Lamentation for Israel

Listen to this message that I am singing for you, a lament,(A) house of Israel:

She has fallen;
Virgin Israel(B) will never rise again.(C)
She lies abandoned on her land
with no one to raise her up.(D)

For the Lord God says:

The city that marches out a thousand strong
will have only a hundred left,(E)
and the one that marches out a hundred strong
will have only ten left(F) in the house of Israel.

Seek God and Live

For the Lord says to the house of Israel:

Seek me and live!(G)
Do not seek Bethel(H)
or go to Gilgal(I)
or journey to Beer-sheba,(J)
for Gilgal will certainly go into exile,
and Bethel will come to nothing.
Seek the Lord(K) and live,
or he will spread like fire(L)
throughout the house of Joseph;
it will consume everything
with no one at Bethel to extinguish it.(M)
Those who turn justice into wormwood(N)
also throw righteousness to the ground.

The one who made the Pleiades and Orion,(O)
who turns darkness[a] into dawn(P)
and darkens day into night,(Q)
who summons the water of the sea(R)
and pours it out over the surface of the earth(S)
the Lord is his name.(T)
He brings destruction[b] on the strong,[c](U)
and it falls on the fortress.(V)

10 They hate the one who convicts the guilty(W)
at the city gate,
and they despise(X) the one who speaks with integrity.
11 Therefore, because you trample on the poor(Y)
and exact a grain tax from him,
you will never live in the houses of cut stone(Z)
you have built;
you will never drink the wine
from the lush vineyards
you have planted.(AA)
12 For I know your crimes are many
and your sins innumerable.
They oppress the righteous,(AB) take a bribe,
and deprive the poor of justice(AC) at the city gates.
13 Therefore, those who have insight will keep silent[d](AD)
at such a time,
for the days are evil.

14 Pursue good and not evil
so that you may live,
and the Lord, the God of Armies,
will be with you
as you have claimed.(AE)
15 Hate evil and love good;(AF)
establish justice at the city gate.(AG)
Perhaps the Lord, the God of Armies, will be gracious(AH)
to the remnant of Joseph.(AI)

16 Therefore the Lord, the God of Armies, the Lord, says:

There will be wailing in all the public squares;(AJ)
they will cry out in anguish[e] in all the streets.
The farmer will be called on to mourn,(AK)
and professional mourners[f](AL) to wail.
17 There will be wailing in all the vineyards,(AM)
for I will pass among you.(AN)
The Lord has spoken.

The Day of the Lord

18 Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord!(AO)
What will the day of the Lord be for you?
It will be darkness and not light.(AP)
19 It will be like a man who flees from a lion(AQ)
only to have a bear confront him.
He goes home and rests his hand against the wall
only to have a snake bite him.
20 Won’t the day of the Lord
be darkness rather than light,(AR)
even gloom without any brightness in it?(AS)
21 I hate, I despise, your feasts!(AT)
I can’t stand the stench
of your solemn assemblies.(AU)
22 Even if you offer me
your burnt offerings and grain offerings,(AV)
I will not accept them;(AW)
I will have no regard
for your fellowship offerings of fattened cattle.(AX)
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.(AY)
24 But let justice flow like water,
and righteousness, like an unfailing stream.(AZ)

25 “House of Israel, was it sacrifices and grain offerings that you presented to me during the forty years in the wilderness?(BA) 26 But you have taken up[g] Sakkuth your king and Kaiwan your star god,[h] images you have made for yourselves.(BB) 27 So I will send you into exile beyond Damascus.”(BC) The Lord, the God of Armies, is his name.(BD) He has spoken.


  1. 5:8 Or turns the shadow of death
  2. 5:9 Hb obscure
  3. 5:9 Or stronghold
  4. 5:13 Or who are prudent will perish
  5. 5:16 Lit will say, “Alas! Alas!”
  6. 5:16 Lit and those skilled in lamentation
  7. 5:26 Or you will lift up
  8. 5:26 LXX reads taken up the tent of Molech and the star of your god Rephan; Ac 7:43

A Lament and Call to Repentance

Hear this word, Israel, this lament(A) I take up concerning you:

“Fallen is Virgin(B) Israel,
    never to rise again,
deserted in her own land,
    with no one to lift her up.(C)

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.(D)

This is what the Lord says to Israel:

“Seek(E) me and live;(F)
    do not seek Bethel,
do not go to Gilgal,(G)
    do not journey to Beersheba.(H)
For Gilgal will surely go into exile,
    and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.[a](I)
Seek(J) the Lord and live,(K)
    or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire;(L)
it will devour them,
    and Bethel(M) will have no one to quench it.(N)

There are those who turn justice into bitterness(O)
    and cast righteousness(P) to the ground.(Q)

He who made the Pleiades and Orion,(R)
    who turns midnight into dawn(S)
    and darkens day into night,(T)
who calls for the waters of the sea
    and pours them out over the face of the land—
    the Lord is his name.(U)
With a blinding flash he destroys the stronghold
    and brings the fortified city to ruin.(V)

10 There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court(W)
    and detest the one who tells the truth.(X)

11 You levy a straw tax on the poor(Y)
    and impose a tax on their grain.
Therefore, though you have built stone mansions,(Z)
    you will not live in them;(AA)
though you have planted lush vineyards,
    you will not drink their wine.(AB)
12 For I know how many are your offenses
    and how great your sins.(AC)

There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes(AD)
    and deprive the poor(AE) of justice in the courts.(AF)
13 Therefore the prudent keep quiet(AG) in such times,
    for the times are evil.(AH)

14 Seek good, not evil,
    that you may live.(AI)
Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you,
    just as you say he is.
15 Hate evil,(AJ) love good;(AK)
    maintain justice in the courts.(AL)
Perhaps(AM) the Lord God Almighty will have mercy(AN)
    on the remnant(AO) of Joseph.

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

“There will be wailing(AP) in all the streets(AQ)
    and cries of anguish in every public square.
The farmers(AR) will be summoned to weep
    and the mourners to wail.
17 There will be wailing(AS) in all the vineyards,
    for I will pass through(AT) your midst,”
says the Lord.(AU)

The Day of the Lord

18 Woe to you who long
    for the day of the Lord!(AV)
Why do you long for the day of the Lord?(AW)
    That day will be darkness,(AX) not light.(AY)
19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion
    only to meet a bear,(AZ)
as though he entered his house
    and rested his hand on the wall
    only to have a snake bite him.(BA)
20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness,(BB) not light—
    pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?(BC)

21 “I hate,(BD) I despise your religious festivals;(BE)
    your assemblies(BF) are a stench to me.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings(BG) and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them.(BH)
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
    I will have no regard for them.(BI)
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
    I will not listen to the music of your harps.(BJ)
24 But let justice(BK) roll on like a river,
    righteousness(BL) like a never-failing stream!(BM)

25 “Did you bring me sacrifices(BN) and offerings
    forty years(BO) in the wilderness, people of Israel?
26 You have lifted up the shrine of your king,
    the pedestal of your idols,(BP)
    the star of your god[b]
    which you made for yourselves.
27 Therefore I will send you into exile(BQ) beyond Damascus,”
    says the Lord, whose name is God Almighty.(BR)


  1. Amos 5:5 Hebrew aven, a reference to Beth Aven (a derogatory name for Bethel); see Hosea 4:15.
  2. Amos 5:26 Or lifted up Sakkuth your king / and Kaiwan your idols, / your star-gods; Septuagint lifted up the shrine of Molek / and the star of your god Rephan, / their idols