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A Basket of Fruit

The Lord God showed me a basket of ripe fruit and asked, “Amos, what do you see?”

“A basket of ripe fruit,” I replied.

Then he said,

“This is the end[a]
for my people Israel.
    I won’t forgive them again.
Instead of singing
in the temple,
    they will cry and weep.
Dead bodies will be everywhere.
    So keep silent!
I, the Lord, have spoken!”

Israel Is Doomed

The Lord said:

You people crush those in need
    and wipe out the poor.
You say to yourselves,
“How much longer before the end
    of the New Moon Festival?
When will the Sabbath[b] be over?
Our wheat is ready,
    and we want to sell it now.
We can’t wait to cheat
and charge high prices
    for the grain we sell.
We will use dishonest scales
    and mix dust in the grain.
Those who are needy and poor
    don’t have any money.
We will make them our slaves
for the price
    of a pair of sandals.”

I, the Lord, won’t forget
    any of this,
though you take great pride
    in your ancestor Jacob.[c]
Your country will tremble,
    and you will mourn.
It will be like the Nile River
that rises and overflows,
    then sinks back down.

On that day, I, the Lord God,
will make the sun
    go down at noon,
and I will turn daylight
    into darkness.
10 Your festivals and joyful singing
    will turn into sorrow.
You will wear sackcloth[d]
    and shave your heads,
as you would at the death
of your only son.
    It will be a horrible day.

11 I, the Lord, also promise you
a terrible shortage,
    but not of food and water.
You will hunger and thirst
    to hear my message.
12 You will search everywhere—
from north to south,
    from east to west.
You will go all over the earth,
    seeking a message
from me, the Lord.
    But you won’t find one.

13 Your beautiful young women
and your young men
    will faint from thirst.
14 You made promises
in the name of Ashimah,
    the goddess of Samaria.
And you made vows in my name
at the shrines
    of Dan and Beersheba.[e]
But you will fall
    and never get up.

Footnotes

  1. 8.2 end: In Hebrew “ripe fruit” and “end” sound alike.
  2. 8.5 New Moon Festival. . . Sabbath: Selling grain at these times was forbidden by the Law of Moses.
  3. 8.7 though. . . Jacob: Or “though I am the God that Jacob proudly worshiped.”
  4. 8.10 sackcloth: A rough, dark-colored cloth made from goat or camel hair and used to make grain sacks. It was worn in times of trouble or sorrow.
  5. 8.14 You made. . . Beersheba: Or “You made promises to the goddess Ashimah at Samaria, and you made vows in the names of other gods at the shrines of Dan and Beersheba.”

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