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3:1-6:14 REASONS FOR ISRAEL’S PUNISHMENT
The prophet’s responsibility (3:1-8)
Many Israelites thought that because they were God’s people, they could do as they liked without fear of punishment. On the contrary, says Amos, God’s choice of them to be his people is all the more reason why he will punish them if they are disobedient (3:1-2).
To prevent the people from thinking that he is making idle threats, Amos points out that he has good reason for speaking with such boldness. He gives a list of illustrations to show that there is a reason for everything. For example, if people go on a journey together, the reason is they have arranged it. If a lion roars, the reason is it has caught its prey. If a bird-trap shuts, the reason is a bird has been caught in it. If troops assemble for battle, the reason is the city fears an attack (3-6). Likewise if a prophet speaks boldly, the reason is God has given him a warning to pass on to the people. They should therefore take notice (7-8).
The corruption of Samaria (3:9-4:3)
Amos tries to shame the people of Israel (capital: Samaria) by inviting their enemies to come and see how bad the nation is, with all its oppression, lawlessness, violence and greed (9-10). Israel will surely be conquered and plundered. The only things that will remain as a reminder of former luxury will be a few scraps of furniture. The remains of the nation will be like the remains of a sheep that has been attacked and eaten by wild animals (11-12). The altars of the Baal worshippers and the luxurious houses of the corrupt upper classes will be smashed to pieces (13-15).
The wealthy women, who have urged their husbands on to exploit the poor simply to increase their own extravagance, are likened to a lot of fat cows. When the enemy conquers Samaria, these women will be taken captive and led out, like cows, through the gaps in the broken city wall (4:1-3).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Amos 3". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30