Amos

Amos 7:10-17 Judgment On A False Priest And Captivity For Israel.

Rather than submit to the prophetic word because it revealed God’s will, the religious and political leadership conspired together against the prophet, because they regarded him as conspiring against them with what he was saying and writing (v. 10). The judgment against Jeroboam was clear, he would die by the sword, and Israel would be taken away captive, which occurred in 722 B.C. (v. 11 Cf. 5:27; 6:7). This exile was one of the curses for breaking covenant law (Cf. Dt. 28:36, 64). Jeroboam (II Kgs. 14:23) was also guilty of appointing his own priests, not from the Levitical order. He also appointed himself as priest of one of his shrines, thus presuming upon both offices (Cf. I Kgs. 12:29-32; 13:33). They did this even at the historic sites of covenant renewal, like Bethel the house of God (Cf. 4:4). Instead, Amaziah commands Amos to prophesy elsewhere (v. 12 Cf. Acts 4:18), and declares Bethel to be “the king’s sanctuary, and it is the royal residence” (v. 13 Cf. 2:12; 7:9).

Amos, in response to Amaziah, made clear that he did not train or seek out the office of a prophet (v. 14a Cf. I Kgs. 20:35; II Kgs. 2:5; II Chr. 19:2). He “was a sheepbreeder and a tender of sycamore fruit” (v. 14b Cf. 1:1; II Kgs. 3:4; Zech. 13:5). It was the covenant LORD who took him from following the flock, who said to Amaziah that he would prophesy to His covenanted people Israel (v. 15 Cf. 3:8). For this reason Amos commands Amaziah to “hear the word of the LORD” (v. 16). “Therefore thus says the LORD,” that because Amaziah rejected the word, his wife would become a harlot, and his sons and daughters would “fall by the sword” (v. 17a Cf. Is. 13:16; Lam. 5:11; Hos. 4:13; Zech. 14:2). The “survey line” here may echo the plumb line of 7:8, which as another exacting line speaks to specific divisions of those going into captivity, but Amaziah himself would “die in a defiled land” (v. 17b Cf. II Kgs. 17:6; Ezek. 4:13; Hos. 9:3). “By living in a pagan land he would become ritually unclean Lev. 11-16)” (NGSB. p.1407).

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