Micah 1:2-7 — Yahweh is Coming!

September 9, 2013

The small-town prophet receives a big-time message from Yahweh. Micah announces that Yahweh is coming to Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom Israel. This, however, is about more than Israel. It is  Yahweh’s witness against the nations even though it is the nations who devastate Israel. The opening address functions as a lawsuit where […]


Revelation 12:1-6 — Two Signs in Heaven

September 5, 2013

The drama of the second (Revelation 4:1-16:20) has not yet ended. We are yet in the middle of it. Heaven has opened the seven seals (Revelation 6:1-8:5) and sounded the seven trumpets (Revelation 8:6-11:19) but we have not yet seen the final, climatic bowls of wrath (Revelation 15-16).  sandwiched between the trumpets and the bowls is the dramatic […]


“Never Again Uprooted From the Land” (Amos 9:15)

May 15, 2013

The last verse of Amos promises Israel that once they are planted in the land they will never again be uprooted. The “never again” language is striking and parallels other promises such as the “new heaven and new earth” text in Isaiah 65 where “never again” (same Hebrew terms) will anyone weep or infants die. […]


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 6:1-14: The Second Woe

March 28, 2013

This is the second of two woe oracles in Amos. The first (5:18-20) was followed by a legal indictment (5:21-27). The second (6:1-7) is followed by a judgment pronouncement (6:8-14). Together, as the third major section of Amos, they lament Israel’s sin and warn the nation about impending doom. The woe oracle in Amos 6 itself falls […]


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 […]


Malachi 1:2-5 — Lord, How Have You Loved Us?

July 3, 2012

The opening line is simple, direct and profound: “I have loved you, says Yahweh.” That should be good news, but there are times when it may be heard with a bit of skepticism or even bitterness. It is a difficult word to hear when someone has just told you in the previous breath that your […]


Zechariah 13:2-6 – Impurity Removed

April 30, 2012

“On that day” God will defeat the nations that assail Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:3-8). “On that day” God will grace Israel with the ability to mourn the one they pierced (Zechariah 12:9-13:1). “On that day” God will cleanse the land from idols and false prophets (Zechariah 13:2-6). This is the eschatological hope of Israel. It envisions […]