A'mos (Heb., Amos', עָמוֹס, bormne Sept. and New Test. Α᾿μώς), the name of two men.
1. One of the twelve minor prophets, and a contemporary of Isaiah and Hosea. He was a native of Tekoah, about six miles south of Bethlehem, inhabited chiefly by shepherds, to which class he belonged, being also a dresser of sycamore trees, and not trained in any of the prophetical schools (Am 1:1; Am 7:14-15). Though some critics have supposed that he was a native of the kingdom of Israel, and took refuge in Tekoah when persecuted by Amaziah, yet a comparison of the passages Am 1:1; Am 7:14, with Amaziah's language, Am 7:12, leads us to believe that he was born and brought up in that place. The period during which he filled the prophetic office was of short duration, unless we suppose that he uttered other predictions which are not recorded. It is stated expressly that he prophesied in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam, the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake (Am 1:1). This earthquake, to which there is an allusion in Zec 14:5, is represented by Josephus (Ant. 9, 10, 4) and some other Jewish writers as amark of the divine displeasure against Uzziah (in addition to his leprosy) for usurping the priest's office some time before his death. This agrees with the sacred narrative, which informs us that Jotham, his son, acted as regent during the remainder of his reign; for we must understand the accession spoken of in 2Ki 15:33, when he was twenty-five years old, to refer to this association with his father. SEE JOTHAM. As Uzziah and Jeroboam were contemporaries for about twenty-seven years (B.C. 808-782), the latter part of this period will mark the dant when Amos prophesied. This agrees with the intimation in Am 7:10, of the proximity of Jeroboam's death. Amos speaks of the conquests of this warlike king as completed (6, 13; comp. 2Ki 14:25); on the other hand the Assyrians, who toward the end of his reign were approaching Palestine (Ho 10:6; Ho 11:5), do not seem as yet to have caused any alarm in the country. Amos predicts, indeed, that Israel and other neighboring nations will be punished by certain wild conquerors from the north (Am 1:5; Am 5:27; Am 6:14), but does not name them, as if they were still unknown or unheeded. (See Niemeyer, Charakt. d. Bibel, 5,302 sq.)
BOOK OF AMOS. — When Amos received his commission (B.C. 783), the kingdom of Israel, which had been "cut short" by Hazael (2Ki 10:33) toward the close of Jehu's reign, was restored to its ancient limits and splendor by Jeroboam II (2Ki 14:25). But the restoration of national prosperity was followed by the prevalence of luxury, licentiousness, and oppression, to an extent that again provoked the divine displeasure; and Amos was called from the sheepfolds to be the harbinger of the coming judgments. The poor were oppressed (Am 8:4), the ordinances of religion thought burdensome (Am 8:5), and idleness, luxury, and extravagance were general (Am 3:15). The source of these evils was idolatry, of course that of the golden calves, not of Baal, since Jehu's dynasty occupied the throne, though it seems probable from 2Ki 13:6, which passage must refer to Jeroboam's reign, SEE BENHADAD III, that the rites even of Astarte were tolerated in Samaria, though not encouraged. Calf-worship was specially practiced at Bethel, where was a principal temple and summer palace for the king (Am 7:13; comp. Am 3:15), also at Gilgal, Dan, and Beersheba in Judah (Am 4:4; Am 5:5; Am 8:14), and was offensively united with the true worship of the Lord (Am 5:14,21-23; comp. 2Ki 17:33). Amos went to rebuke this at Bethel itself, but was compelled to return to Judah by the high-priest Amaziah, who procured from Jeroboam an order for his expulsion from the northern kingdom. Not that his commission was limited entirely to Israel. The thunder-storm (as Ruckert poetically expresses it) rolls over all the surrounding kingdoms, touches Judah in its progress, and at length settles upon Israel. Chapters 1; 2:1-5, form a solemn prelude to the main subject; nation after nation is summoned to judgment, in each instance with the striking idiomatical expression (similar to that in Pr 30:15,18,21), "For three transgressions — and for four — I will not turn away the punishment thereof." Israel is then addressed in the same style, and in chap. in (after a brief rebuke of the twelve tribes collectively) its degenerate state is strikingly portrayed, and the denunciations of divine justice are intermingled, like repeated thunder- claps, to the end of chap. 6. The seventh and eighth chapters contain various symbolical visions, with a brief historical episode (Am 7:10-17). In the ninth chapter the majesty of Jehovah and the terrors of his justice are set forth with a sublimity of diction which rivals and partly copies that of the royal Psalmist (comp. ver. 2, 3, with Psalm 109, and ver. 6 with Psalm 104). Toward the close the scene brightens; and from the eleventh verse to the end the promises of the divine mercy and returning favor to the chosen race are exhibited in imagery of great beauty taken from rural life. The allusions in the writings of this prophet are numerous and varied; they refer to natural objects, as in 3, 4, 8; Am 4:7,9; Am 5:8; Am 6:12; Am 9:3: to historical events, Am 1:9,11,13; Am 2:1; Am 4:11; Am 5:26: to agricultural or pastoral employments and occurrences, Am 1:3; Am 2:13; Am 3:5,12; Am 4:2,9; Am 5:19; Am 7:1; Am 9:9,13,15: and to national institutions and customs, Am 2:8; Am 3:15; Am 4:4; Am 5:21; Am 6:4-6,10; Am 8:5,10,14. The book presupposes a popular acquaintance with the Pentateuch (see Hengstenberg, Beitrage zur Einleitung ins Alte Testament, 1, 83-125), and implies that the ceremonies of religion, except where corrupted by Jeroboam I, were in accordance with the law of Moses. As the book is evidently not a series of detached prophecies, but logically and artistically connected in its several parts, it was probably written by Amos as we now have it after his return to Tekoah from his mission to Bethel (see Ewald, Propheten des Alten Bundes, 1, 84 sq.) (Smith, s.v.).
The canonicity of the book of Amos is amply supported both by Jewish and Christian authorities. Philo, Josephus, and the Talmud include it among the minor prophets. It is also in the catalogues of Melito, Jerome, and the 60th cation of the Council of Laodicea. Justin Martyr, in his Dialogue with
Trypho (§ 22), quotes a considerable part of the fifth and sixth chapters, which he introduces by saying, "Hear how he speaks concerning these by Amos, one of the twelve." There are two quotations from it in the New Testament; the first (5:25, 26) by the proto-martyr Stephen, Ac 7:42; the second (9:11) by the Apostle James, Ac 15:16. (See, generally, Knobel, Prophet. 2, 147 sq.; Hitzig, Kl. Proph. p. 29; Carpzov, Introd. 3, 314 sq.; Eichhorn, Einleit. 4, 307 sq.; Jahn, II, 2, 401 sq.; Bertholdt, 4, 1611 sq.; Davidson, in Home's Introd. new ed. 2, 960 sq.).
Special exegetical works on the book of Amos are the following, of which the most important are designated by an asterisk [*] prefixed: Ephraem Syrus, Explanatio (in Opp. 5:255); *Kimchi, Commentarius (in Hebr. ed. Minster, Basil. 1531, 8vo); Luther, Enarratio (in Opp. 3, 513); Brent, Commentarius (in Opp. 4); Ecolampadius, Adnotationes (Basil. 1535, fol.); Quinquaboreus, Notes (Par. 1556, 4to); Mercer, Commentarius (Genev. 1574, fol.; Giess. 1595, 4to); Danean, Commentarius (Genev. 1578, 8vo); Lively, Adnotationes (Lond. 1587, 8vo; also in the Critici Sacri, 3); Schade, Commentarius (Argent. 1588, 4to); Tarnovius, Commentarius (Lips. 1622, 4to); Benefield, Sermons (Lond. 1629, 3 vols. 4to); Hall, Exposition (Lond. 1661, 4to); Gerhard, Annotationes (Jen. 1663, 1676, 4to); *Van Toll, Vitlegginge (Ultraj. 1705, 4to); Michaelis, Exercitatio (Hal. 1736, 4to); Hase, Stilus Amosi (Hal. 1755, 4to); *Harenberg, Amos expositus (L. B. 1763, 4to); Uhland, Animadversiones (Tub. 1779,1780, 4to); *Dahl, Amos' ubers. u. erlaut. (Gott. 1795,;8vo); *Horsley, Notes (in Bib. Crit. 2, 391); *Justi, Amos ubers. u. erlaut. (Lpz. 1799, 8vo); Berg, Specimem (in Rosenmuller's Repertor. 2, 1 sq.); Swanborg, Amos illustr. (Ups. 1808 sq. 4to); *Vater, Amos ubers. u. erlut. (Hal. 1810; 4to; also with Latin title, ib. eod.); *Rosenmuller, Scholia (Lips. 1813, 8vo); Juynboll, De Amoso (L. B. 1828, 4to); Faber, Abweichungen d. Gr. Uebers. (in Eichhorn's Repertor. 6, 288 sq.); *Baur, Amos erklart (Lpz. 1847, 8vo); Ryan, Lectures (Lond. 1850, 12mo). SEE PROPHETS (MINOR).
2. The ninth in the maternal line of ascent from Christ, being the son of Nahum (or Johanan), and the father of Mattathiah (Lu 3:25), B.C. cir. 400. His name perhaps would be more properly Anglicized AMOZ SEE AMOZ , and in that case it would have the same derivation as under that article.