Amos 5:1–9:15

A Lament and Call to Repentance

5 Hear this word, Israel, this lamenth I take up concerning you:

“Fallen is Virgini Israel,

never to rise again,

deserted in her own land,

with no one to lift her up.j

This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Israel:

“Your city that marches out a thousand strong

will have only a hundred left;

your town that marches out a hundred strong

will have only ten left.k

This is what the Lord says to Israel:

“Seekl me and live;m

5 do not seek Bethel,

do not go to Gilgal,n

do not journey to Beersheba.o

For Gilgal will surely go into exile,

and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.a p

Seekq the Lord and live,r

or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire;s

it will devour them,

and Bethelt will have no one to quench it.u

There are those who turn justice into bitternessv

and cast righteousnessw to the ground.x

He who made the Pleiades and Orion,y

who turns midnight into dawnz

and darkens day into night,a

who calls for the waters of the sea

and pours them out over the face of the land—

the Lord is his name.b

With a blinding flash he destroys the stronghold

and brings the fortified city to ruin.c

10 There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in courtd

and detest the one who tells the truth.e

11 You levy a straw tax on the poorf

and impose a tax on their grain.

Therefore, though you have built stone mansions,g

you will not live in them;h

though you have planted lush vineyards,

you will not drink their wine.i

12 For I know how many are your offenses

and how great your sins.j

There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribesk

and deprive the poorl of justice in the courts.m

13 Therefore the prudent keep quietn in such times,

for the times are evil.o

14 Seek good, not evil,

that you may live.p

Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you,

just as you say he is.

15 Hate evil,q love good;r

maintain justice in the courts.s

Perhapst the Lord God Almighty will have mercyu

on the remnantv of Joseph.

16 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord God Almighty, says:

“There will be wailingw in all the streetsx

and cries of anguish in every public square.

The farmersy will be summoned to weep

and the mourners to wail.

17 There will be wailingz in all the vineyards,

for I will pass througha your midst,”

says the Lord.b

The Day of the Lord

18 Woe to you who long

for the day of the Lord!c

Why do you long for the day of the Lord?d

That day will be darkness,e not light.f

19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion

only to meet a bear,g

as though he entered his house

and rested his hand on the wall

only to have a snake bite him.h

20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness,i not light—

pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?j

21 “I hate,k I despise your religious festivals;l

your assembliesm are a stench to me.

22 Even though you bring me burnt offeringsn and grain offerings,

I will not accept them.o

Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,

I will have no regard for them.p

23 Away with the noise of your songs!

I will not listen to the music of your harps.q

24 But let justicer roll on like a river,

righteousnesss like a never-failing stream!t

25 “Did you bring me sacrificesu and offerings

forty yearsv in the wilderness, people of Israel?

26 You have lifted up the shrine of your king,

the pedestal of your idols,w

the star of your godb

which you made for yourselves.

27 Therefore I will send you into exilex beyond Damascus,”

says the Lord, whose name is God Almighty.y

Woe to the Complacent

6 Woe to youz who are complacenta in Zion,

and to you who feel secureb on Mount Samaria,c

you notable men of the foremost nation,

to whom the people of Israel come!d

Go to Kalnehe and look at it;

go from there to great Hamath,f

and then go down to Gathg in Philistia.

Are they better off thanh your two kingdoms?

Is their land larger than yours?

You put off the day of disaster

and bring near a reign of terror.i

You lie on beds adorned with ivory

and lounge on your couches.j

You dine on choice lambs

and fattened calves.k

You strum away on your harpsl like David

and improvise on musical instruments.m

You drink winen by the bowlful

and use the finest lotions,

but you do not grieveo over the ruin of Joseph.p

Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile;q

your feasting and lounging will end.r

The Lord Abhors the Pride of Israel

The Sovereign Lord has sworn by himselfs—the Lord God Almighty declares:

“I abhort the pride of Jacobu

and detest his fortresses;v

I will deliver upw the city

and everything in it.x

If teny people are left in one house, they too will die. 10 And if the relative who comes to carry the bodies out of the house to burn thema z asks anyone who might be hiding there, “Is anyone else with you?” and he says, “No,” then he will go on to say, “Hush!a We must not mention the name of the Lord.”

11 For the Lord has given the command,

and he will smashb the great housec into pieces

and the small house into bits.d

12 Do horses run on the rocky crags?

Does one plow the seab with oxen?

But you have turned justice into poisone

and the fruit of righteousnessf into bitternessg

13 you who rejoice in the conquest of Lo Debarc

and say, “Did we not take Karnaimd by our own strength?h

14 For the Lord God Almighty declares,

“I will stir up a nationi against you, Israel,

that will oppress you all the way

from Lebo Hamathj to the valley of the Arabah.k

Locusts, Fire and a Plumb Line

7 This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me:l He was preparing swarms of locustsm after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the late crops were coming up. When they had stripped the land clean,n I cried out, “Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive?o He is so small!p

So the Lord relented.q

“This will not happen,” the Lord said.r

This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: The Sovereign Lord was calling for judgment by fire;s it dried up the great deep and devouredt the land. Then I cried out, “Sovereign Lord, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!u

So the Lord relented.v

“This will not happen either,” the Sovereign Lord said.w

This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb,a with a plumb lineb in his hand. And the Lord asked me, “What do you see,x Amos?y

“A plumb line,z” I replied.

Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.a

“The high placesb of Isaac will be destroyed

and the sanctuariesc of Israel will be ruined;

with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam.d

Amos and Amaziah

10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethele sent a message to Jeroboamf king of Israel: “Amos is raising a conspiracyg against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words.h 11 For this is what Amos is saying:

“ ‘Jeroboam will die by the sword,

and Israel will surely go into exile,i

away from their native land.’ ”j

12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer!k Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there.l 13 Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel,m because this is the king’s sanctuary and the templen of the kingdom.o

14 Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophetp nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees.q 15 But the Lord took me from tending the flockr and said to me, ‘Go,s prophesyt to my people Israel.’u 16 Now then, hearv the word of the Lord. You say,

“ ‘Do not prophesy againstw Israel,

and stop preaching against the descendants of Isaac.’

17 “Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“ ‘Your wife will become a prostitutex in the city,

and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword.

Your land will be measured and divided up,

and you yourself will die in a paganc country.

And Israel will surely go into exile,y

away from their native land.z’ ”

A Basket of Ripe Fruit

8 This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me:a a basket of ripe fruit. “What do you see,b Amos?c” he asked.

“A basketd of ripe fruit,” I answered.

Then the Lord said to me, “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.e

“In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “the songs in the temple will turn to wailing.a f Many, many bodies—flung everywhere! Silence!g

Hear this, you who trample the needy

and do away with the poorh of the land,i


“When will the New Moonj be over

that we may sell grain,

and the Sabbath be ended

that we may marketk wheat?”l

skimping on the measure,

boosting the price

and cheatingm with dishonest scales,n

buying the pooro with silver

and the needy for a pair of sandals,

selling even the sweepings with the wheat.p

The Lord has sworn by himself, the Pride of Jacob:q “I will never forgetr anything they have done.s

“Will not the land tremblet for this,

and all who live in it mourn?

The whole land will rise like the Nile;

it will be stirred up and then sink

like the river of Egypt.u

“In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord,

“I will make the sun go down at noon

and darken the earth in broad daylight.v

10 I will turn your religious festivalsw into mourning

and all your singing into weeping.x

I will make all of you wear sackclothy

and shavez your heads.

I will make that time like mourning for an only sona

and the end of it like a bitter day.b

11 “The days are coming,”c declares the Sovereign Lord,

“when I will send a famine through the land—

not a famine of food or a thirst for water,

but a famined of hearing the words of the Lord.e

12 People will stagger from sea to sea

and wander from north to east,

searching for the word of the Lord,

but they will not find it.f

13 “In that day

“the lovely young women and strong young meng

will faint because of thirst.h

14 Those who swear by the sin of Samariai

who say, ‘As surely as your god lives, Dan,’j

or, ‘As surely as the godb of Beershebak lives’—

they will fall,l never to rise again.m

Israel to Be Destroyed

9 I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and he said:

“Strike the …

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