Amos 7
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Thus the Lord GOD showed me; and behold He formed locusts in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and lo it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings.

א  כֹּה הִרְאַנִי אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה וְהִנֵּה יוֹצֵר גֹּבַי בִּתְחִלַּת עֲלוֹת הַלָּקֶשׁ וְהִנֵּה לֶקֶשׁ אַחַר גִּזֵּי הַמֶּלֶךְ.

2  And if it had come to pass that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land so I said: O Lord GOD forgive I beseech Thee; how shall Yaakov stand? for he is small.

ב  וְהָיָה אִם כִּלָּה לֶאֱכוֹל אֶת עֵשֶׂב הָאָרֶץ וָאֹמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה סְלַח נָא מִי יָקוּם יַעֲקֹב כִּי קָטֹן הוּא.

3  Hashem repented concerning this; ‘It shall not be’ saith Hashem.

ג  נִחַם יְהוָה עַל זֹאת לֹא תִהְיֶה אָמַר יְהוָה.

4  Thus the Lord GOD showed me; and behold the Lord GOD called to contend by fire; and it devoured the great deep and would have eaten up the land.

ד  כֹּה הִרְאַנִי אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה וְהִנֵּה קֹרֵא לָרִב בָּאֵשׁ אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה וַתֹּאכַל אֶת תְּהוֹם רַבָּה וְאָכְלָה אֶת הַחֵלֶק.

5  Then said I: O Lord GOD cease I beseech Thee; how shall Yaakov stand? for he is small.

ה  וָאֹמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה חֲדַל נָא מִי יָקוּם יַעֲקֹב כִּי קָטֹן הוּא.

6  Hashem repented concerning this; ‘This also shall not be’ saith the Lord GOD.

ו  נִחַם יְהוָה עַל זֹאת גַּם הִיא לֹא תִהְיֶה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה.

7  Thus He showed me; and behold the Lord stood beside a wall made by a plumbline with a plumbline in His hand.

ז  כֹּה הִרְאַנִי וְהִנֵּה אֲדֹנָי נִצָּב עַל חוֹמַת אֲנָךְ וּבְיָדוֹ אֲנָךְ.

8  And Hashem said unto me: ‘Amos what seest thou?’ And I said: ‘A plumbline.’ Then said the Lord: Behold I will set a plumbline in the midst of My people Yisrael; I will not again pardon them any more;

va-YO-mer a-do-NAI ay-LAI mah a-TAH ro-EH a-MOS va-o-MAR a-NAKH va-YO-mer a-do-NAI hi-n’-NEE sam a-NAKH b’-KE-rev a-MEE yis-ra-AYL lo o-SEEF od a-VOR lo

ח  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלַי מָה אַתָּה רֹאֶה עָמוֹס וָאֹמַר אֲנָךְ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲדֹנָי הִנְנִי שָׂם אֲנָךְ בְּקֶרֶב עַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא אוֹסִיף עוֹד עֲבוֹר לוֹ.

7:8  Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of My people Israel

Amos is shown a vision of a plumbline. In ancient times, an architect would tie lead to the bottom of a string in order to measure how straight a wall was built. This was important because if a wall was leaning or uneven, it would eventually collapse under its own weight as it grew higher and higher. Once built, a tottering wall was a public menace and had to be removed for everyone’s safety. Here, the Lord decides to measure the moral straightness of the people as their pretensions of integrity have them growing higher and higher. He finds their measurements lacking.

Comment

9  And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate and the sanctuaries of Yisrael shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Yerovam with the sword.

ט  וְנָשַׁמּוּ בָּמוֹת יִשְׂחָק וּמִקְדְּשֵׁי יִשְׂרָאֵל יֶחֱרָבוּ וְקַמְתִּי עַל בֵּית יָרָבְעָם בֶּחָרֶב.

10  Then Amaziah the Kohen of Beit El sent to Yerovam king of Yisrael saying: ‘Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Yisrael; the land is not able to bear all his words.

י  וַיִּשְׁלַח אֲמַצְיָה כֹּהֵן בֵּית אֵל אֶל יָרָבְעָם מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר קָשַׁר עָלֶיךָ עָמוֹס בְּקֶרֶב בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא תוּכַל הָאָרֶץ לְהָכִיל אֶת כָּל דְּבָרָיו.

11  For thus Amos saith: Yerovam shall die by the sword and Yisrael shall surely be led away captive out of his land.’

יא  כִּי כֹה אָמַר עָמוֹס בַּחֶרֶב יָמוּת יָרָבְעָם וְיִשְׂרָאֵל גָּלֹה יִגְלֶה מֵעַל אַדְמָתוֹ.

12  Also Amaziah said unto Amos: ‘O thou seer go flee thee away into the land of Yehudah and there eat bread and prophesy there;

יב  וַיֹּאמֶר אֲמַצְיָה אֶל עָמוֹס חֹזֶה לֵךְ בְּרַח לְךָ אֶל אֶרֶץ יְהוּדָה וֶאֱכָל שָׁם לֶחֶם וְשָׁם תִּנָּבֵא.

13  but prophesy not again any more at Beit El for it is the king’s sanctuary and it is a royal house.’

יג  וּבֵית אֵל לֹא תוֹסִיף עוֹד לְהִנָּבֵא כִּי מִקְדַּשׁ מֶלֶךְ הוּא וּבֵית מַמְלָכָה הוּא.

14  Then answered Amos and said to Amaziah: ‘I was no Navi neither was I a Navi’s son; but I was a herdman and a dresser of sycamore-trees;

יד  וַיַּעַן עָמוֹס וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל אֲמַצְיָה לֹא נָבִיא אָנֹכִי וְלֹא בֶן נָבִיא אָנֹכִי כִּי בוֹקֵר אָנֹכִי וּבוֹלֵס שִׁקְמִים.

15  and Hashem took me from following the flock and Hashem said unto me: Go prophesy unto My people Yisrael.

טו  וַיִּקָּחֵנִי יְהוָה מֵאַחֲרֵי הַצֹּאן וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי יְהוָה לֵךְ הִנָּבֵא אֶל עַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל.

16  Now therefore hear thou the word of Hashem: Thou sayest: Prophesy not against Yisrael and preach not against the house of Isaac;

טז  וְעַתָּה שְׁמַע דְּבַר יְהוָה אַתָּה אֹמֵר לֹא תִנָּבֵא עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא תַטִּיף עַל בֵּית יִשְׂחָק.

17  Therefore thus saith Hashem: Thy wife shall be a harlot in the city and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou thyself shalt die in an unclean land and Yisrael shall surely be led away captive out of his land.’

יז  לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אִשְׁתְּךָ בָּעִיר תִּזְנֶה וּבָנֶיךָ וּבְנֹתֶיךָ בַּחֶרֶב יִפֹּלוּ וְאַדְמָתְךָ בַּחֶבֶל תְּחֻלָּק וְאַתָּה עַל אֲדָמָה טְמֵאָה תָּמוּת וְיִשְׂרָאֵל גָּלֹה יִגְלֶה מֵעַל אַדְמָתוֹ.

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Amos 7