“Seek Me that You May Live”

Hear this word which I take up for you as a (A)dirge, O house of Israel:
She has fallen, she will (B)not rise again—
The (C)virgin Israel.
She lies neglected on her land;
There is (D)none to raise her up.

For thus says the Lord [a]God,

“The city which goes forth a thousand strong
Will have a (E)hundred left,
And the one which goes forth a hundred strong
Will have (F)ten left to the house of Israel.”

For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel,

(G)Seek Me (H)that you may live.
“But do not [b]resort to (I)Bethel
And do not come to (J)Gilgal,
Nor cross over to (K)Beersheba;
For Gilgal will certainly go into captivity
And Bethel will [c]come to trouble.
(L)Seek the Lord that you may live,
Or He will break forth like a (M)fire, [d]O house of Joseph,
And it will consume with none to quench it for Bethel,
For those who turn (N)justice into wormwood
And [e]cast righteousness down to the earth.”

He who made the (O)Pleiades and Orion
And (P)changes deep darkness into morning,
[f]Who also (Q)darkens day into night,
Who (R)calls for the waters of the sea
And pours them out on the surface of the earth,
The (S)Lord is His name.
It is He who (T)flashes forth with destruction upon the strong,
So that (U)destruction comes upon the fortress.

10 They hate him who (V)reproves in the [g]gate,
And they (W)abhor him who speaks with integrity.
11 Therefore because you [h]impose heavy rent on the poor
And exact a tribute of grain from them,
Though you have built (X)houses of well-hewn stone,
Yet you will not live in them;
You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will (Y)not drink their wine.
12 For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great,
You who (Z)distress the righteous and accept bribes
And [i]turn aside the poor in the [j]gate.
13 Therefore at [k]such a time the prudent person (AA)keeps silent, for it is an evil time.

14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live;
And thus may the Lord God of hosts be with you,
(AB)Just as you have said!
15 (AC)Hate evil, love good,
And establish justice in the [l]gate!
Perhaps the Lord God of hosts
(AD)May be gracious to the (AE)remnant of Joseph.

16 Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts, the Lord,

“There is (AF)wailing in all the plazas,
And in all the streets they say, ‘Alas! Alas!’
They also call the (AG)farmer to mourning
And [m](AH)professional mourners to lamentation.
17 “And in all the (AI)vineyards there is wailing,
Because I will pass through the midst of you,” says the Lord.

18 Alas, you who are longing for the (AJ)day of the Lord,
For what purpose will the day of the Lord be to you?
It will be (AK)darkness and not light;
19 As when a man (AL)flees from a lion
And a bear meets him,
[n]Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall
And a snake bites him.
20 Will not the day of the Lord be (AM)darkness instead of light,
Even gloom with no brightness in it?

21 “I hate, I (AN)reject your festivals,
Nor do I [o](AO)delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 “Even though you (AP)offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
And I will not even look at the (AQ)peace offerings of your fatlings.
23 “Take away from Me the noise of your songs;
I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.
24 “But let (AR)justice roll down like waters
And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

25 [p](AS)Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel? 26 (AT)You also carried along [q]Sikkuth your king and [r]Kiyyun, your images, [s]the star of your gods which you made for yourselves. 27 Therefore, I will make you go into exile beyond Damascus,” says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.


  1. Amos 5:3 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord, and so throughout the ch
  2. Amos 5:5 Lit seek
  3. Amos 5:5 Or become iniquity
  4. Amos 5:6 Or in the house
  5. Amos 5:7 Lit they have put down
  6. Amos 5:8 Lit And He darkened
  7. Amos 5:10 I.e. the place where court was held
  8. Amos 5:11 Another reading is trample upon
  9. Amos 5:12 Lit they turn
  10. Amos 5:12 I.e. the place where court was held
  11. Amos 5:13 Lit that time
  12. Amos 5:15 I.e. the place where court was held
  13. Amos 5:16 Lit those who know lamentation
  14. Amos 5:19 Or Then
  15. Amos 5:21 Lit like to smell
  16. Amos 5:25 Or You presented Me with the sacrifices and a grain offering
  17. Amos 5:26 Or Sakkuth (Saturn) or shrine of your Moloch
  18. Amos 5:26 Or Kaiwan (Saturn) or stands of
  19. Amos 5:26 Or your star gods

A Lament and Call to Repentance

Hear this word, Israel, this lament(A) I take up concerning you:

“Fallen is Virgin(B) Israel,
    never to rise again,
deserted in her own land,
    with no one to lift her up.(C)

This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Israel:

“Your city that marches out a thousand strong
    will have only a hundred left;
your town that marches out a hundred strong
    will have only ten left.(D)

This is what the Lord says to Israel:

“Seek(E) me and live;(F)
    do not seek Bethel,
do not go to Gilgal,(G)
    do not journey to Beersheba.(H)
For Gilgal will surely go into exile,
    and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.[a](I)
Seek(J) the Lord and live,(K)
    or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire;(L)
it will devour them,
    and Bethel(M) will have no one to quench it.(N)

There are those who turn justice into bitterness(O)
    and cast righteousness(P) to the ground.(Q)

He who made the Pleiades and Orion,(R)
    who turns midnight into dawn(S)
    and darkens day into night,(T)
who calls for the waters of the sea
    and pours them out over the face of the land—
    the Lord is his name.(U)
With a blinding flash he destroys the stronghold
    and brings the fortified city to ruin.(V)

10 There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court(W)
    and detest the one who tells the truth.(X)

11 You levy a straw tax on the poor(Y)
    and impose a tax on their grain.
Therefore, though you have built stone mansions,(Z)
    you will not live in them;(AA)
though you have planted lush vineyards,
    you will not drink their wine.(AB)
12 For I know how many are your offenses
    and how great your sins.(AC)

There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes(AD)
    and deprive the poor(AE) of justice in the courts.(AF)
13 Therefore the prudent keep quiet(AG) in such times,
    for the times are evil.(AH)

14 Seek good, not evil,
    that you may live.(AI)
Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you,
    just as you say he is.
15 Hate evil,(AJ) love good;(AK)
    maintain justice in the courts.(AL)
Perhaps(AM) the Lord God Almighty will have mercy(AN)
    on the remnant(AO) of Joseph.

16 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord God Almighty, says:

“There will be wailing(AP) in all the streets(AQ)
    and cries of anguish in every public square.
The farmers(AR) will be summoned to weep
    and the mourners to wail.
17 There will be wailing(AS) in all the vineyards,
    for I will pass through(AT) your midst,”
says the Lord.(AU)

The Day of the Lord

18 Woe to you who long
    for the day of the Lord!(AV)
Why do you long for the day of the Lord?(AW)
    That day will be darkness,(AX) not light.(AY)
19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion
    only to meet a bear,(AZ)
as though he entered his house
    and rested his hand on the wall
    only to have a snake bite him.(BA)
20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness,(BB) not light—
    pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?(BC)

21 “I hate,(BD) I despise your religious festivals;(BE)
    your assemblies(BF) are a stench to me.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings(BG) and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them.(BH)
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
    I will have no regard for them.(BI)
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
    I will not listen to the music of your harps.(BJ)
24 But let justice(BK) roll on like a river,
    righteousness(BL) like a never-failing stream!(BM)

25 “Did you bring me sacrifices(BN) and offerings
    forty years(BO) in the wilderness, people of Israel?
26 You have lifted up the shrine of your king,
    the pedestal of your idols,(BP)
    the star of your god[b]
    which you made for yourselves.
27 Therefore I will send you into exile(BQ) beyond Damascus,”
    says the Lord, whose name is God Almighty.(BR)


  1. Amos 5:5 Hebrew aven, a reference to Beth Aven (a derogatory name for Bethel); see Hosea 4:15.
  2. Amos 5:26 Or lifted up Sakkuth your king / and Kaiwan your idols, / your star-gods; Septuagint lifted up the shrine of Molek / and the star of your god Rephan, / their idols

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