God alone created the stars, so why would we consult the stars about our destinies when we can consult God? God alone gives us rain and provides for our needs, so why would we seek out another god to provide for us or, worse, to push God out of the picture altogether?
The question Amos 5:1-7 poses to us today is this: where are we seeking our security? Are we, like Israel, confusing human institutions for the activity of God in the world? Are we conflating the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of the earth?
Amos 4:6-13 tells us how, in an effort to bring Israel to her senses, God sent a series of calamities, including famine, drought, blight, pestilence, disease, and violence. Nevertheless, Israel wouldn’t turn back to God. This list of calamities is strongly reminiscent of the curse list in Deuteronomy 28, suggesting a covenant context for Amos 4.
Amos 4:4-5 sits in the middle of the trajectory of Hebrew prophecy by declaring that only worship that proceeds from a heart that loves God and loves its neighbor is acceptable to God. Amos sounds a lot like Jesus.
In Amos 4:1-3, the prophet focuses on the women of Samaria and calls them “Cows of Bashan”. Is he simply insulting these women and speaking out of an essentially misogynistic patriarchal worldview, or is he making a constructive theological point with this image?
In Amos 3:3-8, the prophet uses a series of rhetorical questions to deliver a warning to Israel about the inescapability of God’s coming judgment. But he also tells us about prophecy itself – that it carries with it an implied invitation to repent and be saved from the otherwise inescapable judgment.
The oracle against Judah in Amos 2:4-5 is typically regarded by scholars as a later insertion due to its use of Deuteronomic language and the apparent vagueness of its accusation. This article argues that dating a text late solely because of the presence of so-called “Deuteronomic” language is logically circular, and it proposes a reading of the first two chapters of Amos that makes the oracle against Judah an integral part of the passage’s rhetoric rather than an obligatory insertion.
Many biblical scholars doubt the authenticity of the oracles against Tyre and Edom in Amos 1:9-12. But not only do many of the arguments against their authenticity have other, better explanations, some, particularly those that argue for a much later date of the Edom oracle based upon its “appropriateness”, commit a fundamental error in logic.
Amos, Hosea, Micah – An Archaeological Commentary, by Philip J. King, is a commentary about the 8th century BC world of the earliest of the written prophets that takes its data from the field of archaeology. It is difficult to find a similar book that is so accessibly and compactly presented.