"A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?"
Who Was Amos?
Amos was a prophet from the Southern kingdom of Judah called to deliver a message primarily to the Northern tribes of Israel. He was not of priestly, or noble descent, but worked as a sheep breeder and a tender of sycamore fruit (7:14). Amos' name means "burden bearer". Amos was a contemporary of the prophets Jonah (2 Kings 14:25), Hosea (Hosea 1:1), and Isaiah (Isaiah 1:1). Amos came from Tekoa, a small town about 18km South of Jerusalem and 8km from Bethlehem. The village of Tekoa sits on an elevation of 2,700 feet overlooking the wilderness where John the Baptist, eight centuries later, grew up. As a young boy, Amos would have learned of the ministry of the prophet Jonah and he may have witnessed some of the ministry of Elijah and Elisha. Later in his ministry he would have known of the ministry of the prophet Hosea who continued his work after Amos concluded his ministry.
Humble and Bold
Amos was humble in not hiding his station in life. Amos was wise in not preaching over the heads of the people. Amos was fearless in not tickling their ears, but boldly proclaimed the truth. Amos was faithful in proclaiming the Word of God, even when it was unpalatable and unpopular to his hearers. Amos had a refreshing rugged frankness about him as he tore the blinders off peoples' eyes and showed them the inevitable consequences of their idolatry and injustice.
When Was Amos Written?
The Book of Amos was written in the mid-eighth century B.C. during the reigns of King Uzziah of Judah (790-739 B.C.) and King Jeroboam II of Israel (793-753 B.C.). Two years before an earthquake (1:1; Zechariah 14:5) about 760 B.C.