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FRAMEWORKS: Amos 3: The Lord continues to speak against Israel


[Preliminary 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!]



v.1 A word against the ‘wider' Israel


v.1   Hear this word, people of Israel, the word the Lord has spoken against you – against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt:


v.2 They alone in the world have been chosen by God


v. 2  ‘You only have I chosen
     of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
     for all your sins.'


v.3-6 Seven sets of causations – leading to the seventh one


v. 3   [i] Do two walk together
     unless they have agreed to do so?

v. [ii] Does a lion roar in the thicket
     when it has no prey?
[iii] Does it growl in its den
     when it has caught nothing?

v. 5   [iv] Does a bird swoop down to a trap on the ground
     when no bait is there?
[v] Does a trap spring up from the ground
     if it has not caught anything?

v. 6   [vi] When a trumpet sounds in a city,
     do not the people tremble?
[vii] When disaster comes to a city,
     has not the Lord caused it?


v.7 God reveals His plans through His servants, the prophets


v. 7  Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing
     without revealing his plan
     to his servants the prophets.


v.8 Two more causations leading to ‘prophets only speak when God has'


v. The lion has roared –
     who will not fear?
The Sovereign Lord has spoken –
     who can but prophesy?


v.9 Let the surrounding peoples see the upsets in Israel


v. 9  Proclaim 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.'


v.10 They greedily stockpile their plunder


v. 10  ‘They do not know how to do right,' declares the Lord,
     ‘who store up in their fortresses
     what they have plundered and looted.'


v.11 So they will be plundered by an invader


v. 11  Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

‘An enemy will overrun your land,
     pull down your strongholds
     and plunder your fortresses.'


v.12 There will only be scraps or remnants left when they have finished


v. 12  This is what the Lord says:

‘As 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.'


v.13,14 God declares assuredly He will destroy the altar set up at Bethel [1 Kings 12:33]


v. 13  ‘Hear this and testify against the descendants of Jacob,' declares the Lord, the Lord God Almighty.

v. 14  ‘On 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.

v.15 indeed all of their luxury houses will also be destroyed


v. 15  I 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.


Continue to Chapter 4