Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, Old Testament Studies PhD

First Advisor

Richard M. Davidson

Second Advisor

Jacques B. Doukhan

Third Advisor

Roy E. Gane

Abstract

The presence and use of the OT covenant(s) in the book of Amos has been a highly debated issue for the last century among OT scholars. The dissertation attempts to address this issue through an exegetical study of the "Oracles Against the Nations" of Amos 1:2-2:16. This pericope of Amos was chosen because it has played a central role in the argumentation that denies the existence of any notion of covenant in the book.

Chapter 1 introduces the controversy that surrounds the issue of the presence or absence of covenant in Amos, while chapter 2 surveys the scholarly debate and the ideas advanced in the last hundred years.

The exegetical study of Amos 1:2-2:16 begins in chapter 3. This literary pericope is situated within the historical and literary contexts of the book of Amos. These two contexts evidence a tension between salvation and judgment that points to the dimension of "blessings and curses" of the Mosaic covenant.

The specific literary features of Amos 1:2-2:16 are examined inchapter 4. The first seven oracles of the series are seen to be typical oracles of judgment, while the oracle against Israel is a sweeping covenant lawsuit that undoubtedly points back to the Mosaic covenant.

Chapter 5 analyzes the terminology and themes that are related to God, the prophet, and the nations in Amos 1:2-2:16. Elements of four OT covenants are evidenced through this analysis. God is YHWH- -the creator of the universe and Sovereign of the world (universal/Noahic covenant); Israel's covenant God (Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants); the One who dwells in Jerusalem (Davidic covenant). The prophet is YHWH's messenger and covenant mediator (Mosaic covenant). The foreign nations are judged for transgressions of universal laws of God (universal/Noahic covenant), while Judah and Israel are judged for transgressions of the Mosaic law (Mosaic covenant).

The exegetical study of Amos 1:2-2:16 evidenced a substantial presence and use of the covenant motif in this series of oracles. Four OT covenants (universal/Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, and Davidic) are interrelated in the series. The Davidic and Abrahamic covenants provide the general background of the oracles. The universal/Noahic and Mosaic covenants account for the specifics of each oracle.

Subject Area

Covenants--Biblical teaching, Bible. Amos 1:2-2:16--Criticism, interpretation, etc

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