Amos means “burden” or “burden bearer.” Although a herdsman from Tekoa just south of Bethlehem in the southern kingdom, Amos was commissioned by the Lord to preach to the northern tribes.
Amos dates his prophecy in Amos 1:1 as during the reigns of Uzziah and Jeroboam II, specifically two years before the earthquake. That Zech. 14:5 also mentions this earthquake indicates that it was a significant event. Archaeological data from sites such as Hazor give evidence of an earthquake in the mid-eighth century BC, within the general time frame allowed by the two kings mentioned. Given that the reigns of Uzziah and Jeroboam II overlapped approximately from 767 to 753 BC, Amos most likely prophesied between 760 and 755 BC.
Judgment for social and religious sins.
To warn the nation of impending divine judgment because of the abuse and neglect of covenant privileges (Amos 3:2).
The Contribution of Amos to Redemptive Revelation
Peace and prosperity marked the first half of the eighth century BC. However, there was as much corruption as wealth. Moral, social, and religious decay were eating away at the nation and would eventually destroy it. Profiteering, injustice, and immorality were the rule of the day. Money was more influential than truth. The selfish passion to preserve or increase the standard of living defined a code of ethics used to justify any means to the desired end. In spite of vast spiritual problems, the people interpreted their prosperity as evidence of God’s blessing and assumed that they were immune from divine displeasure. In reality they were far from God, and God was anything but pleased. Amos was called and burdened by God to make the nation face reality. He exposed the social and religious sins and warned of impending judgment if there was no genuine repentance. His message underscores the heinous nature of sin and spiritual deadness that can only be remedied by heeding God’s gracious invitation to seek Him in order to live (Amos 5:4,6). Within forty years of Amos’s preaching, the nation, refusing to repent, fell under God’s judgment. Nonetheless, God’s redemptive plan was on course to certain fulfillment as Amos pointed to a time when Gentiles as well as Jews would enjoy the blessings of Christ’s kingdom (Amos 9:11-15). Significantly, James appealed to Amos to justify the inclusion of Gentiles in the first-century church (Acts 15:16-17).
- Introduction (Amos 1:1-2)
- Oracles of Judgment (Amos 1:3-2:16)
- Judgments against Heathen Nations and Judah (Amos 1:3-2:5)
- Judgments against Israel (Amos 2:6-16)
- Warnings of Judgment (Amos 3:1-6:14)
- Judgment Is Impending (Amos 3:1-15)
- Origin of the Judgment (Amos 3:1-8)
- Causes of the Judgment (Amos 3:9-10)
- Extent of the Judgment (Amos 3:11-15)
- Judgment Is Inevitable (Amos 4:1-13)
- Social and Religious Causes of Judgment (Amos 4:1-5)
- Spiritual Callousness to Past Judgments (Amos 4:6-11)
- Ominous Threat of Final Judgment (Amos 4:12-13)
- Judgment Is Escapable (Amos 5:1-15)
- Lamentation for Fallen State (Amos 5:1-3)
- Invitations to Repent (Amos 5:4-15)
- Judgment Is Certain (Amos 5:16-6:14)
- Woe against Carnal Confidence (Amos 5:16-27)
- Woe against Religious Complacency (Amos 6:1-6)
- Divine Determination in Judgment (Amos 6:7-14)
- Visions of Judgment (Amos 7:1-9:10)
- Locusts and Fire Picture Prevented Judgment (Amos 7:1-6)
- A Plumbline Pictures Inevitable Judgment (Amos 7:7-9)
- Parenthesis: Confrontation with a False Priest (Amos 7:10-17)
- A Basket of Summer Fruit Pictures the Imminence of Judgment (Amos 8:1-14)
- The Lord at the Altar Pictures the Inescapability and Discrimination of Judgment (Amos 9:1-10)
- Restoration after Judgment (Amos 9:11-15)
- Restoration of the Kingdom (Amos 9:11-12)
- Universal Prosperity (Amos 9:13-15)
Extracted from: Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible Notes(Beeke, Joel R. 2015. Reformation Heritage Books).