Friday, May 4, 2012


Key Word:  Judgement of Israel 
Key verses:  3.1-2 and/or 8.11-12 
Date and Setting:  Amos anticipates the 722 BC Assyrian captivity of Israel (7.11) and indicates that at the time of writing, Jeroboam II was not yet dead.  Thus, Amos prophesied in Bethel about 755 B.C.  Over two hunndred Astronimical calculations indicate that a solar eclipse took place in une 15, 763 B.C.  This event was probably fresh in the minds of Amos's hearers (8.9).  ---Talk Thru the Bible

I. Eight Oracles Against Nations 1:3—2:16
1.3  Damascus...because they have threshed Gilead...  (cf. 2 Kings 8:7-12; 10:32-33; 13:3-7)
1.6 Gaza...delievered them up to Edom...
 1.9  Tyre...delivered up the whole captivity to Edom...
 1.11  Edom...he kept his wrath forever...
 1.13  Ammon...ripped open women with children in Gilead...
2.1  Moab...burned the bones of the king of Edom...
2.4  Judah...
2.4  despised the law of the LORD...   מָאַס ma'ac  to reject, refuse
2.4  their lies lead them astray...
2.6  Israel...sell righteousness for silver...

II. Five Messages of judgment against Israel chs. 3—6
A. The first message on sins against God and man ch. 3
   1. Israel's Judgement Deserved  3.1-10
   2. Israel's Judgement Described  3.11-15
3.2  you only have I known...therefore I will punish you...

B. The second message on women, worship, and willfulness  ch 4
   1. Israel's Judgement Deserved  4.1-5
4.1  cows of Bashan... I am thinking about the connection between this characterization and the sin of oppressing and crushing the poor and needy while drinking to excess.
What has God done to bring Israel to repentance?

Joel 4:6-13
   2. Israel's Judgement Demonstrated  4.6-11

4.6  lack of bread...  (cf. 1 Kings 8:37-39)
4.7  withheld rain...   (cf. 1 Kings 8:35)
4.9  blight - mildew - locust...   (cf. 1 Kings 8:37-39)
4.10  plague after the manner of Egypt...  (cf. 1 Kings 8:33, 37)
4.11  overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah...   "Comparing these overthrown cities to Sodom and Gomorrah indicates their proverbial complete destruction (cf. Isa. 1:9; 13:19; Jer. 50:40; Zeph. 2:9), not necessarily the method of their destruction. God had rescued His people like burning sticks from a conflagration, as He had formerly extracted Lot and his daughters from Sodom (Gen. 19). The Assyrian kings customarily sowed the ground of a conquered area with salt so nothing would grow there. (Niehaus, p. 402)"  ---Thomas Constable's Expository Notes

   3. Israel's Judgement Described 4.12-13
 4.13  makes the morning darkness...  NET Bible translation notes:  tn Heb “he who makes dawn, darkness.” The meaning of the statement is unclear. 
The present translation (He turns the dawn into darkness) assumes that allusion is made to God’s approaching judgment, when the light of day will be turned to darkness (see 5.20). Other options include: 
(1) “He makes the dawn [and] the darkness.” A few Hebrew mss, as well as the LXX, add the conjunction (“and”) between the two nouns. 
(2) “He turns darkness into glimmering dawn” (NJPS). See S. M. Paul (Amos [Hermeneia], 154), who takes שָׁחַר (shakhar) as “blackness” rather than “dawn” and עֵיפָה (’efah) as “glimmering dawn” rather than “darkness.”

C. The third message on injustice 5:1-17
The structure of this message is chiastic, which focuses attention and emphasis on the middle part.
A description of certain judgment vv. 1-3
   B. A call for individual repentance vv. 4-6
      C. An accusation of legal injustice v. 7
         D. A portrayal of sovereign Yahweh vv. 8-9
      C. An accusation of legal injustice vv. 10-13
   B. A call for individual repentance vv. 14-15
A. A description of certain judgment vv. 16-17
Another structural feature stresses the solidarity between Yahweh and His prophet, namely, the alternation between of the words of Amos (vv. 1-2, 6-9, 14-15) and the words of God (vv. 3-5, 10-13, 16-17).

D. The fourth message on unacceptable worship 5:18-27
5.23 noise...  הָמוֹן hä•mōn'  This word is usually translated "multitude" in the KJV.  It is translated "noise" here by the KJV, NASB, ESV, and NIV84.  Our best productions are just a lot of noise?  What makes them pleasant?
5.25  Sikkuth...   NET Bible translation notes: The Hebrew term סִכּוּת (sikkut) apparently refers to Sakkuth, a Mesopotamian star god identified with Ninurta in an Ugaritic god list. The name is vocalized in the Hebrew text after the pattern of שִׁקוּץ (shiqquts, “detestable thing”). See S. M. Paul, Amos (Hermeneia), 195-96. Some English versions, following the LXX, translate as “tent” or “shrine” (NEB, NIV), pointing the term as סֻכַּת (sukkat; cf. 9:11).
5.26  Chiun...  There can be no doubt that we should vocalize kewan = the Assyrian Kai(a)-wanu = Kaiamanu by which at least in late Babylonian Saturn was indicated. The passage in Amos refers to the Saturn worship which appears to have been in vogue in the prophet's days. The Israelites shall carry with them into exile the images of their gods (render with the margin of the Revised Version (British and American):...  ---The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

E. The fifth message on complacency and pride ch. 6
6.2  Calneh...  Meaning: "fort":  one of the cities founded by Nimrod (Gen. 10:10)
It is the modern Niffer, a lofty mound of earth and rubbish situated in the marshes on the left, i.e., the east, bank of the Euphrates, but 30 miles distant from its present course, and about 60 miles south-southeast from Babylon. It is mentioned as one of the towns with which Tyre carried on trade. It was finally taken and probably destroyed by one of the Assyrian kings (Amos 6:2).
6.2  Hamath... Meaning: fortress: the capital of one of the kingdoms of Upper Syria of the same name, on the Orontes, in the valley of Lebanon, at the northern boundary of Palestine (Num. 13:21; 34:8), at the foot of Hermon (Josh. 13:5) towards Damascus (Zech. 9:2; Jer. 49:23)   It is called “Hamath the great” in Amos 6:2, and “Hamath-zobah” in 2 Chr. 8:3.  -- Bible Web Encyclopedia

IIII. Five Judgement Visions  7:1-9
A. 7:1-3   locusts swarming...
B. 7:4-6  fire...
C. 7:7-9 plumb line...

Opposition of Amaziah (Historical Parenthesis) 7:10-17

D. The basket of summer fruit ch. 8

E. The Lord standing by the altar ch. 9


Wednesday, May 2, 2012


...the author has a single unifying theme: the terrible locust plague is a harbinger of awesome things to come.  --Richard D. Patterson in The Expositor's Bible Commentary Vol. 7

Chapter 1
1.1  that came to Joel...  I can hardly wait to read the stuffy commentaries that explain why Joel could not have been the author of this book.  :op
1.4  swarming locusts...  Sounds like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
1.14  a sacred assembly...  Looks like a good word study.
1.15  the Day of the Lord is at hand...

Chapter 2
2.2-8  A people great and strong... .
2.8 Everyone marches in his own column...  Sounds like the Borg from Next Generation Star Trek. 
2.11  the Day of the Lord... 
2.13  rend your heart, and not your garments...  Now that will preach!
2.15  a sacred assembly...
2.25  I will restore to you the years...  What an inspiring promise!
2.29  in those days...  
2.31  the great and awesome Day of the Lord... 

Chapter 3
3.1  in those days...
3.14  for the Day of the Lord is near the Valley of Decision...  A time is near a place...interesting.
3.17  You shall know that...  Back to Exodus.
3.21  For the Lord dwells...