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Why Read Amos? Amos is a relatively short book of prophecies, delivered at roughly the same period as Hosea. To understand its significance, note the following:

Ch.1 & 2 A Broader Accounting to seven other people groups before
Ch.3-9 Against Israel.

Amos himself was “a shepherd, and … took care of sycamore-fig trees, but who “the Lord took … from tending the flock and said …., “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.” [7:14,15]


Cause of disaster: God! see 3:3-8 etc.


Israel's failures:

3:10 they have greedily plundered others

3:14, 5:5,26 idolatry

5:7,10, 6:12 thrown aside righteousness and justice

5:11,12, 8:4,6 oppressed the poor

5:21-23 godless religiosity

6:4-16 slothful lives of wealth and privilege but not caring for the nation

6:13 unwarranted pride

8:5 disdaining the sabbath


The Judgments experienced by them [past] or declared on them [future]:

3:11 They will be plundered by others

4:2,3 They will be hauled out of the land   

4:6 famine

4:7,8 drought

4:9 blight, mildew, locusts

4:10 plagues

5:5,27, 6:7 exile

5:16,17, 6:8-10, 8:14, 9:1,8 destruction & death in city and country

6:11 destruction of their big houses

6:14 invasion

7:9 destruction of their places of worship

8:2,3 impending attack and death

8:8-10, 9:5,6 upheaval, darkness, and mourning


Note in some of the above e.g.4:6-10 these seem to be disciplinary judgments Israel had already experienced and should have responded to. Most of the others are various aspects of the coming judgment that will involve destruction, death, and exile. The warnings are vivid and accurate in the light of what followed. Repentance is mostly implied as the requirement to avoid this destruction.


A Future Hope? The fact that there are relatively frequent references to exile suggests the possibility of restoration which is not spelt out until the end of the last chapter, 9:11-15, i.e. although being sent into exile that does not mean the extinction of Israel.


Historical Context: As 1:1 shows us, these prophecies come in the reigns of Uzziah of Judah [767-740/39] and Jeroboam II [782/81-753] i.e. sometime in these timeframes.




Ch.1 – An Accounting for FIVE people groups

Ch.2 – An Accounting for Moab, Judah, and then Israel

Ch.3 – The Lord continues to speak against Israel

Ch.4 – Israel has not returned to God

Ch.5 – Lament, a call to repentance, and the coming of the Lord

Ch.6 – Woe to the complacent, idle rich

Ch.7 – Judgments, Intercession & Rebuke

Ch.8 – A basket of ripe fruit & the coming judgment

Ch.9 – Destruction and Restoration



Continue to Chapter 1