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Against a backdrop of divine judgment (Amos 1:2) the Hebrew prophet Amos gives a message of hope in Amos 9:11-15.
Judgment is coming, but beyond that day of judgment is a day of blessing for Israel.
A remnant of faithful believers is spared from destructive judgment of Yahweh. Chapter nine opens with a vision of the temple shaken by the Angel of the Lord which falls and buries Judah and Israel under its ruins. However, instead of being swallowed up by the Gentile nations Israel would be sifted by the familiar to and fro motion of one shaking a sieve (Amos 9:7-10). God is going to shake Israel like a woman shaking a sifter. The result would be a purging type of judgment but through it a purified remnant would be preserved. The dust and the dirt will fall to ground, and the kernel of grain will be left. She shall be purified from all chaff and impurity.
The Hebrew prophet Amos lived around 760 B.C. during the reigns of Uzziah of Judah and Jeroboam II of Israel. Isaiah was a contemporary of Amos. It was a time of enormous prosperity in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The sons of King Solomon ruled in the southern kingdom of Judah in Jerusalem.
Amos has two contrasting themes with the dominant subject of Israel's sins and coming judgment in the first eight chapters. However, with 9:11 there is expectation of a restored kingdom. Cf. Amos 5:3, 14-15. God promised to raise from the fallen nation a new people for Himself (Amos 9:11-12) and return the people to the land (9:13-15).
I take these words as genuine words of Amos. John R. Sampey wrote, “When he returned to Judah and wrote out his prophecies, these words of promise and hope formed a fitting conclusion to his bitter denunciation of Israel’s sins.” If we take these Scriptures literally they obviously refer to a time of national blessing for Israel. From the context of the passage there is no reason for us to take them otherwise. There is no reason to force them to be taken figuratively.
Amos is probably the first of the Hebrew prophets to relate the kingdom to the “day of the LORD” (Amos 5:18). He expected Israel’s promised salvation to be the climatic event at the end of history.
RESTORING OF THE KINGDOM OF DAVID (9:11-12)
God's promise to David in 2 Samuel 7:16 remains true even in the most desolate of times. "Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” (2 Samuel 7:16, NASB95) The judgments prepare the way for God's mercy and salvation comes only through the house of David. By this time in history it was becoming clear to the prophets that the promise given to David can be fulfilled only in the Messiah. Amos declares in verses 11-12:
“'In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David,
Rebuilding David's Reign (Amos 9:11-12)
This will be a day of very special blessings on Israel.
No king, past or present, had rivaled king David during the golden age of the kingdom. He was a symbol of greater things in the future. Hebrew prophets had a message of future hope in turbulent times (Ps. 2; 72; Amos 5:18) even though by the time of the restoration there would be nothing left of the kingdom but a “booth,” “tabernacle,” or hut made of branches used for temporary shelter by soldiers in battle. It was a lean-to or shepherd's hut. They were booths constructed of branches and leaves to hide from the weather. Amos sees the repairing and rebuilding of David’s house as a symbol of Israel’s greater restoration. The ancient Jewish rabbis adopted "the Son of the fallen" as one of the titles of the Messiah. Though he does not use the terminology here the kingdom of David could only be raised up through an offshoot from David's family. This can be no other than the Messiah.
Moreover, only God could bring about the revival of the nation as described by Amos (9:11-15). He speaks of the "fallen booth of David" (v. 11). No descendent of David had ruled in the North since 931 B.C. when Jeroboam I led the rebellion.
The "tent" or literally "booth" is in contrast to "house of Jacob" (9:8) and "house of Israel" (9:9; cf. 5:2; 8:14). God promises in verse eleven to restore the nation like its golden age. The Zionist movement would not fit the description. Amos speaks of something greater. God will reestablish David's "tent" over both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms.
A descendent of David would be humble and establish a worldwide kingdom (Isa. 9:6-7; Mic. 5:1-5a). The apostles identified Him as Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 2:22-36; cf. Matt. 1:1; 2:6). Jesus began His ministry by calling the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 10:6; 15:24; Lk. 24:47; Acts 1:8; 2:5ff; 13:46; 14:1). The royal palace had to become the hut of Nazareth before the Redeemer of the world could be born. His glory and kingdom were not of this world but eternal.
The time of the restoration would be "in that day" (Amos 9:11; 5:18-20). It would be a day when God would purge the nation by its devastation. It would be a day of judgment. This occurred in 722 B.C. and in 586 B.C. The remnant of "Joseph" in the South (5:15) survived until 586 B.C.
All of the prophets foresee the Messiah's appearing at a time of the deepest debasement of the Davidic dynasty and total loss of the royal dignity.
However, "the day of the Lord" would also be a day of salvation and restoration. There was a limited restoration when the exiles returned from Babylon under Zerubbabel and Nehemiah 538-430 B.C. But this restoration did not meet the lofty expectations predicted by the prophets.
In Acts 15:13-18 James at the Jerusalem Conference interpreted Amos' prediction of a renewed kingdom as fulfilled in the preaching of the Gospel. He appealed to Amos 9:11-12 to show that all Gentiles are saved who have believed on Jesus as the anointed of God.
James speaks as a typical Hebrew who affirms from the Hebrew Scriptures that God was taking from the Gentiles a people for Himself. James was quoting Amos from the Greek translation called the Septuagint (LXX). In the Greek translation the “nations” or “Gentiles” (ethne) stand in contrast to the “people” (laos) which usually refers to the Jewish people. God called the descendents of Abraham to be His chosen people (Deut. 14:2). “You are a people (LXX, laos) holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the people (LXX, etne) on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be His treasured possession.” God would reestablish His King so all nations ("mankind") would have salvation. Jesus brought salvation to Jews and Gentiles alike.
God chose Israel to be His special people. At the Jerusalem Council James declares that Yahweh has chosen a people for Himself from among the Gentiles! James uses the Hebrew Scriptures to teach that He has also called the Gentiles to be His chosen people in the full sense that Israel is. God revealed to the apostle Peter that Gentiles are equal partners in the kingdom (Acts 10-11).
In the end of times God’s people will consist of a restored Israel from David’s “booth” and a group of Gentiles who will share in the same messianic blessings, yet they will be ethnic Gentiles without becoming Jewish proselytes. Of supreme importance is the fact of the preservation of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
God extends His grace to all the nations and then once again He turns to Israel and raises up again the tabernacle of David. "After these things I will return, And I will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen, And I will rebuild its ruins, And I will restore it, So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, And all the Gentiles who are called by My name" (Acts 15:16-17, NASB95).
The Scriptures are abundant and speaks forcefully of a future role for Israel.
It is important to remember God has not forsaken His chosen people Israel. "For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob" (Romans 11:25-26, NASB95).
Does God have a future age of blessing on Israel after the age of the Gentiles is fulfilled? We are living in the age of the Gentiles. There is a day coming when the "fullness of the Gentiles has come" and all the Gentiles who will be saved are saved. There is a "partial hardening " of Israel "until the fullness of the Gentiles has come" into the kingdom of God. Then God's focus will once again be on Israel and there will be many turning to God through the Messiah, Jesus Christ. God has not cast off His people. God works through remnants. He had a remnant of Israel in times past. He has a remnant of Gentiles in our day. Not all Jews were saved in Old Testament times. Not all Gentiles, non-Jews, are saved in the New Testament age of grace. There is a remnant chosen by grace. Are you a part of it? Have you put your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? God is at work among the Gentiles in our day and age. Moreover, God will begin to work with Israel as a nation again. Amos 9:11-15 looks beyond the time of God's blessings on the church to a future day of Jewish blessing. There is still a future age of blessings on Israel.
"That they may possess the remnant of Edom And all the nations who are called by My name,” Declares the Lord who does this" (Amos 9:12, NASB95).
Why "Edom"? Edom had been a traditional enemy of Israel. No Edomite exists in the world today. We are not told how God will include a believing remnant of Edomites in David's kingdom at the end of time. Here Edom is probably representative of the Gentiles in general in the parallel expression "all the nations.” Perhaps she is representative of the Gentile nations, especially all the nations that are hostile to Israel. There is no record of Edomites who trusted in the Lord. James uses a translation of Amos that used the word "mankind" in the place of "Edom." David's dynasty will include people from every tribe and nation. All nations will be brought under the dominion of the Davidic King.
Israel has never possessed all of the land God promised to Abraham in Genesis 15:18-21. That day is yet to come, and I believe it will during the millennium. The Jewish people conqueror some of the land, but not all of it. Regardless of what the politically correct crowd of world politicians declare from day to day, let us be quite clear: the land belongs to Israel. Be very careful how you treat Israel. She is still God's chosen people. The land belongs to Israel. We live in a day when politicians will not accept the Biblical truth.
God would expand the "booth of David" to include Gentile nations. God’s plan has always been to provide salvation to the Gentile nations. It is through Abraham that “all peoples on the earth” would be blessed. Cf. Gen. 12:1-3; 18:18; 22:17-18; 26:3-4; 28:13-14; Isa. 9:1-7; 11:1-13; 42:1-7; 45:22-25; 49:5-7; 55:1-5). When God restores the kingdom under David’s greater Son, both Jews and Gentiles will bear the name of the Lord.
Persons who submitted to the Lord's anointed King would become a part of the kingdom. Therefore, the main characteristic of the rebuilding of the kingdom is salvation provided through the lineage of David at a time of deepest abasement.
God will bless His people again with the same intensity with which He has punished them. Before it was the fierce anger of the LORD melting the mountains, but now the same mountains flows with the wine of the vineyards. This will be a time of great material wealth and success.
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the
“When the plowman will overtake the reaper
And the treader of grapes him who sows seed;
When the mountains will drip sweet wine
And all the hills will be dissolved."
The future restoration included the land, its cities, and the return of God's people. God promised to bless the land with an unprecedented prosperity. God would reverse the calamity. The promise is in contrast to loss described in 5:11, 16-17; 3:9. It is a time of great prosperity something like Israel has never known before. It will be a time of supernatural material blessings on Israel. This blessing will far surpass any past experiences.
There will be no more famine (1:2; 4:6-8) because God will provide unending abundance (9:13). The land will be so productive farmer will have to wait for the reaper of finish before he can sow again. "In the days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout, And they will fill the whole world with fruit" (Isaiah 27:6, NASB95).
There will be no more war (Amos 2:13-16; 3:11, 15; 4:10-11; 5:2-3; 6:9-10; 7:17; 9:1, 10) because God will establish peace (v. 14). There will be safety and peace (Amos 4:2-3; 5:5, 27; 6:7; 7:11, 17; 9:4) because God will watch over and protect His people Israel (v. 15).
You cannot help but think of Paul's word in Romans 8:19-25 when he says God has promised to redeem His creation. The earth will be restored to the likeness of the original creation. Paul describes some of the wonders of the earth's redemption.
After release from exile they would rebuild the ruined walls and cities. But this could be only a partial rebuilding and fulfillment of Amos’ prophecy. This is a picture of permanent restoration of the kingdom of David. Blessings have come and gone in the past, but this will be unending. This will not be a temporary blessing. This blessing does not depend upon man, but is something God alone can accomplish. The only transition will be into eternity.
“Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel,
And they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them;
They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine,
And make gardens and eat their fruit."
The plowman will catch up with the reaper. The plowman in Israel who starts in October will have to wait for the reaper who should have finished in May. The grape harvest in July will find the viticulturalist planting new vines into the ground broken by the long-delayed plowman. There will be continuous productivity in the fields. The grapes will hang so heavy in the mountain vineyards that the hills will drip and flow with new wine (cf. Joel 3:18). So much juice will drip from the vines or overflow from the vats. It is a superabundant harvest!
The doctrine of Jesus Christ as the Messiah includes the renewal and restoration associated with the true redemption because the historical Jesus is truly the “Son of Man.” There will be a time of messianic restoration and blessing. Amos instills hope in the righteous remnant by reminding them of God’s steadfast love.
“'I will also plant them on their land,
And they will not again be rooted out from their land
Which I have given them,'
Says the Lord your God." (v. 15)
God promised to "plant" the people in their homeland. He promised to prosper the land and the people. It would be a secure land in which the blessing will endure forever. It is a lasting event in which they will never be torn from the land again. God's people will dwell forever in the land He has given them. Cf. Deut. 34:4; Josh. 21:43-45. "But Judah will be inhabited forever And Jerusalem for all generations" (Joel 3:20, NASB95).
There are many Scriptures that say Israel will be regathered to her own land. Israel was taken into exile and 47,000 returned to the land under Ezra and Zerrubbabel, only to be scattered to the ends of the earth after the destruction of Jerusalem and A.D. 70.
The many passages in the Old Testament speak of a greater regathering of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. "They will live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant, in which your fathers lived; and they will live on it, they, and their sons and their sons’ sons, forever; and David My servant will be their prince forever" (Ezekiel 37:25, NASB95). "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God" (Ezekiel 36:24-28, NASB95). "“They will no longer be a prey to the nations, and the beasts of the earth will not devour them; but they will live securely, and no one will make them afraid" (Ezekiel 34:28, NASB95). "People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security" (Zechariah 14:11, NASB95)." “Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers" (Jeremiah 16:14-15, NASB95). "Then it will happen on that day that the Lord Will again recover the second time with His hand The remnant of His people, who will remain, From Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, And from the islands of the sea. And He will lift up a standard for the nations And assemble the banished ones of Israel, And will gather the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11:11-12, NASB95). "Then all your people will be righteous; They will possess the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified" (Isaiah 60:21, NASB95).
When we look back over history it is evident that these verses and many other Scriptures have not already been fulfilled for Israel. The blessings in these verses have not taken place. They describe a future Israel. After the Babylonian captivity Israel never experienced its glory again like under King David. Amos is writing long after David and Solomon. He is not looking back on David, but forward to a day of future blessing and prosperity. He along with other prophets of His day look forward to blessing on Israel never before fulfilled.
This would happen only when God established the eternal reign of David's greater Son. The reestablishment of David's throne was fulfilled when Jesus came. The rule of the house of David was a fore gleam of the eternal, universal dominion of God in Christ. Second Samuel 7:13-16; Luke 1:32-33
Some suggest it was fulfilled in 538 B.C., 200 years after Amos prophesied. Zerubbabel returned to the land from Babylon with a group to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Ezra 1-6).
A small remnant did return form exile and rebuild the city walls and the temple and it was thriving during Jesus’ time, but the civil rule was exercised by Rome and the spiritual leadership was a family of depraved Sadducees and self-righteous Pharisees. However, it was again destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. and therefore was not an everlasting restoration.
Other scholars suggest the modern state of Israel is the fulfillment of Amos. This has come about in the restoration of the State of Israel in 1948. They believe God is committed to the land and the people. However, the modern State of Israel is a secular, non-religious political movement. There is much in the news today about Israel in possession of old Jerusalem which is the holiest of the holy places. However, the Jewish people in God's perfect timing will rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. There are many passages of Scripture that predict the Temple in Jerusalem at the time of Christ's return. Non-Christian Jews will rebuild the Temple and reinstate the sacrifices. If this seems hard for Christians to accept remember that these are not Christians, but religious Jews who are in view. The still wait for the coming of the Messiah.
Still others see the fulfillment in the church of Jesus Christ. They see the remnant being transformed into the Christian "remnant." The real Israel consists of all the faithful believers from the exile through modern times and into the future.
All of these suggestions have some truth to them but they are only a foreshadowing of the ultimate fulfillment of the promise by the Messiah. At the second coming Jesus will set up His kingdom and reign triumphantly over all the earth. Believers will enjoy the everlasting rule of God.
The Hebrew scholars Keil and Delitzsch wrote:
"The raising up of the fallen hut of David commenced with the coming of Christ and the founding of the Christian church by the apostles; and the possession of kingdom and all the other nations upon whom the Lord reveals His name, took its rise in the reception of the Gentiles into the kingdom of heaven set up by Christ. The founding and building of this kingdom continue through all the ages of the Christian church, and will be completed when the fullness of the Gentiles shall one day enter into the kingdom of God, and the still unbelieving Israel shall have been converted to Christ . . . . This sifting will be first brought to an end through the judgment upon all nations, which will attend the second coming of Christ. Then will the earth become a Canaan, where the Lord will dwell in His glorified kingdom in the midst of His sanctified people."
The last three verses remind us of Isaiah chapters 2, 4 and 11. The Lord Jesus Christ will be enthroned as the King upon the throne of David. God will establish the eternal reign of David’s greater Son. The rule of the house of David was a fore gleam of the eternal, universal, dominion of God in Christ. The ultimate fulfillment of all these passages is found only in the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God.
Just as we are seeing God gathering out from the nations of the world a people of His own Name there is coming a day when He will again work in the stony hearts of His own people Israel (Rom. 11:25-29). Our sovereign God is not through with Israel. A day will come when His Spirit will draw many of the Jewish people to respond to His saving grace. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
When Christ returns He will reign as King of Kings over all the earth. Will you rule with Him in that everlasting kingdom?
The all-sufficient work Jesus Christ includes the giving of the Holy Spirit. Have you received His free gift of eternal life by grace through faith in Christ alone?
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Title: Amos 9:11-15 The Kingdom Restored
Series: Christ in the Old Testament
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2008. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.
Unless otherwise noted “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries for ten years. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Honduras.
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