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The Basket of Fruit


This is what the Lord G od showed me—a basket of summer fruit. 2He said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the L ord said to me,

“The end has come upon my people Israel;

I will never again pass them by.


The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day,”

says the Lord G od;

“the dead bodies shall be many,

cast out in every place. Be silent!”



Hear this, you that trample on the needy,

and bring to ruin the poor of the land,


saying, “When will the new moon be over

so that we may sell grain;

and the sabbath,

so that we may offer wheat for sale?

We will make the ephah small and the shekel great,

and practice deceit with false balances,


buying the poor for silver

and the needy for a pair of sandals,

and selling the sweepings of the wheat.”



The L ord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:

Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.


Shall not the land tremble on this account,

and everyone mourn who lives in it,

and all of it rise like the Nile,

and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?



On that day, says the Lord G od,

I will make the sun go down at noon,

and darken the earth in broad daylight.


I will turn your feasts into mourning,

and all your songs into lamentation;

I will bring sackcloth on all loins,

and baldness on every head;

I will make it like the mourning for an only son,

and the end of it like a bitter day.



The time is surely coming, says the Lord G od,

when I will send a famine on the land;

not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water,

but of hearing the words of the L ord.


They shall wander from sea to sea,

and from north to east;

they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the L ord,

but they shall not find it.



In that day the beautiful young women and the young men

shall faint for thirst.


Those who swear by Ashimah of Samaria,

and say, “As your god lives, O Dan,”

and, “As the way of Beer-sheba lives”—

they shall fall, and never rise again.


The Prophet, having threatened spiritual famine, now adds, that the people would in every respect be barren and destitute of every good: for I take not thirst here in the same sense as before; but that they should be dried up through the want of all things. It is indeed the worst deprivation when men are parched up with thirst; and this is what the Prophet threatens here. A country may suffer from want of provision, while there is water enough to drink; but when not even this remains, it is an evidence of a heavier and of almost the extreme curse of God. We now perceive what the Prophet meant, which was this, — that when God should take away his word, by which the souls of men are nourished up to eternal life, the Israelites would be then in want also of all blessings, so that they would not only be without bread, but also without water; and he mentions a circumstance which would greatly aggravate the evil, Faint, he says, shall the fair virgins and the youth in their vigor It seems unnatural, that those who are vigorous, and can run to get supply for their wants, should faint: but the Prophet, as I have said, wished to show that there would be no escape, but that God would distress the strongest, when he sent such a famine, and with it the want also of drink.

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