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Amos; Return to the land

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posted on Dec, 11 2015 @ 05:03 PM
After the proclamations of judgement, the book of Amos ends with promise of restoration (ch9 vv11-15).

“In that day”- that is, when his power is fully exercised- “I will raise up the booth [or “tabernacle”] of David that is fallen, and repair its breaches.
Evidently this is written after the fall of Jerusalem, looking to the restoration of the nation and of a place of worship.
However, we may note that the prophet does not speak of the “Temple of Solomon”, but goes back to the simpler time of David.
It is said that these people will possess “the remnants of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name”.
In other words, this will be a time when there are many nations attached to the Lord.

There is a promise of intensified fertility.
The crops and the grapes will grow so fast that “the ploughman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed”.
The very hills and mountains shall flow with sweet wine.

Finally, the people will be restored to the land.
Israel will rebuild the ruined cities and re-plant the gardens and vineyards, to enjoy them for ever.
“They shall never again be plucked out of the land which I have given them”.

How are these prophecies to be interpreted?
It could be argued that they were partly fulfilled at the end of the exile in Babylon.
At least the Jews were able to return to the land, and they were allowed to re-build a Temple.
However, this did not give them the absolute security promised in the last line.
And the promise of intensified fertility has never been literally fulfilled at all.

From the Christian viewpoint, these prophecies must be understood in a different way.
The principle has always been that the church re-interprets the Old Testament in the light of Christ.
As Paul puts it, the “veil” imposed by the literal reading of the text has been removed, and the meaning can be understood through the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians ch3 vv12-16).

Thus the promise of a renewed place of worship, with a place for “all the nations who are called by my name”, can be understood as fulfilled in Christ;
“Neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem… The time is coming when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth” (John ch4 vv21-23)
Taking the words of Matthew Henry on this passage;
“It is promised that in the Messiah the kingdom of David shall be restored. The church militant… is the tabernacle of David”.
Similarly, the promise that the house of David will possess “the remnant of Edom and all the nations” is fulfilled because “Christ will have them given him for his inheritance”.

The same applies to the promise of increased fertility.
The Old Testament may promise material blessings, but the New Testament promises spiritual blessings.
Therefore the church takes the material blessings promised in the Old Testament and re-interprets them as spiritual blessings.
Thus the fertility promised here can be understood as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, “for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit” (John ch3 v34).
Taking the words of Matthew Henry on this passage;
“This must be understood of the spiritual blessings with which all those are blessed who are in sincerity added to Christ and his church…
When great multitudes were converted, and when the preachers of the gospel were always caused to triumph in the success of their preaching, then ‘the ploughman overtook the reaper”.

Finally, the same principle applies to the promise of “return to the land”.
For the Christian, the “home” of God’s people is in the presence of God;
“When I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John ch14 v3).
The promise that they will not be rooted out of it is finally fulfilled at the end of Revelation, for Christ has promised to each of his people;
“He who conquers, I will make a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it” (Revelation ch3 v12).

Therefore “return to the land”, does not for the Christian involve any expectation that the Jews themselves should expect to return to the physical territory once occupied by the kingdoms of Israel.
That more literal mode of interpretation would be in danger of re-instating the “veil” over the scriptures which Christ has taken away.

edit on 11-12-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 13 2015 @ 02:04 PM

posted on Dec, 13 2015 @ 03:38 PM
Do You Have Any Grasp Of The Land Your Lot Clings To...???
Or Is Israel The Only True Wealth In This World For You...????

No Offense... I Just Like To Know If You Value Your Country.

posted on Dec, 13 2015 @ 03:48 PM
a reply to: Pinocchio
My country is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
In spite of all temptations to belong to other nations.
The only land I cling to is the plot which contains my house (freehold modern terrace).

I suspect your question may be based on false assumptions, and I wonder if you read the opening post at all, or whether you just responded to the title.

edit on 13-12-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 13 2015 @ 04:19 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Sorry Ol'Pal...
But... I Was Drawn In To Idea That You Hold Israel With More Regard Than Your Own Town.
While... I Believe There Is Nothing Wrong With That... I Also Thought You May Not.

posted on Dec, 13 2015 @ 04:26 PM
a reply to: Pinocchio
Your belief was mistaken
a) Because I'm not Jewish. What's more, I never have been.
b) The last couple of paragraphs of the OP might have told you how I understand the Christian viewpoint on the "return to the land" concept.

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