Amos 1; Amos 2; Amos 3; Amos 4; Amos 5 (New International Reader's Version)

1 These are the words of Amos. He was a shepherd from the town of Tekoa. Here is the vision he saw concerning Israel. It came to him two years before the earthquake. At that time Uzziah was king of Judah. Jeroboam was king of Israel. He was the son of Jehoash. Here are the words of Amos. 2 I said, "The LORD roars like a lion from Jerusalem. His voice sounds like thunder from Zion. The grasslands of the shepherds turn brown. The top of Mount Carmel dries up."

The LORD Punishes Israel's Neighbors

3 The LORD says, "The people of Damascus have sinned again and again. So I will punish them. They used threshing sleds with iron teeth to crush Gilead's people. 4 So I will send fire to destroy the palace of King Hazael. It will burn up the forts of his son Ben-Hadad. 5 I will break down the city gate of Damascus. I will cut off the king who lives in the Valley of Aven. He holds the ruler's rod in Beth Eden. The people of Aram will be taken away to Kir as prisoners," says the Lord. 6 The LORD says, "The people of Gaza have sinned again and again. So I will punish them. They captured whole communities. They sold them to Edom. 7 So I will send fire to destroy the walls of Gaza. It will burn up its forts. 8 I will cut off the king of Ashdod. He holds the ruler's rod in Ashkelon. I will use my powerful hand against Ekron. Every single Philistine will die," says the LORD and King. 9 The LORD says, "The people of Tyre have sinned again and again. So I will punish them. They captured whole communities. They sold them to Edom. They did not honor the treaty of friendship they had made. 10 So I will send fire to destroy the walls of Tyre. It will burn up its forts." 11 The LORD says, "The people of Edom have sinned again and again. So I will punish them. They chased Israel with swords that were ready to strike them down. They did not show them any pity. They were angry all the time. Their anger blazed out. It could not be stopped. 12 So I will send fire to destroy the city of Teman. It will burn up Bozrah's forts." 13 The LORD says, "The people of Ammon have sinned again and again. So I will punish them. They ripped open the pregnant women in Gilead. They wanted to add land to their territory. 14 So I will set fire to destroy the walls of Rabbah. It will burn up its forts. War cries will be heard on that day of battle. Strong winds will blow on that stormy day. 15 Ammon's god Molech will be carried away. So will its officials," says the Lord. 1 The LORD says, "The people of Moab have sinned again and again. So I will punish them. They burned the bones of Edom's king to ashes. 2 So I will send fire to destroy Moab. It will burn up Kerioth's forts. Moab will come crashing down with a loud noise. War cries will be heard. So will the blast of trumpets. 3 I will cut off Moab's ruler. I will also kill all of its officials," says the Lord. 4 The LORD says, "The people of Judah have sinned again and again. So I will punish them. They have refused to obey my law. They have not kept my rules. Other gods have led them down the wrong path. Their people before them worshiped those gods. 5 So I will send fire to destroy Judah. It will burn up Jerusalem's forts."

The LORD Punishes Israel

6 The LORD says, "The people of Israel have sinned again and again. So I will punish them. They sell into slavery those who do what is right. They trade needy people for a mere pair of sandals. 7 They grind the heads of the poor into the dust of the ground. They refuse to be fair to those who are crushed. A father and his son have sex with the same girl. They treat my name as if it were not holy. 8 They lie down beside every altar on clothes they had taken until the owner paid back what was owed. In the house of their God they drink wine that was taken as fines. 9 "I destroyed the Amorites to make room for my people in the land. The Amorites were as tall as cedar trees. They were as strong as oak trees. But I cut off their fruit above the ground and their roots below it. 10 "People of Israel, I brought you up out of Egypt. I led you in the desert for 40 years. I gave you the land of the Amorites. 11 I raised up prophets from among your children. I also set some of your young people apart to me as Nazirites. Isn't that true, people of Israel?" announces the Lord. 12 "But you made the Nazirites drink wine. You commanded the prophets not to prophesy. 13 "A cart that is loaded with grain crushes anything it runs over. In the same way, I will crush you. 14 Your fastest runners will not escape. The strongest people will not get away. Even soldiers will not be able to save their own lives. 15 Men who are armed with bows will lose the battle. Soldiers who are quick on their feet will not escape. Horsemen will not be able to save their own lives. 16 Even your bravest soldiers will run away naked on that day," announces the Lord.

The LORD Judges His Chosen People

1 People of Israel, listen to the LORD's message. It is against you. It is against the whole family he brought up out of Egypt. He says, 2 "Out of all of the families on earth I have chosen only you. So I will punish you because you have committed so many sins." 3 Do two people walk together unless they've agreed to do so? 4 Does a lion roar in the bushes when it doesn't have any food? Does it growl in its den when it hasn't caught anything? 5 Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground where no one has set a trap for it? Does a net spring up from the earth when there isn't anything for it to catch? 6 When someone blows a trumpet in a city, don't the people tremble with fear? When trouble comes to a city, hasn't the LORD caused it? 7 The LORD and King never does anything without telling his servants the prophets about it. 8 A lion has roared. Who isn't afraid? The LORD and King has spoken. Who can do anything but prophesy? 9 Speak to the people in the forts of Ashdod and Egypt. Tell them, "Gather together on the mountains of Samaria. Look at the great trouble in that city. Its people are committing many crimes." 10 "They do not know how to do what is right," announces the Lord. "They pile up stolen goods in their forts." 11 So the LORD and King says, "Enemies will take over your land. They will pull down your places of safety. They will rob your forts." 12 The LORD says, "Suppose a shepherd saves only two leg bones from a lion's mouth. Or he might save only a piece of an ear. That is how the Israelites will be saved. They sit in Samaria on the edge of their beds. They lie down in Damascus on their couches." 13 "Listen to me," announces the LORD. "Witness against the people of Jacob," says the LORD God who rules over all. 14 "I will punish Israel for their sins. When I do, I will destroy their altars at Bethel. The horns that stick out from the upper corners of their main altar will be cut off. They will fall to the ground. 15 I will tear their winter houses down. I will also pull down their summer houses. The houses they have decorated with ivory will be destroyed. And their princely houses will be torn down," announces the Lord.

Israel Has Not Returned to the LORD

1 Listen to the LORD's message, you women who live on the hill of Samaria. You treat poor people badly. You crush those who are in need. You say to your husbands, "Bring us some drinks!" But you are already as fat as the cows in Bashan. 2 The LORD and King has taken an oath in his own holy name. He says, "You can be sure that the time will come when your enemies will put hooks in your faces. They will lead every one of you away with fishhooks. 3 Each of you will go straight out through a gap in the wall. You will be thrown out of the city on the hill where you crush others," announces the Lord. 4 "People of Samaria, go to Bethel and sin! Go to Gilgal! Sin there even more! Bring your sacrifices every morning. Every third year, bring a tenth of everything you produce. 5 Bake some bread with yeast. Burn it as a thank offering. Brag about the offerings you freely give. That is what you Israelites love to do," announces the LORD and King. 6 "I made sure your stomachs were empty in every city. You did not have enough bread in any of your towns. In spite of that, you still have not returned to me," announces the Lord. 7 "I also held rain back from you. The time to harvest crops was still three months away. I sent rain on one town. But I held it back from another. One field had rain. Another did not. So it dried up. 8 People wandered from town to town to look for water. But they did not get enough to drink. In spite of that, you still have not returned to me," announces the Lord. 9 "Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards. I sent hot winds to dry them up completely. Locusts ate up your fig and olive trees. In spite of that, you still have not returned to me," announces the Lord. 10 "I sent plagues on you, just as I did on Egypt. I killed your young men with swords. I also let the horses you had captured be killed. I filled your noses with the bad smell of your camps. In spite of that, you still have not returned to me," announces the Lord. 11 "I destroyed some of you, just as I did Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick that was pulled out of the fire. In spite of that, you still have not returned to me," announces the Lord. 12 "People of Israel, I will punish you. Because I will do that to you, prepare to meet your God!" 13 The LORD forms the mountains. He creates the wind. He makes his thoughts known to human beings. He turns sunrise into darkness. He rules over the highest places on earth. His name is The LORD God Who Rules Over All.

Look to the LORD and Live

1 People of Israel, listen to the LORD's message. Hear my song of sadness about you. I say, 2 "The people of Israel have fallen. They will never get up again. They are deserted in their own land. No one can lift them up." 3 The LORD and King says, "A thousand soldiers will march out from a city in Israel. But only a hundred will return. A hundred soldiers will march out from a town. But only ten will come back." 4 The LORD speaks to the people of Israel. He says, "Look to me and live. 5 Do not look to Bethel. Do not go to Gilgal. Do not travel to Beersheba. The people of Gilgal will be taken away as prisoners. Nothing will be left of Bethel." 6 Israel, look to the LORD and live. If you don't, he will sweep through the people of Joseph like a fire. It will burn everything up. And Bethel won't have anyone to put it out. 7 You turn what is fair into something bitter. What is right you throw down to the ground. 8 The LORD made the Pleiades and Orion. He turns darkness into sunrise. He makes the day fade into night. He sends for the waters in the clouds. Then he pours them out on the surface of the land. His name is The Lord. 9 He destroys places of safety. He tears down cities that have high walls around them. 10 Israel, you hate those who do what is right in court. You can't stand those who tell the truth. 11 You walk all over poor people. You make them give you grain. You have built stone houses. But you won't live in them. You have planted fruitful vineyards. But you won't drink the wine they produce. 12 I know how many crimes you have committed. You have sinned far too much. You crush those who do what is right. You accept money from people who want special favors. You take away the rights of poor people in the courts. 13 So those who are wise keep quiet in times like these. That's because the times are evil. 14 Look to what is good, not to what is evil. Then you will live. And the LORD God who rules over all will be with you, just as you say he is. 15 Hate what is evil. Love what is good. Do what is fair in the courts. Perhaps the LORD God who rules over all will show you his favor. After all, you are the only ones left in the family line of Joseph. 16 The LORD God rules over all. The Lord says, "People will sob in all of the streets. They will be very sad in every market place. Even farmers will be told to cry loudly. People will sob over the dead. 17 Workers will cry in all of the vineyards. That is because I will punish you," says the Lord.

The Day of the LORD Is Coming

18 How terrible it will be for you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you want it to come? That day will be dark, not light. 19 It will be like a man running away from a lion only to meet a bear. He enters his house and rests his hand on a wall only to be bitten by a snake. 20 The day of the LORD will be dark, not light. It will be very black. There won't be a ray of sunlight anywhere. 21 The LORD says, "I hate your holy feasts. I can't stand them. I hate it when you gather together. 22 You bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings. But I will not accept them. You bring your best friendship offerings. But I will not even look at them. 23 Take the noise of your songs away! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 I want you to treat others fairly. So let fair treatment roll on just as a river does! Always do what is right. Let right living flow along like a stream that never runs dry! 25 "People of Israel, did you bring me sacrifices and offerings for 40 years in the desert? 26 Yes. But you have honored the place where your king worshiped other gods. You have carried the stands the statues of your gods were on. You have lifted up the banners of the stars you worship as gods. You made all of those things for yourselves. 27 So I will send you away as prisoners beyond Damascus," says the Lord. His name is God Who Rules Over All.
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