We begin our final book of the Bible, the prophet and the prophecy of Amos. It is interesting that while the book of Chronicles gave us the history of the kingdom and the kings of Judah, the south, Amos was a prophet to the north, Israel. There is some contextual explaining to do in order to understand what this shepherd boy, Amos, had to say about the current situation. Because there was prosperity abounding in the north it created a very large separation between the rich and the poor. The poor, as in all societies, were having their rights trampled on and did not have anyone to speak on their behalf. It is in this context that Amos comes speaking about the day of the Lord and how these inequities will be fixed as a result of the coming of God. Let’s look at the first chapter of Amos.
What we find here after the introductory verse on Amos is a speech against the nations. But let’s pause on verse 1 if we can. Amos is called a shepherd of Tekoa which was just below Jerusalem and so obviously a part of Judah. But he addresses the kings of both Judah and Israel. Here is a map of the kingdoms against these speeches went against just so that as you read through it you can get a feeling for where they are located.
Here we find Amos indicting their neighbors for ethical transgressions on the order of war crimes. The prophet condemns their actions not only against Israel and Judah, but against other neighboring peoples. Keep in mind that throughout this chapter all of the nations mentioned were at one time allies of Judah and Israel.