Address 2: Oracle of warning – Amos 3
Address 3: Oracle of DOOM – Amos 4
Address 4: oracle of Entreaty (an Appeal) – A lament for Israel – Amos 5.
The word ‘woe’ is us thrice in three places signifying 3 categories of sin (5:18, 6:1, 6:4).
Category 1: Sin of manipulative, paganized religious activity with no regard for justice and righteousness (5:18-27).
Category 2: Sin of Complacency (6:1-2)
Category 3: Sin of Self-indulgence (6:3-7)
Category 2: Sin of Complacency (6:1-2): Amos is calling on the complacent people who believed they have no reason to be concerned to consider the other kingdoms that have fallen already to Assyria.
V. 1…at ease in Zion…trust in Mount Samaria…: Zion is the capital of Judah, and Samaria is the capital of Israel that were strong and fortified strongholds. They are easing and trusting on their prosperity. They are complaisant. Pride and self-confidence are never appropriate for God’s cherished people.
V. 2…Calneh…Hamath….Gath….their territory greater than your territory?…: Calneh and Hamath were captured by Jeroboam II of Israel, and Gath was captured Uzziah of Judah. Because of these victories, they have the entire Fertile Crescent for themselves. But the fact is those cities were not stronger than Zion and Samaria. Their victory over those cities can’t be celebrated too much.
Category 3: Sin of Self-indulgence (6:3-7): Sin of complacency leads to sin of self-indulgence.
Those are looked upon as doing well for themselves, who do well for their bodies; but we are here told what their ease is, and what their woe is. Here is a description of the pride, security, and sensuality, for which God would reckon. Careless sinners are everywhere in danger; but those at ease in Zion, who are stupid, vainly confident, and abusing their privileges, are in the greatest danger. Yet many fancy themselves the people of God, who are living in sin, and in conformity to the world…. But the examples of others’ ruin forbid us to be secure. Those who are set upon their pleasures are commonly careless of the troubles of others, but this is great offence to God… Those who try to put the evil day far from them, find it nearest to them. – Mathew Henry Concise Commentary
V. 3…far off the day of doom…: They thought the day of the LORD is far away. Though they desired the day of the LORD, in real, they dated the day far off.
V. 4…beds of ivory…: Ivory is always a luxury. And they were indulging themselves with fatty food.
V. 5 …sing idly to the sound of string music…: The music is not for the song but the song is for the music.…Like David… People can always find a superficial Biblical warrant. But it had no real awareness of the deeper meaning.
V. 6…wine from bowls…: They even crossed the line of moderation. This is the sign of the indulging life-style of upper rank society. …affliction of Joseph: The two main tribes of Israel are the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh.
V. 7…first of the captives…: They will be the first ones to be exiled. Those people are the noticeable ones in terms of familiarity, voice, and wealth. And, those are the people who are elite, educated, skilled, and so on. Also, they are the ones who put the doom’s day far from them and they will be the ones to see the day so near to them.
All they are and all they have will not help them against their enemies. (8-14):
V. 8…Lord has sworn…: God has made up Him mind and He is determined when he sworn by Himself.
V. 9…they shall die…: Nothing would be left in the great houses of those evil men.
V. 10…hold your tongue!…dare not mention the name of the LORD…: For them, the LORD appearance was responsible for the disaster that was upon them. If pronouncement of the Name of the LORD invokes God’s presence, they feared death at the presence of the LORD.
V. 12…horses run on rocks…: The laws of nature are known to everyone and it must be obeyed and followed. So, it should be known to the leaders of Israel they can’t live in peace for a long time without facing the consequences.
V. 13…Lo-debar…Karnaim…: The two cities that were bordering Syria were in constant dispute with Syria. At this point Israel had recaptured those cities. This victory was the cause for their self-confidence.
V. 14…raise up a nation… Though God was talking in the future, they still trusted the present. …Hamath to the Valley of the Arabah…: This is the full extent of the territory of Jeroboam. The Assyrian conquest would cover the whole land.