Napsal(a) Joe David
Amos was a prophet in ancient Israel during the reigns of Jeroboam II and Uzziah. His writings/sayings date from around 760-755 BC.
In his explanations of the inner meaning of the Word, Swedenborg summarizes the meaning of Amos's prophecies in his unpublished work, "The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms". We've used that text, and references made elsewhere by Swedenborg to these verses, and then the more general system of words and their symbolism that he described, to suggest the outlines of the internal sense of these Bible chapters.
In Amos 1:1-2, the verses 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.
For further reading, see Arcana Coelestia 2606, 10325, and The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 201.