Study Guide

The Twelve Minor Prophets Amos Chapters 7-9

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Amos Chapters 7-9

Show and Tell

  • The book closes with a series of prophetic visions. Since there is no Shmoop in ancient Israel, God himself has to explain what they mean.
  • The first two visions include destruction by locusts and fire. Amos is losing creativity points by the minute.
  • Amos protests that Israel is small and unworthy—how will it survive these plagues?
  • God relents; he won’t do it. No locusts, no fire for now.
  • But he’s still angry—he’ll find other ways to destroy Israel.
  • All these visions exposing the unjust acts of the Israelite elite leads a priest named Amaziah to accuse Amos of conspiring against the king of Israel.
  • The priest orders Amos to leave the country and prophesy against Judah instead, but Amos refuses. Instead, he predicts that Israel will be taken into captivity, a move not exactly guaranteed to win friends up in the capital city of Samaria.
  • Chapter 8 opens with God showing Amos a basket of figs and asking him what they are.
  • This is a setup for some divine humor—apparently the words for “figs” (literally “fruits of summer”) and “doom” sound alike in Hebrew.
  • Doom has arrived for Israel; there will be corpses everywhere. Bad figs, maybe?
  • God reams out the people who can’t wait for the Sabbath to be over so they can go back to selling their produce—with deceptive sales practices, no less.
  • God will completely withdraw from the people. They’ll be dying for advice from him, but forget it.
  • God reiterates his total power to create and destroy and lets the Israelites know that they’re no more to him than anyone else.
  • Everyone who thinks so will perish by the sword. And when that’s finished?
  • The book ends with a few more or less obligatory verses promising the return of God’s favor, with lots of plants, and mountains flowing with wine. Sound familiar?

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