Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Amos 1: 11-15

11Thus says the LORD,
"For three transgressions of Edom and for four
I will not revoke its punishment,
Because he pursued his brother with the sword,
while he stifled his compassion;
His anger also tore continually,
and he maintained his fury forever.
12"So I will send fire upon Teman
and it will consume the citadels of Bozrah."
13Thus says the LORD,
"For three transgressions of the sons of Ammon
and for four I will not revoke its punishment,
Because they ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead
In order to enlarge their borders.
14"So I will kindle a fire on the wall of Rabbah
and it will consume her citadels
Amid war cries on the day of battle,
and a storm on the day of tempest.
15"Their king will go into exile,
he and his princes together," says the LORD.

Continuing this week with the judgments against the nations surrounding Israel, Amos brings messages for Edom and Ammon.

If you were with me for my study of Obadiah at the beginning of the year, you know that the prophet's words in his book were delivered to the nation of Edom. Quickly reviewing, Edom is another name for Esau, Jacob's twin brother. Esau was duped into giving up his birthright for red stew while Jacob escaped with the birthright and God's ultimate protection. (Jacob's nation would be named Israel.) Rejecting God, Esau retreated to the protective rocky mountains of this southern area then named after him, Edom.

Though the nation could have lived in quiet exile, it took advantage of its stature and continued to bring harm upon the Israelites.

"Because of violence to your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame,
And you will be cut off forever.
On the day that you stood aloof,
On the day that strangers carried off his wealth,
and foreigners entered his gate and cast lots for Jerusalem--
You too were as one of them."
--Obadiah 1: 10 & 11

Amos echoes what God has already told Edom through Obadiah. His anger with their constant pursuing of Israel (vs 11) and their lack of brotherly compassion (more literally translated as corrupted compassion) led God to announce His vengeance. And this vengeance wiped out the Edomites and, ultimately, will wipe out all nations that oppose His people.

"For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
And a great slaughter in the land of Edom....
For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance,
The year of recompense for the cause of Zion."
--Isaiah 34:6 (portion) & 8

Ammon refers to the "sons of Ammon" (vs 13) who were descendants of Ben-ammi, the son of the corrupted union between Lot and his younger daughter. (Lot's son by his older daughter was named Moab, and that nation is on God's judgment platter in next week's study.) The horrendously violent act mentioned in verse 13 was not uncommon during wartime, according to my study Bible. You can see the close proximity of Ammon--and its capital city of Rabbah--to Gilead in the map above.

God's authority would bring down the rulers of the nation and, ultimately, reduce it to a pile of ashes. The reference to 'king' in verse 15 may mean, literally, "their king." But, my study Bible suggests that this might also have been translated to mean "Malcam," the god worshiped by the Ammonites. Regardless, God pronounced permanent exile for this "ruling" line.

"...Cry out, O daughters of Rabbah,
Gird yourselves with sackcloth and lament,
And rush back and forth inside the walls;
For Malcam will go into exile
Together with his priests and his princes."
--Jeremiah 49:3

The last judgments are made upon Israel's enemies....'Til next Wednesday!


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Next week: Amos 2:1-5

Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation,
specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB).
I will quote other sources if used in a post.

I also use
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
(with notes from the King James Version).