Amos 7

• Visions of Israel’s destruction (locusts, fire, plumb line) — 7:1-9
• Conflict between Amaziah and Amos — 7:10-17

Amos 7:10-17
7:10 Then Amaziah the priest [chief priest; not a true priest of the Lord (cf. 1 Kings 12:31)] of Bethel [chief worship center in Northern Kingdom] sent a message [in which he attributed a political motive to Amos’ message] to Jeroboam [lived in Samaria, about fifty miles from Bethel] king of Israel: “Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear [hold, contain, endure] all his words [suggests Amos’ words were undermining the government].

7:11 For this [note two threats Amaziah reported] is what Amos [Amaziah did not attribute Amos’ words to God] is saying [Amaziah misquoted Amos’ words]: “‘[1] Jeroboam will die by the sword [Amos actually had said the sword would come on the “house” or dynasty of Jeroboam (cf. v. 9)], and [2] Israel will surely go into exile [cf. 5:5,27; 6;7], away from their native land.’”

7:12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer [synonymous with term translated “prophet” (7:14); literally “to gaze intently, so as to discern”; Amaziah likely used the term sarcastically]! Go back to the land of Judah [Amos’ home territory]. Earn your bread there [implied Amos was preaching for money] and do your prophesying there [anywhere but at Bethel].

7:13 Don’t prophesy [message from God not welcomed at Bethel] anymore at Bethel, because [political reason] this is the king’s [no mention of God] sanctuary [literally “the holy place of the king”] and the temple of the kingdom [the national shrine; principal place of worship for the nation].”

7:14 Amos answered [note his emphatic response] Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet [a professional prophet] nor a prophet’s son [term for one enrolled in a school of the prophets or who belonged to a prophetic order], but I was [and still am] a shepherd [herdsman; general word for one who tends animals; occupation of the poor], and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees [yielded bland fruit consumed by the poor; trees not located in Tekoa suggesting Amos had to occasionally leave herds to work in orchards].

7:15 But [introduced source of Amos’ call and authority to prophesy] the LORD took [“to capture, to seize, to carry along”] me [Amos under divine compulsion] from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go [not an option; Amos obeyed God’s call; cf. Amos 3:8], prophesy [“to speak under the Lord’s inspiration”] to my people Israel [Amos obeyed God command to prophesy rather than Amaziah’s command to stop prophesying (7:13)].’

7:16 Now then, hear the word of the LORD [spoken to Amaziah and his family; only time Amos prophesied against an individual]. You [Amaziah] say [cf. 7:13], “‘Do not prophesy against Israel [Northern Kingdom], and stop preaching against the house of Isaac [synonymous with Israel].’

7:17 “Therefore this is what the LORD says: “‘Your wife will become a prostitute [either in an effort to survive after the invasion of the land or as a prostitute for the invading soldiers] in the city, and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword [during Assyrian invasion]. Your [Amaziah’s] land will be measured [surveyed] and divided up [given to those who resettled the land], and you yourself will die in a pagan [unclean] country. And Israel will certainly go into exile, away from their native land. [fulfilled when Assyria destroyed Israel as a nation (2 Kings 17:6)]’”

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