Introduction. Prophetic books customarily begin with data about their authors.
Amos preached during the reigns of King Uzziah of Judah (783–742 BCE) and King Jeroboam of Israel (786–746), and he owned sheep and orchards (
). Though from Tekoa, a town in Judah, Amos preached primarily to Judah's northern neighbor, Israel (
Jerusalem and Zion
are both names of the capital city of Judah. Carmel is a mountain range near the Mediterranean coast in Israel.
Judgments on Israel's neighbors. In typical two-part judgment speeches, containing indictments and sentences, Amos announces divine judgment on seven of Israel's
closest neighbors (see map on page 1182). The indictments in each case involve acts of brutality against neighboring peoples.
The repetition of for three transgressions…and for four in each indictment is a poetic convention meaning simply “several.” The image of fire in each sentence predicts the violent destruction of the cities indicted. The phrase says the LORD
, which begins and ends these speeches, identifies them as divine oracles
and the prophet
as a divine spokesperson.
Damascus is the capital of the kingdom of Aram northeast of Israel, and Hazael and Ben-hadad are two of its kings. Gilead refers to Israelite territories east of the Jordan. The location of Kir, which Amos regarded as the original home of the
), is uncertain.
Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Ekron are major Philistine cities southwest of Israel on the Mediterranean coast. Edom, to which both Gaza and Tyre (
) deported people, is Israel's neighbor southeast of the Dead Sea.
Tyre is a Phoenician city on the Mediterranean coast northwest of Israel.
Edom is Israel's neighbor to the southeast, and Teman and Bozrah are two of its major cities. Edom's brother may refer to either Israel or Judah (Ob 8–12
The Ammonites, Israel's neighbors to the east, are accused, as is Damascus (
), of crimes against the Israelites in Gilead.
Moab, located southeast of Israel, is accused of crimes against its southern neighbor Edom.
Judah, like Israel to follow (
), is criticized not for crimes against its neighbors, but for crimes within its own society against God's law.
Your access is brought to you by: