Amos 1-5 Bible in Basic English

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The Judgments on Israel's Neighbors

1 1  The words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of Tekoa; what he saw about Israel in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam, the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earth-shock. 2  And he said, The Lord will give a lion's cry from Zion, his voice will be sounding from Jerusalem; and the fields of the keepers of sheep will become dry, and the top of Carmel will be wasted away.

3  These are the words of the Lord: For three crimes of Damascus, and for four, I will not let its fate be changed; because they have been crushing Gilead with iron grain-crushing instruments. 4  And I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, burning up the great houses of Ben-hadad. 5  And I will have the locks of the door of Damascus broken, and him who is seated in power cut off from the valley of Aven, and him in whose hand is the rod from the house of Eden; and the people of Aram will go away as prisoners into Kir, says the Lord. 6  These are the words of the Lord: For three crimes of Gaza, and for four, I will not let its fate be changed; because they took all the people away prisoners, to give them up to Edom. 7  And I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, burning up its great houses: 8  Him who is seated in power I will have cut off from Ashdod, and him in whose hand is the rod from Ashkelon; and my hand will be turned against Ekron, and the rest of the Philistines will come to destruction, says the Lord God. 9  These are the words of the Lord: For three crimes of Tyre, and for four, I will not let its fate be changed; because they gave up all the people prisoners to Edom, without giving a thought to the brothers' agreement between them. 10  And I will send a fire on the wall of Tyre, burning up its great houses. 11  These are the words of the Lord: For three crimes of Edom, and for four, I will not let its fate be changed; because his sword was turned against his brother, without pity, and his wrath was burning at all times, and he was angry for ever. 12  And I will send a fire on Teman, burning up the great houses of Bozrah. 13  These are the words of the Lord: For three crimes of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not let its fate be changed; because in Gilead they had women with child cut open, so that they might make wider the limits of their land. 14  And I will make a fire in the wall of Rabbah, burning up its great houses, with loud cries in the days of war, with a storm in the day of the great wind: 15  And their king will be made prisoner, he and his captains together, says the Lord.

2 1  These are the words of the Lord: For three crimes of Moab, and for four, I will not let its fate be changed; because he had the bones of the king of Edom burned to dust. 2  And I will send a fire on Moab, burning up the great houses of Kerioth: and death will come on Moab with noise and outcries and the sound of the horn: 3  And I will have the judge cut off from among them, and all their captains I will put to death with him, says the Lord. 4  These are the words of the Lord: For three crimes of Judah, and for four, I will not let its fate be changed; because they have given up the law of the Lord, and have not kept his rules; and their false ways, in which their fathers went, have made them go out of the right way. 5  And I will send a fire on Judah, burning up the great houses of Jerusalem.

The Judgment on Israel

6  These are the words of the Lord: For three crimes of Israel, and for four, I will not let its fate be changed; because they have given the upright man for silver, and the poor for the price of two shoes; 7  Crushing the head of the poor, and turning the steps of the gentle out of the way: and a man and his father go in to the same young woman, putting shame on my holy name: 8  By every altar they are stretched on clothing taken from those who are in their debt, drinking in the house of their god the wine of those who have made payment for wrongdoing.

9  Though I sent destruction on the Amorite before them, who was tall as the cedar and strong as the oak-tree, cutting off his fruit from on high and his roots from under the earth. 10  And I took you up out of the land of Egypt, guiding you for forty years in the waste land, so that you might take for your heritage the land of the Amorite. 11  And some of your sons I made prophets, and some of your young men I made separate for myself. Is it not even so, O children of Israel? says the Lord. 12  But to those who were separate you gave wine for drink; and to the prophets you said, Be prophets no longer. 13  See, I am crushing you down, as one is crushed under a cart full of grain. 14  And flight will be impossible for the quick-footed, and the force of the strong will become feeble, and the man of war will not get away safely: 15  And the bowman will not keep his place; he who is quick-footed will not get away safely: and the horseman will not keep his life. 16  And he who is without fear among the fighting men will go in flight without his clothing in that day, says the Lord.

The Roar of the Lion

3 1  Give ear to this word which the Lord has said against you, O children of Israel, against all the family which I took up out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2  You only of all the families of the earth have I taken care of: for this reason I will send punishment on you for all your sins. 3  Is it possible for two to go walking together, if not by agreement? 4  Will a lion give his loud cry in the woodland when no food is there? will the voice of the young lion be sounding from his hole if he has taken nothing? 5  Is it possible for a bird to be taken in a net on the earth where no net has been put for him? will the net come up from the earth if it has taken nothing at all? 6  If the horn is sounded in the town will the people not be full of fear? will evil come on a town if the Lord has not done it? 7  Certainly the Lord will do nothing without making clear his secret to his servants, the prophets. 8  The cry of the lion is sounding; who will not have fear? The Lord God has said the word; is it possible for the prophet to keep quiet?

The Doom of Samaria

9  Give out the news in the great houses of Assyria and in the land of Egypt, and say, Come together on the mountains of Samaria, and see what great outcries are there, and what cruel acts are done in it. 10  For they have no knowledge of how to do what is right, says the Lord, who are storing up violent acts and destruction in their great houses. 11  For this reason, says the Lord, an attacker will come, shutting in the land on every side; and your strength will come down and your great houses will be made waste. 12  These are the words of the Lord: As the keeper of sheep takes out of the mouth of the lion two legs or part of an ear; so will the children of Israel be made safe, who are resting in Samaria on seats of honour or on the silk cushions of a bed. 13  Give ear now, and give witness against the family of Jacob, says the Lord God, the God of armies; 14  For in the day when I give Israel punishment for his sins, I will send punishment on the altars of Beth-el, and the horns of the altar will be cut off and come down to the earth. 15  And I will send destruction on the winter house with the summer house; the ivory houses will be falling down and the great houses will come to an end, says the Lord.

4 1  Give ear to this word, you cows of Bashan, who are in the hill of Samaria, by whom the poor are kept down, and those in need are crushed; who say to their lords, Get out the wine and give us drink. 2  The Lord God has taken an oath by his holy name, that the days are coming when they will take you away with hooks, and the rest of you with fish-hooks. 3  And you will go out through the broken places, every one going straight before her, and you will be sent into Harmon, says the Lord.

Israel's Failure to Profit from God's Punishments

4  Come to Beth-el and do evil; to Gilgal, increasing the number of your sins; come with your offerings every morning and your tenths every three days: 5  Let that which is leavened be burned as a praise-offering, let the news of your free offerings be given out publicly; for this is pleasing to you, O children of Israel, says the Lord.

6  But in all your towns I have kept food from your teeth, and in all your places there has been need of bread: and still you have not come back to me, says the Lord. 7  And I have kept back the rain from you, when it was still three months before the grain-cutting: I sent rain on one town and kept it back from another: one part was rained on, and the part where there was no rain became a waste. 8  So two or three towns went wandering to one town looking for water, and did not get enough: and still you have not come back to me, says the Lord. 9  I have sent destruction on your fields by burning and disease: the increase of your gardens and your vine-gardens, your fig-trees and your olive-trees, has been food for worms: and still you have not come back to me, says the Lord. 10  I have sent disease among you, as it was in Egypt: I have put your young men to the sword, and have taken away your horses; I have made the evil smell from your tents come up to your noses: and still you have not come back to me, says the Lord. 11  And I have sent destruction among you, as when God sent destruction on Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a burning stick pulled out of the fire: and still you have not come back to me, says the Lord. 12  So this is what I will do to you, O Israel: and because I will do this to you, be ready for a meeting with your God, O Israel. 13  For see, he who gave form to the mountains and made the wind, giving knowledge of his purpose to man, who makes the morning dark, and is walking on the high places of the earth: the Lord, the God of armies, is his name.

A Call to Repentance

5 1  Give ear to this word, my song of sorrow over you, O children of Israel. 2  The virgin of Israel has been made low, never again to be lifted up: she is stretched out by herself on her land; there is no one to put her on her feet again. 3  For these are the words of the Lord God: The town which was able to send out a thousand, will have only a hundred; and that which sent out a hundred, will have only ten, in Israel.

4  For these are the words of the Lord to the children of Israel: Let your hearts be turned to me, so that you may have life: 5  Do not be looking for help to Beth-el, and do not go to Gilgal, or make your way to Beer-sheba: for Gilgal will certainly be taken prisoner, and Beth-el will come to nothing. 6  Go to the Lord for help so that you may have life; for fear that he may come like fire bursting out in the family of Joseph, causing destruction, and there will be no one to put it out in Beth-el. 7  You who make the work of judging a bitter thing, crushing down righteousness to the earth; 8  Go for help to him who makes Orion and the Pleiades, by whom the deep dark is turned into morning, who makes the day black with night; whose voice goes out to the waters of the sea, sending them out over the face of the earth: the Lord is his name; 9  Who sends sudden destruction on the strong, so that destruction comes on the walled town. 10  They have hate for him who makes protest against evil in the public place, and he whose words are upright is disgusting to them. 11  So because the poor man is crushed under your feet, and you take taxes from him of grain: you have made for yourselves houses of cut stone, but you will not take your rest in them; the fair vine-gardens planted by your hands will not give you wine. 12  For I have seen how your evil-doing is increased and how strong are your sins, you troublers of the upright, who take rewards and do wrong to the cause of the poor in the public place. 13  So the wise will say nothing in that time; for it is an evil time. 14  Go after good and not evil, so that life may be yours: and so the Lord, the God of armies, will be with you, as you say. 15  Be haters of evil and lovers of good, and let right be done in the public place: it may be that the Lord, the God of armies, will have mercy on the rest of Joseph.

16  So these are the words of the Lord, the God of armies, the Lord: There will be weeping in all the open spaces; and in all the streets they will say, Sorrow! sorrow! and they will get in the farmer to the weeping, and the makers of sad songs to give cries of grief. 17  In all the vine-gardens there will be cries of grief: for I will go through among you, says the Lord. 18  Sorrow to you who are looking for the day of the Lord! what is the day of the Lord to you? it is dark and not light. 19  As if a man, running away from a lion, came face to face with a bear; or went into the house and put his hand on the wall and got a bite from a snake. 20  Will not the day of the Lord be dark and not light? even very dark, with no light shining in it?

21  Your feasts are disgusting to me, I will have nothing to do with them; I will take no delight in your holy meetings. 22  Even if you give me your burned offerings and your meal offerings, I will not take pleasure in them: I will have nothing to do with the peace-offerings of your fat beasts. 23  Take away from me the noise of your songs; my ears are shut to the melody of your instruments. 24  But let the right go rolling on like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. 25  Did you come to me with offerings of beasts and meal offerings in the waste land for forty years, O Israel? 26  Truly, you will take up Saccuth your king and Kaiwan your images, the star of your god, which you made for yourselves. 27  And I will send you away as prisoners farther than Damascus, says the Lord, whose name is the God of armies.

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