The Bible Book by Book
The Prophet. His name means "Burden," and he is called the prophet of righteousness. His home was at Tokea, a small town of Judea about twelve miles south of Jerusalem, where he acted as herdsman and as dresser of sycamore trees. He was very humble, not being of the prophetic line, nor educated in the schools of the prophets for the prophetic office. God called him to go out from Judah, his native country, as a prophet to Israel, the Northern Kingdom. In obedience to this call he went to Bethel, where the sanctuary was, and delivered his bold prophecy. His bold preaching against the land Of Israel while at Bethel aroused Amaziah the leading idolatrous priest, who complained of him to the king. He was expelled from the kingdom, after he had denounced Amaziah who had perhaps accused him of preaching as a trade, 7:10-14, but we know nothing more of him except what is in this book, which he perhaps wrote after he returned from Tekoa.

The Time of the Prophecy. It was during the reign of Uzziah, king of Judah and of Jereboam II, king of Israel, and was outwardly a very prosperous time in Northern Israel. But social evils were everywhere manifest, especially the sins that grow out of a separation between the rich and poor, 2:6-8, etc. Religion was of a low and formal kind, very much of the heathen worship having been adopted.

The Significance of the Prophecy. One need but read the book of Amos to see that he expects doom to come upon foreign nations, that he foretells the wickedness of the Jews and their coming doom, showing how the nation is to be dissolved and sold into captivity and that he predicts the glory and greatness of the Messianic kingdom. He thinks of Jehovah as the one true God, an a11 wise, all-powerful, omnipresent, merciful and righteous person whose favor can only be secured by a life of righteousness. He sees that justice between men is the foundation of society, that men are responsible for their acts, that punishment will follow failure to measure up to our responsibility, that worship is an insult to God, unless the worshiper tries to conform to divine demands.

I. The Condemnation of the Nations. Chs. 1-2.

1. Introduction, 1:1-2.

2. Israel's neighbors shall be punished for their sins. 1:3-2:5.

3. Israel's sins shall he punished, 2:6-16.

II. The Condemnation of Israel, Chs. 3-6.

1. For civil iniquities, Ch. 3.

2. For oppression of the poor and for idolatry, Ch. 4.

3. Repeated announcements of judgment with appeals to return and do good, Chs. 5-6.

III. Five Visions Concerning Israel, Chs. 7:1-9:10.

1. The locusts, 7:1-3.

2. The fire, 7:4-6.

3. The plumb line (a testing), 7:7-9, a historical interlude (the conflict with Amaziah), 7:10-17.

4. A basket of summer fruit (iniquity ripe for punishment), Ch. 8.

5. The destruction of the altar (No more services), 9:1-10.

IV. Promised Restoration and Messianic Kingdom, 9;11-15.

For Study mid Discussion, (1) Gather from the book a list of illustrations, sayings, etc., that are taken from the rustic or agricultural usages. (2) Make a list of the different nations against which he prophesies and point out the sin of each and the nature of the punishment threatened. (3) Make a list of the different illustrations used to show the greatness and power of God. (4) The sin of wrong inter-relation of nations. (5) The responsibility of national enlightenment. (6) Repentance as seen in this book. (7) The book's evidence of the luxury of the time.

For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books by J.B. TIDELL, A.M., D.D. Professor of Biblical Literature in Baylor University, Waco, Texas
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