Israel Will Be Punished
1Do you rulers in Jerusalem
and in the city of Samaria
feel safe and at ease?
Everyone bows down to you,
and you think you are better
than any other nation.
But you are in for trouble!
2Look what happened
to the cities of Calneh,
powerful Hamath,
and Gath#6.2 Calneh … Hamath … Gath: City-states captured by the Assyrians: Calneh in 738 b.c., Hamath in 720, and Gath in 711. in Philistia.
Are you greater than any
of those kingdoms?
3You are cruel, and you forget
the coming day of judgment.
4You rich people lounge around
on beds with ivory posts,
while dining on the meat
of your lambs and calves.
5You sing foolish songs
to the music of harps,
and you make up new tunes,
just as David used to do.
6You drink all the wine you want
and wear expensive perfume,
but you don't care about
the ruin of your nation.#6.6 your nation: Hebrew “Joseph's descendants” (see the note at 5.6).
7So you will be the first
to be dragged off as captives;
your good times will end.
8The Lord God All-Powerful
has sworn by his own name:
“You descendants of Jacob
make me angry by your pride,
and I hate your fortresses.
And so I will surrender your city
and possessions
to your enemies.”
9If only ten of you survive
by hiding in a house
you will still die.
10As you carry out a corpse
to prepare it for burial,#6.10 prepare … burial: Or “burn it” or “burn incense for it.”
your relative in the house
will ask, “Are there others?”
You will answer, “No!”
Then your relative will reply,
“Be quiet! Don't dare mention
the name of the Lord.”#6.10 the name of the Lord: Two relatives seem to be carrying out corpses for burial. One of them warns the other to be careful not even to say “Thank the Lord!” for fear that the mention of his name may cause something worse to happen.
11At the Lord's command,
houses great and small
will be smashed to pieces.
12Horses can't gallop on rocks;
oceans#6.12 oceans: Or “rocky fields.” can't be plowed.
But you have turned justice
and fairness
into bitter poison.
13You celebrate the defeat
of Lo-Debar and Karnaim,#6.13 Lo-Debar and Karnaim: Two cities east of the Jordan River that were captured by Jeroboam II (see 2 Kings 14.25). In Hebrew “Lo-Debar” can mean “nothing,” and “Karnaim” means “two horns (of a bull).” Horns were symbols of strength, and so the people are bragging about their military power (defeat of “two horns”), which Amos says is “nothing” (Lo-Debar).
and you boast by saying,
“We did it on our own.”
14But the Lord God All-Powerful
will send a nation to attack
you people of Israel.
They will capture Lebo-Hamath
in the north,
Arabah Creek#6.14 Lebo-Hamath … Arabah Creek: The northern and southern boundaries of the northern kingdom. in the south,
and everything in between.
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