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The Prophets Before the Exile

(Category 8 of 16)

Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Amos, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Amos, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how they work within the Bible’s overall framework.

In this book, Amos accuses Israel of breaking their covenant with God and highlights how their idolatry has led to injustice and the neglect of the poor.

Explore Amos


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The Book of


AMOS prophesies during a period of national optimism in Israel. Business is
booming and boundaries are bulging. But below the surface, greed and injustice
are festering. Hypocritical religious motions have replaced true worship, creating
a false sense of security and a growing callousness to God’s disciplining
hand. Famine, drought, plagues, death, destruction—nothing can force the people
to their knees.
Amos, the farmer-turned-prophet, lashes out at sin unflinchingly, trying to visualize
the nearness of God’s judgment and mobilize the nation to repentance. The
nation, like a basket of rotting fruit, stands ripe for judgment because of its
hypocrisy and spiritual indifference.
The name Amos is derived from the Hebrew root amas, “to lift a burden, to
carry.” Thus, his name means “Burden” or “Burden-Bearer.” Amos lives up to the
meaning of his name by bearing up under his divinely given burden of declaring
judgment to rebellious Israel. The Greek and Latin titles are both transliterated in
English as Amos.


1 THE words of Amos, who was among the asheepbreeders of bTekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of cUzziah king of Judah, and in the days of dJeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the eearthquake.
2 And he said:

“The LORD aroars from Zion, And utters His voice from Jerusalem; The pastures of the shepherds mourn, And the top of bCarmel withers.”

CHAPTER 1 References

1 a2 Kin. 3:4;
Amos 7:14
b2 Sam. 14:2
c2 Chr.
dAmos 7:10
eZech. 14:5
2 aJoel 3:16
b1 Sam. 25:2
3 aIs. 8:4;
17:1–3 b2 Kin.
10:32, 33
4 aJer. 49:27;
51:30 b2 Kin.
5 aJer. 51:30

Judgment on the Nations

3 Thus says the LORD:

“For three transgressions of aDamascus, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they have bthreshed Gilead with implements of iron.
4 aBut I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, Which shall devour the palaces of bBen-Hadad.
5 I will also break the gate abar of Damascus,

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AMOS 1:6

And cut off the inhabitant from the Valley of Aven, And the one who 1holds the scepter from 2Beth Eden. The people of Syria shall go captive to Kir,” Says the LORD.

6 Thus says the LORD:

“For three transgressions of aGaza, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they took captive the whole captivity To deliver them up to Edom.
7 aBut I will send a fire upon the wall of Gaza, Which shall devour its palaces.
8 I will cut off the inhabitant afrom Ashdod, And the one who holds the scepter from Ashkelon; I will bturn My hand against Ekron, And cthe remnant of the Philistines shall perish,” Says the Lord GOD.

9 Thus says the LORD:

“For three transgressions of aTyre, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, And did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.
10 But I will send a fire upon the wall of Tyre, Which shall devour its palaces.”

11 Thus says the LORD:

“For three transgressions of aEdom, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because he pursued his bbrother with the sword, And cast off all pity; His anger tore perpetually, And he kept his wrath forever.
12 But aI will send a fire upon Teman, Which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.”

13 Thus says the LORD:

“For three transgressions of athe people of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they ripped open the women with child in Gilead, That they might enlarge their territory.

5 1Rules 2Lit.
House of
6 aJer. 47:1, 5
7 aJer. 47:1
8 aZeph. 2:4
bPs. 81:14
cEzek. 25:16
9 aIs. 23:1–18
11 aIs. 21:11
bObad. 10–12
12 aObad. 9,
13 aEzek. 25:2
14 aDeut. 3:11
bAmos 2:2
15 aJer. 49:3

CHAPTER 2 References

1 aZeph.
2:8–11 b2 Kin.
3:26, 27
2 aJer. 48:24,
3 aNum. 24:17
4 aHos. 12:2
bLev. 26:14
cJer. 16:19
dEzek. 20:13,
16, 18
5 aHos. 8:14
6 a2 Kin. 17:7–
18; 18:12 bIs.
29:21 cAmos
4:1; 5:11; 8:6
7 aAmos 5:12
bEzek. 22:11
cLev. 20:3 1Or
trample on

14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of aRabbah, And it shall devour its palaces, bAmid shouting in the day of battle, And a tempest in the day of the whirlwind.
15 aTheir king shall go into captivity, He and his princes together,” Says the LORD.


Thus says the LORD:

1 a“For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because he bburned the bones of the king of Edom to lime.
2 But I will send a fire upon Moab, And it shall devour the palaces of aKerioth; Moab shall die with tumult, With shouting and trumpet sound.
3 And I will cut off athe judge from its midst, And slay all its princes with him,” Says the LORD.

Judgment on Judah

4 Thus says the LORD:

“For three transgressions of aJudah, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, bBecause they have despised the law of the LORD, And have not kept His commandments. cTheir lies lead them astray, Lies dwhich their fathers followed.
5 aBut I will send a fire upon Judah, And it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.”

Judgment on Israel

6 Thus says the LORD:

“For three transgressions of aIsrael, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because bthey sell the righteous for silver, And the cpoor for a pair of sandals.
7 They 1pant after the dust of the earth which is on the head of the poor, And apervert the way of the humble. bA man and his father go in to the same girl, cTo defile My holy name.

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8 They lie down aby every altar on clothes btaken in pledge, And drink the wine of 1the condemned in the house of their god.

9 “Yet it was I who destroyed the aAmorite before them, Whose height was like the bheight of the cedars, And he was as strong as the oaks; Yet I cdestroyed his fruit above And his roots beneath.
10 Also it was aI who brought you up from the land of Egypt, And bled you forty years through the wilderness, To possess the land of the Amorite.
11 I raised up some of your sons as aprophets, And some of your young men as bNazirites. Is it not so, O you children of Israel?” Says the LORD.
12 “But you gave the Nazirites wine to drink, And commanded the prophets asaying, ‘Do not prophesy!’

13 “Behold,a I am 1weighed down by you, As a cart full of sheaves 2is weighed down.
14 aTherefore 1flight shall perish from the swift, The strong shall not strengthen his power, bNor shall the mighty 2deliver himself;
15 He shall not stand who handles the bow, The swift of foot shall not 1escape, Nor shall he who rides a horse deliver himself.
16 The most 1courageous men of might Shall flee naked in that day,” Says the LORD.

Authority of the Prophet’s Message


1 Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying:

2 “Youa only have I known of all the families of the earth; bTherefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”

3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey? Will a young lion 1cry out of his den, if he has caught nothing?

8 a1 Cor. 8:10
bEx. 22:26 1Or
those punished
by fines
9 aNum. 21:25
bEzek. 31:3
c[Mal. 4:1] 10 aEx. 12:51
bDeut. 2:7
11 aNum. 12:6
bNum. 6:2, 3
12 aIs. 30:10
13 aIs. 1:14 1Or
under 2Or totters
14 aJer. 46:6
bPs. 33:16 1Or
the place of
refuge 2Lit.
save his soul
or life
15 1Or save
16 1Lit. strong
of his heart
among the

CHAPTER 3 References

2 a[Deut. 7:6] b[Rom. 2:9] 4 1Lit. give his
5 1Or bait or
6 aIs. 45:7
1ram’s horn
7 a[John
15:15] 8 aActs 4:20
9 1Or oppression
10 aJer. 4:22
1Or devastation
12 1Or
2Heb. uncertain,
on the cover
14 aAmos 4:4
15 aJer. 36:22
bJudg. 3:20
c1 Kin. 22:39
1Lit. strike

AMOS 3:15

5 Will a bird fall into a snare on the earth, where there is no 1trap for it? Will a snare spring up from the earth, if it has caught nothing at all?
6 If a 1trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? aIf there is calamity in a city, will not the LORD have done it?

7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless aHe reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
8 A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! aWho can but prophesy?

Punishment of Israel’s Sins

9 “Proclaim in the palaces at Ashdod, And in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say: ‘Assemble on the mountains of Samaria; See great tumults in her midst, And the 1oppressed within her.
10 For they ado not know to do right,’ Says the LORD, ‘Who store up violence and 1robbery in their palaces.’ ”

11 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:

“An adversary shall be all around the land; He shall sap your strength from you, And your palaces shall be plundered.”

12 Thus says the LORD:

“As a shepherd 1takes from the mouth of a lion Two legs or a piece of an ear, So shall the children of Israel be taken out Who dwell in Samaria— In the corner of a bed and 2on the edge of a couch!
13 Hear and testify against the house of Jacob,” Says the Lord GOD, the God of hosts,
14 “That in the day I punish Israel for their transgressions, I will also visit destruction on the altars of aBethel; And the horns of the altar shall be cut off And fall to the ground.
15 I will 1destroy athe winter house along with bthe summer house; The chouses of ivory shall perish,

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AMOS 4:1

And the great houses shall have an end,” Says the LORD.


1 Hear this word, you acows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, Who oppress the bpoor, Who crush the needy, Who say to 1your husbands, “Bring wine, let us cdrink!”
2 aThe Lord GOD has sworn by His holiness: “Behold, the days shall come upon you When He will take you away bwith fishhooks, And your posterity with fishhooks.
3 aYou will go out through broken walls, Each one straight ahead of her, And you will 1be cast into Harmon,” Says the LORD.

4 “Comea to Bethel and transgress, At bGilgal multiply transgression; cBring your sacrifices every morning, dYour tithes every three 1days.
5 aOffer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, Proclaim and announce bthe freewill offerings; For this you love, You children of Israel!” Says the Lord GOD.

Israel Did Not Accept Correction

6 “Also I gave you 1cleanness of teeth in all your cities, And lack of bread in all your places; aYet you have not returned to Me,” Says the LORD.

7 “I also withheld rain from you, When there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, And where it did not rain the part withered.
8 So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water, But they were not satisfied; Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the LORD.

9 “Ia blasted you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased, Your vineyards, Your fig trees, And your olive trees, bThe locust devoured them;

CHAPTER 4 References

1 aPs. 22:12;
Ezek. 39:18
bAmos 2:6
cProv. 23:20
1Lit. their
masters or
2 aPs. 89:35
bJer. 16:16;
Ezek. 29:4;
Hab. 1:15
3 aEzek. 12:5
1Or cast them
4 aEzek. 20:39;
Amos 3:14
bHos. 4:15
cNum. 28:3;
Amos 5:21, 22
dDeut. 14:28
1Or years,
Deut. 14:28
5 aLev. 7:13
bLev. 22:18;
Deut. 12:6
6 a2 Chr.
28:22; Is.
26:11; Jer. 5:3;
Hag. 2:17
9 aDeut. 28:22;
Hag. 2:17
bJoel 1:4, 7;
Amos 7:1, 2
10 aEx. 9:3, 6;
Lev. 26:25;
Deut. 28:27,
60; Ps. 78:50
11 aGen. 19:24,
25; Deut.
29:23; Is.
13:19; Jer.
49:18; Lam.
12 aAmos 4:12
13 aPs. 139:2;
Dan. 2:28
bMic. 1:3 cIs.
47:4; Jer.
10:16 1Or
spirit 2Or His

CHAPTER 5 References

1 aJer. 7:29;
9:10, 17; Ezek.
4 a[Deut. 4:29;
2 Chr. 15:2;
Jer. 29:13] b[Is. 55:3] 5 a1 Kin.
12:28, 29;
Amos 4:4
Amos 8:14

Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the LORD.

10 “I sent among you a plague aafter the manner of Egypt; Your young men I killed with a sword, Along with your captive horses; I made the stench of your camps come up into your nostrils; Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the LORD.

11 “I overthrew some of you, As God overthrew aSodom and Gomorrah, And you were like a firebrand plucked from the burning; Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the LORD.

12 “Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, aPrepare to meet your God, O Israel!”

13 For behold, He who forms mountains, And creates the 1wind, aWho declares to man what 2his thought is, And makes the morning darkness, bWho treads the high places of the earth— cThe LORD God of hosts is His name.

A Lament for Israel


1 Hear this word which I atake up against you, a lamentation, O house of Israel:

2 The virgin of Israel has fallen; She will rise no more. She lies forsaken on her land; There is no one to raise her up.

3 For thus says the Lord GOD:

“The city that goes out by a thousand Shall have a hundred left, And that which goes out by a hundred Shall have ten left to the house of Israel.”

A Call to Repentance

4 For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel:

a“Seek Me band live;
5 But do not seek aBethel, Nor enter Gilgal, Nor pass over to bBeersheba;

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For Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, And cBethel shall come to nothing.
6 aSeek the LORD and live, Lest He break out like fire in the house of Joseph, And devour it, With no one to quench it in Bethel—
7 You who aturn justice to wormwood, And lay righteousness to rest in the earth!”

8 He made the aPleiades and Orion; He turns the shadow of death into morning bAnd makes the day dark as night; He ccalls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the face of the earth; dThe LORD is His name.
9 He 1rains ruin upon the strong, So that fury comes upon the fortress.

10 aThey hate the one who rebukes in the gate, And they babhor the one who speaks uprightly.
11 aTherefore, because you 1tread down the poor And take grain 2taxes from him, Though byou have built houses of hewn stone, Yet you shall not dwell in them; You have planted 3pleasant vineyards, But you shall not drink wine from them.
12 For I aknow your manifold transgressions And your mighty sins: bAfflicting the just and taking bribes; cDiverting the poor from justice at the gate.
13 Therefore athe prudent keep silent at that time, For it is an evil time.

14 Seek good and not evil, That you may live; So the LORD God of hosts will be with you, aAs you have spoken.
15 aHate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate. bIt may be that the LORD God of hosts Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

The Day of the LORD

16 Therefore the LORD God of hosts, the Lord, says this:

“There shall be wailing in all streets,

5 cHos. 4:15
6 a[Is. 55:3, 6,
7; Amos 5:14] 7 aAmos 6:12
8 aJob 9:9;
38:31 bPs.
104:20 cJob
38:34 d[Amos
4:13] 9 1Or flashes
forth destruction
10 aIs. 29:21;
66:5; Amos
5:15 b1 Kin.
22:8; Is. 59:15;
Jer. 17:16–18
11 aAmos 2:6
bDeut. 28:30,
38, 39; Mic.
6:15; Zeph.
1:13; Hag. 1:6
2Or tribute
12 aHos. 5:3
bIs. 1:23; 5:23;
Amos 2:6 cIs.
13 aAmos 6:10
14 aMic. 3:11
15 aPs. 97:10;
Rom. 12:9
bJoel 2:14
16 a2 Chr.
35:25; Jer.
17 aEx. 12:12
18 aIs. 5:19;
Jer. 17:15;
Joel 1:15; 2:1,
11, 31 bIs.
5:30; Joel 2:2
19 aJob 20:24;
Is. 24:17, 18;
Jer. 48:44
21 aIs. 1:11–16;
Amos 4:4, 5;
8:10 bLev.
26:31; Jer.
14:12; Hos. 5:6
22 aIs. 66:3;
Mic. 6:6, 7
24 aJer. 22:3;
Ezek. 45:9;
Hos. 6:6; Mic.
25 aDeut.
32:17; Josh.
24:14; Neh.
9:18–21; Acts
7:42, 43
26 a1 Kin.
11:33 1LXX,
Vg. tabernacle
of Moloch
2A pagan deity
27 a2 Kin. 17:6;
Amos 7:11,
17; Mic. 4:10
bAmos 4:13

And they shall say in all the highways, ‘Alas! Alas!’ They shall call the farmer to mourning, aAnd skillful lamenters to wailing.
17 In all vineyards there shall be wailing, For aI will pass through you,” Says the LORD.

18 aWoe to you who desire the day of the LORD! For what good is bthe day of the LORD to you? It will be darkness, and not light.
19 It will be aas though a man fled from a lion, And a bear met him! Or as though he went into the house, Leaned his hand on the wall, And a serpent bit him!
20 Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?

21 “Ia hate, I despise your feast days, And bI do not savor your sacred assemblies.
22 aThough you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.
23 Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.
24 aBut let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream.

25 “Dida you offer Me sacrifices and offerings In the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
26 You also carried 1Sikkuth2 ayour king And Chiun, your idols, The star of your gods, Which you made for yourselves.
27 Therefore I will send you into captivity abeyond Damascus,” Says the LORD, bwhose name is the God of hosts.

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A Joyful Return to Zion

A Song of Ascents.

1 WHEN athe LORD brought back 1the captivity of Zion, bWe were like those who dream.
2 Then aour mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. Then they said among the 1nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”
3 The LORD has done great things for us, And we are glad.

PSALM 126 References

1 aPs. 85:1;
Jer. 29:14;
Hos. 6:11; Joel
3:1 bActs 12:9
1Those of the
2 aJob 8:21
5 aIs. 35:10;
51:11; 61:7;
Jer. 31:9; [Gal.
6:9] 6 aIs. 61:3 1to
and fro 2Lit. a
bag of seed
for sowing
3with shouts
of joy

4 Bring back our captivity, O LORD, As the streams in the South.

5 aThose who sow in tears Shall reap in joy.
6 He who continually goes 1forth weeping, Bearing 2seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again 3with arejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him.




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