One of the "minor prophets" of the Old Testament of the Bible or the Tanach, and the book of prophecy by him.

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Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
Book: Amos
Chapters: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 ·

Amos was a Herdsman, and engaged in Agriculture. But the same
Divine Spirit influenced Isaiah and Daniel in the Court, and
Amos in the Sheep-folds, giving to each the powers and eloquence
needful for them. He assures the twelve tribes of the
Destruction of the neighbouring nations; and as they at that
time gave themselves up to wickedness and Idolatry, he reproves
the Jewish nation with severity; but describes the restoration
of the Church By the Messiah, extending to the latter days.

AMOS, or Advanced MOrtar System is an automatic 120mm twin barrel mortar turret. It's intended to be installed on light vehicles, including APCs, IFVs and combat boats. Currently planned platforms include XA-185 and XA-203 Pasi, CV90, AMV 8x8, BMP-3, M113 A4, Piranha III, MRAV and Hydrema 910. It has an automatic loader and fire control system, so it requires no additional crew members (except for the gunner, of course). Standard crew includes a commander, a driver and a gunner. It takes less than 30 seconds to prepare for indirect fire, so AMOS vehicles can change positions rapidly.

AMOS is a joint project by the Finnish Patria Vammas and the Swedish Hägglunds Vehicle. The project was ordered by the Finnish Defence Forces in 1999, and delivered in 2000. It will be in service in 2003.



{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

(ay' muhs) HEBREW: AMOS
"burden" or "burden-bearer"

An enigmatic sheep herder named Amos stands at a unique juncture in the history of ancient Israel. He was the first of the great classical prophets, whose who contributed their words in writing to the Scriptures of Israel. Earlier major prophets such as Elijah and Elisha were known for their deeds rather than their messages, but Amos began the tradition of the writing prophets, a succession of courageous voices that has defined the word "prophet" to the present.

Sometime shortly before the middle of the eighth century B.C., perhaps about 760, Amos became convinced that God had called him to leave the southern kingdom of Judah and travel north to the centers of the kingdom of Israel. There he was to condemn the people for their social injustice, corruption, and shallow religion and to warn them of coming destruction. Following his divine call, he went to Samaria, Bethel, and perhaps other cities - into a society that was to all outward appearances prosperous, peaceful, and militarily strong. He soon became a thorn in the side of the leaders of that society at a time when everyone else seemed to agree that all was well.

Who was this prophet who tried to burst Israel's bubble of self-deception? Amos is known primarily through his prophetic message, and the few facts about his early life given in the book that bears his name seem like meager clues in a detective story - just two brief statements about who he was. In the first verse of his book he is identified as one "who was among the shepherds of Tekoa" (Amos 1:1), a village six miles south of Bethlehem. Later he states, "I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees" (Amos 7:14).

These descriptions have often led to the conclusion that Amos was a menial laborer who herded sheep and cattle part of the year and supplemented his income during certain seasons as a farm worker in sycamore groves. The image of Amos as a poor shepherd, cowhand, and tender of sycamore trees seems to fit well with his strong interest in the plight of the poor in Israel and with his attacks on the rich, luxury-loving city dwellers of northern Israel.

Several elements of this portrayal of the prophet cause problems, however. Shepherds and farm laborers in that era would typically have been illiterate, but the prophecies of Amos are cast in beautiful and often fiery language that calls upon a wide variety of types of literature and employs a rich poetic tongue. His oracles show broad knowledge of the history of both Judah and Israel as well as of the kingdoms and empires that surround them - scarcely what one might expect of a farmhand. Moreover, the word translated "shepherd" is not the common Hebrew word for that type of work but a rare word (noqed) that occurs in only one other passage, 2 Kings 3:4, where it identifies a royal sheep rancher. On the basis of these clues, many scholars have concluded that before he became a prophet, Amos may well have been a substantial owner of flocks of sheep and goats and of herds of cattle and may have owned groves of sycamore fig trees that provided his cattle with fodder.

Thus, it was likely a relatively prosperous and well-educated man to whom the call of God came. As Amos succinctly put it, "The Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel'" (Amos 7:15).

Amos did not approach his task as a professionally trained prophet or a member of one of the prophetic guilds known as sons of the prophets. "I am no prophet, nor a prophet's son" (Amos 7:14), Amos strongly asserted. He was not denying that God had indeed called him to prophesy, but he was consciously separating himself from professional prophets who made their living by foretelling the future and who thus could often be corrupted by royal patrons.

Amos trekked north from Tekoa across the border into Israel, entering a kingdom flushed with an era of good feeling, riding high with military expansion, economic prosperity, and a booming religious movement, but one careless of injustice and profound corruption in society. The message of God that came from Amos broke into Israel's seeming serenity like a charging lion: "The Lord roars from Zion," Amos cried, "and the top of Carmel withers" (Amos 1:2).

When Amos appeared on the scene, Jeroboam II had been on the throne for about 25 years. Jeroboam's predecessors had been harassed by the Syrian king in Damascus and by the great power of Assyria farther to the northeast. During the time of Jeroboam's father, Joash, however, Assyria had attacked Damascus. As the two powers wore each other down and were consumed with internal dissension, Israel was freed from external pressure in that direction. In addition, Egypt to the south was in decline. Thus, Israel had grown ever stronger, even coming to dominate the kingdom of Judah as senior partner in a forced alliance.

The people had cheered Jeroboam when he recaptured Israel's lost territory east of the Jordan and pushed north to take much of Lebanon. Israel once again ruled territory it had not held since the time of Solomon - a clear sign of God's blessing.

For those who rode the wave of Jeroboam's expansion, it was a time of prosperity such as their region had seldom seen. They could "lie upon beds of ivory" and "eat lambs from the flock," "sing idle songs to the sound of the harp," and "drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the finest oils" (Amos 6:4-6). It is hardly surprising that they felt great pride in Jeroboam's accomplishments and believed that they were the objects of God's favor.

In the midst of this prosperity the kingdom of Israel was nothing if not religious. At the shrine of Bethel, Amos observed a continuous round of sacrifices. He foresaw, however, that the easy piety, prosperity, and self-congratulation of the times would be overshadowed by a coming catastrophe. Because of that impending shadow, Amos could not stroke Israel's confidence nor praise its piety.

Time proved him right. The death of the canny Jeroboam II about 746 B.C. was matched by the rise of the powerful Tiglath-pileser III in Assyria in 745. Israel sank into a morass. Jeroboam's son Zechariah reigned only six months before being assassinated; a usurper named Shallum lasted a single month. Within 25 years the self-assurance and affluence of Israel was crushed forever beneath the expansionist Assyrian army. But Amos's critique of Israel was not intended to give support to some foreign power; rather, he wanted to reveal the dark underside of the nation's gleaming surface. Israel's wealth was for the few and the powerful; the lowly paid the price.

As Amos walked the streets of Samaria, he observed the destitute living in the shadow of houses inhabited by people absorbed in luxury. His blood boiled: "Behold, the days are coming upon you, when they shall take you away with hooks" (Amos 4:2). Such pronouncements could hardly have made life pleasant for Amos as he challenged the mighty of the northern kingdom.

Ultimately, the rulers of Israel could not allow this stinging gadfly to go unswatted. "The land is not able to bear all his words" (Amos 7:10), complained Amaziah, chief priest of the royal sanctuary at Bethel, who brought charges to treason against Amos. It was a risky matter to condemn a prophet of God, however, and it was decided simply to deport this unwanted voice.

Amos vehemently rebuffed Amaziah, but eventually, when his painful mission was done, he departed. Amos returned to Judah, where he may have compiled the written record of his oracles - almost all his dire words still apparently unfulfilled. It was only a generation later, however, that the warnings and condemnations of Amos proved true and that, in retrospect, the optimistic carelessness of Israel's leaders seemed but a foolish dream.

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

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