1.1-2 Amos begins by documenting the moment of his prophecy according to a well known earthquake. This earthquake was also mentioned by Joel and Zechariah. It is a reminder of God’s great power in nature.

1.3-5 Damascus. This capital city of Syria had a long history of cruelty toward Jerusalem. This judgment brought great satisfaction to the Jewish populace of the Northern Kingdom. The phrase for three transgressions and for four is a rhetorical way of saying the offender is guilty of many offenses. The plain of Aven is an area where idolatry was deeply entrenched. The house of Eden (pleasure), probably has reference to the King of Syria’s palace.

1.6-8 Gaza. This prophecy was a prophecy against Philistia as a whole, as it names several cities of that country. Philistia took the whole populace of Israel captive and delivered it to Edom. This is mentioned in Joel 3.3-8. The prophecy that Philistia will be cut off and perish has been fulfilled.

1.9-10 Tyrus. Tyre did not remember the covenant that King Hiram made with David and Solomon. This agreement had been in place for many years and no King of Israel or Judah had ever warred on Phoenicia. Judah honored her side of the treaty but Phoenicia sold the people of Israel to others (Joel 3.4-8). God expects promises to be honored and kept.

1.11-12 Edom. The judgment of Edom is enunciated clearly in the book of Obadiah. Edom pursued his brother Israel with the sword. One of David’s most admired qualities was he never lifted a sword against another Israeli. To fight and betray a brother is a cause of great angst in the heart of God.

1.13-15 Ammon. Long an enemy of Israel and Judah, Amos asserts this evil and wicked nation will meet it’s demise for it’s unspeakable atrocities against God’s people. Beginning in the time of the Judges, through the wars of Hazael the King of Syria, and Sihon the King of the Amorites, the nation of Ammon had ripped up women with child and committed unspeakable cruelties. As punishment their capital was to be burned, the nation put in exile, and their kingdom destroyed. The message of this chapter is clear: God keeps records and will bring every work into judgment.

Thanks for reading today…