Israel Has Not Returned to God

Hear this word, you cows of Bashan(A) on Mount Samaria,(B)
    you women who oppress the poor(C) and crush the needy(D)
    and say to your husbands,(E) “Bring us some drinks!(F)
The Sovereign Lord has sworn by his holiness:
    “The time(G) will surely come
when you will be taken away(H) with hooks,(I)
    the last of you with fishhooks.[a]
You will each go straight out
    through breaches in the wall,(J)
    and you will be cast out toward Harmon,[b]
declares the Lord.
“Go to Bethel(K) and sin;
    go to Gilgal(L) and sin yet more.
Bring your sacrifices every morning,(M)
    your tithes(N) every three years.[c](O)
Burn leavened bread(P) as a thank offering
    and brag about your freewill offerings(Q)
boast about them, you Israelites,
    for this is what you love to do,”
declares the Sovereign Lord.

“I gave you empty stomachs in every city
    and lack of bread in every town,
    yet you have not returned to me,”
declares the Lord.(R)

“I also withheld(S) rain from you
    when the harvest was still three months away.
I sent rain on one town,
    but withheld it from another.(T)
One field had rain;
    another had none and dried up.
People staggered from town to town for water(U)
    but did not get enough(V) to drink,
    yet you have not returned(W) to me,”
declares the Lord.(X)

“Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards,
    destroying them with blight and mildew.(Y)
Locusts(Z) devoured your fig and olive trees,(AA)
    yet you have not returned(AB) to me,”
declares the Lord.

10 “I sent plagues(AC) among you
    as I did to Egypt.(AD)
I killed your young men(AE) with the sword,
    along with your captured horses.
I filled your nostrils with the stench(AF) of your camps,
    yet you have not returned to me,”(AG)
declares the Lord.(AH)

11 “I overthrew some of you
    as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.(AI)
You were like a burning stick(AJ) snatched from the fire,
    yet you have not returned to me,”
declares the Lord.(AK)

12 “Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel,
    and because I will do this to you, Israel,
    prepare to meet your God.”

13 He who forms the mountains,(AL)
    who creates the wind,(AM)
    and who reveals his thoughts(AN) to mankind,
who turns dawn to darkness,
    and treads on the heights of the earth(AO)
    the Lord God Almighty is his name.(AP)

Footnotes

  1. Amos 4:2 Or away in baskets, / the last of you in fish baskets
  2. Amos 4:3 Masoretic Text; with a different word division of the Hebrew (see Septuagint) out, you mountain of oppression
  3. Amos 4:4 Or days

A Lament and Call to Repentance

Hear this word, Israel, this lament(A) I take up concerning you:

“Fallen is Virgin(B) Israel,
    never to rise again,
deserted in her own land,
    with no one to lift her up.(C)

This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Israel:

“Your city that marches out a thousand strong
    will have only a hundred left;
your town that marches out a hundred strong
    will have only ten left.(D)

This is what the Lord says to Israel:

“Seek(E) me and live;(F)
    do not seek Bethel,
do not go to Gilgal,(G)
    do not journey to Beersheba.(H)
For Gilgal will surely go into exile,
    and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.[a](I)
Seek(J) the Lord and live,(K)
    or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire;(L)
it will devour them,
    and Bethel(M) will have no one to quench it.(N)

There are those who turn justice into bitterness(O)
    and cast righteousness(P) to the ground.(Q)

He who made the Pleiades and Orion,(R)
    who turns midnight into dawn(S)
    and darkens day into night,(T)
who calls for the waters of the sea
    and pours them out over the face of the land—
    the Lord is his name.(U)
With a blinding flash he destroys the stronghold
    and brings the fortified city to ruin.(V)

10 There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court(W)
    and detest the one who tells the truth.(X)

11 You levy a straw tax on the poor(Y)
    and impose a tax on their grain.
Therefore, though you have built stone mansions,(Z)
    you will not live in them;(AA)
though you have planted lush vineyards,
    you will not drink their wine.(AB)
12 For I know how many are your offenses
    and how great your sins.(AC)

There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes(AD)
    and deprive the poor(AE) of justice in the courts.(AF)
13 Therefore the prudent keep quiet(AG) in such times,
    for the times are evil.(AH)

14 Seek good, not evil,
    that you may live.(AI)
Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you,
    just as you say he is.
15 Hate evil,(AJ) love good;(AK)
    maintain justice in the courts.(AL)
Perhaps(AM) the Lord God Almighty will have mercy(AN)
    on the remnant(AO) of Joseph.

16 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord God Almighty, says:

“There will be wailing(AP) in all the streets(AQ)
    and cries of anguish in every public square.
The farmers(AR) will be summoned to weep
    and the mourners to wail.
17 There will be wailing(AS) in all the vineyards,
    for I will pass through(AT) your midst,”
says the Lord.(AU)

The Day of the Lord

18 Woe to you who long
    for the day of the Lord!(AV)
Why do you long for the day of the Lord?(AW)
    That day will be darkness,(AX) not light.(AY)
19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion
    only to meet a bear,(AZ)
as though he entered his house
    and rested his hand on the wall
    only to have a snake bite him.(BA)
20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness,(BB) not light—
    pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?(BC)

21 “I hate,(BD) I despise your religious festivals;(BE)
    your assemblies(BF) are a stench to me.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings(BG) and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them.(BH)
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
    I will have no regard for them.(BI)
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
    I will not listen to the music of your harps.(BJ)
24 But let justice(BK) roll on like a river,
    righteousness(BL) like a never-failing stream!(BM)

25 “Did you bring me sacrifices(BN) and offerings
    forty years(BO) in the wilderness, people of Israel?
26 You have lifted up the shrine of your king,
    the pedestal of your idols,(BP)
    the star of your god[b]
    which you made for yourselves.
27 Therefore I will send you into exile(BQ) beyond Damascus,”
    says the Lord, whose name is God Almighty.(BR)

Footnotes

  1. Amos 5:5 Hebrew aven, a reference to Beth Aven (a derogatory name for Bethel); see Hosea 4:15.
  2. Amos 5:26 Or lifted up Sakkuth your king / and Kaiwan your idols, / your star-gods; Septuagint lifted up the shrine of Molek / and the star of your god Rephan, / their idols

Woe to the Complacent

Woe to you(A) who are complacent(B) in Zion,
    and to you who feel secure(C) on Mount Samaria,(D)
you notable men of the foremost nation,
    to whom the people of Israel come!(E)
Go to Kalneh(F) and look at it;
    go from there to great Hamath,(G)
    and then go down to Gath(H) in Philistia.
Are they better off than(I) your two kingdoms?
    Is their land larger than yours?
You put off the day of disaster
    and bring near a reign of terror.(J)
You lie on beds adorned with ivory
    and lounge on your couches.(K)
You dine on choice lambs
    and fattened calves.(L)
You strum away on your harps(M) like David
    and improvise on musical instruments.(N)
You drink wine(O) by the bowlful
    and use the finest lotions,
    but you do not grieve(P) over the ruin of Joseph.(Q)
Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile;(R)
    your feasting and lounging will end.(S)

The Lord Abhors the Pride of Israel

The Sovereign Lord has sworn by himself(T)—the Lord God Almighty declares:

“I abhor(U) the pride of Jacob(V)
    and detest his fortresses;(W)
I will deliver up(X) the city
    and everything in it.(Y)

If ten(Z) people are left in one house, they too will die. 10 And if the relative who comes to carry the bodies out of the house to burn them[a](AA) asks anyone who might be hiding there, “Is anyone else with you?” and he says, “No,” then he will go on to say, “Hush!(AB) We must not mention the name of the Lord.”

11 For the Lord has given the command,
    and he will smash(AC) the great house(AD) into pieces
    and the small house into bits.(AE)

12 Do horses run on the rocky crags?
    Does one plow the sea[b] with oxen?
But you have turned justice into poison(AF)
    and the fruit of righteousness(AG) into bitterness(AH)
13 you who rejoice in the conquest of Lo Debar[c]
    and say, “Did we not take Karnaim[d] by our own strength?(AI)

14 For the Lord God Almighty declares,
    “I will stir up a nation(AJ) against you, Israel,
that will oppress you all the way
    from Lebo Hamath(AK) to the valley of the Arabah.(AL)

Footnotes

  1. Amos 6:10 Or to make a funeral fire in honor of the dead
  2. Amos 6:12 With a different word division of the Hebrew; Masoretic Text plow there
  3. Amos 6:13 Lo Debar means nothing.
  4. Amos 6:13 Karnaim means horns; horn here symbolizes strength.

Psalm 86

A prayer of David.

Hear me, Lord, and answer(A) me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
    save your servant who trusts in you.(B)
You are my God; have mercy(C) on me, Lord,
    for I call(D) to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
    for I put my trust(E) in you.

You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
    abounding in love(F) to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, Lord;
    listen to my cry(G) for mercy.
When I am in distress,(H) I call(I) to you,
    because you answer(J) me.

Among the gods(K) there is none like you,(L) Lord;
    no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
    will come(M) and worship(N) before you, Lord;
    they will bring glory(O) to your name.
10 For you are great(P) and do marvelous deeds;(Q)
    you alone(R) are God.

11 Teach me your way,(S) Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness;(T)
give me an undivided(U) heart,
    that I may fear(V) your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;(W)
    I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
    you have delivered me(X) from the depths,
    from the realm of the dead.(Y)

14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
    ruthless people are trying to kill me—
    they have no regard for you.(Z)
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious(AA) God,
    slow to anger,(AB) abounding(AC) in love and faithfulness.(AD)
16 Turn to me(AE) and have mercy(AF) on me;
    show your strength(AG) in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
    just as my mother did.(AH)
17 Give me a sign(AI) of your goodness,
    that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
    for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Psalm 87

Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. A song.

He has founded his city on the holy mountain.(A)
The Lord loves the gates of Zion(B)
    more than all the other dwellings of Jacob.

Glorious things are said of you,
    city of God:[a](C)
“I will record Rahab[b](D) and Babylon
    among those who acknowledge me—
Philistia(E) too, and Tyre(F), along with Cush[c]
    and will say, ‘This one was born in Zion.’”[d](G)
Indeed, of Zion it will be said,
    “This one and that one were born in her,
    and the Most High himself will establish her.”
The Lord will write in the register(H) of the peoples:
    “This one was born in Zion.”

As they make music(I) they will sing,
    “All my fountains(J) are in you.”

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 87:3 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 6.
  2. Psalm 87:4 A poetic name for Egypt
  3. Psalm 87:4 That is, the upper Nile region
  4. Psalm 87:4 Or “I will record concerning those who acknowledge me: / ‘This one was born in Zion.’ / Hear this, Rahab and Babylon, / and you too, Philistia, Tyre and Cush.”

Paul, a servant of God(A) and an apostle(B) of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth(C) that leads to godliness(D) in the hope of eternal life,(E) which God, who does not lie,(F) promised before the beginning of time,(G) and which now at his appointed season(H) he has brought to light(I) through the preaching entrusted to me(J) by the command of God(K) our Savior,(L)

To Titus,(M) my true son(N) in our common faith:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.(O)

Appointing Elders Who Love What Is Good(P)

The reason I left you in Crete(Q) was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders(R) in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless,(S) faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe[b] and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer(T) manages God’s household,(U) he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.(V) Rather, he must be hospitable,(W) one who loves what is good,(X) who is self-controlled,(Y) upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly(Z) to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine(AA) and refute those who oppose it.

Rebuking Those Who Fail to Do Good

10 For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk(AB) and deception, especially those of the circumcision group.(AC) 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households(AD) by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of Crete’s own prophets(AE) has said it: “Cretans(AF) are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”[c] 13 This saying is true. Therefore rebuke(AG) them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith(AH) 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths(AI) or to the merely human commands(AJ) of those who reject the truth.(AK) 15 To the pure, all things are pure,(AL) but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.(AM) In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.(AN) 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.(AO) They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.(AP)

Footnotes

  1. Titus 1:5 Or ordain
  2. Titus 1:6 Or children are trustworthy
  3. Titus 1:12 From the Cretan philosopher Epimenides