Volume 6, Issue 6, December 2017, Page: 182-186
The Understanding of the Words to “Seek God” and to “Live” in Amos 5:4-6
Milton Thorman Pardosi, Department of Philosophy, Universitas Advent Indonesia, Bandung, Indonesia
Received: Sep. 18, 2017;       Accepted: Nov. 20, 2017;       Published: Dec. 12, 2017
DOI: 10.11648/j.ss.20170606.16      View  1110      Downloads  34
Abstract
The book of Amos is a special book which brings a special message about God’s justice and judgment upon nations (Israel, Judah, etc.). Nevertheless, for Israelites, Amos had a particular message for God assigned him to preach among them. Two issues would be discussed in this study. They are: (1) What is the meaning of the word to “seek” God in Amos’ understanding? (2) What is the meaning of the word to “live” in Amos’ understanding. Then, the purpose of the study is to find the meaning of the words to “seek” God and to “live” in Amos’ understanding. Amos’ message is to call Israel to repent from her sins and to seek God as the only way to free of God’s punishment and judgment. God would punish Israel because she did not repent from her sins although God sent many prophets to remind her. At that time, Israel involved in social and religious sins. In her religious sins, Amos appointed Bethel, Gilgal, and Beersheba as the main sacred cities among Israel where Israel began wicked practices. Instead of worshiping God, Israel worshiped idols and evoked social sins among Israelites. God really wanted to save Israel from great disasters that would come to her. It can be seen from the way that God offered to Israel and invited her to come to Him, repent and obey His commandments, but Israel never repented from her sins. As the consequence of Israel’s sin, God let her to be captivated by other nations as mentioned by Amos. The key word in Amos 5:4-6 is to “seek God.” For Amos, “to seek God” means seeking good, doing justice and rightness, worshiping God in the right way, and seeking the word of the Lord (Amos 5:14, 15; 8:12). Then, the assurance that God promised to Israel that “you may live” would happen. “Live” means renewed from sins, enjoy God’s mercy as His children, to live more fully, and at the end, to have eternal life in heaven.
Keywords
Seek, Live, Judgment
To cite this article
Milton Thorman Pardosi, The Understanding of the Words to “Seek God” and to “Live” in Amos 5:4-6, Social Sciences. Vol. 6, No. 6, 2017, pp. 182-186. doi: 10.11648/j.ss.20170606.16
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Reference
[1]
Amos 9:8-15 (New King James Version).
[2]
“The designation ‘minor prophet’ derives from Jewish tradition. It is used for the book of the Twelve Prophets, that is, the short or small prophetic books outside of the long ones such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.” Gerhard F. Hasel, Understanding the Book of Amos, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991, p. 17. The first one is Hosea, and the second one is Joel. For more details please read: David Allan Hubbard, Joel & Amos, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Vol. 22B, Leicester, England: Inter Varsity, 1989, pp. 88-89.
[3]
George W. Coats, “Amos,” available from http://mb-soft.com/believe /txs/amos.htm. Accessed on February 4th, 2004.
[4]
Amos 1:1; 7:14, 15 (New King James Version).
[5]
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Thomas J. Finley, The Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary: Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Chicago: Moody, 1990, p. 105.
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Jon L. Dybdahl, A Practical Guide to Abundant Christian Living in the Books of Hosea-Micah, The Abundant Life Bible Amplifier, Boise, ID: Pacific Press, 1996, p. 108.
[8]
“Theme” (Amos), Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (SDABC), ed. Francis D. Nichol, Vol. 4, Washington, DC: Review & Herald, 1955, p. 954.
[9]
“Theme” (Amos), Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (SDABC), ed. Francis D. Nichol, Vol. 4, Washington, DC: Review & Herald, 1955, p. 954.
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Amos 9:11-15 (New King James Version).
[11]
Amos 5:1-17 is a unit. “It begins with the announcement of a lament/elegy for the nation in v. 1 and ends with a graphic portrayal of the nation at mourning.” Amos 5:1-3 is lamentation over the destruction of Israel. Amos 5:18-27 is a woe oracle and is continued with other woe in chapter 6. Douglas Stuart, Amos, Word Biblical Commentary (WBC), Vol. 31, Waco, TX: Word, 1987, p. 344.
[12]
Amos 5:3 is ended with the sign “Soph Pasuq.” “Soph Pasuq” sign means “end of verse.” J. Weingreen, A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew, 2nd ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 1959, p. 251. In other words, Amos 5:4 is a new part or section or different from verse 3.
[13]
Hubbard, 164. V. 7 is the first of the woes in the book of Amos (moral corruption of Israel).
[14]
“Wormwood is a plant of the genus Artemisia, with a very bitter taste. It is a symbol that the moral corruption of Israel was so great that “justice was converted into bitterest injustice.” “Wormwood” (Amos 5:7), Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (SDABC), ed. Francis D. Nichol, Vol. 4, Washington, DC: Review & Herald, 1955, p. 970.
[15]
The word ‛al (in Hebrew) is used “for the occasional contingent prohibition and the word lo’ (in Hebrew) used for an absolute prohibition, are here used indiscriminately.” J. Alberto Soggin, The Prophet Amos: A Translation and Commentary, trans. John Bowden, England: SCM, 1987, p. 84.
[16]
David Denninger, New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis (NIDOTTE), ed. Willem A. Van Gemeren, Vol. 1, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997, p. 993. The synonym of the word daraš is baqaš. This verb occurs 225 times in the Old Testament (222x in Piel stem and 3x in Pual stem [Esth. 2:23; Jer 50:20; Ezek 26:21]). This verb does not occur in Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Habakkuk, and Haggai. This verb occurs one time in the book of Amos (Amos 8:12). In Piel stem it means “seek, find, look for (an object).” In Pual stem it means “be sought (for), be searched, be examined.” Chitra Chetri, New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis (NIDOTTE), ed. Willem A. Van Gemeren, Vol. 1, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997, pp. 720-1.
[17]
“Those who do not seek Yahweh are the wicked, and their punishment is announced.” David Denninger, New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis (NIDOTTE), ed. Willem A. Van Gemeren, Vol. 1, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997, p. 998.
[18]
Francis I. Andersen and David Noel Freedman, Amos, Anchor Bible (AB), Vol. 24A, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1989, pp. 477-8. The translation in Italic is mine.
[19]
It can be translated as “for the rolling city (Gilgal) rolls thence, and the house of God (Bethel) comes to an utter end.” C. Von Orelli, The Twelve Minor Prophets, Trans. J. S. Banks, Minneapolis, MN: Klock and Klock, 1987, p. 128.
[20]
Ganoune Diop, “The Remnant Concept as Defined by Amos,” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 7/2 (1996), p. 68.
[21]
“Historical Setting” (Amos), Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (SDABC), ed. Francis D. Nichol, Vol. 4, Washington, DC: Review & Herald, 1955, p. 953.
[22]
“Beth-el” (Amos 5:5), Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (SDABC), ed. Francis D. Nichol, Vol. 4, Washington, DC: Review & Herald, 1955, p. 970.
[23]
P. J. M. Southwell, New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis (NIDOTTE), ed. Willem A. Van Gemeren, Vol. 4, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997, p. 441.
[24]
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[25]
“Amos 5: The Offerings God Hates,” available from http://calvarychapel.com/ccbcgermany/commentaries/3005.htm. Accessed on February 4th, 2004.
[26]
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[27]
Hosea 9:15 (New King James Version).
[28]
Mark F. Rooker, New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis (NIDOTTE), edited by Willem A. Van Gemeren, Vol. 4 Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997, p. 684. Gilgal is repeated three times in the book of Amos (Amos 4:4; 5:5,5).
[29]
Howard F. Vos, New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis (NIDOTTE), edited by Willem A. Van Gemeren, Vol. 4, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997, p. 440.
[30]
Amos 5:5; 8:14 (New King James Version).
[31]
Amos 5:12 (New King James Version).
[32]
Amos 8:5 (New King James Version).
[33]
Amos 3:10; 6:3 (New King James Version).
[34]
Amos 5:11(New King James Version).
[35]
Amos 2:6; 8:6 (New King James Version).
[36]
“The Theology of Amos,” available from http://www.homestead.com/ danwagner/files/ThAmos.htm. Accessed on February 12th, 2004.
[37]
Amos 4:1 (New King James Version).
[38]
“The Theology of Amos,” available from http://www.homestead.com/ danwagner/files/ThAmos.htm. Accessed on February 12th, 2004.
[39]
Archard and S. Paul Re’emi, Amos & Lamentations: God’s People in Crisis, Edinburgh: Handsel, 1984, p. 40.
[40]
Bernard Thorogood, A Guide to the Book of Amos, London: S. P. C. K., 1971, p. 56.
[41]
Amos 5:4 is parallel with Amos 5:14-15 and 8:12 (New King James Version).
[42]
Ganoune Diop, “The Remnant Concept as Defined by Amos,” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 7/2 (1996), p. 74.
[43]
“Ideally, life for the people of Yahweh is more than the absence of death. It is, in every sense of the word, to be well.” Terry L. Brensinger, Brensinger, New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis (NIDOTTE), edited by Willem A. Van Gemeren, Vol. 2, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997, p. 110.
[44]
Bernard Thorogood, A Guide to the Book of Amos, London: S. P. C. K., 1971, p. 58.
[45]
Francis I. Andersen and David Noel Freedman, Amos, Anchor Bible (AB), Vol. 24A, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1989, p. 482.
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