Amos Chapter 9a (one of two parts)
We conclude Amos with chapter 9 being divided into two segments. It is a short chapter but two very distinct topics. One is a conclusion of Northern Israel’s existence and the second half is the beginning of God’s promise to the Throne of David to be the Millennial center of the world as the headquarters (kingdom) of Jesus Christ.
Amos 9:1 Amos sees the Lord in a vision standing on, next to, or over the altar (possibly a reference to the evil altars in Bethel and Dan) even though this is 700 years before Christ is sacrificed on the altar of the Cross of Calvary. Odd as this seems; Christ standing next to or beside the altar of sacrifices in Bethel, Dan or perhaps *Jerusalem, there is a secondary reason other than 700 years later he would be the altar-sacrifice for our sins. He is preventing other Temple alter sacrifices during the Millennial Reign. Blood sacrifices on that altar did not forgive sins. Only the sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary did that. Chapter 9 is Amos’ fifth of the five visions. They begin in Amos 7:1.
*We have little conclusiveness as to which alter(s) it is Amos sees the Lord next to or upon.
We borrowed this graphic illustration from preceptaustin.org. It is fairly accurate including something we have ignored up to this point in our Amos Commentary. One can see that Micah and Isaiah follow right on the heels of Jonah, Hosea, and Amos.
Timeline help the serious Bible student to keep perspective.
The door posts are to be struck to help collapse the temple building. Structurally this would include the header above the doorway. It would create a sagging point in any structure. Amos adds in verse one that those who are not destroyed within the structure will not be able to hide for the Lord’s sword. It can be the depths of the deepest seas or the top of a mountain, HIS sword of judgment will not be avoided. Job 14:13 states…“O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!”
(JIV 9:1 NOTE) Strike the doorposts (Lintel [KJV]; top of the columns [ERV]; mercy-seat [Brenton]; capitols [ASV]) has a familiar Bible reflection. The Israeli escape from captivity in Egyptian in the last of the ten plagues also uses the doorposts. The blood of a lamb had to be sprinkled on doorposts in [Exodus 12:13] to escape death judgment. This is not all that is implicated. “I stand at the door and knock…” (Revelation 3:20)
If one thinks that the Hitler Holocaust was horrific, what might one make of one make of Amos 9:1b? “Not one of them (Israelites of the North) shall escape.” Taken out of context, one can wrongfully deduce this Amos prophesied holocaust. Understanding it within the context of this chapter 9 means that there is no place one can hide to escape final judgment? Keep it in mind that ever since this time of Amos’ book Israeli’s (Jews) have been sought after to harass, destroy, exile, and be removed to other lands…the world lining up against Jerusalem.
Amos 9:2, 3 (ESV) “If they dig into Sheol, from there shall my hand take them; if they climb up to *heaven, from there I will bring them down. If they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, from there I will search them out and take them; and if they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea, there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them.”
*Heaven here means shâmeh, the heavens we can see from earth with or without telescopic vision.
Amos 9:5 makes it clear that the world is also being judged at the time of the Lord’s judgment upon Israel. The little three letter Hebrew word for ALL in verse 5 is used; i.e. Kole. It literally means ‘no one excluded’ or ‘all included’. This pending judgment verse is not exclusive to Israel.
Amos 9:7 has a historical insight for those who have wondered if Israel’s eternal nemesis, the Philistines, were always “the bad guys next door” in the Gaza area. This insight comes from the latter part of verse 7. Amos is reminding the northern Kingdom of Israel of their archenemies. … “land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?” Philistines from where? CAPHATOR! Caphator aka Crete, is an island in the eastern Mediterranean. It is from where the Philistines originate moving to Gaza. We discussed this in a previous study, Which Way Did They Go. We explained the Egyptian trade routes and trading posts the Tribe of Dan established as Egypt’s merchant marines. This island was only one of multiple trading posts established by the Tribe of Dan(e)s during Israeli 400+ years of captivity in Egypt; well over 1,000 years earlier than Amos.
Amos 9:8 is straight up. God will destroy the Northern Kingdom of Israel from the face of the earth, but not all its people. They will be scattered to the four corners of the earth. This is precisely the situation we have today. Assyrians scattered them across this planet then replaced Israelis (not just the Jews of Judah) with a foreign-to-this-land people. Migrations and other exiles pushed them into the corners of the earth. The problem is not finding Israeli descendants as much as it is most of them have lost their identities with the 12 Tribes. Many even in the Middle East today claim a DNA connection to Israel but do not claim the God of Israel. Examples include many of the independent and territorial tribes of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Persia (Iran), Kurdistan, etc.
We find scriptural support for the above historical statements in the next verse; i.e. Amos 9:9
“For, behold, I will command, and I will shake the house of Israel among all the nations, as one shakes with a sieve; yet not a grain shall fall to the ground.”
I will shake or scatter the house of Israel among ALL (kole) the nations.
Amos 9:10 concludes part “A” of our Amos 9 commentary. This verse has a mixed understanding: All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, those who say, The evil shall not draw near or confront us. Hold on reader. Can you take in all this short verse states? MY PEOPLE makes it not the Christian church but the people of Israel. The church didn’t even exist for another 750 years. SHALL (all) DIE BY THE SWORD? This is a sword of judgment, not the metal sword though this will be the instrument of destruction to many of the Israelis of the Northern Kingdom and later to their cousins in Judah.
What makes them sinners beyond what Hosea and Amos have already been preaching? It is their doubt any of this could happen to them. Sound familiar? Perhaps a co-worker, family member, neighbor or one’s self? Things are going great for an upper class of people. They believed Great Prosperity protected them! It is possible it was as much about not believing as it was, not wanting to change their ways. Denial does not change actualities. Desired perceptions are often not actualities.
Rev Dr Jstark