A Vision of Locusts
1The Sovereign Lord showed me a vision. I saw him preparing to send a vast swarm of locusts over the land. This was after the king’s share had been harvested from the fields and as the main crop was coming up. 2In my vision the locusts ate every green plant in sight. Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, please forgive us or we will not survive, for Israel#7:2 Hebrew Jacob; also in 7:5. See note on 3:13. is so small.”
3So the Lord relented from this plan. “I will not do it,” he said.
A Vision of Fire
4Then the Sovereign Lord showed me another vision. I saw him preparing to punish his people with a great fire. The fire had burned up the depths of the sea and was devouring the entire land. 5Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, please stop or we will not survive, for Israel is so small.”
6Then the Lord relented from this plan, too. “I will not do that either,” said the Sovereign Lord.
A Vision of a Plumb Line
7Then he showed me another vision. I saw the Lord standing beside a wall that had been built using a plumb line. He was using a plumb line to see if it was still straight. 8And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?”
I answered, “A plumb line.”
And the Lord replied, “I will test my people with this plumb line. I will no longer ignore all their sins. 9The pagan shrines of your ancestors#7:9 Hebrew of Isaac. will be ruined, and the temples of Israel will be destroyed; I will bring the dynasty of King Jeroboam to a sudden end.”
Amos and Amaziah
10Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent a message to Jeroboam, king of Israel: “Amos is hatching a plot against you right here on your very doorstep! What he is saying is intolerable. 11He is saying, ‘Jeroboam will soon be killed, and the people of Israel will be sent away into exile.’”
12Then Amaziah sent orders to Amos: “Get out of here, you prophet! Go on back to the land of Judah, and earn your living by prophesying there! 13Don’t bother us with your prophecies here in Bethel. This is the king’s sanctuary and the national place of worship!”
14But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one.#7:14 Or I’m not a prophet nor the son of a prophet. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees. 15But the Lord called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’ 16Now then, listen to this message from the Lord:
‘Don’t prophesy against Israel.
Stop preaching against my people.#7:16 Hebrew against the house of Isaac.’
17But this is what the Lord says:
‘Your wife will become a prostitute in this city,
and your sons and daughters will be killed.
Your land will be divided up,
and you yourself will die in a foreign land.
And the people of Israel will certainly become captives in exile,
far from their homeland.’”