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A Lament and Call to Repentance

Hear this word that I am going to intone over you as a lament, O house of Israel! Virgin Israel has fallen and will not rise again. She is deserted on her land; there is no one to raise her up. For thus says my Lord Yahweh, “The city that marches out with a thousand will only have a hundred left. And the one that marches out with a hundred will only have ten left for the house of Israel.” For thus says Yahweh to the house of Israel, “Seek me so that you may live.” But do not seek Bethel or go to Gilgal or cross over to Beersheba, for Gilgal will certainly go into exile and Bethel will come to disaster.” Seek Yahweh so that you may live, so that he will not break out like a fire against the house of Joseph! And it will devour, with none to quench[a] it for Bethel. Ah, you who turn justice into wormwood and hurl righteousness to the ground! The one who made the Pleiades and Orion and who turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens day into night, the one who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth, Yahweh is his name! The one who makes destruction flash upon the fierce, so that[b] destruction comes upon the fortification. 10 They hate the one who reproves in the gate and they abhor the one who speaks honestly. 11 Therefore, because you trample on the poor and you take a grain tax from them, you built houses of dressed stone, but you will not live in them. You built vineyards of delightfulness, but you will not drink their wine. 12 For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are numerous, you foes of the righteous, those who take a bribe, and those who[c] push aside the poor ones in the gate! 13 Therefore, whoever has insight will keep silent in that time, for it is a time of evil. 14 Seek good and not bad in order that you may live, and so Yahweh, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. 15 Hate evil and love good and establish justice in the gate; perhaps Yahweh, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. 16 Therefore, thus says Yahweh, the God of hosts, my Lord, “In all of the public squares there will be wailing, and in all of the streets they will say, ‘Alas, alas, alas!’ They shall call the farmers to mourning and to wailing, to those who are skilled in lamentation. 17 And in all of the vineyards there will be wailing, because I will pass in your midst,” says Yahweh.

The Day of Yahweh

18 Alas, those who desire the day of Yahweh, why is this for you the day of Yahweh? It will be darkness and not light! 19 It will be as if a man fled from a lion and a bear met him; or he went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall and a snake bit him. 20 Is not the day of Yahweh darkness and not light, and pitch dark with no brightness in it? 21 “I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your assemblies. 22 Yes, even if you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them, and I will not look at the fellowship offerings of your fattened animals. 23 Remove from me the noise of your songs, and I do not want to hear the melody of your harps! 24 But let justice roll on like the water, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. 25 Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings those forty years in the desert, O house of Israel? 26 And you will take up Sikkuth, your king, and Kaiwan, your images, the star of your gods which you made for yourselves. 27 And I will deport you beyond Damascus,” says Yahweh—the God of hosts is his name.


  1. Amos 5:6 Literally “and there is not one to quench”
  2. Amos 5:9 Literally “and”
  3. Amos 5:12 Literally “they”