Locusts, Fire, and a Plumb Line
1This is what the Lord GOD showed me: he was forming locusts at the time the latter growth began to sprout (it was the latter growth after the king's mowings).2When they had finished eating the grass of the land, I said,
“O Lord GOD, forgive, I beg you!
How can Jacob stand?
He is so small!”3The Lord relented concerning this;
“It shall not be,” said the Lord.
4This is what the Lord GOD showed me: the Lord GOD was calling for a shower of fire, and it devoured the great deep and was eating up the land.5Then I said,
“O Lord GOD, cease, I beg you!
How can Jacob stand?
He is so small!”6The Lord relented concerning this;
“This also shall not be,” said the Lord GOD.
7This is what he showed me: the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand.8And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,
“See, I am setting a plumb line
in the midst of my people Israel;
I will never again pass them by;9the 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 Jeroboam with the sword.”
Amaziah Complains to the King
10Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the very center of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words.11For thus Amos has said,
‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
and Israel must go into exile
away from his land.’ ”12And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there;13but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”14Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am no prophet, nor a prophet's son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees,15and 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.’17Therefore thus says the Lord:
‘Your wife shall become a prostitute 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.’ ”
Chapter 8The Basket of Fruit
1This is what the Lord GOD showed me—a basket of summer fruit.2He said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the Lord said to me,
“The end has come upon my people Israel;
I will never again pass them by.3The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day,”
says the Lord GOD;
“the dead bodies shall be many,
cast out in every place. Be silent!”
4Hear this, you that trample on the needy,
and bring to ruin the poor of the land,5saying, “When will the new moon be over
so that we may sell grain;
and the sabbath,
so that we may offer wheat for sale?
We will make the ephah small and the shekel great,
and practice deceit with false balances,6buying the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
and selling the sweepings of the wheat.”
7The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.8Shall not the land tremble on this account,
and everyone mourn who lives in it,
and all of it rise like the Nile,
and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?
9On that day, says the Lord GOD,
I will make the sun go down at noon,
and darken the earth in broad daylight.10I will turn your feasts into mourning,
and all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on all loins,
and baldness on every head;
I will make it like the mourning for an only son,
and the end of it like a bitter day.
11The time is surely coming, says the Lord GOD,
when I will send a famine on the land;
not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the Lord.12They shall wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
but they shall not find it.
13In that day the beautiful young women and the young men
shall faint for thirst.14Those who swear by Ashimah of Samaria,
and say, “As your god lives, O Dan,”
and, “As the way of Beer-sheba lives”—
they shall fall, and never rise again.
Chapter 9The Destruction of Israel
1I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and he said:
Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake,
and shatter them on the heads of all the people;
and those who are left I will kill with the sword;
not one of them shall flee away,
not one of them shall escape.
2Though they dig into Sheol,
from there shall my hand take them;
though they climb up to heaven,
from there I will bring them down.3Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,
from there I will search out and take them;
and though they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea,
there I will command the sea-serpent, and it shall bite them.4And though they go into captivity in front of their enemies,
there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them;
and I will fix my eyes on them
for harm and not for good.
5The Lord, GOD of hosts,
he who touches the earth and it melts,
and all who live in it mourn,
and all of it rises like the Nile,
and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt;6who builds his upper chambers in the heavens,
and founds his vault upon the earth;
who calls for the waters of the sea,
and pours them out upon the surface of the earth—
the Lord is his name.
7Are you not like the Ethiopians to me,
O people of Israel? says the Lord.
Did I not bring Israel up from the land of Egypt,
and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?8The eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom,
and I will destroy it from the face of the earth
—except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,
says the Lord.
9For lo, I will command,
and shake the house of Israel among all the nations
as one shakes with a sieve,
but no pebble shall fall to the ground.