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The Book of Amos
Introduction to the Book of Amos in the Bible

Amos 1:1 - The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake. And he said, The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.

Amos 5:11-12 - Forasmuch therefore as your treading [is] upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them. For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate [from their right].

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survey - Amos
Hebrew Name - Ahmos "burden"
Greek Name - Amos (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Amos (According to Tradition)
Date - 787 BC Approximately
Theme - The Kingdom of David
Types and Shadows - In Amos Jesus is the One who sees the great sins

Summary of The Book of Amos

Quick Overview of Amos. – – 1:1-2:5 – – God's condemnation of the nations surrounding Israel – – 2:6-16 – – the people of Israel's moral and social sins– – 3 – –God's punishment – – 4 – – God's warnings – – 5 – – "seek Me and live"

The prophet Amos was born in the territory of Judah but he prophesied to the northern kingdom of Israel and the wicked King Jeroboam II. Amos prophesied against the nations around Israel and also condemned the northern kingdom of Israel for breaking God's laws. He prophesied at the city of Bethel where King Jeroboam II resided, which had become a center for idol worship. He prophesied that the Israelites would be conquered by the Assyrians and removed from this place. Amos said that God could no more be in a relationship with the people of Israel that a man could be with an adulterous wife.

Amos prophesied during "the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel" (Amos 1:1). The prophet Amos was from the city of Tekoa which was high in the hill country 5 miles north of Bethlehem overlooking the wilderness of Judah. It was a place of flocks and herds, and sheep and goats. Amos was perhaps the most unexpected of all the prophets, he had no background among the prophets, nor was he a son of a prophet. Amos was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore trees when he received his call from God "the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me 'go, prophesy to my people Israel' " (Amos 7:15).

Because Amos prophesied during the time of King Uzziah of Judah there was no doubt much prosperity in the land. In fact even the northern kingdom had gained great prosperity during the reign of Jeroboam according to the book of Kings (2 Kings 14:23-29). The prophet Amos focused his message of the chief cities in the northern kingdom, Bethel, the residence of the king and Samaria, the capital city. These cities were greatly prosperous, they had been enlarged and were on the main trade routes. Amos directed his message on the wealthy who were robbing the poor, they were living in luxury in their sumptuous houses (Amos 3:15). He likened their materialistic wives as "cows of Bashan" (Amos 4:1). They were gloating in all of their lusts and pomp and yet God saw what they were doing, for they were lacking justice, they had lost mercy, and they disregarded the poor. They were careful to groom their shrines and altars, yet they had forgotten the Lord and were given over to the most grotesque sorts of immorality, abuse, fornication, and drunkenness especially at the places of worship. God would not tolerate their ways and the prophet Amos came to announce the wrath of God.

The contents of the book may be analyzed further as follows :

Outline of the Book of Amos

The message of Amos, except for the last chapter, is one of pure condemnation and judgment. In the first two chapters, he announces that the whole area of the northern kingdom of Israel was going to suffer punishment for its evil. He also named some of the most heinous crimes of the eight nations around Israel as he lamented who were also guilty. The depravity of these nations are spoken against and clearly described. The Ammonites are condemned "because they have ripped up women with child in Gilead that they might enlarge their border" (Amos 1:13); doom is promised to the Moabites because their taste for revenge was so strong that they burned to lime the bones of the king of Edom (Amos 2:1).

After condemning the neighboring nations, Amos turns his attention to Israel. He scorns them for the wealth they have gained at the expense of the poor (Amos 2:6-7) and for the same excesses that he mentioned about the nations around them. In Amos 4 he reminds them of the punishments which God had formerly used to recall his people from sin and warns them that this generation shall not escape a like trial - "therefore this will I do unto thee, O Israel and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel" (Amos 4:12). The Israelites were warned that the only course which they can follow to avert the imminent disaster is to seek the Lord and to "let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream" (Amos 5:24).

The coming destruction is pictured in Amos 7 by the visions of a plague of locusts, a fire and a plumb line used for measuring the people for destruction. Israel is pictured as a basket of summer fruit (Amos 8:1), a graphic figure of the short lifespan of the northern kingdom of Israel.

The closing verses of Amos' prophecy ring hope as he speaks of the restoration of the Davidic line, referring no doubt to the Messiah.

The influence of Amos' rugged herdsman background is seen in his use of the many agricultural metaphors which he uses, as well as in the rough manner that he delivers his message, not caring who was trying to silence him (Amos 7:10-17).

Throughout the prophecy of Amos it is easy to see his unswerving message that God sees the greatest sins and they will not go unpunished, and the righteousness of God will ultimately triumph.

Read Amos
Amos
Read the Book of Amos in the Bible Select a Chapter
Amos 1 Amos 2 Amos 3 Amos 4 Amos 5
Amos 6 Amos 7 Amos 8 Amos 9


More About the Book of Amos
Amos in the Picture Study Bible
Chart of the Prophets of Israel and Judah
Timeline of the Ancient World
Back to the Old Testament
Back to Bible History Online

The Story of the Bible - Part One - The Old Testament


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The Story of the Bible

The Old Testament
About
Divisions
Timeline
Charts
Maps

Creation
Adam and Eve
The Flood
The Tower of Babel
Abraham the First Hebrew
Isaac, Son of Promise
Jacob and the 12 Tribes
Joseph and Egypt
Moses and the Exodus
The Giving of the Law
The Tabernacle
The Wilderness Wanderings
Joshua and the Promised Land
The Judges
Samuel the Prophet
Saul, Israel's First King
King David
King Solomon
The Divided Kingdom
The Northern Kingdom of Israel
The Southern Kingdom of Judah
The Assyrian Captivity
The Babylonian Captivity
The Return From Babylon
The Prophets
The Messiah

Conclusion
Bibliography and Credits

Summary of the Old Testament Books

Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Joshua
Judges
Ruth
Samuel
Kings
Chronicles
Ezra
Nehemiah
Esther
Job
Psalms
Proverbs
Ecclesiastes
Song of Solomon
Isaiah
Jeremiah
Lamentations
Ezekiel
Daniel
Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habakkuk
Zephaniah
Haggai
Zechariah
Malachi

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