Amo 9: "The final chapter of the prophecy of Amos reveals...
Yahweh over the Altar. The Altar represents the sacrificial principles by which
the judgment of Yahweh over sin and the elevation of His character are revealed.
It demonstrates that the divine glory will be achieved, through the redemptive
work of the Son-Altar, Yahshua the Anointed. But the altar of Jerusalem has
disgraced its purpose; it no longer was identified with the work of Yahweh, but
with the elevation of those who worshiped in Jerusalem. So the altar was to be
destroyed, as later the temple would be shaken and removed. The vision
describes: (1) Yahweh's command to destroy the altar: vv 1-6. (2) Israel's
elevation shall not save those who are guilty: vv 7-10. (3) Yahweh will purify,
restore and glorify the faithful remnant in the nation: vv 11-15. Thus
ultimately Israel will be purged of sin, and become the foundation of the divine
mercy for a purified and regenerated people. It is a wonderful conclusion to the
book of severe and uncompromising judgment. Despite the wickedness of His
people, Yahweh will vindicate the promise inherent in the Name (v 6; Exo 36:22),
and that Name will be manifested in the earth (Psa 8:1; Zec 14:9; Num 14:21)"
THE ALTAR: Probably the altar at Bethel, since Bethel
was the worship site in view in most of this book and since Amos' encounter with
Amaziah occurred there (Amo 7:10-17).
STRIKE THE TOPS OF THE PILLARS SO THAT THE THRESHOLDS
SHAKE. BRING THEM DOWN ON THE HEADS OF ALL THE PEOPLE: Cp Samson in Jdg
16:29,30, and the temple in the days of Uzziah, in Isa 6:4.
THOUGH THEY DIG DOWN TO THE DEPTHS OF THE GRAVE, FROM THERE
MY HAND WILL TAKE THEM. THOUGH THEY CLIMB UP TO THE HEAVENS, FROM THERE I WILL
BRING THEM DOWN: It would be impossible for those whom the LORD chose to
slay to escape, even if they tried to dig into the earth or climb into the sky
(cp Psa 139:7,8; Jon 1; 2). If neither heights nor depths can separate people
from the love of God (Rom 8:38,39), they are also unable to hide them from the
wrath of God!
Cp also Job 20:6,7; 26:6; Isa 2:19; Jer 49:16;
THOUGH THEY HIDE THEMSELVES ON THE TOP OF CARMEL: Where
there might be excellent hiding places: "Ascending [Mount Carmel] from the
south, we followed a wild gorge, through which my guide thought we could get up,
and therefore led us on into the most frightful chasms, overhung by trees,
bushes, and dark creepers, until it became absolutely impracticable, and we were
obliged to find our way back again. And even after we reached the summit, it was
so rough and broken, and the thorn bushes so thick-set and sharp, that our
clothes were torn, and our hands and faces severely lacerated; nor could I see
my guide ten steps ahead of me" (LB 487,488).
THOUGH THEY HIDE FROM ME AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, THERE I
WILL COMMAND THE SERPENT TO BITE THEM: Yahweh would seek the guilty out and
command His agents to execute them, even if that agent had to be a serpent in
the sea (cp Amo 5:19; Job 26:12,13; Psa 74:13,14; 89:9,10; Isa 27:1; 51:9-10).
Earthquakes accompany awesome manifestations of God: Exo
19:18; Jdg 5:4; Psa 77:18; 114:4; Isa 2:10-22; Jer 4:24; Eze 38:20; Joe 3:16;
Amo 9:1,5; Zec 14:4; Rev 6:12; 11:19; 16:18.
THE WHOLE LAND RISES LIKE THE NILE, THEN SINKS LIKE THE
RIVER OF EGYPT: Cp Amo 8:8n.
ARE NOT YOU ISRAELITES THE SAME TO ME AS THE CUSHITES?:
Thus exploding the great delusion of the people of Israel, both then and now,
that they were somehow special to God -- so special that their actions made no
difference to that status!
DID I NOT BRING ISRAEL UP FROM EGYPT, THE PHILISTINES FROM
CAPHTOR AND THE ARAMEANS FROM KIR?: God had separated the Philistines from
Caphtor (Crete; cp Deut 2:23) and the Syrians (Arameans) from Kir in Mesopotamia
(cf Amo 1:5) just as He had led Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land. The
Philistines and Syrians were Israel's enemies, but God had done for them what He
had done for Israel. He could justly send the Israelites into another part of
the world since He had formerly relocated these other nations. The Israelites
considered themselves superior because of their election, but really they were
no better or less accountable than any other nation.
I WILL DESTROY IT FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH:
"Destroy", ie politically (see Ezek 22:15-22) and as a nation: spoken to
Zedekiah, last king to sit on David's throne: Ezek 21:25-27.
Decline of Israel was foretold by David: Psa 89:38-44.
YET I WILL NOT TOTALLY DESTROY THE HOUSE OF JACOB: No
matter how much they might be punished by God, Israel will yet be preserved as a
race: Jer 30:11.
Vv 9-15: Promise of a final, glorious restoration.
AND NOT A PEBBLE WILL REACH THE GROUND: "[Amos]
foretold the desolation of the kingdom in all its elements, but also that
Jehovah will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob; but that he would sift them
among all nations as grain is sifted in a sieve, yet that not one good seed
should fall to the earth to rise no more" (Eur 1:45).
Vv 11,12: "Isaiah had expected Gentile converts to come to
Jerusalem to learn God’s ways so that they might walk in them. But Isaiah
also spoke of the Gentiles' persistence as nations whose salvation did not
destroy their national identities (cf Isa 2:4; 25:6,7). Likewise, Amos spoke of
'the remnant of men' (LXX, DSS) in the last days when 'David's fallen tent'
would be rebuilt as being 'all the Gentiles who bear my name' and whose
continuance as Gentiles was understood. In the end times, James [Act 15:17] is
saying, God's people will consist of two concentric groups. At their core will
be restored Israel (ie, David's rebuilt tent); gathered around them will be a
group of Gentiles (ie, 'the remnant of men') who will share in the Messianic
blessings but will persist as Gentiles without necessarily becoming Jewish
proselytes. It is this understanding of Amos' message, James insisted, that
Peter’s testimony has affirmed, the result being that the conversion of
Gentiles in the last days should be seen not as proselytizing but in an
eschatological context. James' quotation of Amo 9:11,12 is both textually and
exegetically difficult. As given in Acts, the text of v 12 deviates from the
MsTx and agrees with the LXX in reading 'they will seek' (Gr 'ekzetesosin') for
'they will inherit' (Heb 'yiresu'), in reading 'of men' (Gr 'ton anthropon') for
'of Edom' ('edom'), and in treating 'the remnant' (Gr 'hoi kataloipoi') as the
subject of the sentence rather than its object. It would have been impossible,
in fact, for James to have derived his point from the text had he worked from
the MsTx. On the other hand, the text of v 11 here differs from the LXX in
reading 'after this' (Gr 'meta tauta') for 'in that day' (Gr 'en te hemera
ekeine'), in reading 'I will return and rebuild' (Gr 'anastrepso kai
anoikodomeso') for 'I will raise up' (Gr 'anasteso'), in reading 'I will
restore' (Gr 'anorthoso') for 'I will raise up' (Gr 'anasteso'), and in omitting
the clause 'and I will rebuild it as in the days of old' (Gr 'kai anoikodomeso
auten kathos hai hemerai tou aionos'). Focusing on the quotation's difference
from the MsTx and essential agreement with the LXX, many commentators have
complained that 'the Jewish Christian James would not in Jerusalem have used a
LXX text, differing from the Heb original, as scriptural proof,' and have
therefore concluded, 'It is not James but Luke who is speaking here' (Haenchen,
'Acts of the Apostles' 448). But while the text of Amo 9:11,12 differs from the
MsTx in meaning and the LXX in form, 'it is exactly identical with... [some
attested readings of the DSS]" (EBC).
I WILL RESTORE DAVID'S FALLEN TENT: "Tabernacle" (AV),
or "booth". "Most prob a figurative allusion to the restoration of stricken
Hezekiah" (WIsa 217).
AND BUILD IT AS IT USED TO BE: In "days of old" (as
AV), David's great kingdom encompassed all the Gentile nations listed in Amo 1;
2, as well as all 12 tribes -- both Israel and Judah. And so it will be again!
In the near future God will restore the Davidic house and rebuild it as in
former days, when it was a united kingdom with a descendant of David ruling over
all Israel (Jer 30:3-10; Ezek 37:15-28; Hos 3:4,5). That day will be a day of
restoration as well as a day of judgment. The restoration will follow in the
Millennium, after the judgments of the Last Days tribulation period.
A virtual removal of the Adamic curse upon the earth (Gen
3:17-19). Instead of drought and famine (Amo 1:2; 4:6-8) there would be abundant
harvests (cp Lev 26:3-5; Deut 28:4,5,8,11,12).
"The land would become so productive that farmers planting
seed for the next harvest would push reapers of the same fields to finish their
work so they could plant the next crop. Normally the Israelites plowed their
fields in October and the reaping ended in May, but in the future reaping would
still be going on in October because of the huge harvests. Wine-makers would
similarly push the farmers to sow more seed. The grape harvest took place in
August, and farmers planted new vines in November. Harvests would be so abundant
that the gathering of one crop would not end before it was time to begin the new
I WILL PLANT ISRAEL IN THEIR OWN LAND, NEVER AGAIN TO BE
UPROOTED FROM THE LAND I HAVE GIVEN THEM: The Israelites would put roots
down in the Promised Land and never have to leave it again (cf Gen 13:14,15;
17:7,8; Deut 30:1-5; 2Sa 7:10; Jer 30:10-11; Eze 37:25; Joel 3:17-21; Mic 4:4-7;
Zech 14:11). They would not fear exile (Amo 4:2-3; 5:5,27; 6:7; 7:11,17; 9:4)
but would be secure from every foe (Lev 26:7,8; Deut 28:7,10). Yahweh, Israel's
true God, promised this.