Title

The Theological Message of Amos 7:10-17 in Harmony with its Literary Structure

Date of Award

12-1-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Theology (Th.M)

Department

Exegetical Theology

First Advisor

Stephen J. Bramer

Abstract

This thesis demonstrates the significance of studying the historical narrative (Amos 7: 10-17) in its present position between the third and the fourth vision reports (7:7-9; 8:1-3). It expounds the narrative's theological message in the context of the five vision reports on the basis of the analysis of its literary structure and the exegesis of the text. Methodologically, this thesis takes both the pre-critical and rhetorical approaches to the study of this historical narrative (7: 10-17) and deal with the book of Amos in a synchronic manner. It accepts the presupposition that the author artfully composed the book of Amos in its final form by using various genres and literary devices for particular messages in its own historical contexts.

Contrary to the critical view that the historical narrative is a later insertion or an awkward digression from the sequence of the five vision reports, this study supports the narrative's present position between the third and fourth vision reports. For this reason, this thesis analyzes the literary structure of the book of Amos in three stages: the entire book of Amos (1:1-9:15), the five vision reports (7:1-9:6), and the historical narrative surrounded by the third and the fourth vision reports (7:7-8:3). On the basis of these literary analyses, this study presents Amos 7:7-8:3 as a literary unit with a perfect symmetric structure (A, B, C, C', B', A').

Dealing with the exegetical issues found in Amos 7:7-8:3, this thesis reveals Amaziah as a professional priest who stands upon the wrong authority of king Jeroboam rather than upon the divine authority of God. Thus, Israel, even at the core of its religious leadership, has already degenerated too much.

From this viewpoint, the historical narrative justifies the final judgment in the fifth vision report (9:1-6) and also reinforces the message of the third and fourth vision reports (7:7-9; 8:1-3). Theologically, this historical narrative emphasizes the sovereignty of the Lord and the importance of spiritual leadership.

Comments

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