The Judgments on Israel's Neighbors
1 1 The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa-the vision he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel. 2 He said: "The Lord roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds dry up, and the top of Carmel withers."
3 This is what the Lord says: "For three sins of Damascus, even for four, I will not relent. Because she threshed Gilead with sledges having iron teeth, 4 I will send fire on the house of Hazael that will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad. 5 I will break down the gate of Damascus; I will destroy the king who is in the Valley of Avenand the one who holds the scepter in Beth Eden. The people of Aram will go into exile to Kir," says the Lord. 6 This is what the Lord says: "For three sins of Gaza, even for four, I will not relent. Because she took captive whole communities and sold them to Edom, 7 I will send fire on the walls of Gaza that will consume her fortresses. 8 I will destroy the king of Ashdod and the one who holds the scepter in Ashkelon. I will turn my hand against Ekron, till the last of the Philistines are dead," says the Sovereign Lord. 9 This is what the Lord says: "For three sins of Tyre, even for four, I will not relent. Because she sold whole communities of captives to Edom, disregarding a treaty of brotherhood, 10 I will send fire on the walls of Tyre that will consume her fortresses." 11 This is what the Lord says: "For three sins of Edom, even for four, I will not relent. Because he pursued his brother with a sword and slaughtered the women of the land, because his anger raged continually and his fury flamed unchecked, 12 I will send fire on Teman that will consume the fortresses of Bozrah." 13 This is what the Lord says: "For three sins of Ammon, even for four, I will not relent. Because he ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead in order to extend his borders, 14 I will set fire to the walls of Rabbah that will consume her fortresses amid war cries on the day of battle, amid violent winds on a stormy day. 15 Her king will go into exile, he and his officials together," says the Lord.
2 1 This is what the Lord says: "For three sins of Moab, even for four, I will not relent. Because he burned to ashes the bones of Edom's king, 2 I will send fire on Moab that will consume the fortresses of Kerioth.Moab will go down in great tumult amid war cries and the blast of the trumpet. 3 I will destroy her ruler and kill all her officials with him," says the Lord. 4 This is what the Lord says: "For three sins of Judah, even for four, I will not relent. Because they have rejected the law of the Lordand have not kept his decrees, because they have been led astray by false gods,the gods their ancestors followed, 5 I will send fire on Judah that will consume the fortresses of Jerusalem."
The Judgment on Israel
6 This is what the Lord says: "For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not relent. They sell the innocent for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. 7 They trample on the heads of the poor as on the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed. Father and son use the same girl and so profane my holy name. 8 They lie down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge. In the house of their god they drink wine taken as fines.
9 "Yet I destroyed the Amorites before them, though they were tall as the cedars and strong as the oaks. I destroyed their fruit above and their roots below. 10 I brought you up out of Egypt and led you forty years in the wilderness to give you the land of the Amorites. 11 "I also raised up prophets from among your children and Nazirites from among your youths. Is this not true, people of Israel?" declares the Lord. 12 "But you made the Nazirites drink wine and commanded the prophets not to prophesy. 13 "Now then, I will crush you as a cart crushes when loaded with grain. 14 The swift will not escape, the strong will not muster their strength, and the warrior will not save his life. 15 The archer will not stand his ground, the fleet-footed soldier will not get away, and the horseman will not save his life. 16 Even the bravest warriors will flee naked on that day," declares the Lord.
The Roar of the Lion
3 1 Hear this word, people of Israel, the word the Lord has spoken against you-against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt: 2 "You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your sins." 3 Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? 4 Does a lion roar in the thicket when it has no prey? Does it growl in its den when it has caught nothing? 5 Does a bird swoop down to a trap on the ground when no bait is there? Does a trap spring up from the ground if it has not caught anything? 6 When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it? 7 Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. 8 The lion has roared- who will not fear? The Sovereign Lord has spoken- who can but prophesy?
The Doom of Samaria
9 Proclaim to the fortresses of Ashdod and to the fortresses of Egypt: "Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria; see the great unrest within her and the oppression among her people." 10 "They do not know how to do right," declares the Lord, "who store up in their fortresses what they have plundered and looted." 11 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: "An enemy will overrun your land, pull down your strongholds and plunder your fortresses." 12 This is what the Lord says: "As a shepherd rescues from the lion's mouth only two leg bones or a piece of an ear, so will the Israelites living in Samaria be rescued, with only the head of a bed and a piece of fabric from a couch. " 13 "Hear this and testify against the descendants of Jacob," declares the Lord, the Lord God Almighty. 14 "On the day I punish Israel for her sins, I will destroy the altars of Bethel; the horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground. 15 I will tear down the winter house along with the summer house; the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed and the mansions will be demolished," declares the Lord.
4 1 Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy and say to your husbands, "Bring us some drinks!" 2 The Sovereign Lord has sworn by his holiness: "The time will surely come when you will be taken away with hooks, the last of you with fishhooks. 3 You will each go straight out through breaches in the wall, and you will be cast out toward Harmon, " declares the Lord.
Israel's Failure to Profit from God's Punishments
4 "Go to Bethel and sin; go to Gilgal and sin yet more. Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three years. 5 Burn leavened bread as a thank offering and brag about your freewill offerings- boast about them, you Israelites, for this is what you love to do," declares the Sovereign Lord.
6 "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. 7 "I also withheld rain from you when the harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another. One field had rain; another had none and dried up. 8 People staggered from town to town for water but did not get enough to drink, yet you have not returned to me," declares the Lord. 9 "Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards, destroying them with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees, yet you have not returned to me," declares the Lord. 10 "I sent plagues among you as I did to Egypt. I killed your young men with the sword, along with your captured horses. I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camps, yet you have not returned to me," declares the Lord. 11 "I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire, yet you have not returned to me," declares the Lord. 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, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth- the Lord God Almighty is his name.
A Call to Repentance
5 1 Hear this word, Israel, this lament I take up concerning you: 2 "Fallen is Virgin Israel, never to rise again, deserted in her own land, with no one to lift her up." 3 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."
4 This is what the Lord says to Israel: "Seek me and live; 5 do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba. For Gilgal will surely go into exile, and Bethel will be reduced to nothing. " 6 Seek the Lord and live, or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire; it will devour them, and Bethel will have no one to quench it. 7 There are those who turn justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground. 8 He who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns midnight into dawn and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land- the Lord is his name. 9 With a blinding flash he destroys the stronghold and brings the fortified city to ruin. 10 There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court and detest the one who tells the truth. 11 You levy a straw tax on the poor and impose a tax on their grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine. 12 For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts. 13 Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times, for the times are evil. 14 Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. 15 Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.
16 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord God Almighty, says: "There will be wailing in all the streets and cries of anguish in every public square. The farmers will be summoned to weep and the mourners to wail. 17 There will be wailing in all the vineyards, for I will pass through your midst," says the Lord. 18 Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord? That day will be darkness, not light. 19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him. 20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light- pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
21 "I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. 22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. 23 Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! 25 "Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel? 26 You have lifted up the shrine of your king, the pedestal of your idols, the star of your god - which you made for yourselves. 27 Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus," says the Lord, whose name is God Almighty.
1:1 Hebrew "Joash," a variant of "Jehoash"
1:5 Or "the inhabitants of"
1:5 "Aven" means "wickedness" .
1:8 Or "inhabitants"
1:15 Or "/ Molek"
2:2 Or "of her cities"
2:4 Or "by lies"
2:4 Or "lies"
3:12 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
3:12 Or "Israelites be rescued," / "those who sit in Samaria" / "on the edge of their beds" / "and in Damascus on their couches."
4:2 Or "away in baskets," / "the last of you in fish baskets"
4:3 Masoretic Text; with a different word division of the Hebrew (see Septuagint) "out, you mountain of oppression"
4:4 Or "days"
5:5 Hebrew "aven," a reference to Beth Aven (a derogatory name for Bethel); see Hosea 4:15.
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"