Amos Commentaries & Sermons


Commentaries, Sermons, Illustrations, Devotionals

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Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Amos Chart from Charles Swindoll
Another Amos Chart

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From Hampton Keathley IV

The Minor Prophets and their Message

  1. Hosea  - The Lord loves Israel despite her sin.  755-15 B.C.
  2. Joel - Judgment precedes Israel’s future spiritual revival. 835–796* B.C.
  3. Amos - God is just and must judge sin. 765-50 B.C.
  4. Obadiah - Sure retribution must overtake merciless pride. 848* B.C.
  5. Jonah - Divine grace is universal in its sweep. 780-50 B.C.
  6. Micah - Bethlehem-born Messiah will be mankind’s Deliverer. 740-690 B.C.
  7. Nahum - Doom is to descend on wicked Nineveh. 630-12 B.C.
  8. Habakkuk - Justification by faith is God’s way of salvation. 625 B.C. or earlier
  9. Zephaniah - The Day of the Lord must precede kingdom blessing. 625-10 B.C.
  10. Haggai - The Lord’s Temple and interests deserve top priority. 520 B.C.
  11. Zechariah - The Lord will remember His people Israel. 520-15 B.C.; Zech 9–14 after 500 B.C.
  12. Malachi - Let the wicked be warned by the certainty of judgment. 433-400 B.C.
  • All dates are approximate. *The text does not specifically date these prophets. As a result differences of opinion exist concerning the time of their ministries. (from The New Unger’s Bible Handbook)

Interesting Facts about Amos

The name Amos means burden or burden bearer. Since most of the prophecies of Amos concern coming judgment on either the nations surrounding Israel or judgment on Israel itself, he was a man with a burden. It seems that Amos had no “formal” theological or prophetic training, though there was a “school of the prophets” known as the sons of the prophets at that time (1 Kings 20:35, 2 Kings 2:3–15, 2 Kings 4:1, 2 Kings 4:38). Amos was a simple man, a farmer, who had been uniquely called to ministry. Amos uses an unusual word to describe his occupation. Instead of calling himself a “shepherd,” the literal ancient Hebrew calls Amos a “sheep raiser.” Amos probably chose this title to emphasize the fact that he really was a shepherd, and that he did not mean “shepherd” in a symbolic, spiritual sense. The way God used Amos reminds us of the way He used the twelve disciples of Jesus—common, workingmen used to do great things for God. - David Guzik

Amos 1-2 Amos Looks Around
Amos 3-6 Amos Looks Within
Amos 7-9 Amos Looks Ahead 
-- Warren Wiersbe


Amos, like most of the prophets, told us of a bright future for God’s Chosen People. The whole land will once more be a kingdom under the house of David (see Amos 9:11–12). The Tabernacle of David, now gone, will be rebuilt (see Acts 15:16–17). Israel will be restored to her land and will prosper. A happy people will dwell in a happy land. Always keep in mind that the Jewish people who have been scattered over the face of the world are being gathered back to their land of promise. National prosperity will again flourish. Jerusalem will be the capital of a mighty kingdom. Converted Israel will be God’s witnesses (see Amos 9:13–15). During times when sin abounds, people need to hear the same things Amos spoke. We’ve become too tenderhearted and gentle toward the common sins of people. We’ve forgotten how to denounce; we’ve lost the power of righteous indignation. Not so with Amos, plumb-line prophet that he was. The crooked wall always hates the straight line. So people hated Amos. They will hate us, too, if we speak out. Nevertheless, learn to speak, no matter what it costs. Always remember the Man who used a small whip to purge the Temple (see John 2:13–16). Repentance is not just turning to God and lightheartedly saying, “I’m sorry.” Not even the truest repentance can remit sin. Redemption is costly. Christ paid the price. Salvation is the establishment of a personal relationship between the individual person and God. Nothing can take the place of that (see John 1:12). - Henrietta Mears - What the Bible is All About

IMPORTANCE FOR TODAY: the message of Amos is needed today as much as ever. In nations throughout the world, God’s people are still being persecuted. Even so, every act of persecution against God’s beloved people, Jew and Gentile alike, is known to God and will be severely judged. God will take vengeance against His enemies. But note: judgment begins with the house of God. Far too many people who call themselves Christians, even true believers, ignore God’s Word and commandments. Or, they seek God only for His blessings or to help in times of trouble. Like the Israelites of Amos’s day, some live only to please themselves. Similarly, religion is still heartless and the religious still halfhearted. Wealthy nations and churches still hoard their wealth as much as ever. The rich still neglect, oppress, and exploit the poor. Injustice still dominates most nations and institutions. And most societies are more corrupt and ungodly than ever. God has judged nations and His own people for these sins in the past. And He will do so again. The great book of Amos has forewarned us. Let us all have ears to hear and hearts willing to obey his message. May God richly bless you as you study the timeless message of Amos.....The Christological or Christ-Centered Purpose: like the prophet Joel, Amos does not mention the Messiah or Jesus Christ directly. But the kingdom of Christ is clearly pictured in the promise of Israel’s restoration. Christ is the One who will establish God’s kingdom on earth, an eternal kingdom of peace and prosperity (Amos 9:11–15; see also Mt. 13:41; Lu. 1:33; He. 1:8; Re. 11:15). - Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible

Outline of Amos
I.  The Author and Theme of the Book,  Amos 1:1-2

II.  The Prophecies of Amos,  Amos 1:3-2:16

A.  Concerning Damascus,  Amos 1:3-5
B.  Concerning Philistia,  Amos 1:6-8
C.  Concerning Tyre,  Amos 1:9-10
D.  Concerning Edom,  Amos 1:11-12
E.  Concerning Ammon,  Amos 1:13-15
F.  Concerning Moab,  Amos 2:1-3
G.  Concerning Judah,  Amos 2:4-5
H.  Concerning Israel,  Amos 2:6-16

III.  The Sermons of Amos,  Amos 3:1-6:14

A.  The Doom of Israel,  Amos 3:1-15
B.  The Depravity of Israel,  Amos 4:1-13
C.  A Dirge over Israel,  Amos 5:1-6:14

1.  The ruin of Israel in coming judgment,  Amos 5:1-17
2.  The rebuke of religious people,  Amos 5:18-27
3.  The reprimand of the entire nation,  Amos 6:1-14

IV.  The Visions of Amos,  Amos 7:1-9:15

A.  A Vision of Devouring Locusts,  Amos 7:1-3
B.  A Vision of Fire,  Amos 7:4-6
C.  A Vision of a Plumb Line,  Amos 7:7-9
D.  An Historical Interlude: Opposition from the Priest of Bethel,  Amos 7:10-17
E.  A Vision of a Basket of Summer Fruit,  Amos 8:1-14
F.  A Vision of the Lord Judging,  Amos 9:1-10
G.  A Vision of Future Blessing,  Amos 9:11-15

- Sidlow Baxter - Explore the Book

Christ in Amos
A M Hodgkin

The “man of God from Judah” was sent to Bethel in the northern kingdom to rebuke Jeroboam I. as he was sacrificing to the golden calves. Another man of God from Judah was sent to prophesy at Bethel, during the reign of Jeroboam II., in the person of the herdman, or shepherd, Amos. Amos is one of the many instances in the Bible of the Lord calling a man to some special service while occupied with his ordinary daily work.

On the wild uplands of Judah beyond Tekoa, which is twelve miles south of Jerusalem, Amos, inured to hardship and danger, received his training as a prophet straight from the hand of the Lord. His beautiful style abounds in illustrations drawn from his mountain home. He had learnt the power of the Creator in the mountains and the wind, in the dawn and in the darkness. Like David he had gazed upon the stars and looked beyond them to their Maker. Like him also, as he had “followed the flock” (Amos 7:15), he had known what it was to defend them from the wild beasts, both the lion and the bear, and is probably describing his own experience when he speaks of a shepherd taking out of the mouth of the lion “two legs or a piece of an ear.” The snare of the fowler and the snake concealed in the rough stone wall were alike familiar to him. He was also a “gatherer,” or “dresser,” of sycamore fruit. This fruit, which is a very inferior sort of fig, only eaten by the very poor, has to be scarified at one stage of its growth with a special instrument for the purpose, in order to enable it to swell and ripen properly. Many of the figures which Amos uses are taken from the milder lowlands; these also may have been familiar to him in his earlier life, or, as a keen observer of nature, may have struck him as he prophesied in the plains of Samaria. He speaks of the oaks and the cedars, the vines and fig-trees olive-trees, the gardens, the ploughmen, the sower, the reaper, and the cart pressed down with its weight of sheaves.

The Earthquake. Amos opens his prophecy by quoting the words of Joel, “The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem.” He tells us in the verse before, that his prophecy was uttered “two years before the earthquake.” Joel also says, “The heavens and the earth shall shake.” They no doubt refer to the same earthquake, and it must have been one of exceptional severity; for Zechariah speaks of it nearly three hundred years later, as an event well remembered, though the whole captivity in Babylon had intervened (Zechariah 14:5). The Hebrew word Raʾash suggests the English word Crash, “two years before the crash.” Dr. Waller, in his little book on Amos, shows how perfectly the prophet’s description of the coming catastrophe fitted the event, though probably at the time he prophesied he did not realize that it was an earthquake he was describing. Twice over (Amos 8:8, 9:5, R.V.) we read that “The land is to rise up wholly like a flood, and sink again as the flood of Egypt.” This is a most terrible form of earthquake. “If the widespread effect of the earthquake in Amos is indicated literally by the clause seven times repeated in Amos 1 and 2, ‘I will send fire which shall devour the palaces,’ then the shock must have extended from Tyrus to Gaza on the coast of the Mediterranean and from Damascus to Rabbah of the children of Ammon on the east of Jordan. The whole of the bed of the Jordan is said to be volcanic—which means that the underground forces are there, and available if the Lord of creation should choose to set them at work.” Fires almost invariably follow severe earthquakes.

Reading Amos in the light of the earthquake we can account for various things he foretells. The fires throughout the book. “The waters of the sea poured upon the face of the earth” (Amos 5:8). “If there remain ten men in one house they shall die” (Amos 6:9). “He will smite the great house with breaches, and the little house with clefts” (Amos 6:11). “Shall not the land tremble?” (Amos 8:8). “Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake” (Amos 9:1). “He toucheth the land and it shall melt” (Amos 9:5).

But behind the primary fulfillment of his words in the earthquake there was the terrible invasion of the Assyrians, and the people carried into captivity (Amos 5:27; 6:14). And behind all this “the day of the Lord.” “Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel” (Amos 6:12).

Judgment on the Nations. Amos opens the way for his message to Israel by proclaiming the Lord’s judgment upon six surrounding nations—Damascus (Syria), Gaza (Philistia), Tyrus (Phoenicia), Edom, Ammon, Moab. Then he comes nearer home and pronounces judgment against Judah (Amos 2:4), and against Israel itself (Amos 2:6), and finally against the whole nation (Amos 3:1–2).

It would seem that the people questioned his authority, for he proceeds by a series of seven questions to show that the Lord has revealed His secret to him, and that therefore he can do no other than prophesy (Amos 3:3–8).

He denounces the sins of Israel in more graphic detail than Hosea, dwelling especially on the careless ease and luxury, the oppression of the poor, the extortion and lying and cheating which prevailed, and the utter hypocrisy in worship. The Lord grieves over the people for not attending to His judgments, with the refrain, “Yet have ye not returned unto Me, saith the Lord,” and the renewed invitation, “Seek ye Me and live.”

Five Visions. The last three chapters [Amos 7–9] contain a fivefold vision of judgment which the Lord showed Amos.

First the locusts, and second the fire, which judgments are removed in answer to his intercession. Third the plumb-line. There was no hope of deliverance from this last. The Lord said, “I will not again pass by them any more.” This unqualified pronouncement of judgment stirred up the smoldering animosity of Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, to a flame, and he denounced the prophet to the king, saying, “The land is not able to bear his words,” so mightily had they shaken the nation. At the same time he urged Amos to flee away back to the land of Judah and prophesy there—but not here at the Court of the king. Amos fearlessly told of the Lord’s call, “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and said, Go, prophesy unto My people Israel.” He then pronounced the Lord’s judgment upon Amaziah, and proceeded with the account of the remaining visions regardless of the interruption. The fourth vision was of the basket of summer fruit, the last basket. “The end has come upon My people.” The prophet saw the guilty nation ripe for judgment. The fifth vision is of the Lord Himself, standing upon the altar, and closes with the glorious promise of restoration for the fallen Tabernacle of the House of David, the promise of the Messiah who was to come at the moment of its greatest humiliation. This passage is quoted in Acts (Acts 15:15–17) by James, and applied to the ingathering of the Gentile believers, and God’s favor at the same time to the House of David, when His purpose for Jew and Gentile alike will be accomplished.

Reflections of Christ in Amos
Paul R. Van Gorder

During the time of great spiritual decline in Israel, God chose Elijah, an obscure man from the mountains of Gilead, and used him to turn the nation from its idolatry. One hundred fifty years later, Jeroboam II was on the throne. Great prosperity was in Israel, but also great wickedness prevailed. So, God put His hand upon another man of the outdoors, Amos. He was a herdsman of Tekoa, a village located about 5 miles south of Bethlehem. Although he lived in the Southern Kingdom, he prophesied primarily to the Northern Kingdom.

This is what he said of himself, ''I am no prophet, neither am I a prophet's son, but I am an herdsman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit; and the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto My people, Israel'' (Amos 7:14,15). 
Amos had a double-faceted message from God:

  1. first, he denounced the sins of Israel;
  2. second, Amos looked beyond the sin and judgment and saw the triumph to follow. God will not let sin thwart His purposes.

A striking verse of this prophecy sets the theme: ''And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumb line. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumb line in the midst of My people, Israel'' (Amos 7:8). God does not overlook sin.


Predictions of Judgment on Surrounding Peoples (Amos 1:1- 2:3)

Predictions of Judgment upon Jerusalem and Judah (Amos 2:4-16)

The Sentence of Judgment against the ''House of Jacob'' (Amos 3:1- 9:7)

Although Israel, the 10-tribe kingdom, is particularly in view, this foretelling takes in the whole family of Israel. Amos exposes the moral corruption and the apostasy of the people.

Promise of Restoration and Glory (Amos 9:8-15)

The house of Jacob would be preserved, the throne of David restored, and glory given to the kingdom. This will be fulfilled at the second coming of Christ.


Perhaps the greatest reason for the prophet's condemnation of Israel was that the people were ''at ease.'' They were indolent, sinful, and indifferent to the Lord. All of this was at a time when great unrighteousness marked the nation. It will help if we consider what characterized this unrighteousness.A dependence upon natural things (Amos 6:1).

In effect, the people of Israel said, ''Look at our fortifications; these very mountains are our bulwarks.'' How often this is the attitude of God's heavenly people today, the church! We boast about our buildings, our great expenditures of money, our large staff, our growing prestige. But God says, ''Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit'' (Zechariah 4:6). God's work is not dependent upon our natural resources. The apostle Paul declared, ''And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence'' (1Corinthians 1:28,29).

A false optimism (Amos 6:3).

The prophets would often draw attention to coming calamities. But the people would say, ''The evil day is far off; it will not come in our generation.'' The attitude today parallels that of Amos' time. We are slow to accept what the Scripture explicitly declares-- that perilous times are ahead, that a religion will arise without power, that a departure from the faith will occur, and that Christians will reject sound doctrine. Yes, a false optimism prevails today, in spite of the clear teaching of the Word of God.

They lived in luxury (Amos 6:4).

The people were self-sufficient and had forgotten their need for God. High living characterized the lifestyle of Israel. And Jesus observed during His earthly ministry, ''So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God'' (Luke 12:21). [cp. Rev 3:17]

The were absorbed in the culture of music (Amos 6:5).

''That chant to the sound of the harp, and invent to themselves instruments of music.'' What a marvelous gift music is! But sin has spoiled it, and the curse is clearly evident in that realm of human activity. All creation was once in tune in the major mode. The morning stars sang together. One day, this major mode will return, and the trees will burst forth in music. But Israel's music appealed to the flesh; it was sensual. The people said, in so many words, ''Our music must be all right; it is just like David's.''


The Holy Spirit, through the prophet Amos, announced a series of judgments upon seven nations (chapters 1,2). This was followed by three searching messages to Israel, each beginning with the phrase, ''Hear this Word'' (3:1; 4:1; 5:1).

Amos reminded the Jews of their unique privileges, that they only, of all the families of the earth, have been known by God. But privilege always entails responsibility: ''...therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities'' (3:2). The remainder of chapter 3 spells out this fact.

The next message is directed toward their sins, especially the insincerity of their formal religious ceremonies at Bethel and Gilgal (chapter 4).

Amos' third message was an exhortation to turn to the Lord, for he was predicting the overthrow of the kingdom, and the captivity (chapters 4,5).

These messages were followed be a series of five visions, culminating with a view of the Lord standing upon the altar, ready to strike destruction with His own hand (chapters 7-9).


Looking beyond the captivity of Israel and their restoration to the land, Amos described that glorious era when Christ will come the second time.

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and the hills shall melt.
And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink their wine; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord, thy God. (Amos 9:13-15)

The apostle James quoted a part of this passage and revealed the divine purpose. God is now visiting the Gentiles ''to take out of them a people for His name.'' Read the account in Acts 15:13-18. After the church has been called out (not the conversion of all Gentiles, but only the gathering out of an elect number), Christ will return. He will ''build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down'' (Acts 15:16). This He will do, restoring Israel to their Land so ''that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all nations'' (Acts 15:17).

In the prophecy of Amos, as in the other books of the Old Testament, God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is reflected in His glory and power.


  • Amos Commentary (conservative) - only 34 pages but packed with useful information, including numerous quotes from respected expositors and commentaries.

Big idea: People of privilege are not immune from God’s judgment and must return to the lord in repentance to experience His blessing.


1) Everyone Answers to God- Amos pronounced judgment from God on all the surrounding nations. God is in supreme control of all the nations, they all are accountable to Him.

2) Complacency- With all the comfort and luxury that Israel was experiencing came a false sense of security. Prosperity brought corruption and destruction.

3) Oppressing the Poor- The wealthy and powerful people of Samaria, the capital of Israel, had become prosperous, greedy and unjust. Illegal and immoral slavery came as the result of overtaxation and land-grabbing. There was also cruelty and indifference toward the poor. God is weary of greed and will not tolerate injustice.

4) Superficial Religion- Although many people had abandoned real faith in God, they still pretended to be religious. Merely participating in ceremony or ritual falls short of true religion.

Sermon Notes on Amos

Amos Commentary
Anecdotes, illustrations, etc

Be a Berean - Not Always Literal Especially in prophetic passages

Amos Commentary
Anecdotes, illustrations, etc

Amos Commentary

Resources that Reference Amos

Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Related to Amos

  • Amos Chart
  • Amos pictures related to Amos
  • Excellent Map Related to Amos
  • Amos - Another Bible Map (scroll down)
    "Amos was preaching primarily to the people of the Normal Kingdom of Israel, he begins with their neighbors and encircles Israel as he goes. It’s then he moves in to strike! Israel has been behaving just like their pagan neighbors and are also heading for judgment. You can imagine the effect this would have on his audience. As he begins to preach “judgment for Edom” and “the sins of Tyre” would gather a crowd. The people would be nodding in agreement, and maybe even cheering for the end of their enemies, but as Amos finishes his circuit with first Judah and then Israel the people discover that the circle of judgment around them is a noose tightening around their own neck."

Amos Commentary

Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture Literally

Amos Commentary

Sermon Notes on Amos

Sermon Notes on Amos

Commentary on Amos

Simple Translation of Amos

Israelology Articles

Note: This resource is listed because it has numerous commentary notes that relate to the OT Prophetic Books

Commentary on Amos
The Annotated Bible
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

I. Judgment of the Nations, Judah and Israel. Chapters 1-2

Amos 1:1-2 The Introduction

Amos 1:3-5 Damascus

Amos 1:6-8 Philistia

Amos 1:9-10 Tyre

Amos 1:11-12 Edom

Amos 1:13-15 Ammon

Amos 2:1-3 Moab

Amos 2:4-5 Judah

Amos 2:6-16 Israel

II. The Prophetic Messages Uncovering the Condition of the People. Chapters 3-6

Amos 3:1-8 There is Cause for Judgment

Amos 3:9-15 The Coming Judgment Visitation

Amos 4:1-5 Divine Threatening and Irony

Amos 4:6-11 Yet Have Ye Not Returned Unto Me

Amos 4:12-13 Prepare to Meet Thy God

Amos 5:1-3 The Lamentation

Amos 5:4-15 Seek the Lord and Ye Shall Live

Amos 5:16-20 The Wailing

Amos 5:21-27 The Captivity Announced

Amos 6:1-6 Woe to Them That Are at Ease in Zion

Amos 6:7-14 The Punishment Announced

III. The Five Visions of the Prophet. Chapters 7-9

Amos 7:1-3 The Vision of Locusts

Amos 7:4-6 The Vision Concerning the Fire

Amos 7:7-9 The Vision of the Plumbline

Amos 7:10-17 Opposition Against Amos

Amos 8:1-3 The Vision

Amos 8:4-10 Israel Ripe for Judgment

Amos 8:11-14 The Coming Days of Famine

Amos 9:1-10 The Fifth Vision. The Passing of a Kingdom

Amos 9:11-15 The Coming of the Kingdom

Commentary on Amos

Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture Literally and sometimes replaces Israel with the Church (note)

Comment on this Commentary: John Gill unfortunately all too often offers a non-literal interpretation in the Old Testament (especially in his commentary on the prophetic books) as shown in the following example from Amos 9:11KJV where Gill interprets "In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen" not even as the Targum which much more literally records this as a reference to the "tabernacle of the kingdom of the house of David". Instead, Gill spiritualizes the passage "to be understood of the spiritual kingdom of Christ, the church"! This is a nonsensical interpretation, for there is nothing in the context that allows one to conclude that the Old Testament prophet Amos was describing the New Testament church (a mystery [musterion] in the OT-cf Ep 3:4, 5-note, Ep 3:6-note) but of a literal tabernacle in a literal land, as indicated by the description of the bountiful harvest in Amos 9:12, 13 which describes a literal future kingdom when Israel will possess the remnant of Edom (modern day Jordan) (see the description of the unusually fruitful conditions of the Millennium). It follows that non-literal comments such as those Gill proffers on Amos 9:11-15 are misleading and can result in the observer completely missing God's specific intended meaning of the passage! John Calvin, Matthew Henry (see below) and Adam Clarke are among a number of older commentators who exhibit a similar propensity to identify OT references to the literal nation of Israel as references to the New Testament church. As noted Jamieson's commentary is generally more literal (see his much more literal comments on Amos 9:11ff). These older commentaries have some good material (Gill frequently injects interesting comments by Jewish writers) but clearly must be approached with a Berean-like mindset (Acts 17:11-note). The best rule to apply to the interpretation of these OT passages is to remember the maxim that if the plain sense of the text (the literal sense) makes good sense, seek to make no other sense lest it turn out to be nonsense!

Commentary on Amos

Sermons on Amos
Peninsula Bible Church

Commentary on Amos

    James Rosscup writes "This 1858 work supplies much help on matters of the text, word meaning, resolving some problems, etc. Some have found it one of the most contributive sources in getting at what a text means." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

    Commentary on Amos

    Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture Literally
    and sometimes replaces Israel with the Church (note)

    Comment on this Commentary: Matthew Henry's comments on the OT like those of John Gill, Adam Clarke's and John Calvin are not always literal (see preceding discussion). For example, Henry says Amos 9:11KJV refers to "those days that shall come, in which God will do great things for his church". Henry goes on to make the even more confusing nonsensical comment that "The church militant, in its present state, dwelling as in shepherds' tents to feed, as in soldiers' tents to fight, is the tabernacle of David." (See Tony Garland's article - Rise of Allegorical Interpretation). Hopefully, this example will help the reader understand why much caution is needed when viewing Matthew Henry's comments on the Old Testament, especially his comments on the prophetic books! So why is Henry even listed? Matthew Henry is included because he often has very practical, poignant devotional thoughts and/or pithy points of application.


    Interesting Resource, Be a Berean - Not Always Literal


    Amos 1 Critical Notes

    • Amos 1:1-2 The Man and His Message
    • Amos 1:3-5 The Judgment of Damascus
    • Amos 1:6-8 The Judgment of Gaza
    • Amos 1:9, 10 The Judgment of Tyre
    • Amos 1:11, 12 The Judgment of Edom
    • Amos 1:11, 12 The Judgment of Ammon
    • Amos 1 Illustrations to Chapter 1

    Amos 2 Critical Notes

    • Amos 2:1-3 The Judgment on Moab
    • Amos 2:4,5 The Judgment on Judah
    • Amos 2:6-16 The Judgment on Israel
    • Amos 2:10 Christian Pilgrimage
    • Amos 2 Illustrations to Chapter 2

    Amos 3 Critical Notes

    • Amos 3:1-2 God's Chastisement of A Covenant People
    • Amos 3:3-8 Divine Intentions and Executions
    • Amos 3:3 Walking in Agreement with God
    • Amos 3:9-12 National Calamities
    • Amos 3:13, 14 Divine Visitation
    • Amos 3 Illustrations to Chapter 3

    Amos 4 Critical Notes

    • Amos 4:1-3 Sad Pictures of Human Life
    • Amos 4:4-5 Ungodly Life and Formal Education
    • Amos 4:6-11 The Corrective Measures of God's Providence
    • Amos 4 The Firemen of God or the Strange Parallel Between Fire and Sin
    • Amos 4:12 Threatened Evil Escaped by Return of God
    • Amos 4:12, 13 Prepare to Meet Thy God
    • Amos 4:13 The Dispensations of Providence Carrying Out the Designs of Grace
    • Amos 4 Illustrations to Chapter 4

    Amos 5 Critical Notes

    • Amos 5:1-3 The Funeral Dirge
    • Amos 5:4-6 Seeking God and Renouncing Sin
    • Amos 5:6 Divine Justice A Consuming Fire
    • Amos 5:7 Judgment Turned to Wormwood
    • Amos 5:9, 10 God Greatly to be Feared
    • Amos 5:10-13 Manifold and Mighty Sins
    • Amos 5:13 Times of Prudent Silence
    • Amos 5:14,15 Seeking and Enjoying God
    • Amos 5:16-20 The Day of the Lord
    • Amos 5:18 Death Not Always Desirable
    • Amos 5:21-23 The Ritual Without the Moral
    • Amos 5:24 Judgments Like a Flood
    • Amos 5:25-27 Hereditary Sins and Grievous Punishment
    • Amos 5 Illustrations to Chapter 5

    Amos 6 Critical Notes

    • Amos 6:1 At Ease in Zion
    • Amos 6:2-3 Ingratitude for the Presence and Indifference to the Warnings of God
    • Amos 6:4-6 A Reckless Community
    • Amos 6:7-11 National Retribution Upon Sinful Indulgence
    • Amos 6:12-14 A Hopeless People
    • Amos 6 Illustrations to Chapter 6

    Amos 7 Critical Notes

    • Amos 7:1-3 The Scourging Locusts
    • Amos 7:4 God Contending With Fire
    • Amos 7:7-9 The Measuring Plumbline
    • Amos 7:1-9 The First Three Visions
    • Amos 7:10-17 The Encounter Between Priest and Prophet
    • Amos 7 Illustrations to Chapter 7

    Amos 8 Critical Notes

    • Amos 8:1-2 A Basket of Summer Fruit
    • Amos 8:3 A Day of Sadness
    • Amos 8:4-6 The Deeds of Covetousness
    • Amos 8:7-10 The Curse of Covetousness
    • Amos 8:11-14 A Famine of the Word
    • Amos 8 Illustrations to Chapter 8

    Amos 9 Critical Notes

    • Amos 9:1-4 The Final Calamity
    • Amos 9:4 God's Eye Fixed on Sinners
    • Amos 9:7,8 God's Covenant Does Not Invalidate His Word
    • Amos 9:8-10 The Sifting Process
    • Amos 9:11, 12 The Fallen Tabernacle Reared and Enlarged
    • Amos 9:13-15 The Spiritual Glory of the Raised Tabernacle
    • Amos 9 Illustrations to Chapter 9

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    One of the best older commentaries on prophetic passages. Tends to interpret the Scriptures literally.

    Unabridged Version

    Sermons on Amos

    Commentary on Amos

    Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture Literally See caveat regarding this commentary

    Commentary on the Old Testament

    Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture Literally

    Thru the Bible
    Commentary on Amos

    Mp3 Audio  Literal, futuristic interpretation Recommended

    Complete Commentary of Amos on one zip file


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    MARK COPELAND - excellent outline










    Excerpt: Interpretive Challenges = In Amos 9:11, the Lord promised that He “will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down.” At the Jerusalem Council, convened to discuss whether Gentiles should be allowed into the church without requiring circumcision, James quotes this passage (Acts 15:15,16) to support Peter’s report of how God had “visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name” (Acts 15:14). Some have thus concluded that the passage was fulfilled in Jesus, the greater Son of David, through whom the dynasty of David was reestablished. The Acts reference, however, is best seen as an illustration of Amos’ words and not the fulfillment. The temporal allusions to a future time (“On that day,” Amos 9:11), when Israel will “possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles” (Amos 9:12), when the Lord “will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them” (Amos 9:15), all make it clear that the prophet is speaking of Messiah’s return at the Second Advent to sit upon the throne of David (cf. Isaiah 9:7-See commentary), not the establishment of the church by the apostles.



    D L MOODY in "Notes from My Bible"

    Amos 4:12.  “Prepare to meet thy God.” Four things in this text:—
    a. There is one God.
    b. We are accountable to him.
    c. We must meet him.
    d. We need preparation to meet him.







    Though Amos ministered during the prosperous days of Uzziah in Judah and the second Jeroboam in Israel, he clearly perceived the rottenness underneath the outward magnificence which would sooner or later break out and bring about the ruin of the two houses of Israel. GOD would shake them as with an earthquake.

    However, he saw that a remnant would be preserved: "Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch" (Amos 3:12) (Amos 5:3-14). Israel's Shepherd would "deliver" them. And who can this Shepherd be but the One who says: "I am the good Shepherd?"

    Again there is a distinct personal type of the Messiah as the Intercessor in Amos 7:2-9. The Prophets of Israel were no mere lookers on from a distance. The SPIRIT of CHRIST was in them, and formed in them Christ-like feelings about the situations revealed to them prophetically. But there is more. Amos saw that beyond the judgments there would be a glorious revival to the fallen tabernacle of David (Amos 9:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15). Surely that revival could only be fulfilled in the risen CHRIST!

    In Him the destinies of the house of David find their goal. Here again the spirit of prophecy harks back to the original charter made with David in II Samuel: "And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever" (Amos 7:16). Even though the tree were hewn down and only a stump remained, yet out of it shall yet spring the lowly rod on which the seven-fold Spirit could rest: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD" (Isaiah 11:1-2). Hence the ancient synagogue called the Messiah Bar-Naphlim, that is: He who springs from the fallen family of David.




    Excerpt: Why is Amos so important? Amos was fed up. While most of the prophets interspersed redemption and restoration in their prophecies against Israel and Judah, Amos devoted only the final five verses of his prophecy for such consolation. Prior to that, God’s word through Amos was directed against the privileged people of Israel, a people who had no love for their neighbor, who took advantage of others, and who only looked out for their own concerns. More than almost any other book of Scripture, the book of Amos holds God’s people accountable for their ill-treatment of others. It repeatedly points out the failure of the people to fully embrace God’s idea of justice. They were selling off needy people for goods, taking advantage of the helpless, oppressing the poor, and the men were using women immorally (Amos 2:6–8; 3:10; 4:1; 5:11–12; 8:4–6). Drunk on their own economic success and intent on strengthening their financial position, the people had lost the concept of caring for one another; Amos rebuked them because he saw in that lifestyle evidence that Israel had forgotten God.



    Excerpts: AMOS' MESSAGE AGAINST SIN (Amos 6:1-8)

    Perhaps the greatest reason for the prophet's condemnation of Israel was that the people were ''at ease.'' They were indolent, sinful, and indifferent to the Lord. All of this was at a time when great unrighteousness marked the nation. It will help if we consider what characterized this unrighteousness.

    A dependence upon natural things (Amos 6:1).

    In effect, the people of Israel said, ''Look at our fortifications; these very mountains are our bulwarks.'' How often this is the attitude of God's heavenly people today, the church! We boast about our buildings, our great expenditures of money, our large staff, our growing prestige. But God says, ''Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit'' (Zechariah 4:6). God's work is not dependent upon our natural resources. The apostle Paul declared, ''And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence'' (1Corinthians 1:28,29).

    A false optimism (Amos 6:3).

    The prophets would often draw attention to coming calamities. But the people would say, ''The evil day is far off; it will not come in our generation.'' The attitude today parallels that of Amos' time. We are slow to accept what the Scripture explicitly declares-- that perilous times are ahead, that a religion will arise without power, that a departure from the faith will occur, and that Christians will reject sound doctrine. Yes, a false optimism prevails today, in spite of the clear teaching of the Word of God.

    They lived in luxury (Amos 6:4).

    The people were self-sufficient and had forgotten their need for God. High living characterized the lifestyle of Israel. And Jesus observed during His earthly ministry, ''So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God'' (Luke 12:21). [cp. Rev 3:17]

    The were absorbed in the culture of music (Amos 6:5).

    ''That chant to the sound of the harp, and invent to themselves instruments of music.'' What a marvelous gift music is! But sin has spoiled it, and the curse is clearly evident in that realm of human activity. All creation was once in tune in the major mode. The morning stars sang together. One day, this major mode will return, and the trees will burst forth in music. But Israel's music appealed to the flesh; it was sensual. The people said, in so many words, ''Our music must be all right; it is just like David's.''

    THE PROPHETIC MESSAGE-- Looking beyond the captivity of Israel and their restoration to the land, Amos described that glorious era when Christ will come the second time.

    Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and the hills shall melt.And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink their wine; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord, thy God. (Amos 9:13-15)

    The apostle James quoted a part of this passage and revealed the divine purpose. God is now visiting the Gentiles ''to take out of them a people for His name.'' Read the account in Acts 15:13-18. After the church has been called out (not the conversion of all Gentiles, but only the gathering out of an elect number), Christ will return. He will ''build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down'' (Acts 15:16). This He will do, restoring Israel to their Land so ''that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all nations'' (Acts 15:17). In the prophecy of Amos, as in the other books of the Old Testament, God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is reflected in His glory and power.










    GENE GETZ - short videos emphasizing various principles

    • Amos 1:1-2 Humble Servants: We are to live our lives believing that God desires to use each one of us regardless of our status and position in life. Video
    • Amos 1:3-2:16; God's Judgment: No matter what our spiritual heritage, we will only escape God's ultimate judgment through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Video
    • Amos 3:1-8; God's Coming Judgment: We should take very seriously God's warnings that judgment will eventually come on all who continue in sin and ignore His plan of salvation. Video
    • Amos 3:9-15; Accountability to God: As God's children, we are to respond to God's grace, realizing that God expects much from the one to whom He has given much. Video
    • Amos 4:1-5; Cultural Deterioration: When women begin to regress spiritually and morally, we should expect cultural deterioration to accelerate. Video
    • Amos 4:6-13;Preparing to Meet God: Though God's final judgment on sinful humanity will eventually come, we are to let all people know that the gift of salvation is still available. Video
    • Amos 5:1-17; Our Salvation Experience: To inherit eternal life, each one of us must have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Video
    • Amos 5:21-27; Religious Hypocrisy: We are to worship God with sincere and pure hearts, avoiding meaningless rituals. Video
    • Amos 6:1-14; Material Prosperity: We must never conclude that material prosperity and political power are indications that God approves of our lifestyle. Video
    • Amos 7:1-17; False Accusations: We who speak God's truth should not be surprised when we are falsely accused and persecuted, even by some who claim to be spiritual leaders.Video
    • Amos 8:1-14; God's Divine Revelation: Though we may feel God is silent, we must remember that He has spoken and continues to speak through the Holy Scriptures. Video




    • Holman Christian Standard Bible Study Bible - Sample excerpts from Amos 1 and Amos 9 notes...

      Amos 1:1 Some believe that Amos was a very poor man, being no more than a day laborer who tended livestock and worked in orchards (7:14), but sheep breeders may imply that Amos owned sheep and cattle and that he was in the middle or upper-middle class. The book does not tell us anything about his economic status. Although Amos was from Judah, his message was primarily designated for Israel, the northern kingdom. The earthquake was evidently of such severity that other events were dated relative to it. Lacking a single fixed point for their calendar (as our calendar has, being fixed relative to the birth of Christ), the Israelites dated events relative to the reigns of kings or to other significant events. In addition, the earthquake, coming two years after Amos's ministry, symbolically confirmed his message (9:5). The fact that the book is precisely dated to two years before the earthquake suggests that Amos's preaching career was fairly short.
      Amos 1:2 This verse sets the theme of the book: God is like a roaring lion. This symbolically portrays His giving a message to His prophets and His readiness to pounce and attack (3:4-8).
      Amos 1:3-2:16 The first section of Amos is a series of oracles against the nations: Damascus (or Syria; 1:3-5), Gaza (or Philistia; 1:6-8), Tyre (or Phoenicia; 1:9-10), Edom (1:11-12), Ammon (1:13-15), Moab (2:1-3), Judah (2:4-5), and Israel (2:6-16). The focus is on Israel, which is last and is given by far the longest oracle. There are six Gentile nations followed by Judah, the seventh. One would think that this creates a complete list, with seven oracles in all, but Israel comes as the eighth, and thus the tally of her sin is in effect greater than the number seven, which symbolized completion. That is, Israel is the quintessentially wicked nation. Also, the order of the nations slowly tightens around Israel. First is Damascus, to the northeast; then Gaza, to the southwest; then Tyre, to the northwest; then Edom, to the southeast; and next come Ammon and Moab, across the Jordan River to the east; and finally before Israel comes Judah, located immediately south of Israel.
      Amos 1:3 The significance of the expression for three crimes, even four is debated. But it could be translated as "for three crimes, and for [another] four," implying that the number of offenses had reached seven and was therefore complete, requiring judgment. Damascus regularly struggled with Israel for control of Gilead, east of the Sea of Galilee. It used brutal military tactics there, symbolically described as going over the countryside with iron sledges.
      Amos 1:4 Hazael and Ben-hadad were throne names used by all the kings of Damascus.
      Amos 1:6 The Philistines captured villages in order to sell the entire populace into slavery.
      Amos 1:7-8 All the major cities of the Philistines (Gaza...Ekron...Ashkelon, and Ashdod) are mentioned except Gath, which by the time of Amos had already been substantially wiped out.
      Amos 1:9 Tyre also raided towns to sell the people into slavery, and it did so in violation of treaty obligations.
      Amos 1:11 Edom committed border raids (probably against Judah) in which they exterminated entire populations.
      Amos 1:13 The Ammonites sought to exterminate the population of Gilead by slaughtering the pregnant women

      Amos 9:9:11-12 The fallen booth of David refers to the dynasty and empire of David (normally called the "house" of David but here a "booth," symbolic of the pathetic condition of this once-mighty line of kings). The restoration will take place first at the resurrection of Christ but after that in the eternal kingdom of the new heaven and new earth (Rev 21:1). Edom is representative of the Gentiles that hated and persecuted Israel. The point is that some day all nations, however hostile they have been, will submit either willingly or unwillingly. Paul likewise declared that some day every knee will bow to Jesus (Php 2:10). But clearly Amos did not envision simple domination of the Gentiles. Many will be called by My name, implying that they will belong to God. This promise is fulfilled now, as Gentiles all over the world worship Israel's God and Messiah. James understood the passage in this way and cited it as being fulfilled in the mission to the Gentiles (Ac 15:14-18). James's citation of Am 9:12 in Ac 15:17 differs somewhat from the Hebrew because he seems to be loosely quoting from the Greek Septuagint translation of Amos. Also, the Hebrew word for "Edom" is similar to the word for "humanity" (adam), which explains why Amos has "Edom" but James has "humanity."

      Amos 9:13-15 Just as God had promised to bring famine to Israel and nearly to exterminate the nation, He promises in these verses to give them abundant crops and a large population. The statement that the plowman will overtake the reaper is hyperbole for fruitfulness and served to assure the people that they would enjoy eternal well-being.



    • Amos Commentary Excerpt -  Application/Conclusion

      (1) Although the unbeliever's sins often appear worse to us, in God's eyes, those of the Christian are worse because we should know better. Chapters 1-2

    (2) Just like the Israelites looked down on her neighbor's for the atrocities they committed, I think we look down on those that commit gross sins and think that we are better than they, not realizing that God hates our sins of hypocrisy and idolatry more. Chapters 1-2

    (3) Just like God was patient with Israel and gave opportunity to repent. God also is patient with us an gives us time to repent, but don't abuse God's grace because we don't know when He will finally bring judgment. Chapter 4

    (4) Just like Amos reacted to God's judgment emotionally and thought it was unfair, we often do the same. When Amos saw things from God's perspective, he didn't protest any more. Chapter 7

    (5) God will restore Israel and will set up his kingdom so that all the nations can benefit from His rule.


    HOMILETICS - from Pulpit Commentary









    • Amos - Well Done - nice charts. Below is an excerpt:

      The message of Amos begins on a loud note. It begins with the "roar" of the Lord. The Hebrew word used here is usually used in the context of a lion. This stands in contrast to the way in which God has been pictured elsewhere. The same God of whom David could say, "The Lord is my shepherd," is now seen to be playing the part of a hungry lion....Interestingly, the book of Amos begins with the words with which the book of Joel ends. It is with this same reference to the roaring of the Lord from Zion....The Israelites continued to be a very religious people. They built up places of worship throughout their land and they held religious festivals and they gave offerings to the Lord. But there were two problems with their practice of religion.....It was a Religion without Reality. Even when the Israelites did worship the Lord, they did not allow their religion to affect their secular lives....There is a lesson here. It is that church attendance makes no points with God if it is not accompanied with personal justice and righteousness. The Israelites had not abandoned their religious practices. They had merely watered them down. They said, "We want to follow God, but we don't want to be fanatical about it." This was the world to which Amos preached. It was a world that was enamored with financial success; a world that was intent on climbing the ladder of success. In fifty years it would all be gone. The Assyrians had gone home for the time being, but within a few short years they would be back and they would completely obliterate the Northern Kingdom of Israel.



    • Amos, Hosea, Jonah and Micah -  Be very discerning: Utley is Amillennial and replaces Israel with the Church. Why listed? Because he has well done grammatical (word and phrase studies) and interesting historical comments (eg, see page 45 "Fertility Worship of the Ancient Near East" -See Related Resources: Millennium; Israel of God


    • Amos Devotional - Excerpt...

      Amos opened his book by pronouncing judgment on the Gentile nations for the way they had treated the Jews, and this must have made the kingdoms of Israel and Judah very happy. But then the prophet announced that Israel and Judah would be punished for the sins they had committed against the Lord. God had already disciplined his people by sending drought and famine, blight and mildew, diseases and wars, but now the ultimate judgment would come—death. They would meet not God’s “spankings” but God himself! The Assyrian army would invade the northern kingdom of Israel and many of the people would die. If you and I knew that we would die next week, how would we respond? If we suddenly had to rearrange our lives and alter them dramatically, then there is something wrong with our lives. We should so live for the Lord that he could call us at any time and we would be prepared. Israel was not prepared for several reasons.












    Careless soul, why will you linger?
    Wandering from the fold of God?
    Hear you not the invitation?
    O prepare to meet thy God.









    RICK WARREN - devotional

    Defender's Study Bible Notes
    Conservative, Literal Interpretation

    Amos 1 Commentary

    • Amos 1:1 - among the herdmen the earthquake
      among the herdmen. See Amos 9:11. Amos had not been trained as a prophet, nor was he a priest or a king. He was a mere shepherd and fruit-picker (Amos 7:14), yet God called him and used him. God gave him both the eloquence and courage necessary for his strong prophetic ministry, especially directed to the ten-tribe northern kingdom of Israel, but including also the whole nation. Note his warning to both the people of Zion and Samaria (Amos 6:1) and his promise concerning the future “tabernacle of David.”
      the earthquakeThis earthquake must have been very severe, for it was still cited in the days of Zechariah, three hundred years later (Zechariah 14:5). More geologic studies have recently confirmed the intensity of this earthquake.
    • Amos 1:2 - roar from Zion his voice from Jerusalem
      roar from Zion. As in many of the prophecies, there often is both a near fulfillment and a far fulfillment in view. The use of “roar” in this type of context usually looks forward to the great “day of the Lord” (Zechariah 14:1) yet to come in the last days (compare Isaiah 42:13; Jeremiah 25:30; Joel 3:16; etc., especially the latter).
      his voice from Jerusalem. Even though Amos was in Israel at Bethel (Amos 7:10-13), he knew that God would center His work at Jerusalem, when He would “roar out of Zion.”
    • Amos 1:3 - three transgressions
      This formula is repeated seven times against seven nations surrounding Israel (Syria, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, and Judah, in Amos 1:3,6,9,11,13; 2:1,4, respectively) before finally focussing on Israel (Amos 2:6). It probably implies a great number of transgressions in each case—three being sufficient to incur God’s wrath, with four causing it to spill over.
    • Amos 1:4 - a fire house of Hazael
      a fire. A “fire” from God is promised to each offending nation (Amos 1:4,7,10,12,14; 2:2,5) around Judah, implying severe destruction. The nations later implementing these fires were Assyria, Babylonia, Persia and Greece, but there may also be a secondary reference to the “fire on Magog” and his confederate nations around Israel in the last days (Ezekiel 39:6).
      house of Hazael. Hazael and Ben-Hadad were kings of Syria who invaded Israel during the reign of Ahab, in the times of Elijah and Elisha. Both names have been found on archaeological inscriptions dating from this period, recognizing their importance as Kings of Syria.
    • Amos 1:5 - captivity unto Kir
      According to II Kings 16:9, this prophecy was explicitly fulfilled when Tiglath-Pileser III temporarily aided Israel against the Syrians. The Syrians had originally come from Kir, according to Amos 9:7, but its actual location is unknown.
    • Amos 1:6 - Gaza
      Gaza, along with Ashdod, Ashkelon and Ekron (Amos 1:8), were the main cities of the Philistines.
    • Amos 1:8 - Philistines shall perish
      Although the land of Palestine was named after the Philistines, the present-day Palestinians are not descendants of the Philistines. The Philistines, as prophesied, have perished.
    • Amos 1:9 - transgressions of Tyrus
      On Tyre’s destruction, see notes on Ezekiel 26.

    Amos 2 Commentary

    • Amos 2: - law of the LORD
      Judah’s sin was greater than those of other nations, because the people of Judah uniquely had God’s law, and yet had despised it.
    • Amos 2: - height
      The exploits of the “giants” were still remembered some six hundred or more years after the conquests of Moses and Joshua. Compare Deuteronomy 2:10-21. They had been actual living men, possibly demonically controlled, but certainly not mere mythical creatures.
    • Amos 2: - Nazarites wine to drink
      The Nazarites were dedicated to lives of abstinence from wine and strong drink (Numbers 6:1-8), and the prophets were called and trained to prophesy God’s Word. It is doubly sinful not only to disobey God but also to induce or compel others to do so.

    Amos 3 Commentary

    • Amos 3:1 - against the whole family
      This expression indicates that Amos, while prophesying explicitly toward the ten-tribe northern kingdom of Israel, was also including all the tribes.
    • Amos 3:2 - families of the earth
      The expression “all the families of the earth” indicates that God’s dealings are with families or tribes, not races. Neither the term nor concept of “race” is found in Scripture. The original division was by “the families of the sons of Noah” (Genesis 10:32), evidently as enumerated in the Table of Nations (Genesis 10). These were also distinguished by their “tongues,” after the confusion of tongues at Babel (note Genesis 10:5,20,31).
    • Amos 3:3 - two walk together
      This timeless principle would caution us against any attempted union of believers and unbelievers (see 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
    • Amos 3:5 - gin
      That is, “engine,” some kind of mechanical trap, using a noose, whereas the “snare” mentioned twice in this verse seems to involve a thin plate masking a pit.
    • Amos 3:7 - his secret
      The Lord will not bring judgment upon His people without first warning them through His prophets, such as Amos. In our present day, on the other hand, God has spoken with finality through His Son (Hebrews 1:1-3) and His written Word (Revelation 22:18-19), so there is no further need of new revelation. All that is needed is for His teachers to teach and proclaim His Word as already revealed.

    Amos 4 Commentary

    • Amos 4:4 - transgress
      This ironic invitation recognizes the divisiveness of the false altar at Bethel, established by Jeroboam I (I Kings 12:29-33) and condemned by God. Although God had blessed the altars at Bethel established by Abraham and Jacob (Genesis 12:8; 28:17-19), He had by this time ordained the temple at Jerusalem as the sole place of sacrificial worship (Deuteronomy 12:1-14).
    • Amos 4:11 - Sodom
      The terrible destruction of the wicked cities of the plain (Genesis 19:24-25) was still regarded as historical fact, some twelve or more centuries after the event.
    • Amos 4:12 - meet thy God
      God had sent judgment after judgment on Israel, warning them to repent, but they would not heed. Now, nothing but destruction and dispersion awaited them.
    • Amos 4:13 - createth the wind the morning darkness
      createth the wind. Here is a parenthetical insertion, in the midst of dire warnings of judgment because of following false gods, asserting the right and power of the true God to pronounce such judgments. The Creator and Controller of all things, including the very thoughts of men, is none other than the Lord (Jehovah), the God (Elohim) of all the hosts of heaven.
      the morning darkness. This is probably an indirect reference to the awful judgment of the great flood when, for the first time, dark clouds obscured the sun, turning the bright mornings into dark mornings, with the waters finally covering all the high places on earth. Then, when it was over, God formed our present mountains, causing the Flood sediments to rise up and the waters to go down (Psalm 104:7-9). See also the note on Amos 5:8.

    Amos 5 Commentary

    • Amos 5:8 - seven stars and Orion day dark with night waters of the sea
      seven stars and Orion The pagan worship of the stars and the gods associated with them, as practiced in the false religions of the land, was foolish, for the true Creator God had made the stars and their constellations. He had even named them (Isaiah 40:26). The “seven stars” was a popular name for the Pleiades.
      day dark with night. Only Jehovah could control the day/night cycle, for He had set the earth rotating on its axis.
      waters of the sea. He also controls the great waters of the earth. At one time (the great Flood), He had inundated the whole earth with them. In the present age, through the marvelous hydrologic cycle, He still brings the waters of the sea back over the lands to water the face of the earth, that life on the lands may continue.
    • Amos 5:14 - that ye may live
      Amos 5:14-15 comprises the two middle verses of the book of Amos. Their succinct message (“seek good, not evil” and “hate evil, love good”) is the central theme of the book. If obeyed, they would “live,” the Lord would be with them and be gracious to them.
    • Amos 5:15 - remnant
      Here is an implied promise that a “remnant”—even of Joseph (that is, Ephraim, or Israel) would eventually be restored.
    • Amos 5:18 - day of the LORD
      As noted (see Joel 1:15; 3:14 and other like passages), “the day of the LORD” has its ultimate fulfillment in the great tribulation period yet to come on the earth, though it may have precursive fulfillments in local judgments from time to time. Evidently some people in Amos’ day (as in ours) were looking for the Lord to come save them from their (self-induced) troubles. But this motivation is altogether wrong (we should desire rather to see the Lord Himself, and glorify Him), and may indicate, therefore, an unregenerate heart, due only for judgment.

    Amos 6 Commentary

    • Amos 6:1 - at ease in Zion
      Zion (Jerusalem) was the capital of Judah, and Samaria the capital of Israel, so Amos’ proclamation applied to both nations. Both peoples had grievously sinned against God, yet they were living in decadent luxury and trusting in their idolatrous leaders to maintain such life-styles for them. The parallel to western Christendom today is frighteningly obvious. Woe to those in luxurious pagan ease, when they should be getting right with God, the prophet would say to us as well.
    • Amos 6:5 - instruments of musick
      The pagan-like culture of Israel was addicted to sensuous music and “wine in bowls,” but they were “not grieved for the affliction” of their country (Amos 6:6). The parallel to modern America is again obvious.
    • Amos 6:12 - plow there with oxen
      The answer to such rhetorical questions is: “Of course not!” But just as absurd was the destructive life style of Israel’s people.

    Amos 7 Commentary

    • Amos 7:4 - GOD shewed
      The Lord “shewed” Amos, apparently in a vision, two contemplated judgments on Israel. First, he saw a plague of grasshoppers devastating the whole land (Amos 7:1-2). Then, he saw a fire which would devour the “great deep” (Amos 7:4), probably all the underground reservoirs of water. Either would result in the death of the entire population, and God repented of both, in answer to the prayers of Amos (Amos 7:3,5-6).
    • Amos 7:7 - plumbline
      In a third vision, soon to be implemented, God showed Amos a high, straight wall, straight as a plumbline, which would separate God from His people, leaving them completely vulnerable to the invading Assyrians who would soon be coming.
    • Amos 7:10 - priest of Beth-el
      Jeroboam I had set up an order of priests at his schismatic altar at Beth-el (1 Kings 12:31-32), and Amaziah was one of the false priests in this line. Seeing his prestige and position being undermined by Amos, he petitioned the king to have Amos silenced, while also urging Amos to leave the country. How often it is that false teachers seek to use their political power to hinder true teachers of God’s Word!
    • Amos 7:11 - thus Amos saith
      Amos did not say this. He said that God would rise against “the house of Jeroboam with the sword” (Amos 7:9). Jeroboam apparently died a natural death, but his son, Zachariah, was assassinated (2 Kings 15:8-12). Furthermore, Israel was later led away captive out of her land.

    Amos 8 Commentary

    • Amos 8:1 - basket of summer fruit
      This vision of fruit at the end of summer symbolized the imminent end of Israel’s production of spiritual fruit.
    • Amos 8:9 - go down at noon
      This at first seems to describe a solar eclipse, and such an eclipse seems to have been recorded at 631 B.C. However, this was long after the deportation of Israel. Actually, this prophecy and its context seems to be for a still future time in Israel’s history, and to describe a supernatural event, rather than a natural phenomenon like an eclipse. Possibly it refers to the supernatural darkness when Israel’s Messiah was crucified (Matthew 27:45) and the even greater dispersion that would follow that climactic event in history.
    • Amos 8:11 - hearing the words
      It is an amazing fact that, in the land where God’s Word was revealed, and where His living Word became incarnate, there ensued a famine of Scriptural teaching for almost two thousand years—a famine only slightly relieved even to this day.

    Amos 9 Commentary

    • Amos 9:6 - poureth them out
      Amos again reminds the people that the God whom they have rejected, Jehovah, is the one who built heaven and populated the earth. Furthermore, He later poured all the waters of the sea over all the earth, at the great Flood. It is He who is now judging them, as though they were His enemies, instead of His chosen people.
    • Amos 9:8 - not utterly destroy
      Although most of the Israelites were slain in the terrible Assyrian invasion and deportation, God has repeatedly promised to spare a remnant.
    • Amos 9:9 - sifted in a sieve
      The survivors of the Assyrian holocaust were so thoroughly “sifted among all nations” that they have been referred to as the “ten lost tribes of Israel,” yet God knows where each one and his descendants yet remain
    • Amos 9:11 - tabernacle of David
      This great prophecy of the ultimate restoration of the Davidic kingdom was still future when Peter and James quoted this verse (Acts 15:14-18). It will be fulfilled at the second coming of Christ, the promised Messiah of Israel, who will Himself assume the throne of David (Luke 1:31-33).
    • Amos 9:15 - out of their land
      This promise applies, not to the return from Babylon, but to the final restoration from exile, when they will never again “be pulled up out of their land.”

    Amos Commentary Notes

    • Amos 1 Commentary
    • Amos 2 Commentary
    • Amos 3 Commentary
    • Amos 4 Commentary
    • Amos 5 Commentary
    • Amos 6 Commentary
    • Amos 7 Commentary
    • Amos 8 Commentary
    • Amos 9 Commentary

      Sample excerpt from Amos 9:13 Notes (some are study notes and some are translation notes)

      Amos 9:13 NET Bible = "Be sure of this the time is coming," says the LORD, "when the plowman will catch up to the reaper (40) and the one who stomps the grapes (41) will overtake (42) the planter.(43 ) Juice will run down the slopes (44) ,it will flow down all the hillsides.(45)

      40 - The plowman will catch up to the reaper. Plowing occurred in October–November, and harvesting in April–May (see P. King, Amos, Hosea, Micah, 109.) But in the future age of restored divine blessing, there will be so many crops the reapers will take all summer to harvest them, and it will be time for plowing again before the harvest is finished.
      41 - When the grapes had been harvested, they were placed in a press where workers would stomp on them with their feet and squeeze out the juice. For a discussion of grape harvesting technique, see O. Borowski, Agriculture in Iron Age Israel, 110–12.
      42 - The verb is omitted here in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation from the parallel line.
      43 - The grape harvest occurred in August–September, planting in November–December (see P. King, Amos, Hosea, Micah, 109). But in the future age described here there will be so many grapes the workers who stomp them will still be working when the next planting season arrives.
      44 - Or “hills,” where the vineyards were planted.
      45 - Heb “and all the hills will melt.”

    Devotionals & Sermon Illustrations
    Radio Bible Class

    On Amos

    Be a Berean - Not always literal (especially on prophetic passages)


    Commentary on Amos

      James Rosscup writes "This work originally appeared in 1860. The present publication is set up in two columns to the page with the text of the Authorized Version reproduced at the top. Scripture references, Hebrew words, and other citations are relegated to the bottom of the page. The work is detailed and analytical in nature. Introduction, background and explanation of the Hebrew are quite helpful. Pusey holds to the grammatical-historical type of interpretation until he gets into sections dealing with the future of Israel, and here Israel becomes the church in the amillennial vein." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)


      Commentary on Amos
      Prepare to Meet Thy God

      • Amos Commentary (129 pages) - Recommended. Below is an excerpt...
        Amos 1:2 The LORD roars from Zion,

        In introducing the judgment of God against the pagan nations, against Judah, and finally against Israel, Amos portrays the Lord as roaring like a lion leaping on his prey. Amos is totally convinced that God has spoken and likens the voice of God to the sound of a roaring lion. “The prophet has a tremendous sense of the majesty of God and the authority of his Word. As far as he is concerned, he has left his normal job to proclaim the majesty of God and the authority of His word. Amos has become obsessed with listening to God” [Stuart Briscoe - Taking God Seriously - page 45]. What a magnificent obsession!

        I once heard R. G. Lee give an illustration about a new convert whose pastor had just preached an evangelistic sermon. He announced that the hymn of invitation would be “Rescue the Perishing.” Halfway through the invitation the young man rushed down the isle, took the pastor by the hand rather enthusiastically, and asked, “When do we start?” “Start what,” asked the surprised pastor. “Rescuing the perishing!”, he responded. The pastor explained, “Son, that’s just a song. Just a song.” To Amos the command was not just a song.

        Today one seldom hears God portrayed as a roaring lion. God is love. He is our Father. He is our Creator, our Sustainer, our Redeemer. He is all of that, but He also speaks as a roaring lion. People ignore the love of God and take for granted the mercy and grace of God, but how can they dismiss God roaring as a lion, demanding to be heard? They can only ignore Him if they are not reading His word, which is exactly what is happening in America today. America was founded on he Word of God, but today AMERICA’S CHRISTIAN HERITAGE IS A FADING MEMORY FOR MOST AMERICANS. Decades of value-neutral public education have left our nation without a moral anchor. While the Bible is a perennial best seller, and Americans publish and purchase more Bibles than any other people on earth, ‘the Bible has virtually disappeared from American education. It is rarely studied, even as literature, in public classrooms.’ And yet, it was the Bible that made America. The rejection of the Bible in our day is resulting in the unmaking of America” [Demars - America's Christian Heritage -191].

        Robert C. Winthrop (1809 - 1894) was speaker of the thirtieth Congress when he addressed the Massachusetts Bible Society in 1849. In his speech he said, “Men must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible, or by the bayonet” [Demars - America's Christian Heritage - page 191]. 
      • Sanders has some excellent notes at the end of this commentary which could serve as teaching illustrations.
        Note 1 - From Jerusalem Times
        Note 2 - Moral Conditions
        Note 3 - See below
        Note 4 - Justice
        Note 5 - Lying
        Note 6 - Sin
        Note 7 - Homosexuality
        Note 8 - God's Messenger Opposed by Officials

        Here is an example from Note 3..

        The Book of Amos speaks to modern day America. Moral, social, and spiritual circumstances are disturbingly analogous. Politically, in spite of differences in the forms of government, problems are remarkably similar.

        1. GOVERNMENT. Israel was governed by a monarch who had brought prosperity and security to the land. Even though neither the king nor the people could foresee it, both were is grave jeopardy. America is a republic, a representative democracy which is the envy of the world. We have known both prosperity and security, but there are signs that democracy as we know it may not survive another generation. Both our security and our prosperity are at risk.

        2. SPIRITUAL CONDITIONS. A secular writer might list moral problems, or social problems, but in reality all moral and social problems are spiritual in nature.

        Ancient Israel was guilty of greed; so is Ameirca.
        Ancient Israel was guilty of immorality; so is America.
        Ancient Israel was guilty of sustance abuse; so is America.
        Ancient Israel was guilty of class strife; so is America.
        Ancient Israel was guilty of violence; so is America.
        Ancient Israel was guilty of idolatry; so is America.
        Ancient Israel denied guilt; so does America. 

        3. SOLUTIONS In the eighth century BC Israel continually looked to answers in all the wrong places. So it is with America at the turn of the twenty-first century. They looked to the king and his policies, to political alliances and military power. Many looked to false gods.

        As America entered the post-Christian era, she naturtally began to look more to government to solve problems, and less to God and the church. We have aplied the most sophisticated educational programs, the most advanced technical training, the most highly developed social programs, and most finely tuned political programs in history in an effort to solve our problems.

        4. RESULTS. In ancient Israel, their political and religious leaders could produce temporary outward results, but did not solve the problems at their source. They did not change the inner man and until you change the inner person you do not produce lasting results that God will approve. The land was filled with religious leaders who polluted worship and political leaders who defiled the name of God.

        America is guilty of many of the same sins. The fall of a few televangelists has been well publicised and the failure of the church to curb crime, or reform society has received a lot of attention. Politicians use God’s name when they determine that it is good for their political careers, but avoid it when they are afraid it will be a liablity. The “eilte” in both the media and academia often express hostility toward God and Christianity.

        Pollls indicate that a very high percentage of Americans believe in God (or a god-presence, or some higher spiritual power), but America grows more and more ungoldy. Belief in God is not impacting the lives of those who profess to believe. Moral relativism seeks to erase sin from the dictionary and eradicate guilt from the heart.

        The church has failed, and is failing, God in America. `New buildings are being built, the most beautiful facilities with adequate space. We offer programs, gymnasiums, sermons, and concerts. But something is missing. We report record numbers in the area of nikels and noses (attendance and offerings), but something is missing. That something is POWER. The power that is missing is the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), Whose ministry is quenched by the faithlessness of those who profess to know Him.

        The church has watered down Scripture, neglected doctrine, forsaken godliness, and disdained holiness. We have let the world shape the church. The church is not impacting the world. More and more groups like the ACLU are putting the church in what they consider to be its place - in the home and in the church building, and out of the market place and the public arena. Christians are letting it happen and we are not fighting back - better to be respectable than in jail!

        5. HOPE. Is there any hope? In the first place, people should ask, “Is there a problem?” There are major problems - more than most church members can see. But there is hope. That hope is the same hope that has always been held out to those who will repent and commit themselves to the Lord.

        There are more churches than at any time in history. Thre are more preachers, ministers of music, youth, activities, ministers to seniors, evangelists and missionaries than ever. There are more sophisticated programs, greater budgets, and better facilities than ever before. There are more Christian publishers and book stores, Christian book clubs, music sortes, audio and video tapes, radio and television programs than ever. There are many godly Christians and many ministers who do preach the Gospel without compromise. Why, then, are we not reaching America for Christ?

        Either God has lost His power to act, or we are doing something wrong! Since God cannot fail and His power cannot be diminished, we must be at fault. What do we do? The church must rediscover the Bible. Scripture. The Word of God. If we love Him we will love His Word and if love His Word we will study it and apply it. The more we use it the more we will love it. The church needs to rediscover the power and blessings of prayer. We are invited to call on the name of the Lord. Herein is the answer: prayer and Bible study; ministry and witnessing.

      Reference Notes

      Sermon on Amos
      Conservative, Literal Interpretation

      NOTE: If you are not familiar with the great saint Charles Simeon see Dr John Piper's discussion of Simeon's life - you will want to read Simeon's sermons after meeting him! - click Brothers We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering (Mp3 even better)

      Sermon Notes
      Calvary Chapel

      Commentary on Amos
      The Expositor's Bible

      James Rosscup writes "Though old this is well-written and often cited, with many good statements on spiritual truths. Users will find much that is worthwhile, and sometimes may disagree, as when he sees the Jonah account as allegorical (Ed: See Tony Garland's article on the Rise of Allegorical Interpretation)." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

      Book of Amos

      Morning and Evening
      Faith's Checkbook



      The message of this book is basically to declare the impartiality of God. God plays no favorites. He makes no allowances for one person that he will not make for others as well. There is no such thing as being God's fair-haired boy. He does not give any more to one than he does to another, in accordance with the promises that he makes. Any who are willing to fulfill the conditions of the promises will find his blessing poured out upon them, regardless of who they are; and any who presume upon these conditions will find him sitting in judgment upon them and his Word condemning them no matter who they are. This is the message of Amos. .

      Study Notes on Amos

      Amos 1

      Amos 2

      Amos 3

      Amos 4

      Amos 5

      Amos 6

      Amos 7

      Amos 8

      Devotionals on Amos


      Thus he shewed me: and behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. — Amos 7:7

      The metaphors of Amos are very forcible, though homely and simple.

      He was God-taught; or, as men say, self-taught. Let his vision come before us, as though we saw it ourselves.

      What the Lord had done was according to rule: "he stood upon a wall made by a plumbline." His past dealings are just and true.

      The Lord continues to use the same infallible rule: wherever he is, he has a plumbline in his hand.

      The plumb of lead falls in a straight line, and therefore the line is the best test as to whether a wall is truly perpendicular. The plumbline shows whether it bows outward, or inclines inward. It never flatters, but by its own certainty of truth it reveals and condemns all deviations from uprightness: such is the judgment of the Most High.

      We shall treat the plumbline as the emblem of truth and right.


      In all that we build up, we must act by the sure rule of righteousness.

      1. In God's building it is so.

      He removes the old walls when tested by the plumbline, and found faulty. Truth requires the removal of falsehood.

      He builds in truth and reality. Sincerity is his essential.

      He builds in holiness and purity.

      He builds to perfection according to the rule of right.

      2. In our own life-building it should be so.

      Not haste, but truth should be our object.

      Not according to the eye of man, but according to fact.

      We should build by the Word; in God's sight; after Christ's example; by the Spirit; unto holiness. Only thus shall we be using the plumbline.

      3. In our building of the church it should be so.

      Teaching the Scriptures only in all things.

      Preaching nothing but the gospel.

      Laying sinners low by the law, and exalting the grace of God.

      Leading men to holiness and peace by the doctrines of truth.

      Exercising discipline that the church may be pure.


      That which is out of the upright is detected by the plumbline, and so are men tested by the truth.

      1. We may use it—

      On the wall of self-righteousness, conceit, boasting, etc.

      On the wall of careless living.

      On the wall of trust in ceremonials.

      On the wall of reliance upon merely hearing the gospel.

      On the wall of every outward profession.

      2. God uses it in this life. He tests the hearts of men, and tries their doings.

      They are often detected in the act of deception. Time also proves them, and trials test them.

      3. He will use it at the last.

      4. Let us use it on ourselves.

      Are we born again? Are we without faith, etc.? Are we without holiness? Or is the work of the Spirit to be seen in us?


      Strict justice is the rule of God's dealing on the judgment-seat. The same rule will apply to all.

      1. Even the saved will be saved justly through our Lord Jesus, and in their case every sin will be destroyed, and every trace of evil will be removed before they enter heaven.

      2. No one will be condemned who does not deserve it. There will be a trial, with witnesses, and pleadings, and an infallible Judge. The righteous are saved by sovereignty, but the wicked are condemned by righteousness alone.

      3. Not a pain will be inflicted unjustly.

      Differences will be made in the cases of the condemned.

      There will be the strictest justice in each award.

      Every circumstance will be taken into account.

      Knowledge or ignorance will increase or abate the number of stripes (Luke 7:47-48).

      4. Rejecters of Christ will find their doom intolerable, because they, themselves, will be unable to deny its justice (Luke 19:27). The lost know their misery to be deserved.

      5. Since every sentence will be infallible, there will be no revision. So impartial and just will be each verdict that it shall stand for ever (Matt. 25:46).

      Are we able to endure the test of the plumbline of perfect truth?

      Suppose it to be used of God at this moment.

      Will it not be wisest to look to Jesus, that we may have him for a foundation, and be built up in him?

      Savings and Sentences

      The question "What is truth?" was proposed at a Deaf and Dumb Institution, when one of the boys drew a straight line. "And what is falsehood?" The answer was a crooked line. — G. S. Bowes

      That will be a wretched day for the church of God when she begins to think any aberration from the truth of little consequence. — J. H. Evans

      Whitefield often affirmed that he would rather have a church with ten men in it right with God, than one with five hundred at whom the world would laugh in its sleeve. — Joseph Cook

      Livingstone, as a missionary, was anxious to avoid a large church of nominal adherents. "Nothing", he wrote, "will induce me to form an impure church. 'Fifty added to the church' sounds well at home, but if only five of these are genuine, what will it profit in the Great Day?" — Blaikie

      Set thine heart upright, if thou wouldst rejoice, And please thyself in thine heart's pleasing choice: But then be sure thy plumb and level be Rightly applied to that which pleaseth me. — Christopher Harvey

      Sinners on earth are always punished less, and in hell never more, than their iniquities deserve. — Benjamin Beddome.

      It is said of the Areopagites, in Athens, that their sentence was so upright that none could ever say he was unjustly condemned of them. How much more true is this of the righteous judgment of God, who must needs therefore be justified, and every mouth stopped! — Trapp

      When a building is noticed to bulge a little, our builders hasten to shore it up with timbers; and before long the surveyor bids them take it down. Should we not see great changes in our churches if all the bowing walls were removed? Yet this would be no real loss, but in the Lord's sight an actual gain to the City of God.

      When a man is afraid of self-examination, his fear is suspicious. He who does not dare to apply the plumbline to his wall may rest assured that it is out of perpendicular. A sincere man will pray, "Lord, let me know the worst of my case." It is far better to suffer needless distress than to be at ease in Zion, and then perish of the dry-rot of self-deceit.


      Amos 5:4. For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live.

      And that it just the message of God to professing Christians now: “Seek ye me.” Get away from your mere ceremonies, from trusting in your outward performances, and get really to God himself. Get beyond your fellow-worshippers and your ministers, beyond your sanctuaries and your supposed holy places, and get in spirit and in truth to God himself: “Seek ye me, and ye shall live.”

      Amos 5:5. But seek not Beth-el, nor enter into Gilgal and pass not to Beersheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Beth-el shall come to nought.

      These were the places where the calves and other idols were set up for the worship of God by means of visible symbols. That was the Romanism of that day. Pure spiritual worship was ordained by God, but that was not enough for the idolatrous Israelites. They must needs set up the image of an ox, the emblem of power, — not that they would worship the ox, they said, but that they might worship the God of power through that symbol. And that is the plea of Papists to-day: — “We do not worship that cross; we do not worship that image; but these things help us. They are emblems.” But they are absolutely forbidden by God: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.” The first commandment forbids us to have any other God than Jehovah; the second forbids us to worship him through any emblem or symbol whatsoever.

      Amos 5:6, 7. Seek the LORD, and ye shall live, lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Beth-el. Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,

      Here you have another great truth, — that, in order to seek God aright, we must turn away from sin. All the Ritualism in the world will not save us, or be acceptable to God; there must be purity of life, and holiness of character; justice must be done between man and man, and we must seek to be right before the righteous and holy God.

      Amos 5:8. Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, —

      The Creator of the spring-bringing Pleiades, and of the winter-bringing Orion, —

      Amos 5:8, 9. And turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the wafers of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name: that strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.

      The God of the weak, the Defender of the oppressed. Ye that oppress the poor, and tread down the people, seek ye him, and wash your hands from the steins of your past injustice.

      Amos 5:10. They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.

      There is still a generation that cannot bear to be told of its faults, and that shows its venom against everything that is right.

      Amos 5:11. Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them.

      God has often shown how be can overthrow those who oppress the poor.

      Amos 5:12-17. For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right. Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time, for it is an evil time. Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord saith thus, Wailing shall be in all streets, and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skillful of lamentation to wailing. And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the LORD.

      National sins bring down national judgments; and when God grows angry against the people, he makes the places of their feasting, the vineyards where grow their choicest vines, to become the places of their sorrow, so that wailing and distress are heard on all sides. Oh, that nations knew the day of their visitation, and would do justly! Then would such judgments be averted.

      Amos 5:18. Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.

      “The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light,” for such as you, impenitent, unjust, graceless sinners. “The day of the Lord” will not bring blessings to you; but it will be —

      Amos 5:19. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.

      From bad to worse do they go who think to escape from present misery by plunging into the presence of God. The suicide is, of all fools, the greatest, for he goes before God with his own indictments, nay, with his own sentence in his hand. He needs no trial; he has condemned himself.

      Amos 5:20-22. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it. I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept these: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.

      See how God’s speaks about public worship and formal sacrifices when the heart is not right with him. When the moral conduct of the offerer is wrong, the Lord will not accept his offering.

      Amos 5:23, 24. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

      This is what God asks for, — righteousness, not sweet music. Have they not, at this very day, turned what were once houses of prayer into music-halls, set up their idols in our parish churches, and adorned their priests with every kind of Babylonian garment which they could find at Rome, the mystical Babylon? Are they not turning this nation back again to that accursed Popery, the yoke of which our fathers could not bear? Therefore, the Lord is wroth with this land; there are storm-clouds gathering over it, because it is not sufficiently stirred with indignation against those idolatrous men who are again seeking to come to the front among us.

      Amos 5:25. Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?

      “Did you worship me? Did you offer sacrifices to me?” “No,” said God, “ye did not.”

      Amos 5:26, 27. But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.

      Oh, for pure worship! Oh, for pure living! Oh, for hearts that spiritually worship the Lord, for Jesus said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” “But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?”


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      DISCLAIMER: Before you "go to the commentaries" go to the Scriptures and study them inductively (Click 3 part overview of how to do Inductive Bible Study) in dependence on your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would guide us into all the truth (John 16:13). Remember that Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture. Any commentary, even those by the most conservative and orthodox teacher/preachers cannot help but have at least some bias of the expositor based upon his training and experience. Therefore the inclusion of specific links does not indicate that we agree with every comment. We have made a sincere effort to select only the most conservative, "bibliocentric" commentaries. Should you discover some commentary or sermon you feel may not be orthodox, please email your concern. I have removed several links in response to concerns by discerning readers. I recommend that your priority be a steady intake of solid Biblical food so that with practice you will have your spiritual senses trained to discern good from evil (Heb 5:14-note).