Micah 2:1-13 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) [ISSL] for Sunday, July 5, 2015, is from Micah 2:1-13. Please Note: Some churches will only study Micah 2:4-11. This posting and podcast includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in five different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version (ESV), King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New International Version (NIV), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study using the easy printable lesson. To help your class review the lesson, links to an easy printable Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

Micah 2:1-13

Micah 1:1-2
Background of Micah

(Micah 1:1) The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah—the vision he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

Micah was from Judah, the southern kingdom, and a town named Moresheth, located southwest of Jerusalem on a route to and from Egypt. When officials wanted to put Jeremiah to death, some of the elders arose and quoted Micah’s prophecy in Jeremiah’s defense (see Jeremiah 26:16-19). Jotham reigned [742-735], Ahaz reigned [735-715], Hezekiah reigned [715-687/686]. Samaria, the capital of Israel, fell in 722 BC to the Assyrians. Moresheth fell in 701 BC to the Assyrians. Jerusalem, the capital of Judah, fell in 586 BC to the Babylonians. Hezekiah may have heeded Micah’s preaching, which may have led to his religious reforms that prevented the disaster and destruction that was about to fall upon Jerusalem in 701 BC, when the Assyrians conquered all of the surrounding cities in Judah.

(Micah 1:2) Hear, you peoples, all of you, listen, earth and all who live in it, that the Sovereign LORD may bear witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.

The word of the LORD was for Israel, Judah, and all the earth, and still is. God created and owns all that He created. According to the Bible, God is the Lord and Judge over all peoples and nations. On the basis of God’s moral law (that God has written on the hearts of people and has revealed in a variety of ways), He will bear witness, as in a court of law, against the nations and people of the earth who violate God’s law. He will do so from His holy temple, and Israel and Judah will serve as examples of how God will rule over and punish the people and nations that do not repent and turn to God for salvation.

Micah 2:1-13
Lesson

(Micah 2:1) Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning’s light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it.

Similar to Amos, Micah also focused on the abuse of others by those more powerful. Many of those who were rich or politically powerful devised plans in the evening that they planned to execute the next day that would steal from or take advantage of others–perhaps “legally,” but immorally. Wicked people seem to always be able to find someone less powerful that they can abuse or cheat, and they often look for “legal” ways to do so.

(Micah 2:2) They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud people of their homes, they rob them of their inheritance.

Many of those at the top of the power structure in Israel and Judah violated the commandment against coveting (see Exodus 20:17). Paul described the evils of coveting in Romans 7:7-8. Coveting led the wealthy and powerful to steal the homes and fields of the less powerful or less influential in society. Those they stole from lost the ability to deed their property to their descendants as an inheritance according to the law of God.

(Micah 2:3) Therefore, the LORD says: “I am planning disaster against this people, from which you cannot save yourselves. You will no longer walk proudly, for it will be a time of calamity.

Micah spoke the word of God’s judgment against those who devised evil. What they sowed, they would reap. They would lose the property they had stolen from others and also their own property. The “family” probably meant the kingdoms of Israel and Judah that permitted wickedness to flourish and even enabled it; in addition to the individual families who stole from their neighbors. They would no longer walk proudly, because they would be publicly disgraced by the judgment of God as a yoke on their necks.

(Micah 2:4) In that day people will ridicule you; they will taunt you with this mournful song: ‘We are utterly ruined; my people’s possession is divided up. He takes it from me! He assigns our fields to traitors.’”

The external enemies of Israel and Judah, and perhaps the victims of the wicked who had their property stolen, would taunt or make fun of the powerful and wealthy wicked when God brought them down as they justly deserved. Through the Assyrians and later the Babylonians, those at the top of the Israelite and Judean power structure and society would lament their loss of everything. Their enemies would parcel out their fields as they had parceled out the fields of the less fortunate for themselves.

(Micah 2:5) Therefore you will have no one in the assembly of the LORD to divide the land by lot.

After the Assyrians destroyed Samaria in 722 BC and after Jerusalem had to pay a heavy tribute to the Assyrians in 701 BC; and later, after the Judeans were taken into exile for 70 years in Babylon, God declared through Micah that none of those (and none of their descendants) who had devised evil and stolen from others would have any property divided and given to them. They had stolen the inheritance rights of others; therefore, as punishment they would lose the property and inheritance rights for their families.

(Micah 2:6) “Do not prophesy,” their prophets say. “Do not prophesy about these things; disgrace will not overtake us.”

Similar to the prophets being forbidden to preach in Israel (so that God had to send Amos from Judah to Israel), so those at the top of the power structure in both Israel and Judah tried to suppress the preaching of the truth. They did not want to hear any word of God that expressed judgment of their immoral behavior or warnings that God would punish them for their wickedness. They preferred to believe that because God favored them as His chosen people that they would never be punished by God or suffer the disgrace that the prophets foretold. They preferred to think that their continual amassing of greater wealth and land was an indication of God’s blessing upon them.

(Micah 2:7) You descendants of Jacob, should it be said, “Does the LORD become impatient? Does he do such things?” “Do not my words do good to the one whose ways are upright?

The nobles in Jerusalem argued against Micah’s prophecy of judgment using what God had said about himself and His promises to the nation. The LORD told Moses that He was slow to anger (Exodus 34:6). The theology of the wicked convinced them that God would not punish them because God is patient and slow to anger. Furthermore, they argued that their prosperity indicated that they walked uprightly, and God’s words would do good to them, unlike Micah’s words that accused them of sin and foretold judgment. From looking carefully at this verse and trying to understand the original meaning, perhaps Micah also told them that if they walked up rightly, his words would do them good and they would repent of their sins and escape the judgment of God.

(Micah 2:8) Lately my people have risen up like an enemy. You strip off the rich robe from those who pass by without a care, like men returning from battle.

Micah replied to them and identified himself with God’s people–the people the wicked wealthy were oppressing. Not all who were wealthy were wicked, but many wicked wealthy controlled the power structures in Israel and Judah. These wealthy wicked were oppressing God’s people, stealing from them and enslaving them contrary to God’s law. They were making the equivalent of war against God’s people. God enacted laws to protect His people, and the nobles in Jerusalem had become the enemies of God’s people. If a poor person gave his cloak or robe as a pledge that he would repay his debt, the moment he missed a payment the wicked lender would take his land and sometimes make him a slave instead of graciously and patiently waiting for payment. The poor people were peaceful and trusted their political and religious leaders to protect them and do right; instead, their leaders misused and reinterpreted God’s law to enslave them and their children.

(Micah 2:9) You drive the women of my people from their pleasant homes. You take away my blessing from their children forever.

Widows and their children were not cared for and protected as God’s law stipulated, but in violation of God’s law the wicked drove them out of their homes and off their land. The children who lost their homes also lost their homes and lands as the inheritance that God planned for them when He gave the law to Moses. God never intended for the strong and powerful in society to use their positions and His laws to steal the land of others. Rather, obedience and the rightful enforcement of God’s laws would bring glory to God as the needs of everyone were met and the rights of everyone were respected.

(Micah 2:10) Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy.

Just as the wealthy in Jerusalem had told the women and children to leave their homes, so Micah warned that Jerusalem would become no place for the wicked wealthy to rest. Because God would judge them for their idolatry (uncleanness), they needed to arise and go, for God would destroy their homes in Jerusalem as punishment just as their idolatry had destroyed others and stolen their homes. Idolatry always destroys with a grievous destruction, a destruction that will last throughout eternity for those who will not repent and obey God. Those who were righteous also needed to arise and go and leave the unclean and idolatrous Jerusalem before they were destroyed spiritually and perhaps physically along with the city.

(Micah 2:11) If a liar and deceiver comes and says, ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’ that would be just the prophet for this people!

They commanded Micah not to preach the truth of God, so Micah told them what kind of preachers they wanted. They wanted preachers who would give them pleasure and justify their immorality–who would dull their senses and put them in a drugged or drunken state of confirmed selfishness–who would affirm their immoral ways of living and assure them of God’s blessings no matter what they did or how they treated others, because they were God’s chosen people—who would preach empty lies and false promises to them instead of God’s Word—who would preach the destructive pleasures of wine and strong drink, and who would encourage the immoral behavior that often follows a state of drunkenness and idol worship.

(Micah 2:12) “I will surely gather all of you, Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people.

Micah ended this chapter with a message of hope. The survivors of Israel’s fall (the descendants of those who had fled to Jerusalem) and the surviving Judeans in Jerusalem at the time of its fall to Babylon would be gathered together as a flock of sheep in a fold and be taken away from Jerusalem into exile. Though the time of exile would be God’s judgment through the Babylonians, like a shepherd, God would lead them and go before them. Even in exile, they could find God, if they would repent and return to God, for the LORD would go with them and lead them. God would also lead His people back from Babylon to Jerusalem after 70 years of exile.

(Micah 2:13) The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the LORD at their head.”

In 597 BC, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, took King Jehoiachin, the king of Judah, captive and into exile in Babylon. In 587 BC, with the final fall of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar took King Zedekiah into exile in Babylon. The walls of Jerusalem became rubble at the hands of the Babylonians in 587 BC, rubble that would need to be broken through so the Jews could pass through the gate to leave the city and go into exile. As their King, the LORD would also lead them through the rubble of Jerusalem into exile in Babylon, and as their King, the LORD would lead them back again when the time of their punishment was ended on God’s perfect timetable as Jeremiah foretold.

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Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. Describe one way that the wicked reaped what they sowed when God judged them.

2. Why did the wicked want the true prophets of God to stop preaching?

3. Give a reason why the wicked did not fear the prophets’ threat of God’s just judgment.

4. How did the wicked treat their fellow Judeans, especially in and around Jerusalem?

5. What kind of prophet or preacher did Micah say the wicked wanted to hear?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.


The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

Micah 2:1-13
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

Micah 2:1-13
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

Micah 2:1-13
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class


International Bible Lesson

What Kind of Preaching Do You Want?

“If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people” (Micah 2:11—KJV).

“If a liar and deceiver comes and says, ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’ that would be just the prophet for this people!” (Micah 2:11—NIV).

“If someone were to go about uttering empty falsehoods, saying, ‘I will preach to you of wine and strong drink,’ such a one would be the preacher for this people!” (Micah 2:11—NRSV).

Micah preached a message that condemned the wicked for using taxation and trickery to steal the homes and farms of the less powerful, of widows and children. These immoral leaders worshiped idols in addition to worshiping the true God, and they believed their prosperity proved that God and their idols favored them above all others. Though they tried to forbid the preaching of the true prophets of God, they enjoyed the type of preaching that Micah described. They preferred to believe the empty falsehoods of the preachers who never called them to repent, who affirmed their special status as God’s chosen people, and who promised that because God was patient and slow to anger they would never be punished by God. They preferred preachers who endorsed their enjoyment of worldly pleasures, and who enjoyed their decadent behavior with them. Micah said they wanted preachers who promoted their drinking of wine and strong drink to excess, and who found delight in the behaviors that too often follow drunkenness. They wanted sermons that did not criticize them for worshiping in the temples of idols and participating in the deviant behaviors that idol worship promoted, but praised them for worshiping God according to their interpretation of God and His laws. Even before the days of Amos and Micah, and ever since their time, people choose the type of preaching they want. Though it may not be thought of as preaching, most worldly preaching today comes through advertising, movies, and news reports that promote the type of behavior that the prophets of God condemned. – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.



Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions and Thinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off on Micah 2:1-13 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

Amos 8:1-14 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, June 28, 2015, is from Amos 8:1-14. Please Note: Some churches will only study Amos 8:1-6, 9-10. This posting and podcast includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in five different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version (ESV), King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New International Version (NIV), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study using the easy printable lesson. To help your class review the lesson, links to an easy printable Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

Amos 8:1-14

(Amos 8:1) This is what the Lord GOD showed me—a basket of summer fruit.

In addition to the Holy Spirit giving Amos words to speak, God showed visions to Amos and talked to him about their meaning. Both Joseph and Daniel interpreted the dreams and visions of others with the help of God, and God helped Amos interpret the dreams or visions that God gave him. A basket of summer fruit would be the produce right before the fall season.

(Amos 8:2) He said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the LORD said to me, “The end has come upon my people Israel; I will never again pass them by.

God began His dialogues with Amos by asking Amos a question that verified he had seen the vision correctly, and he had. Summer fruit is ripe fruit that is picked and ready to be eaten; in the basket it was ready to be served, just as justice was ready to be served by God in Israel. For many seasons, or for many years actually, God had warned the Kingdom of Israel to repent, but the nation’s leaders had refused to repent and lead the nation to repent; therefore, the time had finally come for God to punish the nation as God had threatened: God keeps all of His promises.

(Amos 8:3) The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day,” says the Lord GOD; “the dead bodies shall be many, cast out in every place. Be silent!”

As God had said through Amos earlier, God hated their songs because their hearts were far from Him and they were often songs of praise to their idols. When God’s punishment came, their songs would turn to wailings, not just the professional wailings of paid mourners, but real wailings at the death of a multitude of people. Paid mourners would die along with their families, and the dead bodies of a multitude would be cast out of their homes and their cities. “Be silent” or do not complain, O Israel, for you deserve your just punishment.

(Amos 8:4) Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land,

God addressed the wicked directly through His prophet Amos. Once again, God gave them the reasons He would punish them. They trampled on the needy, and God would send the Assyrian army to trample on them (though Amos did not name the Assyrian army by name, God used the Assyrian army to crush the nation in 722 BC). They ruined the poor when they stole from them and enslaved them, and the Assyrians would enslave them in exile if they survived their battles with and defeat by the Assyrian army.

(Amos 8:5) saying, “When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain; and the sabbath, so that we may offer wheat for sale? We will make the ephah small and the shekel great, and practice deceit with false balances,

When the wicked went to worship, because their hearts were far from God so were their thoughts. They could hardly wait for worship to finish so they could get back to their evil businesses, to increasing their wicked wealth, because their hearts and thoughts were set on power and wealth, and not on God. They also spent time in worship plotting how they could lie to and cheat others. In worship, they did the opposite of love God and learn how to love others as God commanded.

(Amos 8:6) buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and selling the sweepings of the wheat.”

During worship, they impatiently waited to cheat others, and they often planned how to do so during their religious festivals. Perhaps they plotted with other wicked people as they ate their festal meals together. They used bribes and plotted how to buy their fellow Israelites in order to enslave them. They plotted how to steal the land when a farmer became needy. They mixed the refuse of threshing with the wheat to cheat the buyer when he came to buy good wheat by weight and measure.

(Amos 8:7) The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.

The LORD had sworn by himself when He spoke to Amos, because He could swear by no one and nothing greater than himself. “The pride of Jacob” was the LORD himself. Jacob (whose name was later changed to Israel) and the Israelites as a kingdom had taken pride in the fact that God had called them to be His people and had blessed them for centuries. Because God had blessed them continually and because they had turned from God to abuse others, God would not forget their immoral and unjust deeds but would punish them.

(Amos 8:8) Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who lives in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?

God described an earthquake to Amos. The land would rise and fall and be tossed about like the water in the Nile River. There may have been more earthquakes than the one reported in Amos 1:1. Everyone would mourn when their homes and protective city walls were demolished by an earthquake, similar to the fall of Jericho when the Hebrews entered the Promised Land. Through earthquakes and other means, God would do battle with the Assyrian army He sent to destroy Samaria and to punish the unrepentant Israelites.

(Amos 8:9) On that day, says the Lord GOD, I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight.

In the Kingdom of Israel, God would bring “the day of the LORD” in 722 BC when the Assyrians looted and burned the city. The smoke and dust from their homes being burned and shattered to bits would have blotted out the sun on the day of the LORD in their time as Amos foretold. Darkness came over the whole land from noon to 3 o’clock when the religious leaders crucified Jesus (Matthew 27:45). When Jesus talked about His coming again, He said “the sun will be darkened” (Matthew 24:29).

(Amos 8:10) I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on all loins, and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son, and the end of it like a bitter day.

Amos declared what God would do in the future to the Kingdom of Israel because in spite of repeated warnings the nation would not repent. Amos emphasized that mourning would spread throughout the land, and the official sign of mourning would be putting on sackcloth and the shaving of heads, which the Assyrian army may also have done to them to humiliate the Israelites when they stole their fine clothing as booty and shaved their beards in ridicule (see 2 Samuel 10:4-5 for an example of this type of humiliation). To lose an only son is for a person or family to lose all hope for the future.

(Amos 8:11) The time is surely coming, says the Lord GOD, when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.

In addition to the famine caused by war, pestilence, and drought, the Israelites would suffer a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. The political and religious leaders had silenced the true prophets of the LORD. Amaziah silenced Amos to the best of his ability (Amos 7:10-17). Therefore, the Israelites brought the famine on themselves, and as just judgment God decided He would send them no more true prophets of God. As punishment, they would hear no words of comfort from God’s prophets for they had rejected them and God.

(Amos 8:12) They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but they shall not find it.

Because they did not want to hear the words of the LORD, there would come a time when they would not be able to find anyone to speak the words of the LORD no matter where they went. They refused to listen when God sent them prophets who called them to repent and obey the Lord; instead they persecuted the true prophets of God. In a time of punishment, they would seek words of comfort and hope from the LORD, but God had no words of hope for the unrepentant and rebellious because of their wicked hearts and thoughts.

(Amos 8:13) In that day the beautiful young women and the young men shall faint for thirst.

Many of the beautiful young people were beautiful because of the wealth acquired through wickedness, perhaps the wickedness of their parents. They had no concern, and were not trained to have a true concern, for God and His commands. Therefore, whatever their thirst, they would faint physically and spiritually on the day of the LORD.

(Amos 8:14) Those who swear by Ashimah of Samaria, and say, “As your god lives, O Dan,” and, “As the way of Beer-sheba lives”—they shall fall, and never rise again.

Many of the Israelites swore or made promises using the names of their false gods to guarantee their truthfulness and sincerity in making their promises and to seal their solemn obligations to others. They had no intention of keeping their promises, and their mute idols would neither condemn or commend them or help them in their deceitfulness. They worshiped idols in the places their leaders had created for them, and they and their idols would fall “never to rise again.” Their idols could not save them, and God would punish them with death and exile using their enemies.

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. Name some of the ways God communicated with Amos and the Kingdom of Israel.

2. What kind of vision did God give Amos when He said that the end has come upon His people?

3. Why would the songs of the temple become wailings?

4. Why did many Israelites look forward to the new moon to be over?

5. What kind of famine did Amos say God would send upon Israel? Why do you think God said He would do that and how do you think would He do it?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.


The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

Amos 8:1-14
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

Amos 8:1-14
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

Amos 8:1-14
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class


International Bible Lesson

Starving for Words from God

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11—KJV).

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign LORD, ‘when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.’” (Amos 8:11—NIV).

“The time is surely coming, says the Lord GOD, when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11—NRSV).

Why would God do such a thing as send a famine “of hearing the words of the LORD”? First, the Israelites had brought the famine upon themselves when the politicians and priests persecuted the true prophets of God and made them stop preaching the words of the LORD. Second, after God sent Amos from Judah to the Kingdom of Israel to speak His words, King Jeroboam and the priest Amaziah commanded Amos to “never again prophecy at Bethel,” because the “land is not able to bear all his words” (Amos 7:10-13). Third, the political and religious establishment led the people to worship Baal and other idols at the festivals meant for the exclusive worship of the LORD. After the Israelites committed themselves to turning from the LORD and from listening to His words, God quit raising up and sending any true prophets to them. Then the people experienced the famine of hearing the words of the LORD and their lack of divine bread had a spiritual effect on them similar to a famine of bread and water. For this reason, God declared through Moses and Jesus emphasized, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4). True prophets of God speak holy words more valuable than pearls, and Jesus said, “Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you” (Matthew 7:6). – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off on Amos 8:1-14 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

Amos 6:1-14 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, June 21, 2015, is from Amos 6:1-14. Please Note: Some churches will only study Amos 6:4-8, 11-14. This posting and podcast includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in five different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version (ESV), King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New International Version (NIV), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study using the easy printable lesson. To help your class review the lesson, links to an easy printable Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

Amos 6:1-14

(Amos 6:1) Alas for those who are at ease in Zion, and for those who feel secure on Mount Samaria, the notables of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel resorts!

Amos preached during the reign of King Jeroboam II [786 BC-746 BC], perhaps for only one year, which was all that would be necessary, perhaps because Amaziah told Amos to stop preaching (see Amos 5:10 and Amos 7:10-17). God condemned both Zion (Jerusalem) and Samaria (capital of the Kingdom of Israel) for their pride. At the time of Amos’ preaching, both kingdoms were powerful and prosperous compared to their neighboring nations. Israel claimed to be first, above all others, and secure because of their military might and wealth. They trusted in themselves instead of in God.

(Amos 6:2) Cross over to Calneh, and see; from there go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is your territory greater than their territory,

In this verse, Amos most probably was paraphrasing the propaganda of those who ruled Israel in Samaria. They told the people to look to the two northern territories or city-states (Calneh and Hamath) and consider how much better they have made the Kingdom of Israel. Then, they said that the people could go to Gath, a Philistine city under the control of Jerusalem at that time. They could see how much better “we are” and how much greater “we are” that these places. Of course, the Assyrians would conquer these territories and cities as well as the Kingdom of Israel.

(Amos 6:3) O you that put far away the evil day, and bring near a reign of violence?

The “evil day” is the “day of the LORD” spoken of in the previous chapter. It is a day of judgment and punishment, of darkness and gloom. The proud rulers of Israel and those who had acquired their wealth through immoral and unjust means were refusing to consider that the LORD would hold them accountable for their evil deeds and responsible for their oppression of the poor and needy. They had violently oppressed their own people and stolen their property; therefore, a reign of violence was coming near that would destroy the Kingdom of Israel. Thinking they were much better than their neighbors, the unjust leaders of Israel put away the evil day or refused to think of the coming day of the LORD when God would punish them.

(Amos 6:4) Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory, and lounge on their couches, and eat lambs from the flock, and calves from the stall;

God did not condemn the wealthy for being wealthy, but He did condemn the wealthy for their ill-gotten gains. Furthermore, these wealthy that God condemned were living in unproductive ease and sleeping on beds with inlaid ivory when others were in need and they were stealing from the needy. They were doing nothing to benefit others morally or spiritually, and they were doing nothing to help the poor and needy materially or spiritually or physically. They ate and enjoyed the best of everything while oppressing the most needy in the nation to acquire more wealth, power, and privilege.

(Amos 6:5) who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp, and like David improvise on instruments of music;

God condemned the idle rich who reclined, feasted, and enjoyed the luxury of harp and other instrumental music, and who tried to justify their idleness (made possible by stealing from others and bribery in the courts) by pointing to King David who wrote Psalms and played them on a harp. However, King David had worked as a shepherd, soldier, and king to benefit others, and in spite of his sins, he sought to please and serve the LORD rather than oppress God’s people.

(Amos 6:6) who drink wine from bowls, and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!

Amos described the indolent, who trusted in their wealth and maintained a false security, who as drunks drank wine by the bowlful; who used the finest oils to soften their skin and beautify their bodies; who thought only of themselves and their personal prosperity and enjoyment, instead of grieving over the moral and spiritual decline of their nation. Joseph was the most moral and spiritually mature of the sons of Jacob, and the leaders in the Kingdom of Israel had become the exact opposite of this powerful, wise, and wealthy leader over all of Egypt.

(Amos 6:7) Therefore they shall now be the first to go into exile, and the revelry of the loungers shall pass away.

Because these degenerate rulers and leaders had put themselves first over others, God ordained that they would be the first to go into exile beyond Damascus. Later, in 586 BC, the corrupt leaders and rulers of Judah would be the first to go into exile in Babylon. What Amos foretold happened exactly as God told him to preach. Israel was first to seek sordid gain and the first to go into exile.

(Amos 6:8) The Lord GOD has sworn by himself (says the LORD, the God of hosts): I abhor the pride of Jacob and hate his strongholds; and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.

The LORD cannot swear an oath or pledge to keep a promise on anyone or anything greater than himself. When God swears by himself, He will surely do what He has sworn to do. God hates and is disgusted with the pride of Jacob. God hated Jacob’s (Israel’s) trust in his military defenses instead of trusting in the LORD. God pledged with His total being that He would deliver the Kingdom of Israel to their enemies: it would not be their enemies that succeeded, but God who succeeded in justly punishing the kingdom.

(Amos 6:9) If ten people remain in one house, they shall die.

Ten people in a house probably indicated a palace or a great home of a noble or wealthy wicked person. God promised that the destruction of Israel would be greater than some of the rulers going in exile, rulers who made themselves first, and who would go into exile first. Rather, many of the most influential and wealthy, who made themselves first, would die at the hands of their enemies.

(Amos 6:10) And if a relative, one who burns the dead, shall take up the body to bring it out of the house, and shall say to someone in the innermost parts of the house, “Is anyone else with you?” the answer will come, “No.” Then the relative shall say, “Hush! We must not mention the name of the LORD.”

Burning the dead was not a custom in Israel. Elaborate funerals with paid professional mourners followed by the burial of the wealthy would have been the custom. Either so many died from disease and pestilence following the Israelites’ defeat in battle that the only recourse was burning them, or the Assyrians demanded that the thousands of corpses be burned by the Israelites. The time would come when the Israelites would be afraid to say the Lord’s name because they recognized His hand in the destruction of their nation.

(Amos 6:11) See, the LORD commands, and the great house shall be shattered to bits, and the little house to pieces.

Only those who obeyed the words of the LORD, “seek me and live” or “seek the Lord and live” (see Amos 5:4, 6, 14) would live, since God would be with them and show them a way of escape or be with them as He led them to live with Abraham and Him. Otherwise, the rich in great houses and the poor in little houses would see their homes “shattered to bits.” God intended for the entire kingdom to be destroyed entirely.

(Amos 6:12) Do horses run on rocks? Does one plow the sea with oxen? But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood—

No matter what the selfish and self-centered people tried to do to save themselves from the judgment of God, they would fail. They would fail just as a rider would fail if he tried to race his horse up a cliff or through a huge pile of boulders. They would fail just as a farmer would fail if he tried to plow the ocean with his oxen to plant his crops. Likewise, if they did not repent, it was ridiculous for the wicked to think that God would save them from judgment, because whenever the needy sought justice, the selfish gave them the equivalent of poison. They stole from the righteous. Whatever should have resulted from just judgments for those who obeyed the Lord, they twisted and misused so they could trample those who lived godly. The godly received a bitter poison from the godless.

(Amos 6:13) you who rejoice in Lo-debar, who say, “Have we not by our own strength taken Karnaim for ourselves?”

Partly because of weak neighboring nations and a temporarily weakened Assyria, King Jeroboam II had expanded the territory of the Kingdom of Israel. Lo-debar is the name of a location that means “nothing” and Karnaim means “horns,” perhaps because the city bragged of its strength. The Israelites bragged that they were so mighty that they had won their wars against these cities and expanded. But Amos said that meant nothing, because they would soon suffer punishment as a judgment from God.

(Amos 6:14) Indeed, I am raising up against you a nation, O house of Israel, says the LORD, the God of hosts, and they shall oppress you from Lebo-hamath to the Wadi Arabah.

God declared that they might brag about their strength during their years of prosperity and relative peace, but God himself would raise up a nation (the Assyrians) and they would destroy and oppress the Kingdom of Israel from top to bottom (in its entirety).

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. What were the names of the capital cities of the Kingdom of Judah and the Kingdom of Israel?

2. What did Amos say would happen to the Kingdom of Israel? What would reign?

3. Who would be the first to go into exile?

4. What would happen to many of the wealthy people who did not go into exile?

5. Explain who or what God swore an oath by and why.

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.


The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

Amos 6:1-14
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

Amos 6:1-14
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

Amos 6:1-14
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class


International Bible Lesson

Is the Day of the Lord Unjust to Some?

“For, behold, the LORD commandeth, and he will smite the great house with breaches, and the little house with clefts” (Amos 6:11—KJV).

“For the LORD has given the command, and he will smash the great house into pieces and the small house into bits” (Amos 6:11—NIV).

“See, the LORD commands, and the great house shall be shattered to bits, and the little house to pieces” (Amos 6:11—NRSV).

Those who read Amos might think the LORD is unjust, because when He sent an earthquake to destroy homes in the Kingdom of Israel as a forewarning of greater judgments yet to come if the nation did not repent, He shattered great and little houses, houses of the rich and the poor, and houses of the just and the unjust just as Amos had foretold two years before the earthquake (Amos 1:1). For many reasons, God is not unjust. Jesus reminded people that our Father in heaven “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). Furthermore, God made the way possible for us to prepare ourselves spiritually for inevitable earthquakes and other disasters. If people build their spiritual houses on rock, the words of Jesus, when bad things happen they will not fall spiritually (Matthew 7:24-27). Amos also preached to the rich and the poor, and to the just and the unjust. When he preached that God was sending certain destruction upon Israel if the nation did not repent, he spoke words of hope to every individual who heeded his message and sought the LORD. Though some of the righteous who sought the LORD with sincere faith in God may have died in the earthquake, God was with them. They became like angels and could not die anymore. Similar to Lazarus, they went to live with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and God is “God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive” (Luke 20:36-38; Luke 16:19-31). – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off on Amos 6:1-14 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

Amos 5:10-27 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, June 14, 2015, is from Amos 5:10-27. Please Note: Some churches will only study Amos 5:14-15, 18-27. This posting and podcast includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in five different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version (ESV), King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New International Version (NIV), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study using the easy printable lesson. To help your class review the lesson, links to an easy printable Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

Amos 5:10-27

(Amos 5:10) They hate the one who reproves in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.

Through Amos, God described some of the character traits of those He would soon judge and condemn to death or exile when the Assyrians invaded and destroyed the Kingdom of Israel. “The gate” was the courtroom at the city gate often built into the city wall where the elders of the city heard cases and passed judgment. Whenever a judge ruled against someone for their immoral acts, the one judged hated the judge rather than repent and obey God and God’s commands. Furthermore, they hated, detested, despised, and abhorred the person who told them the truth about them and how they needed to conform to the ways of God. Unfortunately, as we learn from Amos, Israel had very few righteous elders or judges who ruled justly and spoke the truth.

(Amos 5:11) Therefore because you trample on the poor and take from them levies of grain, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine.

The Bible does not condemn someone for being wealthy. The Bible does not condone or promote warfare between people of different economic backgrounds and classes. The Bible does condemn acquiring wealth in immoral and unjust ways. The Bible tells people to care for the poor, and the Law of God in the Old Testament gives rules on how the poor could and should work for their food (see the Book of Ruth). In the Kingdom of Israel, many wealthy people had built large houses and planted large vineyards by taxing the poor and charging outrageous rent to keep them enslaved. God condemned their unloving and unjust actions, and God condemned them to death or exile away from their home and vineyards, to where they could not drink the wine of their vineyards.

(Amos 5:12) For I know how many are your transgressions, and how great are your sins—you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and push aside the needy in the gate.

God through Amos became more detailed in why He would judge the Kingdom of Israel. God sees what people do; how people treat others, and how people are treated by others. God sees the sins and transgressions of people, especially the sins of those who know the Law of God and who violate His laws with arrogance and disbelief that God will punish them. God sees every time a sinner afflicts someone who is righteous, especially when that sinner claims to be a follower of God. A person who is righteous is in a right relationship with God because as he lives by faith in God he loves and obeys God. God sees the sinner who offers, gives, or receives a bribe, and God sees those who suffer and are denied justice because of bribes. God sees when a judge or powerful or wealthy person pushes aside a needy person who is seeking justice at the gate, the courtroom in the Kingdom of Israel.

(Amos 5:13) Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time.

Amos wrote advice similar to Proverbs 10:19–“When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but the prudent are restrained in speech.” The times were so evil in Israel, and the powerful and wealthy rulers and the religious and business leaders in Israel were so evil and unjust that they afflicted the righteous and the needy; therefore, God advised the wise person to be careful and keep quiet. While keeping quiet, the righteous and wise person could still pray. The righteous person would do what God said through Amos: “For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel: Seek me and live. . . .Seek the LORD and live, or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire, and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it (Amos 5:4, 6).

(Amos 5:14) Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said.

Those doing evil could repent and return to God as Amos preached, but since they refused to hear the truth and abhorred the one who spoke the truth, they would not repent. While preaching to the unrepentant, Amos also spoke God’s words to the righteous person who is prudent. The righteous person will seek good and not evil, unlike his oppressors in Israel; therefore, the righteous person will live with God forever even though he or she may die as a martyr at the hands of the unrighteous Israelites or Assyrians. No matter what happens, the LORD of an angelic army will be with the righteous.

(Amos 5:15) Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

God called Amos to preach a message of repentance and return to faith, a message of hope, but the Kingdom of Israel would not turn back to the LORD. The righteous person can and is commanded to hate evil, while he can love his enemy and pray that his enemy comes to repentance and faith in God. Joseph was a righteous brother out of his 12 brothers, and he saved his family because God is gracious. God would save a righteous remnant, but Amos held out the promise that if the people began to practice and receive justice in their relationships and in the courts then God would save the Kingdom of Israel, but they would not repent and God had to destroy the Kingdom as just punishment for their sins and as a warning to others.

(Amos 5:16) Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord: In all the squares there shall be wailing; and in all the streets they shall say, “Alas! alas!” They shall call the farmers to mourning, and those skilled in lamentation, to wailing;

Amos foretold what would happen if the leaders of the people continued to act and judge unjustly. The destruction of the Kingdom of Israel and the judgment of God would serve as a warning to other nations and people, but the Kingdom of Judah did not listen or learn from the example of their northern neighbor; therefore Judah was destroyed in 586 BC and again in 70 AD. The wailing Amos described could be compared to the crying throughout Egypt on the night of the first Passover when God freed the Israelites from slavery. No city, town, or farm would be spared the conquest of the Assyrian army.

(Amos 5:17) in all the vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through the midst of you, says the LORD.

As God passed through Egypt, essentially for the same injustices that were now being perpetrated by the wicked rich and powerful in Israel, so God would pass through Israel. As Amos declared earlier, the vineyards and the wine they produced would pass to others, to the enemies of Israel. Those who practiced evil for unjust gain would lose everything they thought they had gained. Having turned from God, they would never live with God unless they repented and returned to faith in God.

(Amos 5:18) Alas for you who desire the day of the LORD! Why do you want the day of the LORD? It is darkness, not light;

Those who desired the “day of the LORD” were primarily the religious leaders, and the powerful business and political leaders who wanted to increase their control over others and their wealth by the LORD or the Messiah coming and defeating all of their neighbors in battle so they could have their land, their slaves, and other possessions. Their gods were wealth and power, not the true God. But the day of the Lord will be a day of darkness and judgment and death for the unrighteous and unjust leaders with their idols in the Kingdom of Israel.

(Amos 5:19) as if someone fled from a lion, and was met by a bear; or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall, and was bitten by a snake.

The day of the LORD would come upon Israel’s neighbors, but it would also come upon the Kingdom of Israel. On the day of the Lord, life for fleeing sinners would go from bad to worse. If they were not killed by a symbolic lion, they would be killed by a symbolic bear; if not by an archer then by a swordsman. They would die because they chose not to seek the Lord and live; instead they sought evil. They would not even be safe in their own home: the large and luxurious home that they had made of stone would not protect them from the invader and death.

(Amos 5:20) Is not the day of the LORD darkness, not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?

The light shined in the darkness when Jesus came a little more than 700 years after the fall of the Kingdom of Israel, and Jesus preached in both the northern and southern kingdoms when He came. During the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel, there was no light and no truth, no prophet (or profit) and no promise, no hope and no brightness. Amos preached only gloom and judgment for the nation, which came in 722 BC.

(Amos 5:21) I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.

God hated their festivals and assemblies because they were performed before idols created by Jeroboam I (two gold bulls) that the priests had given the name of the LORD. Furthermore, the Israelites who were unjust and wicked thought they could steal from and oppress the poor and the righteous and they could escape God’s punishment because of their participation in religious rituals. God said He hated their attitude, false beliefs, and unjust treatment of others.

(Amos 5:22) Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon.

God will not look upon the offerings and sacrifices of wicked people. Many rich and powerful leaders in the Kingdom of Israel could afford to offer multitudes of offerings and animals to God because they had stolen from the poor and the righteous. Of course, God would accept the offerings and sacrifices of the righteous, of those who did what God said, of those who sought God and good.

(Amos 5:23) Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps.

From people whose hearts were far from Him, God did not want to hear songs that they sang supposedly in praise of Him. He did not want to hear songs: from people whose hearts sought unjust gain, who oppressed the poor, who stole from the righteous, who used their ill-gotten wealth to build larger houses and expand their land holdings and their vineyards.

(Amos 5:24) But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Instead of hypocritical worship, God wanted a nation or kingdom with individuals who upheld justice and righteousness in the law courts, in places of worship, and in personal relationships. God wanted a kingdom that promoted justice and righteousness in all aspects of life at all times even as an ever-flowing stream. Israel, the northern kingdom, and later Judah, the southern kingdom, refused to uphold and promote justice and righteousness in their kingdoms; instead the powerful and wealthy took advantage of their positions over others to steal from the less fortunate and God-fearing people.

(Amos 5:25) Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?

During their wilderness wandering God fed the Israelites quail and manna; therefore, sacrifices on a large scale, as in the days of King David and King Solomon, were not possible. The Israelites gave what they could to the LORD during their time in the wilderness before entering the Promised Land, and their offerings enabled Moses to build the tabernacle for worship, create the priests’ garments, and fashion other implements for worship. The “house of Israel” as a separate kingdom was not literally established until after King Solomon’s death; therefore, the “house of Israel” never literally offered sacrifices to the true God in the wilderness or to the true God in the northern kingdom.

(Amos 5:26) You shall take up Sakkuth your king, and Kaiwan your star-god, your images, which you made for yourselves;

Except for the time Aaron misled the Hebrews to worship the golden calf he created during their wilderness wandering, the Hebrews worshiped the LORD in the wilderness as God directed through Moses. In the Kingdom of Israel, the priests misled the people to worship idols. In addition to worshiping idols with God’s name given to them by their leaders to mislead the people, the religious leaders also led them to worship the idols of their enemies; such as, Sukkuth and Kaiwan.

(Amos 5:27) therefore I will take you into exile beyond Damascus, says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts.

Because the house of Israel had become totally corrupt, so corrupt it would not listen to those who spoke the truth and afflicted the righteous and the poor, they would reap what they sowed. They would lose everything, just as those they stole from had lost everything at their wicked hands. Only those who sought the LORD would live eternally with the LORD because they lived by faith in the LORD.

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. Why do you think God sent Amos from the Kingdom of Judah to preach as a prophet in the Kingdom of Israel?

2. Did God condemn all wealthy people through Amos message? Give a reason for your answer.

3. Why did many of the political and religious leaders in Israel keep looking for the promised “Day of the LORD” with eager expectation?

4. What did Amos say the “Day of the LORD” would mean for Israel?

5. What hope did Amos give the repentant and righteous?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.


The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

Amos 5:10-27
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

Amos 5:10-27
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

Amos 5:10-27
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class


International Bible Lesson

Some People and Nations Deceive Themselves

“But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24—KJV).

“But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:24—NIV).

“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24—NRSV).

Many nations today follow the pattern that the northern Kingdom of Israel followed before its destruction. Most of the wealthy nobles, judges, priests, prophets, and business leaders had become so corrupt that God said they had come to “abhor the one who speaks the truth” (Amos 5:10). They did not want to hear an authentic word from the LORD, so they forbid the preaching of the true prophets of God. Therefore, God had to send Amos from the southern Kingdom of Judah to warn the wicked leaders in Israel to stop afflicting the righteous, to stop giving and receiving bribes, to stop pushing aside the needy, but to “let justice roll down like waters.” God saw the wicked trample on the poor and steal their produce and farmland through bribery and exorbitant taxation so they could build huge homes of hewn stone and enlarge their vineyards for more wine to drink. Unless called by God to speak out, God advised, “The prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time” (Amos 5:13). Amos preached that the wicked had become so deluded that they looked forward to the “Day of the LORD,” when they thought God would give them the land and property of their neighboring nations. But God warned that the Day of the LORD would be a day of darkness and gloom for them, because they would forfeit their huge homes and never drink the wine from their vineyards. Yet Amos gave hope to the repentant and righteous, “Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you” (Amos 5:14).   – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions and Thinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off on Amos 5:10-27 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson