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Amos 7:10-17 – I Am No Prophet

Summary

Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, confronts Amos and commands that he cease prophesying in Israel. He tells him to return to Judah and "earn bread" there. Amos reponds that he is "no prophet, nor a prophet's son," but that "the Lord said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'"

Analysis

Amos is claiming that he was not a professional prophet--not a man who earned a living by prophesying. Rather, he has come north at the Lord's command to speak the Lord's word. Amaziah answers to King Jeroboam II; Amos answers to the eternal king, the Lord. Amos then announces that Amaziah will be judged and killed, along with his king Jeroboam.

Amos 7:10-17

Amaziah Complains to the King

10 Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, ‘Amos has conspired against you in the very centre of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. 11For thus Amos has said,
“Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
   and Israel must go into exile
   away from his land.”
12And Amaziah said to Amos, ‘O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there; 13but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.’

14 Then Amos answered Amaziah, ‘I am* no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am* a herdsman, and a dresser of sycomore trees, 15and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”
16 ‘Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.
You say, “Do not prophesy against Israel,
   and do not preach against the house of Isaac.”
17 Therefore, thus says the Lord:
“Your wife shall become a prostitute in the city,
   and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword,
   and your land shall be parcelled out by line;
you yourself shall die in an unclean land,
   and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.”

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10 February 2011

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