Israel: Fraught with Dire Responsibility

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Amos 1,2 is a summary of the prophetic message given in poetic parallelism.[1] It speaks of the overturning of expectations founded upon the popular view of a “favoured-nation” relationship with Yahweh. In most of Amos, the prerogatives and particular institutions of Israel are mentioned only as grounds for punishment or rejection. The indictment is because of the unjust lives of the worshippers which rendered their very acts of worship as acts of transgression against God[2] (Amos 4,12). In Amos 1,2, the presence of Yahweh on Zion traditionally the source of Israel’s security and blessing (Ps 46), becomes a threat.  That is in this verse (Amos 1,2) presents a contrary experience of theophany, where Yahweh is presented to be the source of national catastrophe and mourning.[3]


[1] Cf. D. Stuart, Hosea – Jonah, WBC, Vol. 31, Word Books Publishers, Texas, (1987), 301.

[2] Cf. D. Stuart, Hosea – Jonah, WBC, Vol. 31, Word Books Publishers, Texas, (1987), 300-301.

[3] Cf. P. Trible, The Book of Jonah: Introduction, Commentary and Reflections, NIB, Vol. VII, Abingdon Press, Nashville, (1996), 352.

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