Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO AMOS\\

This book in the Hebrew Bibles is called "Sepher Amos", the Book of
Amos; and, in the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions, the Prophecy of
Amos. This is not the same person with the father of Isaiah, as some
have ignorantly confounded them; for their names are wrote with
different letters; besides, the father of Isaiah is thought to have
been of the royal family, and a courtier; whereas this man was a
country farmer and herdsman. His name signifies "burdened": the Jews
{a} say he was so called, because burdened in his tongue, or had an
impediment in his speech, and stammered; but rather because his
prophecies were burdens to the people, such as they could not bear,
being full of reproofs and threatenings; however, his prophecy in this
respect agrees with his name. What time he lived may be learned from
\\#Am 1:1\\; by which it appears that he was, contemporary with Isaiah and
Hosea; but whether he lived and prophesied so long as they did is not
certain. The author of Seder Olam Zuta {b} makes him to prophesy in the
reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. R. Abraham Zacut {c}, and
R. David Ganz {d}, place him later than Hosea, and prior to Isaiah;
they say that Amos received the law from Hosea, and Isaiah from Amos.
Mr. Whiston {e} makes him to begin to prophesy in the year of the world
3231 A.M. or 773 B.C.; and Mr. Bedford {f} earlier, in 802 B.C.; and,
from some passages in his prophecy, he appears to be of the land of
Judah; see \\#Am 1:1 7:12\\; though he prophesied in the land of Israel, and
against the ten tribes chiefly; the occasion of which was, Jeroboam had
been very successful and victorious, and the people under him enjoyed
great plenty and prosperity, and upon this grew wanton, luxurious, and
very sinful; wherefore this prophet was sent to reprove them for their
sins, to exhort them to repentance, and threaten them with captivity, in
case of impenitence; and to comfort the truly godly with promises of the
Messiah's coming and kingdom. The authenticity of this book is not to be
questioned, since many passages out of it were taken by following
prophets, as the words in \\#Am 1:2\\, by Joel, \\#Joe 3:16\\, and by
Jeremiah, \\#Jer 25:30\\; \\#Am 4:9\\, by Haggai, \\#Hag 2:17\\;
\\#Am 9:13\\, by Joel, \\#Joe 3:18\\; and others are quoted by the writers
of the New Testament as divinely inspired, as \\#Am 5:25-27 9:11\\, in
\\#Ac 7:42,43 15:15,16\\; nor is there any room to doubt of his being the
writer of this book, as is manifest of his speaking of himself as the
first person in it; though Hobbes {g} says it does not appear. Some have
thought that his language is rustic, suitable to his former character
and employment; but certain it is there are masterly strokes and great
beauties of eloquence in it; and which shows that it is more than human.
According to some writers, he was often beat and buffeted by Amaziah,
the priest of Bethel; and at last the son of the priest drove a nail
into his temples, upon which he was carried alive into his own country,
and there died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his ancestors at
Tekoa {h}.

{a} Vajikra Rabba, sect. 10. fol. 153. 3. Abarbinel Praefat. in Ezek.
fol. 253. 3.
{b} P. 104, 105. Ed. Meyer.
{c} Juchasin, fol. 12. 1.
{d} Tzemach David, fol. 13. 1. 2.
{e} Chronological Table, cent. 8.
{f} Scripture Chronology, B. 6. c. 2. p. 647.
{g} Leviathan, c. 33.
{h} Pseudo-Epiphan. de Prophet. Vit. c. 12. Isidor. de Vit. Sanct. c.
43. Jerom. de locis Hebr. in voce Elthei, fol. 91. B.

\\INTRODUCTION TO AMOS 1\\

This chapter begins with the general title of the book, in which the
author is described by name, and by his condition of life, and by his
country, and the time of his prophecy fixed, \\#Am 1:1\\. He first foretells
a drought in the land of Israel, in the most fruitful places, which
would cause mourning among the shepherds, \\#Am 1:2\\; then the captivity of
the Syrians, whose metropolis was Damascus, \\#Am 1:3-5\\. Next the
destruction of the Philistines, whose principal cities were Gaza,
Ashdod, Askelon, and Ekron, \\#Am 1:6-8\\. After that the ruin of Tyre, with
the reason of it, \\#Am 1:9,10\\; then the calamities that should come upon
Edom, whose chief places were Teman and Bozrah, \\#Am 1:11,12\\; and
lastly the desolations of the Ammonites, whose metropolis, Rabbah,
should be destroyed, and their king and princes go into captivity,
\\#Am 1:13-15\\; and all this for the sins of each of these nations.