Amos 3: The Lord continues to speak against Israel
Comment: The Lord speaks against Israel [v.1],
the people He chose in the earth [v.2] and points out that the
world is full of ‘causes', one thing causing another [v.3-6],
so when disaster comes it is the hand of the Lord [v.6b]. Similarly
when a prophet speaks, it is the Lord's prompting [v.7,8], so
now the prophet calls surrounding peoples to watch Israel [v.9]
a people who have plundered others [v.10] but who now will be
plundered [v.11]. In fact, so bad will be it that there will only
be ‘scraps' left [v.12] a disciplinary destruction that will destroy
the altar at Bethel [v.13,14] as well as all the luxury houses
of Israel [v.15] So take heed of this prophecy from this prophet!]
A word against the ‘wider' Israel
Hear this word,
people of Israel, the word the Lord
against you – against the whole family I brought up out of
They alone in the world have been chosen by God
only have I chosen
of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
for all your sins.'
Seven sets of causations – leading to the seventh one
Do two walk together
unless they have agreed to do so?
Does a lion roar in the thicket
when it has no prey?
Does it growl in its den
when it has caught nothing?
Does a bird swoop down to a trap on the ground
when no bait is there?
Does a trap spring up from the ground
if it has not caught anything?
When a trumpet sounds in a city,
do not the people tremble?
When disaster comes to a city,
has not the Lord caused it?
God reveals His plans through His servants, the prophets
the Sovereign Lord
without revealing his plan
to his servants the prophets.
Two more causations leading to ‘prophets only speak when God has'
lion has roared –
who will not fear?
The Sovereign Lord has spoken –
who can but prophesy?
Let the surrounding peoples see the upsets in Israel
to the fortresses of Ashdod
and to the fortresses of Egypt:
‘Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria;
see the great unrest within her
and the oppression among her people.'
They greedily stockpile their plunder
do not know how to do right,' declares the Lord,
‘who store up in their fortresses
what they have plundered and looted.'
So they will be plundered by an invader
this is what the Sovereign Lord
enemy will overrun your land,
pull down your strongholds
and plunder your fortresses.'
There will only be scraps or remnants left when they have finished
is what the Lord
a shepherd rescues from the lion's mouth
only two leg bones or a piece of an ear,
so will the Israelites living in Samaria be rescued,
with only the head of a bed
and a piece of fabric from a couch.'
God declares assuredly He will destroy the altar set up at Bethel
[1 Kings 12:33]
this and testify against the descendants of Jacob,' declares the
Lord, the Lord
the day I punish Israel for her sins,
I will destroy the altars of Bethel;
the horns of the altar will be cut off
and fall to the ground.
indeed all of their luxury houses will also be destroyed
will tear down the winter house
along with the summer house;
the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed
and the mansions will be demolished,'
declares the Lord.
to Chapter 4