Date:  During the reigns of Uzziah, King of Judah, and Jeroboam, King of Israel.

The Plot

1:3 – 5       Against Syria

1:6 – 8       Against Philistia

1:9 – 10     Against Phoenicia

1:11 – 12   Against Edom

1:13 – 15   Against Ammon

2:1 – 3       Against Moab

2:4 – 5       Against Judah

2:6 – 8       Against Israel

2:9 – 3:15  A reminder of how God has had a special relationship with Israel, and a warning.

4:1 – 9:10  Details of the calamities awaiting Israel

9:11 – 15   Restoration

Passages cited in the New Testament

  • Amos 5:25 – 27 (Acts 7:42 – 43)  Stephen recalls this sad comment from Amos in his speech about Israel’s history of faithlessness.
  • Amos 9:11 – 12 (Acts 15:16 – 18)  This Messianic passage is recalled by James, the brother of Jesus, to point out that God planned for Gentiles to be a part of the Eternal Kingdom.

Unfamiliar references:

1:2             Carmel, a mountain on the northwest coast of Israel, far from Jerusalem.

1:3             Gilead, cattle country on the east side of the Jordan.

1:4             Hazael and Ben-Hadad, kings of Syria.

1:6 – 8       Gaza, Gath, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Ekron were the five cities of the Philistines

2:8             Clothes taken in pledge were to be returned nightly for covering.

2:11 – 12   Nazirites (Numbers 6:1 – 21)

4:1             Bashan, known for its dairy industry, in the northeast of Israel, bordering Syria

5:8             The Pleiades and Orion are constellations.

5:19           Snakes often made nests inside the mud brick walls of houses.  So, it was possible to collapse against the wall in the safety of your home after escaping the lion and the bear, only to break the plaster and be bitten by a snake.

Interesting lines:

3:7             Surely the Lord does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets

4:2             The Assyrians linked captives by fishhooks through the nose.  If it pulled out, it was replaced by a meat hook through the shoulder.

4:4             Bethel was a center of calf worship.  Gilgal was a center of Baal worship.

4:5             No leaven was to be offered with a Mosaic sacrifice.  Pagan sacrifice did.

5:4             Seek Me and live.

5:14 – 15   Seek good and not evil that you may live.

5:18           Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord, for what good is the day of the Lord to you?  It will be darkness and not light.

5:24           But let justice run down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.

7:1 – 6       Amos beseeched God to relent from bringing two calamities on Israel, and God did.

7:7 – 9       God uses a plumb line as an illustration of measuring the uprightness of Israel.

7:10 – 17   Amos is warned by a priest of Bethel, at the behest of the king, to stop saying bad things about Israel and the king.  Amos predicts that priest’s fate.