1. What do we learn about Amos in the first verse of this chapter?
“The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake” (Amos 1:1).
- Amos was among the herdmen (Amos 7:14) [sheepmaster; cf. II Kings 3:4] of Tekoa [a town in the hill country of Judah near Hebron built by king Rehoboam of Judah] (Strong’s # 8620). The Lord did not need “professional speakers” to deliver His word (I Corinthians 1:27-2:5).
- Amos had visions [which he saw; cf. Isaiah 1:1] (Numbers 12:6 and Hosea 12:10).
- Amos was a prophet in the days of Uzziah [Azariah] king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel (II Kings 13:13-15:7 and II Chronicles 26:1-27:2).
- Other prophets we know for sure of this time were Amos were Isaiah (Isaiah 1:1), Hosea (Hosea 1:1), Jonah (II Kings 14:25 and Jonah 1:1), and Micah (Micah 1:1).
- This vision came to him two years before the earthquake (Zechariah 14:5).
2. As the Lord roared from Zion, was His threat against Damascus empty?
No: “(2) And he said, The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither. (3) Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron: (4) But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad. (5) I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the LORD” (Amos 1:2-5).
- The Lord is not just an empty talker (Numbers 23:19, I Samuel 15:26-29, and Habakkuk 2:3).
- The Lord WILL roar from Zion (Isaiah 42:13 and Jeremiah 25:30).
- Why would the habitations of the shepherds mourn (Jeremiah 12:1-4 and Amos 4:7-8)?
- By the measure of their sins the Lord would not turn away the punishments thereof (Leviticus 26:21).
- Hazel oppressed Israel (II Kings 13:22).
- Benhadad went up against Israel (II Kings 6:24).
- Israel was delivered into their hands by the Lord (II Kings 13:3).
- God did deliver them into captivity (II Kings 16:9).
3. Was God going to turn away His judgment from Gaza?
No: “(6) Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom: (7) But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof: (8) And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD” (Amos 1:6-8).
- The Philistines history with the children of Israel goes back to the days of Issac (Genesis 26:6-17). God had used the Philistines to punish Israel (Judges 10:6). Most might remember the Philistines from the days of Samson (Judges 14:1-16:31). Later, beginning in the days of Samuel, through Saul and David, we continually read about the battles between Israel and the Philistines (I Samuel 4-II Samuel 23).
- With that long history against Israel, and a time to come wherein they would invade (II Chronicles 28:18); they’re God’s enemies (Jeremiah 47:1-7).
- Ezekiel 25:15-16, Zephaniah 2:4-7, and Zechariah 9:5
4. Why was the Lord going to punish Tyrus?
Because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant: “(9) Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant: (10) But I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces thereof” (Amos 1:9-10).
- There was a brotherly covenant between Israel and Tyre going back to the days of David and Solomon (I Kings 5:1-12).
- However, they turned to be the enemy of God’s people (Ezekiel 26:1-3). They were going to grow to a point of extreme arrogance (Ezekiel 28:1-19).
- Therefore, a devouring judgment was coming (Isaiah 23:1-18).
5. As the Lord speaks of His punishment towards Edom, what do we learn is the reason the Edomites continued to err?
They held on to anger over an ancient matter: “(11) Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever: (12) But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah” (Amos 1:11-12).
- The relationship between Israel and Edom has long been a problem. Going back to Jacob and Esau wherein Jacob was not honorable (Genesis 25:29-34 and Genesis 27:1-41; cf. Hebrews 12:15-17).
- Peace was made between them (Genesis 33:1-15).
- However, the decedents of Esau [Edom; Genesis 36:1] didn’t let it go. They long held a grudge (Ezekiel 35:11).
- They had attacked their brethren (Obadiah 1:10-14).
- They, in the future of when Amos is a prophet, were going to take their brethren captive (II Chronicles 28:17-18).
- For this, they are being judged (Ezekiel 25:12-14).
6. For what reason did the Lord determine to punish the Ammonites?
“(13) Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border: (14) But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind: (15) And their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together, saith the LORD” (Amos 1:13-15).
- The Ammonites were descendants of Lot (Genesis 19:30-38).
- The problems and separation of them from their brethren the Israelites goes way back (Numbers 20:14-21 and Deuteronomy 23:3-4).
- At times, God even delivered His people Israel into their hands for punishment (Judges 10:7-9).
- Ripping up the women with children was not something just done by the Ammonites (II Kings 15:16). Even God used such as punishment (Hosea 13:16).
- They wanted to enlarge their borders (Jeremiah 49:1).
- Their king and princes were destined for captivity because of their sins (Jeremiah 27:1-11 and Jeremiah 49:3).
© 2021 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.