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Amos 5 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

A Lament for Israel’s Sin

Hear this word which I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel:

“Fallen, no more to rise,
    is the virgin Israel;
forsaken on her land,
    with none to raise her up.”

For thus says the Lord God:
“The city that went forth a thousand
    shall have a hundred left,
and that which went forth a hundred
    shall have ten left
    to the house of Israel.”

For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel:
“Seek me and live;
    but do not seek Bethel,
and do not enter into Gilgal
    or cross over to Beer-sheba;
for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
    and Bethel shall come to nought.”

Seek the Lord and live,
    lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
    and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,
O you who turn justice to wormwood,
    and cast down righteousness to the earth!

He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
    and turns deep darkness into the morning,
    and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea,
    and pours them out upon the surface of the earth,
the Lord is his name,
who makes destruction flash forth against the strong,
    so that destruction comes upon the fortress.

10 They hate him who reproves in the gate,
    and they abhor him who speaks the truth.
11 Therefore because you trample upon the poor
    and take from him exactions of wheat,
you have built houses of hewn stone,
    but you shall not dwell in them;
you have planted pleasant vineyards,
    but you shall not drink their wine.
12 For I know how many are your transgressions,
    and how great are your sins—
you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,
    and turn aside the needy in the gate.
13 Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time;
    for it is an evil time.

14 Seek good, and not evil,
    that you may live;
and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,
    as you have said.
15 Hate evil, and love good,
    and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,
    will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

16 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord:

“In all the squares there shall be wailing;
    and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! alas!’
They shall call the farmers to mourning
    and to wailing those who are skilled in lamentation,
17 and in all vineyards there shall be wailing,
    for I will pass through the midst of you,”
                says the Lord.

The Day of the Lord a Dark Day

18 Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord!
    Why would you have the day of the Lord?
It is darkness, and not light;
19     as if a man fled from a lion,
    and a bear met him;
or went into the house and leaned with his hand against the wall,
    and a serpent bit him.
20 Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light,
    and gloom with no brightness in it?

21 “I hate, I despise your feasts,
    and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and cereal offerings,
    I will not accept them,
and the peace offerings of your fatted beasts
    I will not look upon.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs;
    to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
    and righteousness like an everflowing stream.

25 “Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 26 You shall take up Sakkuth your king, and Kaiwan your star-god, your images,[a] which you made for yourselves; 27 therefore I will take you into exile beyond Damascus,” says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.

Footnotes:

  1. Amos 5:26 Heb your images, your star-god
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Amos 5 New International Version (NIV)

A Lament and Call to Repentance

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

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

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.

This is what the Lord says to Israel:

“Seek me and live;
    do not seek Bethel,
do not go to Gilgal,
    do not journey to Beersheba.
For Gilgal will surely go into exile,
    and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.[a]
Seek the Lord and live,
    or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire;
it will devour them,
    and Bethel will have no one to quench it.

There are those who turn justice into bitterness
    and cast righteousness to the ground.

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

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

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

There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes
    and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.
13 Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times,
    for the times are evil.

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

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

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

The Day of the Lord

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

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

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

Footnotes:

  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
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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