This prophet is often interpreted as a manifesto for social justice, political activism, and economic change. But Dr. Lessing expounds Amos as a book that proclaims God’s Law and his Gospel in Jesus Christ. The prophet condemns propensities that all sinners have. He preaches justification by grace alone, and righteousness through faith alone. Yahweh roars from Zion as a Lion (1:2; 3:4, 8, 12; 5:19) to terrify and console. Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah who died and is alive forevermore (Rev 1:18; 5:5). The roar in Amos awakens people from apathetic slumber and judges dishonest business dealings, abuse of the poor, idolatry, and immorality. Yahweh sends fires and earthquakes, locusts and drought, and a nation bent on destroying Israel in his fury against those whom he calls “my people” (e.g., Amos 7:15; 8:2; 9:10). Yet in the last oracle he promises to resurrect the tabernacle of David and restore a remnant gathered from both Israel and the Gentiles that shall live in the abundance of the new creation forever (9:11–15). These promises point to the feast Jesus instituted in Holy Communion, in which the baptized are forgiven of all their sins and celebrate that death has been swallowed up in victory (Is 25:6–9; 1 Cor 15:54).
The rhetorical method of this commentary highlights that Amos is a master at Hebrew poetry—radical, subversive, affrontive. Key excursuses include “Amos’ Use of Earlier Biblical Texts,” “The Church’s Response to Ethical Issues,” “The Relationship between the Prophets and Israel’s Worship,” “The Quotation from Amos 9 in Acts 15,” and “Preaching Like Amos.”
About the Author
Dr. R. Reed Lessing serves as Senior Pastor at Saint Michael Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Previously, he was a professor of exegetical theology and director of the graduate school at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. He studied at St. John’s College, Winfield, Kansas (B.A.), and Concordia Seminary (M. Div., S.T.M., Ph.D.).
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About the Series
The Concordia Commentary Series: A Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture is written to enable pastors and teachers of the Word to proclaim the Gospel with greater insight, clarity, and faithfulness to the divine intent of the biblical text.
This landmark work will cover all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, interpreting Scripture as a harmonious unity centered in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Every passage bears witness to the Good News that God has reconciled the world to Himself through our Lord's life, death, and resurrection.
The commentary fully affirms the divine inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture as it emphasizes "that which promotes Christ" in each pericope.
Authors are sensitive to the rich treasury of language, imagery, and themes found throughout Scripture, including such dialectics as Law and Gospel, sin and grace, death and new life, folly and wisdom, demon possession and the arrival of the kingdom of God in Christ. Careful attention is given to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek. Further light is shed on the text from archaeology, history, and extra-biblical literature. Finally, Scripture's message is applied to the ongoing life of the church in terms of ministry, worship, proclamation of the Word, Baptism, the Lord's Supper, confession of the faith--all in joyful anticipation of the life of the world to come.
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