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1 Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel.

2 The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up.

3 For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel.

4 For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:

5 But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.

6 Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.

7 Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,

8 Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:

9 That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.

10 They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.

11 Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them.

12 For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.

13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.

14 Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.

15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.

16 Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus; Wailing shall be in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.

17 And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the LORD.

18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.

19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.

20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?

21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.

22 Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.

23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.

24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

25 Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?

26 But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.

27 Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.

Commentary for Amos 5

Israel is called to seek the Lord. (1-6) Earnest exhortations to repentance. (7-17) Threatenings respecting idolatries. (18-27)1-6 The convincing, awakening word must be heard and heeded, as well as words of comfort and peace; for whether we hear or forbear, the word of God shall take effect. The Lord still proclaims mercy to men, but they often expect deliverance from such self-invented forms as make their condemnation sure. While they refuse to come to Christ and to seek mercy in and by him, that they may live, the fire of Divine wrath breaks forth upon them. Men may make an idol of the world, but will find it cannot protect.

7-17 The same almighty power can, for repenting sinners, easily turn affliction and sorrow into prosperity and joy, and as easily turn the prosperity of daring sinners into utter darkness. Evil times will not bear plain dealing; that is, evil men will not. And these men were evil men indeed, when wise and good men thought it in vain even to speak to them. Those who will seek and love that which is good, may help to save the land from ruin. It behoves us to plead God's spiritual promises, to beseech him to create in us a clean heart, and to renew a right spirit within us. The Lord is ever ready to be gracious to the souls that seek him; and then piety and every duty will be attended to. But as for sinful Israel, God's judgments had often passed by them, now they shall pass through them.

18-27 Woe unto those that desire the day of the Lord's judgments, that wish for times of war and confusion; as some who long for changes, hoping to rise upon the ruins of their country! but this should be so great a desolation, that nobody could gain by it. The day of the Lord will be a dark, dismal, gloomy day to all impenitent sinners. When God makes a day dark, all the world cannot make it light. Those who are not reformed by the judgments of God, will be pursued by them; if they escape one, another stands ready to seize them. A pretence of piety is double iniquity, and so it will be found. The people of Israel copied the crimes of their forefathers. The law of worshipping the Lord our God, is, Him only we must serve. Professors thrive so little, because they have little or no communion with God in their duties. They were led captive by Satan into idolatry, therefore God caused them to go into captivity among idolaters.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Amos 5

  • Andres Donet on Amos 5:8
    How Amos knew about Orion and the Pleiades?
  • CARLOS RAMIREZ TREVINO - in Reply on Amos 5:8
    Andres, if you Google Ancient Astronomy, Astronomy in Ancient China, etc. you will discover Astronomy is a science that was developed and known to different cultures as far back as 5,000 years or more. The Chinese, Mayans, Aztecs, Middle Easterners, you name it, they were all well versed in Astronomy.

    There is a difference however, between Astronomy (which is the science) and Astrology (which is an esoteric practice). Astronomy is based on mathematical calculations, physical laws, and scientific fact. The Pyramids in Egypt were built using precise mathematical calculations about the movement of stars, planets and constellations. Although in different places around the earth they had different names for constellations, the Mayans and Chinese built structures, architectural and engineering wonders of history that reflected that knowledge.

    All of these cultures worshiped the order, reliability and predictability of the movement of stars. The earliest writings we have are the Sanskrit from India and the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. Even in these writings we find evidence of their knowledge of the universe, mathematics, science, physical laws. They used them to develop calendars. They were able to calculate precisely Equinox and Solstice, seasons and rotation of the earth.

    So, Pleiades and Orion were nothing new to Amos or Job. The rest of the world was well developed by the time of Amos, who lived approximately 750 - 800 years before Christ. Alexander the Great lived in the mid 300's before Christ. Julius Ceasar 50 BC, the Pyramids of Egypt 2,500 years before Christ. Noah lived 3,000 years BC. It is believed the Book of Job appeared 600 years BC. But the story itself is of someone that predates that time. Job is, of course, a precursor of Christ suffering and resurrection. But from Chapter 38 on, we see how Job had a developed understanding of the Universe. Moses lived approximately 1,500 years BC.
  • Chris - in Reply on Amos 5:8
    Andres, I had to do some researching for your question as the answer cannot be found from Scripture. So trying to make a long research paper simple, this is what I've found & hope it is of some use to you:

    Both in Job 9:9 & Amos 5:8, mention is made of those star constellations. So the problem we have is: how are these stars with these names, known by these OT people? The answer is apparently that they hadn't called them by these names in the original language, Hebrew, but those original words were also known differently in Aramaic/Syriac & these are what we are seeing here.

    So in Hebrew, Orion was known as 'Kesil', which means 'foolish' because they viewed this constellation as a picture of 'a tall & strong man chained for his folly'. For Pleiades (the view of Seven Stars), was originally known as 'Kimah'. Then in Syriac, it was referred to as Pleiades.

    Therefore, with Amos, as a Prophet of God, his writings reflected what was given to him to declare to Israel. And this included these stars which he may not have been entirely familiar with, but declared them (Kesil & Kimah) which have since been translated in the Bible to be the Orion & Pleiades. With Job, we're unsure of his knowledge about these stars, whether from Divine inspiration or from others who may have already named them. So a bit of uncertainty here.
  • Mishael - in Reply on Amos 5:8
    ANDRES: There are 2 scriptures in JOB about both constellations:

    Chapter 9:9 and 38:31.

    You will enjoy reading Job. Near the end God reveals many scientific things. If your Bible has the center column; the letters and numbers point you to other scriptures or prophesies sometimes. It's fascinating reading.
  • Stanjett on Amos 5
    18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. Even so God, come.
  • JP on Amos 5
    5:18 reminds me of people I have talked to and all they are interest is the book of Revelation and do not care about what the other 65 books have to say.
  • Obbie Beal on Amos 5
    In the chapter above the HEART OF GOD (things GOD LOVE and the things HE hate) is clearly seen; and yes we also see the wrath of Jehovah / GOD. ( Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me). WOW! WOW! WOW!.
  • BSP on Amos 5
    Verses 21-24~Jehovah God did not look with delight upon the sacrifices of the people. They were not worshipping him in an acceptable way and their motives were not pure.
  • BSP on Amos 5
    Verse 14: We must search for good and not what is bad. This will require effort because we are surrounded by badness.
  • Emanuel Fernandes on Amos 5
    If I stay DAILY IN WORD N PRAYER ITS DIFFICULT. TO BE DRUNK WITH THE WINE OF HER FORNICATION. you need to set your affections on heaven and not on earth


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What must the people of Israel do, in the book of Amos, so that they would be blessed again by God?
  • They must fast for many days.
  • They must make sacrifices.
  • They must build new temples.
  • They must repent from their sins and turn to God again.