The Book of "Amos."
The noble men whom we call the prophets were brought forth by the needs of the time. Between the years 775 and 520 B. C., Israel was invaded many times by great armies-first by the Assyrians, then by the Babylonians, and still later by the Persians. At the same time there was great corruption, social and moral, within the Hebrew nation. These men, believing themselves the mouth-pieces of God, kept the old Jewish faith and patriotism alive by denouncing the wretchedness of the rulers and painting the glorious future of the Jewish people. They declared that all the misfortunes of the nation were manifestations of God's displeasure. Their prophecies concerning the brilliant future of the nation the so-called Messianic prophecies- were couched in the vaguest terms and were destined never to be fulfilled.
Amos was one of the first of the prophets. He lived about 750 B. C. in the reign of Uzziah in Judah and of Jeroboam in Israel, in a little town near Bethlehem called Tekoa. It was just before the first Assyrian invasion-a time of great prosperity in Israel. He foresaw that the luxurious habits of the Jews would render them an easy prey to the enemy. The book of Amos consists of four parts: the introduction describing the downfall of many ancient cities because of this corruption, then four prophecies of disaster to Israel, then a series of prophetic visions, concluding with a general prophecy of glory and power in the future. The reading of the book was interspersed with historical and geographical explanatory remarks.