Amos 7-8

Ch. 7 - Locusts, Fire and a Plumb Line

1 This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the late crops were coming up. 2 When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, “Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”

3 So the Lord relented.

“This will not happen,” the Lord said.

4 This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: The Sovereign Lord was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. 5 Then I cried out, “Sovereign Lord, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”

6 So the Lord relented.

“This will not happen either,” the Sovereign Lord said.

7 This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb,[a] with a plumb line[b] in his hand. 8 And the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Amos?”

“A plumb line,” I replied.

Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.

9 “The high places of Isaac will be destroyed
    and the sanctuaries of Israel will be ruined;
    with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam.”

Amos and Amaziah

10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: “Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words. 11 For this is what Amos is saying:

“‘Jeroboam will die by the sword,
    and Israel will surely go into exile,
    away from their native land.’”

12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. 13 Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.”

14 Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. 15 But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’16 Now then, hear the word of the Lord. You say,

“‘Do not prophesy against Israel,
    and stop preaching against the descendants of Isaac.’

17 “Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city,
    and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword.
Your land will be measured and divided up,
    and you yourself will die in a pagan[c] country.
And Israel will surely go into exile,
    away from their native land.’”

Ch. 8 - A Basket of Ripe Fruit

1 This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. 2 “What do you see, Amos?” he asked.

“A basket of ripe fruit,” I answered.

Then the Lord said to me, “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.

3 “In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “the songs in the temple will turn to wailing.[d] Many, many bodies—flung everywhere! Silence!”

4 Hear this, you who trample the needy
    and do away with the poor of the land,

5 saying,

“When will the New Moon be over
    that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended
    that we may market wheat?”—
skimping on the measure,
    boosting the price
    and cheating with dishonest scales,
6 buying the poor with silver
    and the needy for a pair of sandals,
    selling even the sweepings with the wheat.

7 The Lord has sworn by himself, the Pride of Jacob: “I will never forget anything they have done.

8 “Will not the land tremble for this,
    and all who live in it mourn?
The whole land will rise like the Nile;
    it will be stirred up and then sink
    like the river of Egypt.

9 “In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord,

“I will make the sun go down at noon
    and darken the earth in broad daylight.
10 I will turn your religious festivals into mourning
    and all your singing into weeping.
I will make all of you wear sackcloth
    and shave your heads.
I will make that time like mourning for an only son
    and the end of it like a bitter day.

11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord,
    “when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
    but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 People will stagger from sea to sea
    and wander from north to east,
searching for the word of the Lord,
    but they will not find it.

13 “In that day

“the lovely young women and strong young men
    will faint because of thirst.
14 Those who swear by the sin of Samaria—
    who say, ‘As surely as your god lives, Dan,’
    or, ‘As surely as the god[e] of Beersheba lives’—
    they will fall, never to rise again.”

Footnotes:

  1. Amos 7:7 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  2. Amos 7:7 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain; also in verse 8.
  3. Amos 7:17 Hebrew an unclean
  4. Amos 8:3 Or “the temple singers will wail
  5. Amos 8:14 Hebrew the way