What is the meaning of the symbolism in Amos?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The book of Amos is filled with imagery related to sin and judgment. Included are images of iron teeth (1:3), murdered pregnant women (1:13), burning bones (Amos 2:1), destroyed roots (2:9), and ho...

July 01 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Amos 1:2 This verse sets the theme of the book: God is like a roaring lion. This symbolically portrays His giving a message to His prophets and His readiness to pounce and attack (Amos 3:4-8). Lion symbolized God (Amos 1:2; but see also Job 10:16; Isa. 31:4; 38:13; Jer. 2:30; 25:30, 38; 49:19; 50:44; Lam. 3:10; Hos 5:14; 11:10; 13:7-8; Joel 3:16) 

and "lion" also symbolized Christ (Rev. 5:5).

"Thunder" in Amos 1:2 symbolized God's Judgment (1 Sam 2:10;7:10; Isa 29:6; Amos 1:2; Rev 4:5; 8:5; 10:3-4; 11:19; 16:18) God wanted to get Israel's attention as He does and is doing today! God has got our attention, now, has He not? But people back in Amos' day weren't listening. You'd think they could hear a lion roar or the thunder roll and know that danger was at hand. God was speaking ("thundering") from Jerusalem, for judgment always begins at the house of God (1 Peter 4:17). 

Michael mentioned this atrocity against defenseless women and children, the murdering of pregnant women (Amos1:13). It showed how immoral the Ammonites had become. I think there is just one conceptual sin listed. It says they ripped open the pregnant women in order to expand their borders. So it is their cruel imperialistic expansion that is in view.

Also, Michael mentioned - Destroyed roots (Amos 2:9). Wiersbe's Index of Biblical Images lists Root symbolizing Judgment (Is 40:24; Hos 9:16; Amos 2:9; Mt 3:10; 13:29; 15:13; and Luke 3:9). God had led Israel out of Egypt (Amos 2:10a), cared for them in the wilderness (Amos 2:10b), and destroyed other nations so the Jews could claim their inheritance in Canaan (Amos 2:9, 10c).

Melting symbolized Divine Power (Amos 9:5; cp. Ps. 46:6; 68:2; 97:5; Mic 1:4; Nah 1:5). 

Amos 4:1 This is certainly a colorful and sarcastic section. Women are normally sensitive and compassionate but note the contrast here. The women are compared with the fat cows living on the lush pastures of Bashan. The idea here is that these spoiled women demanded luxury from their “masters” (not the typical word for a husband--more sarcasm and reversal of roles) and the only way their husbands could meet their demands was by oppressing the poor (economic exploitation.) 

How does this apply to us? Are we guilty of this? Are we so materialistic and so demanding that our spouse has to work overtime to make enough money to satisfy our demands? Do we have to cheat other people in our business in order to make the most money we can?

May 26 2020 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining