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Amos 3 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

III. Threefold Summons to Hear the Word of the Lord

Chapter 3

First Summons

Hear this word, Israelites, that the Lord speaks concerning you,
    concerning the whole family I brought up from the land of Egypt:
You alone I have known,[a]
    among all the families of the earth;
Therefore I will punish you
    for all your iniquities.

[b]Do two journey together
    unless they have agreed?
Does a lion roar in the forest
    when it has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from its den
    unless it has seized something?
Does a bird swoop down on a trap on the ground
    when there is no lure for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground
    without catching anything?
Does the ram’s horn sound in a city
    without the people becoming frightened?
Does disaster befall a city
    unless the Lord has caused it?

(Indeed, the Lord God does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.)

The lion has roared,
    who would not fear?
The Lord God has spoken,
    who would not prophesy?

Proclaim this in the strongholds of Assyria,[c]
    in the strongholds of the land of Egypt:
“Gather on the mount of Samaria,
    and see the great disorders within it,
    the oppressions within its midst.”[d]
10 They do not know how to do what is right—
    oracle of the Lord
Storing up in their strongholds
    violence and destruction.
11 Therefore thus says the Lord God:
An enemy shall surround the land,
    tear down your fortresses,
    and pillage your strongholds.
12 Thus says the Lord:
As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion
    a pair of sheep’s legs or the tip of an ear,
So shall the Israelites escape,
    those who dwell in Samaria,
With the corner of a couch
    or a piece of a cot.[e]

13 Hear and bear witness against the house of Jacob—
    an oracle of the Lord God, the God of hosts:
14 On the day when I punish Israel for its crimes,
    I will also punish the altars of Bethel;
The horns of the altar shall be broken off
    and fall to the ground.[f]
15 I will strike the winter house
    and the summer house;
The houses of ivory shall lie in ruin,
    and their many rooms shall be no more—
    oracle of the Lord.


  1. 3:2 You alone I have known: precisely because Israel enjoyed a special status among the nations of the world in the eyes of the Lord (but see 9:7) it was called to a high degree of fidelity to God. Because Israel has failed in this expectation, it must experience God’s punishment.
  2. 3:3–8 The metaphors in these sayings illustrate the principle of cause and effect, and lead up to the conclusion in v. 8.
  3. 3:9 Assyria: following the Greek version, the Hebrew text has “Ashod.” It is supposed that this was a copyist’s error: “Assyria” seems intended, in order to parallel “Egypt” in the next line.
  4. 3:9 With a keen sense of irony, Amos invites the most powerful oppressors in Israel’s memory, past and present—Egypt and Assyria—to see and marvel at the great oppression and injustice being wrought within Samaria by the people of Israel.
  5. 3:12 The “escape” is clearly a disaster, not a deliverance.
  6. 3:14 On Bethel, see also 4:4; 5:5–6; and 7:13. The prophet is condemning the religiosity and formalism of the worship by Israel’s leaders.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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