AMOS

Amos 1-3 – Amos is one of the early prophets of Israel his ministry was attempting to deal with the divided Israel and Judah as one Nation reminding them that they are both a part of the same plans of God — ‘Amos 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa [a town eight kilometres south of Bethlehem – wiki.com], which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah (Azariah) king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.’

Israel though divided as a Nation is still one family in the eyes of God: Amos 3:1-8 Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, *saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you [as a Father punishes a son] for all your iniquities. *Can two walk together {man walking with God}, except they be agreed? Will a lion roar [rejoice] in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry [rejoice] out of his den, if he have taken nothing? Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin [snare, trap] is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth [when it is empty], and have taken nothing at all? Shall a trumpet [alarm, alert system] be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done [allowed] it? **Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto his servants the prophets [and later His Christians]. The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy? Publish in the [foreign] palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria [Northern Israel], and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof. For they know not to do right, saith the LORD, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled. Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the [remnant] children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch. Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord GOD, the God of hosts, That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground. And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the LORD.

BlueletterBible.org: Chuck Missler Commentaries the Book of Amos

Mr. Missler is the chairman of Koinonia House (K-House), a non-profit organization which is dedicated to the development and distribution of materials for encouraging and facilitating serious study of the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. K-House was founded by Chuck and Nancy Missler, and moved to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho in 1992. K-House now reaches tens of thousands through its monthly newsletter, radio shows, cassette tapes, and conferences. More than eight million study tapes have been distributed in the U.S. and in over 35 countries around the world. [link]

Amos, Prophet of Solidarity – ‘Surely the Lord Yahweh does nothing without revealing his counsel to his servants the prophets’ – The notion of the heavenly council has a firm place in the book of Amos. It would be wrong to regard the idea as purely figurative or expressing stereotyped imagery (PDF)

THE HEAVENLY COUNCIL: The concept of the heavenly council of Yahweh is now a familiar one in Old Testament study. Apart from such fundamental passages as Job 1-2 and 1 Kings 22, it has been seen to embrace many others in its ramifications. In the council Yahweh announced His sovereign will and planned its execution among 'all the host of heaven' and 'the sons of God'. The prophets too were allowed to stand 'in the council of Yahweh to... hear his word' before proclaiming it to the people, according to Jeremiah 23. 18, 22. So far the book of Amos has tended to be left to one side in the search for traces of the idea. Amos has been viewed as a lonely figure who went from private communion with his God to attack a world of corrupt cult, courts and commerce. But evidence is not lacking that Amos saw himself as part of a larger entity. On the human plane, he was doubtless encouraged by his heritage in the goodly fellowship of earlier prophets. In the very rejection of his message he was not alone: others before him had had their message of judgment spurned (2. 11-12; 7. 12ff).1 But on a higher plane, indications may be found that Amos was aware of involvement with a supernatural group that shared his concern and co-operated in his mission. 'Proclaim to the strongholds in Ashdod... and say', he had heard Yahweh command (3. 9). But to whom were those plural imperatives addressed? They are surely a telltale sign of the heavenly council. Elsewhere in the prophetic literature similar cryptic plural commands have been recognized as belonging to this setting. The supernatural heralds of Yahweh are here sped on their way. Amos was privileged to listen in to the briefing of God's heavenly messengers. It is probable that the plural imperatives in. 13, 'Hear and give evidence', also belong to the same milieu: the role of witness was often played by members of the divine council. ... The notion of the heavenly council has a firm place in the book of Amos. It would be wrong to regard the idea as purely figurative or expressing stereotyped imagery. Rather, what has been said of later prophets may be applied to Amos. 'It provides a permanent basis of fellowship, so marked in the dialogues of Jeremiah, whilst also giving occasion for the "high lights" of special moments, as in the call of Isaiah. It introduces the idea of collaboration and of a personal relation more intimate than any external command suggests.'20 Amos did not stand alone. Man as he was, he took a privileged place beside the supernatural ministers and messengers of the King of kings, and doubtless derived sustenance and strength from the knowledge of this fellowship. ... THE COMMUNITY: Amos assumed the solidarity of the nation [Northern Israel - Southern Judah] to which he was called to prophesy. One way in which this unity finds expression is the treatment of those who heard him as representatives of a larger whole. The prophet identified his audience with a greater entity: his hearers represent their forebears. They are addressed in terms of their ancestors: 'I brought you up out of Egypt and led you in the wilderness...' (2. 10); 'Did you bring me sacrifices... in the wilderness?' (5.25). They are designated as 'the whole family... brought up out of Egypt' (3.1). [link]

The earthquake in the days of Uzziah – Even 2 years before the earthquake Amos speaks of an earthquake and it is associated with an eclipse

We are told about the earthquake by Amos. We have to put two things together. Firstly Amos introduces his prophecy as being 2 years before the earthquake. This means the whole book of Amos was written in less than a year, or the book was finished 2 years before the earthquake. ... We can note also that this eclipse is corroborated by Assyrian history. It is a famous fact that Assyrian history is dated by an eclipse, which is now thought to have occurred on 24 June 791BC which co-incides with Beecher's dating for the year after the death of Jeroboam: the year when Uzziah becomes ruler over all Israel. Ussher's dates place the eclipse 4 years later than Beecher (but still very close to Uzziah's take-over of rulership of Israel and his resounding defeat of the Philistines). ... Why doesn't Chronicles mention the great earthquake of Uzziah's day? The Book of Kings record only mentions that Azariah was made a king and then later made a leper [for instructing the Temple Priests that he was to burn incense unto the LORD (2 Chronicles 26:16-21)]. This is the history of Azariah. Kings however alerts us to the fact that Azariah was called Uzziah. The parallel Chronicles record speaks of the great things Uzziah did and how he became Azariah again. But why don't they mention the earthquake? It's because they do. And he (Uzziah) sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought Yahweh, God made him to prosper. And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines. And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gurbaal, and the Mehunims. And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly. (2 Chronicles 26:5-8) ... But it is possible the one in Uzziah's day was bigger than that in Jonathan's day, according to Zechariah the prophet the Israelites had to flee away from it. Based on what is said, we may gather that the quake may have struck as a strong tremor and the superstitious Philistine army fled. Then the Israelites pursue them, as in the day of Jonathan, back to the city and the quake strikes and flattens the Philistine cities causing the Israelites to flee away and decimating those who had run to hide in the city and those who lived there. Then to top it all off there is an eclipse about mid-afternoon, so they can't even dig the survivors out of the ruins except with a lamp (which they can't see to light). News of such an event would get out to all the nations, especially if Egypt also shook a bit and received the wash from a tsunami. Uzziah and the Israelites, in a superstitious world, would be seen to have the power over all gods with them. In Chronicles it says God helped Uzziah, Zechariah says Then shall Yahweh go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. (Zechariah 14:3). [link]

Amos 4-6 – The glory days of Israel in King David and King Solomon were not the best and only days of Israel – God has a current and future plan for the Nation of Israel and it includes all Jews of all times and in all locations — ‘Amos 4:12 Therefore thus [deal with Israel] will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this [reveal God’s ability] unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.’ – ‘Amos 5:24 But let judgment [flow] run down as waters, and righteousness [abundantly] as a mighty stream.’

The judgment of God is going to be sever even for the followers of God: 'Amos 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the [Judgment] Day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the Day of the LORD is [judgment] darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house [his shelter], and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the Day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? I hate, I despise your [Levitical] feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer Me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from Me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols [instruments]. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.'

Amos 7-9 – The current and future plans of God for the Nation of Israel are expanded all the way to eternity in the Messiah Jesus Christ — ‘Amos 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that [crucifixion] day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:’ – ‘Matthew 27:45-46 Now from the sixth hour [noon] there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour [3:00 PM]. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My [Father] God, why hast thou forsaken Me?’ {On the cross with our sin upon Jesus He was temporarily separated (for three hours) from the presence of the Holy Father God. Jesus was experiencing our just punishment not His own and now we will never experience separation from God because Jesus has taken our penalty of sin upon Himself and He was temporarily forsaken for us therefore we are not forsaken or ever separated from God not even momentarily.}

Israel as a Nation and as a people are assured of their eternal future in Jesus Christ: 'Amos 9:11-15 In that day will I raise up [through Jesus Christ] the tabernacle (House) of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this. Behold, *the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper [the harvest to huge to bring in in one season], and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring again [May 14, 1948] the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.'

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