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Amos 5:18-20

The Lord Demands Justice

5:18 Woe 1  to those who wish for the day of the Lord!

Why do you want the Lord’s day of judgment to come?

It will bring darkness, not light.

5:19 Disaster will be inescapable, 2 

as if a man ran from a lion only to meet a bear,

then escaped 3  into a house,

leaned his hand against the wall,

and was bitten by a poisonous snake.

5:20 Don’t you realize the Lord’s day of judgment will bring 4  darkness, not light –

gloomy blackness, not bright light?

1 tn The term הוֹי (hoy, “woe”) was used when mourning the dead (see the note on the word “dead” in 5:16). The prophet here either engages in role playing and mourns the death of the nation in advance or sarcastically taunts those who hold to this misplaced belief.

2 tn The words “Disaster will be inescapable” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

3 tn Heb “went” (so KJV, NRSV).

4 tn Heb “Will not the day of the Lord be.”

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