Derived from the Greek word eschaton "last thing". Eschatology is talk about, or the study of, the "last things" (e.g. end of the world, heaven, hell, judgment). In this literal sense there is no eschatology in the prophets. The "end" they foresee is not the end of history but rather an end in history.

The destruction of the Israelite nation that Amos foretells is a definite ending. With its troops decimated (5:3); defenses destroyed (3:11); and her leaders carried off to exile (4:2-3; 5:5,27; 7:11,17) it is perhaps no wonder that Amos could sing a funeral song over the corpse of "the maid of Israel" (5:1-3). In other places the destruction Amos describes is less obviously the work of the Assyrian army and seems to be the result of a theophany like that promised in the hymnic fragments. This is evident in the visions, but passages like 2:13 and 6:11 are open to differing interpretation.

If Amos foresees anything after this "end" it is, by comparison, an undefined and vague restoration. Even in 9:11-15, if these verses can be attributed to Amos, we find little precision to the description of restoration if compared to the detail of his visions of the "end" that precedes it.

This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,

© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.