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THE PROPHET AMOS
Then answered Amos, and said, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was a herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: and the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people; prophesy, and say:
Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, And make the poor of the land to fail, Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that
we may sell corn? And the sabbath, that we may set forth
wheat? Ye that make the measure small, and the
shekel great, That falsify the balances by deceit, That buy the poor for silver, And the needy for a pair of sandals; Hear ye the word of the Lord: I hate, I despise your feast days, And I delight not in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings, I will not accept them;Neither will I regard the peace offerings of
your fat beasts. Take away from me the noise of thy songs! For I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let justice roll down as waters,
And righteousness as an overflowing stream.
THE PROPHET JONAH
JONAH I, III, IV Isaiah lv. Ezekiel xviii
Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city, of three days' journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
And the people of Nineveh believed God; and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. And the tidings reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he made proclamation and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing; let them not feed, nor drink water; but let them be covered with sackcloth, both man and beast, and let them cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knoweth whether God will not have mercy upon us, that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and he destroyed them not.
But it displeased Jonah exceedingly that the Lord destroyed them not, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? For I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness. Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. And the Lord said, Doest thou well to be angry? Then Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city.
And the Lord prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd, that it withered. And it came to pass, when the sun arose, that God prepared a sultry east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live! And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death! And the Lord said, Thou hast had regard for the gourd, for that which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it to grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: and should not I have regard for Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? For thus it is written:
Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked?
saith the Lord; And not rather that he should return from his
way, and live? For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts.