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Amos 5:14-15


5:14 Seek good and not evil so you can live!

Then the Lord, the God who commands armies, just might be with you,

as you claim he is.

5:15 Hate what is wrong, love what is right!

Promote 1  justice at the city gate! 2 

Maybe the Lord, the God who commands armies, will have mercy on 3  those who are left from 4  Joseph. 5 

Amos 5:21-24


5:21 “I absolutely despise 6  your festivals!

I get no pleasure 7  from your religious assemblies!

5:22 Even if you offer me burnt and grain offerings, 8  I will not be satisfied;

I will not look with favor on your peace offerings of fattened calves. 9 

5:23 Take away from me your 10  noisy songs;

I don’t want to hear the music of your stringed instruments. 11 

5:24 Justice must flow like torrents of water,

righteous actions 12  like a stream that never dries up.

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[5:15]  1 tn Heb “set up, establish.” In the ancient Near East it was the responsibility especially of the king to establish justice. Here the prophet extends that demand to local leaders and to the nation as a whole (cf. 5:24).

[5:15]  2 sn Legal disputes were resolved in the city gate (see the note in v. 12). This repetition of this phrase serves to highlight a deliberate contrast to the injustices cited in vv. 11-13.

[5:15]  3 tn Or “will show favor to.”

[5:15]  4 tn Or “the remnant of” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV); CEV “what’s left of your people.”

[5:15]  5 sn Joseph (= Ephraim and Manasseh), as the most prominent of the Israelite tribes, represents the entire northern kingdom.

[5:21]  6 tn Heb “I hate”; “I despise.”

[5:21]  7 tn Heb “I will not smell.” These verses are full of vivid descriptions of the Lord’s total rejection of Israelite worship. In the first half of this verse two verbs are used together for emphasis. Here the verb alludes to the sense of smell, a fitting observation since offerings would have been burned on the altar ideally to provide a sweet aroma to God (see, e.g., Lev 1:9, 13, 17; Num 29:36). Other senses that are mentioned include sight and hearing in vv. 22-23.

[5:22]  8 tn Heb “burnt offerings and your grain offerings.”

[5:22]  9 tn Heb “Peace offering[s], your fattened calves, I will not look at.”

[5:23]  10 tn In this verse the second person suffixes are singular and not plural like they are in vv. 21-22 and vv. 25-27. Some have suggested that perhaps a specific individual or group within the nation is in view.

[5:23]  11 tn The Hebrew word probably refers to “harps” (NASB, NIV, NRSV) or “lutes” (NEB).

[5:24]  12 tn Traditionally, “righteousness.”

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