Amos 8:1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit.
Amos 8:2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.
This chapter begins with Amos describing another vision—that of a basket of edible fruit. The Lord again asks Amos what he sees, and Amos gives the obvious answer. YHWH then tells Amos the significance of the bowl of fruit. Just as the fruit had been ripe for the picking, so the people of Israel were ripe for judgment.
“I will not again pass by them” – Their judgment is determined and certain. In other words, it won’t do any good to intercede in prayer.
Amos 8:3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.
Instead of praise and worship songs, the temple will resonate with the grief-stricken cries of the people. They will be surrounded by dead bodies. In the end, there will only be “the sounds of silence.”
Amos 8:4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,
Amos 8:5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
Amos 8:6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?
As the prophet continues his message of rebuke, he points out some of their more egregious sins against the poor and needy. They impatiently tolerated the ritualistic practice of keeping the Sabbath as they looked forward to adding to their wealth through deceitful business practices that included using dishonest measures, rigged scales, and mixing chaff in with the good grain. Those who suffered the most were those that could least afford it—the poor.
Amos 8:7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.
This has not gone unnoticed by YHWH. In fact, He declares He will “never forget any of their works.” I would assume this to reference the fact that these will be a part of the record of works for which they will be judged at the great white throne judgment described in Revelation 20.
Amos 8:8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.
As I read through this verse in some other translations, I realized that this was probably referencing the earthquake mentioned in verse 1 of chapter 1 and in Zechariah 14. As I continue to read, I think this is another prophecy with future application to the final “day of the Lord” and possibly the sixth seal judgment detailed in Revelation 6. (See journal on Revelation.)
Amos 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:
Amos 8:10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.
I’m sure the people to whom Amos prophesied made a direct connection to his prophecy and the Assyrian invasion. However, this again fits in with the sixth seal judgment, and the expected response of the people of Israel at that time, so I don’t discount future application as well.
Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
Amos 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
I remember this verse really jumping out to me in my study of Daniel. We know that there was a 400-year period of “silence” from God after the ministry of the prophet Malachi until John the Baptist came on the scene. The prophet paints a picture of people going all across the land in search of a prophet of God and finding none.
This verse convinced me that this was also the primary intent of God’s message to Daniel.
Dan. 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
Many teach that this is a reference to modern modes of transportation and technology, but I don’t agree. Though a valid application can be made, it is not the primary application. I believe it is again speaking of a time when people, especially the people of Israel, will be seeking the truth and knowledge of God’s word, especially during the 70th week of Daniel.
Amos 8:13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.
Amos 8:14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.
A time of judgment is always one of pain and struggle. The young men and women will not only thirst for the knowledge of God’s word, but they will also suffer physical thirst and deprivation. Those who continue to trust in their worthless, lifeless, powerless idols will die to experience eternal condemnation.
These are great words of warning to the “church” today. We know there are many tares growing among the real wheat in the church today. Those who continue to practice ritual without heart and refuse to submit to Jesus as Lord will one day find out that their time to repent has run out and they will die in eternal condemnation.