Amos ~ “Burden Bearer”


Likely Amos (see 1:1). Amos was a 'Hillbilly' character from the Southern Kingdom (Judah) who was sent to the Northern Kingdom (Israel) (see 7:14-15).

Date and Context

The introduction of this book places the prophecy in the rule of Uzziah over Judah and that of Jeroboam II over Israel. This would date the book to around 760 - 750 BC. In this time, Israel was enjoying tremendous prosperity and wealth as is alluded to in the book of Amos (references to summer houses and ivory in 3:15 and 6:4).


  • The Justice of God's Judgements. God's judgements against His people do not exceed the crime. This book spends a lot of time describing the rebellion of Israel (along with other nations) against God.


0. Introduction [1:1]

I. God's Judgement Against the Nations [1:2 - 2]

A. Judgement against seven nations [1:2 - 2:5]

B. Judgement against Israel [2:6 - 2:16]

II. The Words and Woe of God [3 - 6]

A. First Word: against Israel [3]

B. Second Word: against extravagant women [4]

C. The consequences of judgement [5]

D. Woe to Israel [6]

III. Visions [7 - 9]

A. Four Visions [7 - 8]

  1. Locust [7:1-3]

    • A 'potential' punishment for Israel (see Deuteronomy 28:38-42)
  2. Fire [7:4-6]

    • A second, 'potential' punishment for Israel
  3. Plumb Line [7:7-17]

    • God's chosen, just judgement
  4. Basket of Summer Fruit [8]

    • Summer fruit in the Middle East would not last long. They would ripen, and spoil, very quickly.

B. A vision of the justice and mercy of God in judgement [9]


  • There are various 'structural markers' (repeated refrains) throughout this book. These help communicate an idea through repetition and offer a way for listeners/readers to mentally structure the content. In chapter one, the phrase "For three transgressions... and for four..." is used to begin each of the judgements on the seven nations. In chapter three, the word "citadel" or "strongholds" is repeated. In chapter four, the phrase "'Yet you have not returned to Me', declares Yahweh." is repeated. In chapter five, Israel is repeatedly encouraged to "seek". The visions of chapter seven and eight are each introduced with the refrain "Thus the Lord, Yahweh showed me and behold".

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