The Israelites will possess the neighboring lands (Ob 1:19-1:21)

“Those of the Negeb

Shall possess

Mount Esau.

Those of the Shephelah,

The land of the Philistines,

Shall possess

The land of Ephraim

With the land of Samaria.

Benjamin

Shall possess Gilead.

The exiles

Of the Israelites

Who are in Halah,

Shall possess

Phoenicia

As far as Zarephath.

The exiles of Jerusalem

Who are in Sepharad

Shall possess

The towns

Of the Negeb.

Those who have been saved

Shall go up

To Mount Zion

To rule Mount Esau.

The kingdom

Shall be Yahweh’s.”

This short chapter and book ends and a new larger Israel, as their long standing enemy neighbors will no longer exist.  Israel shall rule them.  The area of the Negeb was the arid southern land that would change from the land of Edom or Mount Esau into Israel.  Israel was going to possess the Shephelah, the western area along the Mediterranean coast where the Philistines lived.  They were also going to have the land of Samaria and the territory of Ephraim, north of Judah.  The territory of Benjamin would include land on the east side of the Jordan River, the Gilead.  The exiled Israelites in Halah in the upper Mesopotamia region and those in the Phoenician town of Zarephath, as well as the exiles in Asia Minor in Shephard would all return to live in the arid southern Negeb region.  All the saved Israelites would return to Mount Zion, as Mount Esau and all of Edom would go away and be under the Israelites.

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Drinking on the mountain (Ob 1:16-1:16)

“As you have drunk

On my holy mountain,

All the nations

Around you

Shall drink.

They shall drink.

They shall gulp it down.

They shall be

As though

They had not been.”

Just as the Israelites had drunk wine on the holy mountain, other countries would drink wine, just as they did.  In fact, they would gulp down their drinks.  However, they would become as if they had never existed.

Restoration of the people of Israel (Am 9:13-9:15)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The time is surely coming

When the one who plows

Shall overtake

The one who reaps.

When the one who treads grapes

Shall overtake

The one who sows the seed.

The mountains shall drip

Sweet wine.

All the hills

Shall flow with it.

I will restore

The fortunes

Of my people Israel.

They shall rebuild

The ruined cities.

They shall

Inhabit them.

They shall

Plant vineyards.

They shall

Drink their wine.

They shall

Make gardens.

They shall

Eat their fruit.

I will plant them

Upon their land.

They shall never again

Be plucked up

Out of the land

That I have given them.’

Says Yahweh

Your God.”

This later oracle of Yahweh assumed that the Israelites had been taken from their land in captivity.  However, in this restoration, those plowing would be greater than those reaping.  Those who treaded the grapes would be more than those sowing the seeds.  There would be abundance and hope all around.  The mountains and hills would drip and flow with abundant sweet wine.  The Israelites would have their fortunes restored, so that they would rebuild their cities and inhabit them.  They would plant vineyards and drink wine.  They would plant gardens with lots of fruit.  These Israelites would be planted on their own land, never to be plucked away again.

The terrible punishment (Am 6:12-6:14)

“Do horses run

On rocks?

Does one plow the sea

With oxen?

But you have turned

Justice

Into poison.

You have turned

The fruit of righteousness

Into wormwood.

You who rejoice

In Lo-debar!

You who say,

‘Have we not

By our own strength

Taken Karnaim

For ourselves?’

Indeed,

I am raising up

Against you

A nation.

O house of Israel!’

Says Yahweh!

The God of hosts!

They shall oppress you

From Lebo-Hamath

To the Wadi Arabah.”

Amos asked whether horses could run on rocks? Do you send oxen to plow the sea? While this may seem stupid, it is not sillier than turning justice into poison or the sweetness of righteousness into the bitterness of wormwood, which the Israelites had done. While the Israelite King Jeroboam II (783-743 BCE) had captured Lo-debar and Karnaim on the west side of the Jordan, that happiness would come to an end. They thought that they had done it by themselves. Now Yahweh, the God of heavenly armies, was going to send the Assyrians to wipe out the northern kingdom of the house of Israel, from its northern border in Syria at Lebo-Hamath to the southern border of the Wadi Arabah. Yahweh, the God of heavenly hosts, would put an end to the northern kingdom of Israel.

The false gods (Am 5:26-5:26)

“You shall take up

Sakkuth,

As your king.

You shall take up

Kaiwan,

As your star-god.

These are your images,

That you made

For yourselves.”

Sakkuth and Kaiwan were Assyrian or Babylonian gods. The Israelites had made these images for themselves. They were made by humans, not like Yahweh, their true God.

Exhortation to seek good (Am 5:14-5:15)

“Seek good!

Do not seek evil!

Thus,

You may live!

So,

Yahweh!

The God of hosts!

Will be with you,

Just as you have said.

Hate evil!

Love good!

Establish justice

At the gate!

It may be

That Yahweh,

The God of hosts,

Will be gracious

To the remnant

Of Joseph.”

The Israelites were to seek good and not evil, so that they could live. Yahweh, the God of the heavenly hosts or armies, was going to be with them. They were to hate evil and love good things. They should establish justice at the gate proceedings. Then Yahweh might be gracious to the remnant of Joseph, the remaining people of Ephraim and the northern kingdom.

The diminishing numbers (Am 5:3-5:3)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘The city that marched out

A thousand

Shall have a hundred left.

That which marched out

A hundred

Shall have ten left.’”

Amos has an oracle of Yahweh that talked about the diminishing numbers of Israelites. If a city had a 1,000 go out to fight, they might have 100 left. If they had 100 go out to fight, they will be lucky to have 10 left.