Amos 5

1People of Israel, listen to this song. This funeral song is about you. 2The virgin of Israel has fallen. She will not get up any more. She was left alone, lying in the dirt. There is no person to lift her up. 3The Lord my Master says these things: “Officers leaving the city with 1,000 men, will return with only 100 men. Officers leaving the city with 100 men, will return with only ten men. 4The Lord says this to the nation of Israel: “Come looking for me and live. 5But don’t look in Bethel. Don’t go to Gilgal. Don’t cross the border and go down to Beersheba. The people of Gilgal will be taken away as prisoners. And Bethel will be destroyed. 6Go to the Lord, and live. If you don’t go to the Lord, then a fire will start at Joseph’s house. That fire will destroy Joseph’s house, and no person will be able to stop that fire at Bethel. 7- 9˻You should go to the Lord for help.˼ God made the Pleiades and Orion. He changes darkness into the morning light. He changes the day into the dark night. He calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the earth. His name is Yahweh! He keeps one strong city safe, and he lets another strong city be destroyed.” You change goodness to poison. You killed justice, and let it fall to the ground. 10˻Prophets˼ go to the public places and speak against ˻the bad things that people are doing˼. And the people hate ˻those prophets˼. ˻The prophets˼ teach good, simple truths. And the people hate those ˻prophets˼. 11You take unfair taxes from poor people. You take loads of wheat from them. You build fancy houses with cut stone. But you will not live in those houses. You plant beautiful fields of grapes. But you will not drink the wine from them. 12Why? Because I know about your many sins. You have done some really bad things: You hurt people that do right. You accept money to do wrong. You keep justice from the poor people in court. 13At that time, wise teachers will be quiet. Why? Because it is a bad time. 14You say ˻that God is with you˼. So you should do good things, not evil. Then you will live. And the Lord God All-Powerful really will be with you. 15Hate evil and love goodness. Bring fairness back into the courts. Maybe then the Lord God All-Powerful will be kind to the survivors from Joseph’s family. 16My Master, God All-Powerful, says, “People will be crying in the public places. People will be crying in the streets. People will hire the professional criers. 17People will be crying in the fields of grapes. Why? Because I will pass through ˻and punish˼ you.” The Lord said those things. 18Some of you want ˻to see˼ the Lord’s special day ˻of judgment˼. Why do you want ˻to see˼ that day? The Lord’s special day will bring darkness not light! 19You will be like a man that escapes a lion only to be attacked by a bear! You will be like a man that goes into the safety of his house, leans against the wall, and is bitten by a snake! 20The Lord’s special day will be ˻a day of sadness, not joy˼ a day of darkness, not light, a day of gloom, without a glimmer of light. 21“I hate your holidays! I will not accept them! I don’t enjoy your religious meetings! 22Even if you offer me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them! I will not even look at the fat animals you give as fellowship offerings. 23Take your noisy songs away from here. I will not listen to the music from your harps. 24You should let fairness flow like water ˻through your country˼. Let goodness flow like a stream that never becomes dry. 25Israel, you offered me sacrifices and offerings in the desert for 40 years. 26But you also carried statues of Sakkuth, your king, and Kaiwan. And you made yourselves that star for your god! 27So I will cause you to be taken captive beyond Damascus.” The Lord says those things. His name is God All-Powerful.

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