Amos 5

A Lament and Call to Repentance

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.[a]
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.

The Day of 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[b] — which you made for yourselves.
27 Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,” says the LORD, whose name is God Almighty.

Images for Amos 5

Amos 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

Israel is called to seek the Lord. (1-6) Earnest exhortations to repentance. (7-17) Threatenings respecting idolatries. (18-27)

Verses 1-6 The convincing, awakening word must be heard and heeded, as well as words of comfort and peace; for whether we hear or forbear, the word of God shall take effect. The Lord still proclaims mercy to men, but they often expect deliverance from such self-invented forms as make their condemnation sure. While they refuse to come to Christ and to seek mercy in and by him, that they may live, the fire of Divine wrath breaks forth upon them. Men may make an idol of the world, but will find it cannot protect.

Verses 7-17 The same almighty power can, for repenting sinners, easily turn affliction and sorrow into prosperity and joy, and as easily turn the prosperity of daring sinners into utter darkness. Evil times will not bear plain dealing; that is, evil men will not. And these men were evil men indeed, when wise and good men thought it in vain even to speak to them. Those who will seek and love that which is good, may help to save the land from ruin. It behoves us to plead God's spiritual promises, to beseech him to create in us a clean heart, and to renew a right spirit within us. The Lord is ever ready to be gracious to the souls that seek him; and then piety and every duty will be attended to. But as for sinful Israel, God's judgments had often passed by them, now they shall pass through them.

Verses 18-27 Woe unto those that desire the day of the Lord's judgments, that wish for times of war and confusion; as some who long for changes, hoping to rise upon the ruins of their country! but this should be so great a desolation, that nobody could gain by it. The day of the Lord will be a dark, dismal, gloomy day to all impenitent sinners. When God makes a day dark, all the world cannot make it light. Those who are not reformed by the judgments of God, will be pursued by them; if they escape one, another stands ready to seize them. A pretence of piety is double iniquity, and so it will be found. The people of Israel copied the crimes of their forefathers. The law of worshipping the Lord our God, is, Him only we must serve. Professors thrive so little, because they have little or no communion with God in their duties. They were led captive by Satan into idolatry, therefore God caused them to go into captivity among idolaters.

Cross References 72

  • 1. S Jeremiah 4:8; S Ezekiel 19:1
  • 2. S 2 Kings 19:21; Jeremiah 14:17
  • 3. Jeremiah 50:32; Amos 8:14
  • 4. Isaiah 6:13; Amos 6:9
  • 5. S Deuteronomy 4:29
  • 6. Deuteronomy 32:46-47; Isaiah 55:3; Jeremiah 29:13; S Ezekiel 18:9
  • 7. 1 Samuel 11:14; S Hosea 4:15; Amos 4:4
  • 8. Genesis 21:31; Amos 8:14
  • 9. S 1 Samuel 7:16; S 1 Samuel 8:2
  • 10. Psalms 22:26; Psalms 105:4; S Isaiah 31:1; Isaiah 55:6; Zephaniah 2:3
  • 11. ver 14; S Leviticus 18:5
  • 12. Deuteronomy 4:24
  • 13. S Amos 3:14
  • 14. S Jeremiah 4:4
  • 15. Isaiah 5:20; Amos 6:12
  • 16. S Amos 3:10
  • 17. S Hosea 10:4
  • 18. S Genesis 1:16; S Job 38:31; Job 9:9
  • 19. S Job 38:12; Isaiah 42:16
  • 20. S Psalms 104:20; Amos 8:9
  • 21. Psalms 104:6-9; Jeremiah 16:21; S Amos 4:13
  • 22. Micah 5:11
  • 23. S Isaiah 29:21
  • 24. 1 Kings 22:8; Galatians 4:16
  • 25. Amos 8:6
  • 26. S Amos 3:15
  • 27. S Deuteronomy 28:30; Micah 1:6
  • 28. S Judges 9:27; S Amos 4:1; Amos 9:14; Micah 6:15; Zephaniah 1:13
  • 29. Hosea 5:3
  • 30. S Job 36:18; S Isaiah 1:23; S Ezekiel 22:12
  • 31. S Jeremiah 5:28
  • 32. S Job 5:4; S Isaiah 5:23; S Amos 2:6-7
  • 33. S Esther 4:14
  • 34. Micah 2:3
  • 35. S ver 6
  • 36. S Psalms 52:3; S Psalms 97:10; Romans 12:9
  • 37. S Genesis 18:25
  • 38. S Isaiah 1:17; S Isaiah 29:21; Zechariah 8:16
  • 39. S Jeremiah 36:3
  • 40. S Joel 2:14
  • 41. Micah 5:7,8; Micah 7:18
  • 42. Jeremiah 9:17; Amos 8:3; Zephaniah 1:10
  • 43. Jeremiah 7:34
  • 44. S Joel 1:11
  • 45. S Exodus 11:6
  • 46. Exodus 12:12
  • 47. Isaiah 16:10; S Jeremiah 48:33
  • 48. S Isaiah 2:12; S Joel 1:15
  • 49. S Jeremiah 30:5
  • 50. S 1 Samuel 2:9; S Joel 2:2
  • 51. S Job 20:28; Isaiah 5:19,30; Jeremiah 30:7
  • 52. S Lamentations 3:10
  • 53. S Deuteronomy 32:24; Job 20:24; S Ecclesiastes 10:8; Isaiah 24:17-18; Jeremiah 15:2-3; Jeremiah 48:44
  • 54. S 1 Samuel 2:9
  • 55. S Isaiah 13:10; S Ezekiel 7:7; Obadiah 1:15; Zephaniah 1:15
  • 56. Jeremiah 44:4
  • 57. S Leviticus 26:31; S Hosea 2:11
  • 58. S Ezekiel 23:18; Isaiah 1:11-16
  • 59. Leviticus 26:31
  • 60. S Jeremiah 7:21
  • 61. S Psalms 40:6
  • 62. Jeremiah 14:12; S Amos 4:4; Micah 6:6-7
  • 63. Isaiah 1:11-16; S Isaiah 66:3
  • 64. Amos 6:5
  • 65. S Jeremiah 22:3
  • 66. S Isaiah 45:8
  • 67. Micah 6:8
  • 68. S Isaiah 43:23
  • 69. S Exodus 16:35; Deuteronomy 32:17
  • 70. S Ezekiel 18:6; S Ezekiel 20:16
  • 71. Amos 6:7; Amos 7:11,17; Micah 1:16
  • 72. Deuteronomy 32:17-19; Jeremiah 38:17; S Amos 4:13; Acts 7:42-43*

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Hebrew "aven," a reference to Beth Aven (a derogatory name for Bethel); see Hosea 4:15.
  • [b]. 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"

Chapter Summary


In this chapter the prophet exhorts Israel to hear his lamentation over them for their impending ruin, Am 5:1-3; nevertheless to seek the Lord, and all that is good; to forsake their idols, and repent of their sins, in hopes of finding mercy, and living comfortably; or otherwise they must expect the wrath of God for their iniquities, especially their oppression of the poor, Am 5:4-15; otherwise it would be a time of weeping and wailing, of darkness and distress, however they might harden or flatter themselves, or make a jest of it, Am 5:16-20; for all their sacrifices and ceremonial worship would signify nothing, so long as they continued their idolatry with them Am 5:21-26; and therefore should surely go into captivity, Am 5:27.

Amos 5 Commentaries

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