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The Oxford Bible Commentary Line-by-line commentary for the New Revised Standard Version Bible.

Style and Structure.

Amos is mainly poetic in form; see especially 1:3–2:6; 3:3–8; 4:6–11; 9:2–4 ; other sections are held together by various literary devices (e.g. 3:9–15; 5:1–17; 6:1–7 ). Later passages often echo earlier ones (e.g. 6:1–7 ǁ 4:1–3; 7:15–16 ǁ 2:11–12; 8:4–6 ǁ 2:6–8; 9:3 ǁ 1:2 ), with many cross-references (e.g. 9:7 ǁ 1:5; 3:2; 9:14 ǁ 5:11 ), suggesting deliberate symmetry (Smalley 1979 ). Other comprehensive structures have been suggested (e.g. Andersen and Freedman 1989: 26; Paul 1991: 6–7; Bovati and Meynet 1994: 237–8); none exhausts all the possibilities. The outline followed here is:

  • Judgement on Nations, including Judah and Israel ( 1:1–2:16 )

  • Indictment of, and Appeal to, Israel ( 3:1–6:14 )

  • Visions, Interpretations, Words of Judgement and Salvation ( 7:1–9:15 )

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