We see Amos working during the time of Jeroboam II in Israel. He hails from Tekoa and is a herdsman and vinedresser. It may be that he traveled as a businessman to Samaria in the north. (see verse 7:14). He becomes a nuisance to the northerners, as he prophecies at the height of prosperity (probably around 760 BC).

Note that Jonah worked for Jeroboam, and imagine his story going on in the background of this fiery work of Amos. We had surmised that Jonah’s worked happened around 763 BC in Nineveh. Might it be that the eclipse recorded in those days happened along with an earthquake, as mentioned in the beginning of this book of Amos? Fascinating to think of the signs and terror accompanying these things.

Divisions of the book:

For three transgressions and for four…

We have Amos (whose name needs ‘to be burdened’) laying burdens on 8 nations – coming to rest at last upon Israel.

Hear this Word…

Three forms of sins and judgement (therefore…) occur on into chapter 5. We end this section of three pronouncements (each bearing a different aspect of separation) with imagery concerning the coming day of the Lord.

Woe unto them…

Two forms of this predicted Woe follow
A highly evocative section begins at 5:18 concerning misguided piety.

The false security of the prosperous is condemned.

The Story of Amos and the North…

Amaziah the priest resents the words of Amos. This reminds us of the time of Ahab in 1 Kings 22, 2 Chronicles 18 and the controversy of the prophets.

The Visions surround the narrative of Amaziah…


The founder of the ‘The Lyceum’ and tutor of Alexander the Great.   Aristotle differs with his teacher Plato concerning the reality and comprehensibility of the ‘Ideal’.   Radical idealism, the notion that the universal concepts of things are of greater force than the perception of the particular things themselves, is countered with a tempered view that the particulars are necessary to our knowledge of the ‘Ideal’.  It may even be said that the real ideas arise from the entelechy of things themselves. (see the four causes.)




  • How is X the same as something/someone else
    • What makes it different from what it is similar to? (see the predicables)
    • What does it not share with the rest of its genus?
    • What was it in the past?
    • What might it be in the future?
    • What is its opposite in kind?
    • What is it analogous to?
    • Similitude:  The current situation is like one that we’ve seen before, i.e., the search for resemblances.
  • How is an X different from something/someone else
  • To what degree?
    • How does it compare to its normal version?
    • How does it differ from things that resemble it?
    • How is it different from precedents and parallel versions?
    • What is its range of variation?
    • Is its opposite or contrary better or worse
    • Is X better worse than Y?  more/less
    • How can it be evaluated?
    • What is the standard of evaluation?

Grammar includes the metaphor and simile.  Judgements of quality relate to beauty, goodness and truth.  Art is imitation.

Logic of comparison deals with the concrete and poesy, compared to the analytic mode of reason that subtracts from essence.   “my love is like a red red rose” “God is Love”.  Poetic reasoning is more compact and comprehensive than analytic.

Rhetoric of comparison is a formational discipline.  The ethical consideration determines what is best regarding choice.  The aesthetic consideration determines what is best regarding desirability.  Classical Christian Education is emphatically committed to the ‘best’.



Student of Socrates and Philosopher of the Form, this idealist is famous for his dialogues.  Writing in the context of late classical Greece, his Republic is a monument of Western Literature, and a demonstration of the  form of good, the focus of idealism – later called realism in the middle ages.  His successor, Aristotle, revolutionized epistemology with his ontological thinking on a wide range of topics.

Socrates, the center of Plato’s writing, engages in the dialectic, or elenchus, a predecessor of the syllogistic mode of formal logic.

Timeline of Plato and the philosophers in Athens.

Reading Guides:

Book I


Book II


Book III


Book IV


Book V


Book VI


Book VII




Book IX