Prophet Amos


he Holy Prophet Amos, the third of the Twelve Minor Prophets,1 lived during the eighth century before Christ. He was from Judah, and was born at Tekoah in the land of Zebulon, six miles south of Bethlehem.


At that time, the Hebrew nation was divided into two Kingdoms: Judah in the south, and Israel in the north. King Uzziah ruled in Jerusalem, but the other ten tribes of Israel were ruled by Jeroboam II, who was an idolator. At Bethel he set up an idol in the shape of a golden calf, which the people worshipped, turning away from the true God.

Simple and uneducated, yet fervent in his faith and zealous for the glory of God, this former shepherd of sheep and goats, and dresser of sycamore trees (Amos 7:14-15) was chosen by the Lord for prophetic service. He was sent to the Kingdom of Israel to denounce King Jeroboam's impiety, as well as that of the Israelites. The Prophet predicted great misfortunes which would befall Israel because of its ungodliness. As a result of his denunciations, Amos repeatedly endured beatings and torture.

Amaziah, the chief priest of the royal sanctuary at Bethel, hated Amos, who predicted that the Gentiles would conquer Israel; that they will slay the King, as well as Amaziah's children; that Amaziah's wife would become a harlot; and that Amaziah himself would die in a pagan land, because he led the people into adultery with idols (7:17). Amaziah became furious and had Amos beaten, but all of these prophecies were fulfilled.

According to a later tradition, Uzziah, the son of Amaziah, struck the Prophet Amos with a club, seriously wounding him. He was taken to his native village of Tekoah in Judah, and died there after two days (circa 787 B.C.) He should not be confused with Amoz, the father of the Prophet Isaiah.

In iconography Amos is depicted as an old man with a pointed beard. His scroll reads: It is he who builds his ascent up to Heaven (Amos 9:6).

1 The terms major and minor Prophets refer to the length of their books, not to their individual prominence. Although Amos is ranked third, his prophecy was the first to be recorded.