Amos 9 - Outline of Amos (Book Notes menu page)
This closing chapter of Amos includes two final visions:
1. I saw the Lord standing upon the altar: and he said,
Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake:
and cut them in the head, all of them;
and I will slay the last of them with the sword:
he that fleeth of them shall not flee away,
and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.
2 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them;
though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:
3 And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel,
I will search and take them out thence;
and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea,
thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them:
4 And though they go into captivity before their enemies,
thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them:
and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good.
...the Lord {HB='adonai, my Lord} standing upon the altar...
This vision opens where the vision of the previous chapter closed, with reference to the 'sin of Samaria' (Amos 8:14). Amos saw his Lord standing as conqueror, upon the altar of the false god, Baal {meaning: lord, master, husband}.
...and He said...- The true Lord uttered the command...
  • to destroy the idolatrous temple.
  • to slay the idol worshippers.
There would be no escaping from His judgment.
Those, who escaped the sword, would be taken captive by their enemies.
...though they dig into hell {HB=sheol, the grave}... or climb into heaven...
The omnipresence of the LORD is a great comfort to His children (Psa 139:7-12; Heb 13:5).
But for the unsaved, it is a dreadful thing.
...though they hide... in the top of Carmel... in the bottom of the sea...
Mt. Carmel is riddled with many caves. The depths of the sea may be out of sight to men. But for God, there is nothing hidden. There is no place and no one that He does not see (Heb 4:13). How fearful then, is His statement...
...I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good.
5 And the Lord GOD of hosts [is] he that toucheth the land,
and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn:
and it shall rise up wholly like a flood;
and shall be drowned, as [by] the flood of Egypt.
6 [It is] he that buildeth his stories in the heaven,
and hath founded his troop in the earth;
he that calleth for the waters of the sea,
and poureth them out upon the face of the earth:
The LORD [is] his name.
7 [Are] ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me,
O children of Israel? saith the LORD.
Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt?
and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?
the Lord {HB='adonai} GOD {HB=YHWH, Jehovah}... is He that toucheth the land...
Lest there be any confusion with a false 'lord' (such as Baal), the true Lord is clearly identified as the LORD (v.5,6). He is the Lord GOD 'of hosts' {HB=tsaba', sabaoth, that which goes forth, armies}. He commands and it is done.
  • The judgment that He commanded against the land of Israel will be accomplished (v.1).
    Armies at His command will rise up and carry the nation away as with a flood (v.5; 8:8).
For His commands are accomplished in every realm... (4:13; Isa 43:13...'I work and who shall let {ie., reverse} it?')
  • He established the visible heavens, with its layers of constellations, galaxies and solar systems. v.6
  • He ordained the orders {troops} of life (plant, animal, human) on the earth.
    He also placed the 'bands' {troops} of His people in the land {'earth' is HB='erets}.
  • He summons water from the sea and pours it out on the earth (land, HB='erets}.
    He controls the water cycle. At His descretion, He sends or withholds the rains. Amos 4:6-8; 5:8
  • He causes nations to rise and fall (v.7).
    The word 'brought up' refers not only to the migration of the people, but also to the 'ascent' of the nations mentioned.
    The LORD deals with all nations, according to His wisdom and power. Examples:
    • He watches over the children of the Ethiopians, just as He watches over the children of Israel.
    • He brought the Philistines from Caphtor (Crete) to dwell on the Mediterranean Sea coast to the west of Israel.
    • He brought the Syrians to their land from Kir (a city of Assyria... to which they would return as captives, 1:5)...
    Likewise, the LORD will deal with Israel, according to His wisdom and power.
8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD [are] upon the sinful kingdom,
and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth;
saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD.
9 For, lo, I will command,
and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations,
like as [corn] is sifted in a sieve,
yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.
10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword,
which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.
...the sinful kingdom... - is the northern kingdom of Israel.
The LORD's eyes were upon the nation to accomplish their judgment (v.4).
...I will destroy... utterly destroy {HB=shamad, exterminate, annihilate} it from off the face of the earth...
The northern kingdom of Israel would never again arise (5:2; 8:14).
...I will sift the house of Israel among all nations...
The people of the northern kingdom of Israel would be dispersed among all nations.
This 'sifting' {lit., shaking} in the sieve of dispersion would separate good grain from that which was refuse. Psa 11:4-7
  • ...I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob...
    • not the least grain shall fall upon the earth...
      A believing remnant would be saved (Rom 9:6-8; 11:1-7).
    • all the sinners of my people shall die...
      Even from among God's chosen people, all of the guilty will die (Eze 18:4). Those who refuse to hear God's Word, preferring to trust the deceitful voices of false prophets who deny and contradict the truth, will suffer the consequences of believing a lie.
  • This sifting will be completed 'in that day' (v.11), that is, during the Day of the LORD. 2The 2:3,8-12; Mat 13:24-30,36-43
Following the sifting of the dark Tribulation period, a new day will dawn.
The consistent theme of Amos' prophecy, to this point, has been: the certainty of God's judgment upon sin, especially the sin of Israel. But from here to the end of the book, the theme becomes: the certainty of God's salvation, for His own.
11. In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen,
and close up the breaches thereof;
and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom,
and of all the heathen
{ie., nations}, which are called by my name,
saith the LORD that doeth this.
The closing verses of Amos, are a foreview of the worldwide regathering and restoration of Israel,
which will be fulfilled with the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom.
When the Son of David 'tabernacles' among His people, as King upon the throne of David, the Davidic Kingdom will be restored and re-established (Jer 23:5,6; 30:3-10; Hos 3:4,5). The northern kingdom, whose kings were not of David's line, will not be restored. However, the northern and southern kingdoms will be united under Christ, the Davidic King (Eze 37:15-28).
The apostle James quoted v.11,12 in Acts 15:13-18.
James used this passage to demonstrate that the LORD has a place for believing 'Gentiles' in His purposes. His argument was that in the Messianic Kingdom, believing Gentiles would be called by the LORD's name, without conversion to Judaism. Therefore, in God's plan, it was not necessary for Gentiles to become Jews in order to be His people.
     In the Acts passage, 'the remnant of Edom' is rendered 'the residue of men.' The Hebrew words Edom and Adam are closely related. In Hebrew, Adam is not only the name of the first man, but also a term meaning 'mankind.' Historically, Edom (like most gentile nations) was an enemy of Israel (eg., Amos 1:11,12). But in Christ's Kingdom, the surviving remnant of mankind, Jew and Gentile alike will be united around Him.
     By referring to this passage, James was not implying that the Kingdom had been restored in his day. However, because Christians recognize Christ as their King, and live in anticipation of His second coming, we are also the first fruits of His Kingdom. Through the new birth, by faith in our Savior and King, Jewish and Gentile believers, alike, have been born again into God's family. We are called by His Name. Our common purpose is to serve Him, together, today. The present relationship of believers is a picture of the peace and harmony of the Kingdom age, when Israel and the nations will be restored to serve the King of kings.
     Under their King, whom all nations will seek, Israel will have dominion over the nations (in that sense, Israel will 'possess' Edom and the nations). Mic 4:1-8
13 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 all the hills shall melt
{ie., flow}.
14 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 the wine thereof;
they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
15 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.
The Kingdom of the Messiah will be characterized by...
  • the unprecedented fruitfulness.-
    The famines, due to sin, reversed (eg., Amos 4:6-8; 8:11).
  • the people of Israel regathered and restored to their land.-
    The captivities, due to sin, returned.
  • the land of Israel restored under the care of its people.-
    The ruin, due to sin, restored.
  • the nation of Israel planted, never to be uprooted, from the promised land.-
    The gifts, due to God's Grace, received.
    Isa 60:21; Jer 32:41; Eze 34:28; Joel 3:20; Rom 11:29

This concludes the study in Amos.
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