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Amos 1:1-3:15; Revelation 2:1-17; Psalms 129:1-8; Proverbs 29:19-20 (Common English Bible)

Amos 1-3

Introduction

These are the words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa. He perceived these things concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, in the days of Judah’s King Uzziah and in the days of Israel’s King Jeroboam, Joash’s son.

Proclamation of divine judgment

    He said:
    The Lord roars from Zion.
        He shouts from Jerusalem;
        the pastures of the shepherds wither,
        and the top of Carmel dries up.

A word to Damascus

    The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of Damascus,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because they have harvested Gilead
        with sharp iron tools.
    I will send down fire on the house of Hazael;
        it will devour the palaces of Ben-hadad.
    I will break the fortified gates of Damascus,
        and eliminate the people from the Aven Valley,
    including the one who rules from Beth-eden;
        the people of Aram will be forced to live in Kir,
says the Lord.

A word to Gaza and Ashdod

    The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of Gaza,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because they rounded up entire communities,
        to hand them over to Edom.
    I will send down a fire on the wall of Gaza;
        it will devour Gaza’s palaces.
    I will eliminate the people from Ashdod,
        the one who rules from Ashkelon.
    I will turn my hand against Ekron,
        and the Philistines who remain will perish,
says the Lord God.

A word to Tyre

The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of Tyre,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because they have delivered up entire communities over to Edom,
        and neglected their covenantal obligations.
10 So I will send a fire on the wall of Tyre;
        it will devour their palaces.

A word to Edom

11 The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of Edom,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because he chased after his brother with the sword,
        denied all compassion,
        kept his anger alive,
        and fueled his wrath forever.
12 So I will send a fire on Teman;
        it will devour the fortresses of Bozrah.

A word to Ammon

13 The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of the Ammonites,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because they have ripped open pregnant women in Gilead
        in order to possess more land.
14 So I will start a fire at the wall of Rabbah;
        the fire will devour its palaces,
        with a war cry on the day of battle,
        with strong wind on the day of the storm.
15 Then their king will be taken away,
        he and his officials together,
says the Lord.

A word to Moab

    The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of Moab,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because he burned to lime
        the bones of the king of Edom.
    So I will send down a fire on Moab;
        it will devour the palaces of Kerioth.
    Moab will die in a great uproar,
        with a war cry, with the sound of the ram’s horn.
    I will remove their judge from them
        and slay all their officials with him,
says the Lord.

A word to Judah

    The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of Judah,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because they have rejected the Instruction of the Lord,
        and haven’t kept his laws.
    They have been led off the right path by the same lies
        after which their ancestors walked.
    So I will send a fire on Judah,
        and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem.

A word to Israel

    The Lord proclaims:
    For three crimes of Israel,
        and for four, I won’t hold back the punishment,
    because they have sold the innocent for silver,
            and those in need for a pair of sandals.
    They crush the head of the poor into the dust of the earth,
        and push the afflicted out of the way.
    Father and son have intercourse with the same young woman,
        degrading my holy name.
    They stretch out beside every altar
        on garments taken in loan;
    in the house of their god they drink
        wine bought with fines they imposed.
    Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them,
        whose height was as tall as cedar trees,
        and whose strength was as strong as oak trees.
    I destroyed his fruit above
        and his roots below.
10 Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt,
        and led you forty years in the wilderness,
        to lay claim to the land of the Amorite.
11 I raised up some of your children to be prophets
        and some of your youth to be nazirites.
    Isn’t this so, people of Israel?
says the Lord.

12 But you made the nazirites drink wine,
        and commanded the prophets,
        saying, “You won’t prophesy.”
13 So now I will oppress you,
        just like a cart is weighed down[a]
        when it is full of harvested grain.
14 Fast runners will find no refuge;
    the strong will lose their strength;
    the mighty will be unable to save their lives.
15 Those who shoot the bow won’t survive.
        Fast runners won’t escape;
        those who ride horses won’t save themselves.
16 The bravest warrior
    will flee away naked in that day,
says the Lord.

Words of doom for Israel

Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, people of Israel, against the whole family that I brought out of the land of Egypt:

You only have I loved so deeply
        of all the families of the earth.
    Therefore, I will punish you
        for all your wrongdoing.
    Will two people walk together
        unless they have agreed to do so?[b]
    Does a lion roar in the forest
        when it has no prey?
    Does a young lion cry out from its den
        if it has caught nothing?
    Will a bird fall into a trap on the ground
        when there is no bait for it?
    Will a trap spring up from the ground
        when it has taken nothing?
    If a ram’s horn is blown in a city,
        won’t people tremble?
    If disaster falls on a city,
        is it the Lord who has done it?
    Surely the Lord God does nothing
        without revealing his secret
        to his servants the prophets.

    A lion has roared;
        who will not fear?
    The Lord God has spoken;
        who can but prophesy?
    Proclaim it to the palaces of Ashdod
        and to the palaces in the land of Egypt.
    Say, “Gather yourselves on Mount Samaria,
        and see the great turmoil in the city,
        and what violent deeds are inside it.”
10 They don’t know how to do right,
says the Lord
        those who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.
11 Therefore, the Lord my God proclaims:
        An enemy will surround the land;
    he will bring you down from your protected places,
        and your palaces will be robbed.

12 The Lord proclaims:

Just as the shepherd rescues two legs or the piece of an ear from the mouth of the lion, so will the people of Israel be rescued. Those who live in Samaria will escape with the corner of a bed, and those in Damascus with a piece of a couch.[c]

13 Hear this and speak against the house of Jacob,
        says the Lord God, the God of heavenly forces:
14 On the day I punish the crimes of Israel,
    I will also visit the altars of Bethel;
        the horns of the altar will be cut off
        and will fall to the ground.
15 I will tear down the winter house as well as the summer house;
        the houses of ivory will perish;
        the great houses will be swept away,
says the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Amos 2:13 Heb uncertain
  2. Amos 3:3 Or Will two walk together unless they have agreed?
  3. Amos 3:12 Heb uncertain
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Revelation 2:1-17

Message to Ephesus

“Write this to the angel of the church in Ephesus:

These are the words of the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven gold lampstands: I know your works, your labor, and your endurance. I also know that you don’t put up with those who are evil. You have tested those who say they are apostles but are not, and you have found them to be liars. You have shown endurance and put up with a lot for my name’s sake, and you haven’t gotten tired. But I have this against you: you have let go of the love you had at first. So remember the high point from which you have fallen. Change your hearts and lives and do the things you did at first. If you don’t, I’m coming to you. I will move your lampstand from its place if you don’t change your hearts and lives. But you have this in your favor: you hate what the Nicolaitans are doing, which I also hate. If you can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. I will allow those who emerge victorious to eat from the tree of life, which is in God’s paradise.

Message to Smyrna

“Write this to the angel of the church in Smyrna:

These are the words of the one who is the first and the last, who died and came back to life: I know your hardship and poverty (though you are actually rich). I also know the hurtful things that have been spoken about you by those who say they are Jews (though they are not, but are really Satan’s synagogue). 10 Don’t be afraid of what you are going to suffer. Look! The devil is going to throw some of you into prison in order to test you. You will suffer hardship for ten days. Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 If you can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Those who emerge victorious won’t be hurt by the second death.

Message to Pergamum

12 “Write this to the angel of the church in Pergamum:

These are the words of the one who has the sharp, two-edged sword: 13 I know that you are living right where Satan’s throne is. You are holding on to my name, and you didn’t break faith with me even at the time that Antipas, my faithful witness, was killed among you, where Satan lives. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have some there who follow Balaam’s teaching. Balaam had taught Balak to trip up the Israelites so that they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality. 15 In the same way, you have some who follow the Nicolaitans’ teaching. 16 So change your hearts and lives. If you don’t, I am coming to you soon, and I will make war on them with the sword that comes from my mouth. 17 If you can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. I will give those who emerge victorious some of the hidden manna to eat. I will also give to each of them a white stone with a new name written on it, which no one knows except the one who receives it.

Read More
Psalm 129

Psalm 129

A pilgrimage song.

129 From youth, people have constantly attacked me—
    let Israel now repeat!—
    from youth people have constantly attacked me—
    but they haven’t beaten me!
They plowed my back like farmers;
    they made their furrows deep.
But the Lord is righteous—
    God cut me free from the ropes of the wicked!

Let everyone who hates Zion be ashamed, thoroughly frustrated.
    Let them be like grass on a roof
    that dies before it can be pulled up,
    which won’t fill the reaper’s hand
        or fill the harvester’s arms.
Let no one who passes by say to them:
    “May the Lord’s blessing be on you!
        We bless you in the Lord’s name!”

Read More
Proverbs 29:19-20

19 Servants aren’t disciplined by words;
    they might understand, but they don’t respond.
20 Do you see people who are quick to speak?
    There is more hope for fools than for them.

Read More
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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