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I am Amos. And I raised sheep near the town of Tekoa[a] when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam[b] son of Jehoash[c] was king of Israel.

Two years before the earthquake,[d] the Lord gave me several messages[e] about Israel, and I said:

When the Lord roars
    from Jerusalem,
pasturelands and Mount Carmel
    dry up and turn brown.

Judgment on Syria

The Lord said:

I will punish Syria[f]
for countless crimes,
    and I won’t change my mind.
They dragged logs with spikes[g]
    over the people of Gilead.
Now I will burn down the palaces
and fortresses
of King Hazael
    and of King Benhadad.[h]
I will break through
    the gates of Damascus.
I will destroy the people[i]
of Wicked Valley[j]
    and the ruler of Beth-Eden.[k]
Then the Syrians will be dragged
    as prisoners to Kir.[l]
I, the Lord, have spoken!

Judgment on Philistia

The Lord said:

I will punish Philistia[m]
for countless crimes,
    and I won’t change my mind.
They dragged off my people[n]
    from town after town
to sell them as slaves
    to the Edomites.

That’s why I will burn down
the walls and fortresses
    of the city of Gaza.
I will destroy the king[o] of Ashdod
    and the ruler of Ashkelon.
I will strike down Ekron,[p]
and that will be the end
    of the Philistines.
I, the Lord, have spoken!

Judgment on Phoenicia

The Lord said:

I will punish Phoenicia[q]
for countless crimes,
    and I won’t change my mind.
They broke their treaty
and dragged off my people[r]
    from town after town
to sell them as slaves
    to the Edomites.
10 That’s why I will send flames
to burn down the city of Tyre
    along with its fortresses.

Judgment on Edom

11 The Lord said:

I will punish Edom
for countless crimes,
    and I won’t change my mind.
They killed their own relatives[s]
and were so terribly furious
    that they showed no mercy.
12 Now I will send fire to wipe out
the fortresses
of Teman
    and Bozrah.[t]

Judgment on Ammon

13 The Lord said:

I will punish Ammon
for countless crimes,
    and I won’t change my mind.
In Gilead they ripped open
pregnant women,
    just to take the land.

14 Now I will send fire to destroy
the walls and fortresses
    of Rabbah.[u]
Enemies will shout and attack
    like a whirlwind.
15 Ammon’s king and leaders
    will be dragged away.
I, the Lord, have spoken!

Footnotes

  1. 1.1 Tekoa: In the hill country of Judah about five miles south of Bethlehem.
  2. 1.1 Uzziah. . . Jeroboam: Uzziah was king of Judah 781-740 B.C., and Jeroboam II was king of Israel 783-743 B.C.
  3. 1.1 Jehoash: The Hebrew text has “Joash,” another spelling of the name.
  4. 1.1 Two years. . . earthquake: Possibly the earthquake of 760 B.C., which seems to have been especially violent.
  5. 1.1 messages: Or “visions.”
  6. 1.3 Syria: The Hebrew text has “Damascus,” the leading city of Syria.
  7. 1.3 logs with spikes: These were dragged over grain to thresh it.
  8. 1.4 Hazael. . . Benhadad: Two Syrian kings.
  9. 1.5 people: Or “king.”
  10. 1.5 Wicked Valley: The Hebrew text has “Aven Valley,” probably the fertile valley between the Lebanon and the anti-Lebanon mountains.
  11. 1.5 I will. . . Beth-Eden: Or “I will destroy the people of Wicked Valley and the king who rules from Beth-Eden.” Beth-Eden was a city-state on the banks of the Euphrates River.
  12. 1.5 Kir: The exact location of this country is not known; in 9.7 Amos refers to Kir as the original home of the Syrians, and so the verse probably means that the Syrians will lose everything they have gained as a people.
  13. 1.6 Philistia: The Hebrew text has “Gaza,” one of the main Philistine cities.
  14. 1.6 my people: The people of Israel.
  15. 1.8 king: Or “people.”
  16. 1.8 Ashdod. . . Ashkelon. . . Ekron: Philistine cities.
  17. 1.9 Phoenicia: The Hebrew text has “Tyre,” which was one of the two Phoenician cities; the other was Sidon, which is not mentioned by Amos.
  18. 1.9 my people: See the note at 1.6.
  19. 1.11 their own relatives: The Edomites were descendants of Esau, the brother of Jacob, the ancestor of the Israelites.
  20. 1.12 Teman and Bozrah: These stand for all of Edom; Teman may have been a city or a district. Bozrah, the chief city of northern Edom, was thirty miles southeast of the Dead Sea.
  21. 1.14 Rabbah: The capital city of Ammon.