Amos 7.1-17 begins a series of five visions of Amos which confirm his previous prophecies. They will discuss God’s judgments which have already fallen, and in part are still to fall. The latter vision describes the restoration of the fallen kingdom of God and its coming glory.
v 1…Thus says the Lord God (Adonai Yehovah) showed me (in visions) and behold, he is forming a locust storm when the spring crop began to sprout (in the Septuagint it says, “one locust, Gog the king” linking this with Joel’s locust army; John may be doing the same thing in Rev 9.1-12). And behold (see), the spring crop was after the king’s mowing (part of the king’s portion from the nation’s harvest; that was harvested, and then the locusts came and ruined the second harvest).
v 2…And it came about when it had finished eating the vegetation of the land, that I said, “Lord God, please pardon (the survival of the land is in doubt)! How can Jacob (Israel) stand, for he is small (reduced in numbers-he reminds the Lord of his promise to Jacob in Gen 28.10-15)?”
v 3…The Lord (Yehovah) changed his mind about this (due to the intercession of Amos; this language is called “anthropomorphic” which means ascribing human feelings and passions to Yehovah, who is not human. He shows Amos a judgment he could have used, but chose not to do. This seeming “change” is in accordance with his secret plans and purposes all along, determined before the world was created; it refined the righteous and eliminated the wicked-Hos 11.8-9; Num 23.19; Exo 32.14), “It shall not be,” said the Lord.
v 4…Thus the Lord God showed me (a second vision), and behold, the Lord God was calling to contend with them by fire and it consumed the great deep (sea) and began to consume the farmland (in the vision).
v 5…Then I said, “Lord God (Adonai Yehovah), please stop! How can Jacob stand for he is small (reduced in numbers)?”
v 6…The Lord changed his mind (see v 3 note on what this means) about this. “This too shall not be,” said the Lord God (Yehovah again showed Amos what could happen. Amos reminds the Lord of his promise to Jacob in Gen 28.10-15).
v 7…Then he showed me (a third vision), and behold, the Lord was standing by a vertical wall with a plumb line in his hand.
v 8…And the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Amos?” And I said, “A plumb line (meaning his judgment is going to be exact).” Then the Lord said, “Behold (take note and see), I am about to put a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel (the plumb line will be used to tear down a building, or Israel-Lam 2.8; Isa 34.11; 2 Kings 21.13). I will spare them no longer (the wall is symbolic of the defenses of Israel that held back the enemy).
v 9…The high places of Isaac will be desolated and the sanctuaries of Israel laid waste (these are the idolatrous places of Israel (“Isaac” is used because he built altars in Beersheba and they “imitated” him, but these altars were rejected by Yehovah). Then I will rise up against the house of Jeroboam (Jeroboam II) with the sword (representing the kingdom and the royal family; Jeroboam I introduced idolatry into the ten tribes with replacement theology-1 Kings 12.25-33. He substituted new places of worship, new priests and ministers, and different festivals and times contrary to the Torah. This is what is done today).
v 10…Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel (the high priest overseeing the idolatry there), sent word to Jeroboam (Jeroboam II), king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is unable to endure all his words.
v 11…For thus Amos says, ‘Jeroboam (Jeroboam II) will die by the sword and Israel will certainly go from its land into exile (to keep his own position with the king he twists what Amos has said in v 9 and falsely accuses him).”
v 12…Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Go, you seer (he saw visions), flee away to the land of Judah, and there eat bread and there do your prophesying (he mistook Amos for being as mercenary as he was, prophesying what people wanted to hear for bread).
v 13…But no longer prophesy in Bethel (where my interests lie), for it is a sanctuary (a house) of the king and a royal court (it had idolatry and kingdom royal authority all bound up in one).”
v 14…Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I am not (was not ) a prophet, nor was I a son of a prophet (Amos was not born into that office, nor did he attend any school of the prophets), for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs.
v 15…But the Lord took me (past tense) from following the flock (gave him a direct call) and the Lord said to me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people Israel (they were not called “Lo-Ammi” as yet-Hos 1.9)’
v 16…And now hear the word of the Lord: you (Amaziah) are saying, ‘You shall not prophesy against Israel nor shall you preach (“drip” meaning “teaching drips like dew”-Deut 32.2) against the house of Isaac (or Israel.’
17…Therefore, thus says the Lord, “Your wife will become a harlot in the city (dishonored and sells herself for bread to the enemy; this fits his crime because he caused Israel to become a spiritual harlot), your sons and daughters will fall by the sword (slain by the enemy), your land will be parceled (assigned) up by line (a measuring line-to the new settlers in the land), and you will die upon unclean soil (carried captive to a foreign land). Moreover, Israel will certainly go from its land into exile (repeating what he told the king in 7.11 as a sign).”