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Amos 5New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 5

Third Summons[a]

Hear this word which I utter concerning you,
    this dirge, house of Israel:
She is fallen, to rise no more,
    virgin Israel;
She lies abandoned on her land,
    with no one to raise her up.
For thus says the Lord God
    to the house of Israel:
The city that marched out with a thousand
    shall be left with a hundred,
Another that marched out with a hundred
    shall be left with ten.
For thus says the Lord[b]
    to the house of Israel:
Seek me, that you may live,
    but do not seek Bethel;
Do not come to Gilgal,
    and do not cross over to Beer-sheba;
For Gilgal shall be led into exile
    and Bethel shall be no more.
[c]Seek the Lord, that you may live,
    lest he flare up against the house of Joseph[d] like a fire
    that shall consume the house of Israel, with no one to quench it.

The one who made the Pleiades and Orion,
    who turns darkness into dawn,
    and darkens day into night;
Who summons the waters of the sea,
    and pours them out on the surface of the earth;
Who makes destruction fall suddenly upon the stronghold
    and brings ruin upon the fortress,
    the Lord is his name.

IV. Three Woes

First Woe

Woe to those who turn justice into wormwood
    and cast righteousness to the ground,
10 They hate those who reprove at the gate
    and abhor those who speak with integrity;
11 Therefore, because you tax the destitute
    and exact from them levies of grain,
Though you have built houses of hewn stone,
    you shall not live in them;
Though you have planted choice vineyards,
    you shall not drink their wine.
12 Yes, I know how many are your crimes,
    how grievous your sins:
Oppressing the just, accepting bribes,
    turning away the needy at the gate.
13 (Therefore at this time the wise are struck dumb
    for it is an evil time.)

14 Seek good and not evil,
    that you may live;
Then truly the Lord, the God of hosts,
    will be with you as you claim.
15 Hate evil and love good,
    and let justice prevail at the gate;
Then it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,
    will have pity on the remnant of Joseph.

16 Therefore, thus says the Lord,
    the God of hosts, the Lord:
In every square there shall be lamentation,
    and in every street they shall cry, “Oh, no!”
They shall summon the farmers to wail
    and the professional mourners to lament.
17 And in every vineyard there shall be lamentation
    when I pass through your midst, says the Lord.

Second Woe

18 Woe to those who yearn
    for the day of the Lord![e]
What will the day of the Lord mean for you?
    It will be darkness, not light!
19 As if someone fled from a lion
    and a bear met him;
Or as if on entering the house
    he rested his hand against the wall,
    and a snake bit it.
20 Truly, the day of the Lord will be darkness, not light,
    gloom without any brightness!

21 [f]I hate, I despise your feasts,
    I take no pleasure in your solemnities.
22 Even though you bring me your burnt offerings and grain offerings
    I will not accept them;
Your stall-fed communion offerings,
    I will not look upon them.
23 Take away from me
    your noisy songs;
The melodies of your harps,
    I will not listen to them.
24 Rather let justice surge like waters,
    and righteousness like an unfailing stream.
25 Did you bring me sacrifices and grain offerings
    for forty years in the desert, O house of Israel?
26 Yet you will carry away Sukuth,[g] your king,
    and Kaiwan, your star-image,
    your gods that you have made for yourselves,
27 As I exile you beyond Damascus,
    says the Lord,
    whose name is the God of hosts.

Footnotes:

  1. 5:1–17 These verses form a chiastic section beginning and ending with a lament over Israel (vv. 2, 16–17) and containing a double appeal to “seek” the Lord (vv. 4, 14). This editorial arrangement gives the whole section a negative cast, in effect nullifying the only hopeful verse in Amos (v. 15). Israel is as good as dead.
  2. 5:4–5 For thus says the Lord…Bethel shall be no more: these two verses continue the sarcasm of 4:4–5, verses in which Amos invites the people to come and “sin” at Bethel and Gilgal. The cult cities of Samaria should have been places where God could be “sought” but, because of the sins of the Northern Kingdom, these cities would cease to exist.
  3. 5:6 These verses have been rearranged to achieve the proper sequence according to the best possible manuscript tradition. Cf. the Textual Notes accompanying the translation.
  4. 5:6 House of Joseph: the kingdom of Israel or Northern Kingdom, the chief tribes of which were descended from Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph; cf. 5:15; 6:6.
  5. 5:18 The day of the Lord: first mentioned in Amos, this refers to a specific time in the future, known to the Lord alone, when God’s enemies would be decisively defeated. The common assumption among Israelites was that the Lord’s foes and Israel’s foes were one and the same. But Amos makes it clear that because the people have become God’s enemies by refusing to heed the prophetic word, they too would experience the divine wrath on that fateful day. However, during the exile this expression comes to mean a time when God would avenge Israel against its oppressors and bring about its restoration (Jer 50:27; Ez 30:3–5).
  6. 5:21–27 The prophet does not condemn cultic activity as such but rather the people’s attempt to offer worship with hands unclean from oppression of their fellow Israelites (cf. Ps 15:2–5; 24:3–4). But worship from those who disregard justice and righteousness (v. 24) is never acceptable to the God of Israel. Through the Sinai covenant the love of God and the love of neighbor are inextricably bound together.
  7. 5:26 Sukuth: probably a hebraized form of Assyro-Babylonian Shukudu (“the Arrow”), a name of Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. It was associated with the god Ninurta, who was widely worshiped in Mesopotamia. According to 2 Kgs 17:30 the cult of Sirius was introduced into Samaria by deportees from Babylonia. Kaiwan: a hebraized form of an Akkadian name for the planet Saturn, also worshiped as a deity in Mesopotamia.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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