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Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 27: Joel, Amos, Obadiah, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at

a translation

of Calvin’s Version

of The Prophecies of Amos.

Chapter 1

1 The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds at Tekos, which he saw concerning Israel, in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam, the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake; and he said,—

2 Jehovah from Zion will roar, And from Jerusalem will he utter his voice; And perish shall the habitations of shepherds, And wither shall the top of Carmel.

3 Thus saith Jehovah,— For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not be propitious to it; (157) Because they have threshed Gilead with iron wains:

4 And I will send fire into the house of Hazael, And it shall devour the palaces of Benhadad;

5 And I will break in pieces the bar of Damascus, And cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, And the holder of the scepter from the house of Eden; And removed shall be the people of Syria to Kir, saith Jehovah.

6 Thus saith Jehovah,— For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not be propitious to it; For they carried away a complete captivity, To shut them up in Edom:

7 And I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, And it shall devour its palaces;

8 And I will cut off the inhabitant from Azotus, And the holder of the scepter from Ascalon; And I will turn my hand against Ekron, And perish shall the remnants of the Philistines, Saith the Lord Jehovah.

9 Thus saith Jehovah,— For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not be propitious to it; For they have shut up a complete captivity in Edom, And have not remembered the covenant of brethren:

10 And I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, And it shall devour its palaces.

11 Thus saith Jehovah,— For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not be propitious to it; For he pursued with the sword his own brother, And destroyed his own compassions; And raged continually has his anger, And his wrath has he kept perpetually:

12 And I will send a fire on Teman, And it shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.

13 Thus saith Jehovah,— For three transgressions of the children o Ammon, and for four, I will not be propitious to him; For they have rent the pregnant women of Gilead, That they might extend their own borders:

14 And I will kindle a fire on the wall of Rabbah, And it shall devour its palaces, With clamor in the day of battle, With whirlwind in the day of tempest;

15 And pass shall its king into captivity, He and his princes together, saith Jehovah.

Chapter 2

1 Thus saith Jehovah,— For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not be propitious to him; For he burnt the bones of the king of Edom into ashes:

2 And I will send a fire on Moab, And it shall devour the palaces of Kirioth; And die in a tumult shall Moab, With shouting, at the sound of the trumpet;

3 And I will cut off the judge from the midst of him, And with him all his princes will I slay, saith Jehovah.

4 Thus saith Jehovah,— For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not be propitious to him; For they have despised the law of Jehovah, And his statutes have they not kept; And to go astray have their lies made them, After which their fathers walked:

5 And I will send a fire on Judah, And it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.

6 Thus saith Jehovah,— For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not be propitious to him; For they have sold the just for silver, and the poor for shoes;

7 Panting for the dust of the earth on the head of the needy, They turn aside the way of the miserable; The son and his father enter in into the same maid, So that they profane my holy name;

8 And on pledged garments they lie near every altar, And the wine of the condemned they drink In the house of their god.

9 Yet I exterminated the Amorite before their face, Whose tallness was like the tallness of cedars, And who was strong like the oak; And I destroyed his fruit above and his root beneath;

10 And I brought you up from the land of Egypt, And led you in the desert forty years, That you might possess the land of the Amorite;

11 And I raised up Prophets from your sons, And from your youths, Nazarites;— Have I not done all this, O children of Israel, saith Jehovah:

12 But to the Nazarites have ye quaffed wine; And on my Prophets have ye laid a command, Saying, “Ye shall not prophesy.”

13 Behold, I am fast bound under you, (196) As a wagon is bound, which is full of sheaves.—

14 Perish shall flight from the swift, And the valiant shall not confirm his strength, And the strong shall not deliver his life,

15 And the holder of the bow shall not stand, And the swift on foot shall not escape, Nor shall he who mounts a horse save his life;

16 Yea, the strong of heart, among the valiant, Shall flee away naked in that day, saith Jehovah.

Chapter 3

1 Hear ye this word which Jehovah pronounces Against you, children of Israel—against the whole family, Which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,—

2 “Only you have I known of all the families of the earth, “I will therefore visit on you all your iniquities.”

3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey? Will a young lion roar in his den, when nothing is taken?

5 Will a bird fall into a snare on the ground without a fowler? Will a fowler take up his snare from the ground before he catches?

6 Shall a trumpet sound in a city, and the people tremble not? Shall there be an evil in a city, which Jehovah hath not done?

7 For nothing will the Lord Jehovah do, Except he has revealed his secret to his servants the Prophets.

8 The lion hath roared, who would not fear? The Lord Jehovah hath spoken, who would not prophesy?

9 Publish in the palaces of Ashdod, And in the palaces of the land of Egypt, and say,— “Assemble ye on the mountains of Samaria, “And see the great tumults within it, “And the oppressions in the midst of it.”

10 And they know not how to do right, saith Jehovah,— Treasuring up the fruit of robbery and plunder in their palaces.

11 Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah,— Lo, an adversary! And one around the land! And he will take from thee thy strength, And plundered shall be thy palaces.

12 Thus saith Jehovah,— As when a shepherd snatches from the mouth of a lion Two legs and the extreme part of the ear, So shall be rescued the children of Israel, Who dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, And in Damascus on a couch.

13 Hear ye and testify to the house of Israel, Saith the Lord Jehovah, the God of hosts,—

14 That in the day in which I shall visit upon him the sins of Israel, I will also visit the altars of Bethel; And broken shall be the horns of the altar, And they shall fall to the ground;

15 And I will smite the winter-house with the summer-house, And perish shall the houses of ivory, And come to an end shall the great houses, saith Jehovah.

Chapter 4

1 Hear this word, ye cows of Bashan, Which are on the mountain of Samaria, Which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, Which say to their masters, “Bring, and we shall drink.”

2 Sworn hath the Lord Jehovah by his sanctuary, That, lo, in the days are coming on you, That he will take you away by a hook, And your residue by a fishing-hook;

3 And through the breaches shall ye go out, Each one over against her; And ye shall cast yourselves down from the palace, saith Jehovah.

4 Go ye to Bethel and transgress, And in Gilgal transgress still more, And bring, in the morning, your sacrifices, In the third year, your tithes,

5 And burn incense with the leaven of thanks-offering. And publish voluntary offerings, proclaim them; For so it hath pleased you, O children of Israel, Saith the Lord Jehovah.

6 But I even gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, And want of bread in all your borders; Yet ye turned not to me, saith Jehovah:

7 I also withheld from you the rain, When as yet there were three months to the harvest; And I rained on one city, And on another city I made it not to rain; One part was rained upon, And the part where it rained not dried up;

8 And there came two and three cities to one city, To drink water, and were not satisfied; Yet ye turned not to me, saith Jehovah:

9 I smote you with the east wind and mildew; Your large gardens and your vineyards, (236) And your fig-trees and your olives the chafer devoured; Yet ye turned not to me, saith Jehovah:

10 I sent on to you the plague after the manner of Egypt; I smote with the sword your strong men, And led captive your horses; I made to ascend the stench of your camps even to your nostrils; Yet ye turned not to me, saith Jehovah:

11 I overthrew you as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, And ye were as a brand snatched from the burning; Yet ye turned not to me, saith Jehovah.

12 Therefore thus will I do to thee, Israel, And because I will do this to thee, Prepare thyself to meet thy God, Israel.

13 For, behold he who formed the mountains, Who created the spirit, Who declares to man what is his thought, Who makes the dawn and the darkness, Who walks on the high places of the earth,— Jehovah, God of Hosts, is his name.

Chapter 5

1 Hear ye this word which I raise upon you, Even a lamentation, O house of Israel.

2 Fallen is the virgin of Israel, and she will rise no more; Left is she on her land, none is there to raise her up.

3 For thus saith the Lord Jehovah,— The city from which went forth a thousand, There will remain in it a hundred; And that from which it went forth a hundred, There will remain ten to the house of Israel.

4 For thus saith Jehovah to the house of Israel,— Seek ye me, and ye shall live;

5 And seek not Bethel, and to Gilgal go not, And pass not over to Beersheba;  78 For Gilgal by migrating shall migrate, And Bethel shall be as nothing:

6 Seek Jehovah, and ye shall live, Lest he advance as a fire on the house of Joseph, And devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.

7 They turn judgment into wormwood, And righteousness they cast on the ground.—

8 He who made Pleiades and Orion, (261) Who turns darkness into morning, And darkens the day into night, Who calls the waters of the sea, And pours them on the face of the earth,— Jehovah is his name;

9 Who strengthens a waster against the strong, And against a fortress shall a waster ascend. (263)

10 They hate in the gate a reprover, And the speaker of right they abominate.

11 As ye have trodden the poor under foot, (266) And a burden of corn have taken from him, Houses of hewn stone shall ye build, But ye shall not dwell in them; And pleasant vineyards shall ye plant, But ye shall not drink their wine;

12 For I know your many iniquities, and your mighty sins; Oppressors of the just! And takers of ransom! And the poor in the gate they turn aside.

13 Therefore the prudent at that time will be silent, For an evil time it is. (270)

14 Seek ye good, and not evil, that ye may live; And so Jehovah, the God of Hosts, Will be with you, as ye have said.

15 Hate evil, and love good, And set up judgment in the gate; It may be, that Jehovah, the God of Hosts, Will show mercy to the remnants of Joseph.

16 Therefore Jehovah, the God of Hosts, the Lord, saith,— In all the streets of concourse shall be lamentation, And in all the highways shall they say, “Woe! Woe!” (279) And they shall call the husbandman to mourning, And lamentation shall be to all skillful in mourning;

17 And in all the vineyards shall be lamentation; For I will pass through the midst of thee, saith Jehovah.

18 Woe to those who desire the day of Jehovah! What will this be to you? The day of Jehovah will be darkness and not light;

19 As when one flees before a lion, and a bear meets him; Or comes to his house, and leans with his hand on a wall, And a serpent bites him.

20 Shall not the day of Jehovah be darkness and not light? And thick darkness and no brightness?

21 I hate, I abhor your festal-days, And I will not smell at your solemnities;

22 Verily, when ye offer me your burnt-offerings and your gifts, I will not count them acceptable; And the peace offering of your fat things I will not regard.

23 Take away from me the number of thy songs, And the harmony of the lyres; I will not hear them:

24 And run down as waters shall judgment, And righteousness as an impetuous torrent. (292)

25 Have ye offered to me sacrifices and an oblation In the desert for forty years, O house of Israel?

26 But ye bore Sicuth, your king, and Chion, Your images, the stars being your gods; Which ye made for yourselves. (295)

27 To migrate therefore I will make you beyond Damascus, Saith Jehovah, the God of Hosts is his name.

Chapter 6

1 Woe to the secure in Zion, And to the confident on the mount of Samaria; (302) Which have been renowned from the beginning of the nations; And entered in into them has the house of Israel.

2 Pass ye over into Calneh and see, Go hence to Hamath the great, And come down to Gath of the Philistines, Are they better than these kingdom? Is their border larger than your border?

3 Woe to you who drive far off the evil day, And draw nigh the throne of violence;

4 Who lie down on beds of ivory, And extend themselves on their couches; Who eat lambs from the flock, And calves from the midst of the stall;

5 Who sing to the sound of the harp, And like David invent instruments of music;

6 Who drink wine in bowls, And with the chief ointments anoint themselves, And grieve not for the bruising of Joseph.

7 They shall now therefore emigrate at the head of the emigrants, And come shall the mourning of those who extend themselves. (312)

8 Sworn hath the Lord Jehovah by himself, Saith Jehovah, the God of hosts,— Abhor do I the excellency of Jacob, And his palaces I regard with hatred, And I will deliver up the city and its fullness.

9 And it shall be, that when there shall remain Ten men together in one house, they shall die:

10 And take him shall one’s uncle and burn him, In order to take away his bones from the house, And shall say to him who shall be at the sides of the house, “Is there yet any one with thee?” And he will say, “There is an end;” Then he shall say, “Be silent, For it is not for us to remember the name of Jehovah.”

11 For, behold, Jehovah commands, And he will smite the great house with confusions, And the small house with fissures.

12 Will horses run on a rock? Will it be ploughed by oxen? For to gall have ye turned judgment, And the fruit of righteousness to hemlock;

13 Ye rejoice in a thing of nought, ye say,— Have we not in our own strength Raised up for ourselves horns?

14 Behold, I will surely raise against you a nation, O house of Israel, saith Jehovah, the God of hosts: And they shall straighten you from the entrance of Hamath to the river of the plain.

Chapter 7

1 Thus hath the Lord Jehovah showed me,— Even lo, he formed locusts when grass began to grow, And, lo, it was the grass after the cuttings of the king:

2 And it was, after they had finished to eat, That I then said, “Lord Jehovah, spare, I pray; Who will restore Israel, for he is small?”

3 Jehovah repented of this; “It shall not be,” said Jehovah.

4 Thus hath the Lord Jehovah showed me,— Even lo, the Lord Jehovah called to contend by fire; And it devoured the great deep and their portion:

5 And I said, “Lord Jehovah, cease, I pray; Who will restore Israel, for he is small?

6 Jehovah repented of this; “This also shall not be,” said the Lord Jehovah.

7 Thus hath he showed me,— Even lo, the Lord stood on a plumbline wall, And in his hand a plumbline,

8 And Jehovah said to me, “What seest thou, Amos?” And I said, “A plumbline:” Then said the Lord, “Behold, I shall set A plumbline in the midst of my people Israel; I will no longer pass by them:

9 And destroyed shall be the high places of Isaac, And overthrown shall be the sanctuaries of Israel, And I shall rise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”

10 Then sent Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, To Jeroboam, king of Israel, saying,— “Conspired against thee has Amos In the midst of the house of Israel; The land cannot bear all his words:

11 For thus saith Amos,— ‘By the sword shall Jeroboam die, And Israel, by migrating, shall migrate from their own land.’”

12 Amaziah said also to Amos,— “Seer, go, flee into the land of Judah, And there eat bread, and there prophesy:

13 But in Bethel, prophesy no more; For it is the king’s sanctuary, and the house of the kingdom.”

14 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah,— “No Prophet was I, nor was I a Prophet’s son, For a shepherd I was, and a gatherer of sycamores:

15 But Jehovah took me from after the sheep, And Jehovah said to me,— ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’

16 And now hear the word of Jehovah, thou who sayest,— ‘Prophesy not concerning Israel, And speak not concerning the house of Isaac:’

17 Therefore thus saith Jehovah,— Thy wife in the city shall be prostituted, And thy sons and thy daughters shall by the sword fall, And thy land shall by a line be divided, And thou in a polluted land shalt die, And Israel, by migrating, shall migrate from their own land.”

Chapter 8

1 Thus hath the Lord Jehovah showed me,— Even lo, a basket of summer-fruit;

2 And he said, “What seest thou, Amos?” And I said, “A basket of summer-fruit.” Then Jehovah said to me,— “Come has the end of my people Israel, I will no more pass by them.”

3 And howlings shall be the songs of the temple In that day, saith the Lord Jehovah; Many a dead body, in every place, Shall be cast down in silence. (362)

4 Hear this, ye who swallow up the poor, And exterminate the needy of the land, saying,—

5 “When will pass the new moon, that we may sell corn? And the Sabbath, that we may bring out wheat, And lesson the ephah, and increase the shekel, And turn one side the deceitful balances?

6 That we may buy with silver the poor, And the needy for shoes, And sell the refuse of corn.”

7 Sworn hath Jehovah by the excellency of Jacob, “I shall not forget any of their works.”

8 Shall not the land be for this in a tumult, And every one who dwells in it mourn? Yea, heave up as a river shall the whole of it, (371) And it shall be driven and sunk as by the river of Egypt.

9 And it shall be in that day, saith the Lord Jehovah, That I will cause the sun to set at noon, And will darken the land in a clear day;

10 I will also turn your festal-days to mourning, And all your songs to lamentation; And to come up on all loins will I make sackcloth, And upon every head, baldness; And I will set her as in mourning for an only son, And her posterity as in the day of bitterness. (375)

11 Behold, the days are coming, saith Jehovah, When I shall send a famine on the land, Not the famine of bread, nor thirst for waters, But for hearing the words of Jehovah;

12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, And from the south to the east shall they run, To seek the word of Jehovah, and shall not find it:

13 And in that day shall faint, The fair virgins and young men, for thirst;

14 Who swear by the sin of Samaria, and who say,— “Live does thy God, O Dan, And live does the way of Beersheba;” And they shall fall and rise again no more.

Chapter 9

1 I saw the Lord standing on the altar, and he said,— “Smite the lintel, and moved shall be the pillars, And strike the head of them all; And the rest of them with the sword shall I slay: Flee from them shall not he who fleeth, And escape from them shall not he who escapeth: (385)

2 If they dig to hell, thence my hand shall bring them out; And if they ascend to heaven, I will thence draw them down;

3 And if they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, There will I search for and draw them forth; And if they be hid from my eyes in the bottom of the sea, I will there command the serpent to bite them;

4 And if they go to captivity before their enemies, I will there command the sword to slay them; Yea, I will set my eyes on them For evil, and not for good.”

5 And the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts, will smite the land, And it will tremble, and mourn shall all who dwell in it; And heave up like a river shall the whole of it, And it shall be sunk as by the river of Egypt.—

6 He who builds his ascendings in the heavens, And founds his jointings on the earth, Who calls the waters of the sea, And pours them on the face of the earth,— Jehovah is his name. (392-3)

7 Are ye not as the children of the Ethiopians to me? O house of Israel, saith Jehovah; Did I not make Israel to ascend from Egypt, And the Philistines from Cappadocia, And the Syrians from Kir?

8 Behold, the eyes of Jehovah are on every wicked kingdom; And I will destroy it from the face of the earth; Except that by destroying I shall not destroy The house of Jacob! Saith Jehovah.

9 For, behold, I will command, And I shall shake the house of Israel among all nations, As wheat is shaken in a sieve, And fall shall not a grain on the ground:

10 By the sword shall die all the wicked of my people, Who say, “Draw near and overtake us Shall not, for our sake, the evil.”

11 In that day I will raise up the tent of David, That is fallen, and I will fence in its breaches, And its ruins will I raise up; And I will build it as in ancient days;

12 That possess they may the remnants of Edom, And all the nations on whom my name shall be called, Saith Jehovah, the doer of this.

13 Behold, the days are coming, saith Jehovah, That meet shall the plowman the reaper, And the treader of grapes the bearer of seed; And distill shall the mountains sweet wine, And all the hills shall flow down with milk

14 And I will restore the captivity of my people Israel; And they shall build wasted cities, and dwell in them; They shall plant vineyards, and drink their wine; They shall make gardens, and eat their fruit:

15 And I will plant them in their own land, And they shall be plucked up no more From their own land, which I have given to them, Saith Jehovah, thy God.



“And travel not to Beersheba,” or “make no pilgrimage to Beersheba.” The verb עבר expresses going abroad to another country. Beersheba belonged to the kingdom of Judah. — Bp. Horsley.


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