Book of Amos: Universal Justice of God

book of amos

Book of Amos

The teachings found in the Book of Amos have resonated with God’s followers for generations and remain pertinent for both individuals and countries today. Despite their separation from their kin in Judah, the Israelites of the north were no less the children of God. However, their lives were marked by a superficial adherence to faith, idolatry, and the mistreatment of the impoverished. Amos, a bold, uncompromising, and truthful shepherd from the southern region, challenged their wrongdoings and cautioned them about the forthcoming divine retribution.

Amos speaks with brutal frankness in denouncing sin. He collided with the false religious leaders of his day and was not intimidated by priest or king. He continued to speak his message boldly. God requires truth and goodness, justice and righteousness, from all people and nations today as well. Many of the conditions in Israel during Amos’s time are evident in today’s societies. We need Amos’s courage to ignore danger and stand against sin.

As you read the Book of Amos, put yourself in the place of those Israelites and listen to God’s message. Have you grown complacent? Have other concerns taken God’s place in your life? Do you ignore those in need or oppress the poor? Picture yourself as Amos, faithfully doing what God calls you to do. You, too, can be God’s person. Listen for his clear call and do what he says, wherever it leads.

Writer of the Book of Amos

The first verse of the Book of Amos identifies it as the work of Amos, one of “the shepherds of Tekoa.” Nothing else is known about Amos apart from what he says about himself in 7:14-15. There he insists he is not a prophet by profession, but a “herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs” whom God entrusted with the special task of carrying a divine message to the people of the northern kingdom.


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Date Written

Probably during the reigns of Jeroboam II of Israel and Uzziah (Azariah) of Judah (about 760-750 B. C.)

To Whom Written

This letter was written to Israel, the northern kingdom. The theme of the letter is the universal justice of God. The Israelites clearly expected a “day of the Lord” when all their enemies would be judged (1:2-2:5). What they were not prepared for was that the judgment of that day would fall on them as well (2:6-9:10). Far from enjoying the favored status, they would be held more accountable than their neighbors.

Theological Contribution of the book of Amos

Amos is known as the great “prophet of righteousness” of the Old Testament. His book underlines the principle that religion demands righteous behavior. True religion is not a matter of observing feast days and offering burnt offerings but seeking God’s will, treating others with justice, and following God’s commands.

Special Consideration in the book of Amos

The Book of Amos is one of the most eloquent cries for justice and righteousness to be found in the Bible. Amos was a humble shepherd who dared to deliver God’s message to the wealthy and influential people of his day. His message is just as timely for our world.

Scripture Study Resources

ESV Study BibleStudy Bibles give you a deeper understanding of God’s Word with tools for life application like commentary, maps, charts, concordance, and study notes. Search our popular translations- NIV, ESV, NKJV, KJV and more!

Believer’s Bible Commentary: Second Edition – A Bible commentary is a written, systematic series of explanations and interpretations of Scripture. Commentaries often analyze or expound on individual books of the Bible, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. Some commentary works provide analysis of the whole of Scripture.

The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible – The best concordance for word study! This exclusive new edition of a legendary classic puts generations of biblical research at your fingertips. A valuable tool for pastors, teachers, and students of the Bible. 

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words – This classic word study resource allows you to study the meaning of biblical words in the original languages without spending years learning Greek or Hebrew. A great resource for students, seasoned pastors, and anyone who enjoys biblical word studies–even if they have little to no formal training in Hebrew or Greek.

Halley’s Bible Handbook – The beloved and classic Bible companion has been thoroughly updated, while retaining its time-honored features and Dr. Halley’s highly personal style, to offer even greater clarity, insight, and usefulness.


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