Book summary

Amos lived in the Kingdom of Judah, but preached in the Kingdom of Israel. Amos was from a humble background, which stood in contrast to Israel’s prosperity and indulgence at that time. The book mainly contains messages of punishment for sin, and finishes with five graphic visions of God’s judgment.

Chapters 1-2 — Eight oracles of judgment against the nations

Ch 1 to 2:3 — Other nations
  • Ch 1:3-5 — Damascus

  • Ch 1:6-8 — Gaza

  • Ch 1:9-10 — Tyre

  • Ch 1:11-12 — Edom

  • Ch 1:13-15 — Ammon

  • Ch 2:1-3 — Moab

Ch 2:4-16 — Judah and Israel
  • Ch 2:4-5 — Judah

  • Ch 2:6-16 — Israel

Chapters 3-6 — Three oracles and two calls of woe

Ch 3 — First oracle
Hear this word, people of Israel, the word the Lord has spoken against you — against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt:
“You only have I chosen
of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
for all your sins.” (Amos 3:1-2)
Ch 4 — Second oracle
Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria,
you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy
and say to your husbands, “Bring us some drinks!”
The Sovereign Lord has sworn by his holiness:
“The time will surely come
when you will be taken away with hooks,
the last of you with fishhooks (Amos 4:1-2)
Ch 5:1-17 — Third oracle
Hear this word, Israel, this lament I take up concerning you:
“Fallen is Virgin Israel,
never to rise again,
deserted in her own land,
with no one to lift her up.” (Amos 5:1-2)
Ch 5:18-27 — First woe
Woe to you who long
for the day of the Lord!
Why do you long for the day of the Lord?
That day will be darkness, not light.
It will be as though a man fled from a lion
only to meet a bear,
as though he entered his house
and rested his hand on the wall
only to have a snake bite him. (Amos 5:18-19)
Ch 6 — Second woe
Woe to you who are complacent in Zion,
and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria,
you notable men of the foremost nation,
to whom the people of Israel come! (Amos 6:1)

Chapters 7-9 — Five visions of God’s judgment on Israel

Ch 7:1-3 — Vision of locusts

  • This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the late crops were coming up. (Amos 7:1)

Ch 7:4-6 — Vision of fire

  • This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: The Sovereign Lord was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. (Amos 7:4)

Ch 7:7-9 — Vision of a plumb-line

  • This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand… Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.” (Amos 7:7,8)

Ch 8 — Vision of a basket of ripe fruit

  • This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: a basket of ripe fruit… Then the Lord said to me, “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.” (Amos 8:1-2)

Ch 9 — Vision of God beside an altar

I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and he said:
“Strike the tops of the pillars
so that the thresholds shake.
Bring them down on the heads of all the people;
those who are left I will kill with the sword.
Not one will get away,
none will escape. (Amos 9:1)

Chapters 9:11-15 — Israel’s restoration

In that day
“I will restore David’s fallen shelter —
I will repair its broken walls
and restore its ruins —
and will rebuild it as it used to be,
so that they may possess the remnant of Edom
and all the nations that bear my name,”
declares the Lord, who will do these things. (Amos 9:11-12)