1People of Israel,
I rescued you from Egypt.
Now listen to my judgment
against you.
2Of all nations on earth,
you are the only one
I have chosen.
That's why I will punish you
because of your sins.
The Work of a Prophet
3Can two people walk together
without agreeing to meet?
4Does a lion roar in the forest
unless it has caught
a victim?
Does it growl in its den
unless it is eating?
5How can anyone catch a bird
without using a net?
Does a trap spring shut
unless something is caught?
6Isn't the whole city frightened
when the trumpet
signals an attack?
Isn't the Lord the one who brings
disaster on a city?
7Whatever the Lord God
plans to do,
he tells his servants,
the prophets.
8Everyone is terrified
when a lion roars—
and ordinary people
become prophets
when the Lord God speaks.
Samaria Is Doomed
9Here is a message
for the leaders
of Philistia#3.9 Philistia: The Hebrew text has “Ashdod,” one of the leading cities of Philistia. and Egypt—
tell everyone to come together
on the hills of Samaria.
Let them see the injustice
and the lawlessness
in that city.
10The Lord has said
that they don't even know how
to do right.
They have become rich
from violence and robbery.
11And so the Lord God has sworn
that they will be surrounded.
Enemies will break through
their defenses
and steal their treasures.
12The Lord has promised
that only a few from Samaria
will escape with their lives
and with some broken pieces
of their beds and couches.#3.12 some … couches: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
It will be like when a shepherd
rescues two leg bones
and part of a sheep's ear
from the jaws of a lion.#3.12 lion: When a wild animal attacked and killed a sheep, the shepherd had to rescue part of the sheep and take it to the owner as proof that it had been killed by an animal. Otherwise, the shepherd had to pay the owner the cost of the sheep.
The Altars at Bethel
13The Lord God All-Powerful
told me to speak this message
against Jacob's descendants:
14 # 2 K 23.15. When I, the Lord, punish Israel
for their sins,
I will destroy the altars
at Bethel.
Even the corners of the altar#3.14 altar: Altars were places of worship but also places of protection. People whose lives were in danger could grab hold of the corners of an altar, and no one was allowed to kill them.
will be left in the dirt.
15I will tear down winter homes
and summer homes.
Houses decorated with ivory
and all other mansions
will be gone forever.
I, the Lord, have spoken!