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Amos vii 10-17 and Royal Attitudes Toward Prophecy in the Ancient Near East

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image of Vetus Testamentum

This study examines the confrontation between the priest Amaziah and the prophet Amos in Amos vii 10-17 against the background of selected ancient Near Eastern texts that deal with royal attitudes toward prophecy. Texts from Mari, Nineveh, and Lachish all provide evidence for the role of royal officials, including priests, in reporting prophecy to the king in the ancient world. In light of this evidence, Amaziah's actions in this narrative appear to be motivated by state interests more than specifically cultic interests, as suggested in the text by his appeal to the royal sponsorship of the Bethel shrine (v. 13). Read in this way, the narrative points to the complexity of the relationship among priests, prophets, and kings in ancient Israel.

Affiliations: 1: Princeton


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