Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2020.

Degree Name

Doctor of Sacred Theology (STD)


Gina Hens-Piazza


Amos 2:6-8, commonly referred to as the Oracle Against Israel constitutes the focus of this study. The oracle deals primarily with domestic crimes committed against right relationship among members within the Israelite community (as enshrined in the covenant). However, this oracle against Israel is conspicuously situated within a cycle of oracles, characteristically known as the Oracles Against the Nations. This study argues that this placement of the Oracle Against Israel (Amos 2:6-8) is not accidental. Rather it serves as the culmination of the Oracles Against the Nations (Amos l :3-2:8) disclosing that when injustice reigns within a nation, it reaps consequences not only for the least of its citizens but also for peoples residing beyond its borders.

Four key linguistic and literary features are studied in marshalling evidence to support this argument: (1) the placement and emphasis on Israel's transgressions. (2) the use of the word (3) the use of the formula of irrevocability and (4) the use of the staircase numerical formula. An in-depth analysis of these components demonstrates that Israel is at the heart of the disorder erupting among its neighboring nations, as detailed in Amos 1:3-2:8.

Israel's election was about attracting all humanity to God; it was summoned to be a light to the nations. As the Oracle Against Israel details the injustice in its own house, the possibility that it could be a means of blessings for other nations becomes remote. And that these other nations, as detailed in the Oracle Against the Nations, arc now portrayed in hostile and warring relations with each other suggests some culpability on the part of Israel. Thus, when injustice reigns within Israel among its own citizens, the consequences reach beyond its borders. But such a dynamic is not confined to Israel but is evident even in my own country of Nigeria today.

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