Christian History

Introduction to Amos

Amos was one of the Twelve Minor Prophets who came from the southern Kingdom of Judah but preached in the Kingdom of Israel. He was an older contemporary of Hosea and Isaiah and was active during the reign of Jeroboam II. Let us know more about Amos and the major events that happened in his life based on the Book of Amos.

The Prophet AmosName: Amos

Nickname: Minor Prophet – His book in the Bible is included in this group, it should not be taken as his message or he himself is less important than any of the major prophets

Personality:

  • Condemning (On behalf of God)
  • Judging (On behalf of God)
  • Steadfast
  • Faithful
  • Obedient

The Book of Amos

His oracles can be found in the biblical book of Amos. It is traditionally placed at the beginning of the Twelve Minor Prophets and Amos is the earliest of them. The nine chapters in the Book of Amos are written in a poetic style beginning with a prose introduction. The book includes three kinds of composition such as, oracles telling of impending doom against Judah, Israel, and the neighboring people, a short description of the life of the prophet, and a few verses which scholars generally agree are later additions.

Major Events in Amos’ Life

Amos was from the Judean town of Tekoa, near modern Bethlehem in Israel and his activities probably took place during the reign of Uzziah or also known as Azariah, King of Judah, and Jeroboam II, King of Israel.

Before Amos became a prophet, he used to be a sheep herder and a sycamore fig farmer. When he was called by God, Amos told the people that he was not the son of a prophet nor was he a prophet. What he meant was that he was not from the school of prophets, which should indicate that he was a real prophet sent by God. This declaration marks a turning-point in the development of the Old Testament prophecy.

Amos pronounces that Israel was going to endure punishment for their misdeeds. He was told to leave Israel by the king Jeroboam II.

Amos also condemned the eight nations surrounding Israel for deplorable crimes they had committed. The Ammonites had ripped pregnant women apart in attempts to expand their territory. The Moabites had burned the king of Edom’s bones to lime.

Amos admonished Israel for extorting the poor to get rich. He also scorned them for many excesses present in the countries surrounding them as well. Amos then reminds Israel of past punishments and that Israel will not escape another punishment like the previous.

Amos told Israel the only way to avoid the coming judgement was to turn to God and become righteous.

Amos paints a picture of the coming judgement as a swarm of locusts, a fire, and a plumb line. He says Israel is like a bowl of fruit that quickly rots.

Amos ends his book by writing a quote from God detailing the destruction of Israel, but also a note of hope with the restoration of David’s line, Jesus, and the end of days.

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