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amos


            Amos, whose name meant "burden" , was an ancient prophet who spoke to the Israelites. Amos was born in the village of Tekoa. The name Tekoa meant "to sound the [ram's] horn ." in the tribal section of Judah. He spoke to the Israelites during the reign of King Jeroboam II around the year 760 B.C.E. Amos traveled to the Northern Kingdom, specifically, Bethel, because it was one of the main cult centers of the Northern Kingdom. He was kicked out of the Northern Kingdom for his preaching. His main messages seemed to be of destruction and devastation. At first, Amos was thought to be a shepherd. However, as accounted in the Bible, Amos shows many instances of being associated with the care of sycamore trees. He is described as a shepherd in this quote, "The words of Amos, a shepherd from Tekoa." However, he is also described as a "tender of mulberry figs" when he says "I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores." During his life, the word shepherd was closely associated with cattle breeding, so it is thought that Amos was part of the nobility in Judah. Being part of the nobility could have helped Amos in his journeys. Amos was also thought to be part of the lower class though. He worked with untamed animals such as lions, bears, and snakes. This links him as a member of the poor. .
             Amos was very well educated and a master of the Hebrew language. His writing is characterized by structural unity and constant movement towards a climax, the interlocking of irony and seriousness, rhetorical questions, haunting sounds that relay a message without words and the up-and-down style of chiasm. Amos was very involved in the rituals of the temple, and was a very smart man. Amos was different though in his sermons to the Israelites. The sermons he gave were very destructive and they criticized everything down to the roots of Israel. He preached that all of God's promises would not come true, and that those survived were like the shank bone of a sheep.


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