Amos 5

Study the Inner Meaning

Italian: Riveduta Bible (1927)         

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1 Ascoltate questa parola; questo lamento che io pronunzio su voi, o casa d’Israele!

2 La vergine d’Israele è caduta, e non risorgerà più; giace distesa sul suo suolo né v’è chi la rialzi.

3 Poiché così parla il Signore, l’Eterno: Alla città che metteva in campagna mille uomini, non ne resteranno che cento; alla città che ne metteva in campagna cento, non ne resteranno che dieci per la casa d’Israele.

4 Poiché così parla l’Eterno alla casa d’Israele: Cercatemi e vivrete!

5 Non cercate Bethel, non andate a Ghilgal non vi recate fino a Beer-Sceba; perché Ghilgal andrà di sicuro in cattività, e Bethel sarà ridotto a niente.

6 Cercate l’Eterno e vivrete, per tema ch’egli non s’avventi come un fuoco sulla casa di Giuseppe, e la divori senza che in Bethel ci sia chi spenga

7 o voi che mutate il diritto in assenzio, e gettate a terra la giustizia.

8 Egli ha fatto le Pleiadi e Orione, muta l’ombra di morte in aurora, e fa del giorno una notte oscura; chiama le acque del mare, e le riversa sulla faccia della terra: il suo nome è l’Eterno.

9 Egli fa sorger d’improvviso la ruina sui potenti, sì ché la ruina piomba sulle fortezze.

10 Essi odiano colui che li riprende alla porta, e hanno in orrore che parla con integrità.

11 Perciò, visto che calpestate il povero ed esigete da lui donativi di frumento, voi fabbricate case di pietre da taglio, ma non le abiterete; piantate vigne deliziose, ma non ne berrete il vino.

12 Poiché io conosco come son numerose le vostre trasgressioni, come son gravi i vostri peccati; voi sopprimete il giusto, accettate regali e fate torto ai poveri alla porta.

13 Ecco perché, in tempi come questi, il savio si tace; perché i tempi sono malvagi.

14 Cercate il bene e non il male, onde viviate, e l’Eterno, l’Iddio degli eserciti, sia con voi, come dite.

15 Odiate il male, amate il bene, e, alle porte, stabilite saldamente il diritto. Forse, l’Eterno, l’Iddio degli eserciti, avrà pietà del rimanente di Giuseppe.

16 Perciò, così dice l’Eterno, l’Iddio degli eserciti, il Signore: In tutte le piazze si farà lamento, e in tutte le strade si dirà: "Ahimè! ahimè!" Si chiameranno gli agricoltori perché prendano il lutto, e si ordineranno lamentazioni a quelli che le sanno fare.

17 In tutte le vigne si farà lamento, perché io passerò in mezzo a te, dice l’Eterno.

18 Guai a voi che desiderate il giorno dell’Eterno! Che v’aspettate voi dal giorno dell’Eterno? Sarà un giorno di tenebre, non di luce.

19 Sarà di voi come d’uno che fugge davanti a un leone, e lo incontra un orso; come d’uno ch’entra in casa, appoggia la mano sulla parete, e un serpente lo morde.

20 Il giorno dell’Eterno non è esso forse tenebre, e non luce? oscurissimo e senza splendore?

21 Io odio, disprezzo le vostre feste, non prendo piacere nelle vostre solenni raunanze.

22 Se m’offrite i vostri olocausti e le vostre oblazioni, io non li gradisco; e non fo conto delle bestie grasse, che m’offrite in sacrifizi di azioni di grazie.

23 Lungi da me il rumore de’ tuoi canti! ch’io non oda più la musica de’ tuoi saltèri!

24 Ma corra il diritto com’acqua, e la giustizia, come un rivo perenne!

25 O casa d’Israele, mi presentaste voi sacrifizi e oblazioni nel deserto, durante i quarant’anni?

26 Orbene voi vi toglierete in ispalla il baldacchino del vostro re, e il piedistallo delle vostre immagini, la stella dei vostri dèi, che voi vi siete fatti;

27 e vi farò andare in cattività al di là di Damasco, dice l’Eterno, che ha nome l’Iddio degli eserciti.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
Chapter summary

Exploring the Meaning of Amos 5      

1-3 The Lord is sorrowful that the church, the Truth from the Divine flowing into the world, has successively been devastated, as is seen in the previous chapter, Amos 4. Verse 3 says, “The city that goes out by a thousand shall have a hundred left.” So very little truth is left to nourish the people, and this bad state is by their own doing.

4-9 Amid this dying out, the Lord entreats, almost anxiously, “Seek Me and live,” then names traps or states that will turn people from Him: Bethel, Gilgal, and Beersheba. The first is falsifying knowledges, the second sensuous or external pleasures; and the last “negative attitudes towards everything that constitutes faith and its doctrine (SH 3923:6). The next warning is to those “who turn justice into wormwood,” v. 7 or turn good into evil (SH 1488:2). He wants them to return to him and explains clearly that He is the source of power, the one who, “Made the Pleiades and Orion,” v. 8 and the one who “rains ruin upon the strong” v.9.

10-13 In their self-intelligence they continue to reject the Lord, to “tread down the poor,” rejecting even the little bits of truth coming to them. The people are warned, “Though you have built houses of hewn stone, yet you shall not dwell in them,” stone meaning truths of the natural (AE 745:3). The dictionary meaning of “hewn” means a workman making something, so it can be seen as coming from themselves, or their own intelligence. Anything like that is “devoid of life from the Divine” (SH 9852:2).

14-15 The path is shown for the way the Lord can be with them, “Seek good and not evil, that you may live.” It can’t be any plainer. In that way the Lord can reach out with His mercy, and “be gracious to the remnant of Joseph” v.15. The remnant is the small amount of truth, and Joseph is the spiritual part of us (SH 3921:3).

16-20 Here people are warned of how bad it will be for them when the day of the Lord comes. “Is not the day of the Lord darkness?” for those who are in evil, “with no brightness in it?” v.20. A person’s suffering will be painful, “as though he went into the house, leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him,” and terrorizing, “As though a man fled from a lion and a bear met him,” v. 19.

21-22 Their worship won’t be accepted, shown by, “I hate, I despise your feast days” v. 21. The strong language of the Lord is the mirror opposite of the depth of the evil the people are in, since only a remnant of the truth is with them, as in v. 3.

23-25 Take away your noisy songs and melodies, the Lord says, take away what sounds beautiful to you but is hurtful to the Divine because of the lack of goodness and truth. In its place he wants people to “Let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mightly stream” v. 24.

26-27 If people don’t return to the Lord, everything good will be taken from them, shown in “Therefore I will send you into captivity beyond Damascus” v. 27. Damascus was the furtherest boundary of Canaan, or beyond where spiritual things reside. The “boundary of Damascus” is also used in Ezekiel 47:16-18 (AE 1088).

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 205


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 195, 468, 576, 922, 925, 1071, 1715, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 316, 410, 413, 501, 573, 620, 650, ...

Doctrine of the Lord 4, 38

Dottrina sulla Sacra Scrittura 85

True Christian Religion 51, 82, 689, 761


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 208, 365, 376, 448, 519, 526, 573, ...

Canons of the New Church 27

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 5, 56

Marriage 51, 82

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 9, 56, 75

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 26:23, 33

Exodus 11:4, 23:3, 6

Leviticus 26:16

Deuteronomy 28:30, 62, 63, 32:22

Joshua 5:9

1 Samuel 15:22

1 Kings 14:15, 21:20

2 Kings 15:29, 17:23, 18:36, 20:3, 23:8

2 Chronicles 15:2, 20:3, 4, 24:20, 21, 34:25

Job 9:9, 20:19

Psalms 34:13, 69:33, 97:10, 105:4

Proverbs 15:8, 21:27

Ecclesiastes 10:8

Isaiah 1:14, 5:19, 20, 10:2, 3, 24:18, 46:12, 58:2

Jeremiah 4:4, 9:9, 16, 21, 18:8, 13, 22:3, 33:2, 38:20, 48:13

Ezekiel 20:16, 21:3, 34:21, 45:9

Hosea 4:3, 4, 15, 9:2, 10:12

Joel 2:2

Amos 1:5, 2:7, 3:1, 15, 4:1, 4, 13, 6:7, 12, 7:9, 10, 8:14, 9:6, 14

Jonah 3:9

Micah 2:3, 3:2, 9, 11, 6:15

Habakkuk 1:4

Zephaniah 2:3

Matthew 24:29

Acts of the Apostles 7:42, 43

Romans 12:9

Galatians 4:16

Ephesians 5:16

Hebrews 12:29

James 5:6

Word/Phrase Explanations

lamento
The children of Israel represent 'lamentation' by various things which signified some evil of the church among them for which they were punished. When they...

casa
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

Israele
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

vergine
'Virgins,' as in Revelation 14:4, signify people who love truths because they are truths, so from a spiritual affection. 'Virgin' signifies the church as a...

Bethel
When Jacob had his famous dream, of a staircase leading to heaven, he named the place "Bethel," which is Hebrew for "the house of God."...

Ghilgal
Gilgal signifies the doctrine of natural truth, serving for introduction into the church.

giorno
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

porta
"Gates" in ancient times had a significance that does not hold in the modern world. Cities then were enclosed by walls for protection; gates in...

Iddio
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

tenebre
"Darkness" is a state without light. "Light" is truth from the Lord, so "darkness" is a state where truth is lacking.

luce
Nov. 4, 1879: Thomas Edison filed a patent for a long-burning light bulb. Nov. 5, 1879: The light bulb was universally accepted as the symbol...

serpente
'The bite of a snake' or 'serpent,' as in Amos. 5:19, signifies falsification of the Word, from the interior dominion of falsity from evil.

quarant
'Forty' means completeness because 'four' means what is complete, as does 'ten.' Forty is the product of four and ten. Compound numbers have a meaning...

Damasco
Damascus and Aroer (Isaiah 17:1, 2) signify the knowledges of truth and good. See Eliezer of Damascus.


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