Main point summary
The day of the LORD will be dreadful for those who have merely practiced empty and ritualistic religion, who do not have a real relationship with the LORD that produces the fruit of justice and righteousness.
Therefore thus says the Lord , g the God of hosts, the Lord:
Therefore God speaks
“In all the squares j there shall be wailing,
There will be widespread (in streets and vineyards) wailing, mourning, and lamentation
and in all the streets they shall say,
They shall call the farmers to mourning
and j to wailing those who are skilled in lamentation,
and in all vineyards there shall be wailing,
for k I will pass through your midst,”
(Why wailing, mourning, lamentation everywhere?) Because the LORD will pass through your midst.
says the Lord .
Woe to you who desire l the day of the Lord !
Amos's echo: Woe! The day of the LORD is dreadful!
Why would you have the day of the Lord ?
To say it another way, you don’t want it to come!
m It is darkness,
This is what the day of the LORD is: darkness... [alternatively: For it is darkness]
and not light,
n as if a man fled from a lion,
Bad things are inevitable, it can't be avoided
and a bear met him,
or went into the house
and leaned his hand against the wall,
and a serpent bit him.
m Is not the day of the Lord darkness,
and not light,
and gloom with no brightness in it?
o “I hate,
Here is the reason for this woe: I hate your feasts, solemn assemblies...
I despise your feasts,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
p Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
Burnt offerings, grain offerings, peace offerings, songs ... I want none of it.
I will not accept them;
and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,
I will not look upon them.
Take away from me the noise of your songs;
to q the melody of your harps I will not listen.
But let justice roll down like waters,
What I want is for justice to be in your land
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
and for righteousness to be flowing freely.
r “Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings
Was it all this ritual I wanted during the wilderness wanderings?
during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
s You t shall take up Sikkuth your king,
[But you won't repent] Therefore, carry your idols with you into exile
and Kiyyun your star-god—
your images that you made for yourselves,
u and I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,”
says the Lord , whose name is g the God of hosts.
This section beginning at v.21 further grounds the woe of vv.18-20
vv.16-17 may fit better with the preceding pericope, or serve as a transition between the two. Our sermons series put them together like this
These may be Grounds, giving reason for woe (will be misery). Chose idea-Explanations, as elaborating more on what the day of the LORD is rather than the reason for the woe.