Book of Amos
Chapter 1, Part 1
July 24, 2011
“The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake” (Amos 1:1). The words of Amos are actually the Words of God given Amos through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. All the visions and prophecies Amos spoke came to him from the Lord. We know Amos was a real prophet because his prophecies came to pass; not 50% or 60% of them, but all of them. "And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him" (Deuteronomy 18:21-22).
According to commentaries I read, Amos either was the owner of the sheep, cattle and tree farm, or he was a faithful worker for his employer. Not wanting to presume something that might not be, let’s just say that no matter his position in Tekoa, Amos had to leave his home where he was comfortable and go among the ten tribes of the north who would certainly not want to hear his message. The people in Israel were living in the lap of luxury and would not receive warmly a man who threatened their situation.
Matthew Henry said, “Many were trained up for great employments, in the quiet, innocent, contemplative business of shepherds.” David is a prime example of that truth. A shepherd’s life is lonely and his consolation is his relationship with God. He talks with God often as there is no one but the sheep to commune with otherwise. And God can capture his heart without interference from the world.
Notice that Amos “saw” the words he would prophesy. This would indicate that Amos received the prophecies against Israel as visions more than through words. He “saw” in the spirit what God was about to do to Israel if she didn’t repent from the heart, turn to God who forgives abundantly, and turn from her evil ways. (Joel 2:13) Most of Amos’ prophecy was against Israel. He spoke to Judah as well, though. To me, Israel was like the big sister and God was going to correct her more harshly then the little sister. At this point in time, Israel was “ripened” in sin and bringing on her own destruction. Amos was their last hope. If they would heed his prophecies, they would survive. But they had deluded themselves into believing they were untouchable.
The earthquake Amos referred to in verse 1 must have been one of great destruction because, even many years later, Zechariah the prophet spoke of it as “the earthquake” in his own prophecy (Zechariah 14:5) as did Amos here. You see here the mercy of God? He sent Amos to prophesy and warn Israel two years before His hand would fall. He gave them two more years to change their lifestyle and come back to the Lord.
“And he said, The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither” (verse 2). Just as a lion, or a dog, growls before they attack, God was “growling” at Israel. The roar of His growl was meant to terrify Israel into repentance. Notice that Amos repeats what Joel prophesied, “The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel” (Joel 3:16) and what Hosea prophesied, “They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west” (Hosea 11:10). Also see Jeremiah 25:30.
God’s “roaring” is going on now, too, and, for the most part, people are ignoring it or trying to shut Him up with a “feel good” gospel that says God will not harm us. Many try to make us believe that God has nothing to do with the weather, that it’s part of satan’s temporary dominion over the earth. Scuse me! Wasn’t it God who said, “Peace, be still” to the raging storm in the middle of the night?
The area God roars against in verse 2 includes Jerusalem, moving to the south toward the pastures of Bethlehem, and to Judah. It goes on to Gaza, Edom, and Moab and then northward to Mount Carmel’s fertile farmland, to Damascus, Ammon and Tyre. The roar of the voice of God caused a drought that withered the land. The pastures dried up along with the water supply causing an economic crisis as crops failed and sheep died. The farmers suffered severe financial hardship and everyone suffered from the lack of food and meat.
Why did the Lord pass judgment on the land’s bounty? It was because, once again, the Jews were not living according to their covenant with God. They were looking to man for their prosperity, safety and provision. God does not share His glory. All the bounty of Israel and Judah was direct blessings from the hand of God, and yet, they didn’t acknowledge him.
“…the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn.” Buildings have no feelings because they have no souls, so how can these “habitations mourn? I believe it is a demonstration of the sad state of the area at the loss of all the shepherds and sheep as well as the water and product of the land. The buildings will be empty, hollow, and no joy filled them.
Mount Carmel was a very lush farm area that grew wonderful crops and produce. We don’t know if Amos is talking about the Mt. Carmel in near Judah or the one near Asher. Amos would be more familiar with the one near Judah, but many believe he spoke of the one near Asher since he was prophesying to the ten tribes of Israel. The Mt. Carmel in Asher is the better known of the two for it’s here that Elijah put to shame the 450 prophets of Baal before killing them. In an article I read about the etymology of Carmel (meaning of the word), it said, “The name Carmel is identical to the Hebrew word (karmel), meaning plantation or orchard (2 Kings 19:23, Isaiah 10:18). This word also shows up to denote a certain produce probably made from fruit from an orchard (Leviticus 23:14).”
Albert Barnes said, “It is one of the most striking natural features of Palestine. It ends a line of hills, 18 miles long, by a long bold headland reaching out far into the Mediterranean, and forming the south side of the Bay of Acco or Acre. Rising 1,200 feet above the sea, it stands out “like some guardian of its native strand;” yet withal, it was rich with every variety of beauty, flower, fruit, and tree. It is almost always called “the Carmel,” “the rich garden-ground.” He went on to say that even in summer the dew created by the sea caused things to grow “with an ever-renewed freshness.” Imagine the horror of the Israelites when all that was gone.
“Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron: But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad” (verses 3, 4). Amos is careful here to let the people know that the words about to come from him first came from the mouth of God.
“For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four…” does not mean that the nations committed three sins then added four more on top of them. It means the nations committed sin on top of sin until they were full with sin, then sinned again which caused their sin to overflow and God’s wrath to be poured out. It’s like saying, “It was the sin that broke the camel’s back.” God could contain His wrath against them no longer.
This world is almost at that same saturation point in sin. Homosexuality is openly demonstrated and approved of, even in churches. Child molestation and murder is on the rise. Children plan to execute their parents and not only do it, but throw a celebration party afterward. Divorce is so prevalent that, where once it was a stigma to a child, now it’s just par for the course in their lives. Families allow the stupidest discussions to divide them and then go off and speak curses against each other. It’s a sick society we live in, and it’s getting worse by the day. Believe me, it won’t be long before God shakes His head, sends Jesus for the dead in Christ and the church and freely pours out His fiery wrath. The only thing keeping Him from doing this now is that the elect, the church, the Bride of Christ are not made to endure the wrath of God, and He’s waiting so that not everyone will perish. He wants to give enough time for all who will be saved to be saved. I sure hope you are ready and that all whom you love have been warned and given the opportunity to choose Jesus. Please know that there are none too young, too old, too retarded, too senile or too anything else to be told the gospel. Your job is to spread the Word. The Holy Spirit’s job is to make it stick in a life-changing way as He calls them, Deep unto deep to the Lord for salvation.
Later on, in chapter 2 we will see that Amos speaks against Judah (2:4, 5) and Israel (2:6-16) about their sins. Here the Lord is calling out the heathen, Gentile nations for their sins against the universal covenant with God not to shed innocent blood (murder) because, as Walvoord and Zuck’s commentary states, “Disregard for human life is an assault on God’s own image in man.” The six nations mentioned here, Gaza, Edom, and Moab, Damascus, Ammon and Tyre all transgressed this law, or covenant God made with them by killing the Jews indiscriminately, even as they do now. In Jeremiah 12:14 we see how God feels about that. He said, “Thus saith the LORD against all mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them.”
God said, “I will not turn away the punishment thereof.” Please don’t listen to the foolish false teachers who say that hell is only temporary. Nowhere in Scripture has God said that. Anyone in the Bible who warns of hell, then the Lake of Fire all say it is eternal. Because God is not a man so cannot lie, this has to be truth.
Book of Amos
Chapter 1, Part 2
July 31, 2011
“Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron: But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad” (Amos 1:3, 4). You might wonder why Amos left off prophesying to Israel and called on Damascus in Syria. It seems inconsistent to the text that he would change gear suddenly and completely like that. But, think about it. When you are in sin and someone approaches you about it, what is your first reaction? It’s usually to go on the defensive, make excuses for your own weaknesses or just not listen to the correction at all. However, if you hear of someone else’s sins and see them corrected, you sit right up and pay attention. “Oh, yes, yes, that’s just what he did; yes, that’s what her behavior is like. Good call. Let them have it!” It would not be too harsh to say that we even gloat a little because, after all, “WE would never do that!” That’s the wisdom Amos is using. It’s as though he were saying, “Let’s get these people interested in what their neighbors are doing, and then I can zap them with their own correction.”
We must understand from the start of studying prophecy that everything makes sense if we will stick with the message. The way Amos wrote his Book had the greatest impact on all the nations he addresses in the name of God.
Prophecy is all about letting the people know what’s coming. This one was a stern warning, as in Joel, to repent from the heart and turn to God. (Joel 2:13) It’s also predicting the consequences of failing to do so. If those receiving the prophecy continue on their path, they will see the righteous hand of God fulfill the promised judgment. They can never say that it was fate, or that it just happened. They will have to acknowledge that it was God all the way. He forgave them for “three transgressions” but four was over the top and His wrath had to be vented. Some have hinted that “three transgressions and four” is 3+4=7, seven being the number of completion. Either way, it’s the fullness of sin that brought God’s vengeance against the 6 heathen nations and Judah, then Israel.
People often ask me, “Rev, why doesn’t Jesus come? This world can’t get much worse.” This gives us our answer. The fullness of sin is not complete. Maybe, just perhaps that situation in September with Palestine trying to be recognized as a state, or country will be the last sin that breaks God’s mercy. We don’t know the “day or hour” but the signs are sure prevalent for the imminent return of Jesus. Our job is not to question, but to pray as In Revelation 20:20, where Jesus said, “Surely I come quickly,” and John responds for us all with, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
Hazael, servant to Benhadad murdered him and stole his throne. He set himself up as king and ruled harshly for 37 years. During that time he led wars against Israel and Judah. He took the people captive and slaughtered them in cruel ways. One of the ways was with a “threshing instrument of iron.” Wikipedia says a sledge is “about three to four feet wide and six feet deep (these dimensions often vary, however), consisting of two or three wooden planks assembled to one another, of more than four inches wide, in which several hard and cutting flints crammed into the bottom part pull along over the grains. In the rear part there is a large ring nailed, that is used to tie the rope that pulls it and to which two horses are usually harnessed; and a person, sitting on the threshing-board, drives it in circles over the cereal that is spread on the threshing floor.” Can you imagine what such a thing would do to a human body? For these atrocities and so much more, God would destroy Damascus.
Damascus is the oldest city in the world. It is the capital of Syria. Many prophecies of its total destruction can be found in Scripture, yet has never been fulfilled. As a matter of fact, Jeremiah speaks the same words against Damascus that Amos did, “I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Benhadad” (Jeremiah 49:27). Isaiah said, “"Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and it will become a fallen ruin" (Isaiah 17:1).
Some believe the fire that will “devour the palaces of Benhadad refers to the political buildings. There are 2,000 mosques in Damascus. That’s probably what will be destroyed. These are the places where God and Jesus are totally rejected, and where the Holy Spirit cannot function. I come on the side of the mosques being destroyed. But, in reality, it probably is another reference to the destruction of Damascus.
“I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the LORD” (verse 5). God’s wrath will break the bar, the power, the strength, and the strongholds of Damascus.
“Aven” was probably a place, a valley where the Syrians worshipped their idols. John Gill said, “Their gods were gods of valleys.” (Read I Kings 20 to see this and what God can do in any circumstance.) Israel worshipped her false gods on mountains and the Syrians of Damascus in valleys.
There was a fulfillment of this prophecy as we can read in II Kings 16 when Ahaz stole the silver and gold from the house of the Lord to pay the King of Assyria for his help when Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came against him in battle. The king of Assyria took the payment, “And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him: for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin” (II Kings 16:9). This was not the fulfillment yet to come.
Notice that verse 5 ends with, “saith the Lord.” Amos was letting them know that, although the words were coming out of his mouth, they were still coming directly from God.
“Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom: But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof: And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD” (verse 6-8). Amos ended verse 5 with, “saith the Lord,” and begins verse 6 with, “Thus saith the Lord.” Seems he wants no doubt Who is doing the talking.
Gaza was the main city of the Philistines. We know they hated Israel and came against her continuously. Wkipedia says, “The Gaza Strip (Arabic: قطاع غزة Qiṭāʿ Ġazzah, IPA: [qitˤaːʕ ɣazza]) lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about 41 kilometres (25 mi) long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres (4–7.5 mi) wide, with a total area of 360 square kilometres (140 sq. mi.). The territory takes its name from Gaza, its main city.”
There are two things the Philistines did that give us an example of how murderous and evil they were to God’s people. First is that they took the sons and wives of Jereboam and killed them or sold them and they took the substance of Jehoram, the evil king of Judah. (II Chronicles 21:17) Second is when Sennacherib invaded Judah and the people fled to Gaza and the surrounding countries for refuge and they sold them to Greece as slaves. (Joel 3:4-6) Their main reason for this was to “Cut off the name of Israel.” (Psalm 83:4) It’s still the desire of the Middle Eastern countries to push Israel into the sea to be remembered no more. God will never allow that to happen. He punished Philistines on several occasions. One such occasion was when Uzziah came against the Philistines and defeated them and broke down the walls of the cities (II Chronicles 26:6). Another time was when Hezekiah fought against the Philistines and defeated them (II Kings 18:8). (The Philistines were also defeated by Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great.)
The wrath of God will be so complete that even the remnant that remains after the first destruction will then be destroyed. As with Damascus, Gaza’s strength, power, and strongholds will not be enough to protect the people from the wrath to come. God names the possessions of the Philistines, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Ekron to show them that no matter which direction they might flea in, they cannot hide from His vengeance to come.
When God speaks to Israel and Judah of His judgment to come, He always gives them the hope that He will save out a remnant to continue on in the covenant. Here the destruction God is warning of will be complete from the spiritual leaders, political leaders, men women and children, all will be destroyed. Other countries will reap the spoils of the Philistines again.
That’s our study.
Father, we gather together tonight in the presence of God to honor Jesus. We will do this by remembering Him and His sacrifice of a body broken for us and His precious Blood poured out for the salvation of your people creation, in Jesus’ name, amen and amen.
I love these two verses, “Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf” (I Corinthians 10:16, 17) because it joins us to Jesus and each other. We are all the “one loaf” the “bride of the Bridegroom.” Taking communion together demonstrates our unity. We are one universal family who are in Christ united by One who loves us all.
When Jesus broke the bread and shared it around the table, He knew one there was a traitor (And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.” [Mark 14:18]) and yet He still loved Him. He gave Judas his portion of the bread just as He did the other 11 men. But, when you think about it, there were two traitors there that night. One, Judas, betrayed him unto death and the other, Peter, denied even knowing him. To me, both were rejection of Jesus. Praise God for His mercy and grace that made a way for Peter to be redeemed and saved.
Jesus reclined at table with His Apostles, “And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer…” (Luke 22:15) What Jesus was telling these men is that, “With passionate longing I have been craving to share this final meal with you all.” They were His inner circle, the men who not only followed Jesus, but sat as his feet to learn.
As He served the Apostles the bread that represented His body, He said, “Take, eat; this is my body. Do this in remembrance of Me” (Matthew 26:26; Luke 22:19). Take of the body now and remember what it cost Jesus.
As they finished chewing, Jesus blessed the cup. “And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:27). “After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me” (I Corinthians 11:25). “Drink ye all of it,” does not mean drink all the wine in it. It means “all of you take some.” Let’s drink of the Blood to remember that without the Blood we would still be dead in sin.
Book of Amos
Chapter 1, Part 3
August 7, 2011
“Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant: But I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces thereof” (Amos 1:9, 10). Tyrus is Tyre. The main transgression of Tyre is that, as with Gaza, they sold the Jews who fled to them for safety, or however they came to be there, to Edom and Greece. They didn’t care a whit for the Jews or their troubles. They just wanted the money they would make from the sale of their bodies into slavery. The people of Tyre seemed to have forgotten the covenant of peace David made with Hiram, king of Tyre (II Samuel 5:11) and later was renewed between Solomon and Hiram so that Solomon called Hiram “brother” (I Kings 9:13). When Solomon signed the pact, there must have been conditions that are not specified in Scripture, but it’s pretty sure one of the stipulations of the pact was that Tyre could never sell the Israelites to other countries. Most treaties then had something like that in them, mostly because the people loved their country and didn’t want to leave it. In Israel’s case, it was the love of their religion and wanting to be in the holy land where they worshipped God and offered sacrifices that would have assured such an inclusion. The Tyrians forgot, or disregarded this covenant in their greed; and for that, God would destroy them.
The broken covenant led God to say He would destroy Tyre by fire (invading army) and break down her palaces. Tyre was destroyed several times, once by Nebuchadnezzar after a 13-year long siege which had been prophesied by Ezekiel. “And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up. For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people. He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee. And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers” (Ezekiel 26:1-3; 7-9). The Assyrians and Alexander the great also made a conquest of Tyre and looted the city it and killed many.
No country has ever come against Israel and not been punish. Israel is God’s holy nation, hand chosen and blessed by Him. Israel will always have a remnant for God to save. Watch the news, see what’s going on there, and see what God will soon do against those who are defiantly standing against God to destroy Israel and/or steal her land. It won’t be pretty.
“Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever: But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah” (verses 11. 12). Edom was already mentioned above as the country that bought and traded in slavery involving the Israelites. There is a reason why Edom is a bitter enemy of Israel. It goes back to the day Jacob listened to his mother, Rebekah, and stole the blessing of Isaac that was due Esau, his older brother. The descendants of Esau never forgave Jacob and so have warred against Israel ever since.
One of the commentators I read said that Edom commits the worst kind of sin against Israel “because hatred concealed in the heart is a transgression without fear” and one which must be punished. This is the “worst kind of sin” because it is committed against their [own] brother. Esau and Jacob were twins. Their progeny should get along, forgive and move on to a better relationship: Instead Edom attacks and kills her brothers. Instead, Edom is the sworn enemy of Israel and when Israel became a state in 1948, Edom said she would push Israel into the sea. Remember that John taught us about hate. He said, “whoever hates his brother is a murderer” (I John 3:15). Proverbs teaches us something they should remember too, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). The same countries that came against Israel in ancient times are the ones causing her all the misery now. They felt the wrath of God’s judgment then, and soon will again.
Cowards that they were, and are, they didn’t come out against Israel and Judah in war themselves, but only attached themselves to other nations battling Israel and Judah. They could be called the “mop-up crew” because what they did was go behind the fighting forces and slaughter the people on the fields who were already almost dead. There was zero compassion in them then, and they still operate with fierce hatred to this day. This is an atrocious sin before God because these people are in the covenant of God through circumcision. They literally killed their blood relatives. They still do.
"Remember, O LORD, against the sons of Edom the day of Jerusalem, who said, "Raze it, raze it, to its very foundation!" (Psalm 137:7) David here tells us that Edom cheered on the Babylonians when Israel fell to them due to their sin. To compound this evil against Israel, Edomites actually helped the Babylonians round up the survivors to move them to Babylon as slaves. We see this written out for us clearly in the little single chapter Book of Obadiah. I strongly suggest you take time to read that Book.
It is widely believed that after Edom was destroyed for the last time, her people were incorporated into the Arab nations. Their hatred may well be what pours fuel on the fire of those nations that come against Israel to destroy her. They will never succeed, but will only bring themselves to the final battle at Megiddo (Armageddon) where all the nations who stood against Israel will be destroyed completely and forever. Why did God come down so hard on Edom? Ezekiel 35:5 tells us it was, "Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred..."
Teman was one of the most important tribes in Edom. The name “Teman” was also used for Edom. Teman is the name of a district in Edom. It was so named after the son of Eliphaz, son of Esau. Bozrah was the capital of Edom.
“Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border: But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind: And their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together, saith the LORD” (verses 13-15).
“Because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead…” Do you doubt this is factual? Do you think that no people could ever be so cruel? Don’t doubt it at all. Some of the atrocities carried out against Israel and Judah should allow us to believe and understand. The hatred of the nations surrounding Israel and Judah was and is so deep that it erases all humanity.
In II Kings 8, we see this same thing happening. When Elisha went to Damascus, Benhadad, king of Syria was sick. Benhadad sent his court official, Hazael, with a gift for Elisha and told him to ask if he was to recover. Elisha said that he surely could recover, but that he would die. Then Elisha began to weep. When Hazael asked him why he was crying, he said, “Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child” (II Kings 8:12). When Hazael returned to the king, he gave him Elisha’s good report not informing him of his final word that he would surely die. Hazael then wet a piece of goat hair fabric and put it across Benhadad’s face under the pretense of cooling his face. Instead, he smothered him. Hazael then became king of Ammon as Elisha had predicted and went on to commit the very appalling acts Hazael said he could never do.
Beside the anger and hatred of the Middle East countries against Israel and Judah, their primary desire was, not only to kill the living Jews, but those who are yet to be born. They wanted God’s chosen race annihilated and their lands taken over “that they might enlarge their borders.” That remains their yearning. Kill the infidel Jews and possess their land. It will never happen.
The wall of fire is again an army that God sent against them. Some say it was Nebuchadnezzar that fulfilled this prophecy and others say it was the Assyrians, others think it was an uprising from within Edom. Either way, Hazael was killed and Benhadad’s son, Benhadad took over the kingdom.
What we have to consider in all this is the wars and uprisings going on in the Middle East. We all long for and pray for peace for the entire world. Peace will never be realized in this world until all the enemies of Israel are terminated and Jesus takes His place on the throne. We must never stop praying for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel because God commands it through the Psalmist David in Psalm 122:6.