For the composition of the oracles against the nations (Am 1,3–2,16) one historical background can be described. The disaster of the end of Israel 720 BCE was taken into consideration by Israelites living in a Judaean exile. Sorrow about Israelites deported to Edom, perhaps for working in copper mines, is connected with the threat of violence from neighbouring countries who kept some autonomy under the Assyrian reign. The oracles of Judah and Israel tell about religious and social problems in the Judaean exile as seen by the Israelite heirs of Amos’ and Hosea’s prophecies.
The oracles of Amos written in the 8th century BCE were brought from the Kingdom of Israel to Judah after the fall of Samaria in 720 BCE. We think that the Israelites in «exile» in Judah were hoping for a restoration at that time. The Book of Amos can be interpreted in this context: it explains the feelings of Israelite refugees in Judah (Amos 1-2), the responsibility of the Israelite elite for the disaster (Amos 3-6), the reason why the people bear the consequences of the catastrophe (Amos 7), and why there is hope for the refugees in Judah, but not for the exiles in Assyria (Amos 8-9).