Although Amos was called by God to be a prophet, this was not his primary vocation. He was a shepherd and a farmer of sycamore-fig trees from the town of Tekoa, just 11 miles south of Jerusalem in the highlands of Judah. Amos wrote the book that bears his name between 760-750 bc. This puts his ministry after Elijah and Elisha, but before Isaiah and Micah. Although Amos was from Judah, his message is primarily directed at the northern kingdom of Israel.
The message of Amos focuses on social justice and impending judgement. Around 30 years later, the exile of Israel begins, followed by the destruction of the Jerusalem temple. While the message of Amos was primarily one of law, he concludes with a gospel message of hope that looks ahead to the coming of the Messiah. “‘In that day I will raise up the fallen tabernacle of David and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old. I will plant them on their land, and they will never again be uprooted from the land that I have given them,’ says the Lord your God.”