Amos paper - Amos was one of the major prophets during the...

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Amos was one of the major prophets during the Assyrian era. The timeframe of his prophetic works have been dated to the mid 700s, with many scholars placing them around the year 760. This was during the reign of King Uzziah in the Northern kingdom of Israel and King Jeroboam in the Southern kingdom of Judah. Despite being a shepherd from Tekoa, a village in Judah about twelve miles southwest of Jerusalem, Amos was a prophet to Israel. His message was generally one of no hope for his people, who he felt had abandoned the teachings of Yahweh. This message is conveyed throughout much of Amos’s texts, including Amos 8:4-12, which I will be examining at a deeper level through this close reading. Like a vast majority of the prophetic texts of this era, this passage is divided into subunits. Through my initial reading, I was able to determine four distinct subunits in this particular passage. In addition, by reading through the passage initially, without further close examination, I was able to come up with this initial reaction: “I feel that in this passage, the LORD is unhappy with the way his followers are behaving. In response, he threatens to make their lives miserable.” In the following pages, I intend to prove the preceding statement to be true, as well as to expand upon it, by examining more closely these four subunits. The first subunit in this passage is verses 4-6. Here, Amos is speaking to the people of Israel. This statement is actually true of the entire passage; however, this subunit is different than much of the rest of the text. In verse 4, Amos begins his speech by saying, “Hear this”. Since there is no mention of the LORD, this leaves the reader under the impression that these are Amos’s words, rather than him speaking the LORD’s specific words, which he does in many of
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his prophetic texts. He uses this first subunit to criticize the Israelites, calling them people who “trample on the needy” and “bring to ruin the poor of the land”. Then, in verses 5-6, he specifically describes the actions of the Israelites. There are clues in these two verses that suggest that the words had been spoken by the Israelites in the past and are being repeated by Amos. By using these specific words from them, he is able to place all guilt upon them as well. First of all, the entire two verses, with the exception of the first word, are in quotation marks. This means that these phrases had probably been used in the past. Also,
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Amos paper - Amos was one of the major prophets during the...

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