Amos 5

Study the Inner Meaning

Latin: Vulgata Clementina         

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1 Audite verbum istud, quod ego levo super vos planctum : domus Israël cecidit, et non adjiciet ut resurgat.

2 Virgo Israël projecta est in terram suam, non est qui suscitet eam.

3 Quia hæc dicit Dominus Deus : Urbs de qua egrediebantur mille, relinquentur in ea centum ; et de qua egrediebantur centum, relinquentur in ea decem in domo Israël.

4 Quia hæc dicit Dominus domui Israël : Quærite me, et vivetis.

5 Et nolite quærere Bethel, et in Galgalam nolite intrare, et in Bersabee non transibitis, quia Galgala captiva ducetur, et Bethel erit inutilis.

6 Quærite Dominum, et vivite (ne forte comburatur ut ignis domus Joseph, et devorabit, et non erit qui extinguat Bethel :

7 qui convertitis in absinthium judicium, et justitiam in terra relinquitis) :

8 facientem Arcturum et Orionem, et convertentem in mane tenebras, et diem in noctem mutantem ; qui vocat aquas maris, et effundit eas super faciem terræ ; Dominus nomen est ejus :

9 qui subridet vastitatem super robustum, et depopulationem super potentem affert.

10 Odio habuerunt corripientem in porta, et loquentem perfecte abominati sunt.

11 Idcirco, pro eo quod diripiebatis pauperem, et prædam electam tollebatis ab eo, domos quadro lapide ædificabitis, et non habitabitis in eis ; vineas plantabis amantissimas, et non bibetis vinum earum.

12 Quia cognovi multa scelera vestra, et fortia peccata vestra : hostes justi, accipientes munus, et pauperes deprimentes in porta.

13 Ideo prudens in tempore illo tacebit, quia tempus malum est.

14 Quærite bonum, et non malum, ut vivatis ; et erit Dominus Deus exercituum vobiscum, sicut dixistis.

15 Odite malum et diligite bonum, et constituite in porta judicium : si forte misereatur Dominus Deus exercituum reliquiis Joseph.

16 Propterea hæc dicit Dominus Deus exercituum, dominator : In omnibus plateis planctus ; et in cunctis quæ foris sunt, dicetur : Væ, væ ! et vocabunt agricolam ad luctum, et ad planctum eos qui sciunt plangere.

17 Et in omnibus vineis erit planctus, quia pertransibo in medio tui, dicit Dominus.

18 Væ desiderantibus diem Domini ! ad quid eam vobis ? Dies Domini ista, tenebræ, et non lux.

19 Quomodo si fugiat vir a facie leonis, et occurrat ei ursus ; et ingrediatur domum, et innitatur manu sua super parietem, et mordeat eum coluber.

20 Numquid non tenebræ dies Domini, et non lux ; et caligo, et non splendor in ea ?

21 Odi, et projeci festivitates vestras, et non capiam odorem cœtuum vestrorum.

22 Quod si obtuleritis mihi holocautomata, et munera vestra, non suscipiam ; et vota pinguium vestrorum non respiciam.

23 Aufer a me tumultum carminum tuorum ; et cantica lyræ tuæ non audiam.

24 Et revelabitur quasi aqua judicium, et justitia quasi torrens fortis.

25 Numquid hostias et sacrificium obtulistis mihi in deserto quadraginta annis, domus Israël ?

26 et portastis tabernaculum Moloch vestro, et imaginem idolorum vestrorum, sidus dei vestri, quæ fecistis vobis.

27 Et migrare vos faciam trans Damascum, dicit Dominus : Deus exercituum nomen ejus.

← Amos 4   Amos 6 →
   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:

Librorum Propheticorum et Psalmorum Davidis 205


Other references to this chapter:

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

Apocalypsis Revelata 316, 410, 413, 501, 573, 620, 650, ...

Doctrina Novae Hierosolymae de Domino 4, 38

Doctrina Novae Hierosolymae de Scriptura Sacra 85

Vera Christiana Religio 51, 82, 689, 761


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypsis Explicata 208, 365, 376, 448, 519, 526, 573, ...

Canones Novae Ecclesiae 27

Coronis 5, 56

De Conjugio 51, 82

Dicta Probantia 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 Samuelis 15:22

1 Regnum 14:15, 21:20

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

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

Hiob 9:9, 20:19

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

Proverbia 15:8, 21:27

Ecclesiastes 10:8

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

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

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

Hoschea 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

Jonas 3:9

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

Habakuk 1:4

Zephanias 2:3

Matthaeus 24:29

Acta Apostolorum 7:42, 43

Romanos 12:9

Galatas 4:16

Ephesians 5:16

Hebrews 12:29

Jacobus 5:6

Word/Phrase Explanations

terra
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...

diem
"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...

noctem
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

aquas
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

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

lux
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...


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