Amos 9

The Lord is powerful

1 Then Amos said, ‘I saw the Lord. He was standing in the temple, by the altar. The Lord said, “Hit the top of the temple very hard. Hit it hard so that the floor under it will move. Cause everything to fall on to the heads of all the people there. Nobody will be able to run away. If anyone is alive after that, your enemies will kill him or her with long knives. 2 They might try to dig very deep into the earth to save themselves. But my strong hand will take them out of the deep place. They might climb up to the sky. But I will bring them down from there. 3 They might run away to the top of the mountain called Carmel. But I will look for them and I will take them from there. They might try to hide from me deep down in the sea. But I will tell the big sea-snake that it must bite them. 4 Their enemies might take them away to be their slaves in the enemies' country. I will tell people there that they must kill them with long knives. And they will certainly kill them. I will not help them.” ’

5 When the Lord God Almighty touches the earth, it moves. It goes up and down like the Nile river, and many people die. Those people that are alive cry loudly because of the dead people. 6 The Lord makes his place in the sky and he puts the sky over the earth. He takes the water in the sea, and he pours it out on the earth. The Lord is his name.

The Lord will not kill everyone

7 The Lord says to his people, the Israelites, ‘I like you. But in the same way, I like the people in Ethiopia. It is true that I led you safely from Egypt. But I also led other people too. I led the Philistines from Crete. And I led the people in Aram (Syria) from Kir. 8 I, the Lord God, am carefully watching you Israelites. And I see that you have done wrong things. I will remove you from the Earth. But I will keep a few Israelites alive,’ says the Lord.

9 ‘I will tell the enemies that they must separate you. And they will separate the good people from the bad people. A person shakes a sieve (moves it quickly up and down) and the good food falls through the holes. But the bad food stays in the sieve. The enemies will separate you like that. And then they will kill all the bad people. 10 The people that do wrong things say, “God will not send trouble to us.” But their enemies will kill those people in war.’

The Israelites will be strong again

11 ‘The time will come when you will be powerful and important again. It will be like the time when David was your king. Now you are like a house that someone has destroyed. But I will repair you and I will make you good and strong again. 12 You Israelites will fight and you will win a war against the Edomites. You will also be winners in wars against other countries. And you will have all the land that you had before.’ The Lord says it and he will do it.

13 ‘The time will come,’ says the Lord, ‘when food will grow very quickly and well. People will work hard. They will pick all the food and they will put it into baskets. Before they have finished, they will see more food. It will grow very quickly. Much fruit (grapes) will grow too. People will work hard and they will make a drink from the fruit (grapes). But before they have finished, they will see much more fruit. That fruit (grapes) will be big and it will be ready to pick. The fruit (grapes) grows on mountains. It will give so much wine that the wine will flow (move like water) down the mountains.

14 I will bring my people back to their country. They will again build their cities, the ones that their enemies destroyed. And they will live there. In some fields, my people will put plants that give grapes. And they will drink the wine from them. In other fields, my people will put plants that give food. And they will eat what grows there. 15 And I will put you back again on the land that I gave to you. And your enemies will never take you away again from the land that I have given to you.’ That is what the Lord, your God, has said.