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FRAMEWORKS: Amos 6: Woe to the complacent idle rich


[Preliminary Comment: The rebukes of this chapter come against the rulers of both kingdoms [v.1] whose pride is not warranted [v.2] and who think disaster will never come to them [v.3]. They live in luxury [v.4], idly focusing on music [v.5], carousing and being more concerned for personal appearance than the reality of the nation [v.6] and so they will go into exile as punishment [v.7]. The Lord loathes their pride [v.8], and so will come against their big houses [v.9-11] because they failed to be concerned for justice and righteousness [v.12] and although they think well of themselves and their minor victories [v.13] they will soon find they are powerless against the Lord's destroyer who He is bringing soon [v.14]. A chapter that confronts the unwarranted pride of these rulers that will mean nothing when God brings His judgment on them.]



v.1 A challenge to the leaders of both kingdoms


v.1  Woe to you who are complacent in Zion,
    and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria,
you notable men of the foremost nation,
    to whom the people of Israel come!

v.2 Compare yourselves great cities


v.2  Go to Kalneh [a city of Babylonia] and look at it;
    go from there to great Hamath,
[a city of Syria]
    and then go down to Gath in Philistia.
Are they better off than your two kingdoms?
    Is their land larger than yours?

v.3 You think disaster is far off, but it isn't


v.3  You put off the day of disaster
    and bring near a reign of terror.

v.4 You live in luxury


v.4  You lie on beds adorned with ivory
    and lounge on your couches.
You dine on choice lambs
    and fattened calves.

v.5 You spend your life listening to music


v.5  You strum away on your harps like David
    and improvise on musical instruments.

v.6 Drunkards who care more what they look like than the state of Israel


v.6  You drink wine by the bowlful
    and use the finest lotions,
    but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.

v.7 So you'll be the first lined up for exile


v.7  Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile;
    your feasting and lounging will end.


v.8 Your pride is obnoxious


v.8  The Sovereign Lord has sworn by himself – the Lord God Almighty declares:

‘I abhor the pride of Jacob
    and detest his fortresses;
I will deliver up the city
    and everything in it.'


v.9,10 Even in a large household, all will die


v.9  If ten people are left in one house, they too will die.

v.10  And if the relative who comes to carry the bodies out of the house to burn them asks anyone who might be hiding there, ‘Is anyone else with you?' and he says, ‘No,' then he will go on to say, ‘Hush! We must not mention the name of the Lord.'


v.11 For the Lord will act against these ‘big houses'


v.11  For the Lord has given the command,
    and he will smash the great house into pieces
    and the small house into bits.


v.12 There's a right application for all things, but you have lost justice & righteousness


v.12  Do horses run on the rocky crags?
    Does one plough the sea with oxen?
But you have turned justice into poison
    and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness –

v.13 Though you boast in your petty triumphs they mean nothing


v.13  you who rejoice in the conquest of Lo Debar [to the south-east of the Sea of Galilee; the Name means ‘nothing'] and say, ‘Did we not take Karnaim [a city in the north-east; the name means ‘horns'] by our own strength?'


v.14   From the north to the south the Lord will bring an invader against you


v.14  For the Lord God Almighty declares,
    ‘I will stir up a nation against you, Israel,
that will oppress you all the way
    from Lebo Hamath to the valley of the Arabah.'



Continue to Chapter 7