Amos 8:11
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land-- not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.

New Living Translation
"The time is surely coming," says the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine on the land--not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the LORD.

English Standard Version
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.

New American Standard Bible
"Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord GOD, "When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD.

King James Bible
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Hear this! The days are coming-- this is the declaration of the Lord GOD-- when I will send a famine through the land: not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.

International Standard Version
"Look! The days are coming," declares the Lord GOD, "when I will send a famine throughout the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water— but rather a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.

NET Bible
Be certain of this, the time is coming," says the sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land--not a shortage of food or water but an end to divine revelation!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The days are going to come, declares the Almighty LORD, when I will send a famine throughout the land. It won't be an ordinary famine or drought. Instead, there will be a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Behold, the days come, said the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine to the earth, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

King James 2000 Bible
Behold, the days come, says the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

American King James Version
Behold, the days come, said the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

American Standard Version
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord Jehovah, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Jehovah.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Behold the days come, saith the Lord, and I will send forth a famine into the land: not a famine of bread, nor a thirst of water, but of hearing the word of the Lord.

Darby Bible Translation
Behold, days come, saith the Lord Jehovah, when I will send a famine in the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Jehovah.

English Revised Version
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.

Webster's Bible Translation
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

World English Bible
Behold, the days come," says the Lord Yahweh, "that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Yahweh.

Young's Literal Translation
Lo, days are coming, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah, And I have sent a famine into the land, Not a famine of bread, nor a thirst of water But of hearing the words of Jehovah.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

8:11-14 Here was a token of God's highest displeasure. At any time, and most in a time of trouble, a famine of the word of God is the heaviest judgment. To many this is no affliction, yet some will feel it very much, and will travel far to hear a good sermon; they feel the loss of the mercies others foolishly sin away. But when God visits a backsliding church, their own plans and endeavours to find out a way of salvation, will stand them in no stead. And the most amiable and zealous would perish, for want of the water of life, which Christ only can bestow. Let us value our advantages, seek to profit by them, and fear sinning them away.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 11. - This shall be the bitterness at the end; they had rejected the warnings of the prophets (Amos 7:12, etc.); now the Word of God and the light of his teaching should fail them. Famine. When the light of God's revelation is withdrawn, their longing for the Word, however sore and great, shall remain unsatisfied, like that of Saul (1 Samuel 28:6). They may grieve like the psalmist, "We see not our signs; there is no more any prophet; neither is there among us any that knoweth how long" (Psalm 74:9); but it will be in vain (see a similar punishment threatened, Lamentations 2:9; Ezekiel 7:26; Micah 3:7).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God,.... Which Kimchi interprets of all the days of the second house or temple after Malachi, when prophecy ceased; but it rather has respect to the time of Shalmaneser's carrying captive the ten tribes, when they had no more prophets nor prophecy among them, or any to tell how long their captivity should last, or when it would be better times with them, Psalm 74:9;

that I will send a famine in the land; which, in a literal sense, is one of God's arrows he has in his quiver, and sends out when he pleases; or one of his sore judgments, which he sometimes orders to come upon a people for their sins: but here is meant,

not a famine of bread; or through want of that, which is very dreadful; as was the famine of Samaria, when an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and a certain measure of dove's dung for five pieces of silver, 2 Kings 6:25; and as were the famines of Jerusalem, when taken both by the Chaldeans and Romans, when delicate women boiled and ate their own children, Lamentations 4:8;

nor a thirst for water; which is more distressing and tormenting than hunger; and to be slain with thirst is to be destroyed in the most afflictive manner, Hosea 2:3. Lysimachus is said to part with his kingdom for a draught of water; and the torments of hell are set forth by a violent thirst for it, Luke 16:24; but something worse than either of these is here threatened:

but of hearing the words of the Lord; the word of prophecy, and the preaching of the word, or explaining the Scriptures. Of this blessing the ten tribes were deprived at their captivity, and have been ever since; and the Jews, upon their rejection of Christ, have had the kingdom of God, the Gospel of the kingdom, the word and ordinances of God, taken from them, and remain so to this day; the seven churches of Asia have had their candlestick removed out of its place, and this famine continues in those parts to this time; and, by the symptoms upon us, we may justly fear it, will be our case before long. "The words of the Lord" are the Scriptures, which cone from him, and are concerning him; the doctrines of grace contained in them, the wholesome words of Christ: hearing them signifies the preaching of them, Isaiah 53:1; by which hearing comes, and is a great blessing, and should be attended to, as being the means of conversion, regenerations, the knowledge of Christ, faith in him, and the joy of it. Now, to be deprived of hearing the Gospel is a spiritual famine, for that is food, bread, meat, milk, honey, yea, a feast; it is food that is savoury, wholesome, nourishing, satisfying, strengthening, and comforting; and when this is took away a famine ensues, as when a church state is dissolved, ministers are ordered to preach no more in such a place, or are scattered by persecution, or removed by death, and none raised up in their stead; or when error prevails, to the suppressing of truth: all which is done, or suffered to be done, for indifference to the word of God, unfruitfulness under it, and contempt of it, and, opposition to it; which is a dreadful case, when such a famine is; for the glory, riches, and light of a nation, are gone; bread for their souls is no more; and the means of conversion, knowledge, comfort, &c. cease; and people in course must die, for lack of these things; see Isaiah 3:1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

11. famine of … hearing the words of the Lord—a just retribution on those who now will not hear the Lord's prophets, nay even try to drive them away, as Amaziah did (Am 7:12); they shall look in vain, in their distress, for divine counsel, such as the prophets now offer (Eze 7:26; Mic 3:7). Compare as to the Jews' rejection of Messiah, and their consequent rejection by Him (Mt 21:43); and their desire for Messiah too late (Lu 17:22; Joh 7:34; 8:21). So, the prodigal when he had sojourned awhile in the "far-off country, began to be in want" in the "mighty famine" which arose (Lu 15:14; compare 1Sa 3:1; 7:2). It is remarkable that the Jews' religion is almost the only one that could be abolished against the will of the people themselves, on account of its being dependent on a particular place, namely, the temple. When that was destroyed, the Mosaic ritual, which could not exist without it, necessarily ceased. Providence designed it, that, as the law gave way to the Gospel, so all men should perceive it was so, in spite of the Jews' obstinate rejection of the Gospel.

Amos 8:11 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Basket of Ripe Fruit
10"Then I will turn your festivals into mourning And all your songs into lamentation; And I will bring sackcloth on everyone's loins And baldness on every head. And I will make it like a time of mourning for an only son, And the end of it will be like a bitter day. 11"Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord GOD, "When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD. 12"People will stagger from sea to sea And from the north even to the east; They will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, But they will not find it.…
Cross References
1 Samuel 3:1
The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.

2 Chronicles 15:3
For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law.

Psalm 74:9
We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be.

Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom's instruction.

Isaiah 30:20
Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.

Ezekiel 7:26
Calamity upon calamity will come, and rumor upon rumor. They will go searching for a vision from the prophet, priestly instruction in the law will cease, the counsel of the elders will come to an end.

Hosea 2:3
Otherwise I will strip her naked and make her as bare as on the day she was born; I will make her like a desert, turn her into a parched land, and slay her with thirst.

Micah 3:6
Therefore night will come over you, without visions, and darkness, without divination. The sun will set for the prophets, and the day will go dark for them.
Treasury of Scripture

Behold, the days come, said the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

but.

1 Samuel 3:1 And the child Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word …

1 Samuel 28:6,15 And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither …

Psalm 74:9 We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there …

Isaiah 5:6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor dig; but there …

Isaiah 30:20,21 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water …

Ezekiel 7:26 Mischief shall come on mischief, and rumor shall be on rumor; then …

Micah 3:6 Therefore night shall be to you, that you shall not have a vision; …

Matthew 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, …

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