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Second Woe

18 Woe to those who yearn
    for the day of the Lord![a]
What will the day of the Lord mean for you?
    It will be darkness, not light!(A)
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!

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  1. 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).