God’s Reasons for Punishing Israel

Listen to this message that the Lord has spoken against you, Israelites, against the entire clan that I brought from the land of Egypt:(A)

I have known only you(B)
out of all the clans of the earth;
therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities.(C)
Can two walk together(D)
without agreeing to meet?[a]
Does a lion roar(E) in the forest
when it has no prey?
Does a young lion growl from its lair
unless it has captured something?
Does a bird land in a trap on the ground
if there is no bait for it?
Does a trap spring from the ground
when it has caught nothing?
If a ram’s horn(F) is blown in a city,
aren’t people afraid?(G)
If a disaster(H) occurs in a city,
hasn’t the Lord done it?(I)
Indeed, the Lord God does nothing
without revealing His counsel
to His servants the prophets.(J)
A lion has roared;(K)
who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken;(L)
who will not prophesy?(M)

Proclaim on the citadels in Ashdod(N)
and on the citadels in the land of Egypt:
Assemble on the mountains of Samaria(O)
and see the great turmoil in the city
and the acts of oppression within it.(P)
10 The people are incapable of doing right(Q)
this is the Lord’s declaration—
those who store up violence and destruction(R)
in their citadels.

11 Therefore, the Lord God says:

An enemy(S) will surround the land;
he will destroy(T) your strongholds
and plunder your citadels.(U)

12 The Lord says:

As the shepherd snatches two legs
or a piece of an ear
from the lion’s mouth,(V)
so the Israelites who live in Samaria
will be rescued
with only the corner of a bed(W)
or the[b] cushion[c] of a couch.[d](X)

13 Listen and testify(Y) against the house of Jacob—
this is the declaration of the Lord God,
the God of Hosts.
14 I will punish the altars of Bethel(Z)
on the day I punish Israel for its crimes;
the horns of the altar(AA) will be cut off
and fall to the ground.(AB)
15 I will demolish the winter house(AC)
and the summer house;(AD)
the houses inlaid with ivory(AE) will be destroyed,
and the great houses(AF) will come to an end.
This is the Lord’s declaration.


  1. Amos 3:3 LXX reads without meeting
  2. Amos 3:12 Or Israelites will be rescued, those who sit in Samaria on a corner of a bed or a
  3. Amos 3:12 Hb obscure
  4. Amos 3:12 LXX, Aq, Sym, Theod, Syr, Tg, Vg read or in Damascus

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