Locusts, fire and a plumb-line 7 1This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: he was preparing swarms of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the late crops were coming up. 2When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, ‘Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!’ 3So the Lord relented. ‘This will not happen,’ the Lord said. 4This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: the Sovereign Lord was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. 5Then I cried out, ‘Sovereign Lord, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!’ 6So the Lord relented. ‘This will not happen either,’ the Sovereign Lord said.   7This is what he showed me: the Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb,[T] with a plumb-line[U] in his hand. 8And the Lord asked me, ‘What do you see, Amos?’ ‘A plumb-line,’ I replied. Then the Lord said, ‘Look, I am setting a plumb-line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.   9‘The high places of Isaac will be destroyed and the sanctuaries of Israel will be ruined; with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam.’ Amos and Amaziah 10Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: ‘Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words. 11For this is what Amos is saying:   ‘“Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel will surely go into exile, away from their native land.”’   12Then Amaziah said to Amos, ‘Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. 13Don’t prophesy any more at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.’ 14Amos answered Amaziah, ‘I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. 15But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.” 16Now then, hear the word of the Lord. You say,   ‘“Do not prophesy against Israel, and stop preaching against the descendants of Isaac.”   17‘Therefore this is what the Lord says:   ‘“Your wife will become a prostitute in the city, and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword. Your land will be measured and divided up, and you yourself will die in a pagan[V] country. And Israel will surely go into exile, away from their native land.”’
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