1 This message was given to Amos, a shepherd from the town of Tekoa in Judah. He received this message in visions two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash,[a] was king of Israel.
2 This is what he saw and heard:
“The Lord’s voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem! The lush pastures of the shepherds will dry up; the grass on Mount Carmel will wither and die.”
God’s Judgment on Israel’s Neighbors
3 This is what the Lord says:
“The people of Damascus have sinned again and again,[b] and I will not let them go unpunished! They beat down my people in Gilead as grain is threshed with iron sledges. 4 So I will send down fire on King Hazael’s palace, and the fortresses of King Ben-hadad will be destroyed. 5 I will break down the gates of Damascus and slaughter the people in the valley of Aven. I will destroy the ruler in Beth-eden, and the people of Aram will go as captives to Kir,” says the Lord.
6 This is what the Lord says:
“The people of Gaza have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They sent whole villages into exile, selling them as slaves to Edom. 7 So I will send down fire on the walls of Gaza, and all its fortresses will be destroyed. 8 I will slaughter the people of Ashdod and destroy the king of Ashkelon. Then I will turn to attack Ekron, and the few Philistines still left will be killed,” says the Sovereign Lord.
9 This is what the Lord says:
“The people of Tyre have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They broke their treaty of brotherhood with Israel, selling whole villages as slaves to Edom. 10 So I will send down fire on the walls of Tyre, and all its fortresses will be destroyed.”
11 This is what the Lord says:
“The people of Edom have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They chased down their relatives, the Israelites, with swords, showing them no mercy. In their rage, they slashed them continually and were unrelenting in their anger. 12 So I will send down fire on Teman, and the fortresses of Bozrah will be destroyed.”
13 This is what the Lord says:
“The people of Ammon have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! When they attacked Gilead to extend their borders, they ripped open pregnant women with their swords. 14 So I will send down fire on the walls of Rabbah, and all its fortresses will be destroyed. The battle will come upon them with shouts, like a whirlwind in a mighty storm. 15 And their king[c] and his princes will go into exile together,” says the Lord.
2 This is what the Lord says:
“The people of Moab have sinned again and again,[d] and I will not let them go unpunished! They desecrated the bones of Edom’s king, burning them to ashes. 2 So I will send down fire on the land of Moab, and all the fortresses in Kerioth will be destroyed. The people will fall in the noise of battle, as the warriors shout and the ram’s horn sounds. 3 And I will destroy their king and slaughter all their princes,” says the Lord.
God’s Judgment on Judah and Israel
4 This is what the Lord says:
“The people of Judah have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They have rejected the instruction of the Lord, refusing to obey his decrees. They have been led astray by the same lies that deceived their ancestors. 5 So I will send down fire on Judah, and all the fortresses of Jerusalem will be destroyed.”
6 This is what the Lord says:
“The people of Israel have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They sell honorable people for silver and poor people for a pair of sandals. 7 They trample helpless people in the dust and shove the oppressed out of the way. Both father and son sleep with the same woman, corrupting my holy name. 8 At their religious festivals, they lounge in clothing their debtors put up as security. In the house of their gods,[e] they drink wine bought with unjust fines.
9 “But as my people watched, I destroyed the Amorites, though they were as tall as cedars and as strong as oaks. I destroyed the fruit on their branches and dug out their roots. 10 It was I who rescued you from Egypt and led you through the desert for forty years, so you could possess the land of the Amorites. 11 I chose some of your sons to be prophets and others to be Nazirites. Can you deny this, my people of Israel?” asks the Lord. 12 “But you caused the Nazirites to sin by making them drink wine, and you commanded the prophets, ‘Shut up!’
13 “So I will make you groan like a wagon loaded down with sheaves of grain. 14 Your fastest runners will not get away. The strongest among you will become weak. Even mighty warriors will be unable to save themselves. 15 The archers will not stand their ground. The swiftest runners won’t be fast enough to escape. Even those riding horses won’t be able to save themselves. 16 On that day the most courageous of your fighting men will drop their weapons and run for their lives,” says the Lord.
3 Listen to this message that the Lord has spoken against you, O people of Israel—against the entire family I rescued from Egypt:
2 “From among all the families on the earth, I have been intimate with you alone. That is why I must punish you for all your sins.”
Witnesses against Guilty Israel
3 Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? 4 Does a lion ever roar in a thicket without first finding a victim? Does a young lion growl in its den without first catching its prey? 5 Does a bird ever get caught in a trap that has no bait? Does a trap spring shut when there’s nothing to catch? 6 When the ram’s horn blows a warning, shouldn’t the people be alarmed? Does disaster come to a city unless the Lord has planned it?
7 Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets.
8 The lion has roared— so who isn’t frightened? The Sovereign Lord has spoken— so who can refuse to proclaim his message? 9 Announce this to the leaders of Philistia[f] and to the great ones of Egypt: “Take your seats now on the hills around Samaria, and witness the chaos and oppression in Israel.”
10 “My people have forgotten how to do right,” says the Lord. “Their fortresses are filled with wealth taken by theft and violence. 11 Therefore,” says the Sovereign Lord, “an enemy is coming! He will surround them and shatter their defenses. Then he will plunder all their fortresses.”
12 This is what the Lord says:
“A shepherd who tries to rescue a sheep from a lion’s mouth will recover only two legs or a piece of an ear. So it will be for the Israelites in Samaria lying on luxurious beds, and for the people of Damascus reclining on couches.[g]
13 “Now listen to this, and announce it throughout all Israel,[h]” says the Lord, the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.
14 “On the very day I punish Israel for its sins, I will destroy the pagan altars at Bethel. The horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground. 15 And I will destroy the beautiful homes of the wealthy— their winter mansions and their summer houses, too— all their palaces filled with ivory,” says the Lord.
Israel’s Failure to Learn
4 Listen to me, you fat cows[i] living in Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy, and who are always calling to your husbands, “Bring us another drink!” 2 The Sovereign Lord has sworn this by his holiness: “The time will come when you will be led away with hooks in your noses. Every last one of you will be dragged away like a fish on a hook! 3 You will be led out through the ruins of the wall; you will be thrown from your fortresses,[j]” says the Lord.
4 “Go ahead and offer sacrifices to the idols at Bethel. Keep on disobeying at Gilgal. Offer sacrifices each morning, and bring your tithes every three days. 5 Present your bread made with yeast as an offering of thanksgiving. Then give your extra voluntary offerings so you can brag about it everywhere! This is the kind of thing you Israelites love to do,” says the Sovereign Lord.
6 “I brought hunger to every city and famine to every town. But still you would not return to me,” says the Lord.
7 “I kept the rain from falling when your crops needed it the most. I sent rain on one town but withheld it from another. Rain fell on one field, while another field withered away. 8 People staggered from town to town looking for water, but there was never enough. But still you would not return to me,” says the Lord.
9 “I struck your farms and vineyards with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured all your fig and olive trees. But still you would not return to me,” says the Lord.
10 “I sent plagues on you like the plagues I sent on Egypt long ago. I killed your young men in war and led all your horses away.[k] The stench of death filled the air! But still you would not return to me,” says the Lord.
11 “I destroyed some of your cities, as I destroyed[l] Sodom and Gomorrah. Those of you who survived were like charred sticks pulled from a fire. But still you would not return to me,” says the Lord.
12 “Therefore, I will bring upon you all the disasters I have announced. Prepare to meet your God in judgment, you people of Israel!”
13 For the Lord is the one who shaped the mountains, stirs up the winds, and reveals his thoughts to mankind. He turns the light of dawn into darkness and treads on the heights of the earth. The Lord God of Heaven’s Armies is his name!
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