Amos 1:1 “…Amos, who was among the sheepbreeders…”
Not a prophet by profession. Some were called the sons of the prophets. Amos worked at something else when God called Him with a message to tell.
1 “…two years before the earthquake”
Either written down after the fact or, as commentary suggests, inserted by a later scribe.
3 “…For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four…”
Prophetic, poetic device used to show the severity of the action. He’ll repeat it for each utterance against different entities. This first is against Syria. My Bible teacher, who had done his doctorate thesis on Amos, described this as a method to arouse and interest the crowd. Amos will go through these prophecies against Israel’s enemies, and the crowd listening will cheer each one. Then he’ll lower the boom at the end by prophesying against them.
6 “…For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four…”
Against the Philistines. So many problems with them over the years. Could have been removed if Israel had completed clearing the Promised Land as God instructed.
9 “…For three transgressions of Tyre, and for four…”
City-state of Tyre to the northwest. Usually not an enemy, but apparently they delivered Israelite refugees to Edom. Past leaders had worked with David and Solomon to supply materials to build the temple.
11 “…For three transgressions of Edom, and for four…”
Edom was the descendants of Esau. Sad to note that Jacob and Esau reconciled before they died, when Jacob returned to the land, but their descendants would become enemies. Commentary makes a good point. God wasn’t punishing Edom for the sins of their fathers, but because they continued in their fathers’ sins by holding the grudge against Israel. Same thing happened to Israel when they were finally carried off to Babylon. Successive generations would not repent, but followed in their fathers’ footsteps and in some cases became worse.
13 “…For three transgressions of the people of Ammon, and for four…”
Ammonites were the descendants of Ammon, the son of Lot by his younger daughter. Ammon was always a thorn in Israel’s side. They had tormented them during Saul’s reign and also later aided the Babylonians when they invaded.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.