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Amos 1-4 Common English Bible (CEB)

Introduction

These are the words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa. He perceived these things concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, in the days of Judah’s King Uzziah and in the days of Israel’s King Jeroboam, Joash’s son.

Proclamation of divine judgment

    He said:
    The Lord roars from Zion.
        He shouts from Jerusalem;
        the pastures of the shepherds wither,
        and the top of Carmel dries up.

A word to Damascus

    The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of Damascus,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because they have harvested Gilead
        with sharp iron tools.
    I will send down fire on the house of Hazael;
        it will devour the palaces of Ben-hadad.
    I will break the fortified gates of Damascus,
        and eliminate the people from the Aven Valley,
    including the one who rules from Beth-eden;
        the people of Aram will be forced to live in Kir,
says the Lord.

A word to Gaza and Ashdod

    The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of Gaza,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because they rounded up entire communities,
        to hand them over to Edom.
    I will send down a fire on the wall of Gaza;
        it will devour Gaza’s palaces.
    I will eliminate the people from Ashdod,
        the one who rules from Ashkelon.
    I will turn my hand against Ekron,
        and the Philistines who remain will perish,
says the Lord God.

A word to Tyre

The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of Tyre,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because they have delivered up entire communities over to Edom,
        and neglected their covenantal obligations.
10 So I will send a fire on the wall of Tyre;
        it will devour their palaces.

A word to Edom

11 The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of Edom,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because he chased after his brother with the sword,
        denied all compassion,
        kept his anger alive,
        and fueled his wrath forever.
12 So I will send a fire on Teman;
        it will devour the fortresses of Bozrah.

A word to Ammon

13 The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of the Ammonites,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because they have ripped open pregnant women in Gilead
        in order to possess more land.
14 So I will start a fire at the wall of Rabbah;
        the fire will devour its palaces,
        with a war cry on the day of battle,
        with strong wind on the day of the storm.
15 Then their king will be taken away,
        he and his officials together,
says the Lord.

A word to Moab

    The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of Moab,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because he burned to lime
        the bones of the king of Edom.
    So I will send down a fire on Moab;
        it will devour the palaces of Kerioth.
    Moab will die in a great uproar,
        with a war cry, with the sound of the ram’s horn.
    I will remove their judge from them
        and slay all their officials with him,
says the Lord.

A word to Judah

    The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of Judah,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because they have rejected the Instruction of the Lord,
        and haven’t kept his laws.
    They have been led off the right path by the same lies
        after which their ancestors walked.
    So I will send a fire on Judah,
        and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem.

A word to Israel

    The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of Israel,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because they have sold the innocent for silver,
            and those in need for a pair of sandals.
    They crush the head of the poor into the dust of the earth,
        and push the afflicted out of the way.
    Father and son have intercourse with the same young woman,
        degrading my holy name.
    They stretch out beside every altar
        on garments taken in loan;
    in the house of their god they drink
        wine bought with fines they imposed.
    Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them,
        whose height was as tall as cedar trees,
        and whose strength was as strong as oak trees.
    I destroyed his fruit above
        and his roots below.
10 Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt,
        and led you forty years in the wilderness,
        to lay claim to the land of the Amorite.
11 I raised up some of your children to be prophets
        and some of your youth to be nazirites.
    Isn’t this so, people of Israel?
says the Lord.

12 But you made the nazirites drink wine,
        and commanded the prophets,
        saying, “You won’t prophesy.”
13 So now I will oppress you,
        just like a cart is weighed down[a]
        when it is full of harvested grain.
14 Fast runners will find no refuge;
    the strong will lose their strength;
    the mighty will be unable to save their lives.
15 Those who shoot the bow won’t survive.
        Fast runners won’t escape;
        those who ride horses won’t save themselves.
16 The bravest warrior
    will flee away naked in that day,
says the Lord.

Words of doom for Israel

Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, people of Israel, against the whole family that I brought out of the land of Egypt:

You only have I loved so deeply
        of all the families of the earth.
    Therefore, I will punish you
        for all your wrongdoing.
    Will two people walk together
        unless they have agreed to do so?[b]
    Does a lion roar in the forest
        when it has no prey?
    Does a young lion cry out from its den
        if it has caught nothing?
    Will a bird fall into a trap on the ground
        when there is no bait for it?
    Will a trap spring up from the ground
        when it has taken nothing?
    If a ram’s horn is blown in a city,
        won’t people tremble?
    If disaster falls on a city,
        is it the Lord who has done it?
    Surely the Lord God does nothing
        without revealing his secret
        to his servants the prophets.

    A lion has roared;
        who will not fear?
    The Lord God has spoken;
        who can but prophesy?
    Proclaim it to the palaces of Ashdod
        and to the palaces in the land of Egypt.
    Say, “Gather yourselves on Mount Samaria,
        and see the great turmoil in the city,
        and what violent deeds are inside it.”
10 They don’t know how to do right,
says the Lord
        those who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.
11 Therefore, the Lord my God proclaims:
        An enemy will surround the land;
    he will bring you down from your protected places,
        and your palaces will be robbed.

12 The Lord proclaims:

Just as the shepherd rescues two legs or the piece of an ear from the mouth of the lion, so will the people of Israel be rescued. Those who live in Samaria will escape with the corner of a bed, and those in Damascus with a piece of a couch.[c]

13 Hear this and speak against the house of Jacob,
        says the Lord God, the God of heavenly forces:
14 On the day I punish the crimes of Israel,
    I will also visit the altars of Bethel;
        the horns of the altar will be cut off
        and will fall to the ground.
15 I will tear down the winter house as well as the summer house;
        the houses of ivory will perish;
        the great houses will be swept away,
says the Lord.

Judgment on Israel’s elite

    Hear this word, you cows of Bashan,
        who are on Mount Samaria,
        who cheat the weak,
        who crush the needy,
        who say to their husbands, “Bring drinks, so we can get drunk!”
    The Lord God has solemnly promised by his holiness:
        The days are surely coming upon you,
        when they will take you away with hooks,
        even the last one of you with fishhooks.
    You will go out through the broken wall,
        each one after another;
        and you will be flung out into Harmon,
says the Lord.

A divine taunt

    Come to Bethel—and commit a crime;
        multiply crimes at Gilgal.
    Bring your sacrifices every morning,
        your tenth-part gifts every three days.
    Offer a thanksgiving sacrifice of leavened bread,
        and publicize your gifts to the Lord;
        for so you love to do, people of Israel!
says the Lord God.

Israel’s stubbornness

    I have sent a famine in all your cities,
        and not provided enough bread in all your places,
        yet you didn’t return to me,
says the Lord.
    I also withheld rain from you
        when there were still three months to the harvest.
    I allowed no rain to fall on one city,
        no rain to fall on another city.
    One field was rained on,
        and the field dried up where it didn’t rain.
    So two or three thirsty towns went to one city to drink water, and weren’t satisfied;
        yet you didn’t return to me,
says the Lord.

    I struck you with disease and mildew.
        I destroyed your gardens and your vineyards.
    The locust devoured your fig trees and your olive trees;
        yet you didn’t return to me,
says the Lord.

10 I sent a plague against you like the one in Egypt.
        I killed your young men with the sword.
    I carried away your horses.
        I made the stink of your camp go up into your nostrils;
        yet you didn’t return to me,
says the Lord.

11 I destroyed some of you,
        as when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
    You were like a burning coal plucked out of the fire;
        yet you didn’t return to me,
says the Lord.
12 Truly, Israel,
    I will act in this way toward you;
        therefore, I will do this to you.
        Prepare to meet your God, Israel!

13 The one who forms the mountains, creates the wind,
        makes known his thoughts to humankind,
    makes the morning darkness,
        and moves over the heights of the earth—
        the Lord, the God of heavenly forces is his name!

Footnotes:

  1. Amos 2:13 Heb uncertain
  2. Amos 3:3 Or Will two walk together unless they have agreed?
  3. Amos 3:12 Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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