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FRAMEWORKS: Amos

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FRAMEWORKS: Amos 1: An Accounting for FIVE people groups

 

[Preliminary Comment: In this and the next chapter we find seven short denunciations of various peoples we come across, who are Israel's neighbours, before he, in the next chapter and the ones following it, brings a denunciation of Israel itself. Each of these seven follow a similar pattern:

•  starting with the phraseology “for three sins.. even for four” suggesting, “even if it was only three sins, well, all right, four, I won't relent because the sin is so great”.

•  Every one of the eight declares, “I will not relent” i.e. I am set in my purposes, and

•  every one of the seven He declares, “I will send fire”.

•  In three of them He says he will take the life of the king/ruler, and one he will send into exile.

 

v.1 The Historical Content of Amos

   

v.1  The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa – the vision he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.

 

v.2 The Lord speaks out from Jerusalem over their neighbours

  

v.2  He said:

‘The Lord roars from Zion
    and thunders from Jerusalem;
the pastures of the shepherds dry up,
    and the top of Carmel withers.'

Judgment on Israel's neighbours

   

   

v.3-5 [1] DAMASCUS in the north is first in line

  

v.3  This is what the Lord says:

‘For three sins of Damascus, [a main city of the Syrians]
    even for four, I will not relent.
Because she threshed Gilead
[the Syrians had attacked the east of Israel]
    with sledges having iron teeth,
v.4   I will send fire on the house of Hazael [see 2 Kings 13:22-25]
    that will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad.
v.5   I will break down the gate of Damascus;
     I will destroy the king who is in the Valley of Aven
and the one who holds the sceptre in Beth Eden.
    The people of Aram will go into exile to Kir,'
says the Lord.

    

     

v.6-8 [2] GAZA and others of the cities of the Philistines are next

   

v.6  This is what the Lord says:

‘For three sins of Gaza,
    even for four, I will not relent.
Because she took captive whole communities
    and sold them to Edom,
[ever having been a thorn in the side of Israel]
v.7   I will send fire on the walls of Gaza
    that will consume her fortresses.
v.8   I will destroy the king of Ashdod
    and the one who holds the sceptre in Ashkelon.
I will turn my hand against Ekron,
    till the last of the Philistines are dead,'
says the Sovereign Lord.

 

 

v.9,10 [3] TYRE in the far north comes next

  

v.9  This is what the Lord says:

‘For three sins of Tyre, [a great maritime city]
    even for four, I will not relent.
Because she sold whole communities of captives to Edom,
    disregarding a treaty of brotherhood,
[possibly a port that transported slaves out]
v.10   I will send fire on the walls of Tyre
    that will consume her fortresses.'

 

   

v.11-12 [4] EDOM in the south & south-west had also been a thorn in Israel's side

 

v.11  This is what the Lord says:

‘For three sins of Edom,
    even for four, I will not relent.
Because he pursued his brother with a sword
    and slaughtered the women of the land,
because his anger raged continually
    and his fury flamed unchecked,
v.12   I will send fire on Teman [an Edomite city]
    that will consume the fortresses of Bozrah.'
[another Edomite city]

    

   

v.11 [5] AMMON to the east of the Jordan had often been against Israel

  

v.13  This is what the Lord says:

‘For three sins of Ammon,
    even for four, I will not relent.
Because he ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead
    in order to extend his borders,
v.14   I will set fire to the walls of Rabbah
    that will consume her fortresses
amid war cries on the day of battle,
    amid violent winds on a stormy day.
v.15  Her king will go into exile, [subsequently taken by the Assyrians]
    he and his officials together,'
says the Lord.

      

    

[Note: These were the first five of the seven cities or peoples warned of coming destruction for their activities against God's people, Israel.]

    

    

Continue to Chapter 2