Amos (prophet)

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This article is about Amos, a minor prophet in the Hebrew Bible. For the father of Isaiah, a prophet in the Hebrew Bible, see Amoz.
Amos
Russian icon of the prophet Amos
An 18th-century Russian icon of the prophet Amos (Iconostasis of Transfiguration Church, Kizhi monastery, Karelia, Russia).
Prophet
Born Tekoa
Died 745 B.C.E.
Honored in
Judaism
Christianity
Islam
Feast June 15 (Orthodox)
Major work(s) Book of Amos

Amos (/ˈməs/; Hebrew: עָמוֹס , Modern Amos Tiberian ʻāmōs) was one of the Twelve Minor Prophets. An older contemporary of Hosea and Isaiah, Amos was active c. 750 BCE during the reign of Jeroboam II, (786–746 BCE). He was from the southern Kingdom of Judah but preached in the northern Kingdom of Israel. Amos wrote at a time of relative peace and prosperity and neglect of religion. He spoke against an increased disparity between the very wealthy and the very poor. His major themes of social justice, God's omnipotence, and divine judgment became staples of prophecy. The Book of Amos is attributed to him.

Life[edit]

Main article: Book of Amos

Before becoming a prophet, Amos was a sheep herder and a sycamore fig farmer.[1] Amos' prior professions and his claim "I am not a prophet nor a son of a prophet" (7:14) indicate that Amos was not from the school of prophets, which Amos claims makes him a true prophet (7:14). His prophetic career began in 750 BCE out of the town of Tekoa, in Judah, south of Jerusalem.[1]

Despite being from the southern kingdom of Judah Amos' prophetic message was aimed at the Northern Kingdom of Israel, particularly the cities of Samaria and Bethel.[2]

Jeroboam II (c. 781-741 B.C.), ruler of the Northern kingdom, had rapidly conquered Syria, Moab, and Ammon, and thereby extended his dominions from the source of the Orontes on the north to the Dead Sea on the south. The whole northern empire of Solomon thus practically restored had enjoyed a long period of peace and security marked by a revival of artistic and commercial development. Social corruption and the oppression of the poor and helpless were prevalent. Many availed themselves of the throngs which attended the sacred festivals to indulge in immoderate enjoyment and tumultuous revelry. Others, carried away by the free association with heathen peoples which resulted from conquest or commercial contact, went so far as to fuse with the Lord's worship that of pagan deities.[3]

The apocryphal work The Lives of the Prophets records that Amos was killed by the son of Amaziah, priest of Bethel. It further states that before he died, Amos made his way back to his homeland and was buried there.[4]

Feast day[edit]

On the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar, Amos' feast day is celebrated on June 15 (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, June 15 currently falls on June 28th of the modern Gregorian Calendar). He is commemorated along with the other minor prophets in the Calendar of Saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 31.

Teachings[edit]

Two of his teachings are:

  • Prayers and sacrifices do not make up for bad deeds.
  • Behaving justly is much more important than ritual (Amos 5:21-24).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Coogan, Michael. A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament. Page 257. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  2. ^ Dearman, J Andrew. Amos. Harper Collins Study Bible. Edited by Meeks, Wayne A. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2006.
  3. ^ Gigot, Francis. "Amos." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 11 Feb. 2014
  4. ^ Anderson, Francis I., and David Noel Freedman, Amos, The Anchor Yale Bible, vol. 24A, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. Page 24.

Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Anderson, Bernhard W. & Foster R. McCurley The Eighth Century Prophets: Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah Wipf and Stock: 2003. ISBN 1-59244-354-0
  • Anderson, Francis I. & David Noel Freedman, Amos, The Anchor Yale Bible, vol. 24A; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-300-14070-5
  • Rosenbaum, Stanley Ned Amos of Israel: A New Interpretation Georgia: Mercer University Press: 1990. ISBN 0-86554-355-0
  • Lemmo, Peter S. & Greenblatt, Meriam "Glencoe Human Heritage: A World History" NY: McGraw-Hill Companies: 2004 ISBN 0078462401 (student ed.)

External links[edit]