Amos Commentaries & Sermons

Commentaries, Sermons, Illustrations, Devotionals

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Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Amos Chart from Charles Swindoll
Another Amos Chart

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From Hampton Keathley IV

Source: ESV Global Study Bible

The Minor Prophets and their Message

  1. Hosea  - The Lord loves Israel despite her sin.  755-15 B.C.
  2. Joel - Judgment precedes Israel’s future spiritual revival. 835–796* B.C.
  3. Amos - God is just and must judge sin. 765-50 B.C.
  4. Obadiah - Sure retribution must overtake merciless pride. 848* B.C.
  5. Jonah - Divine grace is universal in its sweep. 780-50 B.C.
  6. Micah - Bethlehem-born Messiah will be mankind’s Deliverer. 740-690 B.C.
  7. Nahum - Doom is to descend on wicked Nineveh. 630-12 B.C.
  8. Habakkuk - Justification by faith is God’s way of salvation. 625 B.C. or earlier
  9. Zephaniah - The Day of the Lord must precede kingdom blessing. 625-10 B.C.
  10. Haggai - The Lord’s Temple and interests deserve top priority. 520 B.C.
  11. Zechariah - The Lord will remember His people Israel. 520-15 B.C.; Zech 9–14 after 500 B.C.
  12. Malachi - Let the wicked be warned by the certainty of judgment. 433-400 B.C.
  • All dates are approximate. *The text does not specifically date these prophets. As a result differences of opinion exist concerning the time of their ministries. (BORROW Unger's bible handbook)


ESV Summary

MacArthur Study Bible -Intro, Date, Setting, Themes, Interpretative Challenges, Outline

Swindoll Overview - Includes "Listen to Chuck Swindoll’s overview of Joel in his audio message"

Video - Book Summary: A Complete Animated Overview - 7 minute summary

Gotquestions Video Summary

KJV Bible Commentary - Intro, Outline and Verse by Verse Commentary

The King James Study Bible Second Edition - short introduction (See map)

NKJV Study Bible: New King James Version Study Bible (loads slow) - Introduction, Historical Setting, Purpose, Timeline, Christ in the Scriptures

Interesting Facts about Amos

The name Amos means burden or burden bearer. Since most of the prophecies of Amos concern coming judgment on either the nations surrounding Israel or judgment on Israel itself, he was a man with a burden. It seems that Amos had no “formal” theological or prophetic training, though there was a “school of the prophets” known as the sons of the prophets at that time (1 Kings 20:35, 2 Kings 2:3–15, 2 Kings 4:1, 2 Kings 4:38). Amos was a simple man, a farmer, who had been uniquely called to ministry. Amos uses an unusual word to describe his occupation. Instead of calling himself a “shepherd,” the literal ancient Hebrew calls Amos a “sheep raiser.” Amos probably chose this title to emphasize the fact that he really was a shepherd, and that he did not mean “shepherd” in a symbolic, spiritual sense. The way God used Amos reminds us of the way He used the twelve disciples of Jesus—common, workingmen used to do great things for God. - David Guzik

Amos 1-2 Amos Looks Around
Amos 3-6 Amos Looks Within
Amos 7-9 Amos Looks Ahead 
-- Warren Wiersbe


Amos, like most of the prophets, told us of a bright future for God’s Chosen People. The whole land will once more be a kingdom under the house of David (see Amos 9:11–12). The Tabernacle of David, now gone, will be rebuilt (see Acts 15:16–17). Israel will be restored to her land and will prosper. A happy people will dwell in a happy land. Always keep in mind that the Jewish people who have been scattered over the face of the world are being gathered back to their land of promise. National prosperity will again flourish. Jerusalem will be the capital of a mighty kingdom. Converted Israel will be God’s witnesses (see Amos 9:13–15). During times when sin abounds, people need to hear the same things Amos spoke. We’ve become too tenderhearted and gentle toward the common sins of people. We’ve forgotten how to denounce; we’ve lost the power of righteous indignation. Not so with Amos, plumb-line prophet that he was. The crooked wall always hates the straight line. So people hated Amos. They will hate us, too, if we speak out. Nevertheless, learn to speak, no matter what it costs. Always remember the Man who used a small whip to purge the Temple (see John 2:13–16). Repentance is not just turning to God and lightheartedly saying, “I’m sorry.” Not even the truest repentance can remit sin. Redemption is costly. Christ paid the price. Salvation is the establishment of a personal relationship between the individual person and God. Nothing can take the place of that (see John 1:12). - Henrietta Mears - What the Bible is All About

IMPORTANCE FOR TODAY: the message of Amos is needed today as much as ever. In nations throughout the world, God’s people are still being persecuted. Even so, every act of persecution against God’s beloved people, Jew and Gentile alike, is known to God and will be severely judged. God will take vengeance against His enemies. But note: judgment begins with the house of God. Far too many people who call themselves Christians, even true believers, ignore God’s Word and commandments. Or, they seek God only for His blessings or to help in times of trouble. Like the Israelites of Amos’s day, some live only to please themselves. Similarly, religion is still heartless and the religious still halfhearted. Wealthy nations and churches still hoard their wealth as much as ever. The rich still neglect, oppress, and exploit the poor. Injustice still dominates most nations and institutions. And most societies are more corrupt and ungodly than ever. God has judged nations and His own people for these sins in the past. And He will do so again. The great book of Amos has forewarned us. Let us all have ears to hear and hearts willing to obey his message. May God richly bless you as you study the timeless message of Amos.....The Christological or Christ-Centered Purpose: like the prophet Joel, Amos does not mention the Messiah or Jesus Christ directly. But the kingdom of Christ is clearly pictured in the promise of Israel’s restoration. Christ is the One who will establish God’s kingdom on earth, an eternal kingdom of peace and prosperity (Amos 9:11–15; see also Mt. 13:41; Lu. 1:33; He. 1:8; Re. 11:15). - Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible

Outline of Amos
I.  The Author and Theme of the Book,  Amos 1:1-2

II.  The Prophecies of Amos,  Amos 1:3-2:16

A.  Concerning Damascus,  Amos 1:3-5
B.  Concerning Philistia,  Amos 1:6-8
C.  Concerning Tyre,  Amos 1:9-10
D.  Concerning Edom,  Amos 1:11-12
E.  Concerning Ammon,  Amos 1:13-15
F.  Concerning Moab,  Amos 2:1-3
G.  Concerning Judah,  Amos 2:4-5
H.  Concerning Israel,  Amos 2:6-16

III.  The Sermons of Amos,  Amos 3:1-6:14

A.  The Doom of Israel,  Amos 3:1-15
B.  The Depravity of Israel,  Amos 4:1-13
C.  A Dirge over Israel,  Amos 5:1-6:14

1.  The ruin of Israel in coming judgment,  Amos 5:1-17
2.  The rebuke of religious people,  Amos 5:18-27
3.  The reprimand of the entire nation,  Amos 6:1-14

IV.  The Visions of Amos,  Amos 7:1-9:15

A.  A Vision of Devouring Locusts,  Amos 7:1-3
B.  A Vision of Fire,  Amos 7:4-6
C.  A Vision of a Plumb Line,  Amos 7:7-9
D.  An Historical Interlude: Opposition from the Priest of Bethel,  Amos 7:10-17
E.  A Vision of a Basket of Summer Fruit,  Amos 8:1-14
F.  A Vision of the Lord Judging,  Amos 9:1-10
G.  A Vision of Future Blessing,  Amos 9:11-15

- Sidlow Baxter - Explore the Book Vol. 4 Ezekiel to Malachi

Christ in Amos
A M Hodgkin

The “man of God from Judah” was sent to Bethel in the northern kingdom to rebuke Jeroboam I. as he was sacrificing to the golden calves. Another man of God from Judah was sent to prophesy at Bethel, during the reign of Jeroboam II., in the person of the herdman, or shepherd, Amos. Amos is one of the many instances in the Bible of the Lord calling a man to some special service while occupied with his ordinary daily work.

On the wild uplands of Judah beyond Tekoa, which is twelve miles south of Jerusalem, Amos, inured to hardship and danger, received his training as a prophet straight from the hand of the Lord. His beautiful style abounds in illustrations drawn from his mountain home. He had learnt the power of the Creator in the mountains and the wind, in the dawn and in the darkness. Like David he had gazed upon the stars and looked beyond them to their Maker. Like him also, as he had “followed the flock” (Amos 7:15), he had known what it was to defend them from the wild beasts, both the lion and the bear, and is probably describing his own experience when he speaks of a shepherd taking out of the mouth of the lion “two legs or a piece of an ear.” The snare of the fowler and the snake concealed in the rough stone wall were alike familiar to him. He was also a “gatherer,” or “dresser,” of sycamore fruit. This fruit, which is a very inferior sort of fig, only eaten by the very poor, has to be scarified at one stage of its growth with a special instrument for the purpose, in order to enable it to swell and ripen properly. Many of the figures which Amos uses are taken from the milder lowlands; these also may have been familiar to him in his earlier life, or, as a keen observer of nature, may have struck him as he prophesied in the plains of Samaria. He speaks of the oaks and the cedars, the vines and fig-trees olive-trees, the gardens, the ploughmen, the sower, the reaper, and the cart pressed down with its weight of sheaves.

The Earthquake. Amos opens his prophecy by quoting the words of Joel, “The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem.” He tells us in the verse before, that his prophecy was uttered “two years before the earthquake.” Joel also says, “The heavens and the earth shall shake.” They no doubt refer to the same earthquake, and it must have been one of exceptional severity; for Zechariah speaks of it nearly three hundred years later, as an event well remembered, though the whole captivity in Babylon had intervened (Zechariah 14:5). The Hebrew word Raʾash suggests the English word Crash, “two years before the crash.” Dr. Waller, in his little book on Amos, shows how perfectly the prophet’s description of the coming catastrophe fitted the event, though probably at the time he prophesied he did not realize that it was an earthquake he was describing. Twice over (Amos 8:8, 9:5, R.V.) we read that “The land is to rise up wholly like a flood, and sink again as the flood of Egypt.” This is a most terrible form of earthquake. “If the widespread effect of the earthquake in Amos is indicated literally by the clause seven times repeated in Amos 1 and 2, ‘I will send fire which shall devour the palaces,’ then the shock must have extended from Tyrus to Gaza on the coast of the Mediterranean and from Damascus to Rabbah of the children of Ammon on the east of Jordan. The whole of the bed of the Jordan is said to be volcanic—which means that the underground forces are there, and available if the Lord of creation should choose to set them at work.” Fires almost invariably follow severe earthquakes.

Reading Amos in the light of the earthquake we can account for various things he foretells. The fires throughout the book. “The waters of the sea poured upon the face of the earth” (Amos 5:8). “If there remain ten men in one house they shall die” (Amos 6:9). “He will smite the great house with breaches, and the little house with clefts” (Amos 6:11). “Shall not the land tremble?” (Amos 8:8). “Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake” (Amos 9:1). “He toucheth the land and it shall melt” (Amos 9:5).

But behind the primary fulfillment of his words in the earthquake there was the terrible invasion of the Assyrians, and the people carried into captivity (Amos 5:27; 6:14). And behind all this “the day of the Lord.” “Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel” (Amos 6:12).

Judgment on the Nations. Amos opens the way for his message to Israel by proclaiming the Lord’s judgment upon six surrounding nations—Damascus (Syria), Gaza (Philistia), Tyrus (Phoenicia), Edom, Ammon, Moab. Then he comes nearer home and pronounces judgment against Judah (Amos 2:4), and against Israel itself (Amos 2:6), and finally against the whole nation (Amos 3:1–2).

It would seem that the people questioned his authority, for he proceeds by a series of seven questions to show that the Lord has revealed His secret to him, and that therefore he can do no other than prophesy (Amos 3:3–8).

He denounces the sins of Israel in more graphic detail than Hosea, dwelling especially on the careless ease and luxury, the oppression of the poor, the extortion and lying and cheating which prevailed, and the utter hypocrisy in worship. The Lord grieves over the people for not attending to His judgments, with the refrain, “Yet have ye not returned unto Me, saith the Lord,” and the renewed invitation, “Seek ye Me and live.”

Five Visions. The last three chapters [Amos 7–9] contain a fivefold vision of judgment which the Lord showed Amos.

First the locusts, and second the fire, which judgments are removed in answer to his intercession. Third the plumb-line. There was no hope of deliverance from this last. The Lord said, “I will not again pass by them any more.” This unqualified pronouncement of judgment stirred up the smoldering animosity of Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, to a flame, and he denounced the prophet to the king, saying, “The land is not able to bear his words,” so mightily had they shaken the nation. At the same time he urged Amos to flee away back to the land of Judah and prophesy there—but not here at the Court of the king. Amos fearlessly told of the Lord’s call, “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and said, Go, prophesy unto My people Israel.” He then pronounced the Lord’s judgment upon Amaziah, and proceeded with the account of the remaining visions regardless of the interruption. The fourth vision was of the basket of summer fruit, the last basket. “The end has come upon My people.” The prophet saw the guilty nation ripe for judgment. The fifth vision is of the Lord Himself, standing upon the altar, and closes with the glorious promise of restoration for the fallen Tabernacle of the House of David, the promise of the Messiah who was to come at the moment of its greatest humiliation. This passage is quoted in Acts (Acts 15:15–17) by James, and applied to the ingathering of the Gentile believers, and God’s favor at the same time to the House of David, when His purpose for Jew and Gentile alike will be accomplished.

Reflections of Christ in Amos
Paul R. Van Gorder

During the time of great spiritual decline in Israel, God chose Elijah, an obscure man from the mountains of Gilead, and used him to turn the nation from its idolatry. One hundred fifty years later, Jeroboam II was on the throne. Great prosperity was in Israel, but also great wickedness prevailed. So, God put His hand upon another man of the outdoors, Amos. He was a herdsman of Tekoa, a village located about 5 miles south of Bethlehem. Although he lived in the Southern Kingdom, he prophesied primarily to the Northern Kingdom.

This is what he said of himself, ''I am no prophet, neither am I a prophet's son, but I am an herdsman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit; and the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto My people, Israel'' (Amos 7:14,15). 
Amos had a double-faceted message from God:

  1. first, he denounced the sins of Israel;
  2. second, Amos looked beyond the sin and judgment and saw the triumph to follow. God will not let sin thwart His purposes.

A striking verse of this prophecy sets the theme: ''And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumb line. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumb line in the midst of My people, Israel'' (Amos 7:8). God does not overlook sin.


Predictions of Judgment on Surrounding Peoples (Amos 1:1- 2:3)

Predictions of Judgment upon Jerusalem and Judah (Amos 2:4-16)

The Sentence of Judgment against the ''House of Jacob'' (Amos 3:1- 9:7)

Although Israel, the 10-tribe kingdom, is particularly in view, this foretelling takes in the whole family of Israel. Amos exposes the moral corruption and the apostasy of the people.

Promise of Restoration and Glory (Amos 9:8-15)

The house of Jacob would be preserved, the throne of David restored, and glory given to the kingdom. This will be fulfilled at the second coming of Christ.


Perhaps the greatest reason for the prophet's condemnation of Israel was that the people were ''at ease.'' They were indolent, sinful, and indifferent to the Lord. All of this was at a time when great unrighteousness marked the nation. It will help if we consider what characterized this unrighteousness.A dependence upon natural things (Amos 6:1).

In effect, the people of Israel said, ''Look at our fortifications; these very mountains are our bulwarks.'' How often this is the attitude of God's heavenly people today, the church! We boast about our buildings, our great expenditures of money, our large staff, our growing prestige. But God says, ''Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit'' (Zechariah 4:6). God's work is not dependent upon our natural resources. The apostle Paul declared, ''And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence'' (1Corinthians 1:28,29).

A false optimism (Amos 6:3).

The prophets would often draw attention to coming calamities. But the people would say, ''The evil day is far off; it will not come in our generation.'' The attitude today parallels that of Amos' time. We are slow to accept what the Scripture explicitly declares-- that perilous times are ahead, that a religion will arise without power, that a departure from the faith will occur, and that Christians will reject sound doctrine. Yes, a false optimism prevails today, in spite of the clear teaching of the Word of God.

They lived in luxury (Amos 6:4).

The people were self-sufficient and had forgotten their need for God. High living characterized the lifestyle of Israel. And Jesus observed during His earthly ministry, ''So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God'' (Luke 12:21). [cp. Rev 3:17]

The were absorbed in the culture of music (Amos 6:5).

''That chant to the sound of the harp, and invent to themselves instruments of music.'' What a marvelous gift music is! But sin has spoiled it, and the curse is clearly evident in that realm of human activity. All creation was once in tune in the major mode. The morning stars sang together. One day, this major mode will return, and the trees will burst forth in music. But Israel's music appealed to the flesh; it was sensual. The people said, in so many words, ''Our music must be all right; it is just like David's.''


The Holy Spirit, through the prophet Amos, announced a series of judgments upon seven nations (chapters 1,2). This was followed by three searching messages to Israel, each beginning with the phrase, ''Hear this Word'' (3:1; 4:1; 5:1).

Amos reminded the Jews of their unique privileges, that they only, of all the families of the earth, have been known by God. But privilege always entails responsibility: ''...therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities'' (3:2). The remainder of chapter 3 spells out this fact.

The next message is directed toward their sins, especially the insincerity of their formal religious ceremonies at Bethel and Gilgal (chapter 4).

Amos' third message was an exhortation to turn to the Lord, for he was predicting the overthrow of the kingdom, and the captivity (chapters 4,5).

These messages were followed be a series of five visions, culminating with a view of the Lord standing upon the altar, ready to strike destruction with His own hand (chapters 7-9).


Looking beyond the captivity of Israel and their restoration to the land, Amos described that glorious era when Christ will come the second time.

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and the hills shall melt.
And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink their wine; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord, thy God. (Amos 9:13-15)

The apostle James quoted a part of this passage and revealed the divine purpose. God is now visiting the Gentiles ''to take out of them a people for His name.'' Read the account in Acts 15:13-18. After the church has been called out (not the conversion of all Gentiles, but only the gathering out of an elect number), Christ will return. He will ''build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down'' (Acts 15:16). This He will do, restoring Israel to their Land so ''that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all nations'' (Acts 15:17).

In the prophecy of Amos, as in the other books of the Old Testament, God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is reflected in His glory and power.

Christian Commentaries Online

Explanation - The following list includes not only commentaries but other Christian works by well known evangelical writers. Most of the resources below are newer works (written after 1970) which previously were available only for purchase in book form or in a Bible computer program. The resources are made freely available by but have several caveats - (1) they do not allow copy and paste, (2) they can only be checked out for one hour (but can be checked out immediately when your hour expires giving you time to read or take notes on a lengthy section) and (3) they require creating an account which allows you to check out the books free of charge. To set up an account click and then click the picture of the person in right upper corner and enter email and a password. That's all you have to do. Then you can read these more modern resources free of charge! I have read or used many of these resources but not all of them so ultimately you will need to be a Berean (Acts 17:11+) as you use them. I have also selected works that are generally conservative and Biblically sound. If you find one that you think does not meet those criteria please send an email at The resources are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name and some include reviews of the particular resource. 

Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah By: Butler, Trent C Published: Jan 01, 2005 - Holman OT Commentary Series

Joel and Amos : an introduction and commentary By: Hubbard, David Allan

Cyril Barber - Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1990. A clear explanation of the imagery of these prophetic writings. Ties in the church's eschatological vision with God's words to Israel. Also seeks to awaken the conscience of God's people through a careful handling of Amos' vision. Contains valuable comments on the original text.

Be concerned (Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Zephaniah) by Wiersbe, Warren - Always worth checking his comments. 

Bible Exposition Commentary - Old Testament - Warren Wiersbe - always worth checking

With the Word - Devotional Commentary - Warren Wiersbe

Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament by Wiersbe, Warren W

Amos : a Commentary: Gary Smith - A Commentary (Library of Biblical Interpretation). Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989. 307 pp.

Rosscup - A good, thorough conservative commentary leaving few key stones unturned in exposition based on the Hebrew exegesis. He is helpful on the book’s unity, interpretation verse by verse, and theological relevance then and now. The work is of substantial helpfulness to expositors and lay readers.

Bible Knowledge Commentary - Old Testament - Sunukian, Donald. “Amos,” in Bible Knowledge Commentary, ed. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Volume I. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1983.

 Rosscup - A fairly clear, diligent conservative work that concisely deals with many of the expositional issues so that a reader has something solid to explain verses. The outline is well-done. Unlike many commentaries, Sunukian’s work on 9:11–15 is clear-cut, and he even has a good discussion of how James uses part of the passage in Acts 15. He is premillennial.

Hosea-Jonah: Douglas K Stuart (Word Biblical Commentaries). Waco, TX: Word Books, 1987. 537 pp.

Rosscup - This is by the Professor of Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Conservative, he believes that Hosea wrote the book and favors chronology that E. Thiele has set forth. He has impressive bibliographies on all the books, some good notes on details in the Hebrew text, summaries to give perspectives in pericopes, and full comments with much light. In Hosea 1:2 he sees a woman tainted by spiritual unfaithfulness of Israelites, who is physically legitimate at marriage to Hosea and has three children with him. He sees Israel’s blessing of 2:18 and 3:5 fulfilled in the church today, in amillennial fashion (pp. 61, 69, 218), for the church “has inherited the restoration promises of Hosea and the rest of the Old Testament (Galatians 3:29)” (218).

Amos, Hosea By: Ward, James Merrill, 1928- (Interesting)

The Minor Prophets by Feinberg, Charles Lee

James Rosscup - A Jewish Christian scholar in Hebrew who taught in Old Testament at Dallas Seminary and later at Talbot Seminary, where he also was Academic Dean, did this exposition of all the minor prophets. Feinberg made biblical prophecy one of his specializations and does a good survey, being aware of interpretive problems, main views, contextual factors and correlation with other Old Testament and New Testament prophetic passages in a premillennial dispensational understanding. This is a I-volume edition of what originally was issued as 5 small volumes.

Cyril Barber - Formerly published between 1948 and 1952 in a series of volumes under the title Major Messages on the Minor Prophets, these studies have served well the needs of laypeople for more than thirty years.

The Minor Prophets : an Expositional Commentary by Boice, James Montgomery, 292 pages

Cyril Barber - The Minor Prophets, by James Montgomery Boice is illustrative of scholarship being applied to the needs of individuals, Heralds the return to the kind of Bible commentary made famous by the Reformers. Boice deals clearly, concisely, and adequately with this sorely neglected segment of the canon. His handling of the text serves as a model of how preaching through these prophetic writings can be relevant to the times and meet people's needs. Indexed. Recommended.

James Rosscup - Boice has a catchy title for each chapter or section of the prophets. Pages are large with two columns and he provides much good material on the relevance then and now, lessons such as God’s love, repentance, sincerity (Hosea 6), etc. If a Christian took time to read these pages and dwelt on the principles over a span of weeks or months, he could grow much by applying them. Boice at times could be more definite in specifying in what framework God will bless Israel in the future, as in Hosea 14. He can be vague, as in Joel 2:1–11 where he says the invader is neither locusts nor a human army (1,107). He can be very wordy and wander on, too, as in using Joel 2:28 as a take-off into a long discussion of clericalism. He sees Joel 2:28 fulfilled at Pentecost, yet it would help if he showed some aspects were not yet fulfilled. He is more to the point on Zechariah 14.

Amos by Garland, D. David

James Rosscup - This is handled much as he did Hosea in this series. He is conservative, usually clear, succinct, and aware. The outline is good. In 9:11–15, he continues to be vague on the nature of the future of Israel. But some of his wording about the future messianic age gives the impression by its detail that he means the millennium after the Second Advent, though he has no mention of Revelation 20. He does not clarify this.

Minor Prophets of Israel : Jonah, Amos, Hosea by Jensen, Irving - Conservative. Millennial.

Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah by Billy K Smith

James Rosscup not on this exact book but a related book -   Smith, Billy K. and Frank S. Page. Amos, Obadiah, Jonah (New American Commentary). Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1995. Smith did the first two (Amos, Obadiah), Page wrote on Jonah. Verses gain reasonably full, knowledgeable explanation, with good use of a plethora of assists from scholarly literature, footnoted well, in some pertinent places, even with views, etc. Hebrew words are transliterated, and remarks about the grammar help. A fairly perceptive section appears on Amos 9:11–15, even its relation to Acts 15:13–18 in a fururistic prophetical picture. Page views Jonah as a historical account (217–19). Customs such as sea men casting lots in Jonah 1 (234) receive good illumination, and one finds frequent answers to questions readers usually ask, such as on the miraculous element in Jonah (214–15) and whether the Ninevite revival was spiritually real. This evangelical work is well-done and often firmly profitable for teachers, pastors, and other readers.

Understanding the Book of Amos : basic issues in current interpretations by Hasel, Gerhard F

James Rosscup -  This is not a commentary per se but a lucid and somewhat helpful survey drawing into a rich tapestry some of the helpful lines of thought in research opinions on the book. He sees Amos as the first of the writing prophets, ca. 780–760 B. C., and as a “microcosm for the study of all prophetical writings of the Old Testament” (p. 11), so a key to all. He articulates issues in such a way as to point to the unity of the book.

The Day of the Lion: the Message of Amos Motyer, J. A. The Day of the Lion: The Message of Amos (The Bible Speaks Today). Downers Grove: IVP, 1975. 208 pp.

Rosscup - A brief, competent, evangelical effort that succeeds in making the message articulate, often bringing out stimulating and refreshing lessons and applying them to people today. Expositors will find it helpful. As in many books, the description about Israel’s future blessing in 9:11–15 is left in glowing language but in dim light as to the framework in which fulfillment in the land will come, millennially or in the ultimate bliss.

Cyril Barber - A helpful examination of the book of Amos. Relates the message of this OT prophet to the needs of the present day. 2

Amos: a Commentary:    Mays, J. L. Amos: A Commentary (Old Testament Library). Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1969. 176 pp.

Rosscup: A well-respected liberal work with much good information on many parts of the book. Mays, as many, lets his theories limit Amos and lead him to deny things conservatives believe can be defended reasonably. For example, Mays follows the frequent liberal line of denying that 9:11–15, with its bright hope for Israel’s future, could be by the writer who spoke of harsh judgment earlier. Amos, he feels, did not speak of anything besides judgment (p. 9, 165), and 9:12 belongs after the fall of Jerusalem (165), a contention that is not necessary. Still, Mays has a lot of help in verse by verse study, and keen users can glean this out.

Amos David Garland, (Bible Study Commentary). Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1966. 96 pp.

Rosscup: This is handled much as he did Hosea in this series. He is conservative, usually clear, succinct, and aware. The outline is good. In Amos 9:11–15, he continues to be vague on the nature of the future of Israel. But some of his wording about the future messianic age gives the impression by its detail that he means the millennium after the Second Advent, though he has no mention of Revelation 20. He does not clarify this.

Hosea and Amos:  Cohen, Gary G. and H. R. Vandermey. Hosea and Amos (Everyman’s Bible Commentary). Chicago: Moody, 1981. 172 pp.

Rosscup: Vandermey does Hosea and Cohen Amos. Both conservatives use detailed outlines and a brief introduction. The comment on Hosea 1:2 is unclear. The writers are premillennial on Israel’s future (Hosea 3:5; 14:4–9; Amos 9:11–15). Both survey fairly well. The bibliography on Amos is very general, shoddy, listing only two commentaries, both very old.

Understanding the book of Amos : basic issues in current interpretations   Hasel, Gerhard F. Understanding the Book of Amos. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991. 171 pp.

Rosscup: This is not a commentary per se but a lucid and somewhat helpful survey drawing into a rich tapestry some of the helpful lines of thought in research opinions on the book. He sees Amos as the first of the writing prophets, ca. 780–760 B. C., and as a “microcosm for the study of all prophetical writings of the Old Testament” (p. 11), so a key to all. He articulates issues in such a way as to point to the unity of the book.

Amos : a new translation with introduction and commentary  Andersen, Francis I. and David N. Freedman. Amos: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Anchor Bible). Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1989. 979 pp.

Rosscup: The work of these two scholars is ponderous here as it is on Hosea. They uphold the book’s unity, often dealing rather conservatively with the text. The length allows careful explanation, sometimes in much detail. However, there ought to be, but does not appear to be, a lengthy discussion on such a vital concept as the day of the Lord. The writers regard Amos 9:11–15 as in unity with the judgmental focus in the rest of the book. However, in considerable searching this reviewer found no clear statement telling the reader when or in what framework of eschatology the blessing for Israel will be fulfilled, despite the lengthy section. On many of the verses in Amos the student will find clearer help in the work than in comments on 9:11–15.

Amos Among the Prophets: J. K. Howard 

Cyril Barber - After carefully analyzing the two main sections of the prophecy, the author discusses the "reformation movement" and interprets the prophecy both in relation to its historical background and also in terms of its abiding principles of conduct. 

Central ideas in Amos By: Kapelrud, Arvid S., 1912-1994

Cyril Barber - Oslo, Norway: Aschenhoug, 1971. A valuable, critical introductory study to the meaning and message of this prophecy.

God's people in crisis By: Martin-Achard, Robert

Cyril Barber - Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1984. Moves beyond a descriptive-historical approach to offer a relevant exegesis of the OT text and expound its theology in light of the social milieu of the prophets. Emphasizes the relevance of these studies in the life of the church today.

The Minor Prophets : Restoring Righteousness by Townsend, Jim,

Taking God Seriously : Major Lessons from the Minor Prophets by Briscoe, D. Stuart

Hearing God's voice above the noise by Briscoe, D. Stuart

Amos : a commentary on the book of Amos by Paul, Shalom M 7 ratings

Rosscup - A magisterial work which seems on top of many things, impressively thorough, well-written, showing awareness of issues, possibilities, and literature. Cf. the lists of sources (xix–xxvi, 299–367, nearly 80 pp.). This is a second commentary in the Hermeneia series since Hans Wolff’s work was already out. Paul has a very full discussion on the situation in which Amos ministered, his kind of ministry, features of it, views about when oracles occur here, literary traits of the oracles, etc. Paul defends the authenticity of the oracles against arguments of interpolation. The commentary verse by verse is on large double-column pages. It is quite full of details of text, word meaning, geography, customs, relation to other Scripture, views on problems, etc. Footnotes steeped in further help are abundant and often long. Summary remarks at the outset of pericopes help readers see connections, overall ideas, and movement of the book. Paul defends 9:11–15 against arguments from the liberal majority who see it as unauthentic, from an exilic or post-exilic theologian-redactor. He shows how it fits well with the book. He also does much to recognize the prophecy of a future glorious state for Israel and ties it with other passages. But he does not go on to relate 9:11–15 to James’s use of it in Acts 15:13–18. His bibliography does list two works on this under “Early Christian Interpretation” (pp. 316–17). In his section on Indices (364–406) where he lists literature consulted, the “New Testament” entry includes only seven passages and in Acts only 7:43 (394).

Cyril Barber -  This is an excellent exegetical work that is the result of several decades of research on the part of the author. He argues for the literary unity of the work, and exposes the fallacies of those who use either form criticism or redaction criticism. The comments on the text are lucid and the inclusion of illustrative material is helpful. Recommended.

Hosea and Amos - Everyman's Bible Commentary Series by Gary Cohen (Amos) and Vandermey, H. Ronald (Hosea)

James Rosscup - Vandermey does Hosea and Cohen Amos. Both conservatives use detailed outlines and a brief introduction. The comment on Hosea 1:2 is unclear. The writers are premillennial on Israel’s future (Hosea 3:5; 14:4–9; Amos 9:11–15). Both survey fairly well. The bibliography on Amos is very general, shoddy, listing only two commentaries, both very old.

The Communicator's Commentary. Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah by Ogilvie, Lloyd John (Now named Preacher's Commentary, Vol. 22: Hosea/Joel/Amos/Obadiah/Jonah) 

Mastering the Old Testament [volume 20] : Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah by Ogilvie, Lloyd John

Four prophets: Amos, Hosea, First Isaiah, Micah; a modern translation from the Hebrew by Phillips, J. B. (John Bertram), 1906-1982, 

Enjoying the Minor Prophets By: MacDonald, William, 1917-2007 Published: Jan 01, 2013 - A 113 page devotional commentary - same authors as the Believer's Bible Commentary below -- recommended

Interpreting the Minor Prophets by Chisholm, Robert B

James Rosscup - This well-informed survey is by a professor of Old Testament studies, Dallas Seminary, who wrote on Hosea and Joel in the Bible Knowledge Commentary. Chisholm looks broadly at each prophet’s structure, message, doctrinal themes, literary and rhetorical features. After a brief survey of overall themes—sin, judgment, salvation—he takes up each prophet from Hosea to Malachi successively. On long-range prophecy he is presumably premillennial, but in several texts where one would expect a commitment, he keeps things so vague that one finds no distinct word as to when the fulfillment will come (Hosea 3, 14; Joel 3:9ff.; Zechariah 14, etc.). He surveys each book section by section with much that helps, dealing briefly with main problems. At the end of each survey of a book he sums up points of theology. He views Joel 2:1–11 as meaning a human army but is not distinct on what army and when. The work is good but general. The reader who has the BKC from Dallas Seminary would already have the books covered in greater premillennial specificity in many cases.

Twelve voices for truth confronting a falling world with hope : a study of the minor prophets by Hayford, Jack W

The Prophets of Israel by Wood, Leon James 45 ratings

James Rosscup - This quite readable work by a premillennialist covers the overall range of Old Testament prophets, various key subjects under “Prophetism” such as what “to prophesy” means, the prophets’ function, early prophets, Samuel, monarchy prophets, and writing prophets both major and minor. Wood has solid sections on Elijah and Elisha (their spiritual features, episodes, miracles). The Elisha part surveys each miracle. Some sections, as on Hosea, even discuss in some detail leading problems such as whether Gomer was tainted before marriage or became unfaithful later. But sections on the books do not delve into nearly the detail Chisholm gives. Wood does sum up the message well, has an outline on each book, and organizes much on background, character qualities and work of each prophet. He deals with each prophet in relation to the reign he fitted into. Chisholm and Freeman deal more with various problems. Cf. Hobart Freeman, Introd. to the Old Testament Prophets, available now only in some theological libraries.

The twelve minor prophets Published: Jan 01, 1926 Robinson, George -- note this book has no time restriction and does allow copy/paste

James Rosscup - This is a reprint of the 1926 edition (New York: Harper and Brothers). He devotes a chapter to each prophet, “Hosea the Prophet of Love,” etc. The studies are terse summaries. On Hosea he lists and comments on steps in Israel’s downfall and has five points on the message to men today. He packs a lot of information in and organizes it well. His word portrait of Jonah is choice (pp. 74–75), and he has interesting accounts of great fish swallowing men. Though brief, the book has frequent material a preacher can use.

The book of the twelve prophets : commonly called the minor by Smith, George 

James Rosscup - Though old this is well-written and often cited, with many good statements on spiritual truths. Users will find much that is worthwhile, and sometimes may disagree, as when he sees the Jonah account as allegorical.

The Minor Prophets by Lewis, Jack  9 ratings

Unger's Commentary on the Old Testament (Volume 2 - Isaiah - Malachi) by  Unger, Merrill Frederick, 1909- (1981) 972 pages.

Twelve prophets by Craigie, Peter C - Volume 1 - Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah 21 ratings Volume 2 - Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi  12 ratings

Cyril Barber -  These volumes adequately introduce the writing of each minor prophet. The exposition contains something good on each canonical book. Craigie's writings always give evidence of being well researched, and this study is no exception. Interesting sidelights are to be found on the history and culture of the times. The eschatology of these OT writers is marred, however, by the author's amillennialism. (Acts 17:11+)

Preaching the Old Testament : a lectionary commentary By: Allen, Ronald J. (Ronald James), 1949- Published: Jan 01, 2007)

James Rosscup - (THIS CRITIQUE IS NOT ABOUT THE BOOK ABOVE but gives you a sense of who Allen is as a writer.) Allen is skilled in Hebrew and interpretation and writes attractively. He is conservative and premillennial. In his view the locusts are literal in both Chapters 1 and 2, yet supernatural in the latter case. He never seems to clear up what the supernatural locusts are in the future Armageddon time but stays general and vague. They sound like angelic hosts when Allen links them with Revelation 9:11–16. Allen has good emphases about God’s grace, compassion, anger and love in 2:12–17. Apparently he sees the “northern army” of 2:20 as a human one, not identified with the locusts of 2:1–11. He has a long, helpful discussion on whether Acts 2 fulfills the outpouring of the Spirit, and sees a partial fulfillment (p. 95). In 3:9ff., he believes the blessing is in the millennium after the Second Advent, yet he identifies the fountain of verse 18 as the river in the ultimate state, the New Jerusalem (116), and is not clear on why or how he leaps from the millennium to the ultimate bliss.


(1) KJV Bible Commentary - Hindson, Edward E; Kroll, Woodrow Michael. Over 3000 pages of the entire OT/NT. Well done conservative commentary that interprets Scripture from a literal perspective. Pre-millennial.  

Very well done conservative commentary that interprets Scripture from a literal perspective 

The King James Version Bible Commentary is a complete verse-by-verse commentary. It is comprehensive in scope, reliable in scholarship, and easy to use. Its authors are leading evangelical theologians who provide practical truths and biblical principles. Any Bible student will gain new insights through this one-volume commentary based on the timeless King James Version of the Bible.

(2) The King James Study Bible Second Edition 2240 pages (2013) (Thomas Nelson) General Editor - Edward Hindson with multiple contributing editors. . Pre-millennial. See introduction on How to Use this Study Bible.

(3) NKJV Study Bible: New King James Version Study Bible (formerly "The Nelson Study Bible - NKJV") by Earl D Radmacher; Ronald Barclay Allen; Wayne H House. 2345 pages. (1997, 2007). Very helpful notes. Conservative. Pre-millennial.


The MacArthur Study Bible - John MacArthur. Brief but well done notes 1,275 ratings

ESV Study Bible - Excellent resource but not always literal in eschatology and the nation of Israel 6,004 ratings

HCSB Study Bible - conservative notes.

The Holman Illustrated Study Bible Includes the excellent Holman maps but otherwise of little help in serious study.

NIV Study Bible - (2011) 2570 pages  - Use this one if available as it has more notes than edition below. This resource has been fully revised in 2020. 

Life Application Study Bible : New Living Translation. Has some very helpful notes. 4,445 ratings

The Defender's Study Bible : King James Version by Morris, Henry M. Excellent notes for well known creationist. 

Ryrie Study Bible Expanded Edition (1994) 2232 pages

The David Jeremiah study bible - (2013) 2208 pages. 2,272 ratings - "Drawing on more than 40 years of study, Dr. David Jeremiah has compiled a legacy resource that will make an eternal impact on generations to come. 8,000 study notes. Hundreds of enriching word studies"50+ Essentials of the Christian Faith" articles."

The Apologetics Study Bible Understand Why You Believe by Norman Geisler

NIV Archaeological Study Bible (2005) 2360 pages 950 ratings (See also Archaeology and the Bible - OT and NT)

NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible. Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture Keener, Craig and Walton, John. Editors (2017)

Believer's Bible Commentary by MacDonald, William (1995) 2480 pages. One of my favorites. Often has some excellent devotional comments.

Dr. John MacArthur, Jr. - "Concise yet comprehensive - the most complete single-volume commentary I have seen."

Warren Wiersbe - "For the student who is serious about seeing Christ in the Word." 

The Word in life Study Bible - interesting format. Not your routine study Bible. Worth checking the very informative notes. (e.g., here is a picture of Jesus' post-resurrection appearances.)

Wycliffe Bible Commentary - Charles Pfeiffer - 1560 pages (1962). 214 ratings Less detailed than the KJV Bible Commentary. Conservative. Notes are generally verse by verse but brief. 

Rosscup - Conservative and premillennial scholars here have been experts in their fields. The work contains brief introductions and attempts to give a verse-by-verse exposition, though it does skip over some verses. The treatments vary with the authors, but as a whole it is a fine one-volume commentary for pastors and students to use or give to a layman. Outstanding sections include, for example: Whitcomb on Ezra-Nehemiah-Esther; Culver on Daniel; Ladd on Acts; Harrison on Galatians; Johnson on I Corinthians; and Ryrie on the Johannine Epistles.

New Bible Commentary - (1994) 

The Experiencing God Study Bible : the Bible for knowing and doing the will of God - Blackaby, Henry (1996) 1968 pages - CHECK THIS ONE! Each chapter begins with several questions under the title "PREPARE TO MEET GOD." Then you will interesting symbols before many of the passages. The chapter ends with a "DID YOU NOTICE?" question. This might make a "dry chapter" jump off the page! Read some of the 48 ratings

Compact Bible commentary by Radmacher, Earl D; Allen, Ronald Barclay; House, H Wayne, et al - 954 pages.   Multiple contributors to the comments which are often verse by verse. The comments are brief but meaty and can really help your study through a given book. A sleeper in my opinion. 

NIV archaeological study Bible (2005) 2360 pages 950 ratings (See also Archaeology and the Bible - OT and NT)

NIV cultural backgrounds study Bible. bringing to life the ancient world of scripture Keener, Craig and Walton, John. Editors (2017)

Evangelical Commentary on the Bible - editor Walter Elwell (1989) 1239 pages. 


IVP Background Commentary  - OT - John Walton 

Zondervan Atlas of The Bible By: Umair Mirza

Dictionary of Biblical Imagery - free for use online with no restrictions (i.e., you do not need to borrow this book). Editors Leland Ryken, J C Wilhoit, Tremper Longman III - This is a potential treasure chest to aid your preaching and teaching as it analyzes the meaning of a host of Biblical figures of speech. Clue - use the "One-page view" which then allows you to copy and paste text. One downside is there is no index, so you need to search 3291 pages for entries which are alphabetical. 

Dictionary of deities and demons in the Bible (DDD) - 950 pages (1995) Read some of the 65 ratings (4.8/5 Stars). A definitive in depth resource on this subject. Very expensive to purchase. 

Unger's bible handbook : a best-selling guide to understanding the bible by Unger, Merrill F

Halley's Bible Handbook Henry H. Halley - (2000) 2720 pages (much larger than original edition in 1965 and no time limit on use). (Halley's Bible handbook : an abbreviated Bible commentary - one hour limit 1965 872 pages)

Rosscup - A much-used older evangelical handbook bringing together a brief commentary on Bible books, some key archaeological findings, historical background, maps, quotes, etc. It is helpful to a lay Bible teacher, Sunday School leader, or pastor looking for quick, pertinent information on a Bible book. This is the 72nd printing somewhat revised. Halley packed in much information. Unger’s is better overall, but that is not to say that Halley’s will not provide much help on basic information.

The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook - Editor - Walter Elwell (1984) 408 pages.

"This hardback is small in size but packed full of content: Brief summaries of every book of the bible, cultural, archaeological and historical info, word definitions, pictures, maps and charts." Worth checking! 

Eerdmans' Handbook to the Bible (1983) 688 pages 

The New Unger's Bible Dictionary by Unger, Merrill Frederick, 1909-

Every prophecy of the Bible: Walvoord, John F

J.Sidlow Baxter: Explore The Book - pdf  Vol. 4 Ezekiel to Malachi

Jensen's Survey of Bible (online) by Jensen, Irving  140 ratings (NT) 133 ratings (OT) This is a classic and in conjunction with the following three resources should give you an excellent background to the Bible book you are studying. Jensen has some of the best Book charts available and includes "key words." He also gives you some guidelines as to how to begin your inductive study of each book. 

What the Bible is all about by Mears, Henrietta. This is a classic and is filled with "pearls" from this godly teacher of God's Word. 

Talk thru the bible by Wilkinson, Bruce  The Wilkinson & Boa Bible handbook : the ultimate guide to help you get more out of the Bible

Today's Handbook of Bible Times & Customs by Coleman, William L

Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Manners & Customs : How the People of the Bible Really Lived by Vos, Howard Frederic

The New Unger's Bible Dictionary by Unger, Merrill Frederick, 1909-

Nelson's Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament by Unger, Merrill. Indexed by English word and then any related Hebrew nouns or verbs. Definitions are solid and geared to the lay person. 

Nelson's Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament by Unger, Merrill 


Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament by Harris, R. Laird - (5/5 Stars) One of the best OT lexicons for studying Hebrew words.

Here is another link to the TWOT which has no time limit on use and does allow copy and paste. Can be downloaded as PDF. 

Hebrew honey : a simple and deep word study of the Old Testament by Novak, Alfons,  (332 pages) Indexed by English words. No Strong's numbers to help you determine if you are researching the correct Hebrew word. Here is a "work around" - go to page 289 and see if there is an annotation of the Scripture you are studying. E.g., say you want to see if there is anything for "heart" in Ezek 11:19. In the Scripture list find an entry for Ezek 11:19 with the English word "Heart." Now go look up "Heart" (on page 123). It does take some effort, but you might glean an insight not described in other Hebrew lexicons.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words - pdf. The old standby. You can also borrow Vine's complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words

Nelson's Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament by Unger, Merrill. Indexed by English word and then any related Hebrew nouns or verbs. Definitions are solid and geared to the lay person. 

Expository Dictionary of Bible Words by Richards, Larry,  It is does not go into great depth on the Greek or Hebrew words but does have some excellent insights. 

So That's What it Means (Theological Wordbook) - Formerly titled "Theological Wordbookedited by Charles Swindoll. It is now under this new title So That's What it Means and can be borrowed - it is more like a dictionary than a lexicon but the comments are superb! The contributors include Donald Campbell, Wendell Johnston, John Witmer, John Walvoord 

Synonyms of the Old Testament-Robert Girdlestone


The Apologetics Study Bible Understand Why You Believe - Comments from over 90 leading apologists, including: Ted Cabal, Lee Strobel, Chuck Colson, Norm Geisler, Josh McDowell, Albert Mohler, J.P. Moreland, see reviews. Here is a review from The Christian Reviewer.

Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics by Geisler, Norman

Cyril Barber - This is a goldmine of valuable information! Well-indexed. Covers everything from “Absolute Truth” to “Zen Buddhism.” Extensive articles on such topics as “Agnosticism,” “Annihilationism,” “Bible, Alleged Errors in,” “Gnosticism,” “Miracles in the Bible,” “New Testament Manuscripts,” and “Objections to Resurrection,” “Big Bang Theory,” “Edward John Carnell,” “Christ, Death of,” are only a few of the insightful essays in this masterful work. Each article has been written in an understandable way, and a 28 page bibliography forms a valuable source for further research. An excellent resource.

Evidence That Demands A Verdict - Josh McDowell

The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict - Josh McDowell

More Than A Carpenter - A modern classic by Josh McDowell - Great resource for those who are skeptical that Jesus is fully God, fully Man.

Encyclopedia of Bible difficulties by Archer, Gleason L - or here with no restrictions

Hard Sayings of the Bible - Walter Kaiser

When Critics Ask - Norman Geisler


Today's Handbook of Bible Times & Customs by Coleman, William L

Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Manners & Customs : How the People of the Bible Really Lived by Vos, Howard Frederic

Manners & Customs of the Bible (The New Manners and Customs)  Freeman, James M., 1827-1900 Published 1998

The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times: Gower, Ralph, 1933- Published 1987

Manners and Customs of Bible lands By: Wight, Fred Published 1983

Manners and Customs in the Bible By: Matthews, Victor Harold Published 1991

Handbook of life in Bible times By: Thompson, J. A. (John Arthur), 1913-2002 Published 1986

Illustrated dictionary of Bible manners and customs By: Deursen, A. van (Arie), 1891-1963 Published 1982

The Illustrated Guide to Bible Customs & Curiosities by Knight, George W. 

Orientalisms in Bible lands, giving light from customs, habits, manners, imagery, thought and life in the East for Bible students By: Rice, Edwin Wilbur, 1831-1929 Published 1910

Bible manners and customs By: Mackie, G. M. 1854-1922 Published 1898

Teach it to your children : how kids lived in Bible days By: Vamosh, Miriam Feinberg, author

Everyday life in Bible times : work, worship, and war  By: Embry, Margaret Published 1994

Everyday living : Bible life and times : fascinating, everyday customs and traditions from the people of the Bible  Published 2006

The Land and the Book; or, Biblical illustrations drawn from the manners and customs, the scenes and scenery, of the Holy land  By: Thomson, William M. (William McClure), 1806-1894 Published 1880

Eastern manners illustrative of the Old Testament history By: Jamieson, Robert, 1802-1880 Published 1838

Scripture manners and customs : being an account of the domestic habits, arts, etc., of Eastern nations mentioned in Holy Scripture Published  1895


  • Amos Commentary (conservative) - only 34 pages but packed with useful information, including numerous quotes from respected expositors and commentaries.

Big idea: People of privilege are not immune from God’s judgment and must return to the lord in repentance to experience His blessing.


1) Everyone Answers to God- Amos pronounced judgment from God on all the surrounding nations. God is in supreme control of all the nations, they all are accountable to Him.

2) Complacency- With all the comfort and luxury that Israel was experiencing came a false sense of security. Prosperity brought corruption and destruction.

3) Oppressing the Poor- The wealthy and powerful people of Samaria, the capital of Israel, had become prosperous, greedy and unjust. Illegal and immoral slavery came as the result of overtaxation and land-grabbing. There was also cruelty and indifference toward the poor. God is weary of greed and will not tolerate injustice.

4) Superficial Religion- Although many people had abandoned real faith in God, they still pretended to be religious. Merely participating in ceremony or ritual falls short of true religion.

Sermon Notes on Amos

Amos Commentary
Anecdotes, illustrations, etc

Be a Berean - Not Always Literal Especially in prophetic passages

Amos Commentary
Anecdotes, illustrations, etc

Amos Commentary

Resources that Reference Amos

Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Related to Amos


Prophets of Israel and Judah
c. 875–430 B.C.

These are excellent full color, modern maps with events marked on many of the maps

The Kingdom of David and Solomon

The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah

Judah Alone amid International Powers

The Babylonian Exile Up to the Early Roman Empire

Amos Commentary

Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture Literally

Amos Commentary

Sermon Notes on Amos

Sermon Notes on Amos

Commentary on Amos

Simple Translation of Amos

Israelology Articles

Note: This resource is listed because it has numerous commentary notes that relate to the OT Prophetic Books

Commentary on Amos
The Annotated Bible
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

I. Judgment of the Nations, Judah and Israel. Chapters 1-2

Amos 1:1-2 The Introduction

Amos 1:3-5 Damascus

Amos 1:6-8 Philistia

Amos 1:9-10 Tyre

Amos 1:11-12 Edom

Amos 1:13-15 Ammon

Amos 2:1-3 Moab

Amos 2:4-5 Judah

Amos 2:6-16 Israel

II. The Prophetic Messages Uncovering the Condition of the People. Chapters 3-6

Amos 3:1-8 There is Cause for Judgment

Amos 3:9-15 The Coming Judgment Visitation

Amos 4:1-5 Divine Threatening and Irony

Amos 4:6-11 Yet Have Ye Not Returned Unto Me

Amos 4:12-13 Prepare to Meet Thy God

Amos 5:1-3 The Lamentation

Amos 5:4-15 Seek the Lord and Ye Shall Live

Amos 5:16-20 The Wailing

Amos 5:21-27 The Captivity Announced

Amos 6:1-6 Woe to Them That Are at Ease in Zion

Amos 6:7-14 The Punishment Announced

III. The Five Visions of the Prophet. Chapters 7-9

Amos 7:1-3 The Vision of Locusts

Amos 7:4-6 The Vision Concerning the Fire

Amos 7:7-9 The Vision of the Plumbline

Amos 7:10-17 Opposition Against Amos

Amos 8:1-3 The Vision

Amos 8:4-10 Israel Ripe for Judgment

Amos 8:11-14 The Coming Days of Famine

Amos 9:1-10 The Fifth Vision. The Passing of a Kingdom

Amos 9:11-15 The Coming of the Kingdom

Commentary on Amos

Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture Literally and sometimes replaces Israel with the Church (note)

Comment on this Commentary: John Gill unfortunately all too often offers a non-literal interpretation in the Old Testament (especially in his commentary on the prophetic books) as shown in the following example from Amos 9:11KJV where Gill interprets "In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen" not even as the Targum which much more literally records this as a reference to the "tabernacle off the kingdom of the house of David". Instead, Gill spiritualizes the passage "to be understood of the spiritual kingdom of Christ, the church"! This is a nonsensical interpretation, for there is nothing in the context that allows one to conclude that the Old Testament prophet Amos was describing the New Testament church (a mystery [musterion] in the OT-cf Ep 3:4, 5-note, Ep 3:6-note) but of a literal tabernacle in a literal land, as indicated by the description of the bountiful harvest in Amos 9:12, 13 which describes a literal future kingdom when Israel will possess the remnant of Edom (modern day Jordan) (see the description of the unusually fruitful conditions of the Millennium). It follows that non-literal comments such as those Gill proffers on Amos 9:11-15 are misleading and can result in the observer completely missing God's specific intended meaning of the passage! John Calvin, Matthew Henry (see below) and Adam Clarke are among a number of older commentators who exhibit a similar propensity to identify OT references to the literal nation of Israel as references to the New Testament church. As noted Jamieson's commentary is generally more literal (see his much more literal comments on Amos 9:11ff). These older commentaries have some good material (Gill frequently injects interesting comments by Jewish writers) but clearly must be approached with a Berean-like mindset (Acts 17:11-note). The best rule to apply to the interpretation of these OT passages is to remember the maxim that if the plain sense of the text (the literal sense) makes good sense, seek to make no other sense lest it turn out to be nonsense!

Commentary on Amos

Sermons on Amos
Peninsula Bible Church

A Reason to Hope Amos 8:1-14, 9:1-15 Hall, Danny
Finding Our Voice Amos 7:1-17 Hall, Danny
The Merciful Hand of God Amos 5:1-17 Hall, Danny
The Disciplining Hand of God Amos 3:9-15, 4:1-13, 5:1-27, 6:1-14 Hall, Danny
Who Turned Out The Light? Amos 2:4-16, 3:1-8 Hall, Danny
The Sins of the Nations Amos 1:2-15, 2:1-3 Hall, Danny
The God With Whom We Have To Do Amos 1:1-2 Hall, Danny

Commentary on Amos

James Rosscup writes "This 1858 work supplies much help on matters of the text, word meaning, resolving some problems, etc. Some have found it one of the most contributive sources in getting at what a text means." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

Commentary on Amos

Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture Literally
and sometimes replaces Israel with the Church (note)

Comment on this Commentary: Matthew Henry's comments on the OT like those of John Gill, Adam Clarke's and John Calvin are not always literal (see preceding discussion). For example, Henry says Amos 9:11KJV refers to "those days that shall come, in which God will do great things for his church". Henry goes on to make the even more confusing nonsensical comment that "The church militant, in its present state, dwelling as in shepherds' tents to feed, as in soldiers' tents to fight, is the tabernacle of David." (See Tony Garland's article - Rise of Allegorical Interpretation). Hopefully, this example will help the reader understand why much caution is needed when viewing Matthew Henry's comments on the Old Testament, especially his comments on the prophetic books! So why is Henry even listed? Matthew Henry is included because he often has very practical, poignant devotional thoughts and/or pithy points of application.


Interesting Resource, Be a Berean - Not Always Literal


Amos 1 Critical Notes

  • Amos 1:1-2 The Man and His Message
  • Amos 1:3-5 The Judgment of Damascus
  • Amos 1:6-8 The Judgment of Gaza
  • Amos 1:9, 10 The Judgment of Tyre
  • Amos 1:11, 12 The Judgment of Edom
  • Amos 1:11, 12 The Judgment of Ammon
  • Amos 1 Illustrations to Chapter 1

Amos 2 Critical Notes

  • Amos 2:1-3 The Judgment on Moab
  • Amos 2:4,5 The Judgment on Judah
  • Amos 2:6-16 The Judgment on Israel
  • Amos 2:10 Christian Pilgrimage
  • Amos 2 Illustrations to Chapter 2

Amos 3 Critical Notes

  • Amos 3:1-2 God's Chastisement of A Covenant People
  • Amos 3:3-8 Divine Intentions and Executions
  • Amos 3:3 Walking in Agreement with God
  • Amos 3:9-12 National Calamities
  • Amos 3:13, 14 Divine Visitation
  • Amos 3 Illustrations to Chapter 3

Amos 4 Critical Notes

  • Amos 4:1-3 Sad Pictures of Human Life
  • Amos 4:4-5 Ungodly Life and Formal Education
  • Amos 4:6-11 The Corrective Measures of God's Providence
  • Amos 4 The Firemen of God or the Strange Parallel Between Fire and Sin
  • Amos 4:12 Threatened Evil Escaped by Return of God
  • Amos 4:12, 13 Prepare to Meet Thy God
  • Amos 4:13 The Dispensations of Providence Carrying Out the Designs of Grace
  • Amos 4 Illustrations to Chapter 4

Amos 5 Critical Notes

  • Amos 5:1-3 The Funeral Dirge
  • Amos 5:4-6 Seeking God and Renouncing Sin
  • Amos 5:6 Divine Justice A Consuming Fire
  • Amos 5:7 Judgment Turned to Wormwood
  • Amos 5:9, 10 God Greatly to be Feared
  • Amos 5:10-13 Manifold and Mighty Sins
  • Amos 5:13 Times of Prudent Silence
  • Amos 5:14,15 Seeking and Enjoying God
  • Amos 5:16-20 The Day of the Lord
  • Amos 5:18 Death Not Always Desirable
  • Amos 5:21-23 The Ritual Without the Moral
  • Amos 5:24 Judgments Like a Flood
  • Amos 5:25-27 Hereditary Sins and Grievous Punishment
  • Amos 5 Illustrations to Chapter 5

Amos 6 Critical Notes

  • Amos 6:1 At Ease in Zion
  • Amos 6:2-3 Ingratitude for the Presence and Indifference to the Warnings of God
  • Amos 6:4-6 A Reckless Community
  • Amos 6:7-11 National Retribution Upon Sinful Indulgence
  • Amos 6:12-14 A Hopeless People
  • Amos 6 Illustrations to Chapter 6

Amos 7 Critical Notes

  • Amos 7:1-3 The Scourging Locusts
  • Amos 7:4 God Contending With Fire
  • Amos 7:7-9 The Measuring Plumbline
  • Amos 7:1-9 The First Three Visions
  • Amos 7:10-17 The Encounter Between Priest and Prophet
  • Amos 7 Illustrations to Chapter 7

Amos 8 Critical Notes

  • Amos 8:1-2 A Basket of Summer Fruit
  • Amos 8:3 A Day of Sadness
  • Amos 8:4-6 The Deeds of Covetousness
  • Amos 8:7-10 The Curse of Covetousness
  • Amos 8:11-14 A Famine of the Word
  • Amos 8 Illustrations to Chapter 8

Amos 9 Critical Notes

  • Amos 9:1-4 The Final Calamity
  • Amos 9:4 God's Eye Fixed on Sinners
  • Amos 9:7,8 God's Covenant Does Not Invalidate His Word
  • Amos 9:8-10 The Sifting Process
  • Amos 9:11, 12 The Fallen Tabernacle Reared and Enlarged
  • Amos 9:13-15 The Spiritual Glory of the Raised Tabernacle
  • Amos 9 Illustrations to Chapter 9


Cyril Barber - First published in 1904, and with the text entirely reset, this exposition ably explains the gist of each “minor” prophet’s message. Premillennial.

James Rosscup - Expository addresses with practical value to the pastor-teacher along dispensational lines.

Amos 1 Amos 2 Amos 3 Amos 4
Amos 5 Amos 6 Amos 7 Amos 8
Amos 9

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

One of the best older commentaries on prophetic passages. Tends to interpret the Scriptures literally.

Unabridged Version

Sermons on Amos

Commentary on Amos

Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture Literally See caveat regarding this commentary

Commentary on the Old Testament

Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture Literally

Thru the Bible
Commentary on Amos

Mp3 Audio  Literal, futuristic interpretation Recommended

Complete Commentary of Amos on one zip file


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  • Descriptive Definition of the Day of Yahweh - The Day of Yahweh can describe a near historical fulfillment, but more often describes an eschatological fulfillment, specifically the time when Yahweh will judge the Gentile nation, and bring about divine deliverance for His chosen people Israel, in turn followed by a period of unprecedented blessing and prosperity in the Messianic Kingdom (the Millennium being a “component” of the Day of Yahweh -- you can see this depicted in the timeline below of the "Day of the LORD According to 2 Peter 3:1-13").
  • See discussion of the Day of the Lord = Amos 5:18, 20 










Excerpt: Interpretive Challenges = In Amos 9:11, the Lord promised that He “will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down.” At the Jerusalem Council, convened to discuss whether Gentiles should be allowed into the church without requiring circumcision, James quotes this passage (Acts 15:15,16) to support Peter’s report of how God had “visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name” (Acts 15:14). Some have thus concluded that the passage was fulfilled in Jesus, the greater Son of David, through whom the dynasty of David was reestablished. The Acts reference, however, is best seen as an illustration of Amos’ words and not the fulfillment. The temporal allusions to a future time (“On that day,” Amos 9:11), when Israel will “possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles” (Amos 9:12), when the Lord “will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them” (Amos 9:15), all make it clear that the prophet is speaking of Messiah’s return at the Second Advent to sit upon the throne of David (cf. Isaiah 9:7-See commentary), not the establishment of the church by the apostles.



D L MOODY in "Notes from My Bible"

Amos 4:12.  “Prepare to meet thy God.” Four things in this text:—
a. There is one God.
b. We are accountable to him.
c. We must meet him.
d. We need preparation to meet him.







Though Amos ministered during the prosperous days of Uzziah in Judah and the second Jeroboam in Israel, he clearly perceived the rottenness underneath the outward magnificence which would sooner or later break out and bring about the ruin of the two houses of Israel. GOD would shake them as with an earthquake.

However, he saw that a remnant would be preserved: "Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch" (Amos 3:12) (Amos 5:3-14). Israel's Shepherd would "deliver" them. And who can this Shepherd be but the One who says: "I am the good Shepherd?"

Again there is a distinct personal type of the Messiah as the Intercessor in Amos 7:2-9. The Prophets of Israel were no mere lookers on from a distance. The SPIRIT of CHRIST was in them, and formed in them Christ-like feelings about the situations revealed to them prophetically. But there is more. Amos saw that beyond the judgments there would be a glorious revival to the fallen tabernacle of David (Amos 9:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15). Surely that revival could only be fulfilled in the risen CHRIST!

In Him the destinies of the house of David find their goal. Here again the spirit of prophecy harks back to the original charter made with David in II Samuel: "And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever" (Amos 7:16). Even though the tree were hewn down and only a stump remained, yet out of it shall yet spring the lowly rod on which the seven-fold Spirit could rest: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD" (Isaiah 11:1-2). Hence the ancient synagogue called the Messiah Bar-Naphlim, that is: He who springs from the fallen family of David.




Excerpt: Why is Amos so important? Amos was fed up. While most of the prophets interspersed redemption and restoration in their prophecies against Israel and Judah, Amos devoted only the final five verses of his prophecy for such consolation. Prior to that, God’s word through Amos was directed against the privileged people of Israel, a people who had no love for their neighbor, who took advantage of others, and who only looked out for their own concerns. More than almost any other book of Scripture, the book of Amos holds God’s people accountable for their ill-treatment of others. It repeatedly points out the failure of the people to fully embrace God’s idea of justice. They were selling off needy people for goods, taking advantage of the helpless, oppressing the poor, and the men were using women immorally (Amos 2:6–8; 3:10; 4:1; 5:11–12; 8:4–6). Drunk on their own economic success and intent on strengthening their financial position, the people had lost the concept of caring for one another; Amos rebuked them because he saw in that lifestyle evidence that Israel had forgotten God.



Excerpts: AMOS' MESSAGE AGAINST SIN (Amos 6:1-8)

Perhaps the greatest reason for the prophet's condemnation of Israel was that the people were ''at ease.'' They were indolent, sinful, and indifferent to the Lord. All of this was at a time when great unrighteousness marked the nation. It will help if we consider what characterized this unrighteousness.

A dependence upon natural things (Amos 6:1).

In effect, the people of Israel said, ''Look at our fortifications; these very mountains are our bulwarks.'' How often this is the attitude of God's heavenly people today, the church! We boast about our buildings, our great expenditures of money, our large staff, our growing prestige. But God says, ''Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit'' (Zechariah 4:6). God's work is not dependent upon our natural resources. The apostle Paul declared, ''And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence'' (1Corinthians 1:28,29).

A false optimism (Amos 6:3).

The prophets would often draw attention to coming calamities. But the people would say, ''The evil day is far off; it will not come in our generation.'' The attitude today parallels that of Amos' time. We are slow to accept what the Scripture explicitly declares-- that perilous times are ahead, that a religion will arise without power, that a departure from the faith will occur, and that Christians will reject sound doctrine. Yes, a false optimism prevails today, in spite of the clear teaching of the Word of God.

They lived in luxury (Amos 6:4).

The people were self-sufficient and had forgotten their need for God. High living characterized the lifestyle of Israel. And Jesus observed during His earthly ministry, ''So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God'' (Luke 12:21). [cp. Rev 3:17]

The were absorbed in the culture of music (Amos 6:5).

''That chant to the sound of the harp, and invent to themselves instruments of music.'' What a marvelous gift music is! But sin has spoiled it, and the curse is clearly evident in that realm of human activity. All creation was once in tune in the major mode. The morning stars sang together. One day, this major mode will return, and the trees will burst forth in music. But Israel's music appealed to the flesh; it was sensual. The people said, in so many words, ''Our music must be all right; it is just like David's.''

THE PROPHETIC MESSAGE-- Looking beyond the captivity of Israel and their restoration to the land, Amos described that glorious era when Christ will come the second time.

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and the hills shall melt.And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink their wine; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord, thy God. (Amos 9:13-15)

The apostle James quoted a part of this passage and revealed the divine purpose. God is now visiting the Gentiles ''to take out of them a people for His name.'' Read the account in Acts 15:13-18. After the church has been called out (not the conversion of all Gentiles, but only the gathering out of an elect number), Christ will return. He will ''build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down'' (Acts 15:16). This He will do, restoring Israel to their Land so ''that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all nations'' (Acts 15:17). In the prophecy of Amos, as in the other books of the Old Testament, God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is reflected in His glory and power.










GENE GETZ - short videos emphasizing various principles

  • Amos 1:1-2 Humble Servants: We are to live our lives believing that God desires to use each one of us regardless of our status and position in life. Video
  • Amos 1:3-2:16; God's Judgment: No matter what our spiritual heritage, we will only escape God's ultimate judgment through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Video
  • Amos 3:1-8; God's Coming Judgment: We should take very seriously God's warnings that judgment will eventually come on all who continue in sin and ignore His plan of salvation. Video
  • Amos 3:9-15; Accountability to God: As God's children, we are to respond to God's grace, realizing that God expects much from the one to whom He has given much. Video
  • Amos 4:1-5; Cultural Deterioration: When women begin to regress spiritually and morally, we should expect cultural deterioration to accelerate. Video
  • Amos 4:6-13;Preparing to Meet God: Though God's final judgment on sinful humanity will eventually come, we are to let all people know that the gift of salvation is still available. Video
  • Amos 5:1-17; Our Salvation Experience: To inherit eternal life, each one of us must have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Video
  • Amos 5:21-27; Religious Hypocrisy: We are to worship God with sincere and pure hearts, avoiding meaningless rituals. Video
  • Amos 6:1-14; Material Prosperity: We must never conclude that material prosperity and political power are indications that God approves of our lifestyle. Video
  • Amos 7:1-17; False Accusations: We who speak God's truth should not be surprised when we are falsely accused and persecuted, even by some who claim to be spiritual leaders.Video
  • Amos 8:1-14; God's Divine Revelation: Though we may feel God is silent, we must remember that He has spoken and continues to speak through the Holy Scriptures. Video



  • HCSB Study Bible : Holman Christian Standard Bible (borrow) - Sample excerpts from Amos 1 and Amos 9 notes...

    Amos 1:1 Some believe that Amos was a very poor man, being no more than a day laborer who tended livestock and worked in orchards (7:14), but sheep breeders may imply that Amos owned sheep and cattle and that he was in the middle or upper-middle class. The book does not tell us anything about his economic status. Although Amos was from Judah, his message was primarily designated for Israel, the northern kingdom. The earthquake was evidently of such severity that other events were dated relative to it. Lacking a single fixed point for their calendar (as our calendar has, being fixed relative to the birth of Christ), the Israelites dated events relative to the reigns of kings or to other significant events. In addition, the earthquake, coming two years after Amos's ministry, symbolically confirmed his message (9:5). The fact that the book is precisely dated to two years before the earthquake suggests that Amos's preaching career was fairly short.
    Amos 1:2 This verse sets the theme of the book: God is like a roaring lion. This symbolically portrays His giving a message to His prophets and His readiness to pounce and attack (3:4-8).
    Amos 1:3-2:16 The first section of Amos is a series of oracles against the nations: Damascus (or Syria; 1:3-5), Gaza (or Philistia; 1:6-8), Tyre (or Phoenicia; 1:9-10), Edom (1:11-12), Ammon (1:13-15), Moab (2:1-3), Judah (2:4-5), and Israel (2:6-16). The focus is on Israel, which is last and is given by far the longest oracle. There are six Gentile nations followed by Judah, the seventh. One would think that this creates a complete list, with seven oracles in all, but Israel comes as the eighth, and thus the tally of her sin is in effect greater than the number seven, which symbolized completion. That is, Israel is the quintessentially wicked nation. Also, the order of the nations slowly tightens around Israel. First is Damascus, to the northeast; then Gaza, to the southwest; then Tyre, to the northwest; then Edom, to the southeast; and next come Ammon and Moab, across the Jordan River to the east; and finally before Israel comes Judah, located immediately south of Israel.
    Amos 1:3 The significance of the expression for three crimes, even four is debated. But it could be translated as "for three crimes, and for [another] four," implying that the number of offenses had reached seven and was therefore complete, requiring judgment. Damascus regularly struggled with Israel for control of Gilead, east of the Sea of Galilee. It used brutal military tactics there, symbolically described as going over the countryside with iron sledges.
    Amos 1:4 Hazael and Ben-hadad were throne names used by all the kings of Damascus.
    Amos 1:6 The Philistines captured villages in order to sell the entire populace into slavery.
    Amos 1:7-8 All the major cities of the Philistines (Gaza...Ekron...Ashkelon, and Ashdod) are mentioned except Gath, which by the time of Amos had already been substantially wiped out.
    Amos 1:9 Tyre also raided towns to sell the people into slavery, and it did so in violation of treaty obligations.
    Amos 1:11 Edom committed border raids (probably against Judah) in which they exterminated entire populations.
    Amos 1:13 The Ammonites sought to exterminate the population of Gilead by slaughtering the pregnant women

    Amos 9:9:11-12 The fallen booth of David refers to the dynasty and empire of David (normally called the "house" of David but here a "booth," symbolic of the pathetic condition of this once-mighty line of kings). The restoration will take place first at the resurrection of Christ but after that in the eternal kingdom of the new heaven and new earth (Rev 21:1). Edom is representative of the Gentiles that hated and persecuted Israel. The point is that some day all nations, however hostile they have been, will submit either willingly or unwillingly. Paul likewise declared that some day every knee will bow to Jesus (Php 2:10). But clearly Amos did not envision simple domination of the Gentiles. Many will be called by My name, implying that they will belong to God. This promise is fulfilled now, as Gentiles all over the world worship Israel's God and Messiah. James understood the passage in this way and cited it as being fulfilled in the mission to the Gentiles (Ac 15:14-18). James's citation of Am 9:12 in Ac 15:17 differs somewhat from the Hebrew because he seems to be loosely quoting from the Greek Septuagint translation of Amos. Also, the Hebrew word for "Edom" is similar to the word for "humanity" (adam), which explains why Amos has "Edom" but James has "humanity."

    Amos 9:13-15 Just as God had promised to bring famine to Israel and nearly to exterminate the nation, He promises in these verses to give them abundant crops and a large population. The statement that the plowman will overtake the reaper is hyperbole for fruitfulness and served to assure the people that they would enjoy eternal well-being.

HOMILETICS - from Pulpit Commentary



  • Amos Commentary Excerpt -  Application/Conclusion

    (1) Although the unbeliever's sins often appear worse to us, in God's eyes, those of the Christian are worse because we should know better. Chapters 1-2

(2) Just like the Israelites looked down on her neighbor's for the atrocities they committed, I think we look down on those that commit gross sins and think that we are better than they, not realizing that God hates our sins of hypocrisy and idolatry more. Chapters 1-2

(3) Just like God was patient with Israel and gave opportunity to repent. God also is patient with us an gives us time to repent, but don't abuse God's grace because we don't know when He will finally bring judgment. Chapter 4

(4) Just like Amos reacted to God's judgment emotionally and thought it was unfair, we often do the same. When Amos saw things from God's perspective, he didn't protest any more. Chapter 7

(5) God will restore Israel and will set up his kingdom so that all the nations can benefit from His rule.










  • Amos - Well Done - nice charts. Below is an excerpt:

    The message of Amos begins on a loud note. It begins with the "roar" of the Lord. The Hebrew word used here is usually used in the context of a lion. This stands in contrast to the way in which God has been pictured elsewhere. The same God of whom David could say, "The Lord is my shepherd," is now seen to be playing the part of a hungry lion....Interestingly, the book of Amos begins with the words with which the book of Joel ends. It is with this same reference to the roaring of the Lord from Zion....The Israelites continued to be a very religious people. They built up places of worship throughout their land and they held religious festivals and they gave offerings to the Lord. But there were two problems with their practice of religion.....It was a Religion without Reality. Even when the Israelites did worship the Lord, they did not allow their religion to affect their secular lives....There is a lesson here. It is that church attendance makes no points with God if it is not accompanied with personal justice and righteousness. The Israelites had not abandoned their religious practices. They had merely watered them down. They said, "We want to follow God, but we don't want to be fanatical about it." This was the world to which Amos preached. It was a world that was enamored with financial success; a world that was intent on climbing the ladder of success. In fifty years it would all be gone. The Assyrians had gone home for the time being, but within a few short years they would be back and they would completely obliterate the Northern Kingdom of Israel.



  • Amos, Hosea, Jonah and Micah -  Be very discerning: Utley is Amillennial and replaces Israel with the Church. Why listed? Because he has well done grammatical (word and phrase studies) and interesting historical comments (eg, see page 45 "Fertility Worship of the Ancient Near East" -See Related Resources: Millennium; Israel of God


  • Amos Devotional - Excerpt...

    Amos opened his book by pronouncing judgment on the Gentile nations for the way they had treated the Jews, and this must have made the kingdoms of Israel and Judah very happy. But then the prophet announced that Israel and Judah would be punished for the sins they had committed against the Lord. God had already disciplined his people by sending drought and famine, blight and mildew, diseases and wars, but now the ultimate judgment would come—death. They would meet not God’s “spankings” but God himself! The Assyrian army would invade the northern kingdom of Israel and many of the people would die. If you and I knew that we would die next week, how would we respond? If we suddenly had to rearrange our lives and alter them dramatically, then there is something wrong with our lives. We should so live for the Lord that he could call us at any time and we would be prepared. Israel was not prepared for several reasons.


















RICK WARREN - devotional


Conservative notes from Dr Morris who approaches the text seeking it's literal meaning in the context. Millennial. Click the words or phrases after the Scripture for the Study Notes and note that they are from the KJV translation.

Amos 1 Commentary

Amos 2 Commentary

Amos 3 Commentary

Amos 4 Commentary

Amos 5 Commentary

Amos 6 Commentary

Amos 7 Commentary

Amos 8 Commentary

Amos 9 Commentary

Amos Commentary Notes

  • Amos 1 Commentary
  • Amos 2 Commentary
  • Amos 3 Commentary
  • Amos 4 Commentary
  • Amos 5 Commentary
  • Amos 6 Commentary
  • Amos 7 Commentary
  • Amos 8 Commentary
  • Amos 9 Commentary

    Sample excerpt from Amos 9:13 Notes (some are study notes and some are translation notes)

    Amos 9:13 NET Bible = "Be sure of this the time is coming," says the LORD, "when the plowman will catch up to the reaper (40) and the one who stomps the grapes (41) will overtake (42) the planter.(43 ) Juice will run down the slopes (44) ,it will flow down all the hillsides.(45)

    40 - The plowman will catch up to the reaper. Plowing occurred in October–November, and harvesting in April–May (see P. King, Amos, Hosea, Micah, 109.) But in the future age of restored divine blessing, there will be so many crops the reapers will take all summer to harvest them, and it will be time for plowing again before the harvest is finished.
    41 - When the grapes had been harvested, they were placed in a press where workers would stomp on them with their feet and squeeze out the juice. For a discussion of grape harvesting technique, see O. Borowski, Agriculture in Iron Age Israel, 110–12.
    42 - The verb is omitted here in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation from the parallel line.
    43 - The grape harvest occurred in August–September, planting in November–December (see P. King, Amos, Hosea, Micah, 109). But in the future age described here there will be so many grapes the workers who stomp them will still be working when the next planting season arrives.
    44 - Or “hills,” where the vineyards were planted.
    45 - Heb “and all the hills will melt.”

Devotionals & Sermon Illustrations
Radio Bible Class

On Amos

Be a Berean - Not always literal (especially on prophetic passages)


Commentary on Amos

James Rosscup writes "This work originally appeared in 1860. The present publication is set up in two columns to the page with the text of the Authorized Version reproduced at the top. Scripture references, Hebrew words, and other citations are relegated to the bottom of the page. The work is detailed and analytical in nature. Introduction, background and explanation of the Hebrew are quite helpful. Pusey holds to the grammatical-historical type of interpretation until he gets into sections dealing with the future of Israel, and here Israel becomes the church in the amillennial vein." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)


Caveat: Rayburn (as does the Reformation Study Bible below) interprets "The Israel of God" as the Church and thus espouses the eschatological view known as replacement theology/supersessionism. Be aware of this systematic theological bias as you read his notes on Amos. I do not personally agree with this approach, but include his note because he is a respected expositor of the Scripture.


Caveat - Be aware these notes are generally amillennial and espouse a replacement type of theology - For example note the comment on "the land I have given them" in Amos 9:15.

The RSB note says "The physical Promised Land is but a type of the New Israel’s life in Christ; it points forward to the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 11:13–16; 12:22–24). The covenant land promise finds final fulfillment in the new heavens and the new earth (Rev. 21:1–22:6)."

In contrast Dr John MacArthur (Borrow MacArthur Study Bible) interprets Amos 9:15 this way - "The ultimate fulfillment of God’s land promise to Abraham (cf. Ge 12:7; 15:7; 17:8) will occur during Christ’s millennial reign on earth (cf. Joel 2:26, 27)."

See my brief study, "The Israel of God" which addresses the questions "Is God finished with the nation of Israel?" and/or "Has the NT Church replaced Israel in God's plan?"

See Gotquestions answer to "What is replacement theology/supersessionism?"

Commentary on Amos
Prepare to Meet Thy God

  • Amos Commentary (129 pages) - Recommended. Below is an excerpt...
    Amos 1:2 The LORD roars from Zion,

    In introducing the judgment of God against the pagan nations, against Judah, and finally against Israel, Amos portrays the Lord as roaring like a lion leaping on his prey. Amos is totally convinced that God has spoken and likens the voice of God to the sound of a roaring lion. “The prophet has a tremendous sense of the majesty of God and the authority of his Word. As far as he is concerned, he has left his normal job to proclaim the majesty of God and the authority of His word. Amos has become obsessed with listening to God” [Stuart Briscoe - Taking God Seriously - page 45]. What a magnificent obsession!

    I once heard R. G. Lee give an illustration about a new convert whose pastor had just preached an evangelistic sermon. He announced that the hymn of invitation would be “Rescue the Perishing.” Halfway through the invitation the young man rushed down the isle, took the pastor by the hand rather enthusiastically, and asked, “When do we start?” “Start what,” asked the surprised pastor. “Rescuing the perishing!”, he responded. The pastor explained, “Son, that’s just a song. Just a song.” To Amos the command was not just a song.

    Today one seldom hears God portrayed as a roaring lion. God is love. He is our Father. He is our Creator, our Sustainer, our Redeemer. He is all of that, but He also speaks as a roaring lion. People ignore the love of God and take for granted the mercy and grace of God, but how can they dismiss God roaring as a lion, demanding to be heard? They can only ignore Him if they are not reading His word, which is exactly what is happening in America today. America was founded on he Word of God, but today AMERICA’S CHRISTIAN HERITAGE IS A FADING MEMORY FOR MOST AMERICANS. Decades of value-neutral public education have left our nation without a moral anchor. While the Bible is a perennial best seller, and Americans publish and purchase more Bibles than any other people on earth, ‘the Bible has virtually disappeared from American education. It is rarely studied, even as literature, in public classrooms.’ And yet, it was the Bible that made America. The rejection of the Bible in our day is resulting in the unmaking of America” [Demars - America's Christian Heritage -191].

    Robert C. Winthrop (1809 - 1894) was speaker of the thirtieth Congress when he addressed the Massachusetts Bible Society in 1849. In his speech he said, “Men must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible, or by the bayonet” [Demars - America's Christian Heritage - page 191]. 

  • Sanders has some excellent notes at the end of this commentary which could serve as teaching illustrations.
    Note 1 - From Jerusalem Times
    Note 2 - Moral Conditions
    Note 3 - See below
    Note 4 - Justice
    Note 5 - Lying
    Note 6 - Sin
    Note 7 - Homosexuality
    Note 8 - God's Messenger Opposed by Officials

    Here is an example from Note 3..


    The Book of Amos speaks to modern day America. Moral, social, and spiritual circumstances are disturbingly analogous. Politically, in spite of differences in the forms of government, problems are remarkably similar.

    1. GOVERNMENT. Israel was governed by a monarch who had brought prosperity and security to the land. Even though neither the king nor the people could foresee it, both were is grave jeopardy. America is a republic, a representative democracy which is the envy of the world. We have known both prosperity and security, but there are signs that democracy as we know it may not survive another generation. Both our security and our prosperity are at risk.

    2. SPIRITUAL CONDITIONS. A secular writer might list moral problems, or social problems, but in reality all moral and social problems are spiritual in nature.

    Ancient Israel was guilty of greed; so is America.
    Ancient Israel was guilty of immorality; so is America.
    Ancient Israel was guilty of substance abuse; so is America.
    Ancient Israel was guilty of class strife; so is America.
    Ancient Israel was guilty of violence; so is America.
    Ancient Israel was guilty of idolatry; so is America.
    Ancient Israel denied guilt; so does America. 

    3. SOLUTIONS In the eighth century BC Israel continually looked to answers in all the wrong places. So it is with America at the turn of the twenty-first century. They looked to the king and his policies, to political alliances and military power. Many looked to false gods.

    As America entered the post-Christian era, she naturally began to look more to government to solve problems, and less to God and the church. We have applied the most sophisticated educational programs, the most advanced technical training, the most highly developed social programs, and most finely tuned political programs in history in an effort to solve our problems.

    4. RESULTS. In ancient Israel, their political and religious leaders could produce temporary outward results, but did not solve the problems at their source. They did not change the inner man and until you change the inner person you do not produce lasting results that God will approve. The land was filled with religious leaders who polluted worship and political leaders who defiled the name of God.

    America is guilty of many of the same sins. The fall of a few televangelists has been well publicised and the failure of the church to curb crime, or reform society has received a lot of attention. Politicians use God’s name when they determine that it is good for their political careers, but avoid it when they are afraid it will be a liability. The “elite” in both the media and academia often express hostility toward God and Christianity.

    Polls indicate that a very high percentage of Americans believe in God (or a god-presence, or some higher spiritual power), but America grows more and more ungodly. Belief in God is not impacting the lives of those who profess to believe. Moral relativism seeks to erase sin from the dictionary and eradicate guilt from the heart.

    The church has failed, and is failing, God in America. `New buildings are being built, the most beautiful facilities with adequate space. We offer programs, gymnasiums, sermons, and concerts. But something is missing. We report record numbers in the area of nikels and noses (attendance and offerings), but something is missing. That something is POWER. The power that is missing is the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), Whose ministry is quenched by the faithlessness of those who profess to know Him.

    The church has watered down Scripture, neglected doctrine, forsaken godliness, and disdained holiness. We have let the world shape the church. The church is not impacting the world. More and more groups like the ACLU are putting the church in what they consider to be its place - in the home and in the church building, and out of the market place and the public arena. Christians are letting it happen and we are not fighting back - better to be respectable than in jail!

    5. HOPE. Is there any hope? In the first place, people should ask, “Is there a problem?” There are major problems - more than most church members can see. But there is hope. That hope is the same hope that has always been held out to those who will repent and commit themselves to the Lord.

    There are more churches than at any time in history. There are more preachers, ministers of music, youth, activities, ministers to seniors, evangelists and missionaries than ever. There are more sophisticated programs, greater budgets, and better facilities than ever before. There are more Christian publishers and book stores, Christian book clubs, music sortes, audio and video tapes, radio and television programs than ever. There are many godly Christians and many ministers who do preach the Gospel without compromise. Why, then, are we not reaching America for Christ?

    Either God has lost His power to act, or we are doing something wrong! Since God cannot fail and His power cannot be diminished, we must be at fault. What do we do? The church must rediscover the Bible. Scripture. The Word of God. If we love Him we will love His Word and if love His Word we will study it and apply it. The more we use it the more we will love it. The church needs to rediscover the power and blessings of prayer. We are invited to call on the name of the Lord. Herein is the answer: prayer and Bible study; ministry and witnessing.

Reference Notes

Sermon on Amos
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

NOTE: If you are not familiar with the great saint Charles Simeon see Dr John Piper's discussion of Simeon's life - you will want to read Simeon's sermons after meeting him! - click Brothers We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering (Mp3 even better)

Sermon Notes
Calvary Chapel

Commentary on Amos
The Expositor's Bible

James Rosscup writes "Though old this is well-written and often cited, with many good statements on spiritual truths. Users will find much that is worthwhile, and sometimes may disagree, as when he sees the Jonah account as allegorical (Ed: See Tony Garland's article on the Rise of Allegorical Interpretation)." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

Book of Amos

Morning and Evening
Faith's Checkbook



Amos 5 

Amos 5:4. For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:

And that it just the message of God to professing Christians now: “Seek ye me.” Get away from your mere ceremonies, from trusting in your outward performances, and get to God himself. Get beyond your fellow-worshippers and your ministers, beyond your sanctuaries and your supposed holy places, and get in spirit and in truth to God himself: “Seek ye me, and ye shall live.”

Amos 5:5. But seek not Beth-el, nor enter into Gilgal and pass not to Beersheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Beth-el shall come to nought.

These were the places where the calves and other idols were set up for the worship of God by means of visible symbols. That was the Romanism of that day. Pure spiritual worship was ordained by God, but that was not enough for the idolatrous Israelites. They must needs set up the image of an ox, the emblem of power, — not that they would worship the ox, they said, but that they might worship the God of power through that symbol. And that is the plea of Papists today: — “We do not worship that cross; we do not worship that image; but these things help us. They are emblems.” But they are absolutely forbidden by God: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.” The first commandment forbids us to have any other God than Jehovah; the second forbids us to worship him through any emblem or symbol whatsoever. 

Amos 5:6-7. Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Beth-el. Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth, 

Here you have another great truth, — that, in order to seek God aright, we must turn away from sin. All the ritualism in the world will not save us, or be acceptable to God; there must be purity of life, and holiness of character; justice must be done between man and man, and we must seek to be right before the righteous and holy God.

Amos 5:8. Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, —

The Creator of the spring-bringing Pleiades, and of the winter-bringing Orion, —

Amos 5:8-9. And turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name: that strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.

The God of the weak, the Defender of the oppressed. Ye that oppress the poor, and tread down the people, seek ye him, and wash your hands from the stains of your past injustice.

Amos 5:10. They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.

There is still a generation that cannot bear to be told of its faults, and that shows its venom against everything that is right.

Amos 5:11. Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them.

God has often shown how he can overthrow those who oppress the poor.

Amos 5:12-17. For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right. Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time. Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord saith thus, Wailing shall be in all streets, and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing. And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the LORD. 

National sins bring down national judgments; and when God grows angry against the people, he makes the places of their feasting, the vineyards where grow their choicest vines, to become the places of their sorrow, so that wailing and distress are heard on all sides. Oh, that nations knew the day of their visitation, and would do justly! Then would such judgments be averted.

Amos 5:18. Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.

“The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light,” for such as you, impenitent, unjust, graceless sinners. “The day of the Lord” will not bring blessings to you; but it will be —

Amos 5:19. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.

From bad to worse do they go who think to escape from present misery by plunging into the presence of God. The suicide is, of all fools, the greatest, for he goes before God with his own indictments, nay, with his own sentence in his hand. He needs no trial; he has condemned himself. 

Amos 5:20-22. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.

See how God speaks about public worship and formal sacrifices when the heart is not right with him. When the moral conduct of the offerer is wrong, the Lord will not accept his offering.

Amos 5:23-24. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

This is what God asks for, — righteousness, not sweet music. Have they not, at this very day, turned what were once houses of prayer into music-halls, set up their idols in our parish churches, and adorned their priests with every kind of Babylonian garment which they could find at Rome, the mystical Babylon? Are they not turning this nation back again to that accursed Popery, the yoke of which our fathers could not bear? Therefore, the Lord is wroth with this land; there are storm-clouds gathering over it, because it is not sufficiently stirred with indignation against those idolatrous men who are again seeking to come to the front among us.

Amos 5:25. Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?

“Did you worship me? Did you offer sacrifices to me?” “No,” said God, “ye did not.”

Amos 5:26-27. But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.

Oh, for pure worship! Oh, for pure living! Oh, for hearts that spiritually worship the Lord, for Jesus said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” “But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?”

Amos 6 

Amos was a herdsman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit. His words are rugged, but sometimes he rises to sublimity. His expressions are somewhat dark, and not readily to be understood; but when we learn the meaning of them, we perceive that they are full of deep, earnest, solemn warning and instruction.

Amos 6:1. Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!

It was a time of great sin, and also of great judgment, yet there were some in Zion who were quite at ease under all that was happening. No sense of sin grieved them, no thought of coming judgment alarmed them. What did they care if the nation went to rack and ruin? What did it signify to them that God was angry with his people? They were atheists; or, at least, they acted as if they were. Whatever might happen, they would run the risk of it. “Woe,” says God, to all such people as these; and when the Lord says “Woe” to anyone, it is indeed woe, for he never speaks thus without cause.

Amos 6:2. Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border?

The Lord points to other cities which had been destroyed, — to Calneh, and Hamath, and Gath, which he had smitten because of the sin of the people who had lived there; and he says, “Ye that dwell at Jerusalem, and ye that live at Samaria, do not imagine that ye will escape the consequences of your sin. I was able to reach the inhabitants of these proud cities, despite their strong fortifications and their powerful armies; and I can reach you also.” So, when we look back upon the judgments of God upon guilty men, we may conclude that no sinner has any right to think that he shall escape. The proudest and mightiest have been brought down by God and so will men, who dare to resist the Most High. Continue to be humble, even to the world’s end.

Amos 6:3. Ye that put far away the evil day, —

Ye who say, “There is time enough yet. Let us see a little more of life; why need we be in a hurry to seek salvation?” “Ye that put far away the evil day,” —

Amos 6:3. And cause the seat of violence to come near;

For, when men try to postpone thoughts about “the judgment” which is to follow “after death,” they are generally the more eager to indulge in sin. They say, “There is time enough yet,” because they want a longer period to get greater indulgence in sinful ways. The Lord says “Woe” to all such people as these.

Amos 6:4. That lie upon beds of ivory,

They were men of wealth, who spent their money upon all manner of luxuries while the poor of the land were perishing through want.

Amo 6:4. And stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall;

It was, as I have said, a time of danger, when war was at the gates; but the people were so careless that they lived as if peace were established for ever, and the enemy could never touch them. Their expenditure was at a high rate for self-indulgence, and for that only.

Amos 6:5. That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instrument of music, like David;

But not for the same purpose as David played and sang; his instruments of music were used for spiritual solace and the worship of God; but these people set their wits to work to find out how their music might inflame their lusts, and be a vehicle for the expression of their lascivious desires.

Amos 6:6. That drink wine in bowls,

For seldom can a careless man crown the edifice of his sin without indulging in drunkenness; he must have the sensual delight that he finds in “the flowing bowl.”

Amos 6:6. And anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.

It is not wrong for a person, to whom God has given much of the good things of this life, to enjoy them fitly and reasonably. The sin of these people consisted in the fact that, when others were afflicted, they took that opportunity to indulge themselves in all the delights of the flesh; and when God’s rod was being used for chastisement, they went on with their sinful mirth to show how little they cared about it. Probably I am addressing some who have, at this very moment, a sore sickness in the house; or it may be that a beloved wife is scarcely cold in her grave, or a dear child has only just sobbed itself into its death-sleep; yet the survivors are running after amusements, and pleasures, and follies, more wildly than ever, as if to hush the voice of conscience, and to forget the strokes of God’s rod. Oh, that this very solemn chapter might convey a warning message to them!

Amos 6:7. Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.

Whenever God does come forth to execute judgment upon the ungodly, he will first pick out those who have defied him the most. Those who have the proudest spirit and the hardest heart shall be the first to feel the strokes of his rod.

Amos 6:8. The Lord GOD hath sworn by himself, saith the LORD the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein.

The next chapter shows that, even when God was very angry with the wicked, there was still wonderful power in prayer.  

This exposition consisted of readings from Amos 6:1-8; Amos 7:1-6.

Amos 7 

Amos 7:1-3. Thus hath the Lord God showed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings. And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord God, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? For he is small. The Lord repented for this: it shall not be, saith the LORD.

In a vision, the prophet saw the locusts or grasshoppers come to devour all the green things of the land, — a very terrible visitation. If you have never seen it, you cannot realize how utterly bare everything is made after the visit of the locusts. The prophet put up a vehement and earnest prayer; he cried, “O Lord God, forgive” and, no sooner was the intercession offered than the Lord said, “It shall not be.” Thus the impending judgment was turned away.

Amos 7:4-6. Thus hath the Lord God showed unto me: and, behold, the Lord God called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part. Then said I, O Lord God, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small. The Lord repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord God.

This time, the prophet saw the fire devouring the land, — perhaps the fire of war, which casts its blazing brand upon peaceful dwellings. This fire, however, was something worse than that, for the very deep itself seemed to be licked up by tongues of flame; and the prophet, in hearty sympathy with the afflicted people, cried again as he had done before, and the answer came “This also shall not be, saith the Lord God.” This ought to encourage you who are the King’s remembrances to make use of the position in which his grace has placed you, and to cry earnestly to him to turn away his wrathful hand, and have pity upon sinners. God grant that many of us may have such an intercessory spirit as that of Amos the herdsman-prophet!  

This exposition consisted of readings from Amos 6:1-8; Amos 7:1-6.


The message of this book is basically to declare the impartiality of God. God plays no favorites. He makes no allowances for one person that he will not make for others as well. There is no such thing as being God's fair-haired boy. He does not give any more to one than he does to another, in accordance with the promises that he makes. Any who are willing to fulfill the conditions of the promises will find his blessing poured out upon them, regardless of who they are; and any who presume upon these conditions will find him sitting in judgment upon them and his Word condemning them no matter who they are. This is the message of Amos. .

Study Notes on Amos

Amos 1

Amos 2

Amos 3

Amos 4

Amos 5

Amos 6

Amos 7

Amos 8

Devotionals on Amos


Click here for full list which includes audios. The links below are to the pdf transcripts.


Thus he shewed me: and behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. — Amos 7:7

The metaphors of Amos are very forcible, though homely and simple.

He was God-taught; or, as men say, self-taught. Let his vision come before us, as though we saw it ourselves.

What the Lord had done was according to rule: "he stood upon a wall made by a plumbline." His past dealings are just and true.

The Lord continues to use the same infallible rule: wherever he is, he has a plumbline in his hand.

The plumb of lead falls in a straight line, and therefore the line is the best test as to whether a wall is truly perpendicular. The plumbline shows whether it bows outward, or inclines inward. It never flatters, but by its own certainty of truth it reveals and condemns all deviations from uprightness: such is the judgment of the Most High.

We shall treat the plumbline as the emblem of truth and right.


In all that we build up, we must act by the sure rule of righteousness.

1. In God's building it is so.

He removes the old walls when tested by the plumbline, and found faulty. Truth requires the removal of falsehood.

He builds in truth and reality. Sincerity is his essential.

He builds in holiness and purity.

He builds to perfection according to the rule of right.

2. In our own life-building it should be so.

Not haste, but truth should be our object.

Not according to the eye of man, but according to fact.

We should build by the Word; in God's sight; after Christ's example; by the Spirit; unto holiness. Only thus shall we be using the plumbline.

3. In our building of the church it should be so.

Teaching the Scriptures only in all things.

Preaching nothing but the gospel.

Laying sinners low by the law, and exalting the grace of God.

Leading men to holiness and peace by the doctrines of truth.

Exercising discipline that the church may be pure.


That which is out of the upright is detected by the plumbline, and so are men tested by the truth.

1. We may use it—

On the wall of self-righteousness, conceit, boasting, etc.

On the wall of careless living.

On the wall of trust in ceremonials.

On the wall of reliance upon merely hearing the gospel.

On the wall of every outward profession.

2. God uses it in this life. He tests the hearts of men, and tries their doings.

They are often detected in the act of deception. Time also proves them, and trials test them.

3. He will use it at the last.

4. Let us use it on ourselves.

Are we born again? Are we without faith, etc.? Are we without holiness? Or is the work of the Spirit to be seen in us?


Strict justice is the rule of God's dealing on the judgment-seat. The same rule will apply to all.

1. Even the saved will be saved justly through our Lord Jesus, and in their case every sin will be destroyed, and every trace of evil will be removed before they enter heaven.

2. No one will be condemned who does not deserve it. There will be a trial, with witnesses, and pleadings, and an infallible Judge. The righteous are saved by sovereignty, but the wicked are condemned by righteousness alone.

3. Not a pain will be inflicted unjustly.

Differences will be made in the cases of the condemned.

There will be the strictest justice in each award.

Every circumstance will be taken into account.

Knowledge or ignorance will increase or abate the number of stripes (Luke 7:47-48).

4. Rejecters of Christ will find their doom intolerable, because they, themselves, will be unable to deny its justice (Luke 19:27). The lost know their misery to be deserved.

5. Since every sentence will be infallible, there will be no revision. So impartial and just will be each verdict that it shall stand for ever (Matt. 25:46).

Are we able to endure the test of the plumbline of perfect truth?

Suppose it to be used of God at this moment.

Will it not be wisest to look to Jesus, that we may have him for a foundation, and be built up in him?

Savings and Sentences

The question "What is truth?" was proposed at a Deaf and Dumb Institution, when one of the boys drew a straight line. "And what is falsehood?" The answer was a crooked line. — G. S. Bowes

That will be a wretched day for the church of God when she begins to think any aberration from the truth of little consequence. — J. H. Evans

Whitefield often affirmed that he would rather have a church with ten men in it right with God, than one with five hundred at whom the world would laugh in its sleeve. — Joseph Cook

Livingstone, as a missionary, was anxious to avoid a large church of nominal adherents. "Nothing", he wrote, "will induce me to form an impure church. 'Fifty added to the church' sounds well at home, but if only five of these are genuine, what will it profit in the Great Day?" — Blaikie

Set thine heart upright, if thou wouldst rejoice, And please thyself in thine heart's pleasing choice: But then be sure thy plumb and level be Rightly applied to that which pleaseth me. — Christopher Harvey

Sinners on earth are always punished less, and in hell never more, than their iniquities deserve. — Benjamin Beddome.

It is said of the Areopagites, in Athens, that their sentence was so upright that none could ever say he was unjustly condemned of them. How much more true is this of the righteous judgment of God, who must needs therefore be justified, and every mouth stopped! — Trapp

When a building is noticed to bulge a little, our builders hasten to shore it up with timbers; and before long the surveyor bids them take it down. Should we not see great changes in our churches if all the bowing walls were removed? Yet this would be no real loss, but in the Lord's sight an actual gain to the City of God.

When a man is afraid of self-examination, his fear is suspicious. He who does not dare to apply the plumbline to his wall may rest assured that it is out of perpendicular. A sincere man will pray, "Lord, let me know the worst of my case." It is far better to suffer needless distress than to be at ease in Zion, and then perish of the dry-rot of self-deceit.



DISCLAIMER: Before you "go to the commentaries" go to the Scriptures and study them inductively (Click 3 part overview of how to do Inductive Bible Study) in dependence on your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would guide us into all the truth (John 16:13). Remember that Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture. Any commentary, even those by the most conservative and orthodox teacher/preachers cannot help but have at least some bias of the expositor based upon his training and experience. Therefore the inclusion of specific links does not indicate that we agree with every comment. We have made a sincere effort to select only the most conservative, "bibliocentric" commentaries. Should you discover some commentary or sermon you feel may not be orthodox, please email your concern. I have removed several links in response to concerns by discerning readers. I recommend that your priority be a steady intake of solid Biblical food so that with practice you will have your spiritual senses trained to discern good from evil (Heb 5:14-note).