51Listen, people of Israel, to this funeral song which I sing over you:
2Virgin Israel has fallen,
Never to rise again!
She lies abandoned on the ground,
And no one helps her up.
3The Sovereign LORD says, “A city in Israel sends out a thousand soldiers, but only a hundred return; another city sends out a hundred, but only ten come back.”
4The LORD says to the people of Israel, “Come to me, and you will live. 5Do not go to Beersheba to worship. Do not try to find me at Bethel — Bethel will come to nothing. Do not go to Gilgal — her people are doomed to exile.”
6Go to the LORD, and you will live. If you do not go, he will sweep down like fire on the people of Israel. The fire will burn up the people of Bethel, and no one will be able to put it out. 7You are doomed, you that twist justice and cheat people out of their rights!
The LORD made the stars,
the Pleiades and Orion.
He turns darkness into daylight,
and day into night.
He calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out on the earth.
His name is the LORD.
9He brings destruction on the mighty and their strongholds.
10You people hate anyone who challenges injustice and speaks the whole truth in court. 11You have oppressed the poor and robbed them of their grain. And so you will not live in the fine stone houses you build or drink wine from the beautiful vineyards you plant. 12I know how terrible your sins are and how many crimes you have committed. You persecute good people, take bribes, and prevent the poor from getting justice in the courts. 13And so, keeping quiet in such evil times is the clever thing to do!
14Make it your aim to do what is right, not what is evil, so that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty really will be with you, as you claim he is. 15Hate what is evil, love what is right, and see that justice prevails in the courts. Perhaps the LORD will be merciful to the people of this nation who are still left alive.
16And so the Sovereign LORD Almighty says, “There will be wailing and cries of sorrow in the city streets. Even farmers will be called to mourn the dead along with those who are paid to mourn. 17There will be wailing in all the vineyards. All this will take place because I am coming to punish you.” The LORD has spoken.
18How terrible it will be for you who long for the day of the LORD! What good will that day do you? For you it will be a day of darkness and not of light. 19It will be like someone who runs from a lion and meets a bear! Or like someone who comes home and puts his hand on the wall — only to be bitten by a snake! 20The day of the LORD will bring darkness and not light; it will be a day of gloom, without any brightness.
The LORD says, “I hate your religious festivals; I cannot stand them! 22When you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; I will not accept the animals you have fattened to bring me as offerings. 23Stop your noisy songs; I do not want to listen to your harps. 24Instead, let justice flow like a stream, and righteousness like a river that never goes dry.
“People of Israel, I did not demand sacrifices and offerings during those forty years that I led you through the desert. 26But now, because you have worshipped images of Sakkuth, your king god, and of Kaiwan, your star god, you will have to carry those images 27when I take you into exile in a land beyond Damascus,” says the LORD, whose name is Almighty God.
61How terrible it will be for you that have such an easy life in Zion and for you that feel safe in Samaria — you great leaders of this great nation Israel, you to whom the people go for help! 2Go and look at the city of Calneh. Then go on to the great city of Hamath and on down to the Philistine city of Gath. Were they any better than the kingdoms of Judah and Israel? Was their territory larger than yours? 3You refuse to admit that a day of disaster is coming, but what you do only brings that day closer. 4How terrible it will be for you that stretch out on your luxurious couches, feasting on veal and lamb! 5You like to compose songs, as David did, and play them on harps. 6You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest perfumes, but you do not mourn over the ruin of Israel. 7So you will be the first to go into exile. Your feasts and banquets will come to an end.
8The Sovereign LORD Almighty has given this solemn warning: “I hate the pride of the people of Israel; I despise their luxurious mansions. I will give their capital city and everything in it to the enemy.”
9If there are ten men left in a family, they will die. 10The dead man's relative, the one in charge of the funeral, will take the body out of the house. The relative will call to whoever is still left in the house, “Is anyone else there with you?”
A voice will answer, “No!”
Then the relative will say, “Be quiet! We must be careful not even to mention the LORD's name.”6.10 Verse 10 in Hebrew is unclear.
11When the LORD gives the command, houses large and small will be smashed to pieces. 12Do horses gallop on rocks? Does anyone plough the sea with oxen? Yet you have turned justice into poison, and right into wrong.
13You boast about capturing the town of Lodebar.6.13 Lodebar: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “nothing”. You boast, “We were strong enough to take Karnaim.”6.13 Karnaim: The name of this small town means “horns”, a symbol of strength.
14The LORD God Almighty himself says, “People of Israel, I am going to send a foreign army to occupy your country. It will oppress you from Hamath Pass in the north to the brook of the Arabah in the south.”
71I had a vision from the Sovereign LORD. In it I saw him create a swarm of locusts just after the king's share of the hay had been cut and the grass was starting to grow again. 2In my vision I saw the locusts eat up every green thing in the land, and then I said, “Sovereign LORD, forgive your people! How can they survive? They are so small and weak!”
3The LORD changed his mind and said, “What you saw will not take place.”
4I had another vision from the Sovereign LORD. In it I saw him preparing to punish his people with fire. The fire burnt up the great ocean under the earth, and started to burn up the land. 5Then I said, “Stop, Sovereign LORD! How can your people survive? They are so small and weak!”
6The LORD changed his mind again and said, “This will not take place either.”
7I had another vision from the Lord. In it I saw him standing beside a wall that had been built with the help of a plumb line, and there was a plumb line in his hand. 8He asked me, “Amos, what do you see?”
“A plumb line,” I answered.
Then he said, “I am using it to show that my people are like a wall that is out of line. I will not change my mind again about punishing them. 9The places where Isaac's descendants worship will be destroyed. The holy places of Israel will be left in ruins. I will bring the dynasty of King Jeroboam to an end.”
10Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, then sent a report to King Jeroboam of Israel: “Amos is plotting against you among the people. His speeches will destroy the country. 11This is what he says: ‘Jeroboam will die in battle, and the people of Israel will be taken away from their land into exile.’ ”
12Amaziah then said to Amos, “That's enough, prophet! Go on back to Judah and do your preaching there. Let them pay you for it. 13Don't prophesy here at Bethel any more. This is the king's place of worship, the national temple.”
14Amos answered, “I am not the kind of prophet who prophesies for pay. I am a herdsman, and I take care of fig trees. 15But the LORD took me from my work as a shepherd and ordered me to come and prophesy to his people Israel. 16So now listen to what the LORD says. You tell me to stop prophesying, to stop raving against the people of Israel. 17And so, Amaziah, the LORD says to you, ‘Your wife will become a prostitute on the streets, and your children will be killed in war. Your land will be divided up and given to others, and you yourself will die in a heathen country. And the people of Israel will certainly be taken away from their own land into exile.’ ”