”!
Hear this Word (3:1-15)! Is this their present condition? Walking together (3:3). Not two “believers” but the Nation and God. Sadly, they are out of step, in disagreement with God. Note: lion roar, bird fall, trumpet blown, shepherd/lion, two legs/piece of an ear.
Hear this Word (4:1-13)! Is this a reference to their past? God has been working in various ways as described (4:6, 7-8, 9, 10, 11). With all this working there is no returning to the Lord! Note: five times, “Yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord”. Notice: Bethel & Gilgal! What is their significance? Bethel… experience of Jacob… House of God (Gen 28:10-22). Gilgal… where they entered the land… circumcision renewed (Joshua 5:2-12)! Prepare to meet thy God… Judgment (4:12). See notes in P1 for context on this verse.
Hear ye this Word (5:1-17)! Is this a reference to the future? Extent of the judgment (5:3), out of a thousand only a hundred left, out of a hundred only ten left. Announcement of Captivity (5:5). Final invitation… Seek (5:4, 6, 8, 14). Seek who? Notice (5:14) The Lord, the God of Hosts! The Lord (Jehovah-Covenant keeper) God (Elohim-God of Creation) of Hosts (Sabaoth-the Commander).
Woe (5:18-27)! The Day of the Lord… Judgment. This is a reference to the Tribulation. The Nation of Israel looks forward to a day of Millennial blessing, but before it arrives, they will experience a period of Tribulation for their departure from God and their rejection of the Messiah. It will be a day of darkness and not Light! Announcement of Captivity (5:27). Another reference to the Lord, God of Hosts. Nine references in all in Amos.
Woe (6:1-14)! The Error of Idolatry was one problem. Ease and Injustice was another! A day of great prosperity. The poor are afflicted. Injustice is rife. Immorality is practised. Can you find throughout the Book? Beds for every Occasion? Meals to every Taste? Houses for every Season? Announcement of Captivity (6:7).
Five Symbols or Visions of the coming Judgment! Chapter 7:1-9:10.
Plumbline (7:7-9). Far from the Divine Standard! No more sinning! No more passing by! No more praying!
Amaziah the Priest of Bethel (7:10-17).
Amaziah sent word to Jeroboam concerning the message that came from Amos. It contained judgment!
Death for Jeroboam and the Announcement of Captivity for Israel (7:10-11).
Amaziah orders Amos back to Judah, and not to prophecy in Bethel (7:12-13).
The personal word that Amos has to say about himself to Amaziah (7:14-15).
Amos prophecies against Amaziah’s wife, his sons, and daughters, Amaziah himself. He repeats again the certainty of Captivity for Israel (7:16-17).
Did the Word from God that Amos brought to Jeroboam and Israel come true? After Jeroboam, the last six kings of Israel were Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, Pekah and Hoshea (2 Kings 15:8-31; 17:6). Between them they reigned about 40 years. So, within one generation, the Prophecy of Amos came to pass. Shalmaneser, the King of Assyria, besieged Samaria for three years and carried Israel away to Captivity (2 Kings 18:9-12).
Basket of Summer Fruit (8:1-2). A lovely picture, ripe for eating? No! Ripe for Judgment. In the basket, plucked off, no going back!
Smiting of the Lintel (9:1-4). No escape! No hiding place… Hell/Heaven… top of Carmel/bottom of the Sea!
A Future hope for Israel! Chapter 9:11-15.
That day… Day of the Lord… Blessing. Here it is what God will do. Refer to previous notes! This is a Millennial Day still to come for the Nation of Israel. Note reference to David! A link with the Covenant! Great blessing experienced in the agricultural environment. Planted in the land, no more to be removed.