This is the final post in my series, Reader’s Guide to Amos. It works(or at least, I’d like it to) as something between a commentary and a Bible Study. Go read the text. Keep that window open. Read through it once to get a broad view of what is happening. Then come back and read through my notes. I’d suggest going back to the text one more time, read through it and when you get to a word or idea you are unsure of, come back and see if there is something in my Reader’s Guide that helps. You can read my original series introduction and the original posts that cover the text up to this point.
1-4 This is the fifth and final vision of judgement. This vision is different in that there is no symbolism, just destruction, and no spoken words from Amos. These verses show the extent of the Wrath of Yahweh and the inability to escape destruction. There will be no hiding place, not at heaven or in hell, not at the top of the world (Carmel) or the bottom of the sea.
5-6 The third hymn of divine sovereignty. The ‘inescable judgment were reinforced with the celebration of Yahweh’s cosmic power” – Tyndale
7-10 The final woe oracle. Israel is no different than the other nations and will not escape judgment. Yahweh then declares judgment on the ‘sinful kingdom’, which is Israel. However, the destruction will not be total. As He sakes the house of Israel, so shall it be like shaking a sieve, the pebbles will not fall with the grain. The sinners are the pebbles and will die by the sword.
11-15 The future restoration of Israel to former greatness and covenantal blessings.
Booth or tent is a metaphor for Davidic rule
Edom (see notes) was a constant problem and enemy nation for Israel. Possessing them may allude to restoring Israel to greatness. James quotes v.11-12 in Acts 15:14, taking ‘other nations’ to mean the gentiles. Peoples of all nations will be under the Davidic Rule.
There will be a time of bounty, symbolically, such that the person of the next seasons work (man who plows, and the man who plants the seeds) will come out to start work, while the worker from the previous season, the harvesters (reaper and treader) will still be working to collect the abundance of the previous season.
The oracle wraps up with the fulfillment of the restoration promise. They will own the land and inhabit their cities and be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. God’s forgiveness will be permanent. Yahweh will come again and restore Israel to last security and blessing.
Amos, Obadiah, Jonah: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (The New American Commentary)
Joel and Amos (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries)
Hosea-Jonah, Volume 31 (Word Biblical Commentary)
Hopefully, this little series has been somewhat helpful in understanding more of the Book of Amos. Like I mentioned previously, the prophets can be difficult to read in a modern setting. I’d like to think these few post can help you while reading through the text to get a better sense of what the book is about. Any feedback is welcome.