Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Amos-Chapter 4

Amos 4.1-13 tells us the nobles are denounced (the evil women of Samaria are like the well-fed cows of the country) who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to their husbands, “Bring now, that we may drink (get us the means of debauchery).”

v 2…The Lord God (Adonai Yehovah) has sworn by his holiness (his kedusha-himself), “Behold (take note and see) the days are coming upon you when they will take you away with meat hooks (through the nose to control them), and the last of you with fish hooks(to pull them along).

v 3…You will go through breaches (in the walls; there were so many they didn’t need to use the gates), each one straight before her, and you will be cast to Harmonah (where they were led captive; an area beyond Damascus into Assyria-Amos 5.27),” declares the Lord (after the women are addressed, the prophecy turns to the nation).

v 4…Enter Bethel and transgress (go ahead, keep up with your idolatry); in Gilgal multiply transgression (another idol worship center)! Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days (Amos is being facetious here; even if you offered burnt offerings every morning and tithes every three days, it would only increase their guilt).

v 5…Offer a thank offering also from that which is leavened (this was allowed in the Korban Shelem-Lev 7.12-14, but it was all empty ritual), and proclaim freewill offerings, make them known (Matt 6.1-4), for so you love to do, you sons of Israel.” declares the Lord God (Adonai Yehovah-their outward worship was only adding more guilt upon themselves because Yehovah can see their hearts, which were far away from him and his Torah).

v 6…But I gave you also cleanness of teeth in all your cities (famine, no food to chew), and lack of bread in all your places (a Hebrew parallelism), yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord (his punishment and chastisement had no effect on them).

v 7…And furthermore, I withheld the rain from you while there were still three months until harvest (which occurred in May and June). Then I would send rain on one city and on another I would not send rain (blessing and cursing are according to his will); one part would be rained on while the part not rained on would dry up.

v 8…So two or three cities would stagger to another city to drink water, but would not be satisfied (couldn’t get enough for their present use, let alone carry any back); yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord (this had no effect on them either).

v 9…”I smote you with scorching wind and mildew (a blight or too much moisture), and the caterpillar was devouring your many gardens and vineyards; fig trees and olive trees, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord (Yehovah).

v 10…”I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt (plagues were common there), I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses (in wars with Syria); yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord.

v 11…”I overthrew you as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you (who barely escaped) were like a firebrand snatched from a blaze (not fully consumed-Zech 3.2), yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord.

v 12…Therefore (in conclusion), thus I will do to you, O Israel; because I shall do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel (to stand before him in judgment, unless you avoid total destruction by teshuvah, or repentance-Yehovah is in control of all of this-Deut 32.39).”

v 13…For behold (see and take note of), he who forms the mountains and creates the wind and declares to man what are his thoughts (he can penetrate into the mind of every man-Psa 139.2; Jer 17.10), who makes dawn into darkness (quench the magnificence of his creation) and treads on the high places of the earth (Yehovah rules over the earth by his unlimited power), the Lord God (Adonai Yehovah) of hosts (the armies) is his name (the God of the universe).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

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