(New readers, please read the preceding posts, as large portions of this one won’t make much sense to you without them:
WHO is the Israel of God? ‘Seed of Abraham’; WHO is the Israel of God? Pt 2. ‘First Glimpse into the New Covenant Era’; WHERE is the Israel of God? ‘Know ye not, ye are His Temple?’; WHO is The Beast From the Sea?; WHO is the Beast from the Sea? pt. 2 ‘Antichrist’
Those who have read the preceding posts should more easily be able to follow this one. Here I discuss the last two chapters of the book of Amos, where he predicts the coming Messiah, and the judgment that Jesus pronounced upon Jerusalem, and the Sanhedrin in Matthew 23.
The book of Amos was written before the Old Testament destruction of Israel, and the exile to Babylon. Years prior, Israel had split into two; there was a Northern Kingdom of Israel, and the Southern kingdom of Judah. In like fashion the schismatic nation was twice judged – judgment came to the Northern Kingdom first.
The northern kingdom of Israel had rejected God from its offset. When the kingdom divided, the first king of Israel rejected Jehovah, and set up idols so that his people would not flee to the southern kingdom of Judah through their religious affiliations (1 Kings 12:26-30).
The kings in Israel ruled from the city of Samaria, and waxed worse, and worse in idolatry, cruelty, and perversion until a king arose who was far worse than any previous king. Ahab, the son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of the kings of Israel before him – under his reign the nation was reduced to a literal pagan nation. There no longer remained any priests, and everyone who called on the name of Jehovah was systematically persecuted until only a handful of prophets, and a meager ‘underground church’ existed. In the darkest hour of Israel’s history, God raised up the prophet Elijah, who called the nation to a spirit of repentance (for greater details see posts: Mount Carmel (Pt. 1); Mount Carmel (Pt. 2)).
Yet even after the prophets Elijah, and his protege Elisha brought the spirit of repentance to the nation of Israel, the kings of Israel continued to rebel against God.
Amos’ ministry came several generations later – shortly before the Northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed by Assyria. Much of Amos’ ministry predicted the coming judgment which would be poured out upon the nation through the Assyrian army.
Yet, many of Amos’ words foretold of a more permanent judgment which was coming on the land of Israel when they rejected the coming Messiah. The final two chapters of the book of Amos speak of Messiah’s judgment upon the leaders of the nation – the judgment to be declared by Jesus Christ shortly before His crucifixion. That judgment I have discussed somewhat in my first post on the subject of the Beast from the sea, which is related in Matthew 23.
I have submitted the theological thesis that the beast of Revelation 13, and 17 is the Sanhedrin, which: ‘was, and is not, and is yet to come.’ Here I will discuss the last two chapters of the book of the prophet Amos, who prophesied the coming sacrifice of Messiah, and specifically predicted the final judgement that Jesus declared upon Jerusalem, and the Sanhedrin in Matthew 23; and some interesting correlations (specifically in the final chapter) to John the Apostle’s prophecy of the beast from the sea.
Most of this post is really just the prophecy of Amos with my added commentary in brackets.
1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit.
2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. [Okay, so why does a ‘basket of summer fruit’ mean that ‘The end is come upon Israel’? Doesn’t a basket of summer fruit sound like a good thing, and not one of judgment? Answer: the summer fruit IS a good thing – as we will discover as we continue reading, it represents the NEW COVENANT of Jesus Christ. Why, then, does God equate that with the end coming upon the people of Israel, that He will not pass by them anymore? Because in order for the New Covenant to come, the Old Covenant has to pass away. The blessing of summer fruit is come, which means that the old fruit is outdated. Compare that statement at the end of this verse to the final sentence of Jesus Christ upon Jerusalem, and the Sanhedrin: Amos 1:2 – ‘The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them anymore.’ Matt 23:38-39 – ‘Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.’]
3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence. [Matt 24:2 ‘And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things [the temple buildings]? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’ Also: Luke 19:43-44 ‘For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.’]
4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, [Matt 23:14 – ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.’]
5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? [Luke 20:45-46 – ‘Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples, Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts.’]
6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat? [Matt 23:15 – ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.’; Matt 23:25 ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.’]
7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.
8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. [Matt 23:37 ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!’; Again: Luke 19:43-44 ‘For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.’]
9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: [This is a plain prophetic reference to the crucifixion of the Christ – Matt 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44 – all declare that when Jesus was crucified, at the sixth hour (noon) that there was darkness until the ninth hour (about 3 pm).]
10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. [Matt 23:38 ‘Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.’]
11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: [Matt 23:39 ‘For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.’ Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1) – this declaration is that following the crucifixion, desolation is left to the house of Israel (those who have rejected the Messiah) – they would be left without the Word of the Lord.]
12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.
14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beer-sheba liveth; EVEN THEY SHALL FALL, AND NEVER RISE UP AGAIN.
I will interlude here between chapters – verse 14 is the final verse of Amos 8; this verse is the key which unlocks the meaning of many of these things, so let’s look at the specific meaning of each of the terms he uses in this verse.
Remember this prophecy speaks of the time immediately following the crucifixion (as evidenced by verse 9, and verses we’ll come to in the following chapter), so although Amos is using Old Testament, pre-exile terminology, he is speaking of New Covenant principals.
The ‘sin of Samaria:’
Judah, the southern kingdom was ruled by kings in Jerusalem (which began in the time of king David), but when Israel separated from Judah, the kings of Israel ruled in Samaria. The ‘sin of Samaria’ speaks of the kings of Israel rejecting Jehovah when they separated from the southern kingdom of Judah. They set up for themselves gods to replace the one True God.
If you read 1 Kings 12:26-30, where the first king of Israel – as a separated nation – initiated this turning away, that the first idols were golden calves. Why does this matter? Because it was a golden calf which Aaron had made during the ministry of Moses, and declared it was the God who led them out of Egypt (Ex 32:4-8)!
Even in Jeroboam’s first creation of Idols for the Northern kingdom, he reached back into the tradition of Israel’s history!
1 Kings 12:28
Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
The ‘sin of Samaria’ is to turn away from the Living God to the traditions of Israel’s history. In denying the Messiah has come, and clinging to the Old Covenant of circumcision, the Sanhedrin quote: ‘Swears by the sin of Samaria.’
‘Thy god, O Dan, liveth:’
The meaning of this one is somewhat two-fold. First, it gives clarity to the ‘Sin of Samaria,’ for Dan is one of the two locations where Jeroboam placed the calf idols. The god of Dan being, therefore that calf. Yet this statement, also speaks regarding scripture’s overall prophecy to the tribe of Dan. Some of this, further, meaning should be evident if you have read my first post on the Beast from the Sea, but I will reiterate. ‘Dan’ means ‘judge,’ the Sanhedrin are the seventy judges of Israel appointed by Moses in Numbers 11 (I discussed in greater detail earlier). Read this interesting prophecy spoken by Israel (or Jacob) regarding Dan:
Gen 49:1 & 16-18
1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.
18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
God is no longer the God of the old order priesthood, nor the old order of the judges. The time for the Sanhedrin has passed. Moses appointed 70 elders to be judges under the old covenant. When the law of Moses was fulfilled and superseded by Jesus Christ, so also was the time of the judges who sat in his seat (Matt 23:2) superseded in Jesus coming.
Jesus Christ – who fulfilled the prophecy of Moses, that there would arise a prophet like unto him (Deut. 18:15) – ALSO raised up 70 elders (Luke 10:1-20). Jesus fulfilled the same commissioning, though not after the manner, nor order of the ancient Sanhedrin, but under the order of the Melchizedek priesthood (Heb 5-7).
To declare: ‘Thy god, oh Dan, liveth’ is idolatry – to declare that the order of Israel’s tradition – the Sanhedrin is still valid in spite of the fact that the reign of Messiah has fulfilled it – in spite of the summer fruit that has come.
‘The manner of Beer-sheba liveth’:
Interestingly, ‘Beer-sheba’ actually means ‘seven wells,’ and could also be considered a prophetic insinuation of the Sanhedrin, which has seventy judges, or prophets. More specifically though, Beer-sheba is a reference to the covenant of Abraham.
Genesis 21:25-34 tells the story of Beer-sheba; Abraham made a covenant with Abimelech regarding a well which he (Abraham) had dug – that it belonged to none other but Abraham, who dug it. The emphasis is that there was a covenant in which the well of water belonged to Abraham, alone, not to kingdoms of the gentiles. The well is a typology of salvation – under the Old Covenant salvation was available to the natural offspring of Abraham (the Jews) alone.
The ‘manner of Beer-sheba’ references the way in which the Old Covenant was open exclusively to the Jews (and those who followed, and practiced their religious culture). According to the New Covenant of Jesus Christ, salvation belongs to everyone, not to the Jews only – the manner of Beer-sheba has passed away.
Here’s Amos 8:14 again:
14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria [create idolatry by the traditions of Israel], and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth [declare that the ‘god’ of the Old Covenant judges still gives Old Covenant judges authority in the days of Messiah]; and, The manner of Beer-sheba liveth [the covenant which ensures salvation belongs only to the Jews]; EVEN THEY SHALL FALL, AND NEVER RISE UP AGAIN.
This verse three times denies the rightful place of the Old Testament way to salvation – notice that each correlates with the three points of Jewish culture by which I pointed out the Jews are saved (albeit not quoted in the same order):
- ‘The manner of Beer-sheba‘ – The Covenant of Abraham (circumcision)
- ‘The sin of Samaria‘ – The law (or ‘traditions’) of Moses correlates
- ‘Thy God, O Dan, liveth‘ – The Levitical priesthood; religious authority, or government under the ancient order
Now, the last chapter of Amos:
1 I saw the LORD standing upon the altar: [again, this is a clear reference to the crucifixion – Jesus the lamb who takes away the sins of the world] and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake [recall that in the Passover the lintels of the door are struck with the blood of the lamb? this also a reference to the crucifixion: ‘Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;’ (Matt 27:50-51) in the context I am speaking of, it means that the way of entry has been altered – we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, not through following the ways of the Old Covenant]: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword [Rev 13:3 ‘And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.’]: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.
2 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven [Is. 14:13], thence will I bring them down:
3 And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel [Although they repent, and turn to the ways of the OLD COVENANT – as in the days of Elijah & mount Carmel], I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea [Rev 13:1 ‘…saw a beast rise up out of the sea…’], thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them [Rev 13:2 ‘…and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.]:
4 And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good.
5 And the Lord GOD of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. [Here references Jesus’ return, and the final judgment.]
6 It is he [JESUS] that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he [JESUS] that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name [JESUS].
7 Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?
8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob [Notice he uses the natural name ‘Jacob’ not the spiritual name, Israel – he is here speaking of the natural seed of Jacob, the Jews: the Jews shall have a remnant who do not perish: THOSE WHO RECEIVE THE MESSIAH], saith the LORD.
9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.
10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us. [Of the New Covenant, he makes the distinction – those who are sinners among the people shall die; just as I discussed in my first post in this series the message of John the Baptist to the Sanhedrin: ‘bring forth fruits meet for repentance.’ So again, only those who do not repent, and receive the MESSIAH are promised destruction.]
11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen [the ‘tabernacle of David’ speaks of the Messianic kingdom: Jesus the Son of David], and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old [that is, Christ, the Messiah shall reign supreme]:
12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name [the gentiles are received into the kingdom of God], saith the LORD that doeth this.
13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel [here he uses the spiritual term: ‘Israel,’ not the natural term ‘Jacob’ – he speaks of ALL the children of God who receive Messiah, the remnant of Jews, and the remnant of gentiles NOT THE NATURAL, UNSAVED JEWS], and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
15 And I will plant them upon their land [this is not speaking of the land of Palestine – this speaks of the spiritual dominion of the presence of God; the NEW (HEAVENLY) JERUSALEM; they will have salvation, and nothing, and no one can take away their salvation (Rom 8:37-39)], and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.