Amos 1–2; Psalm 142; Acts 12

The words of Amos, who was among the ashepherds1 of bTekoa, which he saw concerning Israel cin the days of dUzziah king of Judah and in the days of eJeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years2 before fthe earthquake.

Judgment on Israel’s Neighbors

And he said:

gThe Lord roars from Zion

and utters his voice from Jerusalem;

hthe pastures of the shepherds mourn,

and the itop of jCarmel withers.

Thus says the Lord:

kFor three transgressions of lDamascus,

and for four, lI will not revoke the punishment,3

because they have threshed mGilead

with threshing sledges of iron.

nSo I will send a fire upon the house of oHazael,

and it shall devour the strongholds of oBen-hadad.

I will pbreak the gate-bar of lDamascus,

and cut off the inhabitants from the Valley of qAven,4

and him who holds the scepter from rBeth-eden;

and the people of sSyria shall go into exile to tKir,

says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord:

kFor three transgressions of uGaza,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,

because vthey carried into exile a whole people

to deliver them up to Edom.

So I will send a fire upon the wall of uGaza,

and it shall devour her strongholds.

I will cut off the inhabitants from wAshdod,

and him who holds the scepter from Ashkelon;

I will turn my hand against Ekron,

and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,

says the Lord God.

Thus says the Lord:

kFor three transgressions of xTyre,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,

because they delivered up a whole people to Edom,

and did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.

10  So I will send a fire upon the wall of xTyre,

and it shall devour her strongholds.

11 Thus says the Lord:

kFor three transgressions of yEdom,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,

ybecause he pursued his brother with the sword

zand cast off all pity,

aand his anger tore perpetually,

aand he kept his wrath forever.

12  So I will send a fire upon bTeman,

and it shall devour the strongholds of cBozrah.

13 Thus says the Lord:

kFor three transgressions of the dAmmonites,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,

because ethey have ripped open pregnant women in fGilead,

that they might enlarge their border.

14  So I will kindle a fire in the wall of gRabbah,

hand it shall devour her strongholds,

with shouting on the day of battle,

hwith a tempest in the day of the whirlwind;

15  and itheir king shall go into exile,

he and his princes5 together,

says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord:

kFor three transgressions of jMoab,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,6

because khe burned to lime

the bones of the king of Edom.

So I will send a fire upon Moab,

and it shall devour the strongholds of lKerioth,

and Moab shall die amid uproar,

amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet;

mI will cut off the ruler from its midst,

and will kill mall its princes7 with him,

says the Lord.

Judgment on Judah

Thus says the Lord:

nFor three transgressions of Judah,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,

because othey have rejected the law of the Lord,

and have not kept his statutes,

but ptheir lies have led them astray,

those after which their fathers walked.

So qI will send a fire upon Judah,

and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem.

Judgment on Israel

Thus says the Lord:

nFor three transgressions of Israel,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,

because rthey sell the righteous for ssilver,

and the needy for a pair of sandals

those who trample the head of the poor tinto the dust of the earth

and uturn aside the way of the afflicted;

va man and his father go in to the same girl,

so that my holy name is profaned;

they lay themselves down beside every altar

on garments wtaken in pledge,

and in the house of their God they drink

the wine of those who have been fined.

Yet xit was I who destroyed the Amorite before them,

ywhose height was like the height of the cedars

and who was as strong as the oaks;

zI destroyed his fruit above

and his roots beneath.

10  aAlso it was I who brought you up out of the land of Egypt

band led you forty years in the wilderness,

xto possess the land of the Amorite.

11  And I raised up some of your sons for prophets,

and some of your young men for cNazirites.

Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?

declares the Lord.

12  But you made the Nazirites ddrink wine,

and commanded the prophets,

saying, eYou shall not prophesy.

13  Behold, I will press you down in your place,

as a cart full of sheaves presses down.

14  fFlight shall perish from the swift,

fand the strong shall not retain his strength,

gnor shall the mighty save his life;

15  he who handles the bow shall not stand,

and he who is hswift of foot shall not save himself,

inor shall he who rides the horse save his life;

16  and he who is stout of heart among the mighty

shall flee away naked in that day,

declares the Lord.


You Are My Refuge

A Maskil1 of David, when he was in kthe cave. A Prayer.

142  With my voice I lcry out to the Lord;

with my voice I mplead for mercy to the Lord.

I npour out my complaint before him;

I tell my trouble before him.

When my spirit ofaints within me,

you know my way!

In the path where I walk

they have phidden a trap for me.

qLook to the rright and see:

sthere is none who takes notice of me;

tno refuge remains to me;

no one cares for my soul.

I cry to you, O Lord;

I say, You are my urefuge,

my vportion in wthe land of the living.

xAttend to my cry,

for yI am brought very low!

Deliver me from my persecutors,

zfor they are too strong for me!

aBring me out of prison,

that I may give thanks to your name!

The righteous will surround me,

for you will bdeal bountifully with me.


James Killed and Peter Imprisoned

12 About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed fJames the brother of John gwith the sword, and when he saw hthat it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during ithe days of Unleavened Bread. And when he had seized him, he put him jin prison, delivering him over to four ksquads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest lprayer for him was made to God by the church.

Peter Is Rescued

Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, mbound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, nan angel of the Lord ostood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. pHe struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, Get up quickly. And qthe chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, Dress yourself and rput on your sandals. And he did so. And he said to him, Wrap your cloak around you and follow me. And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but sthought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. tIt opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter ucame to himself, he said, Now I am sure that vthe Lord has sent his angel and wrescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.

12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of xJohn whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and ywere praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, za servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, ain her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, You are out of your mind. But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, It is bhis angel! 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But cmotioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Tell these things to dJames and to ethe brothers.1 Then he departed and went to another place.

18 Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19 And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and fordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there.

The Death of Herod

20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and ghaving persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain,2 they asked for peace, because htheir country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, The voice of a god, and not of a man! 23 Immediately ian angel of the Lord struck him down, because jhe did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.

24 But kthe word of God increased and multiplied.

25 lAnd Barnabas and Saul returned from3 Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them mJohn, whose other name was Mark.