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Amos 6-9New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Woe to the complacent

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

The Lord abhors the pride of Israel

The Sovereign Lord has sworn by himself – the Lord God Almighty declares:

‘I abhor the pride of Jacob
    and detest his fortresses;
I will deliver up the city
    and everything in it.’

If ten 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] asks anyone who might be hiding there, ‘Is anyone else with you?’ and he says, ‘No,’ then he will go on to say, ‘Hush! We must not mention the name of the Lord.’

11 For the Lord has given the command,
    and he will smash the great house into pieces
    and the small house into bits.

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

14 For the Lord God Almighty declares,
    ‘I will stir up a nation against you, Israel,
that will oppress you all the way
    from Lebo Hamath to the valley of the Arabah.’

Locusts, fire and a plumb-line

This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: he was preparing swarms of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the late crops were coming up. When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, ‘Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!’

So the Lord relented.

‘This will not happen,’ the Lord said.

This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: the Sovereign Lord was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. Then I cried out, ‘Sovereign Lord, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!’

So the Lord relented.

‘This will not happen either,’ the Sovereign Lord said.

This is what he showed me: the Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb,[e] with a plumb-line[f] in his hand. And the Lord asked me, ‘What do you see, Amos?’

‘A plumb-line,’ I replied.

Then the Lord said, ‘Look, I am setting a plumb-line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.

‘The high places of Isaac will be destroyed
    and the sanctuaries of Israel will be ruined;
    with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam.’

Amos and Amaziah

10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: ‘Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words. 11 For this is what Amos is saying:

‘“Jeroboam will die by the sword,
    and Israel will surely go into exile,
    away from their native land.”’

12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, ‘Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. 13 Don’t prophesy any more at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.’

14 Amos answered Amaziah, ‘I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. 15 But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.” 16 Now then, hear the word of the Lord. You say,

‘“Do not prophesy against Israel,
    and stop preaching against the descendants of Isaac.”

17 ‘Therefore this is what the Lord says:

‘“Your wife will become a prostitute in the city,
    and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword.
Your land will be measured and divided up,
    and you yourself will die in a pagan[g] country.
And Israel will surely go into exile,
    away from their native land.”’

A basket of ripe fruit

This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. ‘What do you see, Amos?’ he asked.

‘A basket of ripe fruit,’ I answered.

Then the Lord said to me, ‘The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.

‘In that day,’ declares the Sovereign Lord, ‘the songs in the temple will turn to wailing.[h] Many, many bodies – flung everywhere! Silence!’

Hear this, you who trample the needy
    and do away with the poor of the land,

saying,

‘When will the New Moon be over
    that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended
    that we may market wheat?’–
skimping on the measure,
    boosting the price
    and cheating with dishonest scales,
buying the poor with silver
    and the needy for a pair of sandals,
    selling even the sweepings with the wheat.

The Lord has sworn by himself, the Pride of Jacob: ‘I will never forget anything they have done.

‘Will not the land tremble for this,
    and all who live in it mourn?
The whole land will rise like the Nile;
    it will be stirred up and then sink
    like the river of Egypt.

‘In that day,’ declares the Sovereign Lord,

‘I will make the sun go down at noon
    and darken the earth in broad daylight.
10 I will turn your religious festivals into mourning
    and all your singing into weeping.
I will make all of you wear sackcloth
    and shave your heads.
I will make that time like mourning for an only son
    and the end of it like a bitter day.

11 ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign Lord,
    ‘when I will send a famine through the land –
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
    but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 People will stagger from sea to sea
    and wander from north to east,
searching for the word of the Lord,
    but they will not find it.

13 ‘In that day

‘the lovely young women and strong young men
    will faint because of thirst.
14 Those who swear by the sin of Samaria –
    who say, “As surely as your god lives, Dan”,
    or, “As surely as the god[i] of Beersheba lives”–
    they will fall, never to rise again.’

Israel to be destroyed

I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and he said:

‘Strike the tops of the pillars
    so that the thresholds shake.
Bring them down on the heads of all the people;
    those who are left I will kill with the sword.
Not one will get away,
    none will escape.
Though they dig down to the depths below,
    from there my hand will take them.
Though they climb up to the heavens above,
    from there I will bring them down.
Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,
    there I will hunt them down and seize them.
Though they hide from my eyes at the bottom of the sea,
    there I will command the serpent to bite them.
Though they are driven into exile by their enemies,
    there I will command the sword to slay them.

‘I will keep my eye on them
    for harm and not for good.’

The Lord, the Lord Almighty –
he touches the earth and it melts,
    and all who live in it mourn;
the whole land rises like the Nile,
    then sinks like the river of Egypt;
he builds his lofty palace[j] in the heavens
    and sets its foundation[k] on the earth;
he calls for the waters of the sea
    and pours them out over the face of the land –
    the Lord is his name.

‘Are not you Israelites
    the same to me as the Cushites?’[l]
declares the Lord.
‘Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt,
    the Philistines from Caphtor[m]
    and the Arameans from Kir?

‘Surely the eyes of the Sovereign Lord
    are on the sinful kingdom.
I will destroy it
    from the face of the earth.
Yet I will not totally destroy
    the descendants of Jacob,’
declares the Lord.
‘For I will give the command,
    and I will shake the people of Israel
    among all the nations
as grain is shaken in a sieve,
    and not a pebble will reach the ground.
10 All the sinners among my people
    will die by the sword,
all those who say,
    “Disaster will not overtake or meet us.”

Israel’s restoration

11 ‘In that day

‘I will restore David’s fallen shelter –
    I will repair its broken walls
    and restore its ruins –
    and will rebuild it as it used to be,
12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom
    and all the nations that bear my name,’[n]
declares the Lord, who will do these things.

13 ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord,

‘when the reaper will be overtaken by the ploughman
    and the planter by the one treading grapes.
New wine will drip from the mountains
    and flow from all the hills,
14     and I will bring my people Israel back from exile.[o]

‘They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
    They will plant vineyards and drink their wine;
    they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant Israel in their own land,
    never again to be uprooted
    from the land I have given them,’

says the Lord your God.

Footnotes:

  1. Amos 6:10 Or to make a funeral fire in honour of the dead
  2. Amos 6:12 With a different word division of the Hebrew; Masoretic Text plough there
  3. Amos 6:13 Lo Debar means nothing.
  4. Amos 6:13 Karnaim means horns; horn here symbolises strength.
  5. Amos 7:7 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  6. Amos 7:7 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain; also in verse 8.
  7. Amos 7:17 Hebrew an unclean
  8. Amos 8:3 Or ‘the temple singers will wail
  9. Amos 8:14 Hebrew the way
  10. Amos 9:6 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  11. Amos 9:6 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  12. Amos 9:7 That is, people from the upper Nile region
  13. Amos 9:7 That is, Crete
  14. Amos 9:12 Hebrew; Septuagint so that the remnant of people / and all the nations that bear my name may seek me
  15. Amos 9:14 Or will restore the fortunes of my people Israel
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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