Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,
2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?
5 Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?
6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?
7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
8 The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?
9 Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.
10 For they know not to do right, saith the Lord, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.
11 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled.
12 Thus saith the Lord; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.
13 Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord God, the God of hosts,
14 That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.
15 And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the Lord.
In this chapter, Amos is calling on the senseless, heedless people to take notice of God’s judgments (v. 1-8), and of God’s righteousness as He chastises those who continue to sin and do not repent. God is revealed as just and holy (vv. 9-15).
The divine punishment was pronounced for extreme corruption, covetousness, and luxury which led them to disregard simple duties for neighbors, and a violent oppression of the poor. The great and the rich misused their wealth and influence which would have provided a remedy for the existing corruption and poverty. God declares that His special relationship with Israel cannot continue so long as they cling to their iniquities, just as two people cannot walk together (v.3) unless they walk in the same direction (have a common purpose in view).
When Israel, the family of God, refused to live up to her high privileges and accept her responsibilities, the favored position was taken from her and given to the church, the spiritual family of God. The greater the knowledge of God’s will, the greater the responsibility, and greater the reward.
Deepati Vara Prasad
Watchman Publishing House, India