The Book of Amos
I. Amos, The Man:
A. A shepherd and farmer, not a professional prophet
B. Earliest prophet whose words have been preserved in written form
C. From the Southern Kingdom (Judah) but was active in the Northern Kingdom
D. Period of relative prosperity in the North
E. Primarily concerned with the apostasy of the Northern Kingdom, especially as it impacted the poor and helpless of society
F. Opposed empty, meaningless external piety
G. Focused on judgment, although some hope for renewal
H. The prophet of social justice
II. Amos, The Book:
A. Basically from two time periods
B. 1-9:10 The collected sermons of Amos (c. 750 BC; see Israelite Prophets' Date Chart)
1. The sins of Israel
2. Coming judgment for failure to obey God
3. Calls for the nation to seek the Lord
4. Attacks on the arrogance of the rich who oppress the poor
5. Visions of the coming destruction of the nation
C. 9:11-15 Later expansion for the Southern Kingdom (6th-5th century BC)
1. Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom
2. Promise of restoration of the nation in exile
III. Key Passages in Amos
A. 2:6-16 They sell the righteous for silver and the needy for a pair of shoes.
B. 5:1-17 Fallen is the virgin Israel . . . Seek the Lord and live.
C. 5:18-24 . . . let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
D. 6 Woe to those who are at ease in Zion . . . you have turned justice into poison.
E. 8 The end has come . . . a famine not of bread but of hearing the words of the Lord.
F. 9:11-15 I will raise up the fallen booth of David . . . I will restore the fortunes of my people