Yahweh speaks (Am 1:2-1:2)

“Amos said.

‘Yahweh roars

From Zion.

Yahweh utters his voice

From Jerusalem.

The pastures

Of the shepherds wither.

The top of Carmel

Dries up.’”

Amos used the same phraseology as the prophet Joel, in chapter 3 of his work, that Yahweh would roar and speak from Zion and Jerusalem. However, instead of being a refuge, here Yahweh had a warning about the pastures of the shepherds withering away, while the mountain top of Mount Carmel would dry up.

The cry to Yahweh (Joel 1:19-1:20)

“To you!

O Yahweh!

I cry!

Fire has devoured

The pastures

Of the wilderness.

Flames have burned

All the trees

Of the field.

Even the wild animals

Cry to you.

Because the water streams

Are dried up.

Fire has devoured

The pastures

Of the wilderness.”

Joel cried out to Yahweh. He called the drought of this locust plague a fire. He repeated twice that this fire had devoured the pastures in the wilderness. The dry flames had burned the trees of the fields. The wild animals were also crying out to Yahweh. The streams of water had dried up. This was a desperate situation.

The bad situation of Jeremiah (Jer 23:9-23:10)

“My heart is crushed

Within me

Concerning the prophets.

All my bones shake.

I have become

Like a drunken man

Because of Yahweh.

I have become

Like one overcome by wine

Because of his holy words.

The land is full of adulterers.

Because of the curse,

The land mourns.

The pastures of the wilderness

Are dried up.

Their course has been evil.

Their might is not right.”

Jeremiah complains about the terrible situation he is in. His heart is crushed. His bones shake. He has become like a drunkard, overcome with wine, because of Yahweh and his words. His land is full of adulterers. His land itself mourns as the pastures have dried up. There is evil all around. No one does the right thing. Jeremiah is worried.

The punishment (Jer 9:10-9:11)

“Take up weeping!

Wail for the mountains!

Take up a lamentation

For the pastures of the wilderness!

Because they are laid waste,

Thus no one passes through.

The lowing of cattle is not heard.

The birds of the air

Have fled.

The animals are gone.

I will make Jerusalem

A heap of ruins.

I will make it

A lair of jackals.

I will make the towns of Judah

A desolation without inhabitants.”

Now Yahweh reveals his punishment but he laments doing it. He wants them to cry and weep for the mountains and the pastures because they were going to become a wasteland. They will not hear the cattle, the birds, or other animals because they will have gone and fled away. Jerusalem will be a ruined heap and a home for jackals, while the towns of Judah will become desolate towns without anyone living there.

Thanksgiving for the harvest (Ps 65:9-65:13)

“You visit the earth!

You water it!

You greatly enrich it!

The river of God is full of water.

You provide the people with grain.

You have prepared it.

You water its furrows abundantly.

You settle its ridges.

You soften it with showers.

You bless its growth.

You crown the year with your bounty.

Your wagon tracks overflow with richness.

The pastures of the wilderness overflow.

The hills gird themselves with joy.

The meadows clothe themselves with flocks.

The valleys deck themselves with grain.

They shout.

They sing together for joy.”

This psalm ends with a thanksgiving to God for the great harvest. There was a profound sense of God as the grand gardener who made the crops grow. A good example of this basic belief is how God watered the earth and enriched it.  God’s river was full of water. God also provided the grain, but how was not exactly clear. There was just the right amount of rain from the showers to make the crops grow. There was a great bounty or harvest as the heavy wagons made deep tracks. Also the pastures were rich for the various animal flocks. The grain and the grass were growing at a good rate in the valleys. Thus the land and the people all shouted together. They sang with joy in thanksgiving for the great harvest time.