Bad Things Will Happen Soon

About this Book

Amos lived in the town called Tekoa. It was near Jerusalem, on the south side. He had sheep. And he watched them to keep them safe. And he gave to them what they needed. He also sold them.

The country where the Israelites lived had 2 parts, a north part and a south part. The south part was called Judah and the big city there was Jerusalem. The king there was called Uzziah. The north part was called Israel and the big city there was Samaria. The king there was called Jeroboam. He was Israel’s second king that was called Jeroboam. There had been another King Jeroboam there earlier.

God’s temple was in Jerusalem, which was in the south part. The Israelites met there to pray to God. And they gave gifts to God there. But the kings of the north part did not like it when their people went to the south. They were afraid that the people would stay there. So a long time ago the first king called Jeroboam had made a holy place in the north. It was in Bethel town. He made a young cow from gold and he put it in that place. People came there and they said ‘thank you’ to that young cow. And they brought presents to it. But God was not happy about that. He had told the people not to do those things. But they were not listening to him. So, God chose Amos to speak a message to those people. Amos spoke to the Israelites that lived in the north.

In this book, we read God’s message that Amos spoke. Amos also explains the dreams that God showed to him. Two years after Amos spoke the message, there was an earthquake.

Amos 1:1–2:5

First, Amos spoke about the people that lived near Israel. They lived in the countries round Israel. He told those people, ‘You have done wrong things. God will send trouble to you.’ When the Israelites in the north heard that, they agreed. They said, ‘Yes, God should send trouble to them.’

Amos 2:6–6:14

But then Amos spoke to those Israelites that lived in the north. He told them, ‘You also have done wrong things. The rich people have not been fair to poor people. They have taken money and land away from the poor people. Rich people have sold poor people to other rich people. So then those poor people have to work for those other people.’

God is good and kind. But sometimes his people do not listen to him any longer and they do not obey him. Then he will send trouble to them. That will help them stop the wrong things that they are doing. God loves his people. He gives to them what they need. He does what is best for them. Sometimes he must shout loudly at them. It is like when a wild animal makes a loud noise. God must shout, ‘No, no, no! Do not do wrong things. I am not happy when you do wrong things.’ When God sends trouble to people, he wants them to listen to him again. He wants them to obey him again. He wants them to choose good things instead of wrong things.

Amos 7:1–9:10

Amos told the people, ‘God will send trouble.’ He told them about the dreams that God showed to him.

Amos 9:11-15

God made a promise to the people that lived in Israel. He said, ‘After the bad things have come, I will save Israel’s people. I will again send good things to those that have not died.’

Chapter 1

1 Amos was among men who were near the town called Tekoa. They watched sheep to keep them safe. And they gave the sheep what they needed. God spoke to him. And God showed to Amos the trouble that was coming to Israel. God showed it to him two years before the earthquake came. When God showed the trouble to Amos, Uzziah was the king of Judah. And Joash’s son, Jeroboam was the king of Israel.

2 Amos said, ‘The LORD speaks loudly from Zion and from Jerusalem. He is like a wild animal (lion) that makes a loud noise. He says, “The fields are green now. So the sheep can eat lots of grass. But those fields will become dry and so the grass will die. In the whole country, the grass will become dry and it will die. That will happen even on top of the mountain called Carmel.” ’

These are the messages to the people near Israel

This is the message to the people in Aram (Syria). The very big city of Aram was Damascus.

3 The LORD says, ‘The people in Damascus have done wrong things. Many times, they have done wrong things.

The people in Damascus were cruel. They had sharp tools that they had made from iron. And they used those tools to beat the people in Gilead. So I will send trouble to the people in Damascus. 4 I will start a fire. The fire will destroy King Hazael’s big house. And it will destroy the strong buildings that belong to his son Ben-Hadad. 5 I will also break the strong gates of Damascus city. I will remove all the people who live in the Aven valley. And I will remove the king of Beth-Eden. The people’s enemies will take all the people in Syria far away to the place called Kir.’ That is what the LORD says.

This is the message to the people called the Philistines. Their biggest city was Gaza.

6 The LORD says, ‘The people in Gaza have done wrong things. Many times, they have done wrong things. The people from Gaza took my people away. They sold my people to those that lived in Edom. 7 So I will start a fire. And the fire will destroy the walls of Gaza. It will also destroy the strong buildings in Gaza.

8 I will remove the king of Ashdod city. And I will remove the king of Ashkelon city. I will send trouble to the people that live in Ekron city. I will send trouble to every Philistine, until they are all dead.’ That is what the great LORD says.

This is the message to the people on the island called Tyre

9 The LORD says, ‘The people in Tyre have done wrong things. Many times, they have done wrong things. So I will send trouble to the people in Tyre. Before, they had agreed with the people in Israel. They had promised to those people, “We will be like brothers.” But the people from Tyre did not do what they had promised. They took my people away. They sold my people to the people in Edom and my people became slaves. 10 So I will start a fire on the walls of Tyre city. And the fire will burn all the strong buildings. It will destroy them completely.’

This is the message to the people in Edom

11 The LORD says, ‘The people in Edom have done wrong things. Many times, they have done wrong things. So I will send trouble to them. They took long knives in their hands and they ran after their cousins, the Israelites. They were not kind, but they were very angry. And they continued to be angry all the time. They did not stop it. 12 So I will start a fire. And the fire will destroy the big city called Teman. The fire will also burn the strong buildings in the big city called Bozrah.’

The Edomites and the Israelites were from the same family. They were from the brothers called Esau and Jacob. These two brothers were born at the same time from the same mother. Jacob also had the name Israel.

The Edomites were from Esau and the Israelites were from Jacob (Israel).

This is the message to the people in Ammon

13 The LORD says, ‘The people in Ammon have done wrong things. Many times, they have done wrong things. So I will send trouble to them. People from Ammon fought in the place called Gilead. (Gilead was next to their country.) Ammon’s people fought there to get more land for themselves. While they were killing people there, they also cut women open. Those women had babies inside them. 14 So I will send fire. And the fire will destroy the walls of the big city called Rabbah. It will destroy the strong buildings too. People will fight and they will shout. They will shout loudly, like the noise that a strong wind makes in a storm. 15 The enemies will take away their king and their leaders. They will take them to another country. The king and the leaders will not be free to return.’ That is what the LORD says.

Chapter 2

This is the message to the people in Moab

1 The LORD says, ‘The people in Moab have done wrong things. Many times, they have done wrong things. So I will send trouble to them. They dug up the bones of a king of Edom. They also burned those bones until they became ashes. That was not good. 2 So I will send fire to the country called Moab. The fire will destroy the strong buildings in Kerioth town. The people will hear their enemies shout. And they will hear the sounds that their enemies’ trumpets make. And the people will die. 3 I will let the enemies kill the ruler of Moab. And I will let them kill all its leaders too.’ That is what the LORD says.

This is the message to the people in Judah

4 The LORD says, ‘The people in Judah have done wrong things. Many times, they have done wrong things. So I will send trouble to them. I, the LORD, told to those people the things that they must do. And I wrote those things for them. But they have not done those things. Those people have not listened to what I said to them. They have listened to someone else, who was not saying true things. And so Judah’s people did wrong things. They lived like their family that lived a long time ago. They lived in the same bad way. 5 So I will send fire to Judah. The fire will completely burn the strong buildings that are in the big city called Jerusalem.’

This is the message to the people in Israel

6 The LORD says, ‘The people in Israel have done wrong things. Many times, they have done wrong things. So I will send trouble to them. They sold people that did not do wrong things. They sold them for silver. And they sold poor people for only the price of shoes. 7 They are not kind to poor people and they do not help them. A father and his son have sex with the same woman. I told them not to do that, but they do not listen to me. 8 Those men take clothes from poor people, because those poor people have a debt to them. Then they sleep on those poor people’s clothes. And they do that in the special places where they pray. The rich people in Israel do this wrong thing also. Poor people give some money to rich people to pay for their debts. The rich people take the money and then they go to buy alcohol. Then they drink the alcohol at the special places where people pray.’

When a poor person gave clothes to a rich person, the poor person was giving a promise. That was what it meant. He was promising to pay money back to the rich person. God had said this to rich people about those poor people’s clothes. ‘Do not keep the clothes at night. Give the clothes back to the poor people for the nights. Then they will not be cold.’

9 ‘Remember the Amorites. They were big and strong. They were like the tallest and strongest trees. But I removed all of them. 10 I brought you out of the country called Egypt. After that, I guided you for 40 years. I led you through a large dry place where nobody lived. Then I gave to you the country where the people called Amorites lived. 11 I chose some men among you to be prophets. I chose some young men among you to be Nazirites. You Israelites know that it is true’, says the LORD God. 12 ‘But you told this to the people that should not drink alcohol (the Nazirites). You told them, “Be like everyone else. Drink alcohol.” And you said to the people that speak my message (the prophets), “Do not speak it.” ’

Prophets were people who spoke God’s messages.

Nazirites were people that had made a special promise. So they lived in a different way from other people. They did not drink alcohol and they did not cut their hair. And they did not touch anything that was dead.

13 ‘I will hurt you. A wagon that is full of food pushes down on the ground. I will do to you like the wagon does to the ground. 14 You might try to run away. But nobody will get free. The fastest runner will not get free. The strong people will not be strong enough to stop me. The soldiers will not be able to save themselves. 15 Men that shoot arrows will not live. Fast runners will not get free. All soldiers on horses will die. 16 At that time, strong and brave soldiers will run away without clothes on.’ That is what the LORD God says.

Chapter 3

The LORD has decided what he will do

1 You Israelites, listen to this message that the LORD has spoken against you. This message is to all you people that he saved from Egypt. 2 He says, ‘There are many groups of people on Earth. But I chose you for myself. You have done wrong things, so I have not been very happy with you. Now I will send trouble to you because of that.’

The prophet’s work

3 If two people travel together, they have first agreed to travel. 4 If a lion (a wild animal) makes a loud noise in the forest, it is happy. It is happy because it has attacked an animal to eat. (If it has not caught anything, it is quiet. It looks quietly for something to eat.) If a young lion (a wild animal) makes a happy noise in his home, he has caught an animal. He has caught it to eat. (If he has not caught anything, he will be quiet.)

5 If there is no food in a trap, a bird will not fly into it. If there is no bird inside, the door of the trap will not shut. 6 If the people in a city hear a trumpet’s sound, they are very afraid. And they may see soldiers go away to fight. Then, too, they are very afraid. Trouble may come to a city. Then we can know that the LORD has sent it.

7 Before the great LORD decides to send trouble, he first tells someone. He tells those that speak his message to all the people. They speak because God wants them to do it. This is true.

8 We are afraid now, because the lion has made a loud noise. The great LORD has spoken, so we must tell his message.

9 Go to Ashdod city and go to Egypt. Tell this to the people who live in beautiful buildings. ‘Come to the mountains in Samaria. Look at the people there. They are hurting each other and they are afraid of each other.’ 10 The LORD says, ‘People take things from other people. They keep those things for themselves in their strong buildings. They become rich from those things. That is wrong.’

11 So the great LORD says, ‘Enemies will come all round your country and they will destroy your strong buildings. They will take all your good things from you.’

12 The LORD says, ‘A wild animal might attack a young sheep. The worker that watches the sheep might try to save them. He might save two legs and a small part of the ear. But he does not save the whole sheep. In the same way, the LORD will not save all the Israelites that live in Samaria and Damascus. The ones in Samaria lie on beautiful beds. And the ones in Damascus sit on comfortable chairs. But God will only save a few of those people.’ 13 The LORD, the powerful God, said to me, ‘Hear all this. And tell the Israelites that they have done wrong things.’ 14 ‘I will punish them. And I will destroy the altars at Bethel at the same time. You will not be able to hold their tall corners. Their corners will break off and the corners will fall to the ground. 15 I will destroy all the big houses. Rich people live in special houses when it is cold. And they live in special houses when it is hot. I will destroy all those houses. There are houses with beautiful things that people have made from elephantstusks. I will destroy those houses too’, says the LORD.

Chapter 4

The LORD speaks against the people in Samaria

1 Listen to this message, you women who live on the hill in Samaria. You are like fat cows that do not work hard for food. You are like the cows in the place called Bashan. They eat on very good land by the Jordan river. You do not give to weak people what they need. You are not fair to poor people. Then you sit down and you say to your husbands, ‘Bring us alcohol to drink.’ 2 The great LORD has made this promise and he speaks only true words. He says, ‘The time will come, when your enemies will take you away with meat hooks and fish hooks. 3 There are places in your city’s walls where people have broken the walls. Your enemies will pull you through those places and they will throw you out. They will take you to that bad place called Harmon. None of you will stay here.’

The people in Israel have not learned to listen to God

4 The LORD also says, ‘You like to go to Bethel. You say that it is your holy place. And when you go there, you do wrong things. So go there and sin. Do that if you want. You like to go to that other place, Gilgal. You say that it is a holy place. You do lots of wrong things there. So go there and sin. Do that if you want. You take your meat to burn it there every morning as a gift. But that does not make me happy. Every three days, you bring food that you have picked from your fields. But that also does not make me happy.’ 5 ‘You bring bread to say “thank you”. You even bring lots of it and you tell everyone, “Look at how much I have brought.” You really like to do that. So continue to do it but it does not make me happy’, says the great LORD.

6 ‘Earlier I made you hungry in all your cities. There was no food anywhere. But you did not start to pray to me again’, says the LORD. 7 ‘Three months before your food was ready to pick, I did not send rain. So all the food became too dry. Sometimes I sent rain to one city, but I did not send it to other cities. I sent rain to one person’s land, but I did not send it to another person’s land. So that other person’s land became too dry. 8 People became weak. They went from city to city to look for water. As they went, they could hardly walk. There was not enough water. But still you did not start to pray to me again’, says the LORD. 9 ‘I sent hot winds from the east. They burned the small plants, so those plants died. Worms (small, narrow, soft animals with no legs) made the other plants sick. So the other plants died. Locusts ate your trees that give fruit. But still you did not start to pray to me again’, says the LORD.

10 ‘I caused many people among you to become very sick. It was like what happened many years ago in Egypt. At that time, very many people got sick. Then I sent soldiers to you. And they killed your young men and they took away your horses. The smell from dead bodies was very bad. But you still did not start to pray to me again’, says the LORD. 11 ‘I killed many people among you, as I destroyed the cities called Sodom and Gomorrah. Some of you did not die. You were like a stick that is already burning. And someone saves it from the fire. But still you did not start to pray to me again’, says the LORD. 12 ‘So I will send trouble to you Israelites again. Get ready! You will see it. Then you will know that it is I.

13 I made the mountains and I made the wind. I tell people what I am thinking. I change dawn into night. I walk on the high places of the Earth. My name is the LORD, the powerful God.’

Chapter 5

Amos is sad

1 ‘Listen, you people in Israel, to the sad song that I am singing to you. 2 You are like a young woman that died early without children. No more good things will happen to you. You will not be important again. There are no people on your land to help you. They have all left.’ 3 This is what the great LORD says. ‘1000 soldiers will go out from a city to fight, but only 100 soldiers will come back. From another city, 100 soldiers will go out to fight. But only 10 will come back.’

Look for God

4 To the people in Israel, the LORD says, ‘Look for me and you will live. 5 Do not go to Bethel, Gilgal, or Beersheba. Do not try to find me there, because I am not there. I will send enemies to destroy those places. And they will take the people away as slaves.

6 Look for the LORD and you will live. If you do not look for him, he will come like fire. Bethel will burn and all the people there will burn. Nobody will be able to put out the fire. 7 You people do not speak true words. You are not fair to other people and you are not honest with them.’

8 The LORD made the groups of stars called Pleiades and Orion. They show you when it will become warmer or colder. The LORD changes the dark (night) into dawn and he changes the day into night again. He takes the water in the sea, and he pours it out on the earth. The LORD is his name.

9 He kills strong people. And he destroys their strong buildings and walls.

10 Some men are not afraid to speak against people. They are not afraid to say that people have done wrong things. You hate those men very much. And some men speak true words. You think that those men are not important. 11 You cause poor people to give you too much food from their fields. And you make them give too much money to you. You do not keep them safe. You have built big houses, but you will not live in them. You have planted many plants that give grapes. But you will not drink alcohol from them.

12 ‘I, the LORD, know the wrong things that you have done. You have hurt people that have not done wrong things. Sometimes a person gives money to you and he says, “Now do not speak true words.” You take that money and you do not speak true words. Also, you do not speak true words for poor people. So other people do wrong things to them for no reason.’ 13 This is such a bad time. Some people will think about how bad it is. And so, they will keep quiet. They will keep themselves safe.

14 You say that the LORD, the powerful God, is with you. So stop doing wrong things. Do good things. Then you will live. And the LORD, the powerful God, will really be with you. 15 Stop doing what is wrong. And choose what is good and right. Some of you decide whether a person has done right or wrong things. You people, be fair and speak true words. There are a few people that are still alive in Israel. Maybe the LORD, the powerful God, will be kind to them.

In this verse, the word that we have translated ‘Israel’ is really Joseph. Joseph was the name of the most important big family in Israel. Israel was the north part of God’s people’s country.

16 But the great LORD, the powerful God, says, ‘Many people will be sad. They will cry loudly in all the streets. People on the farms will cry too. People will pay other people to help them cry because of the dead people. 17 And in all the places where fruit grows, people will cry. They will cry because I am sending trouble to you. I, the LORD, have spoken.’

The special Day of the LORD

18 You are hoping for the special Day of the LORD. You hope that he will save you from your enemies on that day. But that day will not be good for you. It will be sad and dark. It will not be happy and sunny. 19 It will be like a man that runs from a lion. But then he meets a bear. Or it will be like a man that goes into his house. He rests against a wall, and then a snake bites him.

20 The special Day of the LORD will be dark. It will have lots of trouble for you. It will not be bright, but it will be dark. It will not be happy, but it will be sad for very many people.

21 The LORD says, ‘You come together to eat and to drink. And you come to bring gifts to me. When you do that, I do not like it at all.

22 When you bring fat animals to burn for me, I will not happily accept them. You might give food to me, but I will not take it.

23 I will not listen when you sing songs to me. I will not listen as you play music on harps. 24 A river never stops moving. So, like the river, never stop being fair to people. Never stop doing right things.

25 You people in Israel, listen to me. I led you through the large dry place for 40 years. You did not bring gifts to me to thank me there.

26 You made things for yourselves to pray to. You made the thing called Sakkuth. You say that it is your king. And you made that other thing, which is like a star. You call it Kaiwan. You continue to pray to them and you do not pray to me. 27 So I will send your enemies to take you away past Damascus. I, the LORD, the powerful God have said it.’

Chapter 6

God has promised to send enemies

1 You people in Jerusalem and on the hill in Samaria, you think that you are safe. And you think that everything is good and easy. But it will be bad for you. You leaders think that you are important people. And you think that you live in an important country. People come to you to get help. But bad things will happen to you people in the south and in the north.

In this verse, the word that we have translated ‘Jerusalem’ is really Zion. Zion was the name of the hill on which Jerusalem is.

2 Go and look at the city called Calneh. And go and look at the big city called Hamath. Those cities are in the north and their people are your enemies. Look at Gath city, where the Philistines live. It is in the south and its people too are your enemies. The people in those places are not stronger than you are. And their lands are not larger than your lands. 3 But you are not thinking that God might send trouble to you soon. Instead, you never stop doing wrong things. And so you cause trouble to come to you sooner. 4 You lie on beautiful, expensive beds and you do not work. You are resting all the time. You eat lots of young sheep and fat young cows. 5 Like King David, you play music on your harps and you make songs. 6 You happily drink lots of alcohol. You put the best smelling oils on your bodies. But you are not sad that Israel is destroying itself.

In verse 6, the word that we have translated ‘Israel’ is really Joseph. Joseph was the name of the most important big family in Israel. Israel was the north part of God’s people’s country.

7 You will be the first people that your enemies will take away from there. You will be slaves for them. You will stop having parties and you will stop resting.

8 The great LORD, the powerful God, has promised this. He has spoken this strong message. ‘The Israelites think that they are so good. But I do not like that. I do not like their strong buildings. So I will let their enemies have the Israelites’ big city. The enemies can take away everything from it.’

The Israelites’ big city was Samaria.

9 At that time, ten people might still be in one house. But they will all die. 10 Then someone from a person’s family will come to the house. And he will carry the person’s dead body outside to burn it. Then he will ask anyone who is still inside, ‘Is there anyone with you?’ The person will answer, ‘No.’ Then the person from the family will say, ‘Be quiet now. We must not speak the name of the LORD.’ 11 When the LORD speaks to enemies, they destroy big and little houses. They will break those houses into pieces.

They did not want to speak the LORD’s name because he might send more trouble.

12 Horses cannot run on rocks. People do not try to plough the sea. But you have changed what is good to something bad. Some people are fair and honest. But you have made that seem like poison. 13 You are so happy. You think to yourselves, ‘We are very strong. We fought against the people in Lo-Debar and Karnaim. And we won.’ 14 But the LORD, the powerful God, says to you people in Israel, ‘I am sending enemies to your country, from the way into Hamath to the river in Arabah. They will fight against you. And they will cause trouble in all your country.’

Chapter 7

Locusts

1 The great LORD showed locusts to me. He was getting ready to send them to us. They destroyed the food that was growing in the fields. That happened after we had cut down the first plants. We had given the food from those plants to the king. The locusts destroyed the next plants before the plants grew big. The plants were still only small. 2 The locusts ate everything. After that, I asked the LORD, ‘Great LORD, please forgive us. We cannot live if those locusts come. We are a small number of people and we are weak.’ 3 Then the LORD changed what he had decided. And he said to me, ‘That will not happen.’

Fire

4 After that, the great LORD showed a fire to me. He was getting ready to send it to us. It dried the water under the land and it was burning the land. 5 Then I said, ‘Great LORD, please do not send fire. We cannot live if that fire comes. We are a small number of people and we are weak.’ 6 Then the LORD changed what he had decided. And he said to me, ‘That too will not happen.’

The LORD measures the wall

7 Then the great LORD showed this to me. It was like a picture in my mind. The Lord was standing next to a wall. In his hand was a string. Someone had tied a big stone to the end of the string. The Lord was hanging the string down the wall. And he was looking to see whether the wall was straight. 8 And he asked me, ‘Amos, what do you see?’ I said, ‘You are measuring the wall. Maybe it is straight or maybe it is not.’ The Lord said, ‘It is like this. I am measuring my people. I want to see whether they are good and honest. But they are not good and honest. I will now send trouble to them. I will not change what I have decided.

9 I will send enemies to destroy the holy places (special places where the Israelites pray). And the enemies will use long knives to kill King Jeroboam and his family.’

Amaziah speaks with Amos

10 Then Amaziah, the priest at the holy place called Bethel, sent a message to Jeroboam, the king of Israel. It said, ‘Amos is speaking against you among Israel’s people. He says that you will die. We will not listen to his words because he is saying bad things. And those things would destroy our country. 11 Amos is saying, “Our enemies will fight against us and they will kill you, Jeroboam. They will take all the people to the enemies’ country, so that the people can be slaves for them.” ’

12 Then Amaziah spoke to me. He said, ‘Go, you prophet, get out of here! Go back to the south, to Judah. Work for your food there. Speak your messages from God there. 13 Do not speak words from God here in Bethel again. It is King Jeroboam’s temple. He and the people in Israel worship here.’

14 Then I answered Amaziah and I said, ‘I am not a prophet or the son of a prophet. People do not pay me to do it. My work is to watch sheep. I keep them safe. And I give to them what they need. I also do to fig trees what they need. (A fig is a soft sweet fruit with lots of seeds.) 15 But the LORD told me to leave my sheep. He told me to speak his message. And he sent me to his people Israel in the north.

16 Now you are telling me, “Do not speak against Israel. Do not say that trouble is coming.” 17 The LORD says this to you, Amaziah. “Your wife will sell herself to men so they can have sex with her. Your enemies will kill your sons and daughters. The enemies will give your land to people that are enemies. They will take your people away from this country. They will take them far away to another country. The enemies will take your people to be slaves. And you will die in your enemies’ country.” ’

Chapter 8

Fruit that is ready to eat

1 Then the great LORD showed to me a basket of summer fruit. 2 He asked me, ‘Amos, what do you see?’ I answered him, ‘I see a basket of summer fruit.’ Then the LORD said to me, ‘The time is ready. I will now send troubles to my people.

3 On that day, people will not sing in the temple. Instead they will cry loudly, because there will be dead bodies everywhere. Be quiet, because I have spoken. I am the great LORD.’

Trouble will come

4 So listen to me, you people that are not fair to poor people. You try to kill them. 5 You say to yourselves, ‘We want this special party to finish. We are having a party because the moon is new (it is still very narrow). But we do not want to have a party. We want to sell food again. We want our day for rest to finish. We do not want to rest. We want to continue to sell food.’ But you rob other people. You lie. You say, ‘This is the right amount of food.’ But it is not the right amount. You say, ‘This is good food.’ But it is not good. It has dirt in it. And it has other bits in it that are not good. And you make the price too high. 6 Sometimes a poor person cannot pay money back to another person, because he does not have enough money. It is a small amount of money. It is the amount of money that a person pays for shoes. But you buy that poor person for that small amount of money. So then he will be a slave for you. And you sell the bad bits of food plants. It is wrong that you do those things. 7 The LORD has strongly promised this: ‘I will never forget the wrong things that they have done. 8 The whole country will start to move because they did wrong things. It will shake (move quickly up and down). It will go up and it will go down, like the Nile river. Everyone will be afraid and everyone will cry.’

9 The great LORD says, ‘At that time, I will make the sun go down at noon. I will make light become dark. 10 Your parties and happy songs will finish. Instead, you will be very sad and you will cry. You will cut your hair. And you will wear special clothes. Those clothes will show that you are very sad. It will be as if your only son died. It will all be very sad.

11 I, the great LORD, speak true words. At that time, I will cause you to be very hungry. It will not be because you have no food and water. You will be hungry to hear a message from me, the LORD. 12 You will go all over your country, because you will want to hear a message from me, the LORD. But you will not hear one.

13 At that time, your beautiful young women and young men will feel that they need to drink. So they will become very weak and tired. 14 People did not want me to help them. They made idols (things to worship) in Samaria and Dan and Beersheba. And then they said, “They will help us.” These people will fall down and they will never get up again.’

Chapter 9

The LORD is powerful

1 Then Amos said, ‘I saw the Lord. He was standing in the temple, by the altar. The Lord said, “Hit the top of the temple very hard. Hit it hard so that the floor under it will move. Cause everything to fall on to the heads of all the people there. Nobody will be able to run away. If anyone is alive after that, your enemies will kill him or her with long knives. 2 They might try to dig very deep into the Earth to save themselves. But my strong hand will take them out of the deep place. They might climb up to the sky. But I will bring them down from there. 3 They might run away to the top of the mountain called Carmel. But I will look for them and I will take them from there. They might try to hide from me deep down in the sea. But I will tell the big sea-snake that it must bite them. 4 Their enemies might take them away to be their slaves in the enemies’ country. I will tell people there that they must kill them with long knives. And they will certainly kill them. I will not help them.” ’

5 When the LORD, the powerful God, touches the earth, it moves. It goes up and down like the Nile river, and many people die. Those people that are alive cry loudly because of the dead people. 6 The LORD makes his place in the sky and he puts the sky over the earth. He takes the water in the sea, and he pours it out on the earth. The LORD is his name.

The LORD will not kill everyone

7 The LORD says to his people, the Israelites, ‘I like you. But in the same way, I like the people in Ethiopia. It is true that I led you safely from Egypt. But I also led other people too. I led the Philistines from Crete. And I led the people in Aram (Syria) from Kir.’ 8 ‘I, the great LORD, am carefully watching you Israelites. And I see that you have done wrong things. I will remove you from the Earth. But I will keep a few Israelites alive’, says the LORD.

9 ‘I will tell the enemies that they must separate you. And they will separate the good people from the bad people. A person shakes a sieve (moves it quickly up and down) and the good food falls through the holes. But the bad food stays in the sieve. The enemies will separate you like that. And then they will kill all the bad people. 10 The people that do wrong things say, “God will not send trouble to us.” But their enemies will kill those people in war.’

The Israelites will be strong again

11 ‘The time will come when you will be powerful and important again. It will be like the time when David was your king. Now you are like a house that someone has destroyed. But I will repair you and I will make you good and strong again. 12 You Israelites will fight and you will win a war against the Edomites. You will also be winners in wars against other countries. And you will have all the land that you had before.’ The LORD says it and he will do it.

13 ‘The time will come’, says the LORD, ‘when food will grow very quickly and well. People will work hard. They will pick all the food and they will put it into baskets. Before they have finished, they will see more food. It will grow very quickly. Much fruit (grapes) will grow too. People will work hard and they will make a drink from the fruit (grapes). But before they have finished, they will see much more fruit. That fruit (grapes) will be big and it will be ready to pick. The fruit (grapes) grows on mountains. It will give so much wine that the wine will flow (move like water) down the mountains.

14 I will bring my people back to their country. They will again build their cities, the ones that their enemies destroyed. And they will live there. In some fields, my people will put plants that give grapes. And they will drink the wine from them. In other fields, my people will put plants that give food. And they will eat what grows there. 15 And I will put you back again on the land that I gave to you. And your enemies will never take you away again from the land that I have given to you.’ That is what the LORD, your God, has said.

Map and Pictures

There are some pictures to show you what some of the things in this list are like. Please click here to see the pictures.

There is also a map that shows most of the places in this list. Please click here to see the map.

Word List

altar
a special metal table where people burned dead animals and other things, as gifts to God. Some altars were higher on the four corners at the top.
Ammon
a country next to Israel and Judah, on the east side. The people in Ammon were the Israelites’ enemies.
Amorites
people that lived on both sides of the Jordan river. They were the Israelites’ enemies.
Aram
a country next to Israel, on the north side. It is also called Syria. The people there were the Israelites’ enemies.
arrows
long and thin things with a sharp point on one end. People shot them at animals or people. People used bows to shoot them.
Ashdod
a large city where Philistines lived. It had a temple where people prayed to idols.
Ashkelon
a large city where Philistines lived.
Bashan
a beautiful country next to Israel, on the north-east side. Bashan was by the Jordan river. It was a very green and beautiful place where lots of food grew.
bear
a very large strong wild animal with soft hair.
Beersheba
a large city in Judah. It was a place where the people did not listen to God. They thanked other things instead.
Bethel
a city in Israel. Jeroboam built a temple there, but the people did not listen to God there.
Bozrah
a large city in Edom.
Calneh
a place that was a very long way from Israel, on the north side. The people there were Israel’s enemies.
Carmel
a mountain in the north-west of Israel.
Crete
an island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is very far away from Israel, in a north-west direction. The people there were the Israelites’ enemies.
Damascus
the big city of Aram (Syria).
earthquake
when the earth moves a lot and sometimes it opens up. In an earthquake, buildings may fall down and people may die. It makes people very afraid.
Edom
a country next to Judah, on the south side.
Edomites
the people that lived in Edom. The first Edomite was Esau, Jacob’s brother. Esau and Jacob were born at the same time from the same mother.
Egypt
a country that was a long way from Israel, on the south-west side. The people there were called Egyptians. They were the Israelites’ enemies.
Ekron
a large city where Philistines lived.
elephant
a very large grey animal with big ears and no hair. It has a very long nose that it can move about.
Ethiopia
a country a long way from Israel, on the east side. The people there were the Israelites’ enemies.
forgive
when you stop being angry with another person who has done bad things to you.
Gath
a large city where Philistines lived.
Gaza
the most important large city where Philistines lived.
Gilead
the east part of Israel. Gilead was on the east side of the Jordan river. On Gilead’s north side was Aram (Syria). And on Gilead’s east side was Ammon.
Gilgal
a city in Israel. People met there to pray. But they did not listen to God there.
Gomorrah
a place where God sent great trouble to people because they had been so very bad. It was very near the place called Sodom. God destroyed both those places. Today we do not know where Gomorrah was. But some people think that it was near the Dead Sea, on the east side.
grapes
small soft fruit. They grow on a plant that climbs. People eat the fruit and they drink the juice from the fruit. Sometimes they make the juice into alcohol to drink.
Hamath
a place that was a very long way from Israel, on the north side. The people there were Israel’s enemies.
Harmon
a place that people were afraid of. Today nobody knows where this place was.
harp
a large thing that makes music. It has many strings. A person moves his hand across the strings to make the music.
holy
very, very good; only God is really holy; the country where he lives with his people is also holy because he is there.
holy place
a special place where people worship God (or a false god).
hook
a bent piece of metal.
idol
a false god that people made out of wood or stone or metal. People prayed to them and people thanked them. And they believed that they would help them. But instead, they should love God, who made the Earth. And he made heaven (the place where he lives).
Israel
the north part of that country where the Israelites lived.
Israelites
the people that God chose to be His special people. At the time when Amos lived, they lived in both their country’s parts, Israel and Judah. Abraham, his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob were the first Israelites that God chose. Jacob’s other name was Israel.
Jerusalem
the big city in Judah. God’s temple was in that city.
Jordan
the river that went through Israel from north to south.
Judah
the south part of that country where the Israelites lived. Amos had sheep there.
juice
something like water that comes out from fruit. Many kinds of juice are good to drink.
Karnaim
a place on the east side of the Jordan river.
Kerioth
a town in Moab.
Kir
a place. We are not sure where this place was.
lion
a very large wild animal, which eats smaller animals. In some ways, it is like a very large brown cat. It can kill a man. People are often afraid of it. They are even afraid when they hear its noise.
locusts
insects that fly about in very large groups (thousands). They eat plants and they can quickly destroy lots of plants and food.
Lo-Debar
a place on the east side of the Jordan river.
Lord
a name for God. It means that he is the master; he rules over all people.
LORD
a special name for God that his people use. He will do what he has promised them. That is what this name means.
Moab
a country next to Judah, on the south-east side. The people that lived there were the Israelites’ enemies.
Nile
a very large and important river in Egypt.
Philistines
people that lived next to the Israelites, on the south-west side. They were the Israelites’ enemies.
priest
a man that worked at a temple. He burned meat (and some other things) as a gift to God (or a false god).
prophet
a person who hears God’s words, and tells them to other people; someone that tells about things before they happen.
punish
to hurt someone for the wrong things that they have done. For example, a person who has killed another person must go to prison.
Rabbah
a large city in Ammon.
Samaria
the big city in Israel. (Israel was the part in the north of the Israelites’ country.)
sea-snake
a snake that lives in the sea. It can hurt people or it can kill them.
sieve
a tool like a dish with holes. People put things in the dish to separate them. Small things go through the holes and larger things stay in the dish.
silver
a white metal that shines and is very valuable.
sin
when a person does not obey God; when someone does wrong things against God or other people.
Sodom
a place where God sent great trouble to people because they had been so very bad. It was very near the place called Gomorrah. God destroyed both those places. Today we do not know where Sodom was. But some people think that it was near the Dead Sea, on the east side.
string
something long and thin that people can use to tie things. Or they can use it in things to make music.
Tekoa
a town near Jerusalem, on the south side. It was the place where Amos had his sheep.
Teman
a large city in Edom.
temple
a special building where people went to pray to God (or idols). They brought presents there to God (or idols).
trap
a box with food inside. It has a door. An animal may go inside to eat the food. After the animal has gone inside, the door will go down. So the animal cannot get out. And then people can kill it and they can eat it.
trumpet
a thing that people blow into, to make a loud noise. Sometimes a man blew a trumpet to help people know something. He helped them know that they were ready to fight. Or he helped them know that their enemies were coming. Sometimes the noise of the trumpet made the enemies afraid.
tusks
long white teeth with points on them. They grow outside an elephant’s head. People can cut the tusks to make different shapes. In that way, they can make beautiful things from them.
Tyre
a city near Israel, on the north-west side. The people that lived there were the Israelites’ enemies. Those people were called Phoenicians.
wagon
something like a very big box that an animal could pull along. It could hold very heavy amounts of food. Or it could hold lots of animals.
wine
a drink that has alcohol in it; people make it from small, sweet fruit called grapes.
worship
to tell God (or a false god) that he is greater than anyone else; to show to him that we love him very much.
Zion
Zion was the name of the hill on which Jerusalem is.

Book List

Jan De Waard and William A. Smalley ~ A Translator’s Handbook of Amos ~ United Bible Societies

David Allan Hubbard ~ Joel and Amos ~ Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries

J. A. Motyer ~ The Message of Amos ~ The Bible Speaks Today

Derek Wood, Coordinator ~ The Illustrated Bible Dictionary ~ Inter-Varsity Press

A Life Changing Encounter with God’s Word from the Book of Amos ~ Life Change Series ~ The Navigators

Info

© Wycliffe Associates (UK), 1997-2007

This version published May 2007

The translated Bible text has been through Advanced Checking.