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Locusts, Fire, and a Plumb Line

1This is what the Lord God showed me: he was forming locusts at the time the latter growth began to sprout (it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings). 2When they had finished eating the grass of the land, I said,

“O Lord God, forgive, I beg you!

How can Jacob stand?

He is so small!”

3The Lord relented concerning this;

“It shall not be,” said the Lord.

4This is what the Lord God showed me: the Lord God was calling for a shower of fire, and it devoured the great deep and was eating up the land. 5Then I said,

“O Lord God, cease, I beg you!

How can Jacob stand?

He is so small!”

6The Lord relented concerning this;

“This also shall not be,” said the Lord God.

7This is what he showed me: the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. 8And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,

“See, I am setting a plumb line

in the midst of my people Israel;

I will never again pass them by;

9the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate,

and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,

and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”

Amaziah Complains to the King

10Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the very center of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. 11For thus Amos has said,

‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword,

and Israel must go into exile

away from his land.’ ”

12And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there; 13but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”

14Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, 15and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’

16“Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.

You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel,

and do not preach against the house of Isaac.’

17Therefore thus says the Lord:

‘Your wife shall become a prostitute in the city,

and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword,

and your land shall be parceled out by line;

you yourself shall die in an unclean land,

and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.’ ”

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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