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)

A Lament and Call to Repentance

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

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

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.(AT)

This is what the Lord says to Israel:

“Seek(AU) me and live;(AV)
    do not seek Bethel,
do not go to Gilgal,(AW)
    do not journey to Beersheba.(AX)
For Gilgal will surely go into exile,
    and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.[d](AY)
Seek(AZ) the Lord and live,(BA)
    or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire;(BB)
it will devour them,
    and Bethel(BC) will have no one to quench it.(BD)

There are those who turn justice into bitterness(BE)
    and cast righteousness(BF) to the ground.(BG)

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

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

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

There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes(BT)
    and deprive the poor(BU) of justice in the courts.(BV)
13 Therefore the prudent keep quiet(BW) in such times,
    for the times are evil.(BX)

14 Seek good, not evil,
    that you may live.(BY)
Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you,
    just as you say he is.
15 Hate evil,(BZ) love good;(CA)
    maintain justice in the courts.(CB)
Perhaps(CC) the Lord God Almighty will have mercy(CD)
    on the remnant(CE) of Joseph.

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

“There will be wailing(CF) in all the streets(CG)
    and cries of anguish in every public square.
The farmers(CH) will be summoned to weep
    and the mourners to wail.
17 There will be wailing(CI) in all the vineyards,
    for I will pass through(CJ) your midst,”
says the Lord.(CK)

The Day of the Lord

18 Woe to you who long
    for the day of the Lord!(CL)
Why do you long for the day of the Lord?(CM)
    That day will be darkness,(CN) not light.(CO)
19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion
    only to meet a bear,(CP)
as though he entered his house
    and rested his hand on the wall
    only to have a snake bite him.(CQ)
20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness,(CR) not light—
    pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?(CS)

21 “I hate,(CT) I despise your religious festivals;(CU)
    your assemblies(CV) are a stench to me.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings(CW) and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them.(CX)
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
    I will have no regard for them.(CY)
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
    I will not listen to the music of your harps.(CZ)
24 But let justice(DA) roll on like a river,
    righteousness(DB) like a never-failing stream!(DC)

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

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
  4. Amos 5:5 Hebrew aven, a reference to Beth Aven (a derogatory name for Bethel); see Hosea 4:15.
  5. 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