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Amos 1-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of King Uzziah of Judah and in the days of King Jeroboam son of Joash of Israel, two years[a] before the earthquake.

Judgment on Israel’s Neighbors

And he said:

The Lord roars from Zion,
    and utters his voice from Jerusalem;
the pastures of the shepherds wither,
    and the top of Carmel dries up.

Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Damascus,
    and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;[b]
because they have threshed Gilead
    with threshing sledges of iron.
So I will send a fire on the house of Hazael,
    and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.
I will break the gate bars of Damascus,
    and cut off the inhabitants from the Valley of Aven,
and the one who holds the scepter from Beth-eden;
    and the people of Aram shall go into exile to Kir,
says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Gaza,
    and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;[c]
because they carried into exile entire communities,
    to hand them over to Edom.
So I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza,
    fire that shall devour its strongholds.
I will cut off the inhabitants from Ashdod,
    and the one who holds the scepter from Ashkelon;
I will turn my hand against Ekron,
    and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,
says the Lord God.

Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Tyre,
    and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;[d]
because they delivered entire communities over to Edom,
    and did not remember the covenant of kinship.
10 So I will send a fire on the wall of Tyre,
    fire that shall devour its strongholds.

11 Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Edom,
    and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;[e]
because he pursued his brother with the sword
    and cast off all pity;
he maintained his anger perpetually,[f]
    and kept his wrath[g] forever.
12 So I will send a fire on Teman,
    and it shall devour the strongholds of Bozrah.

13 Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of the Ammonites,
    and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;[h]
because they have ripped open pregnant women in Gilead
    in order to enlarge their territory.
14 So I will kindle a fire against the wall of Rabbah,
    fire that shall devour its strongholds,
with shouting on the day of battle,
    with a storm on the day of the whirlwind;
15 then their king shall go into exile,
    he and his officials together,
says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Moab,
    and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;[i]
because he burned to lime
    the bones of the king of Edom.
So I will send a fire on Moab,
    and it shall devour the strongholds of Kerioth,
and Moab shall die amid uproar,
    amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet;
I will cut off the ruler from its midst,
    and will kill all its officials with him,
says the Lord.

Judgment on Judah

Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Judah,
    and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;[j]
because they have rejected the law of the Lord,
    and have not kept his statutes,
but they have been led astray by the same lies
    after which their ancestors walked.
So I will send a fire on Judah,
    and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem.

Judgment on Israel

Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Israel,
    and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;[k]
because they sell the righteous for silver,
    and the needy for a pair of sandals—
they who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth,
    and push the afflicted out of the way;
father and son go in to the same girl,
    so that my holy name is profaned;
they lay themselves down beside every altar
    on garments taken in pledge;
and in the house of their God they drink
    wine bought with fines they imposed.

Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them,
    whose height was like the height of cedars,
    and who was as strong as oaks;
I destroyed his fruit above,
    and his roots beneath.
10 Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt,
    and led you forty years in the wilderness,
    to possess the land of the Amorite.
11 And I raised up some of your children to be prophets
    and some of your youths to be nazirites.[l]
    Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?
says the Lord.

12 But you made the nazirites[m] drink wine,
    and commanded the prophets,
    saying, “You shall not prophesy.”

13 So, I will press you down in your place,
    just as a cart presses down
    when it is full of sheaves.[n]
14 Flight shall perish from the swift,
    and the strong shall not retain their strength,
    nor shall the mighty save their lives;
15 those who handle the bow shall not stand,
    and those who are swift of foot shall not save themselves,
    nor shall those who ride horses save their lives;
16 and those who are stout of heart among the mighty
    shall flee away naked in that day,
says the Lord.

Israel’s Guilt and Punishment

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

You only have I known
    of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
    for all your iniquities.

Do two walk together
    unless they have made an appointment?
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?
Does a bird fall into a snare on the earth,
    when there is no trap for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground,
    when it has taken nothing?
Is a trumpet blown in a city,
    and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster befall a city,
    unless the Lord has done it?
Surely the Lord God does nothing,
    without revealing his secret
    to his servants the prophets.
The lion has roared;
    who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken;
    who can but prophesy?

Proclaim to the strongholds in Ashdod,
    and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt,
and say, “Assemble yourselves on Mount[o] Samaria,
    and see what great tumults are within it,
    and what oppressions are in its midst.”
10 They do not know how to do right, says the Lord,
    those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.
11 Therefore thus says the Lord God:
An adversary shall surround the land,
    and strip you of your defense;
    and your strongholds shall be plundered.

12 Thus says the Lord: As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who live in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part[p] of a bed.

13 Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,
    says the Lord God, the God of hosts:
14 On the day I punish Israel for its transgressions,
    I will punish the altars of Bethel,
and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
    and fall to the ground.
15 I will tear down the winter house as well as the summer house;
    and the houses of ivory shall perish,
and the great houses[q] shall come to an end,
says the Lord.

Hear this word, you cows of Bashan
    who are on Mount Samaria,
who oppress the poor, who crush the needy,
    who say to their husbands, “Bring something to drink!”
The Lord God has sworn by his holiness:
    The time is surely coming upon you,
when they shall take you away with hooks,
    even the last of you with fishhooks.
Through breaches in the wall you shall leave,
    each one straight ahead;
    and you shall be flung out into Harmon,[r]
says the Lord.
Come to Bethel—and transgress;
    to Gilgal—and multiply transgression;
bring your sacrifices every morning,
    your tithes every three days;
bring a thank offering of leavened bread,
    and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them;
    for so you love to do, O people of Israel!
says the Lord God.

Israel Rejects Correction

I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities,
    and lack of bread in all your places,
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

And I also withheld the rain from you
    when there were still three months to the harvest;
I would send rain on one city,
    and send no rain on another city;
one field would be rained upon,
    and the field on which it did not rain withered;
so two or three towns wandered to one town
    to drink water, and were not satisfied;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

I struck you with blight and mildew;
    I laid waste[s] your gardens and your vineyards;
    the locust devoured your fig trees and your olive trees;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

10 I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt;
    I killed your young men with the sword;
I carried away your horses;[t]
    and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

11 I overthrew some of you,
    as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
    and you were like a brand snatched from the fire;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

12 Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel;
    because I will do this to you,
    prepare to meet your God, O Israel!

13 For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind,
    reveals his thoughts to mortals,
makes the morning darkness,
    and treads on the heights of the earth—
    the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!

A Lament for Israel’s Sin

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

Fallen, no more to rise,
    is maiden Israel;
forsaken on her land,
    with no one to raise her up.

For thus says the Lord God:
The city that marched out a thousand
    shall have a hundred left,
and that which marched out a hundred
    shall have ten left.[u]

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 nothing.

Seek the Lord and live,
    or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire,
    and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it.
Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood,
    and bring righteousness to the ground!

The one 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 on the surface of the earth,
the Lord is his name,
who makes destruction flash out against the strong,
    so that destruction comes upon the fortress.

10 They hate the one who reproves in the gate,
    and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.
11 Therefore because you trample on the poor
    and take from them levies of grain,
you have built houses of hewn stone,
    but you shall not live 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 push aside the needy in the gate.
13 Therefore the 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,
    just 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 those skilled in lamentation, to wailing;
17 in all the 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 Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord!
    Why do you want the day of the Lord?
It is darkness, not light;
19     as if someone fled from a lion,
    and was met by a bear;
or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall,
    and was bitten by a snake.
20 Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light,
    and gloom with no brightness in it?

21 I hate, I despise your festivals,
    and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them;
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
    I will not look upon.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs;
    I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
    and righteousness like an ever-flowing 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,[v] 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.

Complacent Self-Indulgence Will Be Punished

Alas for those who are at ease in Zion,
    and for those who feel secure on Mount Samaria,
the notables of the first of the nations,
    to whom the house of Israel resorts!
Cross over to Calneh, and see;
    from there go to Hamath the great;
    then go down to Gath of the Philistines.
Are you better[w] than these kingdoms?
    Or is your[x] territory greater than their[y] territory,
O you that put far away the evil day,
    and bring near a reign of violence?

Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory,
    and lounge on their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock,
    and calves from the stall;
who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp,
    and like David improvise on instruments of music;
who drink wine from bowls,
    and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
    but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
Therefore they shall now be the first to go into exile,
    and the revelry of the loungers shall pass away.

The Lord God has sworn by himself
(says the Lord, the God of hosts):
I abhor the pride of Jacob
    and hate his strongholds;
    and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.

If ten people remain in one house, they shall die. 10 And if a relative, one who burns the dead,[z] shall take up the body to bring it out of the house, and shall say to someone in the innermost parts of the house, “Is anyone else with you?” the answer will come, “No.” Then the relative[aa] shall say, “Hush! We must not mention the name of the Lord.”

11 See, the Lord commands,
    and the great house shall be shattered to bits,
    and the little house to pieces.
12 Do horses run on rocks?
    Does one plow the sea with oxen?[ab]
But you have turned justice into poison
    and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood—
13 you who rejoice in Lo-debar,[ac]
    who say, “Have we not by our own strength
    taken Karnaim[ad] for ourselves?”
14 Indeed, I am raising up against you a nation,
    O house of Israel, says the Lord, the God of hosts,
and they shall oppress you from Lebo-hamath
    to the Wadi Arabah.

Locusts, Fire, and a Plumb Line

This is what the Lord God showed me: he was forming locusts at the time the latter growth began to sprout (it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings). When they had finished eating the grass of the land, I said,

“O Lord God, forgive, I beg you!
    How can Jacob stand?
    He is so small!”
The Lord relented concerning this;
    “It shall not be,” said the Lord.

This is what the Lord God showed me: the Lord God was calling for a shower of fire,[ae] and it devoured the great deep and was eating up the land. Then I said,

“O Lord God, cease, I beg you!
    How can Jacob stand?
    He is so small!”
The Lord relented concerning this;
    “This also shall not be,” said the Lord God.

This is what he showed me: the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,

“See, I am setting a plumb line
    in the midst of my people Israel;
    I will never again pass them by;
the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate,
    and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,
    and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”

Amaziah Complains to the King

10 Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the very center of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. 11 For thus Amos has said,

‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
    and Israel must go into exile
    away from his land.’”

12 And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there; 13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”

14 Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am[af] no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am[ag] a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, 15 and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’

16 “Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.
You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel,
    and do not preach against the house of Isaac.’
17 Therefore thus says the Lord:
‘Your wife shall become a prostitute in the city,
    and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword,
    and your land shall be parceled out by line;
you yourself shall die in an unclean land,
    and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.’”

The Basket of Fruit

This is what the Lord God showed me—a basket of summer fruit.[ah] He said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.”[ai] Then the Lord said to me,

“The end[aj] has come upon my people Israel;
    I will never again pass them by.
The songs of the temple[ak] shall become wailings in that day,”
says the Lord God;
“the dead bodies shall be many,
    cast out in every place. Be silent!”

Hear this, you that trample on the needy,
    and bring to ruin the poor of the land,
saying, “When will the new moon be over
    so that we may sell grain;
and the sabbath,
    so that we may offer wheat for sale?
We will make the ephah small and the shekel great,
    and practice deceit with false balances,
buying the poor for silver
    and the needy for a pair of sandals,
    and selling the sweepings of the wheat.”

The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
Shall not the land tremble on this account,
    and everyone mourn who lives in it,
and all of it rise like the Nile,
    and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?

On that day, says the Lord God,
    I will make the sun go down at noon,
    and darken the earth in broad daylight.
10 I will turn your feasts into mourning,
    and all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on all loins,
    and baldness on every head;
I will make it like the mourning for an only son,
    and the end of it like a bitter day.

11 The time is surely coming, says the Lord God,
    when I will send a famine on the land;
not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water,
    but of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 They shall wander from sea to sea,
    and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
    but they shall not find it.

13 In that day the beautiful young women and the young men
    shall faint for thirst.
14 Those who swear by Ashimah of Samaria,
    and say, “As your god lives, O Dan,”
and, “As the way of Beer-sheba lives”—
    they shall fall, and never rise again.

The Destruction of Israel

I saw the Lord standing beside[al] the altar, and he said:
Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake,
    and shatter them on the heads of all the people;[am]
and those who are left I will kill with the sword;
    not one of them shall flee away,
    not one of them shall escape.

Though they dig into Sheol,
    from there shall my hand take them;
though they climb up to heaven,
    from there I will bring them down.
Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,
    from there I will search out and take them;
and though they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea,
    there I will command the sea-serpent, and it shall bite them.
And though they go into captivity in front of their enemies,
    there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them;
and I will fix my eyes on them
    for harm and not for good.

The Lord, God of hosts,
he who touches the earth and it melts,
    and all who live in it mourn,
and all of it rises like the Nile,
    and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt;
who builds his upper chambers in the heavens,
    and founds his vault upon the earth;
who calls for the waters of the sea,
    and pours them out upon the surface of the earth—
the Lord is his name.

Are you not like the Ethiopians[an] to me,
    O people of Israel? says the Lord.
Did I not bring Israel up from the land of Egypt,
    and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?
The eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom,
    and I will destroy it from the face of the earth
    —except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,
says the Lord.

For lo, I will command,
    and shake the house of Israel among all the nations
as one shakes with a sieve,
    but no pebble shall fall to the ground.
10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword,
    who say, “Evil shall not overtake or meet us.”

The Restoration of David’s Kingdom

11 On that day I will raise up
    the booth of David that is fallen,
and repair its[ao] breaches,
    and raise up its[ap] ruins,
    and rebuild it as in the days of old;
12 in order that they may possess the remnant of Edom
    and all the nations who are called by my name,
    says the Lord who does this.

13 The time is surely coming, says the Lord,
    when the one who plows shall overtake the one who reaps,
    and the treader of grapes the one who sows the seed;
the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
    and all the hills shall flow with it.
14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
    and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
    and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant them upon their land,
    and they shall never again be plucked up
    out of the land that I have given them,
says the Lord your God.

Footnotes:

  1. Amos 1:1 Or during two years
  2. Amos 1:3 Heb cause it to return
  3. Amos 1:6 Heb cause it to return
  4. Amos 1:9 Heb cause it to return
  5. Amos 1:11 Heb cause it to return
  6. Amos 1:11 Syr Vg: Heb and his anger tore perpetually
  7. Amos 1:11 Gk Syr Vg: Heb and his wrath kept
  8. Amos 1:13 Heb cause it to return
  9. Amos 2:1 Heb cause it to return
  10. Amos 2:4 Heb cause it to return
  11. Amos 2:6 Heb cause it to return
  12. Amos 2:11 That is, those separated or those consecrated
  13. Amos 2:12 That is, those separated or those consecrated
  14. Amos 2:13 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  15. Amos 3:9 Gk Syr: Heb the mountains of
  16. Amos 3:12 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  17. Amos 3:15 Or many houses
  18. Amos 4:3 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  19. Amos 4:9 Cn: Heb the multitude of
  20. Amos 4:10 Heb with the captivity of your horses
  21. Amos 5:3 Heb adds to the house of Israel
  22. Amos 5:26 Heb your images, your star-god
  23. Amos 6:2 Or Are they better
  24. Amos 6:2 Heb their
  25. Amos 6:2 Heb your
  26. Amos 6:10 Or who makes a burning for him
  27. Amos 6:10 Heb he
  28. Amos 6:12 Or Does one plow them with oxen
  29. Amos 6:13 Or in a thing of nothingness
  30. Amos 6:13 Or horns
  31. Amos 7:4 Or for a judgment by fire
  32. Amos 7:14 Or was
  33. Amos 7:14 Or was
  34. Amos 8:1 Heb qayits
  35. Amos 8:2 Heb qayits
  36. Amos 8:2 Heb qets
  37. Amos 8:3 Or palace
  38. Amos 9:1 Or on
  39. Amos 9:1 Heb all of them
  40. Amos 9:7 Or Nubians; Heb Cushites
  41. Amos 9:11 Gk: Heb their
  42. Amos 9:11 Gk: Heb his
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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