The Book of Amos
James J. Barker
GOD WILL RAISE UP THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID
- The last
five verses of the book of Amos form an epilogue. I mentioned in my last message (Amos
9:1-10, which deals with the dispersion of Israel), that although the book of Amos is largely about
God’s judgment upon the nation of Israel (cf. 9:10), the book ends on a positive
- In Amos
9:11, the prophet Amos looks way into the future – “In that day” – a reference
to the day of the LORD.
- The term
refers to the regathering and restoration of Israel. Isaiah 11:11 says, “And it shall come to
pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time
to recover the remnant of his people.”
13:1 says, “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of
David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for
prophecies have yet to be fulfilled.
The future restoration of Israel is a major theme in both the OT and the
NT. The apostle Paul, quoting
the prophet Isaiah, said in Romans 11:26, “And so all Israel shall be saved: as
it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away
ungodliness from Jacob.”
restoration of Israel did not happen under Zerubbabel, or Ezra, or
Nehemiah. It did not happen when Christ came the first time.
- You will
recall the disciples asked our Lord, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore
again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6).
- Our Lord did
not say they were wrong in expecting a literal restoration of Israel. He said, “It is not for you to know the
times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power” (Acts
- And, “But ye
shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be
witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto
the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
- In other words, first there must be the church age. We are to evangelize the whole
world. Then Christ will
return. But before He establishes
His millennial kingdom, and before He restores Israel, there will be the
rapture, the tribulation, the emergence of the antichrist, and the battle of
THE DISPENSATIONAL INTERPRETATION
- We do not have
the time tonight to study dispensationalism. But I would like to point out that
dispensationalism is distinguished by certain important principles. Two of them are:
(1) There should be
a clear distinction between God’s
program for Israel and God’s program for the Church.
There is a consistent and regular use of the literal
principle of interpretation.
The literal method of interpretation is very
- Amos 9:11
says, “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is
fallen…” We know what Amos means by “that day.”
- What does
Amos mean by “the tabernacle of David”?
Henry said, “God’s tabernacle is called
the tabernacle of David because David desired and chose to dwell in God’s
tabernacle for ever (Psalm 61:4).”
- John Phillips said, “The idea in Amos 9:11
seems to be that the fortunes of the royal house of David would fall, but God
would rebuild it and restore its glory” (Exploring the Minor
- This is an important Bible prophecy. Amos’ prophecy was referred to by James
in Acts 15 (cf. Acts 15:13-18).
- The Scofield
Bible says, “Dispensationally, this is the most important passage in the N.T. It
gives the divine purpose for this age, and for the beginning of the next.”
(1) The taking out from
among the Gentiles of a people for His name, the distinctive work of the
present, or church-age. The church is the ecclesia--the ‘called-out assembly.’
Precisely this has been in progress since Pentecost. The Gospel has never
anywhere converted all, but everywhere has called out some.
(2) “After this (viz. the
out-calling) I will return.” James quotes from Amos
9:11, 12. The verses which follow in Amos describe the final
regathering of Israel, which the other prophets invariably connect with the
fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant (e.g. Isaiah
11:1, 10-12; Jeremiah
(3) “And will build again the
tabernacle of David,” i.e. re-establish the Davidic rule over Israel (II Samuel
7:8-17; Luke 1:31-33).
(4) “That the residue of men
(Israelites) may seek after the Lord” (cf. Zechariah 12:7, 8; 13:1,
(5) “And all the Gentiles,” etc.
8:21, 22). This is also the order of Romans
- To be literal, and to be consistent
hermeneutically, we must conclude that the Bible teaches a literal restoration
of Israel, including a restoration of David’s throne (cf. Luke 1:31-33; Isa.
9:7; Jer. 30:7-11; Ezek. 37:21-28).
WE MUST REJECT THE ALLEGORICAL
- Allegorical interpretation contrasts with the
literal, grammatical-historical method.
Allegorists seek a “spiritual meaning” behind the literal
- For example, allegorists teach that the NT
church is “the tabernacle of David.” Allegorizing Scripture is a
dangerous way to interpret the
- Harold Camping allegorizes Scripture and is
now teaching that the world is coming to an end May 21, 2011.
Before he said it would be in 1994. It seems to me that he has lost his mind.
- Another popular allegorist is Hank
Hanegraaff. He is not crazy
like Camping but just as proud and haughty.
- Hanegraaff criticizes Tim LaHaye’s literal interpretation of
Revelation 14:20 as a “literal-at-all-costs
method of interpretation,” and says, “Interpreting apocalyptic imagery in a woodenly
literal sense inevitably leads to
- But it is Hanegraaff who is absurd. Revelation 14:20 (which describes the
battle of Armageddon) is obviously talking about the judgment of God (cf. Rev.
14:19). There is no problem interpreting this prophecy literally.
- Hanegraaff says, “Since it is difficult to imagine
that the blood of Christ’s enemies could create a literal river reaching as high
as ‘the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia (furlongs),’ LaHaye
exercises extraordinary literary license.” Note: about 176 miles.
imagines that the blood in this passage is a symbol “of blood that flowed from Immanuel’s
- Getting back to Amos’ prophecy: King David’s
kingdom had fallen, but God will raise up the ruins. As I stated earlier, this was not
accomplished in the regatherings under Zerubbabel (536 BC), Ezra (458 BC), or
Nehemiah (445 BC).
- The word “tabernacle” (Amos
9:11) could be translated “booth” or “tent,” i.e., a temporary dwelling.
The verse indicates a broken-down
condition, but God has promised to restore it. He will “close up the breaches
thereof,” and “will raise up his ruins,” and “will build it as in the days of
old” (Amos 9:11).
- Israel will be restored
again, and will be the head of all the other nations (9:12; cf. Deut. 28:1, 2,
- A literal
interpretation is the premillennial interpretation. These prophecies will be fulfilled
- Israel will “possess the
remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen”
- During the millennial
kingdom, the heathen nations will be called by God’s name (9:12). That is why James quoted this
Scripture at the Jerusalem council.
He was emphasizing that it was always God’s intention to save Gentiles
(cf. Acts 15:7-18).
- Amos 9:13 says, “Behold, the
days come, saith the LORD…” These verses describe the millennial kingdom. Cf. Joel 3:18, “And it shall come to
pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new
- Israel’s restoration will be
permanent (Amos 9:15).
- Amos 9:15 says, “And I will
plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their
land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy
- God gave Israel their
land. He scattered them because of
their disobedience. He sent enemies
to vex them because of their unbelief.
- And He will restore
- It does not matter what the
USA says, or what the UN says, or what the EU says, or what the Muslims say, or
what Russia says (cf. Ezekiel 38 & 39) – it only matters what God says.
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