Amos 4

Study the Inner Meaning

Italian: Giovanni Diodati Bible (1649)         

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1 Ascoltate questa parola, vacche di Basan, che siete nella montagna di Samaria, che oppressate i miseri, che fiaccate i poveri, che dite a’ vostri signori: Recate, acciocchè beviamo.

2 Il Signore Iddio ha giurato per la sua santità, che ecco, i giorni vi vengono addosso, ch’egli vi trarrà fuori con uncini, e il vostro rimanente con ami da pescare.

3 E voi uscirete per le rotture, ciascuna dirincontro a sè; e lascerete in abbandono i palazzi, dice il Signore.

4 Venite pure in Betel, e commettete misfatto, moltiplicate i vostri misfatti in Ghilgal, e adducete ogni mattina i vostri sacrificii, e le vostre decime a’ tre giorni.

5 E fate ardere per profumo del pane levitato, per offerta di lode; e bandite a grida le offerte volontarie; poichè così amate di fare, o figliuoli d’Israele, dice il Signore Iddio.

6 E benchè io vi abbia data nettezza di denti in tutte le vostre città, e mancamento di pane in tutti i luoghi vostri; non però vi siete convertiti a me, dice il Signore.

7 E benchè io vi abbia divietata la pioggia, tre mesi intieri avanti la mietitura, ed abbia fatto piovere sopra una città, e non sopra l’altra; e un campo sia stato adacquato di pioggia, ed un altro, sopra il quale non è piovuto, sia seccato;

8 e due, e tre città si sieno mosse verso una città, per bere dell’acqua, e non si sieno saziate; non però vi siete convertiti a me, dice il Signore.

9 Io vi ho percossi di arsura, e di rubigine; le ruche hanno mangiata la moltitudine de’ vostri giardini, e delle vostre vigne, e de’ vostri fichi, e de’ vostri ulivi; e pur voi non vi siete convertiti a me, dice il Signore.

10 Io ho mandata fra voi la pestilenza, nella via di Egitto; io ho uccisi con la spada i vostri giovani, oltre alla presa de’ vostri cavalli; ed ho fatto salire il puzzo de’ vostri eserciti, fino alle vostre nari; e pur voi non vi siete convertiti a me, dice il Signore.

11 Io vi ho sovvertiti, come Iddio sovvertì Sodoma e Gomorra; e siete stati come un tizzone salvato da un incendio; e pur voi non vi siete convertiti a me, dice il Signore.

12 Perciò, io ti farò così, o Israele; e perciocchè io ti farò questo, preparati allo scontro dell’Iddio tuo, o Israele.

13 Perciocchè, ecco colui che ha formati i monti, e che crea il vento, e che dichiara all’uomo qual sia il suo pensiero; che fa dell’alba oscurità, e che cammina sopra gli alti luoghi della terra; il cui Nome è: Il Signore Iddio degli eserciti.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
Chapter summary

Exploring the Meaning of Amos 4      

By Helen Kennedy

In chapter 4 of the Book of Amos, verses 1-3 talk about people who pervert the truths of the church. They will fall into falsities in outermost things. Fish are lower things, so it follows that fishhooks (verse 2) would mean being caught and held fast in natural or lower things.

Verses 4-6 talk about things of worship such as tithes and sacrifices. These look similar to genuine worship, but are only in outermost things. We can tell because ‘teeth’ (verse 6) represent ultimates or outermost things (Secrets of Heaven 6380), so it follows that “cleanness of teeth” would mean outermost things that look good but only imitate genuine worship. The Lord exhorts, “Yet you have not returned to me.”

Verses 7-8. Some things true will remain, when the rest are false, in consequence of which truths will have no power. This can be seen where the Lord says, “I made it rain on one city; I withheld rain from another city... where it did not rain the part withered.” Again the Lord exhorts, “Yet you have not returned to me.”

Verse 9. Afterward all things of the church are falsified, shown in how blight attacked the gardens, vineyards, fig tree and olive trees. The last three represent spiritual, natural and celestial things, or all the things of spiritual life. “Yet you have not returned to me,” says the Lord.

Verses 10-11. The Lord explains the devastating things he allowed to happen: plague in Egypt, death of young men by swords, stench in the camps, Sodom and Gomorrah. This is because they are profaned by sensual knowledges - profanation meaning the mixing of good and evil together (Secrets of Heaven 1001:2).

This extends to all things of the church, the church being the Lord’s kingdom on earth (Secrets of Heaven 768:3).

With profanation “as soon as any idea of what is holy arises, the idea of what is profane joins immediately to it” (Secrets of Heaven 301).

Now there is hardly anything left. “Yet you have not returned to Me,” says the Lord again.

Verses 12-13. Because people adamantly remain in their profane ways, they are warned, “Prepare to meet your God!”. This is the God powerful and mighty, “who forms mountains, and creates the wind,” and even more close to home, “Who declares to man what his thought is.” As intimately a knowing as that is, the Lord’s love for all humanity is contained in His exhortations for them to turn themselves to Him.

See, for example, Luke 6:44-45, and True Christian Religion 373.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 204


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 382, 1069, 1453, 2165, 2220, 2799, 2842, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 336, 439, 474, 496, 502, 862

The Lord 49


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 403, 405, 513, 532, 556, 560, 608, ...

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 19:24

Exodus 9:3

Leviticus 7:12, 13, 22:18, 26:23

Numbers 21:33, 28:3

Deuteronomy 21, 42

Ruth 1:1

2 Kings 8:1, 13:7

Job 9:7, 24:4

Psalms 89:36

Proverbs 22:7

Isaiah 1:1, 11, 9:12, 28:1, 45:7, 56:12

Jeremiah 3:3, 5:3, 10:13, 14:3, 16:16, 46:18, 50:40

Ezekiel 20:39, 34:16

Hosea 9:15, 11:5, 12:6

Joel 1:4

Amos 2:7, 8, 3:1, 3, 9, 10, 5:5, 8, 11, 27, 6:7, 7:1

Micah 1:3, 2:2, 3:2

Haggai 2:17

Zechariah 3:2

Matthew 23:23

Word/Phrase Explanations

Samaria
'Samaria,' as in Amos 4:1. 6:1, signifies the spiritual church perverted.

Ghilgal
Gilgal signifies the doctrine of natural truth, serving for introduction into the church.

mattina
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

decime
'Tithes' or 'ten' denotes fullness, and 'a tenth part,' sufficiency.

Israele
'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...

pioggia
'Rain,' in a positive sense, denotes blessing, but in the opposite sense, damnation Rain,' as in Genesis 2:5-6, Exodus 34:25-27, and Hosea 6:3, signifies the...

due
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

fichi
The Writings tell us that the fig tree represents the "natural human," which is our outward life in the world, and the thoughts and feelings...

Egitto
In the Bible, Egypt means knowledge and the love of knowledge. In a good sense that means knowledge of truth from the Lord through the...

Iddio
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

Sodoma
"Sodom" in the Bible represents the love of self and the love of ruling or dominating others springing from the love of self. This is...


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