V. 1… Hear this Word… The oracles of warning in Chs. 3,4,&5 are introduced with the words “Hear this word” (3:1, 4:1, and 5:1). The 5th address (5:18-6:14) has repetition of the word “Woe” (5:18, 6:1, 6:4). These warnings are directly addressed to the people of Israel.
V. 2… You only have I known…
It seems clear that Israel and Judah believed that their role as the chosen people of God would protect them from harm (see note on Amos 5:18–20). Amos says that the very opposite is true. It is precisely because God has known them as he has known no other nation that they are being judged according to a higher standard (see Luke 12:48).– ESV Study Bible.
The Hebrew expression of the word “know” is more than intellectual or mental knowledge. The knowledge of God about Israel is different from God’s knowledge on other nations. Here it involves sympathy and care. God’s intent was to save and bless the world through Abraham’s seed. Because of this relationship Israel has greater and special responsibility.
Vs.3-8… There are series of questions to show the imminent disaster for Israel.
These questions are to let the people of Israel know that certain line of events can lead to predictable outcomes. It is a cause and effect relationship of events.
V.8… indicates that the cause for his prophecy is…THE LORD HAS SPOKEN…. The prophecy is the effect of God’s voice.
V. 7… the LORD God does nothing, Unless He reveals…to His servants the prophets… Throughout the Bible, the LORD has spoken to and through people (in OT it was to the Prophets, and sometimes to priests) to show His perspective on the happenings in the history so that the prophets can align their views with God’s. He also he revealed to the prophets HIS actions so that prophets could interpret the current events properly and accurately.
THE LESSON: Today, Preachers and Prophets should know the Word of God and align their interpretation accurately to the mind of God.
Israel’s capital city of Samaria was a powerful stronghold, located on a high hill (mountains) in a good position of natural defense. It stood just off the great highway that ran along the Mediterranean coast connecting Egypt with Mesopotamia. If Samaria fell to the Assyrians, there was nothing more to prevent the destruction of the Philistine cities (represented by Ashdod) and of Egypt itself. But Israel would fall, not because of the superior power of Assyria but because of its own spiritual and social corruption. The stronghold was filled with oppression, and with violence and robbery. Thus, Israel had forfeited God’s protection, and without him all their natural defenses were useless (Is. 5:5–6). – ESV Study Bible.
V. 9…Proclaim in the palaces at Ashdod…Egypt…Assemble on the mountain of Samaria; see…… The destruction of Ashdod (Philistines) and Egypt would be inevitable if Samaria is defeated and brought to ruins by Assyrians (Mesopotamians). Samaria is located on the highway from Egypt to Mesopotamia.
V. 10. violence and robbery in their palaces… the reason for the destruction of Israel was not by power of Assyria, but their spiritual and social corruption.
V. 12…takes from the mouth of a lion Two legs or a piece of an ear..… This talks about the remnant. We are witnessing this verse is being fulfilled in these days. All through the history of Israel, and even now in the Church, God has his remnant.
Amos 3:13–15: Conclusion: Stating again the reason for the impending destruction of the Northern Kingdom.
V. 14…punish the altars of Bethel… The reason number 1: The false religion- ritualistic and idolatrous. God will not only destroy the capital city of Samaria, but also one of the spiritual place, Bethel, in its Southern border where Jeroboam I had set up one of the 2 golden calves.
V. 15…winter house…summer house,… houses of ivory…great houses… the prosperity and wealth at the expense of the poor.