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Bible Study, The Minor Prophets: Amos, chapter 7 thru 9

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Posted on CCPC's website 2022

The Minor Prophets Study Index page.

      This is a long term, in depth, wide focus study of the Minor Prophets, drawing as much from the history of their times as possible, as well as looking at the original language of the prophet.

Chapter 7

      First Person Singular. “the LORD showed me”, again, we do not know if this is a vision, a dream, or GOD stopped by Amos's place after a trip to the market.
      Amos confirms that YHWH created locusts...
      “the king's mowings” While there is little direct information, it is likely that the king took part of the early harvest from the fields. This echoes the warning of Samuel in chapter 8 his first book, beginning in verse 10.

      When 'the grass' was all gone the prophet prayed....
      “'adonay YHWH” “se·lah” (forgive / pardon (also 'peace' as in Psalms), by whom may “ya·qum” (stand / arise) Jacob, for he is “qaton” (little / small)?

      “ni ham” ('to be' sorry / 'to' relent) YHWH “'al” (over / about) this - “lo tih yeh” (not shall it be), said YHWH

      God then shows him...
      called for “la rib” (conflict / strife (battle)) “ba 'es” (fire / flame) of the Lord GOD, and it “wat·to·kal” (consumed (ate)) “et teho·wm”(the 'deep', the same word from Genesis 1:2) “rab bah” (great), “we·’a·ke·lah” (devoured / burned up) “ha·he·leq” (the territory).

      'the great deep' refers to the sea or ocean.

      See verse 2

      See verse 3

      This type of repetition is used in many of the Minor Prophets, and elsewhere, for emphasis.

      Then the Lord shows him an architectural engineer.
      This is something also seen in Isaiah 28 where the stone has been tested, and the line is described in verse 17. It is also mentioned in Zechariah 4. And, of course, the fact that the New Jerusalem in Revelation is described as “square” implies somebody had one there as well.

      .... God has a conversation with Amos.... - We're just going to discuss this one for a minute.
      God says He's going to set a plumb line in the midst of the people. But there was already a line to measure the people against: The Law. And at this time, the Law had been in force for nearly a thousand years, since the Exodus.
      So if this is prophetic, and as it is GOD talking to Amos it most likely is, it means that there is going to be a new Plumb Line. One that will remain with the people-
      .... “lo ’o·sip” (Not will I (the same phrase used in Genesis 8 after the flood)) “'o wd” (any longer) “‘a·bo·wr” (alienate / pass) them.

      “we·na·sam·mu” ('to become' desolate / appalling) the “ba mo wt” (high places (implies alters on hills)) of “yis·haq” (Isaac) and the “u·miq·de·se” (sanctuaries / sacred places) of “yis·ra·’el” shall be “ye·he·ra·bu” (ruined / destroyed), and 'I will rise' against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.

      This destruction of the temple calls to mind the end of Daniel 9 and 2 Maccabees 6 when the Greeks desecrated it, and, of course, the utter obliteration of the building by the Romans some time later. And, of course, the last clause about one of the 'J' kings falling by the sword implies another conquest.

10 and 11
      The translations are good with a priest talking to the king about Amos. Even accusing him of “qasar” (bind together (as with an oath) / conspire) against the king, which is treason, and he could be killed for it.

12 and 13
      The king sends a message through the priest “’a·mas·yah” (Yah is mighty (a fairly common OT name)) and tells him to “go to Judah”, but in doing so he acknowledges that Amos is a “ho zeh” (seer (prophet)), and then they warn him to not pick on Bethel any more because that's the king's place.

14 and 15
      Amos answers “’a·mas·yah” with his life story and who sent him on this mission.

      'and now the bad news', Amos says that this prophecy isn't for the nation, but instead....

      “thus says YHWH” 'to the king', your “’is·te·ka” (wife) in the city “zanah” (commit fornication / be a harlot), and your sons and daughters “ba·he·reb” (by sword) “yip·po·lu” (will fall / be cast down), and your land by the “ba he bel” (line (such as a survey string)) shall be divided, “we·’at·tah” (and you) in a land “te·me·’ah” (unclean) shall die, and Israel will be led away captive...

Chapter 8

      Amos is still writing, or dictating, in first person: “the Lord GOD showed me” ...
      This section is presented as it is, it doesn't begin with “then the Lord showed me a vision” or the basket simply appeared, or anything else. It appears that the prophet is simply talking with God and seeing what He shows him.
      ... “ke lub” (basket / 'cage container') “qa yis” (summer fruit)

      GOD asks Amos what he sees, and Amos answers, then...
      and said YHWH to me “ba haq·qes” (coming the end) “'el 'am mi” (my people) yis·ra·’el, I will not any longer “'a bo wr” (pass by (ignore)) them.

      “we·he·li·lu” (theatrical wailing/crying) the songs of the “he kal” (temple) 'in that day', says Lord God, many “hap·pe·ger” (corpses), “bekal ma·qo·wm” (every place) “his lik” (shall be cast away / thrown out) “has” (silence).

      “sim 'u zot” ('now hear this') you “has·so·’a·pim” (who devour / consume) “’eb·yo·wn” (poor / needy) and “we·las·bit” (make cease / stop) “‘a·ni·ye- 'a res” (poor - weak / humble).

      The translations have this one in a good light. Essentially, those in power were using their influence to rob those that work for a living in various ways. (nothing's changed)
      The New Moon was a minor holiday “Rosh Chodesh” to the Jews, meaning the markets were closed, as they were on the Sabbath.

      See chapter 2 verse 6, and add “sell them bad wheat”.

      “nis bah” (taken an oath) YHWH by the “big·’o·wn” (arrogance / self exultation) of Jacob, 'I'll never forget their deeds / works'

      Paraphrase: 'everyone will tremble in fear in the land, and it will rise and fall like a flood on the Nile'.

      We've seen idea of supernatural darkness before. Besides the plagues of Egypt, there's the darkness at the crucifixion, and it gets dark in Revelation. Amos promises darkness 'at noon', which is new.

      The translations are good on how the 'good times' they've been having are going to go downhill quickly.
      And the Hebrew does use the term “qa·re·hah” (baldness), as seen in Leviticus 21 : 5 and Isaiah 15.

      'a famine not of bread'.....
      NOTE: this verse seems to predict the “400 years of silence” between the end of the OT era and when John started preaching in the wilderness.

12 and 13
      Paraphrase: They'll go in search of the Word, and not find it. And even the young people will suffer for it.

      Notes: Samaria as identified as part of the Northern Kingdom, does cease to exist.
      The Tribe of Dan is NOT listed as one of those from whom a remnant is saved in Revelation 7.
      While the area of Beersheba had been settled for 6,000 years, since Abraham dug a well there. It has been fought over by everybody, and we mean Everybody. Until about 600 AD when the original city was abandoned and forgotten about. Then, during the WWI era the Turks moved in, and everybody including the British, the Arabs, and now modern Israel began fighting over it again. See link below.

Chapter 9

      Once again, first person narrative:
      Amos sees the Lord standing by “ham·miz·be·ah” (the altar)...
      The text does not specify if this is the altar in the temple in Jerusalem, but given the details that follow it is probable.
      .... 'the people there that try to flee will not escape.'

      though they “yah·te·ru” (dig) “bis·’o·wl” (Sheol (the abode of the dead)) from there, My Hand shall “tiq·qa·hem” (seize / lay hold of) them, and though they “ya·‘a·lu” (ascend / climb) “has·sa·ma·yim” (heaven (the sky / space / and the abode of GOD)) they will “’o·w·ri·dem” (be brought down).

      Though they hide on Carmel, “’a·hap·pes” (search / ransack) and “u·le·qah·tim” (take) them, and though they hide from My sight “be·qar·qa‘” (on the floor (bottom)) of the sea, “’a·saw·weh” (I will order / command) the “han·na·has” (serpent (same word as in Genesis 3)) “u·ne·sa·kam” (bite / strike) them.

          Don't worry, it gets worse....

      And though they go into captivity “’be·hem” (enemies), I will command ... This is the LORD saying that HE is going to “’a·saw·weh” (same word from verse 3 about the serpent) an inantimate, man-made object to do something (and by implication, those who wield it).
      .... the “ha·he·reb” (sword) “wa·ha·ra·ga·tam” (they'll be slain / killed).... Again, this is the Lord speaking
      .... “we·sam·ti 'e ni” (setting my eyes) on them “le·ra‘ah” (unpleasant / bad / misfortune) and “we lo” (not for) "le·to·bah” (agreeable / good)

      The image is poetic and powerful. Amos also returns to the annual flooding of the Nine.

      Paraphrase: the Creator God is YHWH

      Are you not like the sons of “ku·si·yim” (Kush / Nubia (today's Ethiopia)) to Me, sons of Israel? YHWH says. ... .... and the “u·ppe·lis·ti·yim” (Philistines) from “kap·to·wr” (Caphtor (possibly Crete)) and the “’a·ram” (Syria) from “qir” (Kir (may be east as far as east of the Euphrates))

A Sea People tangent.
      Just prior to the period covered by the Minor Prophets, a group of seafaring wanders swept through the Eastern Mediterranean plundering and conquering anything within a short distance of the coast. They sacked everything along the coast of what is now Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, and got as far as Egypt, where they were defeated in battle.
      The attacks on cities and the effect on trade resulted in what is called The Bronze Age Collapse.
      Were the ancestors of the Philistines one of these groups? It is possible, especially since the Philistine settlements and power base was along the coast. We can also look at the Biblical evidence that the Philistines originated on Crete, see Deuteronomy 2:23, Jeremiah 47, which was possibly of the bases of the various groups that collaborated on their raids.
End tangent

      The verse describes a “mam·la·kah (kingdom) that is “ha·hat·ta·’ah” (sinners / full of sin), which is predicted to be destroyed from the face of the earth, and not saved, “hasmed 'asmid” ('I will totally destroy / exterminate') the house of Jacob....

      'Israel shall be sifted'

      The verse specifies that those that will die by the sword are the “hat·ta” (same root as in verse 8) “'am mi” (My people)....
      “ha·’o·me·rim” (who say) “lo” (not) “taggis” (approach) “we·taq·dim” (nor meet us) “ba·‘a·de·nu” (until / when) “ha·ra·‘ah” (evil)

      the 'fallen tabernacle' will be raised up and rebuilt

      The 'remnant of Edom' and the Gentiles 'who are called by My Name' includes everybody who believes.

      describes something of an earthly paradise for those that 'work for a living' continuing Amos's “social justice” theme.

      “My people” return to their land and rebuild

      Paraphrase: They'll be planted there and grow, forever, says YHWH

End 9
End Amos

Selected Sources for this chapter:
Rosh Chodesh – Hebrew for “head of the month” – is the monthly holiday that celebrates the arrival of the new moon, marking the start of a new month in the Jewish calendar.

“Old” Beersheba is actually brand new!


Sea People article

Sources used throughout entire study:
Bible Hub Interlinear pages:

the Geneva Bible downloadable

the 1611 KJV

The Minor Prophets Study Index page.

NOTE: The Bible Study Lesson presented above is posted as a reference document to begin a conversation of the topic. And that's it. Please accept it at such.

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