See Lesson, Prophet, the.
See Lesson, Minor prophets, and their messages.
AMOS: Sig "burden-bearer". Altho Amos was pretty much a
"nobody" (ie, a shepherd from a small town; cp Amo 7:14) , his messages/burdens
were so weighty that the nation was not able to bear them (Amo 7:10). The Book
of Amos is practically devoid of the word "love"; he is the prophet of righteous
TEKOA: A town in Judah (1Ch 2:24; 4:5), six miles south
of Bethlehem and ten miles south of Jerusalem, on a hill in the area of the
wilderness of Tekoa (2Ch 20:20). "The last outpost overlooking the wilderness of
Judea" (Ber 66:19). It was the birthplace of the prophet Amos, and the home of a
wise woman for whom Joab sent to turn David's heart back to Absalom (2Sa
14:1-24). Tekoa's elevation of 2,790 feet above sea level led to its development
as a station for trumpet-blown signals (Jer 6:1), and it was fortified by King
Rehoboam to protect Jerusalem (2Ch 11:6). Tekoites helped to rebuild the walls
of Jerusalem under Nehemiah (Neh 3:5,27).
THE EARTHQUAKE, WHEN UZZIAH WAS KING OF JUDAH: The
other seven historic, literal earthquakes in the Bible were all miraculous: at
Sinai (Exo 19:18), with Korah (Num 16:31), Jonathan (1Sa 14:15), Elijah (1Ki
19:11), at Philippi (Act 16:26), Christ's death (Mat 27:51), and resurrection
(Mat 28:2). So this one, in the days of Uzziah, was most likely miraculous too
(was it the means by which Uzziah was "greatly helped" by God?: 2Ch 26:15). It
is remembered by other prophets, as a pattern and "prophecy" (Zech 14:5; cp Isa
6:4; Amo 8:8).
THE LORD ROARS: The voice of God as thunder (Psa 18:14;
29:3-9). As a lion roars before it devours its prey or as thunder precedes a
severe storm (cf Amo 3:4,8; Jer 25:30; Hos 5:14; 11:10; 13:7).
PASTURES OF THE SHEPHERDS... THE TOP OF CARMEL:
Literally, from the far south to the far north of the Land. Figuratively, from
the lowly shepherds to the lofty "heights" (the rulers and wealthy of the
Amo 1:3--2:15: Judgments upon six Gentile nations, as well as
Judah and Israel. All these Gentile nations were related to David's kingdom, and
subject to it. Though punished, they all share in the latter-day gathering of
blessing of Israel -- when David's tabernacle is rebuilt (Amo
FOR THREE SINS OF... AND FOR FOUR: The most distinctive
feature of Amos' prophecy is the eight-fold repetition of: "This is what the
LORD says: 'For three sins of ______ , even for four, I will not turn back my
wrath.' " ("Three... and four" does not necessarily mean "seven"! In Hebrew, a
three-fold repetition suggests finality: ie "I will overturn, overturn,
overturn..." in Eze 21:27. So "three sins" would be the fulness of
transgression, and "four sins" would be a wretched excess -- implying the God
had waited far too long to exercise His wrath!) This formula introduces divine
statements of judgment about Israel (the northern kingdom) in Amos 2:6-8, and
Judah (the southern kingdom) in Amos 2:4,5, as well as six Gentile nations
surrounding God's people:
1. Damascus, or Syria (Amos 1:3-5);
2. Gaza, or Philistia (Amos 1:6-8);
3. Tyre, in Lebanon (Amos 1:9,10);
4. Edom (Amos 1:11,12);
5. Ammon (Amos 1:13-15); and
6. Moab (Amos 2:1-3).
Why these nations? Because, during the general period of
Israel's (and Judah's) expansion and prosperity, the Jews had allowed themselves
to become very much like the idolatrous, immoral nations around them (Amos
3:14-4:2; 6:1-6; 8:11-13). And so the time of God's judgments upon the Gentile
nations would also see severe chastening of Israel and Judah. But there would be
this difference: God's people, or rather a remnant of God's people, would
survive the severe judgments and emerge stronger, their faith having been tested
so that they learn once again to trust in the Lord their God (Amos 3:1,2; 9:9).
"The prophet began with the distant city of Damascus and, like
a hawk circling its prey, moved in ever-tightening circles, from one country to
another, till at last he pounced on Israel. One can imagine Amos' hearers
approving the denunciation of these heathen nations. They could even applaud
God's denunciation of Judah because of the deep-seated hostility between the two
kingdoms that went as far back as the dissolution of the united kingdom after
Solomon. But Amos played no favorites; he swooped down on the unsuspecting
Israelites as well in the severest language and condemned them for their crimes"
DAMASCUS: Or Syria, the worst of Israel's enemies
during recent times, as far as Amos was concerned. Damascus was the capital city
of Aram (Syria), and it stands for the whole nation by metonymy. Yahweh promised
that He would not turn back the punishment due Aram because the Arameans had
proved to be a scourge to the people of Israel.
SHE THRESHED GILEAD WITH SLEDGES HAVING IRON TEETH:
Threshing Gilead, a transjordanian part of Israel, with sharp iron implements
pictures the plowing up of that part of the nation militarily (cf Isa 41:15; Mic
4:13; Hab 3:12). Israelite citizens and territory had suffered greatly during
constant battles with the Arameans, esp in Transjordan (cf 2Ki 8:7-12; 10:32,33;
I WILL SEND FIRE UPON THE HOUSE OF HAZAEL THAT WILL CONSUME
THE FORTRESSES OF BEN-HADAD: Yahweh promised to send a consuming fire
(judgment) on the house (dynasty) and citadels (fortified towns) of the
Arameans. Hazael and Ben-Hadad, dynastic names, probably represent all the
Aramean kings. The idea of sending fire on the walls of the main cities of the
land recurs throughout these oracles (vv 4,7,10,12,14; Amo 2:2,5). It is a vivid
metaphor for consuming destruction.
THE GATE OF DAMASCUS: Lit, the "bar" (AV). A bolt
securing the main city gate, and thus the defense of the city. See 1Ki
I WILL DESTROY THE KING WHO IS IN THE VALLEY OF AVEN:
"Aven" in Heb means "nothingness" or "wickedness". This was probably the site of
AND THE ONE WHO HOLDS THE SCEPTER IN BETH EDEN: The
"house of pleasure" -- possible ref to the immoral temple practices.
THE PEOPLE OF ARAM WILL GO INTO EXILE TO KIR: "The
place from which the Aramaeans migrated to Syria (Amos 9:7)... Its militia is
represented as allied with Elam against Judah (Isa 22:6). The place has not yet
been attested in ancient Near Eastern records, and remains unidentified" (WyE).
It was probably in Mesopotamia. Thus God would send them back where they came
from after obliterating all they had achieved. The fulfillment of this prophecy
came when Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria took the Arameans captive in 732 BC
Vv 6-8: There were 5 major Philistine cities (1Sa 6:17; Josh
13:3), but in later days the prophets carefully leave Gath out of the picture
(Amo 1:6-8; Zeph 2:4; Jer 25:20; Zech 9:5,6). Why? Uzziah, in his war against
the Philistines, smashed up Gath, Jabneh and Ashdod (2Ch 26:6). The last of
these was evidently strategic enough to warrant rebuilding (Isa 20:1), but the
other two disappeared from history -- and from prophecy also.
BECAUSE THEY TOOK CAPTIVE WHOLE COMMUNITIES AND SOLD THEM
TO EDOM: The particular sin for which God would judge the Philistines was
their capture and deportation of whole communities (or "people at peace": Heb
"shelema"), possibly Israelites and or Judahites, to Edom as slaves (cp Joel
I WILL TURN MY HAND AGAINST EKRON, TILL THE LAST OF THE
PHILISTINES IS DEAD: God sends complete retribution upon Gaza, Ashdod,
Ashkelon, and Ekron... by successive attacks from Sennacherib of Assyria,
Pharaoh Necho of Egypt, and Alexander the Great of Greece. This prophecy was
ultimately fulfilled during the Maccabean period (169-134 BC), when the
Philistines passed out of existence as a separate and distinct people.
PHILISTINES: See Lesson, Philistia in prophecy.
TYRE: The leading city of Phoenicia.
SHE SOLD WHOLE COMMUNITIES OF CAPTIVES TO EDOM: The sin
of the Phoenicians was the same as that of the Philistines. They had sold whole
communities of people to the Edomites as slaves.
DISREGARDING A TREATY OF BROTHERHOOD: Remembering the
time when Hiram of Tyre was a friend of David and Solomon (1Ki 5:12), and an
ally of Israel. Hiram called Solomon "brother" (1Ki 9:13).
I WILL SEND FIRE UPON THE WALLS OF TYRE THAT WILL CONSUME
HER FORTRESSES: Many Tyrians became captives and were sold as slaves when
Alexander the Great destroyed Tyre in 332 BC (cf Ezek 26--28).
EDOM... HE PURSUED HIS BROTHER WITH A SWORD, STIFLING ALL
COMPASSION: Edom's sin that brought divine wrath down on its people was the
its treatment of the Israelites. The Edomites had been very hostile to their
"brother," Israel (Gen 25:29,30; Num 20:14; Deut 2:4; 23:7; Oba 1:12). This
hostility existed throughout the history of these two nations. This animosity
even led the Edomites to attack the Israelites with the sword (cf Obad 1:10).
I WILL SEND FIRE UPON TEMAN THAT WILL CONSUME THE
FORTRESSES OF BOZRAH: Consequently God would send destruction on Edom's
chief southern and northern cities (or districts), and thus on the whole land.
The Assyrians subjugated Edom in the eighth century BC, and the Nabateans, an
Arabian tribe, took it over in the fourth century BC.
AMMON: Ammon hired Balaam against israel (Num 22--25;
Deu 23:3,4), hated the people of Jabesh-gilead (1Sa 11:2), and hired the Syrians
to fight against David (2Sa 10:1-6).
HE RIPPED OPEN THE PREGNANT WOMEN OF GILEAD IN ORDER TO
EXTEND HIS BORDERS: This brutal slaughter terrorized and decimated the
population of Gilead, which bordered Ammon on the west. The Ammonites did this
to enlarge their territory merely for materialistic advantage, not for
RABBAH: The chief city of the Ammonites. Lying east of
the territory assigned to the tribe of Gad (Jos 13:25), it is frequently known
in the OT as "Rabbah of the children of Ammon" to distinguish it from other
towns of the same name. Rabbah was the Ammonite capital until the reign of
David, and here Uriah the Hittite was killed on David's orders (2Sa 11:1,15).
Joab finally captured the city, and David subjected the Ammonites to forced
labor (2Sa 12:27-31; 1Ch 20:1-3). The prophets referred to Rabbah as if it were
the only important city in the territory describing it as a fertile valley (Jer
49:2; Eze 21:20; 25:5).
In recent years Rabbah has regained its ancient splendor. It
is now called Amman, the capital of Jordan. Well-watered in fertile environs,
the city's location on the Hejaz railway is strategic.
HER KING WILL GO INTO EXILE, HE AND HIS OFFICIALS
TOGETHER: This happened when Tiglath-Pileser III invaded Ammon in 734 BC,
but Ammon's final defeat came when Nebuchadnezzar sacked Rabbah and took many of
Ammon's citizens captive to Babylon around 586 BC.