Bible: Amos 5

Death is Imminent

5:1 Listen to this funeral song I am ready to sing about you, 1  family 2  of Israel:

5:2The virgin 3  Israel has fallen down and will not get up again.

She is abandoned on her own land

with no one to help her get up.” 4 

5:3 The sovereign Lord says this:

“The city that marches out with a thousand soldiers 5  will have only a hundred left;

the town 6  that marches out with a hundred soldiers 7  will have only ten left for the family of Israel.” 8 

5:4 The Lord says this to the family 9  of Israel:

“Seek me 10  so you can live!

5:5 Do not seek Bethel! 11 

Do not visit Gilgal!

Do not journey down 12  to Beer Sheba!

For the people of Gilgal 13  will certainly be carried into exile; 14 

and Bethel will become a place where disaster abounds.” 15 

5:6 Seek the Lord so you can live!

Otherwise he will break out 16  like fire against Joseph’s 17  family; 18 

the fire 19  will consume

and no one will be able to quench it and save Bethel. 20 

5:7 The Israelites 21  turn justice into bitterness; 22 

they throw what is fair and right 23  to the ground. 24 

5:8 (But there is one who made the constellations Pleiades and Orion;

he can turn the darkness into morning

and daylight 25  into night.

He summons the water of the seas

and pours it out on the earth’s surface.

The Lord is his name!

5:9 He flashes 26  destruction down upon the strong

so that destruction overwhelms 27  the fortified places.)

5:10 The Israelites 28  hate anyone who arbitrates at the city gate; 29 

they despise anyone who speaks honestly.

5:11 Therefore, because you make the poor pay taxes on their crops 30 

and exact a grain tax from them,

you will not live in the houses you built with chiseled stone,

nor will you drink the wine from the fine 31  vineyards you planted. 32 

5:12 Certainly 33  I am aware of 34  your many rebellious acts 35 

and your numerous sins.

You 36  torment the innocent, you take bribes,

and you deny justice to 37  the needy at the city gate. 38 

5:13 For this reason whoever is smart 39  keeps quiet 40  in such a time,

for it is an evil 41  time.

5:14 Seek good and not evil so you can live!

Then the Lord, the God who commands armies, just might be with you,

as you claim he is.

5:15 Hate what is wrong, love what is right!

Promote 42  justice at the city gate! 43 

Maybe the Lord, the God who commands armies, will have mercy on 44  those who are left from 45  Joseph. 46 

5:16 Because of Israel’s sins 47  this is what the Lord, the God who commands armies, the sovereign One, 48  says:

“In all the squares there will be wailing,

in all the streets they will mourn the dead. 49 

They will tell the field workers 50  to lament

and the professional mourners 51  to wail.

5:17 In all the vineyards there will be wailing,

for I will pass through 52  your midst,” says the Lord.

The Lord Demands Justice

5:18 Woe 53  to those who wish for the day of the Lord

Why do you want the Lord’s day of judgment to come?

It will bring darkness, not light.

5:19 Disaster will be inescapable, 54 

as if a man ran from a lion only to meet a bear,

then escaped 55  into a house,

leaned his hand against the wall,

and was bitten by a poisonous snake.

5:20 Don’t you realize the Lord’s day of judgment will bring 56  darkness, not light

gloomy blackness, not bright light?

5:21I absolutely despise 57  your festivals!

I get no pleasure 58  from your religious assemblies!

5:22 Even if you offer me burnt and grain offerings, 59  I will not be satisfied;

I will not look with favor on your peace offerings of fattened calves. 60 

5:23 Take away from me your 61  noisy songs;

I don’t want to hear the music of your stringed instruments. 62 

5:24 Justice must flow like torrents of water,

righteous actions 63  like a stream that never dries up.

5:25 You did not bring me 64  sacrifices and grain offerings during the forty years you spent in the wilderness, family 65  of Israel.

5:26 You will pick up your images 66  of Sikkuth, 67  your king, 68 

and Kiyyun, 69  your star god, which you made for yourselves,

5:27 and I will drive you into exile beyond Damascus,” says the Lord.

He is called the God who commands armies!

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