Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Amos-Chapter 8

Amos 8.1-14 tells us about a fourth vision about a basket of summer fruit which symbolized the destruction of the ten northern tribes. They were “ripe” for judgment and it was coming quickly.

v 1…Thus the Lord God (Adonai Yehovah) showed me, and behold (see and take note of), a basket of summer fruit (Hebrew “kits” and similar to “ketz” meaning “end.” These were not the first ripe fruits, but the ones that were planted at the “end” of summer; but it also alludes to the “end” of the northern kingdom in a Hebrew wordplay).

v 2…And he (Yehovah) said, (What do you see, Amos ?” And I said, “A basket of summer (kitz) fruit.” And the Lord said to me, “The end (ketz; a Hebrew wordplay) has come for my people Israel, I will spare them no longer (pass by their offenses anymore).

v 3…The songs of the palace (Hebrew “heichal” or the temple at Bethel) will turn to wailing in that day (joyful songs will turn to lamentation in the north),” declares the Lord God. “Many (will be) the corpses; in every place (temples, houses, cities, fields, etc) they will cast them (the bodies slain in the siege of Samaria, in famine, and by the sword) forth in silence (not one word against Yehovah and his judgments).”

v 4…Hear this, you who trample (have contempt for) the needy, to do away with the humble of the land (to die for want of basic necessities),

v 5…saying, “When will the new moon be over (impatient for it to end so they could do business, etc), so that we may buy grain (granaries would be open), and the sabbath that we may open the wheat (market with their false scales to increase their prices), to make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, and to cheat with dishonest scales (balances of deception),

v 6…So as to buy the helpless for money (make them so poor they had to sell themselves to live, or be handed over to a creditor-Lev 25.39), and the needy for a pair of sandals (couldn’t pay for shoes, the smallest of debts), and we may sell the refuse of the wheat (they not only made them pay for overpriced wheat, but it was poor quality)?”

v 7…The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob (a term for Yehovah himself; there was no one greater), “Indeed, I will never forget any of their deeds (the evil ones, leaving them unpunished).

v 8…Because of this will not the land quake (tremble because of this wickedness) and everyone who dwells in it mourn (because of the power of God’s judgments)? Indeed, all of it (the land) will rise up like the Nile (rising and falling like a great ocean in turmoil), and it will be tossed about (by Assyria) and subside (reduce, ruin) like the Nile of Egypt (plunged into distress like when the Nile floods).

v 9…And it will come about in that day (when God punishes Israel),” declares the Lord God, “that I will make the sun go down at noon and make the earth dark in broad daylight (symbolic of the coming calamity and judgments).

v 10…Then I shall turn your festivals into mourning (no joy) and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring sackcloth on everyone’s loins and baldness on every head (signs of mourning). And I will make it like a time of mourning for an only son, and the end of it will be like a bitter day (leaving a bitter taste that won’t soon be forgotten).

v 11…Behold, days are coming,” says the Lord God, “when I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord (the light of revelation since they did not listen to the prophets).

v 12…And people will stagger from sea to sea, and from north to east (the borders of Canaan). They will go to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, but they will not find it (no ministry of preaching or prophesying).

v 14…As for those who swear by the guilty Samaria (the calf at Bethel to worship), who says, “As your god lives, O Dan (the calf at Dan),’ and, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives (another place of idolatry; all of this was not purely pagan worship, but idolatrous worship of Yehovah mixed in),’ they will fall and not rise again (these idolatrous people will fall into ruin and desolation).”

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

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