Locusts, fire and a plumb-line1 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, ▼
▼ The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain; also in verse 8.with a plumb-line ▼
▼ The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain; also in verse 8.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 Amaziah10 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 any more 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 ▼
▼ Hebrew an uncleancountry.
And Israel will surely go into exile,
away from their native land.”’
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