The idea that the Hebrew people have been specially selected and called by God is common in the Bible. It finds expression already in the stories of the prehistoric period (Gen 1-11) before the patriarchs are even introduced. Among other things these chapters describe a process of selection.

It is clear that the Hebrew people tended to rely on their election as a promise that God would favor them. Amos denies such notions (Am 3:2; 9:7,9 and see the discussion of his treatment of the theology of the exodus).

Election as "chosen people" is closely related to the notion of a covenant relationship between Israel and Adonai. Israel seems often to have relied on God's promises while failing to observe their covenant obligations. They stressed one side of a contract - Amos stresses the other (esp. 3:1-2).

This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,

© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.