The Old Testament | The Books of Minor Prophets


Things to know
Where does the book begin?

The book begins when Jeroboem was king of Israel*.

Where does the book end?

The book ends a few years before Assyria seized Israel*.

People to know


Places to go

God would judge
Amos 2:6-16

Seek me and live
Amos 5:12-15

Let justice* roll down
Amos 5:18-24

God showed locust, the fire, and the measuring line
Amos 7:1-9

God would bring Israel* back
Amos 9:11-15

The Story of Amos

The book of Amos is about the prophet* Amos. Amos was a shepherd*. But God called him to speak his words to Israel*.[1] In the days Amos lived, the prophets* did not to speak out against the sin* of the people. Because the prophets* did not do their job, God called a farmer to deliver his words.

Amos gave most of his words to Israel* from the town of Bethel. There was a place to worship* God there. There was also a house for the king in Bethel.

Amos said many strong words to Israel*. He told them to turn back to God and to turn away from idols*. He warned them that their enemies would kill their kings. And the people would be taken away.

Amos wrote about why this would happen to the people. The people had not listened to God. They were giving offerings* to God. They were doing the ceremonies that Moses taught. They were doing many things to look like they were following God. But Amos knew that they were only pretending. In their hearts, they were turning from God. They were not obeying God. They were doing some of the things God told them to do. But they were not kind to the poor. They were not fair in business. They were not honest. They cared about money more than they cared about people. But they believed nothing bad would happen. They thought that God would not judge* them.

The book starts with the same idea that Joel used at the end of his book. God would judge the nations. But Amos said that Israel and Judah would be judged too. Israel and Judah had gone far from the promises that they made to God. God would discipline the people for their wicked acts. They should have known better because God had selected them as his special people. But they acted like the wicked nations about them. So God would punish Israel* and Judah!

Amos had many visions* from God and he wrote about them in his book. He also told some of the story of his own life. This helps us know when he wrote his book. He talked about the sins* of King Jeroboam and his false worship* centre at Bethel. It also helps us to understand some of the things he spoke about. Amos said that the time when Assyria would seize Israel* was very near. That means that many of the things he said about a future hope* would come, but not soon. They would come far into the future. The enemy would take them away very soon. But, some day, God would make everything right again.

The last part of the book tells how God would punish the people. But it also gives a word of hope*. God would not always punish the people of Israel. God would allow some of the people to return to their own land after the punishment was finished.

Amos talked about David just like Joel did. David’s fallen tent’[2] would rise up again. At a future time, there would be blessing* again. In that day, the king that God promised to David would rule. Even when the people would be taken away from the land, there was hope*.

That hope* came from knowing that God would keep his promise to David.

Ezekiel sends the nations a warning. If you hurt Judah, God would hurt you. If you were happy when Judah was destroyed, God would make you sad some day. God would destroy all of Judah’s enemies. That was what he promised Abraham he would do.

‘Whoever blesses you, I will bless*. Whoever curses you I will curse*.’[4]

The last part of the book talks about how God would bring the people back. He would remember the promises he made to David. He would send someone from David’s family to be the king.[5] He would build the kingdom* again. But God would not only give the people a new temple*.[6] God would give the people a new heart.[7] When this happened, they would love and worship* God for ever. God would do this to keep the promise that he made to Moses.[8] He would keep the promise he made to Abraham. And he would keep the promise he made to David.[9]

  • [1] Amos 7:15
  • [2] Amos 9:11

The Old Testament | The Books of Minor Prophets