New Living Translation

Amos 3

1Listen to this message that the Lord has spoken against you, O people of Israel—against the entire family I rescued from Egypt:

“From among all the families on the earth,
    I have been intimate with you alone.
That is why I must punish you
    for all your sins.”

Witnesses against Guilty Israel

Can two people walk together
    without agreeing on the direction?
Does a lion ever roar in a thicket
    without first finding a victim?
Does a young lion growl in its den
    without first catching its prey?
Does a bird ever get caught in a trap
    that has no bait?
Does a trap spring shut
    when there’s nothing to catch?
When the ram’s horn blows a warning,
    shouldn’t the people be alarmed?
Does disaster come to a city
    unless the Lord has planned it?

Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything
    until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets.

The lion has roared—
    so who isn’t frightened?
The Sovereign Lord has spoken—
    so who can refuse to proclaim his message?
Announce this to the leaders of Philistia[a]
    and to the great ones of Egypt:
“Take your seats now on the hills around Samaria,
    and witness the chaos and oppression in Israel.”

10 “My people have forgotten how to do right,”
    says the Lord.
“Their fortresses are filled with wealth
    taken by theft and violence.
11 Therefore,” says the Sovereign Lord,
    “an enemy is coming!
He will surround them and shatter their defenses.
    Then he will plunder all their fortresses.”

12 This is what the Lord says:

“A shepherd who tries to rescue a sheep from a lion’s mouth
    will recover only two legs or a piece of an ear.
So it will be for the Israelites in Samaria lying on luxurious beds,
    and for the people of Damascus reclining on couches.[b]

13 “Now listen to this, and announce it throughout all Israel,[c]” says the Lord, the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.

14 “On the very day I punish Israel for its sins,
    I will destroy the pagan altars at Bethel.
The horns of the altar will be cut off
    and fall to the ground.
15 And I will destroy the beautiful homes of the wealthy—
    their winter mansions and their summer houses, too—
all their palaces filled with ivory,”
    says the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. 3:9 Hebrew Ashdod.
  2. 3:12 The meaning of the Hebrew in this sentence is uncertain.
  3. 3:13 Hebrew the house of Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.

The Message

Amos 3

The Lion Has Roared

1Listen to this, Israel. God is calling you to account—and I mean all of you, everyone connected with the family that he delivered out of Egypt. Listen!

“Out of all the families on earth,
    I picked you.
Therefore, because of your special calling,
    I’m holding you responsible for all your sins.”

3-7 Do two people walk hand in hand
    if they aren’t going to the same place?
Does a lion roar in the forest
    if there’s no carcass to devour?
Does a young lion growl with pleasure
    if he hasn’t caught his supper?
Does a bird fall to the ground
    if it hasn’t been hit with a stone?
Does a trap spring shut
    if nothing trips it?
When the alarm goes off in the city,
    aren’t people alarmed?
And when disaster strikes the city,
    doesn’t God stand behind it?
The fact is, God, the Master, does nothing
    without first telling his prophets the whole story.

The lion has roared—
    who isn’t frightened?
God has spoken—
    what prophet can keep quiet?

9-11 Announce to the forts of Assyria,
    announce to the forts of Egypt—
Tell them, “Gather on the Samaritan mountains, take a good, hard look:
    what a snake pit of brutality and terror!
They can’t—or won’t—do one thing right.” God said so.
    “They stockpile violence and blight.
Therefore”—this is God’s Word—“an enemy will surround the country.
    He’ll strip you of your power and plunder your forts.”

12 God’s Message:

“In the same way that a shepherd
    trying to save a lamb from a lion
Manages to recover
    just a pair of legs or the scrap of an ear,
So will little be saved of the Israelites
    who live in Samaria—
A couple of old chairs at most,
    the broken leg of a table.

13-15 “Listen and bring witness against Jacob’s family”—
    this is God’s Word, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
“Note well! The day I make Israel pay for its sins,
    pay for the sin-altars of worship at Bethel,
The horned altars will all be dehorned
    and scattered around.
I’ll tear down the winter palace,
    smash the summer palace—all your fancy buildings.
The luxury homes will be demolished,
    all those pretentious houses.”
        God’s Decree.