Amos 5

Amos is sad

1 ‘Listen, you people in Israel, to the sad song that I am singing to you. 2 You are like a young woman that died early without children. No more good things will happen to you. You will not be important again. There are no people on your land to help you. They have all left.’ 3 This is what the Lord God says. ‘1,000 soldiers will go out from a city to fight, but only 100 soldiers will come back. From another city, 100 soldiers will go out to fight. But only 10 will come back.’

Look for God

4 To the people in Israel, the Lord says, ‘Look for me and you will live. 5 Do not go to Bethel, Gilgal, or Beersheba. Do not try to find me there, because I am not there. I will send enemies to destroy those places. And they will take the people away as slaves.

6 Look for the Lord and you will live. If you do not look for him, he will come like fire. Bethel will burn and all the people there will burn. Nobody will be able to put out the fire. 7 You people do not speak true words. You are not fair to other people and you are not honest with them.’

8 The Lord made the groups of stars called Pleiades and Orion. They show you when it will become warmer or colder. The Lord changes the dark (night) into dawn and he changes the day into night again. He takes the water in the sea, and he pours it out on the earth. The Lord is his name.

9 He kills strong people. And he destroys their strong buildings and walls.

10 Some men are not afraid to speak against people. They are not afraid to say that people have done wrong things. You hate those men very much. And some men speak true words. You think that those men are not important. 11 You cause poor people to give you too much food from their fields. And you make them give too much money to you. You do not keep them safe. You have built big houses, but you will not live in them. You have planted many plants that give grapes. But you will not drink alcohol from them.

12 ‘I, the Lord, know the wrong things that you have done. You have hurt people that have not done wrong things. Sometimes a person gives money to you and he says, “Now do not speak true words.” You take that money and you do not speak true words. Also, you do not speak true words for poor people. So other people do wrong things to them for no reason.’ 13 This is such a bad time. Some people will think about how bad it is. And so, they will keep quiet. They will keep themselves safe.

14 You say that the Lord God Almighty is with you. So stop doing wrong things. Do good things. Then you will live. And the Lord God Almighty will really be with you. 15 Stop doing what is wrong. And choose what is good and right. Some of you decide whether a person has done right or wrong things. You people, be fair and speak true words. There are a few people that are still alive in Israel. Maybe the Lord God Almighty will be kind to them.

5:15In this verse, the word that we have translated ‘Israel’ is really Joseph. Joseph was the name of the most important big family in Israel. Israel was the north part of God's people's country.

16 But the Lord, the Lord God Almighty says, ‘Many people will be sad. They will cry loudly in all the streets. People on the farms will cry too. People will pay other people to help them cry because of the dead people. 17 And in all the places where fruit grows, people will cry. They will cry because I am sending trouble to you. I, the Lord, have spoken.’

The special Day of the Lord

18 You are hoping for the special Day of the Lord. You hope that he will save you from your enemies on that day. But that day will not be good for you. It will be sad and dark. It will not be happy and sunny. 19 It will be like a man that runs from a lion. But then he meets a bear. Or it will be like a man that goes into his house. He rests against a wall, and then a snake bites him.

20 The special Day of the Lord will be dark. It will have lots of trouble for you. It will not be bright, but it will be dark. It will not be happy, but it will be sad for very many people.

21 The Lord says, ‘You come together to eat and to drink. And you come to bring gifts to me. When you do that, I do not like it at all.

22 When you bring fat animals to burn for me, I will not happily accept them. You might give food to me, but I will not take it.

23 I will not listen when you sing songs to me. I will not listen as you play music on harps. 24 A river never stops moving. So, like the river, never stop being fair to people. Never stop doing right things.

25 You people in Israel, listen to me. I led you through the large dry place for 40 years. You did not bring gifts to me to thank me there.

26 You made things for yourselves to pray to. You made the thing called Sakkuth. You say that it is your king. And you made that other thing, which is like a star. You call it Kaiwan. You continue to pray to them and you do not pray to me. 27 So I will send your enemies to take you away past Damascus. I, the Lord God Almighty, have said it.’