Amos is described as a simple shepherd whom God called to be a prophet in the first half of the eighth century BCE, until “two years before the earthquake.” Archaeologists have found geological evidence pointing to an earthquake around 760 BCE, which is pretty cool.
Amos lived and prophesied during the peaceful and prosperous reign of Jeroboam. The Assyrians had changed their minds about invading Judah and retreated, leaving the nation control over the trade routes and charging everyone serious tolls to use them, with discounts for EZPass customers. The money poured in. Amos is the prophet of the 99%. He condemns the rich and powerful for their abuse of the poor and downtrodden. Amos means literally a “burden carrier.” In Hebrew prophetic literature, a prophecy is often referred to as a burden.