Author: Amos, a shepherd from Tekoa, near Bethlehem (1:1).
Date: Approximately the 760s BC.
In Ten Words or Less: Real religion isn’t just ritual but treating people with justice.
Details: An average guy - a lowly shepherd, actually - takes on the rich and powerful of Israelite society, condemning their idol worship, persecution of God’s prophets, and cheating of the poor. Though God once rescued the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt, He is ready to send them into new bondage because of their sin. Amos sees visions that picture Israel’s plight: a plumb line, indicating the people are not measuring up to God’s standards, and a basket of ripe fruit, showing the nation is ripe for God’s judgment.
From Know Your Bible, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.