The Holy Scriptures

Amos 1‑9; Obadiah 1; Jonah 1‑4; Micah 1‑7  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 9
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The Minor Prophets: Amos—Micah
Amos speaks of judgment, but if God is going to judge, He will warn His people first. “Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it? Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets” (ch. 3:6-7). In keeping with this message, Amos begins his prophecy two years before the earthquake (ch. 1:1), doubtless the same event mentioned by Zechariah (Zech. 14:55And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. (Zechariah 14:5)).
The first two chapters comprise a single prophecy; the remaining chapters are separate prophecies. Beginning with the nations that have occupied the land of Israel—Syria, Gaza and Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, and Moab—and ending with Israel and Judah, judgment is pronounced. The nations are judged for their treatment of Israel. Judah is judged for having despised the law of the Lord (Amos 2:44Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked: (Amos 2:4)) and Israel for not walking in the fear of the Lord and having profaned His holy name (vss. 6-8). Our walk should agree with our position: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (ch. 3:3). Though Amos prophesied in Israel—the ten tribes (ch. 7:10-13)—both Israel and Judah are addressed: “The whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt” (ch. 3:1).
God had borne with them in patience; He could no longer (ch. 7:8), for the fruits of the summer must be consumed when ripe. Judgment could be delayed no longer (ch. 8:12). A righteous remnant preserved (ch. 3:12; 9:9-10), God would raise them up again. He would plant them in the land, and they would no more be pulled up (ch. 9:14-15).
The vision of Obadiah concerns Edom, a people that hated Israel and were the descendants of Esau (Gen. 36:11Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom. (Genesis 36:1)), Jacob’s brother. Their hand has always been against Israel (Gen. 27:4141And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob. (Genesis 27:41)). See Psalm 83:48, 137:7, and Ezekiel 35:10,1510Because thou hast said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas the Lord was there: (Ezekiel 35:10)
15As thou didst rejoice at the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so will I do unto thee: thou shalt be desolate, O mount Seir, and all Idumea, even all of it: and they shall know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 35:15)
. Doeg was an Edomite (1 Sam. 21-22), as was Haman (Esther 3:11After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. (Esther 3:1); 1 Sam. 15:88And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. (1 Samuel 15:8); Gen. 36:9,129And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir: (Genesis 36:9)
12And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau's son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau's wife. (Genesis 36:12)
While Edom, along with several other nations, may be found in the prophets as coming under the judgment of God, such is the importance of the subject that the entire book, though brief, is dedicated to Edom alone.
Edom’s disposition towards Jacob is again noticed when Jerusalem was sacked. Esau was among the enemy standing in the crossway to cut off those who tried to escape (Obad. 11,1411In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them. (Obadiah 11)
14Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress. (Obadiah 14)
). God judges this small, proud nation (vs. 18) so that none remain. “For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off forever” (vs. 10). “The house of Jacob will possess their possessions” (vs. 17).
Whereas prophets such as Ezekiel and Hosea were called upon to live out their prophecies, in Jonah we have one whose very life is the sign itself (Matt. 12:3939But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: (Matthew 12:39)). The message that Jonah was to carry was simple enough: “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before Me” (Jonah 1:22Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. (Jonah 1:2)).
Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, Israel’s enemy, and before that message was preached, Jonah had to pass through the very depths of the ocean where he acknowledges, “Salvation is of the Lord” (ch. 2:9).
The life of Jonah is a prophetic picture of Israel. It is the history of the unfaithful witness and God’s governmental dealings with him. Jonah is also a type of the Lord Jesus—His rejection, death and resurrection. He is the faithful Witness, the One who spent three days and three nights in the grave, the firstborn from the dead (Matt. 12:4040For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:40); Rev. 1:55And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (Revelation 1:5)).
Though Jonah fulfilled his mission to preach to Nineveh, he had to go through many things to learn the ways of God’s action in grace. So it will be with Israel, and so it is with each one of us. The very existence of this book and its unflattering account of the author are proof to us of the lesson learned.
The Lord speaks in this book from His holy temple, addressing all people of the earth (Mic. 1:22Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord God be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. (Micah 1:2)). We have similar expressions in Psalm 11, Habakkuk 2 and Revelation 1516. When the Lord speaks from His holy temple, “let all the earth keep silence before Him” (Hab. 2:2020But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. (Habakkuk 2:20)).
Jehovah will not always remain on high; He will come forth out of His place to tread upon the “high places of the earth” (Mic. 1:36). Samaria would become a heap and evil would come down from the Lord unto the gate of Jerusalem—the Assyrian invasion as detailed in Isaiah.
The second chapter addresses the moral state of the people, while the third takes up the princes and prophets of Israel. Zion would be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem would become heaps (ch. 3:12)—as was the case upon its destruction by Titus.
In the fourth chapter we move from the destruction of Jerusalem to her millennial glory! In the fifth chapter we have introduced the Judge of Israel (ch. 5:1; verses one and three are continuous, while verse two is parenthetical).
Because the Judge of Israel was smitten on the cheek with a rod, Israel must be given up for a time. She must pass through deep travail and be brought to a state suited for the manifestation of their King. In that day He will feed His flock, and when the latter-day Assyrian—the king of the North—comes into the land, He will be their peace (ch. 5:5).
In this parenthesis we have a detail concerning the Messiah not found elsewhere in Scripture: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (ch. 5:2; Matt. 2:55And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, (Matthew 2:5)).
In the final two chapters, Jehovah resumes His pleading with His people: “Hear ye now what the Lord saith.  .  .  .  For the Lord hath a controversy with His people, and He will plead with Israel” (Mic. 6:1212For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. (Micah 6:12)).
Chapter 6 begins as a dialog between Jehovah and the remnant, and in the seventh chapter the prophet speaks for the remnant: “I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him, until He plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold His righteousness” (ch. 7:9).
N. Simon