James Interprets Amos 9:11-12 (Acts 15:13-18)

May 10, 2013

The previous post explored the meaning of the only fundamentally positive text in Amos–its ending, Amos 9:11-15. The text of Amos envisions a future time when Yahweh would rebuild the “tent of David” with the result that Israel would “possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called” by Yahweh’s “name.” This […]


Amos 8:1-14 — The Pride and Greed of Jacob

April 19, 2013

The dialogue between Amos and Amaziah (7:10-17), which interprets the third vision (7:7-9), is followed by a fourth vision (8:1-3) with a further interpretative comment (8:4-14). Ripe for judgment, Yahweh reminds Israel exactly why they will face eventual calamity. God judges them for their economic practices and the greatest calamity they will experience is divine […]


Amos 7:1-6 — Intercession and Divine Relenting

April 4, 2013

This text begins the fourth major section of Amos which contains five visions (Amos 7:1-9:10). While the structure of this part of Amos is variously understood, the five visions form the heart of its message: 1. Locust (7:1-3) 2. Fire (7:4-6) 3. Plumb Line (7:7-9). 4. Summer Fruit (8:1-3). 5. Pillars (9:1). Amos “sees” the […]


Amos 5:18-27: The First Woe

March 21, 2013

This text begins the third major section of Amos. In the first section (Amos 1-2) the prophet addressed eight nations and climaxed his message with an extended application to Israel. In the second section (Amos 3:1-5:17) the prophet declares the word of the Lord in three brief speeches (“hear this word” in 3:1, 4:1 and […]


Amos 5:1-17: Admonition and Lament for Israel

March 14, 2013

This is the third of Amos’s three prophetic speeches against Israel. They each begin with “Hear this word” (3:1; 4:1; 5:1). The first announced God’s coming visit in judgment against Israel. The second highlighted divine patience and persistence in seeking to turn Israel from its sins. The third is a divine admonition and lament for Israel. Harold […]


Amos 4:1-13: “Yet You Did Not Return to Me”

March 4, 2013

This is the second of Amos’s three prophetic speeches against Israel. They each begin with “Hear this word” (3:1; 4:1; 5:1). The first announced God’s coming visit in judgment against Israel while the third will voice lament. The second highlights divine patience and persistence in seeking to turn Israel from its sins. While this second […]


Amos 3:9-15 — An Oracle of Divine Punishment, Part 2

February 28, 2013

The second major section of Amos (chapters 3-5) contains three oracles describing the punishment, sin and lament of the northern kingdom of Israel. Each begins with “Hear this word!” (3:1; 4:1; 5:1). In many ways, this is the heart of Amos’s work as it lays out Yahweh’s case against Israel. We might even imagine Amos […]


Amos 3:1-8 — An Oracle of Divine Punishment, Part I

February 20, 2013

The first two chapters of Amos set Israel’s sins within an international context.  As they heard Amos condemn one after another of their regional neighbors they were no doubt alarmed that Israel was included in the list and received the most attention. Israel is the focus of Amos’s concern. The second major section of Amos […]


Amos 2:9-16 — Yahweh Makes A Case

February 6, 2013

As the last in the list of nations and the major focus of Amos’s ministry, Israel receives the most attention. In Amos 2:6-8 the prophet identified the reasons why Israel (the northern kingdom) will go into exile. They will suffer for their sins. They abused the innocent and poor, pursued sexual immorality, and approached God […]


Amos 2:6-8 — The Sins of Israel

January 24, 2013

Israel is the climactic end to Amos’s address to the nations. Israel appears last in a list of eight nations. Israel is the focus. Moreover, Israel receives more attention. The rhetoric follows the same form–”Yahweh says” followed by proverbial statement, the reason for punishment, and the consequences–but the content is expanded. While the sins of […]