Started reading Amos last night. I decided to try something different and after reading the first chapter I went ahead and read the last chapter.
In chapter one, the prophet says he is going to give a prophecy against Jerusalem, the capital of the southern Jewish Kingdom. Yet I know from having studied Amos before that although he himself was a southerner, he had traveled north to the breakaway northern Kingdom to give oracles against them. Perhaps that means in God’s eyes there was still but one Kingdom? Or perhaps the northern Kingdom was too far gone and the southern still had time to repent?
In any event, the first chapter says it will be oracles against Jerusalem but Amos immediately starts giving prophecies of doom to all the surrounding pagan nations before bringing up Israel and Judah.
But the last paragraph of the last chapter becomes a message of hope in the then-future Messianic Age. This prophecy of hope reverses the order we saw in the prophecies of woe.
In the prophecies of doom, the prophet begins with the neighboring pagan nations and spirals in towards Judah and Israel.
In the prophecies of hope, the prophet begins with the restoration of one whole and healed Israel and moves out to include all the nations who invoke the Lord’s Name.
It’s as if the corruption of the Chosen People worked from the outside in whereas the blessing of the Chosen People worked from the inside out.
Holy Prophet Amos, pray to God for us!