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Chapters 1 and 2
Of what and to whom Amos' prophecy speaks: its style and subjects
The prophecy of Amos is one of those that speak of the moral condition of the people, and especially of Israel, who, as we have already seen in the historical books, represents more particularly the people as such; while Judah was but as an appanage of the house of David, although containing always a remnant of the people.
This prophecy, which does not extend so far down in the history of Israel as that of Hosea, is less fervent than the latter; sin is not pursued with that consuming fire of jealousy and of moral revenge, which characterises the burning and broken style of the prophet Hosea. Nothing, doubtless, can be more decided against evil than Amos; but, although very simple, he speaks, as it were, from higher ground. In Hosea we see the anguish of heart produced by the Holy Ghost, in a man who could not endure evil in the people whom he loved as being the people of God; while in Amos there is more of the calmness of God's own judgment. There is much less detail with respect to sin. Certain prominent transgressions of a special character are pointed out, and the most complete and absolute judgment is proclaimed.