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Exegesis on Amos 5

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BS 016



Hebrew Exegesis BS 016
Hebrew exegesis is the art of taking out the meaning of the text from that Bible and not adding it on. Many times we have looked at the Bible from our own perspective and not what the real author intended it to be its real meaning. Doing exegesis is just trying to get to the original intention of the author. In this assignment I will be doing an exegesis on the book of Amos 5:4-6 whereby I will try to get closer to the real intention of the author, by looking at different translation, words, background and by following the exegetical processes that was given to us in class.

I. Text
II. Translation
A. Version comparison
B. Own translation
III. Historical Context and Literary Context
A. Immediate background
B. Date
C. Authorship
D. Geographical Setting
E. Social Setting
IV. Form and Structure
A. Genre
B. Structural Plan
V. Grammatical Data and Lexical Data
A. Grammatical issues
B. Lexical Data
VI. Biblical context and Theology
VII. Secondary literature
VIII. Application
IX. Conclusion

I. Text: Amos 5:4-6
I have chosen the text from the book of Amos 5:4-6. Because in the Hebrew bible this is a unit with in itself:
NASB: (v4) for thus says the LORD to the house of Israel, "Seek Me that you may live. (v5) "But do not resort to , And do not come to , Nor cross over to Beersheba; For Gilgal will certainly go into captivity, And Bethel will come to trouble. (v6) "Seek the LORD that you may live, Lest He break forth like a fire, O house of Joseph, And it consume with none to quench it for Bethel
II. Translation
A. Version Comparison `Wy*x.wI) ynIWvßr>DI lae_r"f.yI tybeäl. hw"ßhy> rm:±a' hkoï yKiä WTT Amos 5:4

Waboêt' al{å ‘lG"l.GIh;w> laeê-tyBe( ‘Wvr>d>Ti-la;(w> WTT Amos 5:5 laeÞ-tybe(W hl,êg>yI hl{åG" ‘lG"l.GIh; yKiÛ Wrbo=[]t; al{å [b;v,Þ raEïb.W
`!w-ta, Wvïr>DI WTT Amos 5:6
> hl'îk.a'w>

NIV: This is what the LORD says to the house of Israel: "Seek me and live; do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba. will surely go into exile, and will be reduced to nothing." Seek the LORD and live, or he will sweep through the house of Joseph like a fire; it will devour, and Bethel will have no one to quench it.

NLT: Now this is what the LORD says to the family of Israel: "Come back to me and live! Don't worship at the pagan altars at don't go to the shrines at Gilgal or Beersheba. For the people of will be dragged off into exile, and the people of will be reduced to nothing." Come back to the LORD and live! Otherwise, he will roar through Israel like a fire, devouring you completely. Your gods in Bethel won't be able to quench the flames.
B. Own translation
For this is what the Lord says unto the people of Israel, turn back to me so that you may live. Do not worship to the altars at or to the altars in Gilgal and Beersheba. For the people of will be taken into exile and the people of Bethel will become nothing. Turn to the Lord that you may live or else the Lord will sweep the house of Israel wit fire to consume it and not even Bethel can quench it.

III. Historical context and Literary context
A. Immediate background
The elegy (funeral song), which the prophet commences in v. 2, upon the fall of the daughter of Israel, forms the theme of the admonitory addresses in these two chapters. These addresses, which are divided into four parts by the admonitions, “Seek Jehovah, and live,” in vv. 4 and 6, “Seek good” in v. 14, and the two woes (hōi) in ch. 5:18 and Amos 6:1. Amos 5 have no other purpose than this, to impress upon the people of God the impossibility of averting the threatened destruction, and to take away from the self-secure sinners the false foundations of their trust, by setting the demands of God before them once more. In every one of these sections, therefore, the proclamation of the judgment returns again, and that in a form of greater and greater intensity, till it reaches to the banishment of the whole nation, and the overthrow of Samaria and the kingdom (Amos 5:27).
B. Date
Amos marks the dating of his writings by identifying two Kings, Uzziah and Jeroboam II, and a seemingly well-known earthquake (Amos 1:1). King Uzziah, the king of Judah, reigns from 790 to 739 BC and Jeroboam II reigns from 793 to 753 BC. Though one cannot be certain about the date of the earthquake, some scholars cite archaeological evidence of an earthquake dating about 760 BC. Given the timing of the earthquake is not definite, it seems reasonable that Amos wrote this book between 790 and 755 BC (Finley, 1990 pg 106-107)

C. Author
The book of Amos is written by the prophet Amos, who identifies himself as the author in Amos 1:1. The name “Amos” means "burden" or "burden-bearer"; it seems to denote lifting or carrying a burden. We are inclined to say that the book exhibits such internal consistency as rather to suggest, if it did not come from the preacher's own hand, he wrote it by means of a disciple amanuensis. (Smith, 1913) The 'I sections' of Amos i.e. 7:1-9, 8:1-3, 9:1-4, and appearing without any introductory setting, seem to be evidently autobiographic rather than the work of a listener. (Gordis, 1971)
D. Geographical setting
These were times of political stability, material prosperity, and geographical expansion for both the Northern and the Southern Kingdoms. Archaeologists have found hundreds of ivory inlays in the excavations of Samaria proving the Northern Kingdom's prosperity. During Jeroboam II's reign, luxury was more a part of upper class life than during, the reign of Ahab and Jezebel: the king had a summer and winter palace; furthermore, palaces of the wealthy adorned the kingdom of Samaria. Rather than dwell in old houses built of clay or wood, rich homes were constructed of the finest materials to manifest their rise in status.
E. Social setting
Amos delivers a message of judgment in the midst of prosperous and peaceful times; also, Israel and Judah both have strong militaries.(Feinberg, 1980) King Uzziah’s life, military success, construction and improvements of Judah’s weaponry are recorded in 2 Chronicles 26. Three times King Uzziah is spoken of in stalwart and influential terms; however, in his last days, King Uzziah suffers leprosy and isolation "from the house of the Lord", because of his pride and presumptuous behavior (2 Chron. 26:5, 8, 15, 16-24). Similarly, Jeroboam II increases or solidifies the borders of Israel in the midst of weakened Syria, Assyria, Damascus and Egypt; therefore, during the prophetic ministry of Amos, Israel is quite influential in the Mediterranean region. (Finley, 1985)
IV. Form and Structure
A. Genre
Amos in his writing of this section (5:4-6) he uses rhetorical devise in order to send out the message to his readers. His literary style in the use of his words and language categories help us see how Amos was trying to deal with rhetorical issue. For example: A father loves all his children if he is to be the image of goodness and harmony. Therefore, when He says: "Seek ye He and live; . . . . Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live;" (5:4, 14), Amos presented the image of their Heavenly Father, urging them to follow His example rather than copy the practices of neighbors which only lead them away from godliness.
B. Structural Plan
Verse 4 – Call to seek God so that they can live
Verse 5 – Call not to seek other things
Verse 6 – Call to seek God so that they can live

V. Grammatical data and Lexical data
A. Grammatical issues
5:4–6: For this is what the LORD says to the house of Israel: “Seek [imperative] me and live! [Imperative] But don’t seek [neg. + jussive] Bethel, and don’t go [neg. + imperfect] to Gilgal or journey [neg. + imperfect] to Beersheba . . .” “Seek [imperative] the LORD and live! [Imperative] . . .” The use of the imperatives in this verse by the author is very incredible. In this three verses he use the imperative mood for four times.
B. Lexical data vrd – it is a verb qal imperative masculine plural suffix 1st person common singular meaning seek, to resort to, to be sort out. A primitive root; properly, to tread or frequent; usually to follow (for pursuit or search); by implication, to seek or ask; specifically to worship. To seek God also connotes an inquiry after knowledge, advice, insight, into a particular problem (Gen 25:22). Such inquiry could be made through a prophet, i.e. a divine spokesman (Exo 7:1; Exo 18:15ff; 1Sam 9:9; Jer 21:2; etc.), or through a priest using "lots" (shaal; Deut 17:9). hyx It is a verb qal imperative masculine plural meaning to live, whether literally or figuratively; causatively, to revive. lae-tyBe It is a noun proper no gender no number no state meaning house of God; Beth-El, a place in Palestine: lG"l.GI It is a noun proper no gender no number no state meaning Gilgal.
VI. Biblical Context and Theology
Yahweh invited the Israelites to seek Him so they might live. Even though national judgment and death were inevitable, individuals could still live. Announcements of impending judgment almost always allow for the possibility of individual repentance (cf. Jer. 18:1-10). The Israelites should not seek the Lord at the popular Israelite shrines at Bethel, Gilgal, or Beersheba in southern Judah, however. All these worship centers stood at cites that were important in Israel's earlier history, but God had commanded His people to worship Him at Jerusalem. In view of the preceding verses, this invitation to seek God and live seems odd. While it appears too late for the nation as a whole to repent and live, the prophet may have been trying to call forth a remnant to whom God would offer his salvation. This passage can be compared to Deuteronomy 4:29 the remnant which survives the scattering of the nation would be saved if they would “seek” God with all their hearts. What is clear from the following verse is that going to the special sanctuaries would not help rescue the nation from its announced doom. I believe this is the heart of the message of Amos is for the people to seek God in order to live.

VII. Secondary Literature
Literally, “seek Me; and live.” Wonderful conciseness of the word of God, which, in two words, comprises the whole of the creature’s duty and his hopes, his time and his eternity. The prophet users the two imperatives, involving both, man’s duty and his reward. He does not speak of them, as cause and effect, but as one. Where the one is, there is the other. To seek God is to live. For to seek God is to find Him, and God is Life and the Source of life. This is how I have viewed this passage looking to what other scholars have said about the passage.
VIII. Application
As ministers and Deaconesses of this twenty first century we have been given a message to proclaim to the people of Fiji. Amos has given us a message of invitation, that in order for the Vanua of Fiji and its future generation to live we need to “seek God” The object of the search is God Himself. “Seek Me,” that is, seek God for Himself, not for anything out of Him, not for His gifts, not for anything to be loved with Him. Most of the time we seek things outside of God like spiritual gifts, prosperity, blessing; it means we are not seeking God. (Matt 6:33) We need to let our people (congregation) know that we need to seek God not in popular luxurious sanctuaries but whole heartedly where ever we are. (John 4:23)
IX. Conclusion
In conclusion, according to Amos to seek the Lord means first of all to change our thinking and abandon the vain thoughts that are directing our wayward lives. To seek the Lord doesn't mean simply to run to God for help when our sins get us into trouble, although God will receive us if we're sincere. It means to loathe and despise the sin in our lives, turn from it, and seek the fellow-ship of God and His cleansing

Reference list
Thomas J. Finley. 1990, Amos, Obadiah In The Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary. Chicago: Moody Press.
Charles L. Feinberg. 1990, The Minor Prophets. Chicago: Moody Press
Finley, Thomas J. "An Evangelical Response to the Preaching of Amos." Journal of the
Evangelical Theological Society 28, no. 4 (December 1985)
Gordis Robert. 1971, Essays in Biblical Interpretation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press,
Smith, George Adam, 1913. The Book of the Twelve Prophets Commonly Called the Minor. 2 vols. Tenth ed. London: Hodder and Stoughton.…...

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Exegesis of Luke

...Carroll College | Exegesis of Luke 5:27-32 | Biblical Exegesis Paper | | | | Jennifer Hess | 4/25/2010 Exegesis of Luke 5:27-32 Overview The passage that was chosen was Luke 5:27-32, or the calling of Levi. This passage presents Jesus telling Levi, a tax collector, to follow him. Levi does follow Jesus, and soon after they are having a banquet dinner with other tax collectors. Jesus is asked why he chooses to eat with them, and he simply responds with “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Levi is chosen to emphasize that he is of the worst sinners. The dinner with the sinners is a part of Jesus’ mission of this passage. The sinners were considered unclean and profane, yet Jesus is there to be their physician. He is there to pursue the faith in them (Just 96). Historical Analysis The Gospel of Luke was originally written in Koine Greek (McKenzie 525). The intended audience is Greek-speaking, meaning Christianity was an international religion. The Gospels of Luke, Mark and Matthew have many of the same stories, but sometimes in different words or order. One of the problems of these Synoptic Gospels is the synoptic problem. The synoptic problem is the interrelationship of the three of them and the similarity in content (Mueller 75,77). One solution is that Matthew used information from only Mark, and Luke wrote last, using both of the gospels before him......

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