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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Slave trade. The Jews continue this practice today.
The Philistines also helped turn over Israel to the Edomites, so they were doomed as well.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
Kerioth is where Judas Ishcarioth came from. Ishcarioth means man (ish) of Qeriyoth. Judas was a mix of Moabite and Edomite. A devil.
The next part of the prophecy of Amos contains oracles against Judah and Israel.
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.
Paganism and worship of golden calves.
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.
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:
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
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.
The Septuagint version of Amos 3:3 has, according to Brenton, “Shall two walk together at all, if they do not know one another?”
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.
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.
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.
The lion is Yahweh, through His prophets He has roared, and therefore the prey would be taken.
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.
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.”
Tyre was an Israelite city, and here Amos attests that many Israelites also dwelt in Damascus.
Horns of the alter are referencing the powers of the false worshipers.
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.
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).
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.”
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:
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.”
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.
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
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.”
Chapter 5 is a funeral dirge against the house of Israel.
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.
Ninety percent of the people would die or go into the Assyrian captivity.
Lot's of pagan practices and worship going on in Bethel and Gilgal.
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.
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:”
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.
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.
Trials were held and heard at the gate.
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.
They were relying on the temple, but being in the presence of the temple will not prevent Yahweh's wrath.
At the fall of the old world, Israel went into captivity. At the fall of the present world, Israel shall be regathered to Christ.
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.
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.
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.
The offerings of the children of Israel were apparently insincere from the beginning.
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.
This is why the Samaritans were despised in Yahshua's time because they were pagan and had mixed blood.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Worshiping a Jewish Jesus seems like a righteous act, but is nothing but a poisonous deception that turns the fruit into bitterness.
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)
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
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).
The Septuagint reads: “...Yahweh called for judgment by fire,...”.
The Hebrew has: “...Yahweh Elohiym called for a trial by fire,...”.
The people of Israel in Samaria had been greatly reduced from their former glory.
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.
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.
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)
Amaziah, an apostate priest was bad mouthing Amos.
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.
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
A basket of ripe summer fruit would not have long before it rots. Therefore the judgment of Israel would not be far off.
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.”
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.
The judgment which Amos has pronounced upon Israel would not be repented of. Mercy would not be granted. The punishment shall be executed.
The nation will be washed away as if by a mighty river of water. The Assyrians.
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.
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.
Dan represents the northernmost, Beersheba the southernmost of the cities of Israel proper in Palestine.
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.
Bite is 'nashak', to oppress with usury.
This is all figurative. In other words, wherever they go, Yahweh's going to find them.
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.
This is poetic allegory for the destruction which Yahweh would bring upon the kingdom of Israel at the hands of the Assyrians.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
A promise that Israel shall once again live bountifully, a sign of hope in their captivity.
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.