Amos 7-9

I found several things interesting in these last few chapters of Amos prophecy that I want to point out.

1) Amos uses the Hebrew Adonai YHVH (translated “sovereign LORD” in the NET) 20 times throughout, but I didn’t notice it much until these last three chapters, where 11 of them are found.

Adonai is traditionally translated “Lord” and YHVH as “LORD”, but “Lord LORD” is pretty awkward. “LORD of Lords” would have worked, but I like “sovereign LORD”. (Side note: The NET translators kept this translation for most of the nearly 300 uses of Adonai YHVH throughout the Old Testament.)

2) Chapter seven is a great example of what James calls the “prayer of a righteous person” which “has great effectiveness”. In the first six verses, God tells Amos of two terrible things that he will do in judgment on Israel. To both of them, Amos begged for Israel. And both of them “the sovereign LORD” decided to refrain from doing. (Bonus points if you count the numbers of times “sovereign LORD” is used in these few verses out of 20 in the entire book.)

The sovereign LORD showed me this: I saw him making locusts just as the crops planted late were beginning to sprout. (The crops planted late sprout after the royal harvest.) When they had completely consumed the earth’s vegetation, I said, “Sovereign LORD, forgive Israel! How can Jacob survive? He is too weak!” The LORD decided not to do this. “It will not happen,” the LORD said.

The sovereign LORD showed me this: I saw the sovereign LORD summoning a shower of fire. It consumed the great deep and devoured the fields. I said, “Sovereign LORD, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is too weak!” The LORD decided not to do this. The sovereign LORD said, “This will not happen either.” Amos 7:1-6

3) Chapters 8 and 9 are full of judgment by the “sovereign LORD” – things that only he could do. I especially love the reference to the “Sea Serpent” – a creature that many believe to be a mythical creature. But I don’t.

4) Amos 8:11-12 and Amos 9:11-15 are two powerful sections that require separate posts.

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Daniel Goepfrich

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