New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:

Justice (Amos 5)

Video presentations on this chapter:


Other material relevant to this chapter:


Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 5 Nov. 25 
A Call to Repentance 
Listen to this word which I take up for a lamentation over you, O house of Israel. 2The virgin of Israel has fallen;  she shall rise no more. She is cast down on her land; there is no one to raise her up. 3For thus says the Lord Yahweh: The city that went forth a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which went forth one hundred shall have ten left to the house of Israel. 4For thus says Yahweh to the house of Israel: Seek Me, and you will live; 5but don’t seek Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and don’t pass to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nothing. 6Seek Yahweh, and you will live; lest He break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it devour, and there be no one to quench it in Bethel. 7You who turn justice to wormwood, and cast down righteousness to the earth: 8seek Him who made the Pleiades and Orion, He who  turns the shadow of death into the morning, and makes the day dark with night; who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the surface of the earth, Yahweh is His name; 9He who brings sudden destruction on the strong, so that destruction comes on the fortress. 10They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they detest him who speaks blamelessly. 11Forasmuch therefore as you trample on the poor, and take taxes of wheat from him- therefore you who have built houses of cut stone will not dwell in them. You who have planted pleasant vineyards shall not drink their wine. 12For I know how many are your offences, and how great are your sins— you who afflict the just, who take a bribe, and who turn aside the needy in the courts. 13Therefore a prudent person keeps silent in such a time, for it is an evil time. 14Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so Yahweh, the God of Armies, will be with you, as you say. 15Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the courts. It may be that Yahweh, the God of Armies, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. 16Therefore thus says Yahweh the God of Armies, the Lord: Wailing will be in all the boulevards; and they will say in all the streets, ‘Alas! Alas!’, and they will call the farmer to mourning, and those who are skilful in lamentation to wailing. 17In all vineyards there will be wailing; for I will pass through the midst of you, says Yahweh.
The Day of Yahweh 
 18Woe to you who desire the day of Yahweh! Why do you long for the day of Yahweh? It will be darkness for you, and not light. 19As if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him; or he went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall, and a snake bit him. 20Won’t the day of Yahweh be darkness for you, and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness in it? 21I hate, I despise your feasts, and I can’t tolerate your solemn assemblies. 22Yes, though you offer Me your burnt offerings and meal offerings, I will not accept them; neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat animals. 23Take away from Me the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24But let justice roll on like rivers, and righteousness like a mighty stream. 25Did you really bring to Me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of  Israel? 26You also carried the tent of your king and the shrine of your images, the star of your god, which you made for yourselves. 27Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, says Yahweh, whose name is the God of Armies.


5:18 It is quite possible to be enthusiastic about the coming of Christ- the final “day of the Lord”- and yet if we don’t live a serious spiritual life, then this day will actually be our destruction. 
5:22 Peace offerings were freewill offerings of devotion to God. We can make them and other sacrifices to God, worship God enthusiastically (:23), keep the feasts solemnly (:21- cp. the breaking of bread meeting)- and yet God will be irritated by these things and angry with us if at the same time we are guilty of injustice to others (:24 and most of the chapter). Justice and not being harmful to others is of such paramount value to God.
5:26 In addition to carrying Yahweh’s tent or tabernacle through the wilderness, the Israelites took with them the gods of Egypt and carried their tent with them too. Leaving Egypt through the Red Sea is like baptism into Christ (1 Cor. 10:1,2); Israel’s wilderness journey is analogous to our lives now as we travel towards the promised land of God’s Kingdom. We mustn’t take with us the gods of this world (cp. Egypt); God’s claim on us is total and exclusive.