Basket of Fruit and Israel’s Captivity
1Thus the Lord God showed me [a vision], and behold, there was a basket of [overripe] summer fruit. 2 And He said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the Lord said to me, “The end has come for My people Israel. I will spare them no longer [for the nation is ripe for judgment]. 3 In that day, the songs of the palace shall turn to wailing,” says the Lord God. “There will be many dead bodies; in [sacred] silence they will throw them everywhere.”
4 Hear this, you who trample down the needy, and do away with the poor of the land, 5 saying,
“When will the New Moon [festival] be over
So that we may sell grain,
And the Sabbath ended so that we may open the wheat market,
Making the ephah [measure] smaller and the shekel bigger [that is, selling less for a higher price]
And to cheat by falsifying the scales,
So that we may buy the poor [as slaves] for silver [since they are unable to support themselves]
And the [a]needy for a pair of sandals,
And that we may sell the leftovers of the wheat [as if it were a good grade of grain]?”
The Lord has sworn [an oath] by the pride of Jacob,
“Surely I shall never forget [nor leave unpunished] any of their [rebellious] acts.
“Because of this [coming judgment] will the land not quake
And everyone mourn who dwells in it?
Indeed, all of it shall rise up like the Nile,
And it will be tossed around [from the impact of judgment]
And [afterward] subside again like the Nile of Egypt.
“It shall come about in that day,” says the Lord God,
“That I shall cause the sun to go down at noon,
And I shall darken the earth in broad daylight.
“And I shall turn your festivals and feasts into mourning
And all your songs into dirges (funeral poems to be sung);
And I shall cause sackcloth to be put on everyone’s [b]loins
And baldness on every head [shaved for mourning].
And I shall make that time like a time of mourning for an only son [who has died],
And the end of it shall be like a bitter day.
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,
“When I will send hunger over the land,
Not hunger for bread or a thirst for water,
But rather [a hunger] for hearing the words of the Lord.
“People shall stagger from sea to sea [to the very ends of the earth]
And from the north even to the east;
They will roam here and there to seek the word of the Lord [longing for it as essential for life],
But they will not find it.
“In that day the beautiful virgins
And [even the vigorous] young men shall faint from thirst.
“Those who swear [their oaths] by the sin (guilt) of Samaria or Ashimah (a pagan goddess),
Who say, ‘By the life of your god [the golden calf], O Dan!’
And [swear], ‘By the life of the way of [idolatrous] Beersheba,’
They shall fall and not rise again.”