Amos is probably the first of the prophet-authors of the Old Testament. His primary message is to warn the northern, ten-tribe kingdom of Israel to repent from her idolatry and sin or else face captivity and expulsion from the Promised Land. The warning was largely ignored, and the end duly came in 721 BC when the Assyrian armies invaded. But Amos' words also served a wider function: to warn the southern kingdom of Judah that she needed to reform as well. If not, she would ultimately share the same fate. The privileleged relationship both kingdoms enjoyed with God brought with it accountability. If they ignored God and instead copied the nations around them, there would be a price to be paid.

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