Conclusion: 9:7-15

9:7-15, since they follow the final hymnic fragment, and since these fragments punctuate the structure of the book, clearly form a conclusion. Yet as conclusion they are really interesting, for they mix a reiteration of judgment with a promise of future blessing!

Historico-critical scholars have often seen vv.11-15 as a sort of appendix (added later) which seeks to mitigate the doom and gloom of the rest of the book. They may well have worked like this. However, as the book now stands they are firmly attached to vv.7-10. There, in a very short space any possible argument that Israel will be exempt from the punishment Amos has announced as God's chosen people is demolished (9:7), we learn that the disaster may include some measure of discrimination (9:8) but will be complete and total (9:9-10).

Thus prepared, we can only hear the promises in vv.11-15 as speaking to survivors of the disaster that the book affirms is coming and final. And God's final word (faithful to the promises made long ago to the people's ancestors) is blessing, as total as the preceding judgment.


This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,
© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.