Dr. Kenneth Vandergriff
November 8, 2012
Analysis of Amos 8
1 This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. 2 “What do you see, Amos?” he asked. “A basket of ripe fruit,” I answered.
Then the Lord said to me, “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer. 3 “In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “the songs in the temple will turn to wailing. Many, many bodies—flung everywhere! Silence!” (New International Version, Amos 8:1-3) In the first three verses of Amos 8, the prophet Amos tells of the message he received from God. When most people think of ripe fruit, they think about sweet and beautiful. Ripe fruit, however, must be harvested. This is the way that God viewed Israel. Israel has ‘ripened’, not with the good that the Israelites would have believed, being the promised nation of Abraham, but has rotten, because the time for the 'fruit' has passed. The people in their perfect time for harvest turned their hearts from God (Ritenbaugh) Amos was a citizen of the southern kingdom of Judah when he received the message from the Lord to go north to Israel to preach of the sins of her people. Amos claimed to not be “a prophet nor the “son of a prophet””, indicating that he is not a professional seer. Amos was independent from religious establishments, and questions the faith of priestly people of the time. In the message that Amos gives, he declares no hope in the nation of Israel, and announces its sins to the world. (Harris and Platzner, 249-250) 4 Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land, 5 saying,
“When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?”—skimping on the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales,6 buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat. 7 The Lord has sworn by himself, the Pride...