Updated: Sep 3
Icons of the Bible
The Life and Times of Amos
"The Prophet Amos lived during the long reign of King Jeroboam II. Jeroboam the son of Joash (not to be confused with Jeroboam the son of Nevat, the first king of the Northern Kingdom of the Ten Tribes) reigned over the Ten Tribes of Israel for forty years (from the year 3114 till 3153 after Creation). Under his reign the Northern Kingdom of Israel enjoyed one of its most happy and prosperous periods. He recovered every piece of land which had been lost by his forerunners. He subdued the Kingdom of Moab and captured parts of Syria (Aram) which had long been like a thorn in the flesh of his people. Even Damascus, Syria's capital fell to him.
Relationship with the twin kingdom, the southern Kingdom of Judah, was still strained at first. Jeroboam maintained the stern control over it which his father had exerted; he also held members of the Royal family of Judah as hostages to ensure that the southern neighbor would make no trouble. later, however, he realized that friendship and mutual help between the two Jewish kingdoms would be better for both. He helped repair the damage which his father had done to Judah, and he gave part of the land which he had taken from Syria to the king of Judah, Amatziah.
Together with the good political situation came economic prosperity. Many people in the Northern Kingdom became very wealthy, and began to lead a luxurious life. Friendly relations with the Phoenicians, who were the greatest merchants and seafaring people of those days, brought things of rare beauty and luxury into the Jewish Kingdom. Unfortunately, the unusual prosperity brought a collapse of moral standards. Ignored were the great ideals and commandments of the Torah to help the poor, and to practice justice and loving kindness. The rich oppressed the poor; might was right; it was an age of corruption. Hand in hand with this degeneration of the morals of the people went increased idolatry. People built many altars on mountains to serve the Canaanite gods, the Baal and Ashtarte. The Golden Calves, which the first Jeroboam set up in the north and south of the country to turn the people away from the Beth Hamikdosh in Jerusalem, were worshipped more than before and the teachings of the Torah and the holy commandments were viewed with contempt.
Again and again, G‑d sent His messengers, the prophets, to admonish the people and to warn them that unless they mended their ways, they and the land would be doomed. Yet the admonitions were, for the most part, unheeded. The people went their own way.
One of the great prophets at this time was Hosea; another one was Amos.." from the article: The Prophet Amos
Overview: Amos - BibleProject
Video from Bible Project
"Watch our overview video on the book of Amos, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. In this book, Amos accuses Israel of breaking their covenant with God and highlights how their idolatry has led to injustice and the neglect of the poor." from video introduction