This article suggests a fresh understanding of the arrangement and the rhetorical of the book of Amos. It proposes that its 'dialogical dimension' reflects a deliberate design by the redactors who intended to present 'a prophet in debate'. It is that the book is best understood as an attempt by the redactors to persuade readers to learn from the failure of Amos' original audience to respond appropriately to his message. In particular, the recipients are induced not to repeat the stubborn attitude and self-assured behaviour of Amos' original addressees. Looking especially at Am. iii, the hymn fragments and the Amaziah narrative, this article seeks to that their place and function in the book are best explained by interpreting them within the framework of the presentation of the debate between Amos his eighth-century audience.