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Amos 5 Good News Translation (GNT)

A Call to Repentance

Listen, people of Israel, to this funeral song which I sing over you:

Virgin Israel has fallen,
Never to rise again!
She lies abandoned on the ground,
And no one helps her up.

The Sovereign Lord says, “A city in Israel sends out a thousand soldiers, but only a hundred return; another city sends out a hundred, but only ten come back.”

The Lord says to the people of Israel, “Come to me, and you will live. Do not go to Beersheba to worship. Do not try to find me at Bethel—Bethel will come to nothing. Do not go to Gilgal—her people are doomed to exile.”

Go to the Lord, and you will live. If you do not go, he will sweep down like fire on the people of Israel. The fire will burn up the people of Bethel, and no one will be able to put it out. You are doomed, you that twist justice and cheat people out of their rights!

The Lord made the stars,
    the Pleiades and Orion.
He turns darkness into daylight
    and day into night.
He calls for the waters of the sea
    and pours them out on the earth.
His name is the Lord.
He brings destruction on the mighty and their strongholds.

10 You people hate anyone who challenges injustice and speaks the whole truth in court. 11 You have oppressed the poor and robbed them of their grain. And so you will not live in the fine stone houses you build or drink wine from the beautiful vineyards you plant. 12 I know how terrible your sins are and how many crimes you have committed. You persecute good people, take bribes, and prevent the poor from getting justice in the courts. 13 And so, keeping quiet in such evil times is the smart thing to do!

14 Make it your aim to do what is right, not what is evil, so that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty really will be with you, as you claim he is. 15 Hate what is evil, love what is right, and see that justice prevails in the courts. Perhaps the Lord will be merciful to the people of this nation who are still left alive.

16 And so the Sovereign Lord Almighty says, “There will be wailing and cries of sorrow in the city streets. Even farmers will be called to mourn the dead along with those who are paid to mourn. 17 There will be wailing in all the vineyards. All this will take place because I am coming to punish you.” The Lord has spoken.

18 How terrible it will be for you who long for the day of the Lord! What good will that day do you? For you it will be a day of darkness and not of light. 19 It will be like someone who runs from a lion and meets a bear! Or like someone who comes home and puts his hand on the wall—only to be bitten by a snake! 20 The day of the Lord will bring darkness and not light; it will be a day of gloom, without any brightness.

21 The Lord says, “I hate your religious festivals; I cannot stand them! 22 When you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; I will not accept the animals you have fattened to bring me as offerings. 23 Stop your noisy songs; I do not want to listen to your harps. 24 Instead, let justice flow like a stream, and righteousness like a river that never goes dry.

25 “People of Israel, I did not demand sacrifices and offerings during those forty years that I led you through the desert. 26 But now, because you have worshiped images of Sakkuth, your king god, and of Kaiwan, your star god, you will have to carry those images 27 when I take you into exile in a land beyond Damascus,” says the Lord, whose name is Almighty God.

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Amos 5 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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.[a]

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,[b] 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.

Footnotes:

  1. Amos 5:3 Heb adds to the house of Israel
  2. Amos 5:26 Heb your images, your star-god
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Amos 5 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Hear this word that I take up against you
in lament, house of Isra’el:

The virgin of Isra’el has fallen;
she will not rise again.
She lies abandoned on her own soil
with no one to lift her up.

For thus says Adonai Elohim:
“The city from which a thousand marched
will be left with a hundred,
and the one from which a hundred marched
will be left with ten
from the house of Isra’el.”

For here is what Adonai says
to the house of Isra’el:
“If you seek me, you will survive;
but don’t seek Beit-El, or enter Gilgal
or pass on into Be’er-Sheva;
for Gilgal will certainly go into exile,
and Beit-El will come to nothing.”

If you seek Adonai, you will survive.
Otherwise, he will break out against
the house of Yosef like fire,
devouring Beit-El,
with no one to quench the flames.

You who turn justice to bitter wormwood
and throw righteousness to the ground!
He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
who brings deathlike shadows over the morning,
who darkens the day into night,
who calls for the water in the sea
and with it floods the earth —
Adonai is his name —
he flashes destruction on the strong,
so that destruction overcomes the fortress.

10 They hate anyone promoting justice
at the city gate,
they detest anyone who speaks the truth.
11 Therefore, because you trample on the poor
and extort from them levies of grain;
although you have built houses of cut stone,
you will not live in them;
and though you have planted pleasant vineyards,
you will not drink their wine.

12 For I know how numerous are your crimes
and how outrageous your sins —
bullying the innocent, extorting ransoms
pushing the poor aside at the gate.
13 At times like these a prudent person stays silent,
for it is an evil time.

14 Seek good and not evil, so that you will survive.
Then Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot will be with you,
as you say he is.
15 Hate evil, love good, and uphold justice at the gate.
Maybe Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot
will take pity on the survivors of Yosef.

16 Therefore thus says Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot, Adonai:

“In all public squares there will be lamentation,
in all the streets they will cry, ‘Oh, no!’
They will summon farmers to mourn
and professional mourners to wail.
17 There will be wailing in every vineyard,
for I will pass through among you,” says Adonai.

18 Woe to you who want the Day of Adonai!
Why do you want it, this Day of Adonai?
It is darkness, not light;
19 as if someone were to run from a lion,
just to be met by a bear;
as if he entered a house, put his hand on the wall,
just to be bitten by a snake.
20 Won’t the Day of Adonai be darkness, not light,
completely dark, with no brightness at all?
21 “I hate, I utterly loathe your festivals;
I take no pleasure in your solemn assemblies.
22 If you offer me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
nor will I consider the peace offerings
of your stall-fed cattle.
23 Spare me the noise of your songs!
I don’t want to hear the strumming of your lutes!
24 Instead, let justice well up like water,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
25 Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings
in the desert forty years, house of Isra’el?
26 No, but now you will bear Sikkut as your king
and Kiyun, your images,
the star of your god, which you made for yourselves;
27 as I exile you beyond Dammesek,”
says Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot —
that is his name.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Amos 5 The Message (MSG)

All Show, No Substance

Listen to this, family of Israel,
    this Message I’m sending in bold print, this tragic warning:

“Virgin Israel has fallen flat on her face.
    She’ll never stand up again.
She’s been left where she’s fallen.
    No one offers to help her up.”

This is the Message, God’s Word:

“The city that marches out with a thousand
    will end up with a hundred.
The city that marches out with a hundred
    will end up with ten. Oh, family of Israel!”

4-5 God’s Message to the family of Israel:

“Seek me and live.
    Don’t fool around at those shrines of Bethel,
Don’t waste time taking trips to Gilgal,
    and don’t bother going down to Beer-sheba.
Gilgal is here today and gone tomorrow
    and Bethel is all show, no substance.”

So seek God and live! You don’t want to end up
    with nothing to show for your life
But a pile of ashes, a house burned to the ground.
    For God will send just such a fire,
    and the firefighters will show up too late.

Raw Truth Is Never Popular

7-9 Woe to you who turn justice to vinegar
    and stomp righteousness into the mud.
Do you realize where you are? You’re in a cosmos
    star-flung with constellations by God,
A world God wakes up each morning
    and puts to bed each night.
God dips water from the ocean
    and gives the land a drink.
    God, God-revealed, does all this.
And he can destroy it as easily as make it.
    He can turn this vast wonder into total waste.

10-12 People hate this kind of talk.
    Raw truth is never popular.
But here it is, bluntly spoken:
    Because you run roughshod over the poor
    and take the bread right out of their mouths,
You’re never going to move into
    the luxury homes you have built.
You’re never going to drink wine
    from the expensive vineyards you’ve planted.
I know precisely the extent of your violations,
    the enormity of your sins. Appalling!
You bully right-living people,
    taking bribes right and left and kicking the poor when they’re down.

13 Justice is a lost cause. Evil is epidemic.
    Decent people throw up their hands.
Protest and rebuke are useless,
    a waste of breath.

14 Seek good and not evil—
    and live!
You talk about God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    being your best friend.
Well, live like it,
    and maybe it will happen.

15 Hate evil and love good,
    then work it out in the public square.
Maybe God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    will notice your remnant and be gracious.

16-17 Now again, my Master’s Message, God, God-of-the-Angel-Armies:

“Go out into the streets and lament loudly!
    Fill the malls and shops with cries of doom!
Weep loudly, ‘Not me! Not us, Not now!’
    Empty offices, stores, factories, workplaces.
Enlist everyone in the general lament.
    I want to hear it loud and clear when I make my visit.”
        God’s Decree.

Time to Face Hard Reality, Not Fantasy

18-20 Woe to all of you who want God’s Judgment Day!
    Why would you want to see God, want him to come?
When God comes, it will be bad news before it’s good news,
    the worst of times, not the best of times.
Here’s what it’s like: A man runs from a lion
    right into the jaws of a bear.
A woman goes home after a hard day’s work
    and is raped by a neighbor.
At God’s coming we face hard reality, not fantasy—
    a black cloud with no silver lining.

21-24 “I can’t stand your religious meetings.
    I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions.
I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
    your pretentious slogans and goals.
I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes,
    your public relations and image making.
I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
    When was the last time you sang to me?
Do you know what I want?
    I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it.
    That’s what I want. That’s all I want.

25-27 “Didn’t you, dear family of Israel, worship me faithfully for forty years in the wilderness, bringing the sacrifices and offerings I commanded? How is it you’ve stooped to dragging gimcrack statues of your so-called rulers around, hauling the cheap images of all your star-gods here and there? Since you like them so much, you can take them with you when I drive you into exile beyond Damascus.” God’s Message, God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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