Amos 7:7-17

7 He showed me: behold, the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand.
8 And the LORD said to me, "Amos, what do you see?" And I said, "A plumb line." Then the Lord said, "Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass by them;
9 the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jerobo'am with the sword."
10 Then Amazi'ah the priest of Bethel sent to Jerobo'am king of Israel, saying, "Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words.
11 For thus Amos has said, 'Jerobo'am shall die by the sword, and Israel must go into exile away from his land.'"
12 And Amazi'ah said to Amos, "O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there;
13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom."
14 Then Amos answered Amazi'ah, "I am no prophet, nor a prophet's son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees,
15 and the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'
16 "Now therefore hear the word of the LORD. You say, 'Do not prophesy against Israel, and do not preach against the house of Isaac.'
17 Therefore thus says the LORD: 'Your wife shall be a harlot in the city, and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword, and your land shall be parceled out by line; you yourself shall die in an unclean land, and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.'"

Amos 7:7-17 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO AMOS 7

In this and the two following chapters are the visions of Amos, in number five; three of which are contained in this chapter, and with which it begins. The first is of the grasshoppers or locusts eating up the later grass of the land, which are stopped at the intercession of the prophet, Am 7:1-3; the second is of fire the Lord called for to contend by, whose devouring flames are made to cease by the same interposition, Am 7:4-6; and the other is of the plumbline, signifying the utter destruction of the people of Israel, according to the righteous judgment of God, Am 7:7-9; upon the delivery of which prophecies and visions, the priest of Bethel forms a charge against the prophet to the king; and advises Amos to flee into Judea, and prophesy there, and not at Bethel, being willing to be rid of him at any rate, Am 7:10-13; next follows the prophet's vindication of himself showing his divine call to the prophetic office, and his mission and express order he had from the Lord to prophesy unto Israel, Am 7:14,15; and concludes with a denunciation of divine judgments on the priest's family, and upon the whole land of Israel, Am 7:16,17.

Amos 7:7-17 In-Context

5 Then I said, "O Lord GOD, cease, I beseech thee! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!"
6 The LORD repented concerning this; "This also shall not be," said the Lord GOD.
7 He showed me: behold, the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand.
8 And the LORD said to me, "Amos, what do you see?" And I said, "A plumb line." Then the Lord said, "Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass by them;
9 the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jerobo'am with the sword."
10 Then Amazi'ah the priest of Bethel sent to Jerobo'am king of Israel, saying, "Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words.
11 For thus Amos has said, 'Jerobo'am shall die by the sword, and Israel must go into exile away from his land.'"
12 And Amazi'ah said to Amos, "O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there;
13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom."
14 Then Amos answered Amazi'ah, "I am no prophet, nor a prophet's son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees,
15 and the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'
16 "Now therefore hear the word of the LORD. You say, 'Do not prophesy against Israel, and do not preach against the house of Isaac.'
17 Therefore thus says the LORD: 'Your wife shall be a harlot in the city, and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword, and your land shall be parceled out by line; you yourself shall die in an unclean land, and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.'"
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.