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?