Introduction to Amos
Although Amos lived in Judah, he was greatly exercised about Israel’s increasing departure from the true faith in Jehovah, and so directed his prophecy mostly against the northern kingdom. He was a contemporary of Hosea, probably somewhat older.
Amos makes a special point of the fact that he had been merely a shepherd, rather than a priest or trained prophet when God called him to the prophetic ministry (Amos 7:14-16). His prophecies included divine judgments on various other nations (Syria, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon and Moab) before turning his attention to the sins of Judah and Israel. His judgments were envisioning not only Israel, but “the whole family” that God had brought out of Egypt (Amos 3:1). They were directed especially at the northern kingdom, Amos firmly predicting that Israel was destined for captivity in Assyria (Amos 5:7; 6:9; 7:17).
Nevertheless, despite the imminent judgments, Amos closes on a great note of hope and assurance, promising the ultimate restoration of all the children of Israel in the Davidic kingdom, a prophecy that James cites in the New Testament as well (Acts 15:15-18).