Amos 1:1-2:16 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Judgement on the Nations
Comments for Study 1

Amos 1:1-2:16
Memory Verse: 2:11

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I. The Call of Amos (1:1-2)

Amos

* See to the right a picture of Amos chapter 2 from the Septuagint (aka Greek Old Testament and LXX). The LXX was copied by scribes starting in the second century B.C. The traditional view is that Ptolemy II (king from 283-246 B.C.) sponsored the LXX translation for use by the many Alexandrian Jews who were not fluent in Hebrew but fluent in Koine Greek (Greek used from 323 B.C to 600 A.D.). Grenfel and Hunt found this copy of the LXX in 1900 A.D. and published it in 1908 A.D.

>1. Who was Amos?

* Amos 1:1 "The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa--what he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel."

* "Amos" -See introduction. Amos may be short for Amasiah (2 Chron. 17:16) meaning "the Lord carries" or "the Lord upholds". Elisha finished him ministry about forty years earlier. Hosea, perhaps young Isaiah, perhaps old Jonah, and perhaps Obadiah were contemporary prophets.

* "one of the shepherds" -Amos was either a common shepherd and worked in sycamore-fig groves (1:1, 7:14-15) or he was their owner when the Lord called him. After his short ministry was completed he returned to his former occupation.

* "Tekoa" -Tekoa was a small town about 6 miles (10km) south of Bethlehem and 11 miles (17km) from Jerusalem. Tekoa means a place to set up a tent. (2 Samuel 23:26; 2 Chronicles 11:5-6, 20:20-22; Nehemiah 3:5) Bethlehem and the surrounding towns including Tekoa was known for pasture lands for shepherds. A few scholars believe that Amos was from a Tekoa in the North, near Galilee. They believe that it is more probable that Amos was from the North because it has conditions more suitable for the cultivation of sycamore figs than the Tekoa of the South.

>When did the word of the Lord come to them?

* "two years before the earthquake" -Approximately 755 B.C. Israel experienced a great earthquake that was remembered for a long time, probably the one mentioned in Zechariah 14:5.

* "Uzziah was king of Judah" -Uzziah was king of Judah from 779-740 B.C.

* "Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel" -Jeroboam II reigned from 793-743 B.C. He was not a godly king in the Lord's eyes. See introduction for more about Jeroboam's reign.

* Amos' ministry was very short, only a few years, sometime between 760 B.C. to 743 B.C. Most scholars believe that Amos gave his message in the autumn of 750 or 749 B.C.

>What was the word of the Lord about?

* "what he saw concerning Israel" -Amos was given his message in short glimpses. His book is a collection of these oracles. The first two chapters concern judgement on surrounding nations. Chapters 3-6 concern the Lord's decree on Israel and a last call to repent. The last chapters concern the lost chance to repent, judgment to come on Israel, and a look into a future restoration of Israel.

Mount Carmel

* See a picture of Mount Carmel to the right.

>What did he say? (2)

* Amos 1:2 "He said: "The LORD roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds dry up, and the top of Carmel withers."

* "The LORD roars from Zion" -The Lord is depicted as a lion about ready to attack, a sight frightening to any shepherd like Amos. Perhaps Amos saw the earthquake in verse 1 as the Lord's roar of warning. The Lord is gentle and long suffering; yet he is also just, righteous, and holy. He will not always hold back his wrath. It will come though tarried, a message for Amos' time and ours. Many have said, "Nothing has changed. We've stopped living the life stated in the Bible and we've stopped going to church. Nothing has changed." (2 Peter 3:4)

* "thunders from Jerusalem" -A loud sound of warning, perhaps the earthquake mentioned in verse 1. Judgment was coming.

* "the pastures of the shepherds dry up" -The green pastures are in contrast to Mount Carmel's top.

* "the top of Carmel withers" -Mount Carmel's elevation is 525.4 m (1,724 ft). It is a very dry mountain top.

* The Lord gives a warning before he judges the nation. Today more and more we see his warnings of the coming judgement too.

II. Judgment on Six Nations (1:3-2:3)

>2. Who was Damascus and the house of Hazael?

* Amos 1:3-5 "This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Damascus, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. Because she threshed Gilead with sledges having iron teeth, I will send fire upon the house of Hazael that will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad. I will break down the gate of Damascus; I will destroy the king who is in the Valley of Aven and the one who holds the scepter in Beth Eden. The people of Aram will go into exile to Kir," says the LORD."

* "Damascus" -Damascus is said to be the oldest city in the world with a continuous history -reaching from the time of Uz (Noah's grandson) to today. (2 Samuel 8:6; and 1 Kings 11:24; and 2 Kings 5:12; Act 9:2, 22:6, 26:20; Galatians 1:17) Damascus is about one hundred and fifty miles (200km) north by northeast of Jerusalem. It was at the center of a vast commercial network and caravan trade routes for most of its history. Tablets from the Syrian center of Ebla mention Damascus about 2300 B.C. Thutmose III of Egypt claimed to have conquered Damascus about 1475 B.C. The Hittites battled Egypt for control of Damascus until the Hittites were defeated by the Sea Peoples about 1200 B.C. At this time Arameans from the nearby desert came in and took control of an independent Damascus, gradually establishing a political power base. Abraham chased invading kings north of Damascus to recover Lot, whom they had taken captive (Gen. 14:15). Abraham's servant Eliezer apparently came from Damascus (Gen. 15:2). It had been conquered by David and is a part of the Promised Land. (2 Sam. 8:5-6) After Israel split in two Damascus dominated and controlled the northern kingdom. (2 Kings 13:7) Having fought against Damascus in campaigns in 853 (Battle of Qarqar), 849, 848, and 845 B.C., Shalmaneser III of Assyria severely weakened Damascus, besieging it in 841 and then receiving tribute again in 838. Damascus was defeated by the Assyrians in 797 B.C. (2 Kings 14:26-27) Jeroboam II, king of the northern kingdom (Samaria) took control of the area that had been vacated by the Assyrians. Damascus under the northern kingdom again fell to the Assyrians in 732 B.C. Damascus sought to gain independence from Assyria in 727 and 720 but without success. In 721 B.C. Samaria fell to Assyria ending the northern kingdom of Israel. Later, Damascus was capital of an important city-state in Syria. Their hostility toward the people of God culminated in the "abomination that causes desolation" (Da 11 :31), identified historically with the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.). In New Testament times Paul meet Jesus on the way to Damascus to arrest Christians there. After his conversion Paul preached the gospel effectively there. (Acts 9:1-27, 22:1-20; and 2 Corinthians 11:32; Galatians 1:17) Thus Damascus became a captive state of first the Assyrians, then the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Ptolemies, and Seleuccids. Finally, Rome gained control under Pompey in 64 B.C.

battle of Qarqar

* See a picture a Kurkh stela of Shalmaneser III depicting The Battle of Qarqar in 853 B.C. to the right.

* Damascus was originally part of the Promised Land.

* "the house of Hazael" -Hazael is a personal name a meaning, “El (god) is seeing.” A powerful and ruthless king of the Syrian city-state of Damascus from 842-796 B.C. While an officer of Ben-Hadad, king of Syria, Hazael was sent to Elisha the prophet to inquire about the king's health (2 Kings 8:7-15). Elisha prophesied Hazael's future kingship and his cruel treatment of Israel. Hazael returned to his master, murdered him, and became king of Syria in 841 B.C. These events had also been forecast by the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 19:15-17). Soon after becoming king of Syria, Hazael joined in combat against both Ahaziah, king of Judah, and Joram, king of Israel (2 Kings 8:28-29; 9:14-15). He eventually extended his rule into both the Northern Kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 10:32-33; 13:1-9, 22) and the Southern Kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 12:17-18; and 2 Chron. 24:23-24). He was prevented from capturing the holy city of Jerusalem only by being allowed to carry off everything that was portable and of value in the city and the Temple. The memory of Syrians ruthless power under Hazael was etched in Israel's memory. Now Amos used his name as a symbol of Syrians oppression that would be judged by God. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "Ben-Hadad" -Ben-Hadad was the name of two people associated with Damascus. The first was the name of the king Hazael killed. The second is Hazael's son who reigned after Hazael died. (2 Kings 13:24) Hazael's son reigned from 796 to 775 B.C.

* "Gilead" -Gilead is an general title for an area in and around the mountain range east of the Jordan river. The location has changed size and location. Gilead in Hebrew means hill of testimony or mound of witness. (Genesis 31:21) The tribes of Manasseh, Gad, and Reuben settled in the area. (Numbers 32:1-42)

* "the fortresses of Ben-Hadad" -Ben-Hadad is either a personal name or a royal title meaning son of (the god) Hadad” or both. Damascus and other city-states in Syria used the title/name. Similar, Israel's kings seem to have been called “son of God” at their coronation (Ps. 2:7) and Roman Emperors were called Caesar which was earlier on was a family name.

* "the Valley of Aven" -Aven is a Hebrew noun meaning, wickedness,” used in place names to indicate Israel's understanding of the place as site of idol worship. In this case its a valley, perhaps one in place of popularly-known names such as Beth-aven for Beth-el. (Josh. 7:2; 18:12)

* "Beth Eden" -Beth Eden was a place in Syria. Assyrian records refer to Bit-adini, a city-state between the Euphrates and Balik rivers, somewhat north of Syria proper. Ashurbanipal II conquered it in 856 B.C. An Assyrian representative bragged about conquering Beth-Eden, urging Hezekiah to surrender about 701 B.C. (2 Kings 19:12). Ezekiel included Eden as one of the states who had traded with Tyre (Ezek. 27:23). (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "The people of Aram" -Aram was the son of Shem. His descendants are known as the Arameans (aka Syrians). They lived in cities around and within Damascus, north-east of the Jordan. They figured prominently in the history of the people of Israel. The Aramaic language became the language of trade and diplomatic relations.

* "Kir" -Kir means wall in Hebrew. Kir was the city in Elam from which the Arameans migrated to Syria from. (2 Kings 16:9; Isaiah 22:6) Their migration is spoken of in terms similar to that of the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. (Amos 1:5, 9:7) When Tiglath-pileser III conquered the area during the reign of Ahaz (2 Kings 16:9) the descendants of the original immigrants to Syria were sent back to Kir.

>What did the Lord say about it?

* "I will not turn back [my wrath]" -The wrath of God is against all wickedness. Romans 1:18-20 states, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." The wrath of God to a small extent is revealed in this life. Yet the Lord is patient and kind. He wants all to repent and come to a life full of joy and peace. He even sent his Son to redeem any who will accept him. Even though God's love is revealed in this way it does not mean he will always relent from wrath. Romans 2:5-11 states, "But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God "will give to each person according to what he has done." To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism." God's wrath was poured out on the nations mentioned in this chapter only because of their stubborn hearts. However, there is still a chance for you to escape God's coming wrath. Romans 5:9-11 states, "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."

* "will go into exile" -As stated above Assyria continually attacked Damascus and eventually defeated it. They took all the people of Damascus and resettled them elsewhere. All this happened after Amos' ministry.

* "will send fire upon the house of Hazael" -Fire is associated with the wrath of God and in Amos' day it was often carried out by invading armies who burn down the cities they conquered. Noah's generation experienced the Lord's wrath with water. When Jesus comes again the Lord's wrath will be with fire. Jesus told his disciples, "It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed." (Luke 17:28-30) Paul wrote of fire consuming all false works when we approach Jesus after he has come, "If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." (1 Corinthians 3:12-15) And he wrote, "God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you." (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10) "God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:29) See also 2 Peter 3:3-13.

* "I will break down the gate of Damascus" -The gate of cities were the most important part of the cities wall. The gates were shut at night. During the day they would be opened and the prominent men of the city would sit at the gates to do business and to guard the city. When a cities gate falls invaders could pour into the city and burn it to the ground. Jesus said that the gates of hell cannot withstand the people of God who bring the gospel message.

* Isaiah 8:3-4 "Then I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and gave birth to a son. And the LORD said to me, "Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. Before the boy knows how to say 'My father' or 'My mother,' the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria."

* Isaiah 7:7-8a "Yet this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "'It will not take place, it will not happen, for the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is only Rezin."

* Zechariah 9:1-8 "The word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrach and will rest upon Damascus-- for the eyes of men and all the tribes of Israel are on the LORD-- and upon Hamath too, which borders on it, and upon Tyre and Sidon, though they are very skilful. Tyre has built herself a stronghold; she has heaped up silver like dust, and gold like the dirt of the streets. But the Lord will take away her possessions and destroy her power on the sea, and she will be consumed by fire. Ashkelon will see it and fear; Gaza will writhe in agony, and Ekron too, for her hope will wither. Gaza will lose her king and Ashkelon will be deserted. Foreigners will occupy Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. I will take the blood from their mouths, the forbidden food from between their teeth. Those who are left will belong to our God and become leaders in Judah, and Ekron will be like the Jebusites. But I will defend my house against marauding forces. Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch."

Threshing Sledge

* See a picture of a threshing sledge to the right.

>Why?

* "For three sins of Damascus, even for four" -This is an expression to mean many sins were committed but only a small amount is needed for the wrath of God to be against someone. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin." (Mark 3:28-29) Blaspheme against the Holy Spirit is resisting the healing work that comes by his power when the truth is heard.

* "Because she threshed Gilead with sledges having iron teeth" -Heads of grain were threshed by driving a wooden sledge fitted with sharp teeth over the cut grain. So Damascus often sent raiders to Israel's eastern tribes in Gilead. They were brutal to their neighbors.

* Damascus did terrible things to their neighbors and thought they were getting away with sin. They may have even justified their actions. Just because the Lord God did not bring justice right away did not mean that he would always do so. Today sin is on the rise because people believe that because there is not retribution for their actions then there is no God and the strongest prosper. They are as wrong as Damascus was.

>3. What was Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Ekron? (6-8)

* Amos 1:6-8 "This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Gaza, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. Because she took captive whole communities and sold them to Edom, I will send fire upon the walls of Gaza that will consume her fortresses. I will destroy the king of Ashdod and the one who holds the scepter in Ashkelon. I will turn my hand against Ekron, till the last of the Philistines is dead," says the Sovereign LORD."

* "Gaza" -Gaza is about fifty miles (80km) south west of Jerusalem, just off the Mediterranean Sea. It was one of the five chief Philistine cities mentioned in the Old Testament. According to Joshua it was within Judah's original border. (Deut. 2:23; Josh. 10:41, 11:22, 15:45-47; Judges 1:18)

* "Ashkelon" -Ashkelon is about forty-fifty miles (70km) south west of Jerusalem and north of Gaza, just off the Mediterranean Sea. It was one of the five chief Philistine cities mentioned in the Old Testament. According to Joshua it was within Judah's original border. (Deut. 2:23; Josh. 10:41, 11:22, 15:45-47; Judges 1:18)

* "Ashdod" -Ashdod is about forty miles (65km) south west of Jerusalem, just off the Mediterranean Sea. It was one of the five chief Philistine cities mentioned in the Old Testament. According to Joshua it was within Judah's original border. (Deut. 2:23; Josh. 10:41, 11:22, 15:45-47; Judges 1:18)

* "Ekron" -Ekron is about forty miles (65km) west of Jerusalem. Ekron and Gath were the only two Philistine city not on the Mediterranean Sea. Ekron was one of the five chief Philistine cities mentioned in the Old Testament. According to Joshua it was within Judah's original border. (Deut. 2:23; Josh. 10:41, 11:22, 15:45-47; Judges 1:18)

* The five major Philistine cities were Ashkelon, Gaza, Gath, Ekron, and Ashdod. (Josh. 13:1-3)

* In the 620s B.C. the Scythians (outlandish barbarians) invaded Canaan. They came quickly on horses from southern Russia (just north of Assyria). They destroyed the Philistine cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod, going along the Mediterranean Sea and right past Judah. They went as far as the Egyptian boarder who paid them off to stop them from destroying them.

* The Philistines, it is believed formed part of the "Sea Peoples" who repeatedly attacked Egypt during the later Nineteenth Dynasty. Though they were eventually repulsed by Rameses III (1186-1155 B.C.), he finally resettled them, according to the theory, to rebuild the coastal towns in Canaan. Papyrus Harris I details the achievements of the reign of Rameses III. In the brief description of the outcome of the battles in Year 8 is the description of the fate of the Sea Peoples. Rameses tells us that, having brought the imprisoned Sea Peoples to Egypt, he "settled them in strongholds, bound in my name. Numerous were their classes like hundred-thousands. I taxed them all, in clothing and grain from the storehouses and granaries each year." Some scholars suggest it is likely that these "strongholds" were fortified towns in southern Canaan, which would eventually become the five cities (the Pentapolis) of the Philistines. Israel Finkelstein has suggested that there may be a period of 25–50 years after the sacking of these cities and their reoccupation by the Philistines. It is quite possible that for the initial period of time, the Philistines were housed in Egypt, only subsequently late in the troubled end of the reign of Rameses III would they have been allowed to settle Philistia.

* Gath, the fifth main Philistine city may not be mentioned because Uzziah may have already subdued it. (2 Chronicles 26:6)

philistine captives of egypt 1185

* See a picture of Philistine soldiers captives of the Egyptians from a graphic wall relief at Medinet Habu (1185-52 B.C.) during the reign of Rameses III to the right.

>What did the Lord say about them?

* "For three sins of Gaza, even for four" -See question sheet 2 above.

* "I will not turn back [my wrath]" -See question sheet 2 above.

* "I will send fire upon the walls of Gaza that will consume her fortresses" -See question 2 above about fire as a tool of God's wrath.

* "I will destroy the king of Ashdod and the one who holds the scepter in Ashkelon" -Without a king a country falls apart. Jesus said, "Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house." (Matthew 12:29)

* "I will turn my hand against Ekron" -Until then the Lord was not against them.

* "till the last of the Philistines is dead" -The Philistine territory was part of the land the Lord gave Israel. However, because of Israel's sin the Philistines remained in the territory along the Mediterranean Sea. (Judges 3:1-4) The Philistines were always a trouble to Israel. This did not mean that the Philistines were right in God's eyes and that they didn't need to repent. Nor that it didn't mean that they were not under God's wrath. They were because like Damascus they stubbornly refused to acknowledge the one true God.

* Just because all is well in our lives and/or the lives of others does not mean that we are better than others. Nor does it mean that we are righteous in God's eyes. All should live in fear and awe of the one true God; God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

* Ezekiel 25:15-17 "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'Because the Philistines acted in vengeance and took revenge with malice in their hearts, and with ancient hostility sought to destroy Judah, therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am about to stretch out my hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the Kerethites and destroy those remaining along the coast. I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I take vengeance on them.'"

* See also Jeremiah 47:1-7.

>Why?

* "For three sins of Gaza, even for four" -See question two above.

* "Because she took captive whole communities and sold them to Edom" -The Philistines often sent raiders into Israel and Judah. They captured whole cites at times and sold them into slavery to Edom treating people like cattle. Edom was a nation south of the Dead Sea. Slavery is a great sin worthy of the wrath of God.

* Many people are slaves in the world today. Those who engage in the activity of buying and selling people are under God's wrath.

>4. What was Tyre? (9-10)

* Amos 1:9-10 "This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Tyre, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. Because she sold whole communities of captives to Edom, disregarding a treaty of brotherhood, I will send fire upon the walls of Tyre that will consume her fortresses."

* "Tyre" -Tyre was the senior Phoenician port and city assigned to Assure, but never obtained. (Joshua 19:29) David signed a treaty of "brotherhood" with it (1 Kings 5:1), as did Solomon (1 Kings 5:12) Ahad (1 Kings 16:30-31). The original island city of Tyre had two harbors, one on the south side and the other on the north side of the island. It was these two harbors that enabled Tyre to gain the maritime prominence that it did; the harbor on the north side of the island was, in fact, one of the best harbors on the eastern end of the Mediterranean. Tyre was often attacked by Egypt, besieged by Shalmaneser V, who was assisted by the Phoenicians of the mainland, for five years, and by Nebuchadnezzar. The Tyrians held off Nebuchadnezzar's siege for thirteen years, resupplying the walled island city through its two harbours. The siege ended when Tyre agreed to pay a tribute. Later, a king of Cyprus took Tyre using his fleet in the 370s B.C.

* "walls" -Tyre was an almost impregnable island, boasted of her security. (Ezekiel 26:1-28:19)

tyre leaving Nebuchadnezzar

* See a painting shows King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon leaving Tyre by Robert Magis to the right.

>What did the Lord say about it?

* "I will not turn back [my wrath]" -See question 2.

* "I will send fire upon the walls of Gaza that will consume her fortresses" -See question 2 concerning the Lord's wrath by fire.

* See also Isaiah 23:1-18; Jeremiah 25:22; Ezekiel 26:1-21, 27:1-36, 28:1-19; Joel 3:1-6.

* Jeremiah 27:1-7 "Early in the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: This is what the LORD said to me: "Make a yoke out of straps and crossbars and put it on your neck. Then send word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. Give them a message for their masters and say, 'This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Tell this to your masters: With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please. Now I will hand all your countries over to my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him. All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until the time for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate him."

* Ezekiel 29:17-20 "In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month on the first day, the word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon drove his army in a hard campaign against Tyre; every head was rubbed bare and every shoulder made raw. Yet he and his army got no reward from the campaign he led against Tyre. Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to give Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will carry off its wealth. He will loot and plunder the land as pay for his army. I have given him Egypt as a reward for his efforts because he and his army did it for me, declares the Sovereign LORD."

>Why?

* ""For three sins of Tyre, even for four" -See question 2.

* "Because she sold whole communities of captives to Edom" -Edom engaged in slavery just as Philistine did. See question 3.

* "disregarding a treaty of brotherhood" -Israel had often engaged in peaceful relations with Israel. They had treaties dating back to David's time. (2 Samuel 5:11)

* Brothers in the Lord should treat each other with respect and honor for we have but one Father and he desires for his family to love one another as the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father. (John 15:9-14)

>5. What was Edom? (11-12)

* Amos 1:11-12 "This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Edom, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. Because he pursued his brother with a sword, stifling all compassion, because his anger raged continually and his fury flamed unchecked, I will send fire upon Teman that will consume the fortresses of Bozrah."

* "Edom" -Edom was a kingdom and state to the south-east of Judah (between the Salt Sea and the Gulf of Aqabah, part of the Red Sea). Most of the area is now part of Jordan, though some of Edom's territory is also in modern southern Israel. Edom territory is now part of Jordan. Edom is Idumea in Greek. Edom consisted of descendant of Esau, Jacob's twin brother. See their history in the following verses: Ge. 27:41-45, 32:1-21, 33, 36; Ex. 15:15; Nu. 20:14-21; Dt. 2:1-6, 23:7; and 1 Sa. 22 w/ Ps. 52; and 2 Sa. 8:13-14; and 2 Ki. 8:20-22, 14:7; Ps. 83; Eze 35; Joel 3:18-19; Am. 1:11-12, 9-12. The Edomites may have been connected with the Shasu and Shutu, nomadic raiders mentioned in Egyptian sources. The last unambiguous reference to Edom is an Assyrian inscription of 667 BC; it has thus been unclear when, how and why Edom ceased to exist as a state, although many scholars point to scriptural references in the Bible, specifically the Book of Obadiah, to explain this fact. After the conquest of Judah by the Babylonians, Edomites settled in the region of Hebron. They prospered in this new country, called by the Greeks and Romans "Idumaea" or "Idumea", for more than four centuries. Strabo, writing around the time of Christ, held that the Idumaeans, whom he identified as of Nabataean origin, constituted the majority of the population of Western Judea, where they commingled with Judeans and adopted their customs. Judas Maccabeus conquered their territory for a time in around 163 BC. They were again subdued by John Hyrcanus (c. 125 BC), who forcibly converted them to Judaism and incorporated them into the Jewish nation, despite the opposition of the Pharisees. Antipater the Idumaean, the progenitor of the Herodian Dynasty that ruled Judea after the Roman conquest, was of Edomite origin. Under Herod the Great Idumaea was ruled for him by a series of governors, among whom were his brother Joseph ben Antipater and his brother-in-law Costobarus. After the Jewish Wars the Idumaean people are no longer mentioned in history though the area retained their name. (See below for more information on Edom.)

* "Teman" -Teman is believed to be the capital city of Edom though Teman could also refer to an greater part of Edom where the city was located. A fortress mountain region called Seir protected it which was originally occupied by the Horites. Esau's descendants defeated the Horites (Gen. 36:8, 20; Deut. 2:12; Josh. 24:4) The area was always known to be home of wise men. Job's friend, Eliphaz was a Temanite. (Job 4:1)

* "Bozrah" -Bozrah is also known as Buzeirah, and was located 37 miles (60km) to the north of Teman.

* Romans 9:13 "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

* Malachi 1:2-4 “I have loved you,” says the LORD. “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’ “Was not Esau Jacob's brother?” the LORD says. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals. Edom may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.” But this is what the LORD Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the LORD. You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Great is the LORD— even beyond the borders of Israel!’”

* Genesis 25:34 "Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright."

* The western part of Edom was part of the land promised to Judah and Simeon. (Joshua 19:1-9) The area often switched back and forth from Judah to Edom.

Petra

* See a picture of Petra which was built up at the end of Edom's kingdom to the right.

>What did the Lord say about it?

* "I will not turn back [my wrath]" -See question 2.

* "I will send fire upon Teman" -Teman is believed to be the capital city of Edom though Teman could also refer to an greater part of Edom where the city was located. A fortress mountain region called Seir protected it which was originally occupied by the Horites. Esau's descendants defeated the Horites (Gen. 36:8, 20; Deut. 2:12; Josh. 24:4) Petra was built on the site. (See picture above.)

* "that will consume the fortresses of Bozrah" -Bozrah means inaccessible.” Its the ancestral home of Jobab, a king in Edom before Israel had a king. (Gen. 36:33) Isaiah announced a great judgment on Bozrah in which God would sacrifice His enemies (Isa. 34:6). A center of shepherds, it was known for woolen garments. God is pictured as returning from Bozrah with dyed garments as His spoil of victory. (Isa. 63:1) Thus He demonstrated His righteousness and power to save from enemies. Jeremiah proclaimed doom on Bozrah. (Jer. 49:13,22) as did Amos here. Bozrah was a major city which at times served as capital of Edom. Bozrah lay about 25 miles (40km) south-east of the southern end of the Dead Sea at modern Buseirah. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* Ezekiel 25:12-14 "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'Because Edom took revenge on the house of Judah and became very guilty by doing so, therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will stretch out my hand against Edom and kill its men and their animals. I will lay it waste, and from Teman to Dedan they will fall by the sword. I will take vengeance on Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they will deal with Edom in accordance with my anger and my wrath; they will know my vengeance, declares the Sovereign LORD.'"

* Psalm 83:2-8 "See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. "Come," they say, "let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more." With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you-- the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre. Even Assyria has joined them to lend strength to the descendants of Lot. Selah"

* Isaiah 34:11-15 "The desert owl and screech owl will possess it; the great owl and the raven will nest there. God will stretch out over Edom the measuring line of chaos and the plumb line of desolation. Her nobles will have nothing there to be called a kingdom, all her princes will vanish away. Thorns will overrun her citadels, nettles and brambles her strongholds. She will become a haunt for jackals, a home for owls. Desert creatures will meet with hyenas, and wild goats will bleat to each other; there the night creatures will also repose and find for themselves places of rest. The owl will nest there and lay eggs, she will hatch them, and care for her young under the shadow of her wings; there also the falcons will gather, each with its mate."

* Jeremiah 49:7-8 "Concerning Edom: This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Is there no longer wisdom in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom decayed? Turn and flee, hide in deep caves, you who live in Dedan, for I will bring disaster on Esau at the time I punish him." See the rest of the chapter for more.

* Lamentations 4:21-22 "Rejoice and be glad, O Daughter of Edom, you who live in the land of Uz. But to you also the cup will be passed; you will be drunk and stripped naked. O Daughter of Zion, your punishment will end; he will not prolong your exile. But, O Daughter of Edom, he will punish your sin and expose your wickedness."

* See also Ezekiel 25:12-14, 32:28, 35:1-15, 36:5; Obadiah 1-21; Malachi 1:1-5.

>Why?

* ""For three sins of Edom, even for four" -See question 2.

* "Because he pursued his brother with a sword -Edom's ancestor was Esau, Jacob's twin brother. Edom was against Israel from the time the Exodus.

* "stifling all compassion" -The Lord is compassionate and desires his creation to be like him in this. Edom wasn't even compassionate to a brother.

* "because his anger raged continually" -Anger is a trait of God. Jesus was angry at stubborn unbelieving people. It is good to be angry against our own sin. It is wrong to direct our anger against other sinners. Jesus taught a lot about anger toward others. Anger and hate combined lead to rage. Rage can be stopped. Yet continual rage consumes a person and makes then mentally unstable.

* "his fury flamed unchecked" -The wrath of God is against unchecked anger and rage. When a person harbors such emotions the blood vessels expand and the heart pumps faster. This causes the body to heat up and the skin to gain a red hue.

>6. What was Ammon? (13-15)

* Amos 1:13-15 "This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Ammon, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. Because he ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead in order to extend his borders, I will set fire to the walls of Rabbah that will consume her fortresses amid war cries on the day of battle, amid violent winds on a stormy day. Her king will go into exile, he and his officials together," says the LORD."

* "Ammon" -The Ammonites were descendants of Lot. They settled east of the Jordan, Gilead, and the Dead Sea in modern day Jordan. The Ammonites often opposed Israel dating back to the Exodus. The chief city was Rabbah or Rabbath Ammon, site of the modern city of Amman, Jordan's capital. Milcom and Molech (who may be one and the same) were the gods of Ammon. Part of the religion of Molech called for child sacrifices. In the Book of Judges, the Ammonites work with Eglon, king of the Moabites against Israel. Attacks by the Ammonites on Israelite communities east of the Jordan were the impetus behind the unification of the tribes under Saul. They were subdued by David and their capital was taken. Nahash of Rabbah showed kindness to David when a fugitive. (2 Samuel 17:27-29) Ammon came into the possession of Jeroboam I, on the division of Israel. When the Syrians of Damascus deprived the kingdom of Israel of their possessions east of the Jordan, the Ammonites became subjects of Benhadad. A contingent of 1,000 Ammonites served as allies of that king in the great battle of the Syrians with the Assyrians at Qarqar (853 B.C.) in the reign of Shalmaneser III. After submitting to the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser they were tributary to Assyria. Ammon was part of an uprising that took place under Assyrian king Sennacherib; but they submitted and once again was tributary in the reign of the Assyrian king Esarhaddon. After the Samaria fell to Assyria, Ammon's hostility to Judah is shown in their joining the Chaldeans to destroy it. (2 Kings 24:2) Their cruelty is denounced by the prophet Amos here, and their destruction in Jeremiah 49:1-6) Ezekiel 21:28-32), and Zechariah 2:8, 9). Their murder of Gedaliah was denounced. (2 Kings 25:22-26; Jeremiah 40:14)

* "Rabbah" -Rabbah was the capital of ancient Ammon. (Duet. 3:11) Rabbah is called Philadelphia in New Testament times. Today its name is Amman, the capital of the kingdom of Jordan.

Terra's Family tree

* See Terra's family tree to the right.

>What did the Lord say about it?

* "I will not turn back [my wrath]" -See question 2.

* "I will set fire to the walls of Rabbah" -See question 2.

* "that will consume her fortresses amid war cries on the day of battle" -The will try to oppose God's wrath, but will not stand.

* "amid violent winds on a stormy day" -All my life I love to watch electrical storms roll in. When I was a youth in my north-west Ohio home I would watch the light show. The wind storms in the middle east are quit different. The are called shamal. A shamal is a north-westerly wind and sand storms that starts in modern Jordan and Syria and blow south-eastward over Iraq and the Persian Gulf states. Often these storms are strong during the day with up to 50 mph (43 knots) winds, but decreasing at night. This weather effect occurs anywhere from once to several times a year, mostly in summer but sometimes in winter.

* "Her king will go into exile, he and his officials together" -The king's of this world will sacrifice all those under them to save themselves. When they are taken into exile it is the end of their kingdom. Jesus is opposite of the kings of this world. He did all he could for those under him, he sacrificed himself for them.

* Jeremiah 9:25-26 "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh-- Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart."

* Jeremiah 27:1-7 "Early in the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: This is what the LORD said to me: "Make a yoke out of straps and crossbars and put it on your neck. Then send word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. Give them a message for their masters and say, 'This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Tell this to your masters: With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please. Now I will hand all your countries over to my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him. All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until the time for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate him."

* See also Jeremiah 49:1-6.

* Ezekiel 25:1-7 "The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, set your face against the Ammonites and prophesy against them. Say to them, 'Hear the word of the Sovereign LORD. This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because you said "Aha!" over my sanctuary when it was desecrated and over the land of Israel when it was laid waste and over the people of Judah when they went into exile, therefore I am going to give you to the people of the East as a possession. They will set up their camps and pitch their tents among you; they will eat your fruit and drink your milk. I will turn Rabbah into a pasture for camels and Ammon into a resting place for sheep. Then you will know that I am the LORD. For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet, rejoicing with all the malice of your heart against the land of Israel, therefore I will stretch out my hand against you and give you as plunder to the nations. I will cut you off from the nations and exterminate you from the countries. I will destroy you, and you will know that I am the LORD.'"

>Why?

* ""For three sins of Ammon, even for four" -See question 2.

* "Because he ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead in order to extend his borders" -By killing the unborn they knew the population would decrees and in the future they could invade and will because they would outnumber them.

* Killing the unborn is a terrible sin. Those who do kill the unborn are at odds with the will of God and unless they repent and ask for forgiveness in Jesus' name they are under God's wrath. The wrath may not come right away, but like the Ammonites it will come.

>7. What was Moab? (2:1-3)

* Amos 2:1-3 "This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Moab, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. Because he burned, as if to lime, the bones of Edom's king, I will send fire upon Moab that will consume the fortresses of Kerioth. Moab will go down in great tumult amid war cries and the blast of the trumpet. I will destroy her ruler and kill all her officials with him," says the LORD."

* "Moab" -Moab was east of the Jordan River. Lot's older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites. (Genesis 19:37) David's great-grandmother, Ruth was a Moabitess. (Ruth 4:12, 22)

* "Kerioth" -Perhaps a plural noun meaning "cities" or the name of a major town (Jeremiah 48:24) and shrine of Chemosh, the national god of Moab. (1 Kings 11:7, 33)

>What did the Lord say about it?

* "I will not turn back [my wrath]" -See question 2.

* "I will send fire upon Moab that will consume the fortresses of Kerioth" -See question 2 concerning the Lord's wrath by fire.

* "Moab will go down in great tumult amid war cries" -Moab will try to resist the Day of the Lord's wrath.

* "the blast of the trumpet" -Trumpets are a sign of the coming day of the Lord's wrath.

* Joel 2:1 "Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is close at hand"

shophar

* See a picture of shophars to the right.

* "trumpet" -The Hebrew word here for trumpet is "shophar".

* The trumpet in this verse is to sound an alarm. The trumpet in verse 15 is a call for repentance.

* Numbers 10:1-10 and Joshua 6:1-20 state the reasons to blow a trumpet. Reasons for blowing the shophar are; to call the community together (Psalm 150:3), to call the elders together, to have the Israel camp set out, before going into battle (Judges 6:34), during a battle, taking a city, at the beginning of each month (new moon), during the time of rejoicing (1 Kings 1:34), during the holy feasts, over burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and the presence of God (Exod. 19:16).

* The Feast of Trumpets (Yom Terium) proclaims the bride's resurrection, God's judgment on the wicked, and Jesus' second coming.

* Revelation records seven trumpets sounding. When the last of the seven trumpets sounds several things will happen including Jesus physically arriving on earth as King. Revelation 11:15-18 states, “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.’ And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great-- and for destroying those who destroy the earth."

* Isaiah 18:3 also states, “All you people of the world, you who live on the earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, you will see it, and when a trumpet sounds, you will hear it.”

* Isaiah 27:12-13 records worshipers being gathered at a trumpets sounding. It states, “In that day the Lord will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, O Israelites, will be gathered up one by one. And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.” This seems to be the threshing Jesus spoke of in Matthew 13.

* The apostles also speak of the sounding of trumpets during the tribulation; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54.

* The above note on trumpets is from "The Believer's Future -Hope That Inspires" found on this site.

* The sound of the trumpet in ancient Israel provoked fear in the hearts of all.

* "I will destroy her ruler and kill all her officials with him,"

* Ezekiel 25:8-11 "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'Because Moab and Seir said, "Look, the house of Judah has become like all the other nations," therefore I will expose the flank of Moab, beginning at its frontier towns--Beth Jeshimoth, Baal Meon and Kiriathaim--the glory of that land. I will give Moab along with the Ammonites to the people of the East as a possession, so that the Ammonites will not be remembered among the nations; and I will inflict punishment on Moab. Then they will know that I am the LORD.'""

>Why?

* "For three sins of Moab, even for four" -See question 2.

* "Because he burned, as if to lime, the bones of Edom's king" -The attack was harsh. Burning the bones, it was believed, deprived a person's spirit rest because he could not have a decent burial.

III. Judgment on Judah and Israel (2:4-16)

>8. Who was Judah in Amos' time? (4-5)

* Amos 2:4-5 "This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Judah, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. Because they have rejected the law of the LORD and have not kept his decrees, because they have been led astray by false gods, the gods their ancestors followed, I will send fire upon Judah that will consume the fortresses of Jerusalem."

* "Judah" -Judah was the southern tribes of the split Israel. See link above concerning Israel's history.

>Why was he bringing wrath them?

* "For three sins of Judah, even for four" -See question 2 above.

* "Because they have rejected the law of the LORD and have not kept his decrees" -Judah's sin is different that the sin of the six nations in 1:3 to 2:3. The six nations sins concerned their treatment of their neighbors and generally recognized humanitarian violations. Judah's sins was for breaking to covenant law made at Mount Sinai.

* "because they have been led astray by false gods, the gods their ancestors followed" -Judah's sin stemmed from a lack of love and respect for the Lord, their God. They abandoned their relationship with the Lord. Many prophets told them of this sins again and again. Though some would repent and turn back to the Lord, most rejected the Lord and worshipped idols.

* "I will send fire upon Judah that will consume the fortresses of Jerusalem" -David and Solomon had built up many fortresses to protect the people and to be used as staging areas for military offenses. The nation began trusting in their fortresses and wealth stored in them instead of the Lord. Their hope was placed on sand instead of the Lord, their rock. The house of Judah would sink in the sand.

>Who was Israel in Amos' time? (6-8)

* Amos 2:6-8 "This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. They sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed. Father and son use the same girl and so profane my holy name. They lie down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge. In the house of their god they drink wine taken as fines."

* "Israel" -Israel was the northern tribes of the split Israel. See link above concerning Israel's history.

>Why was he bringing wrath to them?

* "For three sins of Israel, even for four" -See question 2 above.

* "They sell the righteous for silver" -Israel had engaged in idolatry. They began to hate the people of the Lord which lead to persecution.

* "the needy for a pair of sandals" -God commanded that the needy should be helped. (Duet. 15:7-11) Sandals are a fundamental need in any land let alone the dry lands of the middle east. Not having sandals to pay a debt meant a person was the poorest of the poor. When people reject the love and protection of the Lord and instead seek fulfillment in material things they find that the materials they have obtained does not salsify them. So they get more by any means, even stealing from others. Eventually they will even steal from the poor and needy. Such greed will even turn a person into a slave dealer. when Howard Huges was the richest man in the world he was asked, "How much is enough?" He answered, "Just a little bit more."

* "They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed" -See Exodus 23:6-9. A rejection of the love of the Lord leads to a cold heart.

* "Father and son use the same girl and so profane my holy name" -If there was sex between an man an woman marriage was required according to Exodus 22:16 and Duet.22:28-29. For father and son to have sex with the same woman is a sin. (Lev. 18:7-8, 15, 20:11-12)

* "They lie down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge" -It was against the law to take a cloak as a pledge. (Exodus 22:26-27) Then they lie down in holy sites with the illgotten gain and in worshipped idols. They make pledges so that when they get what they want they vow to pay back the idol that gave them what they want.

* "In the house of their god they drink wine taken as fines" -Alcoholism and greed was both forbidden.

>9. What was Israel's life like in Egypt? (9-12)

* Amos 2:9-12 "Amos 2:9 "I destroyed the Amorite before them, though he was tall as the cedars and strong as the oaks. I destroyed his fruit above and his roots below. I brought you up out of Egypt, and I led you forty years in the desert to give you the land of the Amorites. I also raised up prophets from among your sons and Nazirites from among your young men. Is this not true, people of Israel?" declares the LORD. But you made the Nazirites drink wine and commanded the prophets not to prophesy."

* "I brought you up out of Egypt" -Israel (all twelve tribes) became slaves in Egypt. Life became miserable. A few years ago a college professor conducted an experiment involving twelve volunteer college students. He split the group in half; making one group prison guards and their other prisoners. Within a week not only did the guards become abusive to the point of cruelty but so did the professor. Multiply this by several generations. The Lord rescued his people from Egypt's cruel slavery.

* "I led you forty years in the desert" -The Lord protected them, feed them, and instructed them on how to be a nation while in the desert even though they had sinned at Mount Sinai and when he lead them to the promised land the first time.

* "to give you the land of the Amorites" -The destruction of the Amorites is recorded in Numbers 21:21-35.

* "Amorites" -"Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn, and of the Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. Later the Canaanite clans scattered and the borders of Canaan reached from Sidon toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and then toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha." (Genesis 10:15-19) The Lord told Abraham, "In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure." (Genesis 15:16) Before the Lord was about to fulfill this promise to Abraham he told the Israelites, "I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you. Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." (Exodus 34:10-14) "The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan." (Numbers 13:29)

destruction of the Amorites

* See a drawing of the destruction of the Amorites by Dore to the right.

>What was the mission of prophets and Nazirites?

* "I also raised up prophets from among your sons" -The Lord sent prophets, but there were also false prophets.

* "prophets" -A prophet in Old Testament time gave Israel and Judah God's word as direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The prophecies were often specific to the times as well as having a second and even third fulfilment in times much after them. John the Baptist is the last of the Old Testament prophets. Acts mention prophets after Jesus' ascension, directly inspired by the Holy Spirit as the Old Testament prophets before them. I don't know of any prophet that was not a descendant of Jacob, though some may say that Balaam was a prophet, a strange assessment for he seduced Israel into Baal worship. (2 Peter 2:15, Rev. 2:14)

* "Nazirites from among your young men" -A Nazirite was a man or women who made a vow of separation to the Lord. The Nazirite vow is recorded in 6:1-21. The minimum of time for the vow was one month, the longest is for life. Only three men in the Bible were Nazirites for life; Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist.

* "Is this not true, people of Israel?" -A rhetorical question.

>How did Israel receive them?

* "But you made the Nazirites drink wine" -Nazirites were to not drink any drink from the grape.

* "commanded the prophets not to prophesy" -They did not like to hear the word of the Lord.

* All throughout history people have hated God's people to the point of persecution and death.

>10. What was the Lord going to do to Israel because of these sins? (13-16)

* Amos 2:13-16 "Now then, I will crush you as a cart crushes when loaded with grain. 14 The swift will not escape, the strong will not muster their strength, and the warrior will not save his life. 15 The archer will not stand his ground, the fleet-footed soldier will not get away, and the horseman will not save his life. 16 Even the bravest warriors will flee naked on that day," declares the LORD."

* " will crush you as a cart crushes when loaded with grain"

*

>Will their army be able to save them?

* "he swift will not escape, the strong will not muster their strength, and the warrior will not save his life"

* "The archer will not stand his ground, the fleet-footed soldier will not get away, and the horseman will not save his life"

* "Even the bravest warriors will flee naked on that day"

*

>What can we learn about the Lord's justice and holiness from this chapter?

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