Amos 3 –Queen Nefertiti vs. Cleopatra & King Tut

There is no question that King Tut was wealthy, but it does him no good dead.  I can’t believe people think they will be able to take their belongings into the afterlife. 

Yet, there are a lot of greedy, selfish wealthy people that don’t want anyone else to have it.

The Samarians were like that, so I want to take a look at…

Amos 3
The Relationship of Israel to God

1 Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,

In 2002, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) uncovered what may be the administrative palace of the representative of Assyrian ruler King Sargon II (721–705 B.C.) in Ashdod.

2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.

3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

3:3-6 – with these rhetorical questions (involving comparisons) Amos builds up to the statements of vv. 7-8, to explain why he is speaking such terrifying words.  Each picture is of cause and effect, using figures drawn from daily life, and culminating in divine action.

4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? Will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?

5 Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? Shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?

6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Except for the fortress, the large site of Ashdod-Yam resembles sand dunes.

7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

8 The lion hath roared, who will not fear? The Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?

9 Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.

The rich and powerful of Philistia and Egypt are summoned to witness the Lord’s indictment against those who store up ill-gotten riches in the fortresses of Samaria.

“Mountains of Samaria” – courtroom langauge3 as the pagans are on the surrounding mountains witnessing Israel’s behavior, scandalous even to pagans.

“Great tumults” – the result of a violent, selfish power structure that was heedless of the justice called for in God’s law.

10 For they know not to do right, saith the LORD, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.

Hanunu of Gaza, shown on his knees in front of Tiglath-pileser III, formally submits to the king of Assyria. Stone relief from the wall decoration of Tiglath-pileser’s palace at Kalhu.

11 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled.

12 Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.

“As the shepherd taketh out…two legs” – to prove to the owner that the sheep had been eaten by a wild animals, not stolen by the shepherd.

“Be taken out” – only a mutilated remnant would survive.  The nation as such would be more than wounded – it would be destroyed.

High Place of Jeroboam (Temple and Altar Area).
The golden calf shrine in Dan.
This is the shrine built when Jeroboam set up a golden calf in Bethel and Dan. The calf stood on the platform in the middle.
To the left you can see an outline showing where the altar was located.

13 Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord GOD, the God of hosts,

“Hear ye, and testify” – addressed to those summoned in v. 9.  The rich and powerful of Philistia and Egypt are called upon to hear the Lord’s indictment of the rich and powerful in Samaria and to testify that His indictment true and that His judgment is warranted.  Even these pagans will agree with God’s judgment.

14 That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Beth-el: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.

“Altars of Beth-el” – Israel’s sins were rooted in the false shrine built by Jeroboam I at Beth-el.

“Horns of the altar” – even the last refuge for a condemned man will afford Israel no protection.

15 And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the LORD.

“Winter house…summer house” – further signs of opulence that would not benefit their owners on the day of God’s judgment – nor would expensive imported decorations, carvings and inlays of ivory.  Many examples of such carvings have been found in ruined palaces in Samaria and other cities.

King Tut’s Tomb

Howard Carter made one of the most celebrated archaeological discoveries ever when he unearthed the tomb of King Tutankhamun (King Tut) in 1922. 

The death mask of King Tut shows him wearing the royal uraeus and the black eye shadow favored by both men and women in ancient Egypt.

The young king’s mummy and most of the treasures buried with him had escaped centuries of grave robbers, who stripped bare many other ancient burial vaults.

Until recent times, many mummies were stolen and reduced to powder because they were thought to have medicinal properties.  One French king reportedly mixed mummy powder with rhubarb and had some every day, hoping that it would render him invulnerable.

Intact mummies such as King Tut’s, containing DNA and a complete skeletal structure, have revealed much about the genealogy and medical condition of ancient rulers.

Using x-rays, archaeologists detected two injuries that could have been fatal to Tutankhamun—an indentation at the back of the skull that some have interpreted as evidence of murder, and a fracture in the left leg that could have caused gangrene.

What most impressed and captivated the public though, was not Tut’s mummy, but the splendid offerings buried with him, described by Carter as a:

“strange and wonderful medley of extraordinary and beautiful objects.”

The greatest and perhaps now most iconic treasure was the king’s death mask, containing more than 20 pounds of gold.

Other items buried with him to ensure that he remained strong, wealthy, and well fed in the afterlife include:

Linen gloves found in King Tut’s tomb.

Leopard-skin cloak,
Two jars of honey,
Four game boards,
Six chariots,
Eight shields,

12 loaves of bread,
30 wine jars,
34 loincloths,
46 bows,

116 baskets of dried fruit.

…the Samaria ivories