One cannot understand any phenomenon apart from the setting in which it is found, its context. Biblical texts have a setting in time and place, and have readers/hearers for whom they were prepared - that is they have a context.

Understanding the context is a major step to full appreciation of texts. Reading in Amos 1:2 that "the top of Carmel dries up" speaks only weakly to modern Western readers. However, when one knows that the Carmel ridge catches much of the available moisture in this dry region, and so recognises the reference to a centre of fertility and prosperity, the picture begins to come alive.

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

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