Understanding The Bible
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Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETIC BOOKS
AMOS: Introduction and Simple Outline
DATE: Amos prophesied in the reigns of Uzziah (Azariah) of Judah and the latter part of Jeroboam II of Israel, 765-755 BC (see 2 Kings 14:23-15:7; 2 Chronicles 26).
CONTEMPORARIES: It would appear that Ho sea represents the only overlap prophet with Amos. He is evidently after Jonah's time.
PROPHESIED TO: Mainly to ISRAEL, the Northern (10-tribe) Kingdom.
THEME: Verse 2, the "Lord will roar, " and desolations will result. Thus, it is a book emphasizing God's judgments upon sin, both of His people and that of surrounding nations.
Judgment announced 1-2
Four prophetic addresses showing reasons for judgment on God's people 3-6
Sevenfold warning enforced with five visions 7:1-9:10
The promised restoration: Future glory of Davidic Kingdom 9:11-15
Under I. Judgment announced, Amos first announces doom upon Gentile nations surrounding God's people (1:3-2:3), then upon God's people, Judah (2:4-5) and Israel (2:6-16). Key cities of Syria (Damascus), Philistia (Gaza), Phonecia (Tyrus), Edom (Bozrah), Ammon (Rabbah), and Moab (Kirioth), are addressed in announcing the judgments upon surrounding Gentile nations. The phrase "For three transgressions. . .and for four" is simply an idiom which means "for repeated transgressions."
HIGH POINT: The high point of the book is when the prophet Amos, from the Southern Kingdom, which still maintained the worship of Jehovah in the temple of Jerusalem, is challenged by Amaziah, who presided over the idolatrous temple built by Jeroboam I at Bethel. Amos courageously stands his ground and intensifies the message of judgment rather than dilutes it. Amaziah's duplicity in dealing with the king and Amos, posing as the friend of each, is a major characteristic of one who holds no doctrinal convictions, and tries to get along with everybody at the expense of honest action.
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