Who was Amos?
1 Amos was one of the shepherds who lived in the town called Tekoa. God spoke to him. He showed Amos what was going to happen to the people in Israel. God did that two years before the earthquake came. It was during the time that Uzziah was the king of Judah, and Joash's son, Jeroboam, was the king of Israel. This book tells about the message that Amos received from God.
2 Amos said, ‘The Lord speaks loudly from Zion. Yes, he shouts from Jerusalem. As a result, the green fields will become dry and the grass will die. There will be nothing for the sheep to eat. Even the grass on Mount Carmel mountain will die.’
1:2When we write Lord like this, it is a special name for God. Sometimes people write it as ‘Yahweh’, or as ‘Jehovah’. It is his own name that he told Moses. See Exodus 3:14. It means ‘I am who I am’. This shows that God has always been there and he always will be there.
God will punish the nations near Israel
3 The Lord says, ‘The people in Damascus have done more and more wrong things. So I will certainly punish them!
1:3Damascus was the most important city in Syria (also called Aram).
They have been cruel to the people in Gilead. They used their iron weapons to tear them into pieces. 4 I will send a fire to destroy the palace that King Hazael's built. It will destroy the strong buildings of King Ben-Hadad. 5 I will also break the strong gates of Damascus city. I will remove all the people who live in the Aven valley. I will remove the king of Beth-Eden. Their enemies will take the people of Syria far away to Kir as prisoners.’ That is what the Lord says.
6 The Lord says, ‘The people in Gaza have done more and more wrong things. So I will certainly punish them.
1:6Gaza was a city where the Philistine people lived.
They caught my people and they took them away from their homes. They sold them to the people in Edom. 7 So I will send a fire to burn the walls of Gaza. It will destroy the strong buildings in Gaza. 8 I will remove the king of Ashdod city. And I will remove the king who rules in Ashkelon city. I will punish the people who live in Ekron city. All the Philistines who remain will die.’ That is what the Lord God says.
9 The Lord says, ‘The people in Tyre have done more and more wrong things. So I will certainly punish them.
Before, they had been friends with the people in Israel. They had promised to those people, “We will be like brothers.” But the people from Tyre did not do what they had promised. They took my people away. They sold my people to the people in Edom and my people became slaves. 10 So I will start a fire on the walls of Tyre city. And the fire will burn all the strong buildings. It will destroy them completely.’
11 The Lord says, ‘The people in Edom have done more and more wrong things. So I will certainly punish them.
They took their swords and they chased after their cousins, the Israelites. They were not kind. Instead, they continued to be angry all the time. They did not stop attacking them. 12 So I will start a fire. And the fire will destroy the big city called Teman. The fire will also burn the strong buildings of Bozrah city.’
1:11The Edomites and the Israelites were from the same family. The Edomites were descendants of Esau. The Israelites were descendants of Jacob. These two brothers were born at the same time from the same mother. Jacob also had the name Israel.
13 The Lord says, ‘The people in Ammon have done more and more wrong things. So I will certainly punish them.
People from Ammon fought against the people in Gilead. Ammon's people wanted to get more land for themselves. While they were killing people there, they also cut pregnant women open. 14 So I will send fire. And the fire will destroy the walls of Rabbah city. It will destroy the strong buildings too. People will fight and they will shout. They will shout loudly, like the noise that a strong wind makes in a storm. 15 The enemies will take away their king and their leaders. They will take them to another country. The king and the leaders will not be free to return.’ That is what the Lord says.