Amos 5

Listen to Amos 5

Seek the Lord and Live

1 Hear this word that I 1take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel:
2 "Fallen, no more to rise, is 2the virgin Israel; forsaken on her land, with none to raise her up."
3 For thus says the Lord GOD: "The city that went out a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which went out a hundred shall have ten left to the house of Israel."
4 For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel: 3"Seek me and live;
5 but do not seek 4Bethel, and do not enter into 5Gilgal or cross over to 6Beersheba; for 7Gilgal shall surely go into exile, and 8Bethel shall come to nothing."
6 9Seek the LORD and live, 10lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it devour, with none to quench it for 11Bethel,
7 O 12you who turn justice to wormwood[a] and cast down righteousness to the earth!
8 He who made the 13Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning and 14darkens the day into night, who 15calls for the waters of the sea 16and pours them out on the surface of the earth, 17the LORD is his name;
9 18who makes destruction flash forth against the strong, so that destruction comes upon the fortress.
10 19They hate him who reproves 20in the gate, and they 21abhor him who speaks the truth.
11 Therefore because you 22trample on[b] the poor and you exact taxes of grain from him, 23you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them; 24you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine.
12 For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins-- you who afflict the righteous, who 25take a bribe, and 26turn aside the needy 27in the gate.
13 Therefore he who is prudent will 28keep silent in such a time, 29for it is an evil time.
14 30Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, 31the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said.
15 32Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice 33in the gate; 34it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
16 Therefore thus says the LORD, 35the God of hosts, the Lord: "In all the squares 36there shall be wailing, and in all the streets they shall say, 'Alas! Alas!' They shall call the farmers to mourning and 37to wailing those who are skilled in lamentation,
17 and in all vineyards there shall be wailing, for 38I will pass through your midst," says the LORD.

Let Justice Roll Down

18 Woe to you who desire 39the day of the LORD! Why would you have the day of the LORD? 40It is darkness, and not light,
19 41as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall, and a serpent bit him.
20 42Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?
21 43"I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 44Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs; to 45the melody of your harps I will not listen.
24 But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
25 46"Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
26 47You 48shall take up Sikkuth your king, and Kiyyun your star-god--your images that you made for yourselves,
27 49and I will send you into exile beyond Damascus," says the LORD, whose name is 50the God of hosts.

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 50

  • 1. Ezekiel 19:1
  • 2. Lamentations 2:1; [Isaiah 47:1]
  • 3. 2 Chronicles 15:2; Isaiah 55:6; Zephaniah 2:3
  • 4. See Amos 4:4
  • 5. See Amos 4:4
  • 6. Amos 8:14
  • 7. See Amos 4:4
  • 8. See Amos 4:4
  • 9. [See ver. 4 above]
  • 10. [Isaiah 9:18, 19]
  • 11. [See ver. 5 above]
  • 12. [Amos 6:12]
  • 13. Job 9:9; Job 38:31
  • 14. Psalms 104:20; [Amos 4:13; Amos 8:9]
  • 15. Amos 9:6; [Genesis 6:17; Psalms 104:6, 7]
  • 16. Amos 9:6; [Genesis 6:17; Psalms 104:6, 7]
  • 17. See Amos 4:13
  • 18. [Jeremiah 50:32]
  • 19. Isaiah 29:21; [Proverbs 15:5, 10]
  • 20. See Ruth 4:1
  • 21. [1 Kings 22:8]
  • 22. [James 2:6]
  • 23. Deuteronomy 28:30, 39; Micah 6:15; Zephaniah 1:13
  • 24. Deuteronomy 28:30, 39; Micah 6:15; Zephaniah 1:13
  • 25. 1 Samuel 8:3; 1 Samuel 12:3; [Psalms 26:10]
  • 26. Amos 2:7; Isaiah 29:21
  • 27. [See ver. 10 above]
  • 28. [Ecclesiastes 3:7]
  • 29. Micah 2:3
  • 30. [Deuteronomy 30:15, 19; Zephaniah 2:3]
  • 31. Amos 3:13
  • 32. Psalms 97:10; Romans 12:9
  • 33. [See ver. 10 above]
  • 34. Joel 2:14; [Exodus 32:30]
  • 35. [See ver. 14 above]
  • 36. [Jeremiah 9:17, 18]
  • 37. [Jeremiah 9:17, 18]
  • 38. Exodus 12:12
  • 39. See Joel 1:15
  • 40. See Joel 2:1, 2
  • 41. [Isaiah 24:18; Jeremiah 48:44]
  • 42. [See ver. 18 above]
  • 43. Isaiah 1:14; [Jeremiah 6:20]
  • 44. Psalms 51:16, 17; Isaiah 1:11
  • 45. [Amos 6:5; Amos 8:3; Isaiah 5:12]
  • 46. Cited Acts 7:42, 43
  • 47. [Deuteronomy 32:17; Ezekiel 20:16, 24]
  • 48. [Isaiah 46:7]
  • 49. 2 Kings 17:6
  • 50. [See ver. 14 above]

Footnotes 2

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.