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Amos 4-6New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Hear this word, you cows of Bashan
    who are on Mount Samaria,
who oppress the poor, who crush the needy,
    who say to their husbands, “Bring something to drink!”
The Lord God has sworn by his holiness:
    The time is surely coming upon you,
when they shall take you away with hooks,
    even the last of you with fishhooks.
Through breaches in the wall you shall leave,
    each one straight ahead;
    and you shall be flung out into Harmon,[a]
says the Lord.
Come to Bethel—and transgress;
    to Gilgal—and multiply transgression;
bring your sacrifices every morning,
    your tithes every three days;
bring a thank offering of leavened bread,
    and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them;
    for so you love to do, O people of Israel!
says the Lord God.

Israel Rejects Correction

I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities,
    and lack of bread in all your places,
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

And I also withheld the rain from you
    when there were still three months to the harvest;
I would send rain on one city,
    and send no rain on another city;
one field would be rained upon,
    and the field on which it did not rain withered;
so two or three towns wandered to one town
    to drink water, and were not satisfied;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

I struck you with blight and mildew;
    I laid waste[b] your gardens and your vineyards;
    the locust devoured your fig trees and your olive trees;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

10 I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt;
    I killed your young men with the sword;
I carried away your horses;[c]
    and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

11 I overthrew some of you,
    as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
    and you were like a brand snatched from the fire;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

12 Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel;
    because I will do this to you,
    prepare to meet your God, O Israel!

13 For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind,
    reveals his thoughts to mortals,
makes the morning darkness,
    and treads on the heights of the earth—
    the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!

A Lament for Israel’s Sin

Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel:

Fallen, no more to rise,
    is maiden Israel;
forsaken on her land,
    with no one to raise her up.

For thus says the Lord God:
The city that marched out a thousand
    shall have a hundred left,
and that which marched out a hundred
    shall have ten left.[d]

For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel:
Seek me and live;
    but do not seek Bethel,
and do not enter into Gilgal
    or cross over to Beer-sheba;
for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
    and Bethel shall come to nothing.

Seek the Lord and live,
    or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire,
    and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it.
Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood,
    and bring righteousness to the ground!

The one who made the Pleiades and Orion,
    and turns deep darkness into the morning,
    and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea,
    and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
the Lord is his name,
who makes destruction flash out against the strong,
    so that destruction comes upon the fortress.

10 They hate the one who reproves in the gate,
    and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.
11 Therefore because you trample on the poor
    and take from them levies of grain,
you have built houses of hewn stone,
    but you shall not live in them;
you have planted pleasant vineyards,
    but you shall not drink their wine.
12 For I know how many are your transgressions,
    and how great are your sins—
you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,
    and push aside the needy in the gate.
13 Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time;
    for it is an evil time.

14 Seek good and not evil,
    that you may live;
and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,
    just as you have said.
15 Hate evil and love good,
    and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,
    will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

16 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord:
In all the squares there shall be wailing;
    and in all the streets they shall say, “Alas! alas!”
They shall call the farmers to mourning,
    and those skilled in lamentation, to wailing;
17 in all the vineyards there shall be wailing,
    for I will pass through the midst of you,
says the Lord.

The Day of the Lord a Dark Day

18 Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord!
    Why do you want the day of the Lord?
It is darkness, not light;
19     as if someone fled from a lion,
    and was met by a bear;
or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall,
    and was bitten by a snake.
20 Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light,
    and gloom with no brightness in it?

21 I hate, I despise your festivals,
    and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them;
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
    I will not look upon.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs;
    I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
    and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

25 Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 26 You shall take up Sakkuth your king, and Kaiwan your star-god, your images,[e] which you made for yourselves; 27 therefore I will take you into exile beyond Damascus, says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.

Complacent Self-Indulgence Will Be Punished

Alas for those who are at ease in Zion,
    and for those who feel secure on Mount Samaria,
the notables of the first of the nations,
    to whom the house of Israel resorts!
Cross over to Calneh, and see;
    from there go to Hamath the great;
    then go down to Gath of the Philistines.
Are you better[f] than these kingdoms?
    Or is your[g] territory greater than their[h] territory,
O you that put far away the evil day,
    and bring near a reign of violence?

Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory,
    and lounge on their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock,
    and calves from the stall;
who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp,
    and like David improvise on instruments of music;
who drink wine from bowls,
    and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
    but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
Therefore they shall now be the first to go into exile,
    and the revelry of the loungers shall pass away.

The Lord God has sworn by himself
(says the Lord, the God of hosts):
I abhor the pride of Jacob
    and hate his strongholds;
    and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.

If ten people remain in one house, they shall die. 10 And if a relative, one who burns the dead,[i] shall take up the body to bring it out of the house, and shall say to someone in the innermost parts of the house, “Is anyone else with you?” the answer will come, “No.” Then the relative[j] shall say, “Hush! We must not mention the name of the Lord.”

11 See, the Lord commands,
    and the great house shall be shattered to bits,
    and the little house to pieces.
12 Do horses run on rocks?
    Does one plow the sea with oxen?[k]
But you have turned justice into poison
    and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood—
13 you who rejoice in Lo-debar,[l]
    who say, “Have we not by our own strength
    taken Karnaim[m] for ourselves?”
14 Indeed, I am raising up against you a nation,
    O house of Israel, says the Lord, the God of hosts,
and they shall oppress you from Lebo-hamath
    to the Wadi Arabah.

Footnotes:

  1. Amos 4:3 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Amos 4:9 Cn: Heb the multitude of
  3. Amos 4:10 Heb with the captivity of your horses
  4. Amos 5:3 Heb adds to the house of Israel
  5. Amos 5:26 Heb your images, your star-god
  6. Amos 6:2 Or Are they better
  7. Amos 6:2 Heb their
  8. Amos 6:2 Heb your
  9. Amos 6:10 Or who makes a burning for him
  10. Amos 6:10 Heb he
  11. Amos 6:12 Or Does one plow them with oxen
  12. Amos 6:13 Or in a thing of nothingness
  13. Amos 6:13 Or horns
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Revelation 7New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The 144,000 of Israel Sealed

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on earth or sea or against any tree. I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to damage earth and sea, saying, “Do not damage the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have marked the servants[a] of our God with a seal on their foreheads.”

And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the people of Israel:

From the tribe of Judah twelve thousand sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand sealed.

The Multitude from Every Nation

After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10 They cried out in a loud voice, saying,

“Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

11 And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 singing,

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honor
and power and might
be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15 For this reason they are before the throne of God,
    and worship him day and night within his temple,
    and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.
16 They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;
    the sun will not strike them,
    nor any scorching heat;
17 for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,
    and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 7:3 Gk slaves
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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