Fourth Vision: The Summer Fruit
1This is what the Lord GOD showed me: a basket of end-of-summer fruit.* 2He asked, “What do you see, Amos?” And I answered, “A basket of end-of-summer fruit.” And the LORD said to me:
The end has come for my people Israel;
I will forgive them no longer.
3The temple singers will wail on that day—
oracle of the Lord GOD.
Many shall be the corpses,
4Hear this, you who trample upon the needy
and destroy the poor of the land:
5“When will the new moon be over,” you ask,
“that we may sell our grain,
And the sabbath,
that we may open the grain-bins?
We will diminish the ephah,*
add to the shekel,
and fix our scales for cheating!b
6We will buy the destitute for silver,
and the poor for a pair of sandals;c
even the worthless grain we will sell!”
7The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Never will I forget a thing they have done!
8Shall not the land tremble because of this,
and all who dwell in it mourn?
It will all rise up and toss like the Nile,
and subside like the river of Egypt.d
9On that day—oracle of the Lord GOD—
I will make the sun set at midday
and in broad daylight cover the land with darkness.
10I will turn your feasts into mourning
and all your songs into dirges.
I will cover the loins of all with sackcloth
and make every head bald.
I will make it like the time of mourning for an only child,
and its outcome like a day of bitter weeping.e
11See, days are coming—oracle of the Lord GOD—
when I will send a famine upon the land:
Not a hunger for bread, or a thirst for water,
but for hearing the word of the LORD.
12They shall stagger from sea to sea
and wander from north to east
In search of the word of the LORD,
but they shall not find it.f
13On that day, beautiful young women and young men
shall faint from thirst,
and who say, “By the life of your god, O Dan,”
“By the life of the Power of Beer-sheba!”
They shall fall, never to rise again.
* [8:1–2] End-of-summer fruit…the end has come: the English translation attempts to capture the wordplay of the Hebrew. The Hebrew word for “fruit picked late in the season” is qayis, while the word for “end” is qes.
* [8:14] Ashima of Samaria: a high-ranking goddess worshiped in Hamath, whose cult was transplanted by the people of that city when they were deported to Samaria by the Assyrians (2 Kgs 17:30). The Power of Beer-sheba: possibly an epithet of a deity worshiped in Beer-sheba, either a syncretistic form of the worship of Israel’s God or of another god. Dan…Beer-sheba: the traditional designation for the northern and southern limits of Israel to which the Israelites made pilgrimages.