Amos's Oracles Against the Nations
Amos's Oracles Against the Nations

Amos's Oracles Against the Nations

in Society for Old Testament Study Monograph Series

by John Barton

Pages 96
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Published 2009
ISBN-13 9780521104081
In the first two chapters of the book of Amos, the prophet denounces a number of neighbouring nations for committing atrocities in war and then declares Israel to be equally blameworthy in view of the social injustices prevailing in his time (the eighth century BC). Amos is widely held to be ahead of his age, not only in recognising the idea of 'war crimes' but also in attributing to the God if Israel any concern with or power over other nations. In this detailed study of Amos 1 and 2, Dr Barton shows that the book in fact presupposes both these notions; there were already accepted conventions of warfare in the ancient Near Eastern cultures and there was already recognition in Israel of the universality of God's power. The essential contribution of Amos to Old Testament theology is to be found in his radical criticism of Israel and in his prediction that it is about to be destroyed by its own God.


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