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The Book of Amos

I will do the Amos Commentary similar to my other Commentaries . . . in that I will bring the verse or verses in the KJV, followed by what it is saying to me. What I write will be a personal comment, it is NOT Scripture.

Amos’ prophetic ministry took place during the reigns of Jeroboam II, king of Israel and Uzziah, king of Judah. He was contemporary with Jonah and Hosea who were prophets in the northern kingdom of Israel and with Isaiah and Micah who were prophets in the southern kingdom of Judah.

Amos presents God as the Ruler of this world and states that ALL nations are responsible to Him. In a day of prosperity, Amos pronounced punishment. The judgment of God awaited nations which were living in luxury and lolling in immorality; sound familiar?

Amos was born in Judah, the southern kingdom, but he was a prophet to the northern kingdom. His message was delivered in Beth-el at the king’s chapel. It was most unusual for a man to have come from such a out-of-the-way country place, with a message of judgment against all of the surrounding nations. Amos saw God’s program for the entire world, not only then, but also for the future. This makes Amos a very remarkable prophet.

Amos was born in Tekoa, which is located on a hilly ridge overlooking a fearful desert wilderness that continued down to Dead Sea. The people of Tekoa looked out upon a desolate world. Tekoa was never more than a wide place in the road.
Amos tells us he was a “herdman.” He also says that he was a “gatherer of sycomore fruit,” a small fig which grew on scrub trees in the desert.

Amos was one of God’s greatest men, and a remarkable man. Amos says: “And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel” (Amos 7:15). God sent Amos from down in the wilderness, up to Beth-el, one of the capital cities of the northern kingdom. God called him to preach, God gave him a message, and God sent him to Beth-el.

Beth-el was, at first, the capital of the northern kingdom. It was the place where Jeroboam I had erected one of his golden calves. It was the center of culture and also of cults. The people worshiped that golden calf and had turned their backs on Almighty God. Beth-el was where the sophisticated and the worldly people lived. It was also the intellectual center. They had a School of Prophets there, which taught liberalism. What was done in Beth-el was the thing to do.

Then comes Amos, this country preacher, this prophet of God . . . with a message from God; a most unusual message, different from any other prophet. The clothes that Amos wore, was not like the people wore in Bethel. His message was not what they were used to hearing. When Amos first arrived, people stared at him. Everyone was embarrassed except Amos. He had left the backwoods and had arrived on 5th Avenue. He had left the wilderness and had come to the place of bustling city living and culture.

Amos was in the midst of all this organized religion which was plotting to run him out of town. Some of the leading religious leaders called a meeting. They wanted Amos gone! But God blessed him, and Amos would NOT compromise but continued to preach the Word of God.

Amos was God’s man giving God’s message. Because Israel was religious on the surface (hypocrites) did not mean that God would not judge their sin. Because of their rejection of His law, their deceit and robbery and violence and oppression of the poor, God said: Amos 5:21-24 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. 22 Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. 23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. 24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. (KJV)

It was a day of false peace. In the north was Assyria hanging like a sword ready to fall, and in the next 50 years, it would destroy this little kingdom. Israel was trying to ignore it, and they kept talking about peace. But Amos said, “Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth” (Amos 9:8). His message was not a popular message. He warned that it was God’s intention to punish sin. God’s message then, and today is the same! God does indeed intend to punish sin. Judgment Day looms on the horizon for the world today.

I. Judgment on Surrounding Nations, Chapters 1:1–2:3

A. Introduction, Chapter 1:1–2
B. Judgment against Syria for Cruelty, Chapter 1:3–5
C. Judgment against Philistia for Making Slaves, Chapter 1:6–8
D. Judgment against Phoenicia for Breaking Treaty, Chapter 1:9–10
E. Judgment against Edom for Revengeful Spirit, Chapter 1:11–12
F. Judgment against Ammon for Violent Crimes, Chapter 1:13–15
G. Judgment against Moab for Injustice, Chapter 2:1–3

II. Judgment on Judah and Israel, Chapters 2:4–6:14

A. Judgment against Judah for Despising the Law, Chapter 2:4–5
B. Judgment against Israel for Immorality and Blasphemy, Chapter 2:6–16
C. God’s Charge against the Whole House of Israel (Twelve Tribes), Chapter 3 (Privilege creates responsibility; the higher the blessing, the greater the punishment.)
D. Israel Punished in the Past for Iniquity, Chapter 4
E. Israel Will Be Punished in the Future for Iniquity, Chapter 5
F. Israel Admonished in the Present to Depart from Iniquity, Chapter 6

III. Visions of Future, Chapters 7–9

A. Visions of Grasshoppers, Chapter 7:1–3
B. Vision of Fire, Chapter 7:4–6
C. Vision of Plumbline, Chapter 7:7–9
D. Historic Interlude, Chapter 7:10–17
(Personal Experience of the Prophet)
E. Vision of Basket of Summer Fruit, Chapter 8
F. Vision of Worldwide Dispersion, Chapter 9:1–10
G. Vision of Worldwide Regathering and Restoration of Kingdom, Chapter 9:11–15

Amos 7:15 And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. (KJV) . . . Amos did as he was instructed. How many of us today do that? How many of us serve God as He wants? How many of us preach His Word?


Ch.1 . Ch.2 . Ch.3 . Ch.4 . Ch.5 . Ch.6 . Ch.7 . Ch.8 . Ch.9

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