The destruction of Israel (Am 7:8-7:9)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘Amos!

What do you see?’

I said.

‘A plumb line.’

Then Yahweh said.

‘See!

I am setting

A plumb line

In the midst

Of my people Israel.

I will never again

Pass by them.

The high places

Of Isaac

Shall be made desolate.

The sanctuaries of Israel

Shall be laid waste.

I will rise against

The house of Jeroboam

With the sword.’”

This time, Amos had no response to this vision about the plumb line. Yahweh asked Amos what he saw. Amos responded that it was a plumb line. Then Yahweh told him that he was going to place it in the middle of the people of Israel. He was not going to pass by them again. The high places and the sanctuaries of Israel would be laid waste and become desolate. Yahweh was going to rise up against the house of King Jeroboam II (783-743 BCE), meaning his son, King Zachariah, who did not last a year in 743 BCE.

King Shallum (Jer 22:11-22:12)

“Thus says Yahweh

Concerning King Shallum

The son of King Josiah

Of Judah.

He succeeded his father,

King Josiah.

He went away from this place.

He shall never return here.

But in the place

Where they have carried him captive,

There he shall die.

He shall never

See this land again.”

King Shallum or King Jehoahaz (609-609 BCE) was the son of King Josiah (640-609 BCE). At the age of 23 he succeeded his father who had died in battle. As you can see, he lasted less than a year, only 3 months, before he was banished to Egypt by King Necho II of Egypt (610-595 BCE), where he died in prison. His brother King Eliakim or King Jehoiakim (609-598 BCE) succeeded him with the blessings of King Necho II of Egypt. Jeremiah recounts that Yahweh had him succeed his father. Then he was sent away to Egypt from which he never returned. He never saw his homeland again. There is a good deal of historical artifacts about this time, showing the problems of the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Babylonians with the king of Judah in the middle.

The prophetic mission to Zion (Isa 61:2-61:3)

“Yahweh has sent me

To proclaim the year of Yahweh’s favor.

He has sent me

To proclaim the day of rescue of our God.

He has sent me

To comfort all who mourn.

He has sent me

To provide for those who mourn in Zion.

He has sent me

To give them a garland

Instead of ashes.

He has sent me

To give the oil of gladness

Instead of the oil of mourning.

He has sent me

To give the mantle of praise

Instead of a faint spirit.”

There was a clear mission to Zion. This servant or prophet was sent out to proclaim a year of Yahweh’s favor with a rescue day for those who needed comforting in their mourning for Zion. This would indicate a prophet more than a servant. This individual was sent to give flower garlands and not ashes. He was to give the oil of gladness and not the oil of mourning. He was sent to give a coat of praise rather than a faint spirit. In this sense he was more like a servant comforter to the people of Zion.