The Book of Amos
James J. Barker
AMOS AND THE CORRUPT PRIEST AMAZIAH
- Ever since
Cain killed Abel, the children of the devil have hated the children of God.
- First John
3:11, 12 says, “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that
we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew
his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his
- We see this
often in the Bible. You may recall
how the false prophet Zedekiah smote Micaiah the prophet on the cheek, and said,
“Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee?” (I Kings
- Zedekiah was
one of the false prophets employed by King Ahab. King Ahab hated Micaiah, and complained
about him to King Jehoshaphat. He
said to Jehoshaphat, “I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me,
but evil” (I Kings 22:8).
- It was this
same wicked King Ahab, who said to Elijah the prophet, “Art thou he that
troubleth Israel?” (I Kings 18:17).
replied, “I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that
ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim” (I
- During the
days of Amos the prophet, Jeroboam II was the king of Israel. Like all the kings of Israel, beginning
with the first King Jeroboam, Jeroboam II was a wicked and ungodly
- But the
focus here is not on King Jeroboam; it is on his corrupt priest Amaziah, and his
confrontation with Amos the prophet. Amaziah’s priesthood was unscriptural and
- The first
King Jeroboam began this illegitimate priesthood (I Kings 12:26-33). That is why some expositors believe the
judgment in Amos 7:9, “against the house of Jeroboam,” could be referring to the
first King Jeroboam, the man responsible for destroying the religious unity of
- It is probably referring to King Jeroboam II, though it could apply to
the first King Jeroboam. The
dynasty of Jeroboam II came to an end when his son and successor, Zachariah, was
assassinated by the usurper Shallum.
- Shallum only reigned for one month
before he himself was murdered by the brutal and barbaric Menahem.
AMAZIAH’S REPORT (7:10,
resorted to the usual dirty tricks employed by religious racketeers, when he
tried to get Amos in trouble with the authorities by accusing him of high
treason (7:10, 11).
religious leaders tried similar tactics with Pontius Pilate. Matthew 27:23 says, “And the governor
said, Why, what evil hath he done?”
- In Luke
23:2, we read that the religious leaders began to accuse our Lord, saying, “We
found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to
Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.”
religious leaders did the same thing to the apostle Paul. In Acts 24, read that
“a certain orator named Tertullus” informed the governor against Paul, saying,
“For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among
all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the
Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5).
report against Amos was unfair and untrue. Amos did not “conspire” against King
Jeroboam (Amos 7:10).
- Amaziah took
Amos’ words out of context. Amos condemned the idolatry in Israel, but he was
not guilty of any conspiracy.
- Amaziah was
wrong to say, “For thus Amos saith…” (7:11). Amos said, “Thus saith the LORD”
(2:6; 3:11, 12; etc.).
- Amaziah was
unknowingly paying Amos a compliment by saying, “The land is not able to bear
all his words” (7:10b). In other
words, Amos’ preaching was very effective, and sinners were
- Our Lord
said in Matthew 10:22, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s
- The apostle Paul said, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus
shall suffer persecution” (II Tim. 3:12).
- There will always be false prophets like Amaziah, and they will always
resent true Bible preachers.
wanted Amos to leave the northern kingdom of Israel, and return to his native
land (7:12, 13).
reference to “eating bread” (7:12) indicates Amaziah was suggesting that Amos
was preaching for money. Since
Amaziah obviously was in the ministry for money he assumed others were
authority was the ungodly King Jeroboam – “But prophesy not again any more at
Bethel: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court”
authority was God – “And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD
said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel” (7:15).
- God called
Amos to preach but unregenerate hirelings like Amaziah cannot comprehend
never seriously considered that Amos’ preaching was right and that the king was
wrong. Amaziah was going to take
his stand with the ungodly king rather than with the godly prophet.
declared that he was a simple herdman and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: when the
LORD called him to prophesy to the people of Israel (7:14, 15).
- Amos was
letting Amaziah know that he was not a professional religionist – what we would
today call a “clergyman.”
AMAZIAH’S RECOMPENSE (7:16,
stinging rebuke was from the LORD – “Now therefore hear thou the word of the
- For the opposition Amaziah gave to Amos, the
LORD would bring ruin upon himself and his family.
- Amaziah’s wife shall be a harlot in the city
(7:17). Matthew Henry said this was “a just punishment upon him for promoting
- Amaziah would live to see his sons and
daughters “fall by the sword.”
- Amaziah would be stripped of all his estate,
and it would fall into the hands of the enemy, and be “divided by line” among
the Assyrian soldiers.
- One of Amaziah’s accusations was
accurate. Amos was accused of
saying, “Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land” (7:11),
and Amos repeated it (7:17).
the mouths of God’s ministers will not stop the progress of God’s word, for it
shall not return void” (Matthew Henry).