AMOS

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AMOS 1

Verse 1 They say three or four or perhaps five or six. It is the way they speak. It is a common way of
speech. ‘Damascus, yea for four…’ One of the threshing instruments is a beam of wood. Threshing
instruments are all wood, no iron, but here they used iron.
Verse 3 The bar is a lock. Eden should be Beth-Eden.
Verse 6 ‘Translation: ‘…Gaza, even for four,…’ They carried away all those that were captives.
Verse 7 Translation: ‘But I will send a fire within the wall of Gaza,…’
Verse 9 Translation: ‘…Even for four…’
Verse 10 Translation: ‘But I will send a fire within the wall of Tyrus,…’
Verse 11 Translation: ‘…even for four…’
Verse 13 Translation: ‘…even for four…’
Verse 14 Translation: ‘But I will kindle a fire within the wall of Rabbah, and it will raise the ground as
in a battle going about as in a whirlwind:’ It will be completely wiped out and blown away by a whirlwind.
 

AMOS 2
Verse 1 Translation: ‘…even for four…’ ‘Edom with lime:’ If they don’t want to leave any sign of a
person they burn the bones with lime because it completely wipes it out. It turns to dust. Lime was used
as the fuel.
Verse 1 Translation: ‘…even for four…’
Verse 4 Translation: ‘…even for four…’
Verses 6, 7 Poor (someone asked question about this). ‘Pant after dust on head of the poor’—throw
dust into mouth of poor people instead of food. Robbing them, denying them food. Wicked people had
such little regard for God’s heritage that they sold them (God’s heritage) for a despised price—cheap.
‘Sold the righteous for silver.” Whenever they wanted to despise someone they would say. ‘Oh, he is
only barley, cake—he is nothing.’ Slight by indicating someone is worth only a pair of shoes, silver, etc.
Verse 7 Translation: ‘They cast dust on the head of the poor,…’
Verse 8 Translation: ‘And they by every altar, upon clothes on a pledge you should give it away to the
man concerned. These people did something that was never done.
Profaners of God. The wicked people who profane the name of God lay themselves down on clothes
laid to pledge by every altar. Some poor people pawn their clothes. Those to whom they are pawned are
supposed to return the clothes to the poor people before sundown. Wicked people would not return the
clothes but would take them to the altar and lie down on them. Sign of wickedness.
Wine of condemned: people are condemned in court of law by elders of the gate and any charge
brought against them, they must pay a fine. These wicked people would use that money to buy wine
which they should not have done and they would drink it in the temple.
Verse 12 Nazarenes are not supposed to drink wine.
Pressed Cart. Figures of speech: ‘Behold, as a cart is so heavy laden that the sheaves are dragging
the ground and pressing the cart down, so I press you’ (the wicked people). God says this to them. God
is not pressed, the people are pressed for their wickedness.
Verse 14 Cannot escape the pressure.
Verse 16 He will run away naked because he won’t have time to dress. Naked means the man has only
a loin cloth on. Does not mean to be without clothes.
 

AMOS 3
Verse 2 ”You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.’
The Sanskrit translation reads: ‘You only have I approved…’ God saved them. He brought them
out of Egypt, He supplied all their needs, he loved them, He recognized them as His own people
(chosen)—approved above all the families of the earth.
Spiritual Application: We today are approved of God only in Christ. We are saved by His grace.
We are kept by His Word. We are His children; therefore, when we sin against Him, He rebukes and
checks us for our iniquities. They prosper like the green bay tree and never seem to be punished for their
iniquities. This is because they are not God’s children (approved of Him).
‘punish you for all your iniquities’ You would think if God knew only Israel He would be forgiving
but instead here He is punishing them. ‘have I known’—should be ‘have I approved’ (Jeremiah 12:1-3
Why do the wicked prosper) God will chastise us, because we are approved by Him. He whom the Father
loveth He chasteneth.
‘punish you for all your iniquities’ Have I known should be ‘have I approved’ — any little thing
goes wrong and we are instantly checked, corrected, reproved by God because we are approved by Him.
The man on the street may continue doing wrong his whole life time without being checked or punished.
Psalm 37:35. To approve of someone means to recognize him and take him as one of your brothers.
Verse 5 ‘Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare
from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?’
This is a poor translation because the translators were foreigners to the culture and idioms of the East.
Illustration: Camel going through the eye of a needle—the word for camel in Aramaic and Syriac is
‘gamla’—there are four meanings for this word.
1. Camel
2. Beam
3. Rope
4. Something larger than what is being compared
The word which should be used in this Eastern idiom is a ‘rope’ passing through the eye of a needle.
A ‘snare” is a net or a trap which is used to catch birds or small animals for food. The translation
reads in Sanskrit: ‘Will one take up a snare if there is nothing in it?’
Translation: ‘…before he takes anything at all.’
‘Shall one take up a snare… nothing at all.’ This is a poor translation. This should read, ‘Will a
snare be taken up if there is nothing in it at all.’ A ‘snare’ is a little net which is spread out to catch little
birds and rabbits, some bait is put inside, and the person waiting will pull it up when some game comes into it.
Why words are misplaced in the Bible—the Bible was originally written by Eastern men. Then the
Bible was translated by the Greeks who were foreigners to the Eastern culture. They knew the language
but they did not know the usage of the language. To know the usage we must know the culture of the
people who speak the language.
‘bird fall in a snare’ Should read—’will the snare be taken if there is nothing in it at all’ The snare
is a net which is spread out to catch small game. The fowler will sit and watch the net. When something
falls into it he will take it up.
‘bird fall in a snare’ Originally the Bible was written by Eastern people, and it was correct because
these people knew the customs and the culture. The Western people, foreigners to Eastern culture,
translated the Bible. Must know the correct usage according to culture to get a good translation.
Verse 6 Translation: ‘…shall there be fire in the village, without the will of the Lord?’
Verse 12 A shepherd, when a lion swallows a sheep, will run and put his hand in the lion’s mouth in
such a way, that he will pull out the sheep, if he can. If not, he will pull out that which he can get hold of
from the lion. He will save something from the sheep. ‘In the corner of the bed’ means near the post of the bed.
Rescue, shepherd. Lambs looked upon in East as children of the shepherd. He would lay down his
life for them. He would put his hand in the lion’s mouth to salvage even part of a captured lamb. So shall
God pull His people out of danger, no matter what time or situation, or danger, or difficulty, is present.
Last part of verse signifies no matter where they are hidden.
Verse 15 ‘Smite’ means destroy here in this passage. ‘with’ should be and. ‘…the winter house with
the summer house…’ It is just two houses. One for the winter and the other for summer. The summer
house is screened in.
Verse 20
See Isaiah 47:1,2.
 

AMOS 4
Verse 1 ‘…kine of Bashan,…’ means cattle of Bashan. The bulls of Bashan are the people who are very
wild and strong.
Verse 3 Translation: ”And everyone of you will cast out that which you are carrying to the palace, and
go out to the breach.’ A breach is a place that is rented to two.
Verse 6 ‘Cleaness of teeth’ means they have nothing to eat. The teeth are on vacation.
Hardness of heart. If a man has not eaten for days, his teeth are clean, indicates poverty. It would
seem that people in difficulty would repent and call upon God. But it made these people harder in their hearts.
Verse 7 ‘One piece’ means ‘one plot.’
Verse 9 ‘Mildew’ is poisonous dew. The palmerworm is any worm that is green.
Verse 11 A fire brand is a piece of wood on which is brush, rags and kerosene oil and is used as a torch.
 

AMOS 5
Verse 1 Translation: ‘Hear ye this proverb…’
Verse 7 Wormwood is a tree. The leaves, herbs, etc. are all bitter. It is the bitterest of all trees and it is
about the size of a pear tree.
Verse 11 ‘Pleasant’ means productive.
Verse 19 This is a very good saying in the East. They say that when everything seems to go wrong for a man.
Cannot escape judgment of God. Sin catches up with us and meets us in the way.
Verse 21 Translation: ‘…I will have no pleasure in your solemn assemblies.’
Verse 23 ‘Viols’ means Violin.
 

AMOS 6
Verse 4 The beds of ivory are the real beds. The posts and everything are made of ivory. ‘Stall’ should
be cattle shed.
See Isaiah 55:1.
Verse 5 ‘Viol’ means violin.
Verse 6 Translation: ‘That drink bowls of wine…’
Verse 9 Translation: ‘…that all should die.’
Verse 10 The dead man is unclean. The house is the funeral house. They should not mention the name
of the Lord since they are in the business of burning in the funeral. The people that are mourning are
concerned with the dead bodies and they should not make mention of the Lord.
Verse 11 A branch is a wide place and a cleft is a narrow space.
Verse 12 The gall is also called the wormwood. The Jews call the wormwood, gall. ‘Hemlock’ should be poison.
Verse 13 ‘Horns by our own strength’ means glory by ourselves.
 

AMOS 7
Verse 1 ‘King’s mowings’ means the grass inside the king’s compound. They mow the grass the first
time and then that which is left shoots forth and then he found the grasshoppers. Translation: ‘The Lord
God hath showed it to me; after the mowing of the grass of the king, as the grass began to shoot out the
second time, God created grasshoppers.’
Verse 2 Translation: ‘After the grasshoppers have eaten the grass, he prayed, O Lord, by whom Jacob
shall arise for he is poor.’
Verse 3 ‘Repented’ should be ‘was sorry.’
Verse 4 Translation: ‘The fire ate very deeply and it ate one share of it.’
Verse 7 ‘A plumb line’ you drop down from the top of an object to measure the vertical straightness of it.
Verses 12-14 Sycamore. Amos was a prophet commanded by God to go to a certain place to preach.
Gathering of sycamore fruit—very menial task.
Sycamore is a wild fig tree (different from sycamore in America). Bears red figs which are despised
by people although they are edible. Feed only to pigs and cows. People are despised if seen picking the
fruit up. If a person is seen climbing the tree he is thought to be starving having lost all self-respect.
Zacchaeus climbed the sycamore tree to demonstrate his humility, not really to see Jesus pass by. He
could have climbed a larger tree for that (sycamore is only a little larger than apple tree). Zacchaeus was a
rich man but Christ saw his humility and went home with him. Everyone that humbleth himself shall be
exalted. God exalted Amos also. Amos was not ashamed to declare what God had done for him (verses
14,15) so God would be glorified.
Verse 14 Being a herdsman is bad enough because that is not much of a position: but even the poorest
of the poor will not be seen gathering the sycamore fruit either on top of the tree or under it. It is a very
menial task, but Amos was doing that job and God made him a prophet. Sycamore tree is a wild fig tree.
‘but I was an herdsman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit (wild figs).’ To gather wild figs is a very
menial task yet God made Amos a mighty prophet (I Corinthians 1:27 caught by way of example but not
stated — 172). All the prophets were obscure men.
Zacchaeus (from Heb. pure. A chief tax gatherer whom Jesus called on when passing through
Jericho. Luke 19:2, 5, 8—Young’s Conc.) got up in a sycamore tree. He could have gotten in any other
tree or being a rich man could have gotten on a camel or on a housetop. Housetops are very plentiful with
flat roofs and it was available for anyone to go up on it. He could have gotten people to carry him. He
got up in a sycamore tree to get rid of all pride and public opinion. He wanted to show humility. He
made room for Jesus. A sycamore tree isn’t that high anyway.
How much could you see from an apple tree?
See: Luke 17:5.6.
‘…gatherer of sycamore fruit:’ This was the most menial task in the East, like feeding the swine. If
a man once feeds swine, he will never be accepted back into society again. People don’t even want to be
seen under the tree lest people think they are collecting fruit. Very humiliating to be seen in tree.
Zacchaeus climbed sycamore tree to see Christ. Bishop poses question: Why did he climb sycamore
tree instead of roof top—especially since it is not very high, and also difficult to see as the branches are
thick. Why did he not use camel, horse, or coconut tree?
Zacchaeus was a rich man, a sinner whether he realized it or not, but he wanted to humble himself.
If people wanted to express humility, could climb sycamore because the people would think he had lost
all his money and had gone to collect fruit and would then ostracize him.
Jesus Christ knew what was involved in climbing tree—emptied himself of all pride, social status
and standing and fear of community condemnation.
We are more afraid of what others may say than Christ. He that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Zacchaeus preparing his heart for Jesus to come in. Other people on-lookers, Zacchaeus really receiving
him. Where there is open heart—Christ will come in.
PREACHING on why we don’t let Christ in = no joy, too busy—don’t take time, take things for
granted. We must mean every word and believe in our hearts.
Sycamore tree—although small—so many roots spread far and wide and deep. It is impossible to
pluck up sycamore tree with all the roots. Also, impossible to be planted in the sea. If we have as much
faith as mustard seed, this is what we can do.
Bishop—Root represents problems. We should not look at problems, but look to Christ. We think
too much on ourselves, the more we will go down into the pit. Rise above it by looking to Jesus. Be set
free, delivered, solve problems—Cast burden on the Lord, problems no matter what, can be solved in the
name of Jesus Christ. Don’t pray and worry at the same time.
Sycamore tree. Sycamore—wild fig tree—only cows and pigs eat them. Disgraceful to be seen in or
under tree collecting fruit to eat. He would be ostracized. Amos wanted to humble himself. Did not care
what people thought of him. God exalted him.
 

AMOS 8
Verse 10 A palmerworm is a green worm. They call any green worm a palmer worm, ‘…baldness upon
every head…” means bald headedness.
Verses 4, 5 Deceitfulness of wicked. Ephah—measure, about a quart. The wicked were cheating,
making the measure small and the price big. Wanted to make poor of the land fall. Hold back goods until
the demand is great.
 

AMOS 9
Verse 13 Shows prosperity. Soon after the reaping is finished the rains come and then they plow.
Usually they have to wait 4 or 5 months before they can plow again. But God’s blessing was so abundant
that they could plow almost as soon as the reapers had gone. The vineyards are in mountainous places
and in the mountains you get wild grapes and they are not very good, but it shall be sweet here. You can’t
melt the hills with man made things but with God’s mercy God will make it smooth so you can grow food.


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