Locusts, Fire and a Plumb Line

This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me:(A) He was preparing swarms of locusts(B) after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the late crops were coming up. When they had stripped the land clean,(C) I cried out, “Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive?(D) He is so small!(E)

So the Lord relented.(F)

“This will not happen,” the Lord said.(G)

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

So the Lord relented.(K)

“This will not happen either,” the Sovereign Lord said.(L)

This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb,[a] with a plumb line[b] in his hand. And the Lord asked me, “What do you see,(M) Amos?(N)

“A plumb line,(O)” I replied.

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

“The high places(Q) of Isaac will be destroyed
    and the sanctuaries(R) of Israel will be ruined;
    with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam.(S)

Amos and Amaziah

10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel(T) sent a message to Jeroboam(U) king of Israel: “Amos is raising a conspiracy(V) against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words.(W) 11 For this is what Amos is saying:

“‘Jeroboam will die by the sword,
    and Israel will surely go into exile,(X)
    away from their native land.’”(Y)

12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer!(Z) Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there.(AA) 13 Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel,(AB) because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple(AC) of the kingdom.(AD)

14 Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet(AE) nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees.(AF) 15 But the Lord took me from tending the flock(AG) and said to me, ‘Go,(AH) prophesy(AI) to my people Israel.’(AJ) 16 Now then, hear(AK) the word of the Lord. You say,

“‘Do not prophesy against(AL) Israel,
    and stop preaching against the descendants of Isaac.’

17 “Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“‘Your wife will become a prostitute(AM) 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 pagan[c] country.
And Israel will surely go into exile,(AN)
    away from their native land.(AO)’”

Footnotes

  1. Amos 7:7 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  2. Amos 7:7 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain; also in verse 8.
  3. Amos 7:17 Hebrew an unclean

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)

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