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Amos 3 introduces the theme that runs throughout the rest of the book: Israel’s special covenant relationship with the LORD. Because the Israelites have violated that special covenant, Amos uses a series of rhetorical questions to announce judgment on them. Then, the prophet describes the oppressions and tumult within Samaria and predicts that God will use a foreign nation to judge His chosen people, to punish them measure for measure. As a result, the altars of Bethel and the great houses of the land will be destroyed. The tripartite division of the chapter is as follows:

  1. Amos reminds the Israelites of their special covenant relationship with the Suzerain God, the violation of which requires special punishment (vv. 1–2).
  2. Amos uses a series of rhetorical questions to announce judgment on the disobedient Israelites (vv. 3–8)
  3. Amos describes the oppressions and tumult within Samaria and predicts that God will use a foreign nation to judge His own people. As a result, the altars of Bethel and the great houses in Israel will be destroyed (vv. 9–15).


Please choose a passage to read our commentary:

Amos 3:1–2

Amos reminds the Israelites of their special covenant relationship with the LORD, the violation of which requires special punishment.

Amos 3:3-8

Amos uses a series of rhetorical questions to announce judgment on the disobedient Israelites.

Amos 3:9-15

Amos describes the oppressions and tumult within Samaria and predicts that God will use a foreign nation to judge His own people. As a result, the altars of Bethel and the great houses in Israel will be destroyed.