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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.


He afterwards mentions the reason why the Lord would inflict such punishments on his people; it was, because they had prostituted themselves to wicked superstitions; They swear, he says, by the sin of Samaria; they say, Live does thy God, Dan; Live does the way of Beersheba Some understand “sin” here metaphorically, (as it is taken also in many other places,) as meaning sin-offerings, which are called by the Hebrews אשמות, ashimut, and by the Latins piacula — expiations: but this exposition is too refined. The Prophet then speaks only of the idols of Israelites: and they are called wickedness or sin, because superstitious men, we know, delight in their own devices. He therefore calls an idol sin by way of reproach, though they gave it the honorable name of a god. They swear, he says, in or by the sin of Samaria He calls it the sin of Samaria, for thence arose all their corruptions, it being the royal residence and the chief city of the whole country. Since then superstition proceeded from thence, the Prophet does not without reason say that all the idolatry, throughout the whole land, was the sin of Samaria; for he regarded the source where impiety originated.

And he afterwards explains himself by saying, Live does thy God, Dan; and, Live does the way of Beersheba: for we know that temples were raised both in Dan and in Beersheba. He then subjoins two forms of an oath, but for this end, — to show the character of the sin of Samaria, which he mentions. They swear then by the gods of Samaria, who were really detestable; for there is no greater atrocity in the sight of God than idolatry: but he afterwards adds, that they were gods who were worshipped at Dan and at Beersheba. What some say of the word דרך, darek, that it means pilgrimage or the way that leads there, is frivolous and puerile; for the Prophet, no doubt, used a common expression. He therefore calls custom “the way of Beersheba”, such as then was by common consent receded and approved. They then who swear by these fictitious forms of worship shall be parched, or pine away, with thirst

He then adds, They shall fall, and rise again no more; that is, their stroke shall be incurable, for God has hitherto employed moderate punishments, which could not heal them, as they had been obdurate in their evils. The Prophet then declares now that there would be no more any prospect of a remedy for them, and that the wound which God would inflict would be fatal, without any hope of being healed. This is the meaning. Let us now proceed —

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