The Bible – Old Testament
1 This is what the Lord GOD showed me: He was forming a locust swarm when the late growth began to come up (the late growth after the king’s mowing).
While they were eating all the grass in the land, I said: Forgive, O Lord GOD! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!
And the LORD repented of this. “It shall not be,” said the Lord GOD.
2 Then the Lord GOD showed me this: he called for a judgment by fire. It had devoured the great abyss, and was consuming the land,
when I said: Cease, O Lord GOD! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!
The LORD repented of this. “This also shall not be,” said the Lord GOD.
3 Then the Lord GOD showed me this: he was standing by a wall, plummet in hand.
The LORD asked me, “What do you see, Amos?” And when I answered, “A plummet,” the Lord said: See, I will lay the plummet in the midst of my people Israel; I will forgive them no longer.
The high places of Isaac shall be laid waste, and the sanctuaries of Israel made desolate; I will attack the house of Jeroboam with the sword.
Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent word to Jeroboam, king of Israel: “Amos has conspired against you here within Israel; the country cannot endure all his words.
For this is what Amos says: Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be exiled from its land.”
To Amos, Amaziah said: “Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah! There earn your bread by prophesying,
but never again prophesy in Bethel; for it is the king’s sanctuary and a royal temple.”
4 Amos answered Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores.
The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me, Go, prophesy to my people Israel.
Now hear the word of the LORD!” You say: prophesy not against Israel, preach not against the house of Isaac.
Now thus says the LORD: Your wife shall be made a harlot in the city, and your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword; Your land shall be divided by measuring line, and you yourself shall die in an unclean land; Israel shall be exiled far from its land.
1  The king’s mowing: the first mowing, a portion of which was payable to the king as a tax.
2  Fire: understood by many as a burning drought.
3  Plummet in hand: signifying that God is about to withdraw his mercy from his people and that the nation is to be measured for destruction.
4 [14-15] Amos denies that he belonged to the class of professional prophets; his vocation is due to the personal intervention of the Lord.