Amos (book of the Bible)

Amos. Probably written between 760 and 753 BC It is one of the first prophetic books. The author prophesies that God loves mercy and not only formal sacrifices. Amos was born about 12 miles south of Jerusalem, but his prophecies were directed to the northern kingdom (Israel). He taught that the future greatness of Israel would not be secured through power and wealth, but through justice and judgment.

Summary

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  • 1 Synopsis
  • 2 Argument
  • 3 Shepherd and prophet
    • 1 Objective of Amos
  • 4 Prophecies
  • 5 Main verses
  • 6 The book and its message
    • 1 Outline of content
  • 7 Source

Synopsis

Biblical book of the Old Testament and the Hebrew Tanach , which in the Christian Bible is located between the books of Joel and Obadiah .

Argument

Amos can see under the external prosperity and power of Israel ; internally the nation is corrupted to the core. The sins for which Amos rebukes the people are extensive: abandonment of the Word of God , idolatry , pagan worship , avarice, corrupt leadership, and oppression of the poor. Amos begins to pronounce a judgment on all the nations around them, then on his own nation of Judah, and finally the most severe judgment is given to Israel. His visions of God reveal the same emphatic message: judgment is near. The book ends with God’s promise to Amos of the future restoration of the remnant.

Shepherd and prophet

Amos is a shepherd and fruit gatherer from the Jewish village of Tecoa, on the edge of the desert of Judah (Amos 1: 1, when God calls him, although he lacks education or a priestly background. Amos’s mission was to His northern neighbor, Israel . His messages of preventing the nation from being condemned and held captive for its sins, were unpopular and largely neglected, because since the days of Solomon there have been no such prosperous times for Israel. The ministry of Amos has place during the reign of Jeroboam II over Israel , and Uzziah reigned over Judah .

He was a prophet in Israel, the northern kingdom, during the reign of Jeroboam II (783 BC – 743 BC). He wrote the book of the Bible that bears his name. He is considered one of the Twelve Prophets who are called “minor prophets” because of the brevity of his books.

Amos, with the rudeness and direct style of a shepherd and inspired by fidelity to Yahveh, condemned the corruption of the elites, social injustice and ritualism alien to the commitment of life, announcing the end of Israel. Accused by the priest Amaziah of conspiring against the king (Amos 7: 10-11), he was expelled from the temple of Bethel (Amos 7: 12-13). According to the apocryphal “Life of the Prophets” he was wounded in the head by a son of Amaziah, as a result of which he died upon reaching his land.

Amos’s Goal

To teach that Yahweh is the God of the Universe, and that what men call “Natural Law” is nothing other than the empire of the moral order of which God is guardian and Lord. His power is unlimited, and his agency over nature and men is infinite. He threatens and punishes everywhere for violating the above moral order, but he could forgive them if they reform. If he persists in the error, he will destroy all the wicked in a cataclysm that Amos calls “The day of Yahweh”.

Amos’s is a message of terror, threat and punishment, but also of forgiveness, redemption and love. The only means of salvation is conversion to true faith. If Hosea is the prophet of love, Amos is the one of justice, terrible and inexorable, of God.

Prophecies

  • The book of Amos ends with a glorious promise for the future. “For I will plant them on their land, and they will never again be uprooted from their land that I gave them, says Jehovah your God” (9:15).
  • The final fulfillment of God’s promise of the land to Abraham ( Genesis 12: 7; 15: 7; 17: 8) will occur during Christ’s millennial reign on earth ( Joel 2: 26,27).
  • Revelation 20 describes the thousand years of Christ’s reign on earth, a time of peace and joy under the perfect government of the Savior Himself. At that time, the believing Israel and the Gentile Christians will be reunited with the Church and will live and reign with Christ.

Main verses

Amos 2: 4 “Thus says the Lord: For three sins of Judah , and for the fourth, I will not revoke his punishment; for they despised the law of Jehovah, and did not keep his ordinances, and led them astray his lies, after which his parents walked. ”

Amos 3: 7, “For the Lord GOD will do nothing , without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.”

Amos 9:14, “And I will bring my people Israel out of captivity , and they shall build the desolate cities, and inhabit them; They will plant vineyards, and drink their wine, and make gardens, and eat their fruit. ”

The book and its message

He approaches the book of Amos (= Am) with the announcement of the punishment that the nations and cities neighboring Israel will suffer because of the cruelty of their conduct in war. Damascus, Beth-eden, Gaza, Ashdod and other places are mentioned in a series of oracles that precede the condemnation that Judah and Israel have also become creditors (1.3–2.16); for not because they are the chosen people, God will leave unpunished the sins they committed. Quite the contrary, precisely because of their choice, the commitment made by Israel is greater and its responsibility in the eyes of God is greater. Consequently, the more severe will be the sanction that their conduct deserves (3.1–2).

The core message of Amos thus represents a harsh criticism against the Israeli society of the time. The prophet lashes out at the prevailing social injustice, the enrichment of many at the expense of the weak, exploited without compassion (3.10; 5.11; 8.4–6); the bribery and prevarication of judges and courts (5.12); oppression, violence and even slavery to which the poorest are subjected (2.6; 8.6). The prophet proclaims that the Lord will not remain indifferent to such sins, but will punish those who commit them (2.13-16; 4.2-3; 5.18-20; 8.3); that is why he urges all Israel: “Prepare to come to meet your God!” (4.12).

The last part of the book (7.1–9.10) contains a series of visions that prophesy the impossibility of escaping the judgment of God, the imminent punishment that is to come despite the persistent pleas of Amos (7.2, 5). But while such judgment and such punishment are inescapable, it is also true that God does not want to destroy Israel, but to rebuild and restore it, so that it remains, already at liberty, the people of its choice (9.11–15).

Content outline

  1. Trials against neighboring nations (1.1–2.5)
  2. Judgment against Israel (2.6–16)
  3. Complaints and threats (3.1–6.14)
  4. Visions of punishment (7.1–9.10)
  5. Future restoration of Israel (9.11–15)

 

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