Amos 1

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Basic English Bible         

← Joel 3   Amos 2 →

1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of Tekoa; what he saw about Israel in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam, the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earth-shock.

2 And he said, The Lord will give a lion's cry from Zion, his voice will be sounding from Jerusalem; and the fields of the keepers of sheep will become dry, and the top of Carmel will be wasted away.

3 These are the words of the Lord: For three crimes of Damascus, and for four, I will not let its fate be changed; because they have been crushing Gilead with iron grain-crushing instruments.

4 And I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, burning up the great houses of Ben-hadad.

5 And I will have the locks of the door of Damascus broken, and him who is seated in power cut off from the valley of Aven, and him in whose hand is the rod from the house of Eden; and the people of Aram will go away as prisoners into Kir, says the Lord.

6 These are the words of the Lord: For three crimes of Gaza, and for four, I will not let its fate be changed; because they took all the people away prisoners, to give them up to Edom.

7 And I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, burning up its great houses:

8 Him who is seated in power I will have cut off from Ashdod, and him in whose hand is the rod from Ashkelon; and my hand will be turned against Ekron, and the rest of the Philistines will come to destruction, says the Lord God.

9 These are the words of the Lord: For three crimes of Tyre, and for four, I will not let its fate be changed; because they gave up all the people prisoners to Edom, without giving a thought to the brothers' agreement between them.

10 And I will send a fire on the wall of Tyre, burning up its great houses.

11 These are the words of the Lord: For three crimes of Edom, and for four, I will not let its fate be changed; because his sword was turned against his brother, without pity, and his wrath was burning at all times, and he was angry for ever.

12 And I will send a fire on Teman, burning up the great houses of Bozrah.

13 These are the words of the Lord: For three crimes of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not let its fate be changed; because in Gilead they had women with child cut open, so that they might make wider the limits of their land.

14 And I will make a fire in the wall of Rabbah, burning up its great houses, with loud cries in the days of war, with a storm in the day of the great wind:

15 And their king will be made prisoner, he and his captains together, says the Lord.

← Joel 3   Amos 2 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
Chapter summary

Exploring the Meaning of Amos 1      

By Steve David

Internal Meaning of Amos, Chapter 1
Verses 1-2 describe the Lord teaching us about the Word and doctrine from the Word. In this book of the Bible, the prophet Amos symbolizes the Lord. Amos was a shepherd, and of course that metaphor is used to describe the Lord Jesus Christ, too, in the New Testament.

The book of Amos describes the Lord's anger and impatience with the Children of Israel - in the literal sense. Inside, though, it is really a story of the Lord’s great love and concern for us. This is a book of promise: The Lord will triumph over hell’s quest to dominate us and destroy the gift of salvation. This victory is not an occasional interest of the Lord’s; He has an “ardent zeal” to protect us.

In verse 2, the roaring of the Lord from Zion and the uttering of His voice from Jerusalem teach us several things about Him in this context:
- He has grievous distress for His church and people.
- He has an ardent zeal for protecting heaven and the church.
- He warns of coming vastations.
- He points to the drying up of our “Mount Carmel” and the effects this will have on our “vineyards.”

There are different ways to destroy true ideas and good loves. Verses 3-15 in this chapter describe the different ways that people do this.

Verses 3-5 are talking about people who pervert knowledges from the Word, knowledges which help us form true, useful doctrine. When people successfully corrupt knowledge from the Word, they also undermine the good that would come from that knowledge. But, these people will perish, spiritually.

Verses 6-8 describe people who apply the Word to create or reinforce heretical false ideas. That's not a good thing to do; they will perish, too.

Verses 9-10 address people who pervert knowledges [cognitiones] of good and truth, and thereby injure the external sense of the Word.

Verses 11-12 are about people who pervert the sense of the letter of the Word by falsity, by which doctrine perishes.

Finally, verses 13-15 describe people who falsify the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word: they do not resist in the day of combat, but destroy the truth of doctrine.

What are we to make of this? One take-away is that the Lord loves us, and wants to protect us. Another is that he wants us to carefully read the Word and seek the truths in it - those in the literal sense, and those in the internal sense. From these we should form sound doctrine, and develop good loves that can be built on true ideas.

See Arcana Coelestia 2606, 10325, and The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 201 for further reading.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 2606, 10325

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 201


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 367, 1197, 3995, 4171, 6419, 6804, 9340, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 343, 612


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 419, 532, 601, 746, 817, 850

Scriptural Confirmations 9, 75

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 27:41, 36:33

Exodus 3:1

Numbers 20:20

1 Samuel 6:17

2 Samuel 12:31, 14:2

2 Kings 8:12, 14:23, 28, 15:16, 16:9

2 Chronicles 20:10, 11, 21:16, 17, 26:1

Psalms 29:4

Isaiah 8:4, 17:1, 21:11, 23:1, 33:9, 34:5

Jeremiah 25:30, 28:8, 47:1, 49:1, 7, 23

Ezekiel 21:25, 25:1, 12, 15, 26:1, 27:1, 27, 28:1, 30:17, 35:1

Hosea 1:1, 10:8, 14:1

Amos 2:2, 5, 3:8, 9, 5:5, 7:14, 9:7

Obadiah 1:1

Zephaniah 2:4, 8

Zechariah 9:1, 2, 3, 5, 14:5

Malachi 1:4

Word/Phrase Explanations

saw
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

king
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

Judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

jerusalem
Jerusalem first comes to or attention in II Samuel, chapter 5 where King David takes it from the Jebusites and makes it his capital. In...

Carmel
'Sharon, Bashan, and Carmel' signify the church regarding the knowledges of good and truth from the natural sense of the Word.

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

Damascus
Damascus and Aroer (Isaiah 17:1, 2) signify the knowledges of truth and good. See Eliezer of Damascus.

four
The number "four" in the Bible represents things being linked together or joined. This is partly because four is two times two, and two represents...

Gilead
Mount Gilead, as in Genesis 31:21, 23, as a boundary, in a spiritual sense, signifies the first good, which is that of things pertaining to...

iron
'An iron pan,' as in Ezekiel 4:3, signifies the truth that was falsified and adulterated among the Jewish people.

send
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

fire
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

broken
To “break” something creates an image that is much different from “attacking,” “destroying,” or “shattering.” It is less emotional, less violent in its intent; it...

Cut off
To be cut off, as in Genesis 41:36, signifies to perish.

Eden
According to the Writings, “Eden” by itself means love, in most cases the love that comes from the Lord and our love for the Lord,...

people
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

aram
'Syria,' as in Ezekiel 27:16, signifies the church regarding knowledges of truth and good.

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

Kir
Kir' denotes people who possess the knowledges of good and truth but pervert them.

says
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

Gaza
Gaza (or Azzah) signifies things revealed concerning charity.

Edom
'Edom' or 'Idumea,' as in Isaiah 34:5, signifies those who are in evil and in falsities thence derived.

Wall
In Lamentations 2:8-9, 'wall,' 'rampart,' 'gates,' and 'bars' signify doctrines.

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

philistines
The Philistines play a large role in the Bible as one of the longest-standing and most bitter rivals of the people of Israel, clashing with...

Tyre
'Tyre,' as in Ezekiel 27:13-14, represents people with knowledge of celestial and spiritual things.

brothers
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

Sword
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

brother
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

wrath
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

angry
Anger is an emotion so common to people that it requires no definition. However a couple of points of interest can be raised. 1) The...

Teman
In Habakkuk 3:2-4, 'Teman' has respect to celestial love, and 'Mount Paran' to spiritual love.

Bozrah
'Holon, Jahazah, Mephaath, Dibon, Nebo, Beth-diblathaim, Kiriathaim, Beth-gamu, Beth-meon, Kerioth, Bozrah,' as mentioned in Jeremiah 48:21-26, signify the kinds of the false principle, whereby those...

child
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

Ammon
Ammonite and Moabite ('Deuteronomy 23:3'), signify the profanation of the celestial and spiritual things of faith.

with child
To be with child, (Gen. 38:24), signifies to produce something.

Open
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

Might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

rabbah
Rabbath

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

war
War in the Word represents the combat of temptation when what is good is assaulted by what is evil or false. The evil that attacks...

day of
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.

captains
Captains and Rulers (Jer. 51:23) signifies principal evils and falsities. Captains and Rulers (Ezek 33:6) signifies principal truths. See Chief Captains.


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