The Testament Of The Old Testament Essay

1302 Words Dec 6th, 2015 null Page
When reading the Old Testament, particular attention must be paid to the context. Amos was a sheepherder and did not belong to a family of prophets, according to the book of his name. Yet, God called him to speak to Israel. He was one of the twelve Minor Prophets, active during the reign of Jeroboam II in Israel in the 8th century BCE. Therefore, an exegesis is important in order to distinguish what a particular passage meant to the people at the time it was first heard.
Amos is the thirtieth book in the Protestant Bible. Historically, Amos lived in Tekoa, Judah (twelve miles southeast of Jerusalem), during the reign of King Uzziah of Judah. He began his ministry two years before an earthquake (later referenced by Zechariah), which places his prophecies between 765 and 760 BCE. Based on this date, Amos was the first prophetic book written down (Edlin pg#). The words Amos spoke were for a particular people at a particular time: a people on the verge of moral and spiritual collapse. Israel was approximately forty years from being utterly destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 BCE. However, the people of Israel were comfortable. The previous centuries had brought considerable wealth and prosperity to the kingdom, and the reign of Jeroboam II had seen significant territorial expansion. Yet, the successes truly only benefited the ruling class (the minority). At the time of Amos, an exceptional inequality gripped the nation: the minority controlled the riches, while the majority,…

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