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Amos 9:11 (ESV):

In that day I will raise up
    the booth of David that is fallen
and repair its breaches,
    and raise up its ruins
    and rebuild it as in the days of old

What does the "booth of David" refer to in this context? Is it the temple? The Davidic dynasty? Something else?

For clarity: I am inquiring about the meaning of the "booth of David" as an antecedent to whatever is its fulfillment, not its meaning in fulfillment.

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Booth

In that day, I will set up again the fallen booth of David: I will mend its breaches and set up its ruins anew. I will build it firm as in the days of old (Amos 9:11 JPS Tanakh 1999)

"Booth" is סֻכָּה. Here is the entry from Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon: enter image description here

As noted, there are two uses, Psalm 18:12(11) and Job 36:29 which reference a habitation of God. As something to be rebuilt, these should not be connected to this prophecy about David. Likewise a booth for cattle or lair of a lion make little sense. Also the meaning in Amos is a booth made from branches, not a אֹהֶל ("tent" or "tabernacle"):

  • a booth made of branches and "natural" materials is a temporary shelter
  • a tent made of cloth or other fabric is a more durable and portable shelter

The most common use of סֻכָּה is with the last annual feast of the LORD:

“Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths (הַסֻּכּ֛וֹת) to the LORD. (Leviticus 23:34) [ESV]

You shall dwell in booths (בַּסֻּכֹּ֥ת) for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths (בַּסֻּכֹּֽת), that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths (בַסֻּכּ֗וֹת) when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 23:42-43)

The "booth" associated with David seemingly would be the one in which he would observe this feast. Yet it will be the LORD, who will build this booth and, presumably, bring David to occupy it, as He brought His people out of Egypt to inhabit Israel.

David's Restored Booth
Amos is prophesying during the time the nation is divided. In particular, there are two false places of worship Jeroboam established in Dan and Bethel specifically to deter people from going to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices in the Temple:

So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” (1 Kings 25:28)

The people living in the Northern Kingdom would not observe the Feast of Booths in Jerusalem; they sacrificed to Jeroboam's calves as the gods who brought them out of Egypt. On the other hand, the people in the Southern Kingdom would remember the LORD God brought them out of Egypt by gathering in Jerusalem, building booths and living in them for 7-days. Therefore, the vision of David observing the Feast of Booths in Jerusalem, describes a future, messianic time:

Rabbinic sources understand the reference to setting up the fallen booth of David as pointing to the messianic era (e.g. b. Sanh. 96b-97a). Some Jewish medieval commentators understood the booth as a reference to the Temple, but the majority to the Davidic kingdom. Most modern scholars associate the image of a fallen booth of David with the fall of the monarchic Judah. Ibn Ezra associates the verse with Hezekiah's successful stand against Sennacherib (see 2 Kings 18.13-19.37; Isa. 36.1-37.38; 2 Chron. 32.1-23). (The majority of contemporary historians agree that Hezekiah was not successful against Sennacherib, either militarily or politically [see 2 Kings chs 18-20]. But the image of Hezekiah's success had already in biblical times become central to the way Israel understood its past.)1

The mended breaches and rebuilt ruins of David's booth as in the days of old literally means a time when the kingdom was united and celebrated the Feast of Booths in Jerusalem with David; when the Ark was present in a tent (not a Temple) David built for it:

17 And they brought in the ark of the LORD and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. 18 And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts 19 and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed, each to his house. (2 Samuel 6)

David's observance(s) of the Feasts of Booths took place in Jerusalem when the kingdom was united under his reign and the Ark was in a tabernacle (אֹהֶל) David had set up for it but absent a Temple. Then the prophecy means the kingdom is once again united under David's rule. We do not have instructions as to how a family would observe the feast, but if all were "under one roof" then one could also see the prophesy also implying a restoration of David's family. Since the Feast is observed for 7-days followed by an 8th day of Sabbath rest, the booth is meant to be a temporary shelter and upon completion of the 8-days, "normal" activities are resumed. That is to say, the Davidic rule over Israel would be restored.

The prophecy of David observing the Feast of Booths also evokes Zechariah's prophecy:

Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. (14:16)

Amos and Zechariah complement one another and show how the promise to David will be fulfilled and how all nations will worship the King, who is the LORD of Hosts.


  1. Ehud Ben Zvi, The Jewish Study Bible, Edited by Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 1192
  • I agree with the rabbinic sources quoted portion except it referencing the temple. Firstly David never had a temple but I agree on the two other points because I think they are right. Davidic kingdom and fall of the monarchic Judah. – Nihil Sine Deo Jul 10 at 16:09
  • A wow answer. As I picture it, though, the booth was built for the ark, not for David. David had it built. So I see it with the ark alone in the booth with all the people outside. – Ruminator Aug 4 at 0:33
  • @Ruminator Thank you. I would have thought so too. But the "tent" David made for the Ark is a אֹהֶל. The booth of David which will be restored is a סֻכָּה. Two different words; two different types of "tents." – Revelation Lad Aug 4 at 1:58
  • @Ruminator אֹהֶל is rendered as tabernacle 198 times; the other word is מִשְׁכָּן which is translated as tabernacle 147 times. The LXX uses σκηνή at Amos 9:11, which Paul never uses. In 2 Cor 5 the word is σκῆνος which is derived from σκηνή. FWIW these are the only 2 uses in NT or LXX. – Revelation Lad Aug 4 at 2:18
  • Thank you for that valuable information. So how are they different? – Ruminator Aug 4 at 2:23
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I did a quick search in the LXX and it landed me in the book of Acts where James seems to shed light on the passage.

“After they finished speaking, James replied, "Brothers, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, "'After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old.' Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God,” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭15:13-19‬ ‭

The booth is therefore God’s Israel.

“For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.” ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:15-16‬ ‭

This is tied into the fact that all of Israel, all twelve tribes will be saved which is a reflection of David’s kingdom, as he had all twelve tribes under his reign.

please check this link out about the twelve tribes

This is also consistent with the passage about the wheat and the chaff two verses earlier in Amos 9

“"For behold, I will command, and shake the house of Israel among all the nations as one shakes with a sieve, but no pebble shall fall to the earth.” ‭‭Amos‬ ‭9:9‬ ‭

Notice it’s not the house of Judah which would have been just the house of David. Judah and Benjamin but it’s all Israel. And the fact that not even a pebble falls down after the shaking says that these grains, are the true house of Israel, in that day or after that day.

the relationship of wheat and chaff

It comes down to God bringing about the true Israel just as David was a man after God’s heart so will the Israel of God be after God’s own heart.

“But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel (by bloodline) belong to Israel (by the will of God John 1:13), This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭9:6, 8‬ ‭

That is my understanding of what the booth of David refers to, the restored twelve tribes not according to bloodlines but by faith in Jesus Christ.

Booth

In light of the clarification to the question, let’s explore the choice of wording for booth. As opposed to tabernacle, tent or house.

Fact is that most people in Israel still lived in tents even in the time of Rehoboam and much later in the times of the prophets.

1Ki 12:16  And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.” So Israel went to their tents

But it’s more than just a reference to a tent it’s a booth, sukkot after all, which should trigger the reference to the feast of the sukkot or tabernacles as it’s translated.

This is the last and final feast of the year when Israel would build booths to celebrate before the Lord the first fruits. Leviticus 23:33-36

It also says it’s a repairing of the existing booth not a new booth. This is referencing the house of David 1 Chronicles 17 which is mirrored in the angel’s announcement to Mary

“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭1:32-33‬ ‭

This is saying that Amos 9:11 will happen when the kingdom of David will be re-established

It’s David’s booth because the king clearly had a part in the feasts of the sukkot.

It’s also a booth because it’s not all of Israel, it’s only the remnant, those few who truly love God, who are faithful.

“So the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, As a hut in a garden of cucumbers, As a besieged city. Unless the LORD of hosts Had left to us a very small remnant, We would have become like Sodom, We would have been made like Gomorrah.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭1:8-9‬ ‭

The booth and the small remnant are equated. This is mirrored in Jesus’ words

“Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭

But the remnant is also a Holy SEED; so booth, remnant, Holy Seed all the same

“But yet a tenth will be in it, And will return and be for consuming, As a terebinth tree or as an oak, Whose stump remains when it is cut down. So the holy seed shall be its stump.”” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭6:13‬ ‭

The booth draws on the sukkot feast which is the remnant that comes down the restored line of the Davidic throne, they represent God’s portion, which is the FIRST fruits or the tithe.

(I don’t want anyone to get the impression that just because few find it and percentage wise it’s a smaller number that they are numerically not many

““I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, Like a flock in the midst of their pasture; They shall make a loud noise because of so many people.” ‭‭Micah‬ ‭2:12‬)

  • Thanks, I think you're saying the "booth of David" is a reference to (a portion of?) the united kingdom under David - and that the prophecy of its restoration finds fulfillment in the events in Acts 15? Am I following you right? – Soldarnal Jul 9 at 20:09
  • Yes @Soldarnal and that portion is not exclusive as the Old Covenant to bloodlines and prozelyte transfer but rather rebirth through faith in Jesus Christ into a new creation. IN HIM, In Christ who is the promised heir of the throne of David whose kingdom is eternal. It’s a booth because unless you are IN HIM you have no part with Him. – Nihil Sine Deo Jul 9 at 20:27
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Caleb Jul 10 at 13:05
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    A doozy of an insightful post. Wow. – Ruminator Aug 4 at 0:43
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What is the “booth of David” in Amos 9:11?

It is the Davidic dynasty.

The booth or royal house of David fell when King Zedekiah was dethroned by the Babylonians (Amos 9:11, Ezekiel 21:25-27 NASB)

25" And you, O slain, wicked one, the prince of Israel, whose day has come, in the time of the punishment of the end,’ 26 thus says the Lord God, ‘Remove the turban and take off the crown; this will no longer be the same. Exalt that which is low and abase that which is high.

The booth was to be rebuilt with David's descendant, Jesus as the permanent King.

Ezekiel 21: 27 A ruin, a ruin, a ruin, I will make it. This also will be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him."

Acts 2:29-36 (NASB)

(Part of Peter's sermon)

29 “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses."

33 "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says:"

James at the meeting of the Apostles and the Elders in Jerusalem about 49 C.E., pointed out that the prophecy of Amos 9:11 was being fulfilled, that the Tabernacle (Booth) (Koine Greek σχηνην =tent) of David was to be rebuild so that people from mankind, both Jews and Gentiles can be gathered as Kingdom heirs (Acts 15:13-19) Their number totals 144,000 and is said that they have been redeemed from mankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb. ( Revelation 14:1-4, James 1:18)

Romans 8:17 (ASV)

17 "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him."

  • @ Ruminator: Your question applies to : Jesus the first-fruits, others to follow 1 Corinthians 15:22-23 for the heavenly resurrection. For the earthly resurrection John 11:38-44 , John 5:28-29 .These are the meek which will inherit the earth Matthew 5:5 , Psalm 37:11 These are also referred to as the "sheep" in the parable the "goats and the sheep." – Ozzie Nicolas Aug 4 at 14:27
  • By this do you mean that the 144,000 were "caught up" to God? Because that is my understanding though I can't find any evidence of it in the sketchy history of the first century. – Ruminator Aug 4 at 14:31
  • @ Ruminator; Additional verses on the First-fruits the 144,00 . Rev. 14:1-4, 1 Cor. 15:20,23. James 1:18. Romans 11:16 NRSV. The Christian Scriptures give emphasis to the heavenly resurrection . Other names for those of the heavenly resurrection , "Faithful and wise servant" Mat. 24:45, " Chosen race and Royal Priesthood" 1 Peter 2:9," Little Flock" Luke 12:32, " Israel of God" Gal. 6:15-16, "Least of these brothers " Mat. 25:37-40, "Remnant" Rom. 9:27, "House of Israel" Heb 8:10. There are still some others but I cannot bring them to mind.. – Ozzie Nicolas Aug 4 at 21:23
  • So, not "caught up"? And actually, I meant, caught up to meet Christ in the air. – Ruminator Aug 4 at 21:25
  • @ Ruminator: Narrow your question to verses. Are you perhaps referring to 1 Thessalonians 4:14, Matthew 24:30 or 1 Corinthians 15:50-53 ? – Ozzie Nicolas Aug 5 at 14:28

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