Background Paper on Amos

Background Paper on Amos

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I. Introduction
The purpose of this paper is to provide the reader with a background for the book of Amos. The author, audience, date, place of writing, occasion and purpose, and the literary genre of the book of Amos will be explored. The study is conducted using internal evidence from the book of Amos and other respected external sources.

II. Author
Verse one of the book of Amos may yield confusion concerning the author – “The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa—the vision he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake…” (Amos 1:1). Looking at this verse, the reader’s first thought is that someone other than Amos himself wrote or at least compiled the material in this book. If there was an editor other than Amos himself, it is possible that he was a companion of Amos (Pfeiffer 62). Regardless, the material itself comes from Amos whether it was compiled or not.
Very little is known about Amos. He is not mentioned in any other book of the Bible (Allen 81). It is unknown when he was born, how old he was when God called him, how long he preached, how many years he lived, or how he died. Jewish tradition alleges that Amos died as a martyr. Some suggest that Uzziah killed him; others suggest Amaziah, the priest who opposed him at Bethel. It is unknown if any of these are true (Yates 7).
All the information about him comes from this one little book. His name means “burdened” or “burden-bearer” (Allen 81). He lived in Tekoa, a village in Judah about 11 miles south of Jerusalem and 18 miles west of the Dead Sea (Allen 81). Amos refers to himself as a shepherd and care keeper of sycamore-fig trees (Amos 1:1; 7:14).
Amos was probably more of a sheep breeder rather than just a simple shepherd. This would suggest...

... middle of paper ...

...fer, Charles F., Howard Frederic Vos, and John Rea. The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia. Chicago: Moody Press, 1975. 62. Print.
Radmacher, Earl D., Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House. Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary. Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1999.
Stuart, Douglas K. Word Biblical Commentary: Hosea-Jonah. Waco, Tex.: Word Books, 1987. Print.
The Holy Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984. Print.
The New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2009. 135. Print.
Walton, John H. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009. Print.
Wolff, Hans Walter. Joel and Amos: A Commentary on the Books of the Prophets Joel and Amos. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1977. Print.
Yates, Jr., Kyle M. Studies in Amos. Nashville, TN: Convention Press, 1966. 6, 10-13. Print.

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