Amos – Biographical Data Name = Supported by God Occupation – 1:1 and 7:14 Tender of Sheep and Dresser of Sycamores The Word for “tender” or “herder” implies an owner of a large flock rather than hired help Hometown: Tekoa – Small town in Judah Life and Ministry – During reign of Amaziah – c. 760-750 BC
Outline of the Book I. Chap 1-2 – Book of Doom An ethical tour of the region from the divine perspective culminating in condemnation of Israel itself II. 3-6 – Book of Woes Collected sayings of the prophet – not much cohesion Visions The Amaziah affair III. 7-9 – Book of Visions Message of hope – unlike the rest of the book Some wonder if this was added by later authors
Context Territorial Expansion and National Prosperity for Israel Inequality between the urban elite and the rural poor Manipulation of debt for the advancement of the rich and powerful Patrimonial estates being taken from the poor by the rich
Amos 1:3-10 Thus says the LORD: For three crimes of Damascus, and for four, I will not revoke my word; Because they threshed Gilead with sledges of iron, I will send fire upon the house of Hazael, to devour the castles of Ben-hadad. I will break the bar of Damascus; I will root out those who live in the Valley of Aven, And the sceptered ruler of Beth-eden; the people of Aram shall be exiled to Kir, says the LORD. Thus says the LORD: For three crimes of Gaza, and for four, I will not revoke my word; Because they took captive whole groups to hand over to Edom, I will send fire upon the wall of Gaza, to devour her castles; I will root out those who live in Ashdod, and the sceptered ruler of Ashkelon; I will turn my hand against Ekron, and the last of the Philistines shall perish, says the Lord God. Thus says the LORD: For three crimes of Tyre, and for four I will not revoke my word; Because they delivered whole groups captive to Edom, and did not remember the pact of brotherhood, I will send fire upon the wall of Tyre, to devour her castles.
Amos 2:6-11 Thus says the LORD: For three crimes of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke my word; Because they sell the just man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of sandals. They trample the heads of the weak into the dust of the earth, and force the lowly out of the way. Son and father go to the same prostitute, profaning my holy name. Upon garments taken in pledge they recline beside any altar; And the wine of those who have been fined they drink in the house of their god. Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorites before them, who were as tall as the cedars, and as strong as the oak trees. I destroyed their fruit above, and their roots beneath. It was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt, and who led you through the desert for forty years, to occupy the land of the Amorites: I who raised up prophets among your sons, and nazirites among your young men. Is this not so, O men of Israel? says the LORD.
The Day of the Lord Destruction of the Army 2:14-16 Famine Disaster to Fall upon the City
End of Amos’s Ministry Nothing is known for sure of the death of Amos His ministry apparently ends after his altercation with Amaziah (7:14ff) Some speculate that he was murdered for his words against the high priest In the end, we do not know.
Hosea – Biographical Data Name = Salvation is from the Lord Occupation – Unknown – Perhaps a priest? Hometown: Somewhere in Israel – Northern Kingdom Ministry – Israel Life and Ministry – Ca. 750-725
Context Rampant Sin Religious – Worship of false Gods Moral – Sexual immorality, often associated with the false Gods Political Corruption Israel is on the verge of collapse during the ministry of Hosea
Analogy Hosea marries Gomer Gomer is unfaithful, taking many spouses -Several offspring Necessity of punishment to bring her back to fidelity God takes Israel for his bride Israel is unfaithful, adopting many Canaanite practices God has mixed desires – Love for Israel and desire to bring her back to fidelity through punishment
Hosea’s Children Jezreel – 1st Son – God Scatters 1:4 Lo-Ruhamah – 2nd Child – God Scatters 1:6 Lo-Ammi – Not my People 1:8-9 Cf. 2:23 – “To Scatter” becomes “to sow”
Assyria God allows Assyria to conquer the land in the hope that the suffering the people endure will bring them back to fidelity to himself
Salvificidoloris Already in the Old Testament we note an orientation that begins to go beyond the concept according to which suffering has a meaning only as a punishment for sin, insofar as it emphasizes at the same time the educational value of suffering as a punishment. Thus in the sufferings inflicted by God upon the Chosen People there is included an invitation of his mercy, which corrects in order to lead to conversion: "... these punishments were designed not to destroy but to discipline our people.“ (Par. 12)
Salvificidoloris cont. This is an extremely important aspect of suffering. It is profoundly rooted in the entire Revelation of the Old and above all the New Covenant. Suffering must serve for conversion, that is, for the rebuilding of goodness in the subject, who can recognize the divine mercy in this call to repentance. The purpose of penance is to overcome evil, which under different forms lies dormant in man. Its purpose is also to strengthen goodness both in man himself and in his relationships with others and especially with God. (Par. 12)