Amos Chapter 6 to 9 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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6 Oh, it will be very bad for you people taking it easy in Zion,* and for you people who feel so safe on Mount Samaria. You are “important” leaders of the most important nation! The “House of Israel” comes to you {for advice}! 2Go look at Calneh.* From there, go to the large city Hamath.* Go to the Philistine city Gath. Are you better than these kingdoms? No. Their countries are larger than yours. 3You people are rushing towards that day of punishment. You bring that rule of violence nearer and nearer. 4{But now, you enjoy all the comforts.} You lie on ivory beds, and stretch out on your couches. You eat tender young lambs from the flock, and young calves from the stable. 5You play your harps. And like David, you practice on* your musical instruments.

6You drink wine in fancy cups.* You use the best perfumes. And you are not even upset that Joseph’s family is being destroyed. 7Those people are stretched out on their couches now. But their good times will end. They will be taken away like prisoners to a foreign country. And they will be some of the first people taken. 8The Lord my Master used his own name and made a promise. The Lord God All-Powerful made this promise: “I hate the things that Jacob* is proud of. I hate his strong towers. So I will let {the enemy} take the city and everything in it.”

There Will Be Few Israelites Left Alive

9At that time, ten people in one house might survive, but they too will die. 10And when a person dies, a relative will come to get the body so he can take it out and burn it.* The relative will come to take away the bones. He will call to any person who might be hiding way back in the house, “Are there any other {dead bodies} in there with you?” That person will answer, “No, …”* but the relative will {interrupt him and} say, “Hush! We must not mention the name of the Lord.” 11Look, the Lord God will give the command, and the large houses will be broken to pieces, and the small houses will be broken to small pieces. 12Do horses run over loose rocks? No! and people don’t use cows for plowing. But you turn everything upside down. You changed goodness to poison. You changed fairness to bitter poison. 13You are happy in Lo-Debar;* You say, “We have taken Karnaim* by our own strength.” 14“But Israel, I will bring a nation against you. That nation will bring troubles to your whole country—all the way from Lebo- Hamath to Arabah Brook.” The Lord God All-Powerful said those things.

Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. Calneh A powerful city in northern Syria.  Hamath A powerful city in Syria. practice on Or, “invent.” The Hebrew word means to “think,” “become skilled,” or “design.” fancy cups Very large bowls used in worship rituals.  Jacob Another name for Israel. See Gen. 32:22–28. And when a person dies … burn it The exact meaning of the Hebrew is not clear here.  No, … This answer might have been, “No, bless the Lord.” But the person was stopped before he finished speaking.  Lo-Debar A place name, meaning “nothing.” Karnaim Another place name, meaning “horns.” Horns are often a symbol (picture) for strength.

The Vision of the Locusts

7 The Lord showed this to me: He was making locusts* at the time the second crop began growing. It was the second crop after the king’s cutting {of the first crop}. 2The locusts ate all the grass in the country. After that I said, “Lord my Master, I beg you, forgive us! Jacob* can’t survive! He is {too} small!” 3Then the Lord changed his mind about this. The Lord said, “That thing will not happen.”

The Vision of the Fire

4The Lord my Master showed these things to me: {I} saw the Lord God calling for judgment by fire. The fire destroyed the Great Deep. The fire was beginning to eat up the land. 5But I said, “Lord God, stop, I beg you! Jacob* can’t survive! He is {too} small!” 6Then the Lord changed his mind about this. The Lord God said, “That thing will not happen either.”

The Vision of the Plumbline

7The Lord showed me this: The Lord stood by a wall with a plumbline* in his hand. (The wall had been marked with a plumbline.) 8The Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” I said, “A plumbline.” Then my Master said, “See, I will put a plumbline among my people Israel. I will not let their ‘crookedness’ pass inspection any more. {I will remove those bad spots.} 9Isaac’s high places* will be destroyed. Israel’s holy places will be made into a pile of rocks. I will attack and kill Jeroboam’s* family with swords.”

Amaziah Tries to Stop Amos

10Amaziah, a priest at Bethel,* sent this message to Jeroboam, the king of Israel: “Amos is making plans against you. He is trying to make the people of Israel fight against you. {He has been speaking so much that} this country can’t hold all his words. 11Amos has said, ‘Jeroboam will die by the sword, and the people of Israel will be taken as prisoners out of their country.’” 12Amaziah also said to Amos, “You seer,* go down to Judah and eat there.* Do your preaching there. 13But don’t prophesy* any more here at Bethel! This is Jeroboam’s holy place. This is Israel’s temple!” 14Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am not a professional prophet. And I am not from a prophet’s family. I keep cattle and take care of sycamore trees. 15{I was a shepherd} and the Lord took me from following the sheep. The Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16So listen to the Lord’s message. You tell me, ‘Don’t prophesy* against Israel. Don’t preach against Isaac’s family.’ 17But the Lord says: ‘Your wife will become a prostitute* in the city. Your sons and daughters will be killed with swords. Other people will take your land and divide it among themselves. And you will die in a foreign* country. The people of Israel will definitely be taken from this country as prisoners.’”

locusts Insects like grasshoppers that could destroy a large crop very quickly. Jacob Another name for Israel. See Gen. 32:22–28. plumbline A string with a weight on one end. Workers used plumblines to make sure the walls they were building were straight. The workers often put paint on the string and popped the string. This left a straight line of paint on the wall. Then the workers chipped away the crooked part of the wall.  high places Places for worshiping God or false gods. These  places were often on the hills and mountains.  Jeroboam’s The king of Israel. See verse 10. Bethel A town in Israel. This name means “God’s house.”  seer This is another name for a prophet. See 1 Samuel 9:9–11. eat there This shows that Amaziah thought that Amos was a professional prophet. He thought he preached to receive food or money.  prophesy To speak for God. prostitute A woman paid by men for sexual sin. Sometimes this also means a person that is not faithful to God and stops following him.  foreign Literally, “unclean.”

The Vision of the Ripe Fruit

8 The Lord showed me this: {I} saw a basket of summer fruit. 2The Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the Lord said to me, “The end* has come to my people Israel. I will not overlook their sins any more. 3The temple* songs will become sad funeral songs. The Lord my Master said those things. There will be dead bodies everywhere. In silence, people will take out the dead bodies and throw them {onto the pile}.”*

Israel’s Businessmen Are Interested Only in Making Money

4Listen to me! You people walk on helpless people. You are trying to destroy the poor people of this country. 5You businessmen say, “When will the New Moon* be over so we can sell grain? When will the Sabbath be over so we can bring our wheat {to sell}? We can raise the price and make the measure smaller.* We can adjust the scales and cheat the people.* 6{The poor people can’t pay their loans,} so we will buy them as slaves. We will buy those helpless people for the price of a pair of shoes. Oh, and we can sell the wheat that was spilled on the floor.” 7The Lord made a promise. He used his name, Pride of Jacob, and made this promise: “I will never forget the things that those people did. 8The whole land will shake because of those things. Every person that lives in the land will cry for people that died. The whole land will rise and fall like the Nile River in Egypt. The land will be tossed around.” 9The Lord also said these things: “At that time I will cause the sun to go down at noon. I will make the earth dark on a clear day. 10I will change your holidays into days of crying for the dead. All your songs will be songs of sadness for dead people. I will put clothes of sadness on everyone. I will make every head bald.* I will make it like heavy crying for an only son that has died. It will be a very bitter end.”

A Terrible Time of Hunger for God’s Word Is Coming

11The Lord says: “Look, the days are coming when I will cause a time of hunger in the land. The people will not be hungry for bread. The people will not be thirsty for water. No, the people will be hungry for words from the Lord. 12The people will wander around the country, from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the north part of the country, to the east. The people will go back and forth looking for a message from the Lord. But they will not find it. 13At that time, the beautiful young men and women will become weak from thirst. Those people made promises by the sin of Samaria,* They said, ‘Dan,* as surely as your god lives, {we promise} …’ And they said, ‘As surely as the god of Beersheba* lives, {we promise} …’ But those people will fall, and they will never get up again.”

end This Hebrew word sounds like the word for “summer fruit.” temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship. In silence … the pile Or, “People will be saying, ‘Hush!’” See Amos 6:10.  New Moon This was the first day of the Hebrew month. There were special meetings on these days to worship God.  We … smaller Literally “We will make the ephah small and the shekel large.” We … people Literally, “Cheat with lying balances.” head bald People often cut their hair to show they were very sad or upset.  sin of Samaria The calf god in Samaria. Dan One of Israel’s holy places was in this city. Beersheba A town in Judah. This name means “well of the oath (promise).”

Vision of the Lord Standing by the Altar

9 I saw my Master standing by the altar.* He said, “Hit the top of the columns, and the building will shake all the way down to the thresholds* Make the columns fall on the peoples’ heads. If any people are left alive, then I will kill them with a sword. A person might run away, but he will not escape. Not one of the people will escape. 2If they dig deep into the ground,* I will pull them from there. If they go up into the skies,* I will bring them down from there. 3If they hide at the top of Mount Carmel,* I will find them there, and I will take them from that place. If they try to hide from me at the bottom of the sea, I will command the snake, and it will bite them. 4If they are captured and taken away by their enemies, I will command the sword, and it will kill them there. Yes, I will watch over them, but I will watch for ways to give them troubles, not for ways to do good things.”

Punishment Will Destroy the People

5My Master, the Lord All-Powerful, will touch the land, and the land will melt. Then all the people that live in the land will cry for the dead people. The land will rise and fall like the Nile River in Egypt. 6The Lord built his upper rooms above the skies. He put his skies* over the earth. He calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out {as rain} on the land. YAHWEH* is his name.

The Lord Promises Destruction for Israel

7The Lord says this: “Israel, you are like the Ethiopians to me. I brought Israel out of the land of Egypt. I brought the Philistines from Caphtor,* and the Aramean people from Kir.*” 8The Lord my Master is watching the sinful kingdom (Israel). The Lord said, “I will wipe {Israel} off the face of the earth. But I will never completely destroy Jacob’s family. 9I am giving the command {to destroy the nation Israel}. I will scatter the people of Israel among all nations. But it will be like a person {sifting flour}. A person shakes flour through a sifter.* {The good flour falls through,} but the bad lumps are caught. {It will be that way with Jacob’s family.} 10Sinners among my people say, ‘Nothing bad will happen to us!’ But all those people will be killed with swords!”

God Promises to Restore the Kingdom

11“David’s tent* has fallen, but at that time, I will set his tent up again. I will fix the holes in the walls. I will build the ruined buildings again. I will build it like it was before. 12* Then the people left alive in Edom, and all the people called by my name, will look to the Lord {for help}.” The Lord said those things, and he will make them happen. 13The Lord says, “The time is coming when the person plowing the field, will catch up with the person harvesting the crops. The person that walks on the grapes, will catch up with the person that pulls the grapes from the plants. The sweet wine will pour from the hills and mountains. 14I will bring my people, Israel, back from captivity. They will build the ruined cities again. And they will live in those cities. They will plant fields of grapes, and drink the wine they produce. They will plant gardens, and eat the crops they produce. 15I will plant my people on their land. And they will never again be pulled up out of the land that I have given them.” The Lord your God said these things.

altar(s) A stone table used for offering sacrifices to God. thresholds The wood or stone under the door. ground Literally, “Sheol, the place of the dead.”  skies Or “heaven.” Mount Carmel A hill in north Israel very good for growing plants. This name means “God’s vineyard.” skies Literally, “dome, vault.”  YAHWEH This Hebrew name for God is usually translated “Lord.” This name is like the Hebrew word meaning “He is” or “He makes things exist.” Caphtor This might be Crete or Cyprus. Kir A place of exile for the Aramean people. We are not sure where Kir was. sifter Something like a cup with a screen on its bottom. A sifter is used for removing large lumps from the good flour.  David’s tent This probably means the city Jerusalem or the country Judah. Verse 12 This is from the ancient Greek translation. The Hebrew has, “Then they will take the people that are left in Edom and the other nations that are called by my name.”

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