Justice and the City: A Reading of Amos 3:9-15

In: Vetus Testamentum
Jonathan Ben-Dov Dept. of Bible, University of Haifa Israel

Search for other papers by Jonathan Ben-Dov in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



The article strives to understand the urban prophecies in the Book of Amos with a view to spatial and literary concepts. Amos 3:9-15 is a collection of short prophecies, with v. 12 serving as its linchpin. The imagery of vv. 9-11 is part of an urban tradition in biblical literature, which underscores the importance of justice and peace for the maintenance of the city. Verses 12 and 15 constitute one prophecy about Samaria, which intensifies the tension between the city and its surroundings by contrasting items from the urban scenery with a gruesome picture of the lion in prey. Vv. 13-14 constitute a Bethel prophecy, introduced in between the Samaria prophecies. The city is poetically defined by the unification of its surroundings (the wall) with the edifices at its heart. Several cruxes in the interpretation of Amos 3:9-15 are elucidated throughout the discussion.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 386 42 6
Full Text Views 419 2 0
PDF Views & Downloads 243 5 0