The sacrifices at Bethel (Am 4:4-4:5)

“‘Come to Bethel!


Go to Gilgal!

Multiply transgressions!

Bring your sacrifices

Every morning!

Bring your tithes

Every three days!

Bring a thank offering

Of leavened bread!

Proclaim freewill offerings!

Publish them!

You love to do this!

O people of Israel!’

Says Yahweh God.”

Amos has another oracle of Yahweh that was an ironic description of the sacrifices at Bethel and Gilgal. Yahweh wanted them to come to either Bethel or Gilgal, so that they could transgress the law of Yahweh many times. Ironically, he wanted them to bring the daily morning sacrifices and pay their tithes every 3 days. They were to bring thanksgiving offerings and proclaim freewill offerings. The people of Israel loved to do this.

The great sacrificial celebration at the Temple (2 Chr 29:31-29:36)

“King Hezekiah said. ‘You have now consecrated yourselves to Yahweh. Come near! Bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of Yahweh.’ The assembly brought sacrifices and thanksgiving offerings. All who were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings. The number of the burnt offerings that the assembly brought was seventy bulls, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs. All these were for a burnt offering to Yahweh. The consecrated offerings were six hundred bulls and three thousand sheep. However, the priests were too few and could not skin all the burnt offerings. Thus until other priests had sanctified themselves, their kindred the Levites helped them, until the work was finished. The Levites were more conscientious than the priests in sanctifying themselves. Besides the great number of burnt offerings, there was the fat of the peace offerings of well-being, and there were the drink offerings for the burnt offerings. Thus the service of the house of Yahweh was restored. King Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because of what God had done for the people. This thing had come about suddenly.”

Now all the people come for a great feast. With the inauguration of the newly sanctified house of Yahweh, King Hezekiah invited all the people to bring sacrifices and peace offering. In the first sacrifices there were 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs. Then they brought the consecrated offerings of 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. Thus the numbers begin to rise. There was so much slaughtering to be done that the priests needed the help of the Levites. Apparently the Levites had been more serious about purifying themselves. King Hezekiah and everyone with him was quite happy because the worship services at the Temple had been restored in a relatively short time period. This was unlike the slow moving repairs that King Joash tried to get done in chapter 24.