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A biography of amos the prophet of justice

Amos' declaration marks a turning-point in the development of Old Testament prophecy. It is not mere chance that HoseaIsaiahJeremiahEzekieland almost all of the prophets who are more than unknown personages to whom a few prophetical speeches are ascribed, give first of all the story of their special calling.

All of them thereby seek to protest against the suspicion that they are professional prophets, because the latter discredited themselves by flattering national vanities and ignoring the misdeeds of prominent men. 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.

Amos (prophet)

He has always been admired for the purity of his language, his beauty of diction, and his poetic art. In all these respects he is Isaiah's spiritual progenitor.

Amos felt himself called to preach in Bethel, where there was a royal sanctuary vii. But he is denounced by the head priest Amaziah to King Jeroboam II and is advised to leave the kingdom. There is no reason to doubt that he was actually forced to leave the northern kingdom and to return to his native country.

Being thus prevented from bringing his message to an end, and from reaching the ear of those to whom he was sent, he had recourse to writing.

If they could not hear his messages, they could read them, and if his contemporaries refused to do so, following generations might still profit by them.

  1. Amos responded with an oracle. Harper Perennial Modern Classics.
  2. Hence they were not merely God's messengers but also speakers, or orators.
  3. The prophet recounted five visions indicating God's determination to decisively punish His people.
  4. Amos' message was, perhaps understandably, unwelcome in Israel. He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth— the Lord God Almighty is his name.

No earlier instance of a literary prophet is known; but the example he gave was followed by others in an almost unbroken succession. It can not be proved that Hosea knew the book of Amos, though there is no reason to doubt that he was acquainted with the latter's work and experiences.

  1. Grand Rapids , Mich. Although he was the first literary prophet, his style is well developed.
  2. However, Israel faced special tribulations, because she "knew" God, yet rebelled.
  3. Harper Perennial Modern Classics. In the Eastern Church the Troparion of Amos is sung.
  4. Current scholarship, however, is more skeptical and suggests a lengthy and complex redactional history.

It is certain that Isaiah knew his book, for he follows and even imitates him in his early speeches compare Amos, v. Cheyne concludes that Amos wrote the record of his prophetical work at Jerusalem, after his expulsion from the northern kingdom, and that he committed it to a circle of faithful followers residing there. It further states that before he died, Amos made his way back to his homeland and was buried there.

Amos made clear that, contrary to the view within pagan religious and among the majority of Israelites, God was not only the God of Israel but of all the world. While the average Israelite may have remembered with national pride the special place of Israel's exodus from Egypt, Amos maintained that God was also behind the early movements of the Philistines and Arameans Amos 9: By this, he implies that any other nation could stand in the same place of privilege which Israel had known.

Both God's concern in love and his concern in judgment are without discrimination. Neither geographical limitations nor race matter in the least when God seeks to accomplish his purpose. YHWH, God of justice, demands right living not oblations. Such an approach naturally involves worship — a term that includes the whole process of man's communion with his God; even in ancient Israel worship was never confined to sacrifices and offerings, as witness Jacob at Bethel, Moses before the burning bush, Elijah on Mt.

Man also has never failed to devise new forms of approach to God to accord with his changed conceptions of Deity. Prayers and sacrifices do not make up for bad deeds. Immunity cannot be claimed simply because of past favor of God, irrespective of deeds and the measure of faithful service.

There is not a verse in his writing that admits the existence of other deities. If the people of Israel fall below the moral requirements of God, then their relationship will certainly be dissolved.

Social justice[ edit ] Ancient interpretations The ancient exhortation to what in modern times would be considered social justice is expressed by the voice of God in Amos' teachings.

Amos is told by God that the Israelites are going to face divine intervention as institutionalized oppression was running rampant in Israel. God expressed this institutionalized oppression by saying that the Israelites were practicing religiosity without righteousness.

Amos: Prophet of Justice

By oppressing the poor and failing to practice justice the Israelites were behaving unrighteously; social justice was to be enacted as a core of God's message in Amos' prophetic teachings. In Martin Luther King Jr. This practice honors Christian martyrs on the traditional day of their death with facts about their life and insights attributed to them meant to edify the faithful. On the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendarAmos' feast day is celebrated on June 15 [16] for those churches which follow the traditional Julian CalendarJune 15 currently falls on June 28 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. In the Eastern Church the Troparion of Amos is sung: A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament.

Oxford University Press, 2009.