Temporary Gospel Doctrine Lesson 35: Amos and Joel

The week has come and gone, and I realize I haven’t put up  a post yet, which is a tragedy because I really like Amos.

So while I write an update which may not arrive until tomorrow, here’s some material to hold you over.

Here’s the podcast and transcript for Amos.

I wrote about the question “Does God Commit Evil?” in response to the KJV/JST of Amos 3:6, over at Mormon Monastery.

This is a rough draft of something I wrote a few years ago on Hebrew sod (rhymes with bode), translated as “secret” in Amos 3:7 (PDF).

And here’s a portion of the article on “the Day of the Lord” from the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets, focused on Joel and Amos.

And the Intro to Amos from the Jewish Study Bible, below.

THE FIRST VERSE OF THE BOOK sets the text in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam, king of Israel—from our perspective, the 8th century BCE. The book is set in the monarchic period, in a world in which the sanctuary at Bethel served as a central cultic place of the Northern Kingdom. Some scholars propose that the book of Amos was written (wholly or in the main) in the 8th century; others that it is the result of a lengthy process of redaction that spanned centuries; still others focus on the present text of Amos and date it to the postmonarchic period, since it implies the fall of the monarchy (9:11–15).

Even a cursory reading of the book shows that it deals mainly with the malady of Israel, its condemnation, and the future restoration and glory of Israel within a friendly, renewed physical world. When it condemns Israel, it repeatedly stresses social and political ills. (Contrast Hosea, which largely concerns religious ills.) As expected in a prophetic book meant to be read again and again, and meditated upon—as all prophetic books are—these social and political ills are described in relatively general terms. Thus, the critique becomes applicable to different historical and social circumstances. It is thus not surprising that a substantial number of readers in the 20th century considered either the book or the prophet it describes an inspiring source for their endeavors in social reform. For instance, Labor parties in the first decades of the State of Israel and its leaders (e.g., David Ben Gurion) considered Amos a source of inspiration. Currently, some advocates of “liberation theology” in Latin America see the book as a source of support for their theological and social positions.

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