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Amos was the initial prophesier to hold a book named after him. His message to Isreal was clear, but ignored. This paper will analyze Amos 2:6-12,1 beginning with the context of the transition in relation to the historical scene and the book of Amos as a whole, including the generes of the passsage. The literary signifier will be examined briefly, followed by an lineation. The focussed point of this paper will cover with each poetry, or braces of poetries, analyzing interlingual renditions troubles ; placing similarities within the text, the book and the Old Testament every bit good as analysing the message and researching the positions of some observers. The transition contains more that can be throughly examined in a paper of this length, non with standing I intend to hopefully cover the chief points.

2 First Published in: Mark W. Chavalas, erectile dysfunction. The Ancient Near East: Historical Beginnings in Translation London:

Blackwell ( 2006 ) 396-399.

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Amos preached and wrote in the eighth Century, BC. The two male monarchs mentioned in v. 1, Uzziah of Judah ( 785-733 BC ) and Jeroboam II ( c.788-747 BC ) 2 narrow the clip that he could hold been vaticinating. “ Two old ages before the temblor ” is non really helpful, since we no longer cognize which temblor he is mentioning to. One beginning dates this temblor, due to some archaeological findings, to 760 BC. Amos was the first of the “ minor Prophetss ” to compose anything down. In the Hebrew Bible Amos is placed 3rd among the Minor Prophets ( the Septuagint topographic points him 2nd ) . He was, by his ain admittance, non a “ professional prophesier. ” In other words, he did non belong to any club of Prophetss that existed at the clip. He was a “ shepherd ” and a “ chest of drawers of lacewood trees ” who lived in the Southern Kingdom of Judah in the little small town of Tekoa. He was called by God to travel to the Northern Kingdom, Israel, to prophesy against the corruptness of the faith, and to support the hapless from development by the wealthy.

The message of Amos was preached during a clip of economic prosperity and military enlargement for both Israel and Judah. However, such prosperity was profitable merely to the affluent category while the hapless were being exploited and abused.

This period confirms the widening spread between the “ rich persons ” and “ have nots. ” The affluent dishonesty is clearly depicted in Amos, who is called “ the prophesier of societal justness. ” The graft of the bench system and the disproof of commercial weights are besides two clear illustrations of the maltreatment that was common seemingly in both Israel and Judah.

In the general lineation, Amos Begin by articulating judgements on the states for their many evildoings ( 1:3-2:16 ) ; Damascus will be judged for inhuman treatment to Gilead and travel into imprisonment ( 1:3-5 ) ; Gaza will be judged for selling slaves to Edom ( 1:6-8 ) ; Tyre will be judged for break one’s backing and interrupting a compact of brotherhood ( 1:9-10 ) ; Edom will be judged for striking and staying angry at his brother ( 1:11-12 ) ; Ammon will be judged for ferociousness to the pregnant of Gilead ( 1:13-15 ) ; Moab will be judged for profaning the dead of Edom ( 2:1-3 ) ; Judah will be judged for a fallacious neglect of the compact ( 2:4-5 ) and Israel will be judged for her personal unrighteousness before Yahweh ( 2:6-12 ) which is broken down into the undermentioned Sessionss: suppressing the hapless and guiltless ( 2:6b-7a ) ; prosecuting in heathen spiritual patterns ( 2:7b ) ; mistreating the system of mulcts and pledges ( 2:8 ) ; and demoing deficiency of regard for those being call to the service of God. ( 2:9-12 ) .

3 Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society ( JETS ) 28/4 ( December 1985 ) 411-420

In articulating opinion on Israel ( 2:6-12 ) , Amos foremost accuse the judiciary system of being corrupt in helping the wealthy to work the hapless. Amos uses two different footings to depict the hapless of Israel. The first, “ righteous ” or “ guiltless ” ( saddiq ) , described the legal position of the hapless. They are guiltless of wrongdoing ; they have non done anything to merit the intervention of their oppressors. The word occurs merely twice in Amos ( 2:6 ; 5:12 ) and could be called a “ victim ” word. A victim is an guiltless party. The oppressor is guilty, non the victim.3 “ Selling the needy for a brace of sandals ” shows that the people were being sold into bondage for little debts or pledges.

The jurisprudence order that Israelites give to the needy without demanding refund ( Deut. 15:7 ) , but I guess it was all about concern for most Hebrewss.

2:4-5, the beginning and terminal of the opinion refering to Judah conforms to the form of the others, though comparison with the others its anticipation of penalty is really au naturel and broad. But the center of the prophet stipulating Judah ‘s offenses is non at all chracteristic of Amos, either in what it says or the linguistic communication in which it says it. Amos elsewhere does non demo a great trade of involvement in abnormalities in worship, for this ground the whole prophet is suspected of being a ulterior fiction. But could Amos hold left Judah out? We may take it that he likely did present an prophet on Judah, but non in these footings. The center of Amos ‘ original prophet has been replaced by person who could non conceive of a prophesier reprobating Judah except on the BASIC of the jurisprudence, and could non believe that he would disregard Judah ‘s main failing, for false Gods.

Having pronounced opinions on Israel ‘s adjacent states, Amos turns to Israel. From God ‘s point of position, Israel is besides the enemy. It is possible that the prophesier did at sometimes stop by cussing persons in their ain cantonment, nevertheless, we can be certain that unsloped disapprobations of the full place state was unprecedented. The disapprobations of foreign states were meant to be the preliminary to uttering opinion on Israel.

Israel ‘s prophet is in the same manner as the remainder, but is much expanded. Alternatively of picking out merely one wickedness, as in the other instances, Amos gives us a catalogue. Amos besides introduces a new component in the form of a recitation of what Israel owes to God ( verses 9-11 ) . Israel ‘s offenses are non against the regulations of common humanity, but against the compact with God and his demands. The penalty, besides, is described at greater length.

In similar manner of dictum, Amos begins ( 2:6-8 ) with the consistent ‘For three evildoings of Israel, and for four ( which is non plenty ) 4 I will non revoke the penalty… ‘ and so, as was the instance in the former subdivisions, moves on to sketch the nature of the ‘fourth evildoing ‘ except that, to Israel, he goes much further than could be expected in naming nine specific evildoings. He demonstrates to Israel that they have gone beyond where even the old states have non gone. In each of the old seven transitions, YHWH has talked singerly about their evildoings, even though there have been different facets to each of the wickednesss and a simple 1 has n’t been purely kept to. However, God lists a catalogue of wickednesss that give Israel no opportunity whatsoever for ailment.

Israel was perpetrating wickednesss that are being perpetuated throughout their land. Not merely are at that place a list of jobs but their very nature becomes flooring because of their continued repeat. In this instance, it is n’t merely a affair of what Israel had done but instead what they were making that was the job.

4 Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society ( JETS ) 28/4 ( December 1985 ) 411-420

5 By American Bible Society “ Good News Bible ” American Bible Society ( 2001 )

In poetry 6 the list begins by the observation that if taken literally, Israel was selling their fellow Israelites into bondage. Amos announces to the people as if he ‘s speaking about person else, stating ‘ … they sell the righteous for Ag, and the needy for a brace of places ‘ . However, readings for this transition are wide and varied as to what precisely it was that was taking topographic point and we need to see a few of them before traveling on. Even though bondage is literally nowhere mentioned or implied in this poetry, nevertheless in comparing of the Good News Bible to the Living Bible interlingual rendition we find both with the reference of bondage. The former translating it ‘aˆ¦that they sell into slavery honest people who can non pay their debts, the hapless who can non refund even the monetary value of a brace of sandals’5 and the latter ‘they perverted justness by accepting payoffs and sold into bondage the hapless who ca n’t refund their debts ; they trade them for a brace of places. ‘ 6

The reading of the Good News Bible is that honest work forces have been sold into bondage because they ca n’t pay their debts while the latter, the Living Bible Translation sees it both as that which is based upon a corrupt judicial system that begun with some kind of fiscal agreement between the unrighteous loaner and the hapless borrower of which the loaner deviants before the Israelite Judgess to be able to put the hapless into bondage for sums that could even be considered to be of small value. “ Selling the needy for a brace of sandals ” shows that the people were being sold into bondage for little debts or pledges. Eventhough the jurisprudence commanded that Israelites give to the needy without demanding refund ( Deut. 15:7 ) , but my conjecture is that, “ concern was concern ” for most Hebrewss.

6 Kenneth Taylor “ The Living Bible ” Tyndale House ( New York, 1971 )

It ‘s better to gain that it does n’t count whether we ‘re able to happen a suited scenario to explicate what Amos proclaims in the name of YHWH, the point is that God considered what was taking topographic point in their thick as being a evildoing of the Law and that called for the decease punishment upon the transgressors. While the thought in the Mosaic Law ( Ex. 21:16 ) is that a adult male or adult female may exert their right choosing of their ain freewill as to whether they prefer to be sold into bondage, but frequently it ‘s their freewill that is taken from them when they are stolen and forced into bondage. Now if we were to take the Mosaic commands as being literally broken in Israelite society, we ‘d hold to reason that Israel were making the indistinguishable thing that both Gaza ( Amos 1:6 ) and Tyre ( Amos 1:9 ) had already done.

For Amos notes that either money ( Ag ) or material ownerships ( a brace of places ) is the terminal consequence of such control over people. Israel did as they willed and made slaves out of their ain people for the progress of their ain Empire. Quite justly, they received the disapprobation of judgement upon their actions non merely as a direct application of the Mosaic Law but because God stepped into history and called them to account for their incorrect behaviors.


That was the first facet of the accusal that YHWH has against Israel but, by restricting the application entirely to the actions of the tribunals and Judgess, we would lose the wider application to all society and more so when a legal determination is n’t so much as mentioned in this transition nor the rich. The point is n’t that the rich are working the hapless but that the Hebrewss are working their brothers whether they be the hapless ( Amos 2:7 ) , those in demand ( Amos 2:6 ) , the righteous ( Amos 2:6 ) or the afflicted ( Amos 2:7 ) , no one country of society is any less guilty or less exploited than any other. Every one is into acquiring their ain will done at the disbursal of others and the unclearity of Amos ‘ words must be retained to let God to render His opinion in the countries of the Israelites ‘ lives that needed covering with.

Amos 2:7 references nil refering stuff addition, nevertheless, those perpetrating such wickednesss are making so without any fiscal addition in their ain resources but are merely concerned with maintaining both the hapless and the afflicted ‘where they belong ‘ or possibly, where they wo n’t be a menace to those over them. But Amos was a individual at a distinguishable disadvantage in the state he was sent to, that is, he knew God ‘s Word and hence the established spiritual authorization tried to scare him into retreating from the people to somewhere his voice would n’t be heard ( Amos 7:12-13 ) .

When Amaziah warned Amos to return to Judah to prophesize at that place, he was connoting that Amos was a professional prophesier. To his word of disdain, Amos replied: “ I ( was ) no prophesier ; I ( was ) no boy of a prophesier ; but I ( was ) a herdsman7 and a piercer of lacewood figs, and the Lord took me from ( following ) after the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel ‘ ” ( 7:14 ) . In add-on to crowding sheep, he pieced or pinched sycamore figs, a fruit that must be punctured or slit shortly before maturing to be edible.8 His statement, “ I non a prophesier ” ( lit. ) , has elicited go oning argument. In such a verbless clause the verb must be supplied from context, and in this instance it would look to be the present tense: “ I am non a prophesier. ” Fortunately, he was n’t traveling to take himself volitionally because one of the most powerful people in the land of Israel was stating him to.


The 2nd portion of poetry 7 alterations tack drastically for the prophesier announces that another of Israel ‘s offenses is that of Sexual Immorality ( 2:7b ) . The application is that such evildoing happens while the birthrate rites were taking topographic point when work forces would prosecute in sexual intercourse with the female cocottes of Baal which was a common pattern that both male parent and boy would frequently unwittingly sleep with the same miss. The extent of the prophesier ‘s words merely as we saw in the old portion of the poetry and the 1 that precedes this is peculiarly non clear to cover all the applications of the wickedness nevertheless it was happening.

Amos concludes with two wickednesss of the state, although the first is possibly better idea of in two parts, for although the ground for its reference is to talk of the illicit ownerships of ‘garments taken in pledge ‘ , that they do so while they lay down beside ‘every communion table ‘ shows that they ‘re transgressing against their brother on top of their possible wickedness of devotion against God.

However, the word ( Strongs Hebrew figure 5186 ) has momently occurred in the old poetry where Amos has accused the Hebrewss that they ‘ … turn aside the manner of the afflicted ‘ and at that place seems to be no good ground why it should n’t besides be allowed to keep this significance here so that the significance is that they turned aside to every communion table that was found throughout the land. This may look like an awkward manner of stating that they went to idolize but the same word is used twice by the patriarch Judah ( Gen 38:16 ) who ‘s spoken of as ‘turning aside ‘ to hold sexual intercourse with adult females.

If this is meant to be taken as a reference of a specific wickedness, so it is possible that the Israelites were rolling from their true manner of worship by come ining the cult shrines and participated in its rites which were a farther misdemeanor of YHWH ‘s name. They non merely would execute their birthrate rights with the adult females employed at the shrines but they use stolen pledges on which to make it ( 2:8 ) . But we must observe that such ‘altars ‘ ( 4196 Mizbeach ) 9 that were scattered throughout the land could really good hold used the name of YHWH to pull believers to perpetrate Acts of the Apostless of spiritual worship that were opposed to YHWH ‘s character and will.

But, as if to add wickedness to transgress, YHWH accused them of conveying with them garments that have been taken in pledge. The idea appears to be that there ‘s an illegality in their acquisition, the Law speech production specifically refering apparels that were taken as collateral for the refund of a loan ( Ex 22:26-27 ) . Regardless of whether or non the refund had been made, the Israelite was obliged to return the garment to the borrower so that they would n’t endure adversity when they needed it most to maintain them warm. If the thought is that the Israelites were utilizing it to ‘stop over ‘ the dark at the temple, the instance becomes something already done with no purpose to turn over to the rightful proprietors what was pledged to them in the first topographic point.

9. Word Search, The New Strong ‘s Complete Dictionary of the Bible ( p.9 ) , Thomas Nelson Publisher 1996

Nashville, TN

Of all the wickednesss that have been mentioned in this short transition, this one seems the most necessary to be taken as a remark on the judicial system. Even though the message stops short of impeaching the Judgess as being the 1s who are imbibing the vino and it ‘s non impossible that the mulcts that had been acquired were besides being sold at a reasonably low down monetary value to other Israelites. In this manner, it is n’t merely the Judgess who stand condemned before God but all those who ‘ve participated in the continuation of the wickedness where what justly belongs to an injured party is refused them.

Possibly this sentence would hold been better served as the predating one after all, the conquering of the land of Canaan ( Amos 2:9 ) needfully came after the rescue out of Egypt ( Amos 2:10 ) . But the first established point was the ground as to why Israel was in ownership of the land of Cannan is because of the marvelous act of God in presenting them from the Fe clasp of Egypt. Of which YHWH does n’t necessitate to interrupt down the events environing their rescue nevertheless, the reference of the ‘forty old ages ‘ is a method usage to trip their recollection, particularly their rebellion against God who had led them into the wilderness as a Godhead subject.

God is n’t seeking to do them ashamed of His proviso in the wilderness because of their colic and rebellion instead, He ‘s showing the shame of their current life styles ( Amos 2:6-8 ) in the visible radiation of His well known historical Acts of the Apostless ( Amos 2:9-10 ) .

Finally in 2:12, YHWH does n’t kick that His gift of Cannan to Israel has been trampled under pess ( Amos 2:9-10 ) but based His observation wholly upon the fact that He had raised up immature work forces from among them to function Him every bit good as benefit the state, yet Israel merely tried to destruct His work by doing the Nazirites to imbibe vino, something that was portion of their treble separation to God ( Num 6:3-4 ) and have forbidden the Prophetss who ‘d been raised up by YHWH to talk His message to the state, non to talk in His name. Possibly Israel ‘s ground for perpetrating such attrosity against YHWH is that they wanted to be in charge of their ain fate instead than to go forth it in the custodies of God Himself.

In decision, Amos insisted that true faith starts and Michigans in acknowledgment of the sanctity of God: one that must happen its look in the personal every bit good as the corporate life of Israel. He marches on with astonishing lucidity proclaming that a state can be destroyed by immorality ( 2:7 ) and excess ( 4:11 ) . In whatever manner we may desire to look at it pretension through the prognostication of Amos was stripped from the judicial system ( 2:6 ) , where favouritism ( 2:6 ) alternatively of justness prevailed ; from commercialism and industry, where the love of addition had ousted the love of adult male ( 8:5 ) ; from communion tables of faith ( 2:8 ) , where functionaries were indifference to world and busy with their services.

Amos exposed Israel as being a clump of greedy, unfair, and profane people who defended and excused themselves on the land that they were God ‘s chosen and for that ground, no existent immorality could of all time bechance them. But Amos denounced this impression and told them that God knew no favouritism. The fact that Israel had been chosen above all the states of the Earth had placed greater moral duties upon them to the extent that should they failed to run into up with these duties their penalty be far greater than that of their enemies.

In decision, Amos relates God ‘s wrath to Israel ‘s misdemeanor of the Mosaic compact. God ‘s sovereignty over all the Earth is the background for YHWH ‘s dealing in opinion with the states outside the Covenant of Israel. This is the footing of Israel ‘s apprehension of monotheism. However, God ‘s opinion against Israel must be seen in the visible radiation of His gracious Acts of the Apostless in history which stems from God ‘s election and compact with Israel sets the phase for His terrible opinion. It must be remembered that “ to whom much is given, much is required ” ( Lk. 12:48 ) .


1. James L. May “ Harper Collins Bible Commentary ” HarperCollins Publisher New York ( 1988 )

2. John J. Collins Introduction to the Hebrew Bible Fortress Press Minneapolis ( 2004 )

3. McComiskey, Thomas Edward. “ Amos. ” In Daniel-Minor Prophets. Vol. 7 of Expositor ‘s

Bible Commentary. 12 vols. Edited by Frank E. Gaebelein and Richard P. Polcyn. Grand

Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1985.

4. Bruce C. Birch A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament ( 2nd Ed ) Abingdon

Press ( 2005 )

5. Jeremias, Jorg. The Book of Amos: A Commentary. Translated by Douglas W. Stott. The Old Testament Library. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 1988.

6. McComiskey, Thomas Edward. “ Amos. ” The Expositor ‘s Bible Commentary. General Editor,

Frank E. Gaebelein. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1990. Electronic text

hypertexted and prepared by OakTree Software, Inc.

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