Amos 8:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.

New Living Translation
People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from border to border searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.

English Standard Version
They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD, but they shall not find it.

New American Standard Bible
"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.

King James Bible
And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
People will stagger from sea to sea and roam from north to east, seeking the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.

International Standard Version
People will stagger from sea to sea, from north to east. They will run back and forth, searching for a message from the LORD, but they won't find it.

NET Bible
People will stagger from sea to sea, and from the north around to the east. They will wander about looking for a revelation from the LORD, but they will not find any.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
People will wander from sea to sea and roam from the north to the east, searching for the word of the LORD. But they won't find it.

Jubilee Bible 2000
and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

King James 2000 Bible
And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

American King James Version
And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

American Standard Version
And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the word of Jehovah, and shall not find it.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they shall move from sea to sea, and from the north to the east: they shall go about seeking the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.

Darby Bible Translation
And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the word of Jehovah, and shall not find it.

English Revised Version
And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

Webster's Bible Translation
And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

World English Bible
They will wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they will run back and forth to seek the word of Yahweh, and will not find it.

Young's Literal Translation
And they have wandered from sea unto sea, And from north even unto east, They go to and fro to seek the word of Jehovah, And they do not find.
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 12. - They shall wander; literally, they shall reel. The verse implies the eagerness of their unsatisfied desire, which seeks everywhere for the revelation which for their sin is denied them. From sea to sea. This expression is taken, by Keil and others, to mean here "all the world over," as Psalm 72:8; Micah 7:12; Zechariah 9:10; but it is probably used by the prophet in a more restricted sense, as it would not be natural for him to refer in the first place to the seeking of the words of God beyond the limits of the Holy Land. Therefore "from sea to sea" means from the Sea of Galilee or the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean; and from the north even to the east - from the north round again to the east, the south not being mentioned, because there alone was the true worship of God to be found, and they refused to seek it there (Pusey). Of course, according to the wide scope taken by prophecy, which is not exhausted by one fulfilment, we may see here the fate of the Jews to the present time hopelessly seeking Messiah and the Word of God, never finding that which they once recklessly rejected. By some error the LXX. render, Σαλευθήσονται ὕδατα ἀπὸ τῆς θαλάσσης κ.τ.λ., unless they mean, "They shall be tossed as waters," etc.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And they shall wander from sea to sea,.... From the sea of Tiberias, or Galilee; or from the Dead sea, the lake Asphaltites; or from the Red sea, which was to the south of the land of Israel, to the great sea, which is to the west, as Aben Ezra: so the Targum,

"from the sea to the west;''

that is, to the Mediterranean sea:

and from the north even to the east; proceeding from the south to the west, they shall turn from thence to the north, and so to the east, which describes the borders of the land of Canaan, Numbers 34:3; and the sense is, that

they shall go to and fro; throughout the whole land, and all over it,

to seek the word of the Lord; not the written word, but the interpretation of it; doctrine from before the Lord, as the Targum; the preaching of the word, or ministers to instruct them in it; or the word of prophecy, and prophets to tell them when it would be better times, and how long their present distress should last:

and shall not find it; there should be no ministry, no preaching, no prophesying; as never since among the ten tribes, so it has been the case of the Jews, the two tribes, upon the rejection of the Messiah; the Gospel was taken from them; no tidings could they hear of the Messiah, though they ran to and fro to find him, it being told them Lo, here, and Lo, there; see John 7:34.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12. they shall wander from sea to sea—that is, from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean, from east to west.

from … north … to … east—where we might expect "from north to south." But so alienated was Israel from Judah, that no Israelite even then would think of repairing southward, that is, to Jerusalem for religious information. The circuit is traced as in Nu 34:3, &c., except that the south is omitted. Their "seeking the word of the Lord" would not be from a sincere desire to obey God, but under the pressure of punishment.

Amos 8:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Basket of Ripe Fruit
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. 13"In that day the beautiful virgins And the young men will faint from thirst.…
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.

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

Ezekiel 20:3
"Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Have you come to inquire of me? As surely as I live, I will not let you inquire of me, declares the Sovereign LORD.'

Ezekiel 20:31
When you offer your gifts--the sacrifice of your children in the fire--you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, you Israelites? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will not let you inquire of me.
Treasury of Scripture

And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

shall run.

Proverbs 14:6 A scorner seeks wisdom, and finds it not: but knowledge is easy to …

Daniel 12:4 But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to …

Matthew 11:25-27 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord …

Matthew 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with …

Matthew 24:23-26 Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; …

Romans 9:31-33 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, has not …

Romans 11:7-10 What then? Israel has not obtained that which he seeks for; but the …

2 Timothy 3:6,7 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive …

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