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Amos 1

Listen to Amos 1
1 The words of Amos, who was among the 1shepherds[a] of 2Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel 3in the days of 4Uzziah king of Judah and in the days of 5Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years[b] before 6the earthquake.

Judgment on Israel's Neighbors

2 And he said: 7"The LORD roars from Zion and utters his voice from Jerusalem; 8the pastures of the shepherds mourn, and the 9top of 10Carmel withers."
3 Thus says the LORD: 11"For three transgressions of 12Damascus, and for four, 13I will not revoke the punishment,[c] because they have threshed 14Gilead with threshing sledges of iron.
4 15So I will send a fire upon the house of 16Hazael, and it shall devour the strongholds of 17Ben-hadad.
5 I will 18break the gate-bar of 19Damascus, and cut off the inhabitants from the Valley of 20Aven,[d] and him who holds the scepter from 21Beth-eden; and the people of 22Syria shall go into exile to 23Kir," says the LORD.
6 Thus says the LORD: 24"For three transgressions of 25Gaza, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because 26they carried into exile a whole people to deliver them up to Edom.
7 So I will send a fire upon the wall of 27Gaza, and it shall devour her strongholds.
8 I will cut off the inhabitants from 28Ashdod, and him who holds the scepter from Ashkelon; I will turn my hand against Ekron, and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish," says the Lord GOD.
9 Thus says the LORD: 29"For three transgressions of 30Tyre, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they delivered up a whole people to Edom, and did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.
10 So I will send a fire upon the wall of 31Tyre, and it shall devour her strongholds."
11 Thus says the LORD: 32"For three transgressions of 33Edom, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, 34because he pursued his brother with the sword 35and cast off all pity, 36and his anger tore perpetually, 37and he kept his wrath forever.
12 So I will send a fire upon 38Teman, and it shall devour the strongholds of 39Bozrah."
13 Thus says the LORD: 40"For three transgressions of the 41Ammonites, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because 42they have ripped open pregnant women in 43Gilead, that they might enlarge their border.
14 So I will kindle a fire in the wall of 44Rabbah, 45and it shall devour her strongholds, with shouting on the day of battle, 46with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind;
15 and 47their king shall go into exile, he and his princes[e] together," says the LORD.

Amos 1 Commentary

Chapter 1

Amos was a herdsman, and engaged in agriculture. But the same Divine Spirit influenced Isaiah and Daniel in the court, and Amos in the sheep-folds, giving to each the powers and eloquence needful for them. He assures the twelve tribes of the destruction of the neighbouring nations; and as they at that time gave themselves up to wickedness and idolatry, he reproves the Jewish nation with severity; but describes the restoration of the church by the Messiah, extending to the latter days.

Judgments against the Syrians, Philistines, Tyrians, Edomites, and Ammonites.

- GOD employed a shepherd, a herdsman, to reprove and warn the people. Those to whom God gives abilities for his services, ought not to be despised for their origin, or their employment. Judgments are denounced against the neighbouring nations, the oppressors of God's people. The number of transgressions does not here mean that exact number, but many: they had filled the measure of their sins, and were ripe for vengeance. The method in dealing with these nations is, in part, the same, yet in each there is something peculiar. In all ages this bitterness has been shown against the Lord's people. When the Lord reckons with his enemies, how tremendous are his judgments!

Cross References 47

  • 1. Amos 7:14, 15
  • 2. 2 Samuel 14:2
  • 3. See Hosea 1:1
  • 4. 2 Kgs. 15:1, 13, 30; 2 Chronicles 26:1
  • 5. Amos 7:10; 2 Kings 14:23
  • 6. Zechariah 14:5; [Isaiah 29:6]
  • 7. See Joel 3:16
  • 8. [Psalms 65:12]
  • 9. Amos 9:3
  • 10. See Joshua 19:26
  • 11. ver. 9, 11, 13; Amos 2:1, 4, 6; Proverbs 30:15, 18, 21, 29
  • 12. [Isaiah 8:4]
  • 13. [Isaiah 8:4]
  • 14. ver. 13; [2 Kings 10:33; Isaiah 21:10]
  • 15. Jeremiah 49:27
  • 16. 2 Kings 13:24, 25
  • 17. 2 Kings 13:24, 25
  • 18. Jeremiah 51:30
  • 19. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 20. See Hosea 4:15
  • 21. 2 Kings 19:12
  • 22. Amos 9:7; [2 Kings 16:9]
  • 23. Amos 9:7; 2 Kings 16:9
  • 24. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 25. Jeremiah 47:1, 5; Zephaniah 2:4; Zechariah 9:5
  • 26. 2 Chronicles 28:18; See Joel 3:4-6
  • 27. [See ver. 6 above]
  • 28. Amos 3:9; 1 Samuel 5:1
  • 29. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 30. See Joel 3:4
  • 31. [See ver. 9 above]
  • 32. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 33. [2 Chronicles 28:17]
  • 34. [2 Chronicles 28:17]
  • 35. Psalms 137:7; [Joel 3:19; Malachi 1:4]
  • 36. Ezekiel 35:5
  • 37. Ezekiel 35:5
  • 38. Obadiah 9; See 1 Chronicles 1:45
  • 39. Isaiah 63:1; See 1 Chronicles 1:44
  • 40. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 41. Jeremiah 49:1, 2; Zephaniah 2:8, 9
  • 42. See Hosea 13:16
  • 43. ver. 3
  • 44. 2 Samuel 11:1; 2 Samuel 12:26; See Ezekiel 21:20
  • 45. [Ezekiel 21:28, 29]
  • 46. [Ezekiel 21:28, 29]
  • 47. Jeremiah 49:3

Footnotes 5

Chapter Summary


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.


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.

Amos 1 Commentaries