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The title of the book comes from its writer, Amos. Amos is the first prophet whose name also serves as the title of the corresponding biblical book in which his story is found. The prophet’s name means “burden-bearer” or “load-carrier.” He was unassuming, but bold and fearless when called to bear witness against the evils of his day. He was not known for his sympathy or warmth, but for his sense of justice and pride.
Amos’ hometown was Tekoa a village in Judah, about ten miles south of Jerusalem. He was a shepherd and a grower of sycamore fig trees (Amos 1:1; 7:14). Amos seems to have been a prosperous and influential Judahite, but there is no indication that he was a priest or had any connection with the royal family or the ruling classes in his land. Amos’ natural surroundings had a profound effect on him and his writing style and composition. (Amos 1:2; 2:9; 3:4-5; 5:19-20, 24; 6:12; 7:1-6; 8:1; 9:3-15). He seemed to be just a humble peasant engaging and being obedient to his command from God “Go, prophesy to my people Israel” (Amos 7:15).
Amos prominently uses repetition (Amos 1:3, 4, 5), summary quotation (Amos 4:1; 6:13; 8:5 – 6; 9:10) and irony Amos 4:1). He illustrates a very close covenant with the Mosaic law and the history of the people to whom he belonged. His style also shows great rhetorical power, great depths of thought and truly poetic expressions.
Amos gives us a splendid example of inspiration. The Lord called him, gave him the m...