Amos 4

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1 Give ear to this word, you cows of Bashan, who are in the hill of Samaria, by whom the poor are kept down, and those in need are crushed; who say to their lords, Get out the wine and give us drink.

2 The Lord God has taken an oath by his holy name, that the days are coming when they will take you away with hooks, and the rest of you with fish-hooks.

3 And you will go out through the broken places, every one going straight before her, and you will be sent into Harmon, says the Lord.

4 Come to Beth-el and do evil; to Gilgal, increasing the number of your sins; come with your offerings every morning and your tenths every three days:

5 Let that which is leavened be burned as a praise-offering, let the news of your free offerings be given out publicly; for this is pleasing to you, O children of Israel, says the Lord.

6 But in all your towns I have kept food from your teeth, and in all your places there has been need of bread: and still you have not come back to me, says the Lord.

7 And I have kept back the rain from you, when it was still three months before the grain-cutting: I sent rain on one town and kept it back from another: one part was rained on, and the part where there was no rain became a waste.

8 So two or three towns went wandering to one town looking for water, and did not get enough: and still you have not come back to me, says the Lord.

9 I have sent destruction on your fields by burning and disease: the increase of your gardens and your vine-gardens, your fig-trees and your olive-trees, has been food for worms: and still you have not come back to me, says the Lord.

10 I have sent disease among you, as it was in Egypt: I have put your young men to the sword, and have taken away your horses; I have made the evil smell from your tents come up to your noses: and still you have not come back to me, says the Lord.

11 And I have sent destruction among you, as when God sent destruction on Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a burning stick pulled out of the fire: and still you have not come back to me, says the Lord.

12 So this is what I will do to you, O Israel: and because I will do this to you, be ready for a meeting with your God, O Israel.

13 For see, he who gave form to the mountains and made the wind, giving knowledge of his purpose to man, who makes the morning dark, and is walking on the high places of the earth: the Lord, the God of armies, is his name.

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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.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 204


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

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, ...

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Word/Phrase Explanations

word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

hill
The Writings tell us that the Lord's love is the sun of heaven, and it is natural for us to look above ourselves to the...

Samaria
'The woman of Samaria' signifies the church which would be founded among the Gentiles.

poor
In most cases, those described as "needy" in the Bible are those who lack true knowledge of the Lord and his teachings, but have a...

us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

lords
Characters in the Bible will often address others using the term “my lord,” and it seems to be no more than an expression of respect....

drink
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

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...

oath
'To sware' is a binding.

holy
'Sanctuary' signifies the truth of heaven and the church. 'Sanctuary,' as in Ezekiel 24:21, signifies the Word.

days
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...

Go out
To go out to meet, as in Genesis 14:17, signifies to submit themselves. To go out, as in Genesis 28:10, signifies to live more remotely....

going
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...

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...

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...

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

beth-el
When Jacob had his famous dream, of a staircase leading to heaven, he named the place "Bethel," which is Hebrew for "the house of God."...

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

Offerings
'Offerings' signify worship.

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

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

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...

children
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....

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...

food
To give food, as in Genesis 41:48, signifies to store up.

teeth
'Teeth' signify the outer edges of the life of the natural self, or the sensory level. This has two kinds, the will, and the understanding....

bread
Just as natural food feeds the natural body, so spiritual food feeds the spiritual body. And since our spiritual body is the expression of what...

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

Rain
'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...

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

two
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...

Enough
'Sufficiency' relates to the reception of good, because good is the spiritual nourishment of the soul, as natural food is the nourishment of the body.

increase
'Produce' denotes fruit derived from the good of charity, and truth of faith.

gardens
'Olive yards,' as in Amos 4:9, signify the celestial aspects of the church.

Vine
In Zechariah 8:12, 'the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground her increase,' signifies that the spiritual affection of truth produces the good of...

fig
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...

olive
'An olive,' as in Isaiah 17:6, signifies celestial remains. 'An olive' signifies love and charity, because 'the olive tree' signifies the celestial church, and so...

sent
'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...

egypt
'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

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...

horses
'A horse' signifies knowledges or understanding of the Word. In an opposite sense it signifies the understanding of the Word falsified by reasonings, and likewise...

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

Sodom
'Sodom' signifies the evil of self-love, and 'Gomorrah,' the falsity derived from it.

a
A help-meet for him,' or 'a help as before him,' as mentioned in Genesis 2:18, signifies proprium, or what is one's own. However, whereas the...

meeting
In natural language, to "meet" someone can be positive or negative: it can be a welcoming and greeting, or it can be "meeting" them in...

see
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...

form
Forming from the womb, as in Isaiah 44:2, 24; 49:1, 5, signifies the reformer. For references to the Lord as Reformer and Regenerator, see Doctrine...

mountains
In Isaiah 40:12 'to weigh the mountains in a balance, and the hills in scales,' signifies that the celestial aspects of love and charity are...

Wind
Because a nearer and stronger divine influx through the heavens disperses truths among the wicked, 'wind' signifies this dispersion of truth and the resulting conjunction...

High
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

earth
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

armies
Armies of the heavens and the sands of the sea ('Jeremiah 33:15-22') signify the knowledges of truth and good in the spiritual and natural ma{ign21}

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...


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