Amos 6
Contemporary English Version

Israel Will Be Punished

1Do you rulers in Jerusalem

and in the city of Samaria

feel safe and at ease?

Everyone bows down to you,

and you think you are better

than any other nation.

But you are in for trouble!

2Look what happened

to the cities of Calneh,

powerful Hamath,

and Gath+ in Philistia.

Are you greater than any

of those kingdoms?

3You are cruel, and you forget

the coming day of judgment.

4You rich people lounge around

on beds with ivory posts,

while dining on the meat

of your lambs and calves.

5You sing foolish songs

to the music of harps,

and you make up new tunes,

just as David used to do.

6You drink all the wine you want

and wear expensive perfume,

but you don't care about

the ruin of your nation.+

7So you will be the first

to be dragged off as captives;

your good times will end.

8The Lord God All-Powerful

has sworn by his own name:

“You descendants of Jacob

make me angry by your pride,

and I hate your fortresses.

And so I will surrender your city

and possessions

to your enemies.”

9If only ten of you survive

by hiding in a house

you will still die.

10As you carry out a corpse

to prepare it for burial,+

your relative in the house

will ask, “Are there others?”

You will answer, “No!”

Then your relative will reply,

“Be quiet! Don't dare mention

the name of the Lord.”+

11At the Lord's command,

houses great and small

will be smashed to pieces.

12Horses can't gallop on rocks;

oceans+ can't be plowed.

But you have turned justice

and fairness

into bitter poison.

13You celebrate the defeat

of Lo-Debar and Karnaim,+

and you boast by saying,

“We did it on our own.”

14But the Lord God All-Powerful

will send a nation to attack

you people of Israel.

They will capture Lebo-Hamath

in the north,

Arabah Creek+ in the south,

and everything in between.


6.2 Calneh … Hamath … Gath: City-states captured by the Assyrians: Calneh in 738 b.c., Hamath in 720, and Gath in 711.
6.6 your nation: Hebrew “Joseph's descendants” (see the note at 5.6).
6.10 prepare … burial: Or “burn it” or “burn incense for it.”
6.10 the name of the Lord: Two relatives seem to be carrying out corpses for burial. One of them warns the other to be careful not even to say “Thank the Lord!” for fear that the mention of his name may cause something worse to happen.
6.12 oceans: Or “rocky fields.”
6.13 Lo-Debar and Karnaim: Two cities east of the Jordan River that were captured by Jeroboam II (see 2 Kings 14.25). In Hebrew “Lo-Debar” can mean “nothing,” and “Karnaim” means “two horns (of a bull).” Horns were symbols of strength, and so the people are bragging about their military power (defeat of “two horns”), which Amos says is “nothing” (Lo-Debar).
6.14 Lebo-Hamath … Arabah Creek: The northern and southern boundaries of the northern kingdom.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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