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Bible Commentaries

Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes


- Amos

by E.W. Bullinger

Amo AMOS. THE STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK AS A WHOLE. ( Repeated Alternation .) Amos 1:1-2 . THE TITLE. Amo 1:36-14 . LITERAL. PROPHETIC. Amos 7:1-9 . SYMBOLIC. GRASSHOPPERS. FIRE. PLUMBLINE. Amos 7:10-17 . LITERAL. PROPHETIC. Amos 8:1-3 . SYMBOLIC. BASKET OF SUMMER FRUIT. Amos 8:4-14 . LITERAL. PROPHETIC. Amos 9:1-4 . SYMBOLIC. STRIKING THE LINTEL. Amos 9:5-15 . LITERAL. PROPHETIC. For the Canonical order and place of the Prophets, see Appdx-1, and p. 1207 For the Chronological order of the Prophets, see Appdx-77. For the Inter-relation of the Prophetic Books, see Appdx-78. For the Inter-relation of the Minor (or Shorter) Prophets, see p. 1206. For the Formula of Prophetic utterance, see Appdx-82. For the References to the Pentateuch by the Prophets, see Appdx-92. Amos corresponds to Hosea, the link being Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:27 ). See p. 1206. A native of Judah, he prophesied in Israel (Amos 1:1 ; Amos 7:10 ), and against Israel. As Jeroboam II died in the fourteenth year of Uzziah king of Judah, Amos was among the earliest of all the prophets (chronologically). Hence: The references to Israel''s Religious History shows that the Law and Commandments were known (Amos 2:4 ) though not kept, but despised (Amos 2:4 ); that Israel was oppressive (Amos 2:6 ), impure (Amos 2:7 ), luxurious (Amos 6:1 Amos 6:6 ), idolatrous (Amos 2:8 ); that they had had earlier prophets (Amos 2:11 ; Amos 7:14 ; Amos 8:11 ); that Israel alone knew the true God (Amos 3:2 ); that Beth-el and Gilgal had been places of transgression (Amos 3:14 ; Amos 4:4 ; Amos 5:5 ). The references to Israel''s Internal History show that the nation had once been one (Amos 3:1 ); that Joseph''s history was well known (Amos 6:6 ); that the high places of Israel were known (Amos 7:9 ); as was David (Amos 6:5 ). The references to Israel''s External History show that the Exodus was known (Amos 2:10 ; Amos 3:1 ; Amos 5:25 ; Amos 9:7 ); that the nation had wandered in the wilderness (Amos 2:10 ; Amos 5:25 ); and were idolaters there (Amos 5:25 , Amos 5:26 ); that the Amorites had been destroyed (Amos 2:9 , Amos 2:10 ); that Gilead (Amos 1:13 ) and Sodom (Amos 4:11 ) had been destroyed. The references to the Ceremonial Law show that it could not have been written after the days of Amos. Note the references to Burnt offerings (Amos 4:4 ; Amos 5:22 ), and the Altar of Burnt offerings (Amos 9:1 ); Meal offerings (Amos 5:22 ); Peace offerings (Amos 5:22 ); Thank offerings (Amos 4:5 ); Freewill offerings (Amos 4:5 ); Feast days (Amos 5:21 ); Feast of New Moon (Amos 8:5 ); the Sabbath laws (Amos 8:5 ); laws as to debt (Amos 8:6 ); to vows (Amos 2:11 , Amos 2:12 ); to baldness for the dead (Amos 8:10 ); to pledges (Amos 2:8 ), and many other things. As to the dating of Amos, it is "concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah and Jeroboam II, two years before the earthquake" (Amos 1:1 ). Uzziah and Jeroboam II were contemporary from the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam till his forty-second year:i.e. fourteen years (from 701 687 B.C.). See Appdx-50. The inference is that the earthquake and Jeroboam''s end coincide; and that the "gap" of twenty-four years in the history of Israel (see Appdx-50, p. 59) was caused by, or in some way related to, the earthquake (687 B.C.), and before Zachariah began his reign of six months. "Two years before the earthquake" would be 689-688 (a jubilee year). At that time the prophecy of Amos commenced (689 B.C.). He declared the death of Jeroboam by the sword (Amos 7:11 ), and the captivity (Amos 7:11 ), which took place seventy-eight years later (in 611 B.C.). Possibly he was "chased out" of Israel into Judah by Amaziah the priest of Beth-el, on the charge of treason against Jeroboam (Amos 7:10-17 ); or he may have remained (most probably) and perished in the earthquake, as there is no reference to that catastrophe, which might be expected, if his prophecies had extended beyond that great landmark in the history of Israel. It would, in that case, follow that the period covered by Amos was during those two years, which would be 689-687 B.C. The death of Jeroboam II presumably took place before, or about the time of, the earthquake.