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Amos 3

30 Apr 2019

I. Introduction

The third chapter of Amos seems to focus on dispelling the Israelites’ false sense of security. I’ll touch on most parts of Amos 3, but I’ll start with verses 3–8 which I found quite confusing on my first reading.

II. Verses 3–8

3 Do two walk together
unless they have agreed to do so?
4 Does a lion roar in the thicket
when it has no prey?
Does it growl in its den
when it has caught nothing?
5 Does a bird swoop down to a trap on the ground
when no bait is there?
Does a trap spring up from the ground
if it has not caught anything?
6 When a trumpet sounds in a city,
do not the people tremble?
When disaster comes to a city,
has not the Lord caused it?

7 Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing
without revealing his plan
to his servants the prophets.

8 The lion has roared—
who will not fear?
The Sovereign Lord has spoken—
who can but prophesy?

What on earth do these verses mean? I couldn’t work it out by just looking at it. In certain circles, there seems to be the idea that one ought to be able to understand the Bible on its own without any external inputs. I wasn’t able to understand these verses – I couldn’t even really come up with ideas about what they might mean – without consulting what others have written concerning them.

There were two main interpretations of these verses in the texts I read:

  1. Amos is driving home the idea of cause and effect: actions have consequences; Amos is defending his message

  2. Amos is defending his prophetic office, defending his right to speak, defending himself not his message

I’ll split this passage up into four sections and deal with each in turn:

  1. v. 3

  2. vv. 4–6

  3. vv. 6, 8

  4. v. 7

II.1. Verse 3: Walking Together

This is a strange verse, isn’t it? The NRSV translates it ‘Do two walk together unless they have made an appointment?’ which sounds quite different to my ear. In my research, this verse was interpreted either as (1) about God and Israel, or (2) about God and Amos.

Motyer interprets verse 3 as being about God and Israel:

Two people do not ‘keep company’ except by making an arrangement. Just such an arrangement was made between the Lord and His people at the Exodus and they began to ‘keep company’.1

Calvin, on the other hand, argues that verse 3 refers to God and his prophet, Amos:

Some forcibly misapply the Prophet’s words, as though the meaning was, that God was constrained to depart from that people, because he saw that they were going astray so perversely after their lusts.

The Prophet here affirms that he speaks by God’s command, as when two agree together, when they follow the same road; as when one meets with a chance companion, he asks him where he goes, and when he answers that he is going to a certain place, he says, I am going on the same road with you. Then Amos by this similitude very fitly sets forth the accordance between God and his Prophets.2

I will discuss this more below, but I agree with Motyer et al. that the idea here is that God and Israel have agreed to ‘keep company’. What is the content of this agreement? The covenant entered into by the Israelites at Mount Sinai.

II.2. Verses 4–6: Cause and Effect

Verses 4–6 are central to our passage and they have been understood as fitting into one or the other of the overarching interpretations I mentioned above: either Amos is driving home the truthfulness of his message or Amos is defending his own authority as God’s prophet.

Verse 8 comes as a climax to a series of verses which proclaim that there is no effect without a cause.3

As we saw above, Calvin reads verse 3 as about the relationship between God and his prophet and not between God and Israel. Calvin sees a slightly different (perhaps deeper) meaning in these ‘similitudes’:

The cause-and-effect pattern that other commentators see5 makes a lot of sense to me in a context where the prophet is trying to convince a rebellious people that their actions do in fact have consequences not necessarily because of who God is but more because of the very nature of things. Calvin’s conclusions are more about God (purpose, foresight, power) than about the nature of things. I don’t see the depth of meaning that Calvin does in these passages, but they are nevertheless true and at least the first point (that ‘God does not cry out for nothing by his Prophets’) is, I think, backed up by other parts of the passage.

II.3. Verses 6 and 8: The Appropriate Response

In verses 6 and 8, Amos is talking about two things: (1) the appropriate response to the current message of disaster (2) the source of the coming disaster.

In verse 6, Amos says to the people, ‘You know what to do when the trumpet sounds, right? Yes, you tremble in fear.’ In verse 8, Amos says to the people, ‘The lion has roared, you should be afraid.’ In verse 6, we’re told that this sort of disaster is caused by God. In verse 8, we’re told that Amos’ message (about the coming disaster) comes from God and that he is just the messenger.

II.4. Verse 7: The Privilege of Knowing God

Verse 7 is a difficult one. We’re told that God ‘does nothing without revealing his plan to … the prophets’. When I read this, I applied my modern, western analytical mindset and so my first thought is that Amos is saying God tells every little detail of all of his plans to the prophets. ‘But what about Jesus?’ I wonder. I don’t think the prophets knew the details of God’s future plan of redemption. Otherwise, as Amos himself says, he would be unable to keep it to himself (‘who can but prophesy?’, v. 8).

Perhaps, as some say, it is simply God’s normal way of acting6 and is not intended as a statement about every single instance in the way I naturally read it. I’m not completely satisfied by this explanation, it seems to me to be watering down Amos’ words.

Some see verses 7–8 as Amos defending his right to speak, defending his message7. They see it as Amos reminding his audience of how God does in fact let his prophets in on his secret plans and that Amos is God’s messenger, that Amos is speaking the truth. And this does come through in these verses, but if we read verses 3–6 and 8a as Amos driving home the sombre reality that faces the Israelites, then it makes sense to me for vv. 7–8a to be serving the same purpose. In verse 7, Amos is perhaps saying, this is truly a word from the [Lord]{.textsc}, this is truly a possibility and it fits with the way God usually delivers this sort of message: he tells his prophets8. A paraphrase could be, ‘Surely the Sovereign [Lord]{.textsc} brings no judgement against his people without revealing it through his servants the prophets’, the fact that a prophet is delivering this message speaks to the gravity of the situation, it should not be dismissed.

II.5. Falling Out of God’s Favour

So far as I’ve been reading Amos, I’ve been confronted with a persistent question: Is it really possible for God’s chosen people to fall out of his favour? Motyer says that ‘We have forgotten that our God can turn and become our enemy’.9 Now, Motyer is addressing Christians which I’ll address in more detail below, under Application, but in terms of Amos’ audience, they would almost certainly have resisted the idea that God would judge and punish his chosen people. They relied on the promises they had inherited, the promises to Abraham, for their security.

The second of the two interpretations I listed above – that Amos is driving home a dreadful truth – makes the most sense to me.

In verse 2, we can see that this is Amos’ message: ‘“You only have I chosen / of all the families of the earth; / therefore I will punish you for all your sins.”’ To paraphrase, I think Amos is saying, ‘Yes, you are God’s people, but do not think that this means you can’t fall out of his favour.’ This is a difficult truth for the people to accept. Verse 3 is Amos saying that, though the Israelites may think themselves protected no matter what they do, God and Israel cannot walk together if the agreement that is the basis of their relationship is ignored. In verses 4–6, Amos points out the universal truth that actions have consequences and unfaithfulness to the covenant is no exception. After reminding the people how cause and effect works, verses 6 and 8 apply this truth to the present unwelcome message: the trumpets have sounded, the lion has roared, this is from the [Lord]{.textsc}, you should be afraid.

II.6. What Hope is There?

In chapter 2, God is reported as saying ‘For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not relent’ (2:6). In chapter 3, God says ‘I will punish you for all your sins’ (3:2). Is there really no hope?

Calvin thinks there is hope, that God is not announcing the punishment for no reason, but that so ‘that they might in time repent’10. Motyer sees the question in v. 3 as not assuming the answer ‘No’, but left intentionally unanswered with the following questions showing an interim period of hope between initial cause and final effect11. This ‘moment of hope’ does not, however, ‘tarry indefinitely’.12 Smith says that ‘the revelation of God’s decisions to a prophet does not limit God’s sovereign freedom to take a contrary course of action if people repent’.13

I think the answer lies in my general conclusions about these verses: Amos is driving home an unwelcome truth, that God’s judgement is a real possibility for the covenant community of Israel. Amos’ task is to bring this truth to bear, to explain to the Israelite people that God’s promises don’t mean they can do whatever they want. There does seem to be hope: we’re in the interim period where we’ve heard the lion roar but he hasn’t yet attacked his prey. But I agree with Motyer that the period of grace won’t last for ever and so whether God’s judgement of the Israelites delivered through Amos was final with no hope of repentance or the door was left open for repentance in chapter 3, we still have to deal with the difficulties: there is a limit to God’s grace toward members of his people who knowingly and willingly flout the covenantal relationship and its requirements. God will not walk endlessly with those who ignore their agreement with him.

II.7. Verse 12

This is what the [Lord]{.textsc} says:

[]{style=”width:20pt; display:inline-block”}’As a shepherd rescues from the lion’s mouth\ []{style=”width:20pt; display:inline-block”}[]{style=”width:20pt; display:inline-block”}only two leg bones or a piece of an ear,\ []{style=”width:20pt; display:inline-block”}so will the Israelites living in Samaria be rescued,\ []{style=”width:20pt; display:inline-block”}[]{style=”width:20pt; display:inline-block”}with only the head of a bed\ []{style=”width:20pt; display:inline-block”}[]{style=”width:20pt; display:inline-block”}and a piece of fabric from a couch.’

You may read this as I did as referring to a remnant that God would save. Yes, the kingdom of Israel would be no more, but the few who were the true Israel, the people of God would be saved. And while there is, perhaps, an element of this in the verse14, there is an element that muddies the waters a bit: in Amos’ time, if a sheep was killed by a wild beast (such as a lion) the shepherd would recover whatever he could as proof that he didn’t steal the sheep himself15. There are other parts of Amos, (‘so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name’, 9:12a) that support the remnant idea but it doesn’t look like Amos is giving the Israelites this hope in v. 12. On the contrary, it looks as though he’s saying they’ll be utterly destroyed like a sheep by a lion and the customary evidence that this happened will be all that remains.

III. Application

III.1. Israel and the Church

I have been thinking a lot about how the Old Testament should be read by Christians, about what value it has outside of reporting the history of God’s acts in the world. What can we learn from Amos about who God is, what he has done, who we are and how we should live in light of all this? Essentially, what is the application of Amos for me, a Christian living in 21st century Australia? In line with this, I’ve been trying to understand the relationship between Israel and the church. I’m still very new to this, there’s a lot more I need to read and learn and think about before I even begin to approach conclusions, but there are a few things that currently make sense to me and I think shed a good amount of light.

As I’ve been thinking about this question, I’ve found N. T. Wright’s Christian Origins and the Question of God series very helpful. In particular the second and third volumes: Paul and the Faithfulness of God and The New Testament and the People of God.

I’ll offer a summary of some interesting points I found in these books related to the relationship of Israel and the church and how I think that helps us read and apply the Old Testament.

There is a lot more to Wright’s arguments and I encourage anyone who is interested to learn more about this topic to read his books. Nevertheless, the excerpts I have included above are, I think, sufficient to show that Paul and other early Christians did not hold to the ‘sweeping supersessionism’ Wright mentioned. On the contrary, Christians were part of God’s family, Christians held Israel’s history to be their own history, Christians saw Jesus as the fulfilment of Israel’s hopes (and the real Temple), Christians saw themselves as the continuation of Israel (with Jesus as the true Israel) and inheriting Israel’s task. Not only is the Old Testament useful for us to understand our history and we need to reject the idea that Jesus has ‘rendered redundant anything and everything that [has] gone before’. Israel’s ‘covenant religion’ is the Christian’s religion.

As I read Amos 3, I’ve been thinking of some interesting parallels between the Israel of Amos’ day and the church. There was a national Israel, filled with people who thought they would inherit the benefits of the covenant without living in relationship with God (they held on to the promises); in a similar way, there is a visible church, filled with people who think they will inherit the benefits of Christ’s work but who don’t have a living relationship with God through Christ. And there was a real, or true Israel (Amos, one assumes, was a member of this true Israel) that both inherited the promises of the covenant and took its requirements seriously, living in relationship with God; in a similar way, there is the invisible church, the true church of God, whose members are truly in Christ, who take the requirements of the Christian life seriously and who begin to benefit from Christ’s work now and will receive the full benefit in the future.

In light of this, I think we need to take what we’ve learnt from Amos about how God deals with Israel and, as we worship the same God who has not changed, realise that God can deal with the church in the same way. Just as the fact that national Israel (technically though not practically) was God’s people, known by him did not protect them from the punishment of serious persistent apostasy, the visible church cannot claim the promises of Christ as somehow protecting it against the righteous judgement of God against serious sin. Amos threatened Israel with destruction – the nation of Israel was to be no more; there was never a threat of the true Israel being destroyed (we know that God had a plan to finally rescue his people through Jesus). Similarly, the visible church may be destroyed, its buildings may be destroyed, its hierarchy disbanded, its influence on society diminished, its reputation ruined – this may be the righteous judgement of God against those who claim to be his people but live in total opposition to everything this means. The true Israelite need not despair at Amos’ words, at the possibility of future judgement against the nation of Israel; the true Christian need not despair at anything that happens to the visible church.

Despair isn’t needed, but fear and trembling is. When Amos delivered this judgement against Israel we’re told fear was the appropriate response and those who followed God and listened to his prophets would have been jolted out of any complacency they had when Amos delivered his message. The same is true for us today, when the forces of this world seem to be working against the church I think we should be asking ourselves if it’s truly God working against the church and, if it is, we should tremble with fear, we should be jolted out of any complacency we have and we should repent.

We who follow in the footsteps of Christ may also be tempted to the terrible error of an idolatry–-be it illicit sex, money, power, or false doctrine. If we fall to any of these, we may need severe chastisement to advance our sanctification. How much better to flee from them (1 Cor. 6:18; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22) and to put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6:10–18).29

Tradition taught that Israel was elect. God elected and redeemed his people from Egypt, but Amos announced a contrary message of punishment and destruction. This paradoxical reaction by God is fundamentally rejected by Amos’ audience because it is contrary to their orthodoxy. This happened because their orthodoxy eliminated the dynamic of a trusting relationship with God and substituted a static non-relational guaranteed benefit based on covenant promises of blessing.30

Smith says that the orthodox belief had ‘eliminated the dynamic of a trusting relationship with God’ and replaced it with a ‘static non-relational guaranteed benefit’. Honestly, I think this is happening in the church today. I don’t think it’s limited to proponents of so-called ‘free grace theology’, I think it’s present anywhere people teach that the initial moment of salvation is the main event (whether they teach it as an explicit doctrine or it’s just a belief borne out in their practice) and that lifelong sanctification (that requires continual, active engagement in relationship with God) is a sideshow at best.

III.2. Falling Out of God’s Favour

Amos paints us a picture of Israel: they are opulent, they have false religion, they trust in promises instead of living in relationship, they have forgotten how to distinguish right from wrong. Things have gotten so bad that the two witnesses Amos calls, the wealthy of Ashdod and Egypt (v. 9) were from nations Amos had just announced God’s judgement against (Ashdod, cf. 2:8) and Israel’s historical enemy (Egypt, from whom God rescued them, cf. 2:10). Amos seems to be saying that, as bad as the other nations are, Israel is worse; as deserving of judgement as the other nations are, they still have more of a grip on what it means to do right than does Israel.31

I don’t think it’s drawing too long a bow to connect this with some of the ways in which society has called the church to account in recent years. Truths of God have been twisted to support racism, oppression, hatred, greed. Some church elders and leaders have used their positions to sexually abuse people while others have acted to protect abusers or simply turned a blind eye to the situation. The church has, I think, acted far too passively when it comes to environmental concerns; we have ignored the task God has given us. There are doubtless further evils and abuses to be uncovered and God is using people who are not his children to bring justice where his children have brought injustice. I wonder what Amos would say to this.

Pusey recalls the imaginative way in which Cyprian, commenting on this passage, calls on ‘Jews, Turks and all Hagarenes’ to behold the sins of Christendom: ‘” … a world reeking with mutual slaughter; and homicide, a crime in individuals, called virtue when wrought by nations” … immortal man glued to passing, perishable things! Men, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, for lucre wrong their brethren, redeemed by the same price, the same Blood! No marvel then that the Church is afflicted, and encompassed by unseen enemies and her strength drawn down from her spoiled houses.’ The only way in which this striking comment needs to be made appropriate to the present day of the church is that our enemies are no longer unseen.32

As I quoted above, Alec Motyer says this:

We have forgotten that our God can turn and become our enemy (Is. 63:10) and with all our talk of taking care not to fall into the power of Satan we have become blind to the much more dangerous possibility of falling out of the power of God.33

Motyer refers to Isaiah 63:10:

Yet the rebelled\ []{style=”width:20pt; display:inline-block”}and grieved his Holy Spirit.\ So he turned and became their enemy\ []{style=”width:20pt; display:inline-block”}and he himself fought against them.

If this is true, it is certainly an inconvenient truth. One I’d much rather forget, which is how I expect Amos’ audience felt about his message. Motyer goes on to say that

Nothing which has taken place in Christ renders this truth void. We are God’s covenant people, subject to His covenant blessings or His covenant curses. A study of the Letters of Jesus to the Seven Churches (Rev. 2:1 ff.) is particularly revealing in this connection (e.g. 2:5, 16, 23; 3:3, 16).

When I first read Amos 3 and started thinking about the relationship between Israel and the church, several things came to mind: (1) Jesus’ words to the churches in Revelation 2–3, and (2) Jesus’ words about true and false disciples in Matthew 7 (3) the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13

I haven’t done any serious study on these passages and I’m sure my understanding will mature, but, in light of both Amos and Jesus’ words in Matthew and Revelation I think Motyer was right when he said that we can become enemies of God. And, if you look at the big picture of the church (at least in the wealthy west), I think it looks frighteningly similar to the Israel of Amos’ day.

I’ll leave you with this quote:

When the people of God behave towards each other as though the seamless robe of fellowship in Christ did not matter, when they are careless about social justice and welfare, when they lord it, insensitively, over others in things great or small, when they forget about a personal walk with God, Bible-reading, prayer, the fellowship of other believers, the Lord’s Table, testimony to Jesus–-these are rebellions, disobediences, contradictions of the known will of God for our lives. And there is no point in expecting anything but powerlessness and the adversity of an alienated God as long as we tarry in the place of rebellion.34

Works Cited

Calvin, John. Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets. translated by John Owen. Vol. 2. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1846. Reprint of Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets. translated by John Owen. Vol. 2. Calvin Translation Society edition. 1846. Translation of Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets. vol. 2. 1559.

Motyer, Alec. The Message of Amos. edited by Alec Motyer. The Bible Speaks Today. 1984. Repr., Nottingham, England: InterVarsity Press, 2011. Reprint of The Day of the Lion. Nottingham, England: InterVarsity Press, 1974.

Niehaus, Jeff. ‘Amos’. Pages 315–494 in The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary. edited by Thomas E. McComiskey. 1992. Repr., Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009.

Smith, Gary V. Amos. rev. and exp. ed. Ross-shire, Scotland, UK: Christian Focus Publications, 1998. Repr., 2017. Reprint of Amos. Grand Rapids, MI, USA: Zondervan Publishing House, 1989.

Wright, N. T. Paul and the Faithfulness of God. vol. 4 of Christian Origins and the Question of God. Minneapolis, MN, USA: Fortress Press, 2013.

Wright, N. T. The New Testament and the People of God vol. 1 of Christian Origins and the Question of God. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1992.

  1. Alec Motyer, The Day of the Lion (Nottingham, England: InterVarsity Press, 1974), 70. 

  2. John Calvin, Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets, trans. John Owen, vol. 2 (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1846), 204–5; repr. of Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets, trans. John Owen, vol. 2, Calvin Translation Society edition (1846); trans. of Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets, vol. 2 (1559). 

  3. Motyer, The Day of the Lion, 75. 

  4. Calvin, Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets, 206–7. 

  5. Niehaus sees vv. 3–6 as having a ‘cause-and-effect structure (vv. 3–6)’, but he admits the that ‘it is also the relationship between the Lord and his prophet is indicated here [v. 3]’. (Jeff Niehaus, ‘Amos’, in The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary, ed. Thomas E. McComiskey [1992; repr., Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009], 315–494)

    Smith sees vv. 1–8 as addressing the shocking nature of his message: ‘For the nation to respond positively to the word of God concerning the destruction of Israel, the prophet must overcome the illogical nature of supposing that the God who chose Israel would now destroy her.’ (Gary V. Smith, Amos, rev. and exp. ed. [Ross-shire, Scotland, UK: Christian Focus Publications, 1998; repr., 2017], 135; repr. of Amos [Grand Rapids, MI, USA: Zondervan Publishing House, 1989]) Smith objects to Calvin’s viewpoint: ‘The significance of 3:3–8 is all too frequently centered around the prophet’s justification of himself.’ (ibid., 146) 

  6. ‘It is God’s general plan to anticipate coming events by informing His servants the prophets of what He intends to do.’ (Motyer, The Day of the Lion, 73) 

  7. Commenting on verse 7: ‘Thus Amos’ lesson on cause and effect is a substantiation of his role as a prophet.’ (Niehaus, ‘Amos’, 381) 

  8. ‘It is not that Yahweh does nothing at all without telling the prophets; rather, he does nothing by way of covenant-lawsuit judgment without telling them.’ (ibid., 380) 

  9. Alec Motyer, The Message of Amos, The Bible Speaks Today (1984; repr., Nottingham, England: InterVarsity Press, 2011), 79; repr. of The Day of the Lion (Nottingham, England: InterVarsity Press, 1974). 

  10. ‘Then he shows that God designedly announces the punishment he would inflict on transgressors, that they might in time repent, and that he does not cry out for no reason, as unreflecting men grow angry for nothing, but that he is driven to anger by just causes and therefore terrifies them by his prophets.’ (Calvin, Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets, 203–4) 

  11. v. 4: (a) the lion has his prey, (b) the lion has caught his prey; v. 5: (a) the bird is enticed by the bait, (b) the trap has caught the bird; v. 6: (a) the trumpet sounds as a warning, (b) the disaster comes. (Motyer, The Message of Amos, 71) 

  12. Ibid., 71. 

  13. Smith, Amos, 152. 

  14. Commenting on verse 12: ‘The nation will die and only a few dismal remnants of its once proud past will remain.’ (Niehaus, ‘Amos’, 386) 

  15. ‘When a sheep was killed, the shepherd was required by Israelite law to recover the remains and return them to the owner: “If it is torn by a beast, let him bring it as evidence” (Exod. 22:10–13, [Heb 22:9–12])’ (Smith, Amos, 166)

    ‘The same principle is found in the Code of Hammurabi, a Mesopotamian legal code about one thousand years before Amos.’ (ibid., 166, footnote) 

  16. N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God, vol. 1 of Christian Origins and the Question of God (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1992), 447. 

  17. Ibid., 448. 

  18. Ibid., 456, emphasis original. 

  19. Ibid., 451. 

  20. Ibid., 452. 

  21. Ibid., 457, emphasis original. 

  22. Idem, Paul and the Faithfulness of God, vol. 4 of Christian Origins and the Question of God (Minneapolis, MN, USA: Fortress Press, 2013), 775. 

  23. Ibid., 805. 

  24. Ibid., 805–6. 

  25. Ibid., 811. 

  26. Idem, The New Testament and the People of God, 461. 

  27. Ibid., 467. 

  28. Idem, Paul and the Faithfulness of God, 783. 

  29. Niehaus, ‘Amos’, 388–89.  2

  30. Smith, Amos, 154, emphasis mine. 

  31. I’m not sure if this is simply a different usage of language or if Calvin sees something that I don’t see in these verses, but he refers to the people in v. 9 as judges: ‘Amos begins here to set judges over the Israelites; for they would not patiently submit to God’s judgment: and he constitutes and sets over them as judges the Egyptians and Idumeans.’ (Calvin, Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets, 213)

    Smith points out that calling Egypt and Ashdod satisfies the requirement for two witnesses we see in Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15. (Smith, Amos, 161) 

  32. Motyer, The Message of Amos, 83. 

  33. Idem, The Day of the Lion, 79. 

  34. Idem, The Message of Amos, 85.