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Related Studies

The State of Faith
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Renewing Your Mind


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Old Testament Survey


Key Verses

3:1, 2
4:11, 12
8:11, 12

Key Chapters

Chapter 9

Key Concepts

Transgress, Transgression

Thoughts for Reading

How many burdens does Amos bear?

Amos 4:11-12
I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. 12Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.

Title --Author

Amos means “burden” or “burden-bearer” in the Hebrew.

Amos is described as a southerner of Tekoa, a town south of Jerusalem near Bethlehem (1:1). However, God calls him to preach in the Northern kingdom at Bethel (7:15). Amos was apparently a sheep breeder and a grower of sycamore trees. He was not called to be a prophet from his days in the womb (1:1; 7:14). Bethel was the center of idol worship for the Northern kingdom, so his task could not have been pleasant. Following his evangelistic efforts there, Amos then preached in Judah against Jeroboam II&s resistance (2:4-5; 3:1; 6:1).

During this time, Adad Nirari III (810-753) reigned in Assyria and Hazael ruled in Syria.

All of this makes the dating of Amos around. 767-753 B.C. His ministry came under the reigns of Uzziah (Azariah) in Judah (790-740) and Jerobaom II in Israel (793-753). His ministry is dated as being two years before "the earth quake" (1:1 cf. Zech 14:5), but there is no other reference in Scripture or secular records to date this event. Judah was under the influence of Jeroboam II of Israel during this period, which is probably the height of power for the Northern kingdom (2 Kings14:25-28; Amos 6:14)


Amos 7:8
And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:

The “plumbline” is used in Scripture to represent strict justice (Jer 1:11-13 Zech 5:2). God would now repay the people for their iniquities.

In one simple statement, then, Amos is about the judgment of God against the nation for its abuse of its privileged position.

As with all of the prophets, Amos looks to the coming vindication of God through judgment. This vindication will be against the Gentile nations for their evil doings and against the Jewish nation (all twelve tribes) for their breach of the Abrahamic / Mosaic covenant. In Amos, the breach of the covenant is seen through the social oppression of the people, empty religious ritual, and arrogant self-confidence. Yet, as with all of the prophets, Amos sees a time of restoration, a time of the blessings fulfilled under the covenants.

“Transgress” & “transgression” are used 12 times in Amos.

A simple outline of Amos is:

Jesus in Amos

Amos gives us Christ as:

Amos 3:3
Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Who do you walk with?

How many burdens do you bear by yourself?

Should you bear them alone?




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