Amos lived during the time of two other prophets,Hosea and Isaiah, around 750 BC while Jeroboam was king of Israel and Uzziah was king of Judah. Amos lived in the kingdom of Judah but preached in the northern Kingdom of Israel. He wrote about social justice, God's power, judgement and eventual restoration. The message is harsh, but Amos wrote some of the most poetic parts of the Bible.
The book has 9 chapters. In the first chapter Amos says that God will punish many of the nations around Israel. Then in the second chapter he uses similar words to say the Judah and Israel will also be punished. The rest of the book tells the reasons for that punishment before ending with a promise that Israel would then be restored.
There are some well known verses in the book of Amos that religious leaders and people who work for justice have used in speeches about modern problems such as racism.
Chapter 5 verse 24, "But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream." This verse was often quoted by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..
Chapter 6 verse 1, "Woe to you who are at ease in Zion,(Jerusalem)." This is a warning to those who think they are safe from God's judgement because things are going well at the present.