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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Amos 7

Verse 1

Amo 7:1. We see Amos in the role of an intercessor for Irsael, and by his plea to God causes the divine wrath to tie turned back. The subject is presented figuratively and begins with the idea of insects being created to destroy the young vegetation. After the main crop is harvested, called the king's mowings, a tender growth of grass comes up in the same field, here called the latter growth. This is what the insects destroyed according to the figurative prediction.

Verse 2

Amo 7:2, After this destruction by the insects, Amos made his plea on behalf of Jacob (Israel), suggesting that the nation was too small to withstand such a loss.

Verse 3

Amo 7:3. Lord repented means the Lord changed his mind and removed the insects.

Verse 4

Amo 7:4. But the people were not truly penitent and did not make the proper reformation even though the Lord had relieved their distress. Then He brought a more severe chastisement upon the land. This time it was in the form of fire that dried up the great deep which means the water supply in the veins of the earth,

Verse 5

Amo 7:5, Again the prophet pleads on behalf of the people.

Verse 6

Amo 7:6. The Lord was again en-treated to relent and withdraw His wrath, to give the nation a chance to reform or change the way of life from had to good.

Verse 7

Amo 7:7. The repeated acts of mercy that God. showed toward Israel were not appreciated, but they always slipped back, into their former way of sin. If they even ceased It at all. The pa-tience of the Lord finally was exhausted and He determined to use more severe measures against the unfaithful nation. It is Indicated by the use of the plumbiine w'hich will be explained with the comments on the next verse.

Verse 8

Amo 7:8. Plumbline is from anas, which Strong defines, "To be narrow," In symbolic language it indicates something strict and exacting, and was an appropriate article for the decree that God was about to make. He had been lenient with the unfaithful people until they no longer deserved mercy as a nation. Wot pass by means that the Lord would not overlook their iniquity again but would bring severe punishment on them.

Verse 9

Amo 7:9. We have seen the names of Joseph and Jacob used to signify the nation of Israel, now it is Isaac that is used in the same way. In all of the cases it is because of the important relation the men sustained to the race. The predictions and rebuke of the book frequently apply with equal force to all of the Jewish nation, but the writings of Amos generally are made with reference to the 10-tribe kingdom, That is why this verse mentions Jeroboam, he being the man who led the revolt resulting in the establishment of that kingdom (1 Kings 12).

Verse 10

Amo 7:10. This is not the Jeroboam mentioned in the preceding verse, but the one named in Amo 1:1, and who is often referred to as Jereboam II. Bethel was one of the places where the first Jeroboam erected altars for idolatrous worship {1 Kings 12: 29), and of course such a place would call for the services of a priest; hence the statement that Amaziah was the priest of Bethel. That will also explain why he objected to the work of Amos. In all ages, men have opposed those who offered them unpleasant truth, espe-cially if it condemned their conduct. The predictions by Amos that the na-tion was to be overthrown were made in view of the corruptions of which the services of Amaziah were an ini- portant part. He realized that truth and hence was aroused against the prophet and sent the message to the king of Israel. He doubtless thought he was acting the part of a loyal citizen in giving this information to his master. Not able to bear means they could not endure or be reconciled to the predictions of the prophet.

Verse 11

Amo 7:11. There is no evidence that Amos predicted the death of Jeroboam in the manner accused by Amaziah. 2 Kings 14: 26-29 shows the death of that king not to have been caused by the sword. But the other statement of Amaziah was true, for Amos was authorized to predict the exile of the kingdom of Israel. It is a common trick of evil men to mix some truth with their error so as to deceive their hearers and cause them to accept the entire story.

Verse 12

Amo 7:12. A seer is the same as a prophet; it means literally one who sees into the future, Amaziah thought he could get rid of the unpleasant pre-dictions of Amos by having him move into some other locality. He suggested that he go and deliver his messages in the land of Judah, which was the 2-tribe kingdom. Such a suggestion had the appearance of being fair and that he recognized him as a prophet of God who was qualified to contact His people wherever they might be.

Verse 13

Amo 7:13. Amaziah spoke on behalf of Jeroboam who was the king and whose chapel (religious headquarters) was at Bethel, one of the seats of idol-atry. He seems to think that by the removal of the one who was giving the unpleasant predictions, he could be rid of the fulfillment of them. It was as foolish as it would be to discharge a doctor who discovered a dreadful disease in one’s body.

Verse 14

Amo 7:14. The speech of Amaziah implied that he considered Amos as one of the regular prophets who had no other occupation. In that case it would not matter very much where he worked, just so he did the work of a prophet. He would then not be idle from his life's work were lie to go into the land of Judah and continue his regular occupation. But Amos enlightened him on the subject and told him that he was not that kind of prophet, but was a shepherd by occupation. He had been called as a special servant of the Lord for the missioD of delivering the predictions intended for the 10-tribe kingdom, and only incidentally to include some things pertaining to Judah. Prophet’s son means one of the young men who were being trained by the regular prophets, not a son in the usual sense of that word.

Verse 15

Amo 7:15, While Amos was engaged about his work with the flock, the Lord appeared to him by inspiration and told him to go and prophesy unto Israel, which here means the 10-tribe kingdom, not Judah as Amaziah wanted him to do.

Verse 16

Amo 7:16. Amos wants Amaziah to know that he is not speaking his own ideas, but that it is the word of the Lord. House of Isaac has the same meaning as house of Israel since he was one of the important men in the blood line from Abraham.

Verse 17

Amo 7:17. Amos was not intimidated by the criticism of Amaziah but gave him the final paragraph of his pre-dictions. Not only was the nation to suffer the captivity but his own family was to be disgraced. Divided by line means the land would be measured off into lots and taken possession of by the enemy.
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Amos 7". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. 1952.