Sunday School Bible Survey:      AMOS

Theme: The LORD will not turn away His punishment (1:3, 6, 9, 11, 13; 2:1, 4, 6).

Key verse:
"Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel" (4:12).

From the Scofield Study Bible:
Amos, a Jew, but prophesying (B.C. 776-763) in the northern kingdom (1:1; 7:14, 15) exercised his ministry during the reign of Jeroboam II, an able but idolatrous king who brought his kingdom to the zenith of its power. Nothing could seem more improbable than the fulfilment of Amos' warnings; yet within fifty years the kingdom was utterly destroyed. The vision of Amos is, however, wider than the northern kingdom, including the whole "house of Jacob."

Amos is in four parts:

  1. Judgments on the cities surrounding Palestine (1:1-2:3).
  2. Judgments on Judah and Israel (2:4-16).
  3. Jehovah's controversy with "the whole family" of Jacob (3:1—9:10).
  4. The future glory of the Davidic kingdom (9:11-15).


  1. In Amos 7:14 and 15, Amos told the corrupt priest Amaziah, "I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel."
  2. Amos' name means, "Burden." Amos was a herdsman of Tekoa (1:1). Tekoa was a rugged, rural area in Judah, about six miles south of Bethlehem, and about twelve miles southeast of Jerusalem.
  3. Amos was from Tekoa in Judah, and the LORD sent him to prophesy to "the whole family" of Israel (3:1, 13), but primarily to the northern kingdom.
  4. Amos prophesied "two years before the earthquake" (1:1; cf. Zech. 14:5). This would be about 787 BC (Scofield Bible).
  5. Amos was a contemporary of the prophet Hosea, but he had a much different message. Whereas Hosea emphasized the love of God in the midst of His judgments, Amos preached only God's judgment against sin. The only exception would be the very end of chapter 9 (end of the book) when Amos describes the millennial kingdom. But the judgment of God must precede the blessings of the millennium.
  6. Amos prophesied during the reign of Jeroboam II of Israel, while Uzziah was the king of Judah.


  1. The reign of King Jeroboam II was a period of great wealth and luxury. But it was also a time of moral decay, and cold, lifeless formal worship (cf. 5:21, 22).
  2. Materialism, covetousness, selfishness, the constant craving for money, possessions, and other creature comforts, has always been a big problem, even among God's people.
  3. Under King Jeroboam II, the kingdom of Israel reached the zenith of its prosperity, but the gulf between rich and poor widened, and there was much oppression of the poor (cf. 2:6, 7).
  4. Israel was prospering financially but was decaying spiritually and morally. Most of Israel's prophets and priests were wicked men like Amaziah, the priest of Bethel (Amos 7:10-17).
  5. The people in Amos' day believed financial prosperity was a sign that God was blessing them. This idea is popular today as well. The "health and wealth" preachers (like Benny Hinn) teach that if you are saved God will give you great material wealth.
  6. Amos' prophecies of judgment did not sit well with the materialistic people. His preaching went against the prevailing political climate of hope and prosperity.


  1. Amos' preaching against sin stirred up the wrath of the high priest Amaziah, who reported Amos to King Jeroboam II as a traitor.
  2. Amaziah told the unsaved king everything he wanted to hear. Amaziah tried to intimidate Amos. He insulted him and told him to get out of town (7:10-13).
  3. Second Peter 2:1 says, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."
  4. Amos was much different from the false prophets. God called Amos to preach and Amos preached what God told him to preach (Amos 7:14-17).


  1. Amos exposed the wickedness of the people. He prophesied against the apostate condition of the religious leaders (7:16, 17).
  2. Amos prophesied that the kingdom of Israel would surely be destroyed (cf. 5:1, 2; 8:2). This was fulfilled when the Assyrians invaded Israel and took the people off into captivity.
  3. "The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more" (8:2b). The people of the northern kingdom of Israel never returned. They intermarried with the heathen, and when we get to the New Testament the people in northern Israel are referred to as "Samaritans," half-breed people who have mixed the worship of Jehovah together with pagan idolatry (II Kings 17:5-41).
  4. Our Lord said to the Samaritan woman, "Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22).

First Part: Judgment upon all the surrounding nations, including Judah and Israel (1, 2).

  1. Upon Damascus (1:3-5)
  2. Upon Philistia (1:6-8)
  3. Upon Phoenicia (1:9, 10)
  4. Upon Edom (1:11, 12)
  5. Upon Ammon (1:13-15)
  6. Upon Moab (2:1-3)
  7. Upon Judah (2:4, 5)
  8. Upon Israel (2:6-16)

Second Part: The LORD'S indictment of the whole house of Jacob (3:1—9:10).

  1. Three messages of judgment (3—6)
  1. Divine punishment inevitable (3)
  2. Past chastisements did not produce repentance (4)
  3. Therefore more punishment would be coming (5, 6)
  1. Five symbolic visions of punishment
  1. The locust plague (7:1-3)
  2. The drought (7:4-6)
  3. The plumb line (7:7-17)
  4. The basket of summer fruit (8:1-14)
  5. The Lord standing upon the altar (9:1-10)

Third part: Future blessings in millennial kingdom (9:11-15).

  1. Messiah's return to establish His kingdom (9:11, 12)
  2. Millennial blessings (9:13)
  3. Israel restored (9:14, 15)


  1. Amos' message to Israel was not entirely without hope.
  2. When Christ returns, He "will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land." (9:15).
  3. God will restore Israel and "will build it as in the days of old" (9:11).

These are simple Sunday School survey notes. They are not for sale. The author used many outlines from popular Bible teachers such as C.I. Scofield and J. Vernon McGee, and he has tried to give credit when using their material.

—  Pastor James J. Barker  —