Courses

The Book of Amos

I. Title

       The title is the same in Hebrew as it is in the English and Greek translations. The name Amos means "burden" or "burdensome"

II. Author and Setting

       Amos is not mentioned outside of this book. He was from Tekoa, a village about six miles south of Bethlehem, in Judah. Amos was placed after Joel in the canon because it seemed to be an expansion of Joel 3:16: "Yahweh will roar from Zion." In the same way, Obadiah seemed to be an expansion of Amos 9:12: "that they may possess the remnant of Edom." Amos prophesied to the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
       The book is dated between 767 and 753 BC. Political, both the Northern Kingdom under Jeroboam II and the Southern Kingdom, under Uzziah, were at the height of their prosperity. They had most of the nations around them subjugated, and they were free of the fear of external powers. Neither kingdom had any obvious reason to anticipate God's coming judgment, although both kings were suffering a time of moral corruption, luxury, and vice. The corruption existed not only in politics, but also in religion: the prophets and priests were serving God only for profit.
       Prophets contemporary with Amos were Hosea and Jonah.

III. An Outline of Amos

I. The general judgments on the nations 1:1-2:16
II. The specific judgments on Israel 3:1-6:14
III. The symbolic judgment on Israel 7:1-9:10
IV. The millennial glory for Israel 9:11-15

IV. Questions on Amos

1. When did Amos prophesy?
2. To which kingdom did he prophesy?
3. Why is there no mention of "fire" falling on Israel?
4. What clarification does Amos make concerning the "day of the Lord" in chapter five?
5. What was the meaning of the "plumbline"?
6. What sins of Israel are summarized in chapter eight?