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The Blue Letter Bible

Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Notes for Amos

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Amos was not a graduate of the school of the prophets but was a layman. He was a herdsman and a gatherer of sycamore fruit (Amos 1:1; 7:14, 15). He was a native of Tekoa (Amos 1:1), a village about twelve miles south of Jerusalem. Although born in Judea, his messages were to the northern kingdom of Israel primarily, and to the world in general, as the text indicates.

TIME: His ministry was during the reign of Jeroboam II, king of Israel, and Uzziah, king of Judah. He was a contemporary of Hosea in Israel and of Isaiah and Micah in Judah. The exact time was “two years before the earthquake” (Amos 1:1). This earthquake was of such proportions that Zechariah mentioned it 200 years later (Zechariah 14:5) and identified it as having come during the reign of Uzziah.

THEME: Amos presented God as the ruler of the world and declared that all nations were responsible to Him. The measure of responsibility is created by the light that a nation has. The final test for any nation (or individual) is found in Amos 3:3: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” In a day of prosperity, he pronounced punishment. Judgment of God awaited nations living in luxury and lolling in immorality.

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