Amos 3
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1  Hear this word, O people of Yisrael, That Hashem has spoken concerning you, Concerning the whole family that I brought up from the land of Egypt:

א  שִׁמְעוּ אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה עֲלֵיכֶם בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל כָּל־הַמִּשְׁפָּחָה אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלֵיתִי מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לֵאמֹר׃

2  You alone have I singled out Of all the families of the earth— That is why I will call you to account For all your iniquities.

ב  רַק אֶתְכֶם יָדַעְתִּי מִכֹּל מִשְׁפְּחוֹת הָאֲדָמָה עַל־כֵּן אֶפְקֹד עֲלֵיכֶם אֵת כָּל־עֲוׂנֹתֵיכֶם׃

3  Can two walk together Without having met?

ג  הֲיֵלְכוּ שְׁנַיִם יַחְדָּו בִּלְתִּי אִם־נוֹעָדוּ׃

4  Does a lion roar in the forest When he has no prey? Does a great beast let out a cry from its den Without having made a capture?

ha-yish-AG ar-YAY ba-YA-ar v’-TE-ref AYN LO ha-yi-TAYN k’-FEER ko-LO mi-m’-o-na-TO bil-TEE im la-KHAD

ד  הֲיִשְׁאַג אַרְיֵה בַּיַּעַר וְטֶרֶף אֵין לוֹ הֲיִתֵּן כְּפִיר קוֹלוֹ מִמְּעֹנָתוֹ בִּלְתִּי אִם־לָכָד׃

5  Does a bird drop on the ground—in a trap— With no snare there? Does a trap spring up from the ground Unless it has caught something?

ה  הֲתִפֹּל צִפּוֹר עַל־פַּח הָאָרֶץ וּמוֹקֵשׁ אֵין לָהּ הֲיַעֲלֶה־פַּח מִן־הָאֲדָמָה וְלָכוֹד לֹא יִלְכּוֹד׃

6  When a shofar is sounded in a town, Do the people not take alarm? Can misfortune come to a town If Hashem has not caused it?

ו  אִם־יִתָּקַע שׁוֹפָר בְּעִיר וְעָם לֹא יֶחֱרָדוּ אִם־תִּהְיֶה רָעָה בְּעִיר וַיהֹוָה לֹא עָשָׂה׃

7  Indeed, my God does nothing Without having revealed His purpose To His servants the Neviim.

ז  כִּי לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה דָּבָר כִּי אִם־גָּלָה סוֹדוֹ אֶל־עֲבָדָיו הַנְּבִיאִים׃

8  A lion has roared, Who can but fear? My Hashem has spoken, Who can but prophesy?

ח  אַרְיֵה שָׁאָג מִי לֹא יִירָא אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה דִּבֶּר מִי לֹא יִנָּבֵא׃

9  Proclaim in the fortresses of Ashdod And in the fortresses of the land of Egypt! Say: Gather on the hill of Shomron And witness the great outrages within her And the oppression in her midst.

ט  הַשְׁמִיעוּ עַל־אַרְמְנוֹת בְּאַשְׁדּוֹד וְעַל־אַרְמְנוֹת בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם וְאִמְרוּ הֵאָסְפוּ עַל־הָרֵי שֹׁמְרוֹן וּרְאוּ מְהוּמֹת רַבּוֹת בְּתוֹכָהּ וַעֲשׁוּקִים בְּקִרְבָּהּ׃

10  They are incapable of doing right —declares Hashem; They store up lawlessness and rapine In their fortresses.

י  וְלֹא־יָדְעוּ עֲשׂוֹת־נְכֹחָה נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה הָאוֹצְרִים חָמָס וָשֹׁד בְּאַרְמְנוֹתֵיהֶם׃

11  Assuredly, Thus said my God: An enemy, all about the land! He shall strip you of your splendor, And your fortresses shall be plundered.

יא  לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה צַר וּסְבִיב הָאָרֶץ וְהוֹרִד מִמֵּךְ עֻזֵּךְ וְנָבֹזּוּ אַרְמְנוֹתָיִךְ׃

12  Thus said Hashem: As a shepherd rescues from the lion’s jaws Two shank bones or the tip of an ear, So shall the Israelites escape Who dwell in Shomron— With the leg of a bed or the head of a couch.

יב  כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה כַּאֲשֶׁר יַצִּיל הָרֹעֶה מִפִּי הָאֲרִי שְׁתֵּי כְרָעַיִם אוֹ בְדַל־אֹזֶן כֵּן יִנָּצְלוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הַיֹּשְׁבִים בְּשֹׁמְרוֹן בִּפְאַת מִטָּה וּבִדְמֶשֶׁק עָרֶשׂ׃

13  Hear [this], and warn the House of Yaakov —says my Lord Hashem, the God of Hosts—

יג  שִׁמְעוּ וְהָעִידוּ בְּבֵית יַעֲקֹב נְאֻם־אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה אֱלֹהֵי הַצְּבָאוֹת׃

14  That when I punish Yisrael for its transgressions, I will wreak judgment on the altar of Beit El, And the horns of the altar shall be cut off And shall fall to the ground.

יד  כִּי בְּיוֹם פָּקְדִי פִשְׁעֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל עָלָיו וּפָקַדְתִּי עַל־מִזְבְּחוֹת בֵּית־אֵל וְנִגְדְּעוּ קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְנָפְלוּ לָאָרֶץ׃

15  I will wreck the winter palace Together with the summer palace; The ivory palaces shall be demolished, And the great houses shall be destroyed —declares Hashem.

טו  וְהִכֵּיתִי בֵית־הַחֹרֶף עַל־בֵּית הַקָּיִץ וְאָבְדוּ בָּתֵּי הַשֵּׁן וְסָפוּ בָּתִּים רַבִּים נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃

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Amos 2
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  • seeker

    Verse 14: “…when I punish Yisrael for its transgressions, I will wreak judgment on the altar of Beit El, and the horns of the altar shall be cut off and shall fall to the ground.”

    Yerovam, son of Nebat, who had caused Yisrael to sin (remember him?), had set up one of his altars in Beit El, the goal of which was to keep the people of his northern kingdom from returning to temple worship at Yerushalayim and to Rechovam’s (Shlomo’s son) service. It was purely and simply religion, a false religion at that!

    Such things make HaShem’s anger rage (Isaiah 65:5), but He does not stand idly by—He addresses the situation as only He can. He destroys the altar, not those who worship there; but He does destroy the effects of a false religion—enabling ALL of His people to return to Him. His abundant mercy speaks to us in Ezekiel 33:11: “As I live—declares Hashem—it is not My desire that the wicked shall die, but that the wicked turn from his [evil] ways and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways, that you may not die, O House of Yisrael!”

    (Further note: an altar without horns to hold the sacrifice in place is as useful as a ladder without rungs!)

Amos 3

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