Did Amos Prophesy the Three Hours of Darkness during Jesus’ Crucifixion or did the Gospel Authors Quote Mine the Book of Amos?

 Image result for image of darkness for three hours at jesus death

  On that day, says the Lord God,
    I will make the sun go down at noon,
    and darken the earth in broad daylight.
   I will turn your feasts into mourning,
    and all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on all loins,
    and baldness on every head;
I will make it like the mourning for an only son,
    and the end of it like a bitter day.

Amos 8:9-10


 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land[h] until three in the afternoon. 34 At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

footnote h: Or earth

–Gospel of Mark 15:33-34

10 thoughts on “Did Amos Prophesy the Three Hours of Darkness during Jesus’ Crucifixion or did the Gospel Authors Quote Mine the Book of Amos?

  1. Christians believe that the alleged three hours of darkness during Jesus crucifixion was prophesied by the OT prophet Amos. Read here:

    “This miraculous darkness appears to fulfill a prophecy of Amos: “On that day, says the Lord God, I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight” (Amos 8:9). Also, the prophet Joel foretells the miracle: “And I will work wonders in the heavens and on the earth…the sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, at the coming of the day of the Lord, the great and terrible day” (Joel 3:3-4).”

    Source: http://taylormarshall.com/2009/04/three-hour-darkness-of-crucifixion-was.html

    But if one reads the entire book of Amos (It’s not that long, read it!), you will see that Amos is not talking about the messiah. This is another example of Christians quote-mining the Old Testament to create Jesus prophecies.


    1. How do you know that the description of the destruction of Troy in Homer’s Iliad is not a prophecy of the future destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE?

      My point: You can read a prophesy into practically any text if you want one to be there.


  2. Gary, according to Risto Santala in THE MESSIAH IN THE PROPHETS, Amos 8 and other such passages in Amos are interpreted Messianically and eschatologically in rabbinical tradition, particularly the Yalkut and Talmud:

    (( In its comment on Amos the Yalqut makes many references to the Messiah. Amos 4:7 says that God will “withold the rain” and will send rain “on one town but not on another”. The Yalqut alludes to the long discussion in the Talmud about the signs of the End Times to which this characteristic belongs and at which time the “Son of David” will come.13 Amos 5:18 says that the day of the Lord “will be darkness, not light”. Again the Yalqut cites the Talmud, which speaks of the coming of the Messiah when “darkness will cover the land and blackness will cover the people”.14 The events of Amos 8:11 and 9:13, which speak first of the “famine of hearing the words of the LORD” and then of the material flourishing which will be extended even to nature, are seen by both the Yalqut and Talmud as taking place in the days of the Messiah. The Midrash Rabbah on Genesis sets forth an interesting discussion of Amos 9:11 and Zephaniah 3:9, which could profitably be written in gold letters:
    “And what of the fact that God will restore the fallen tent of David, as it is written, ‘In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent’? This means that the whole world will be one family (Hebr. agudah, ‘organisation’ or ‘body of people’), as Zephaniah (3:9) promises: ‘Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name af the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder’.”15
    We can see from these citations too that Jewish Messianic expectation often carries an eschatological emphasis.))

    This is an example of how looking up and analyzing messianic issues in Judaism sometimes leads me to find Messianic Biblical references.


    1. I bet I can find a messianic prophecy in any chapter of the Old Testament! Test me. Give me any chapter in the OT and I will give you a messianic prophecy, Racko.


      1. Your challenge is interesting because belief in Messiah is one of the defining required teachings of rabbinic Judaism, yet I talked with one Israeli skeptic on the Skeptics Forum who claimed that the concept of Messiah is not anywhere in Tanakh. I pointed to Isaiah 9 in agreement with rabbinical understanding of the Messianic implication in the chapter, and she replied that it isn’t Messianic, because it speaks of the person in the past tense when it says that the Lord called him the Prince of Peace, etc.


          1. I am curious if there are any passages whose messianic nature is beyond dispute for a hardcore skeptic.

            I think that it’s beyond dispute that Tanakh teaches belief in life after death, like in Isaiah 26. But I came across skeptics claiming that an afterlife is not in the OT.


            1. I believe that ever since the Babylonian captivity and the destruction of the Davidic dynasty, there have been Jews who have yearned for an “anointed one” (messiah) to defeat the foreign overlords, restore an independent Israel, and place a Davidic descendant on the throne of David. Their yearning led them to write poetry and stories about a hoped-for future restoration of Israel. Some of those futuristic poems and stories were later seen as “divine prophecies” by Jews centuries later. So, yes, I believe there are messianic predictions in the OT. However, most of these predictions are vague, the primary prediction being that the “anointed one” will rule over Israel and that there will be world peace…which of course has yet to happen…if ever.


          2. I believe that the Messiah concept existed under David, like when Nathan told him that God would give one of his descendants a kingship with endless dominion and a throne that lasts forever (paraphrasing from memory). Those like the Israeli skeptic I expect would say that this is talking about Solomon, but I don’t think so because of the heightened language.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s