Amos

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Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Bible
General Editor
W. Dennis Tucker Jr.
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Amos
A Handbook on the Hebrew Text
Duane A. Garrett
Baylor University Press
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©2008byBaylorUniversityPress,Waco,Texas76798
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ISBN978-1-932792-69-0(pbk.)
1.Bible.O.T.Amos--Criticism,Textual.2.Bible.O.T.Amos--Language,
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TABlE of ConTEnTs
v
Introduction 1
Amos1 13
Amos2 47
Amos3 77
Amos4 104
Amos5 129
Amos6 177
Amos7 204
Amos8 229
Amos9 256
Glossary 292
Bibliography 295
IndexofModernAuthors 301
SubjectIndex 303
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1
InTroDuCTIon
ThebookofAmos,thesuperscripttellsus,wascomposedbyAmos
of Tekoa in the mid-eighth century B.C. Although from Judah,
Amosdirectedhismessageagainstthearistocraticandpriestlyupper-
classesofSamariaandBethel.Israelatthistime,duringthereignof
JeroboamII,wasinthemidstofamisleadingperiodofprosperityand
militarypower.Deceivedbytheiraffluenceandterritorialexpansion,
theIsraelitessupposedthatGodwasontheirsideandthatthegood
timeswouldneverend.Crueltytothepoor,religiousarrogance,and
anunboundedsenseofconfidenceinthemightoftheirfortifications
characterizedtheupperechelonsofsociety.Theycouldnotimagine
that their cities were only decades away from total destruction, and
they counted Amos a charlatan and blasphemer for his predictions
of their imminent demise. The book of Amos is a carefully crafted
indictment against Israel, an apologia for Amos’ claims to the pro-
phetic office, and a prediction of calamity for Israel followed by a
final,eschatologicalsalvation.
The focus of this commentary is the Hebrew text of Amos. Dis-
cussions of the book’s social and historical background, of insights
gainedfromarchaeology,andofitstheologyaresecondaryandpur-
posefully kept to a minimum. In addition, this commentary works
from the received Masoretic Text of Amos and makes no effort to
includeanexhaustiverecordoftextualvariants,ofversionalreadings,
andofconjecturalemendationsproposedbybiblicalscholars.Discus-
sionsoftext-criticalissuesthereforewillappearonlywheneitherthe
obscurityofthereceivedtextorsomeotherconsiderationsrequireit.
ThiscommentaryisintendedprimarilyforthestudentofHebrewand
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2 Amos
theBibletranslator,butitshouldbehelpfulalsoforanyteachersof
theBiblewhobelievethatwrestlingwiththeoriginallanguageofthe
texttobevaluable.
redaction and structure of the Book of Amos
IncurrentOTstudies,thequestionofthestructureofAmosisclosely
linkedtothequestionofitsredactionhistory,asscholarsseektoshow
both what was the original form of the book and how it evolved. A
famous example of this method is the commentary by H. W. Wolff
which,onthebasisofaform-criticalanalysis,arguesthatAmoswent
throughsixredactionalstages(Wolff1977,106–13).ButDirkRott-
zoll argues that it went through no less than twelve stages of redac-
tion(Rottzoll1996,285–90)!AmorerecentexampleisWood(2002),
which argues that the book was originally seven poems written and
performedbytheprophetasapoetictragedy.Woodassertsthatasec-
ondeditionoftheprophet’sbookwasproducedbyanexilicauthorwho
insertedarunningcommentaryontheoriginalwork,therebynotonly
greatlyexpandingandreorderingtheoriginalbutalsotransformingit
intoacomedy(bygivingitaredemptive,happyending).Thisrevised
version,thepresentbookofAmos,isintenparts.Wood’stheory,like
othersofitskind,isattimesforcedandisnotpersuasive.Nevertheless,
somemayfindthetendivisionsthatWoodproposesasthestructure
of Amos helpful. Similarly, but with very different results, one sees
structuralanalysismixedinwithaproposedredactionhistoryinPark
(2001).Theresultsofredaction-criticalstudiesareinfactexceedingly
diverse.Thereisnoconsensus(seeMöller2003,“Reconstructingand
InterpretingAmos’sLiteraryPrehistory”forasurveyofrecentredac-
tion-criticalanalyses;seealsoMöller2003,A Prophet in Debate,which
arguesonthebasisofarhetorical-criticalanalysisthatthetextofAmos
did not have an extensive redaction history). In my view, redaction-
criticalapproachesareneithercompellingnorheuristicallyvaluable.
Although certain divisions of Amos are obvious in even a casual
readingofthetext(e.g.,thattheeightoraclesagainstthenationsin
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Introduction 3
1:3–2:16constituteasingledivision),manyaspectsofthestructureare
obscureanddebated,andreaderswillfindanabundanceofproposals
inthescholarlyliterature.Forexample,O’Connell(1996)arguesthat,
followingthepatternofsevennationsplusIsraelin1:3–2:16,Amos
uses an “N +1” pattern throughout (where “N” is some stereotypi-
cal number such as 3 or 7, and the additional item is some element
of surprise, such as adding Israel to the list of condemned nations).
O’Connell does not, however, convincingly demonstrate that this
patterngovernsthewholebook.Boyle(1971)saysthat3:1–4:13isa
covenant lawsuit, but this, too, is unpersuasive. Koch (1974) argues
that the hymn fragments in Amos 4:13; 5:8; 9:5-6 are redactional
butthattheydemarcatedivisionsofthebook.Noble(1995)saysthat
Amosisinthreeparts(1:2–3:8;3:9–6:14;7:1–9:15).Heclaimsthat
themiddlesectionisachiasmus,buthemustrelocateordeleteseveral
versestomakeitwork.EverymajorcommentaryonAmos,moreover,
has its own presentation of the structure of the book. While there
aresomeareasofagreement(again,that1:3–2:16belongstogether),
itwouldbeamistaketospeakofanythinglikeastandardview.The
readershouldconsultthecommentariesforvariousalternativestothe
structuresuggestedhere.
ThestartingpointfortheoutlineofAmosproposedinthiscom-
mentaryisLimburg(1987),wherehestatesthattherearefiftydivine
speechformulas(suchasהוהי רמא,“saysYHWH,”andהוהי םאנ,
“theoracleofYHWH”)inAmos.Theseare,hesays,distributedas
follows:oneat1:1–2,fourteenin1:3–2:16,andseveneachin3:1–15;
4:1–13; 5:1–6:14; 7:1–8:3; and 8:4–9:15. Thus there are seven divi-
sionsinthebook.Limburgpointsoutthatthenumberseven(orseven
plusone)isveryimportantinAmos.Therearesevenaccusednations
plusIsraelin1:3–2:16,forexample,andthecallforjusticein5:21-24
listsseventhingthatYHWHhates:feasts,solemnassemblies,burnt
offerings, cereal offerings, peace offerings, noise of songs and melo-
diesofharps.

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4 Amos
AsremarkableasLimburg’sanalysisis,thereareaspectsofitthat
are not satisfying. For example, 1:2 has no divine speech formula
(ר ַ מאֹי ַ ו has no explicit subject and is not a divine speech formula),
andthereforethereareforty-nine,notfifty,suchformulas.Thisisnot
really a problem, however. The whole of 1:2 is about divine speech
andservestointroducethisasthemotifthatgovernsthebook.Lim-
burgcounts3:1twice,apparentlyonthestrengthofitshavingר ֶ ב ִ ד
הָ והְ י and רֹ מאֵ ל, but he does not count 3:8, which has הִ והְ י י ָ נֹד ֲ א
ר ֶ ב ִ ד.Butרֹ מאֵ ל shouldnotbecountedseparately(itisjoinedtoר ֶ ב ִ ד
הָ והְ י;seeMiller1995onquotativeframes),butcertainlyהִ והְ י י ָ נֹד ֲ א
ר ֶ ב ִ ד shouldbecounted.Also,Limburggiveslittleattentiontoshow-
ingthatthestructureofAmosactuallydoesfallintothesevengroups
hementions.If,forexample,onecannotshowthat8:4–9:15belongs
together as a single division, there is no reason to count this as one
passagethathassevenspeechformulas.
Slightly modifying Limburg’s presentation, one can see how the
various formulas are used. After 1:2 sets forth divine speech as the
governing motif of the book, the divine speech formulas all occur
ingroupsoffourteenorseveninthesixlargedivisionsindicatedby
Limburg.Withtwoexceptions,everymajordivisioninAmosisintro-
duced with a plural imperative of עמשׁ. These exceptions are 1:3–
2:16,whichisaseriesoforacles,eachbegunwithהָ והְ י ר ַ מ ָ א הֹכ,and
thevisionreportsectionat7:1–8:3,whichisintroducedbyahiphilof
האר.Thus,thesevendivisionsofAmosafterthesuperscript(1:1)and
thepoeticproclamationofYHWHmakinghisvoiceheard(1:2),are
asfollows(theopeningwordsofeachdivisionareinparentheses):
I. 1:3–2:16(הָ והְ י ר ַ מ ָ א הֹכ)
II. 3:1–15(הֶ ז ַ ה ר ָ ב ָ ד ַ ה־ת ֶ א וע ְ מ ִ שׁ)
III.4:1–13(הֶ ז ַ ה ר ָ ב ָ ד ַ ה וע ְ מ ִ שׁ)
IV. 5:1–6:14(הֶ ז ַ ה ר ָ ב ָ ד ַ ה־ת ֶ א וע ְ מ ִ שׁ)
V. 7:1–8:3(הִ והְ י י ָ נֹד ֲ א י ִ נ ַ א ְ ר ִ ה הֹּכ)
VI.8:4–9:15(תאֹז־וע ְ מִׁ ש)
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Introduction 5
I. II. III. IV. V. VI.
1:3^
3:1 4:3 5:3^* 7:3 8:9*
1:5
1:6^
3:8* 4:5* 5:4^ 7:6* 8:11*
1:8*
1:9^
3:10 4:6 5:16^+ 7:8
&
9:7
1:11^
1:13^
3:11^* 4:8 5:17 7:15
&
9:8
1:15
2:1^
3:12^ 4:9 5:27+ 7:17^ 9:12
2:3
2:4^
3:13* 4:10 6:8+ 8:2
&
9:13
2:6^
2:11
3:15 4:11 6:14+ 8:3* 9:15++
2:16
KeytoDivineSpeechFormulasinAmos
רמא
הוהי רמא plaintext
הוהי רמא הכ plainwithcaret
הוהי ינדא רמא plainwithasterisk
תואבצ יהלא הוהי רמא plainwithplussign
ךיהלא הוהי רמא plainwithtwoplussigns
הוהי רמאיו plainwithampersand
רבד
הוהי רבד bold
רבד הוהי ינדא boldwithasterisk
םאנ
הוהי םאנ italics
הוהי ינדא םאנ italicswithasterisk
תואבצ יהלא הוהי־םאנ italicswithplussign

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6 Amos
Thetableaboveanditsaccompanyingkeyshowswhatformulasare
usedinwhatverses.Thetableisinsixcolumnscorrespondingtothe
sixmajordivisionsofAmos.
From this alone one can see certain revealing patterns. As men-
tionedabove,1:3–2:16hasfourteendivinespeechformulas.Amosfive
timesbeginsandendseachoftheseeightoracleswithadivinespeech
formula. If he had consistently done this for all these oracles, there
would of course be sixteen. But he skips the second formula at Tyre
(1:9-10), Edom (1:11-12) and Judah (2:4-5), and he adds a third for-
mulaforIsraelat2:11.Thus,thetextseemstodeliberatelyaimathav-
ingfourteenformulas.Moreinterestingly,everymajordivisionexcept
forthelastendswithatleastoneםאנ formula(seethebottomrowof
thetable).Theformulaat9:15,whichuniquelyisךיהלא הוהי רמא,
“saysYHWHyourGod,”seemsdeliberatelysetattheendoftheres-
torationprophecy(9:11-15)toreassureIsraelthatYHWHwillagain
be their God. Note, however, that every other formula of 8:4–9:15,
thelastdivisionofthebook,isaםאנ formula,whichcorrespondsto
thefactthateveryotherdivisionendswithaםאנ formula.Itisalso
noteworthythatjustastheםאנ formulasdominatethelastdivisionof
thebook,8:4–9:15,soalsoin4:1-13everyformulaisoftheםאנ kind.
This suggests that the book is in two parts, 1:3–4:13 and 5:1–9:15,
andthisissupportedbytheoverallstructureofthebook,asdescribed
below.Bycontrast,רמא typeformulasaremorecommoninallother
divisionsofthebook.Thedivision7:1–8:3ismorenarrativeinnature,
and the formula הוהי רמאיו, with the wayyiqtol verb, occurs twice
there.Themostexalted,pleonasticformulas(תואבצ יהלא הוהי רמא
andתואבצ יהלא הוהי־םאנ)alloccurin5:1–6:14,andthetwofor-
mulaswithרבד botharein3:1-15.Theredoesnotappeartobeany
patterntotheusageofינדא intheformulasexceptthatitappearsin
everymajordivision.
This commentary will attempt to demonstrate that each division
describedabovehasinternalcoherenceandstructure(fordiscussions
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Introduction 7
of each division’s structure, see the introductions to the major divi-
sions).Inaddition,thereisaninternallogictothearrangementofthe
sixmajordivisions,withachiasticstructure,asfollows:
A. 1:3–2:16 Judgment on the nations, with the unexpected
inclusionofIsrael.
B. 3:1-15FirstdefenseofAmos’propheticofficeagainstthose
whoassertthathehasnorighttoprophesyagainstIsrael
C. 4:1-13 First major accusation against the materialistic
andreligiousarroganceoftheIsraelites.
C’. 5:1–6:14Secondmajoraccusationagainstthematerialis-
ticandreligiousarroganceoftheIsraelites.
B’.7:1–8:3 Second defense of Amos’ prophetic office against
thosewhoassertthathehasnorighttoprophesyagainst
Israel
A’. 8:4–9:15FinalaccusationandverdictagainstIsrael,withthe
unexpectedrevivalofIsraelandinclusionofthenationsin
Israel’sglory.
Conventions of this Commentary
Throughoutthecommentary,theHebrewtextofAmosappearswith
full cantillation marks (accents, or םי ִ מ ָ ע ְ ט). When a Hebrew word
is discussed, it is written without the cantillation marks, and cita-
tionsofpassagesoutsideofAmosgenerallylackcantillationmarks.
Whenverbsareparsed,thetraditionalstemnamesareused(qal,piel,
etc.). Conjugations, however, are named with the terminology that
has become increasingly more the standard in Hebrew studies, as
follows:
qatal =perfect(ל ַ ט ָ ק)
yiqtol =imperfect(לֹט ְ קִ י)
wayyiqtol =imperfectwith“vavconsecutive”(לֹט ְ קִ י ַ ו)
weqatal =perfectwithsimpleconjunction(ל ַ ט ָ קְ ו)
weyiqtol =imperfectwithsimpleconjunction(לֹט ְ קִ י ְ ו)

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8 Amos
Althoughonemightdebatewhetherqatal andweqatal shouldbecon-
sideredtobeseparateconjugations,inthesyntaxofthelanguage,each
ofthefiveformslistedabovehasadistinctivesetoffunctions.There-
fore, one cannot treat the qatal and the weqatal simply as the same
verbalform;theformerisgenerallyperfectiveinaspectandindicative
inmood,andittypicallydealswithpast,present,orgnomicactions.
Thelatterisgenerallyimperfectiveandmaybesubjunctiveorvolitive,
anditoftenisusedforafutureindicativeoranapodosis.Similarly,
oneshouldneverregardtheweqatal asthesameasawayyiqtol,orfail
totakenoteoftherelativelyrarepresenceofaweyiqtol inAmos(itis
usedseventimes).
AmajorissueinAmosisdistinguishingprosefrompoetry.Inthis
commentary,Hebrewthatisreckonedtobeproseisprintedaswhole
verses in paragraph form. After this, the prose text is analyzed on
a clause-by-clause basis, and each clause is individually printed in a
smallertypeface.Thisisdonebecause,inmyestimation,theclause
istheideallevelatwhichtoapproachtheanalysisofHebrewprose.
Withintheclause,onecanseehoweachconstituentandmorpheme
functions at the clause level, and at a higher level, one can describe
howeachclausefunctionsinthediscourse.
Colometry(or“stichometry”)isthedivisionofapoemintoitsindi-
viduallines.Thecolometryofapoembeingfundamentaltoitsanaly-
sis, every poetic section of Amos is set forth on a line-by-line basis.
Thebasisforthelinedivisionsusedherearetwo-fold.First,themajor
disjunctive marks of the cantillation system are taken into account
(seeHoop2000).Inthemajorityofcases,linebreaksoccuratthesil-
luq,theathnach,andthezaqeph qaton,withsomebreaksoccurringat
thepashta,revia,ortifha.Asageneralrule,whenadisjunctiveaccent
serves to mark a line break, it will have a weaker disjunctive accent
withinitsdomain.Asisdonehere,namesofaccentsaregiveninital-
icsinasimplifiedtransliteration.Insituationswherethelinedivisions
donot,inmyview,coincidewiththemajordisjunctiveaccents,some
commentsaremadeinthediscussionofthattext.
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Introduction 9
Second, in determining the colometry of a poem, the “line con-
straints” as described in O’Connor (1980) and refined in Holladay
(1999) are taken into account. These constraints state that in any
Hebrewlineofpoetry,theremustbe:
• From 0 to 3 clause predicators.Alinemayhavenopredicator,
butitshouldhavenomorethanthree.Aclausepredicator
maybeafiniteverb,aninfinitiveabsolutethatfunctionsas
a finite verb, an infinitive construct phrase functioning as
a finite verb (e.g., an infinitive construct that has a suffix
functioning as the subject of the action), a participle func-
tioningasaperiphrasticfiniteverb,andtheparticlesןי ֵ א and
שֵׁ י.O’Connoralsocountsthevocativeasapredicator,andI
havefollowedthatrule.
• From 1 to 4 constituents. A constituent is a word or phrase
thatfillsonegrammaticalslot.Exampleswouldbeasubject,
apredicate,oraprepositionalphrase.Althoughithasmore
thanoneword,aconstructchainfunctioningasasubjector
vocative,forexample,isasingleconstituent.
• From 2 to 5 units.Aunitisbasicallyaword,butsmallpar-
ticles such as י ִ כ or ם ִ א or prepositions such as ל ֶ א do not
countasunits.Onemaydebatewhatdoesordoesnotcount
asaunit.Itreatאֹל asanon-unit,andonlycountלֹכ asa
unitifitisabsolute.
Asanexample,wehavethefollowinglineinAmos1:9:
םו ֔ ד ֱ א ֶ ל ֙ ה ָ מ ֵ ל ְ שׁ תו ֤ ל ָ ג ם ָ֞ רי ִ ג ְ ס ַ ה־ל ֽ ַ ע
Because they handed over a full-scale exile to Edom.
Here,weseethatthelineendswiththedisjunctivezaqeph qaton.
There is 1 predicator, ם ָ רי ִ ג ְ ס ַ ה־ל ַ ע. This infinitive construct is reck-
onedtobeapredicatorbecauseitworkslikeafiniteverb,takingthe

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10 Amos
suffix as its subject. There are also 3 constituents and 4 units. The
constituentsaretheinfinitiveconstructphraseם ָ רי ִ ג ְ ס ַ ה־ל ַ ע,thedirect
object ה ָ מֵ ל ְ שׁ תול ָ ג, and the prepositional phrase םוד ֱ אֶ ל. The units
areם ָ רי ִ ג ְ ס ַ ה,תול ָ ג,ה ָ מֵ ל ְ שׁ,andםוד ֱ אֶ ל.Theprepositionל ַ ע doesnot
countasaunit(andnosuffixorprefixcountsasaunit).Thepresence
orabsenceofmaqqephisirrelevant.
Neither the cantillation marks nor the line constraints should be
regarded as inviolable; occasionally this commentary will point out
lines that, in my opinion, violate one or both of these (e.g., a line
endingwithaconjunctiveaccent,oralinewithonlyoneunit).Nev-
ertheless, in the overwhelming number of instances, lines both end
witha“normal”finalaccentandalsoconformtothelineconstraints.
Inmyview,otherapproachestoHebrewcolometry(suchascounting
stresses, words, or syllables) produce no meaningful results and are
notvalid.
Inthediscussionofthecontentofapoem,eachlineisanalyzedsep-
arately.First,everylineisdescribedintermsofwhataccentmarksthe
endofthelineandintermsoftheaforementionedpoeticconstraints.
Then,each“constituent”ofthelineisanalyzedseparately.
Sometimesthiscommentarywillspeakofdevicesthatoccurinthe
poems.Theseinclude:
• Gapping (alsocalled“double-duty”),inwhichawordinone
linealsogovernsormodifiesanadjacentline.Forexample,
theverbי ִ ת ַ ר ְ כ ִ הְ ו inlineBdof1:5alsogovernslineBe.
• Dependence, in which a line is grammatically incomplete
anddependsuponeitherthepreviousorfollowingline.For
example,in1:3,linesAaandAcbothdependonlineAb.
• Semantic matching,inwhichawordorphraseinonelineis
synonymousornearlysynonymouswithawordinanadja-
centline.Seelinebof1:2.
• Semantic parallelism,inwhichonelinemore-or-lesshasthe
samemeaningasanadjacentline.Seelinesaandbin1:2.It
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Introduction 11
iswidelyunderstoodtoday,afterKugel(1981),thatthelines
rarelysimplyrepeatthesameidea;usuallythesecondlinein
somewayadvancesorinsomewaymodifiesthethoughtof
thefirst.
• Syntactic parallelism, in which two adjacent lines have the
samegrammaticalstructure,asinlinescanddin1:2.
Having broken down a poem into its lines, the lines need to be
grouped into meaningful collections. Unfortunately, there is little
consistency in the use of terms such as stanza and verse. This com-
mentaryadoptsthefollowingconventions.Atthehighestlevelisthe
poem.Apoemismadeupofoneormorestanzas,andeachstanzais
madeupofoneormorestrophes,andeachstropheismadeofoneor
morelines.Theterm“verse”isusedinthiscommentaryexclusively
forthenumberedversesoftheMT.Inotherwords,“verse”isnotused
todescribepoeticstructurebuttolocateatextinthebook.Asingle
majordivisionofAmosmayhaveseveralpoemsofvaryinglengthas
wellaspassagesinprose.
To aid in the discussions, poetic lines are tagged according to
stanza (uppercase Roman letters), strophe (Arabic numerals), and
line(lowercaseRomanletters).Forexample,“lineA3b”wouldbethe
firststanza(“A”),thethirdstrophe(“3”),andthesecondline(“b”)
ofthatstrophe.
• Ifapoemhasonlyonestanza,orifastanzahasonlyonestro-
phe,thatsinglestanzaorstrophewillnotbedesignatedbyletteror
number.Forexample,line2cwouldrefertothethirdline(“c”)inthe
secondstrophe(“2”)inapoemwithonlyonestanza.
• Ifapoemhasonlyonestanzaandonlyonestrophe,eachlineof
thepoemisdesignatedonlywithalowercaseRomanletter(e.g.,“line
c”).
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1:1-2: Profle of Introduction
Theopeningofthebook,thiscontainsaprosesuperscript(1:1)and
a poem of one strophe (1:2). The superscript gives the name of the
book’sauthoraswellasthenameoftheauthor’scity.Italsostatesthe
timeofcompositionbymeansofthreesynchronisms:withthenames
of the reigning kings of Judah and of Israel and with a significant
event,amajorearthquake).Thepoemdeclaresthemajorthemeofthe
book,thatYHWHhasspokeninangerandthereforethathisprophet
mustproclaimGod’smessageofdoom.
1
The words of Amos, who was from the shepherds of Tekoa, which
he received by vision concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah, the king of
Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, the king of Israel, two
years before the earthquake.
2
And he said,
YHWH will roar from Zion,
And he will give his voice from Jerusalem;
And the pastures of the shepherds will dry up
And the top of Carmel will wither.
1:1: Superscript
The book opens with a standard prophetic superscript naming the
authorwiththedateofhisprophecycorrelatedtocontemporaryIsra-
eliteandJudeankings.
A HAnDBook on THE HEBrEW TExT of Amos
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־ל ַ ע ה֨ ָ ז ָ ח ֩ ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א ַ עו ֑ ק ְ ת ִ מ ה֥ ָ י ָ ה־ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א סו ֔ מ ָ ע י ֣ ֵ ר ְ ב ִ ד
ם֤ ָ ע ְ ב ָ רָ י י ֞ ֵ מי ִ בו ה ֗ ָ דוהְ י־ך ֶ ל ֽ ֶ מ ה֣ ָ י ִ ז ֻ ע ׀י ֣ ֵ מי ִ ב ל ֵ֜ א ָ ר ְ שִ י
׃שׁ ַ ע ֽ ָ ר ָ ה י֥ ֵ נ ְ פ ִ ל םִ י ֖ ַ תָ נ ְ שׁ ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ שִ י ך ֶ ל֣ ֶ מ ֙ שׁ ָ אוי־ן ֶ ב
Prose Clause: סו ֔ מ ָ ע י ֣ ֵ ר ְ ב ִ ד
Titleofbook;aconstructchain.
Prose Clause: ַ עו ֑ ק ְ ת ִ מ םי ֖ ִ ד ְ קֹ נ ַ ב ה֥ ָ י ָ ה־ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א
Relativeclauseinappositiontoסומ ָ ע.Aftertherelativepronoun
ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א, the verb ה֥ ָ י ָ ה is a qal qatal 3 m s of היה. םי ִ ד ְ קֹ נ ַ ב is a prepo-
sitionalphrasewith ְ ב (“with”or“among”),butד ֵ קֹ נ (“shepherd”)is
foundonlyhereandin2Kings3:4,whereweread,ב ָ אומ־ך ֶ ל ֶ מ ע ַ שׁי ֵ מו
ד ֵ קֹ נ הָ י ָ ה (“AndMesha,thekingofMoab,wasasheep-breeder”).Itis
relatedtoדֹקָ נ (“speckled”),atermusedforsheepinGenesis30:32-
33, 35, 39; 31:8, 10, 12, and its meaning is not in any real doubt.
Also,fromUgarit,UT6(IAb)VI,55hasthetitlerb nqdm,“chiefof
theshepherds.”Anumberofscholars,onthebasisofitsbeingused
todescribeaking,believethatAmoswasawell-to-dosheepbreeder
andnotanimpoverishedshepherd(seeHasel1991,35–40,forfurther
discussion). ַ עוק ְ ת ִ מ isaprepositionalphrase(ן ִ מ)withapropernoun.
The Tekoa mentioned here is almost universally assumed to be the
smallvillageofJudahlocatedabouttwelvemilessouthofJerusalem,
although Rosenbaum (1990, 29–40) argues (not convincingly) that
Amos was from the north and, following the medieval rabbi David
Kimchi,suggeststhatTekoamayhavebeeninthetribeofAsher.
Prose Clause: ־ך ֶ ל ֽ ֶ מ ה֣ ָ י ִ ז ֻ ע ׀י ֣ ֵ מי ִ ב ל ֵ֜ א ָ ר ְ שִ י־ל ַ ע ה֨ ָ ז ָ ח ֩ ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א
י֥ ֵ נ ְ פ ִ ל םִ י ֖ ַ תָ נ ְ שׁ ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ שִ י ך ֶ ל֣ ֶ מ ֙ שׁ ָ אוי־ן ֶ ב ם֤ ָ ע ְ ב ָ רָ י י ֞ ֵ מי ִ בו ה ֗ ָ דוהְ י
שׁ ַ ע ֽ ָ ר ָ ה
Relativeclause(headedbyר ֶ שׁ ֲ א)inappositiontoי ֵ ר ְ ב ִ ד.Theverb
oftheclauseisהָ ז ָ ח,aqalqatal 3msהזח.Itisoddtospeakof“words
that he saw,” but in this case הזח means to receive a message via
a revelatory vision. In ל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י־ל ַ ע the preposition ל ַ ע may be either
1:1
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“concerning” (Ruth 2:4) or “against” (Judg 9:18). Three temporal
phrasesthatlocateAmos’ministryhistoricallyfollow:
ה ֗ ָ דוהְ י־ך ֶ ל ֽ ֶ מ ה֣ ָ י ִ ז ֻ ע ׀י ֣ ֵ מי ִ ב. A prepositional phrase with ְ ב
attached to the construct plural of םוי, with the proper noun הָ י ִ ז ֻ ע
servingastheabsolute.ה ָ דוהְ י־ך ֶ ל ֶ מ isinappositiontoהָ י ִ ז ֻ ע.Although
Amos’ message is primarily against Israel, the king of Judah as a
chronologicalindicatorprecedes mentionofthe kingofIsrael.This
suggests that Amos considered the Davidic king to have a superior
claimtolegitimacy.
ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ שִ י ך ֶ ל֣ ֶ מ ֙ שׁ ָ אוי־ן ֶ ב ם֤ ָ ע ְ ב ָ רָ י י ֞ ֵ מי ִ בו.Theconjunctioncoor-
dinatesthisconstructchainwithהָ י ִ ז ֻ ע י ֵ מי ִ ב.Again,wehaveacon-
structchainwithapropernoun.Thetwoconstructchainsשׁ ָ אוי־ן ֶ ב
andל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י ך ֶ ל ֶ מ areinappositiontoם ָ ע ְ ב ָ רָ י.
שׁ ַ ע ֽ ָ ר ָ ה י֥ ֵ נ ְ פ ִ ל םִ י ֖ ַ תָ נ ְ שׁ.Thedualofהָ נ ָ שׁ (“year”)withtheprep-
ositionalphraseש ַ ע ָ ר ָ ה י ֵ נ ְ פ ִ לׁisusedadverbiallyforatemporalphrase.
The earthquake (שׁ ַ ע ַ ר) was evidently of such severity that it was
rememberedforyearsthereaftersimplyas“theearthquake.”Itishere
mentioned not only for chronological purposes but also as an allu-
siontotheophanyandthedayoftheLord,asinIsaiah29:6,“From
YHWHofhostsyouwillbepunishedwiththunderandearthquake.
...”Seealso Ezekiel3:12.StatingthatAmosgave hismessagetwo
years before the earthquake, it is as though the text were claiming
that the earthquake were a vindication of Amos’ claim that the day
ofYHWHwasabouttobreakoutagainstIsrael.Thechronological
precision,thatitwas“twoyears”beforetheearthquake,suggeststhat
Amosgaveallofhispropheciesinthespaceofafairlyshorttime.
׀ר ֓ ַ מאֹי ַ ו
Aprosequotationformulaforthepoeticstanzainlinesa–d.Itlacks
explicit reference to the deity, and therefore is not a divine speech
formula even though God is obviously the speaker. ר ַ מאֹי ַ ו is a qal
wayyiqtol 3msofרמא.
1:2
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1:2: Introductory Proclamation
Fourlines(a-d)inonestrophe.Lineaissyntacticallyandsemantically
paralleltob(linea=X+yiqtol,andlineb=ו +X+yiqtol),withgap-
pingofהוהי inlineb.Linecissyntacticallyandsemanticallyparallel
tod(bothareweqatal clauses).Theweqatal clausesindicatethatthe
actionofc-disconsecutivetothatofa-b.
ג ָ֔ א ְ שִׁ י ןו ֣ י ִ צ ִ מ ֙ ה ָ והְ י
ו ֑ ֹלוק ן ֣ ֵ תִ י ִ֖ ַ ל ָ שׁורי ִ מו
םי ֔ ִ עֹר ָ ה תו ֣ אְ נ ֙ ול ְ ב ֽ ָ אְ ו
פ ׃ל ֽ ֶ מ ְ ר ַ כ ַ ה שׁא ֥ ֹר שׁ֖ ֵ בָ י ְ ו
Line a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
֙ הָ והְ י. Thesubject;thefirstwordoftheprophecyisYHWH.
ןו ֣ י ִ צ ִ מ. Thewordorderinןוי ִ צ ִ מ הָ והְ י mightsuggestthatןוי ִ צ ִ מ
couldbetakenwithהָ והְ י asanappellation,“YHWHofZion,”andas
asingleconstituent.Againstthis,however,isthedisjunctivepashta in
הָ והְ י andtheconjunctivemunah inןוי ִ צ ִ מ.Assuch,theprepositional
phraseןוי ִ צ ִ מadverbiallymodifiestheverbג ָ א ְ שִׁ י andisnotboundto
thenounהָ והְ י.
ג ָ֔ א ְ שִׁ י. Qalyiqtol 3msofגאשׁ.TheX+yiqtol pattern(thefact
thattheyiqtol isnon-initial)suggeststhattheverbisindicativeand
notmodal.Itmaybefutureorpresentiterative.
Line b:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,3constituents,and3units.
ִ֖ ַ ל ָ שׁורי ִ מו. Theconjunctionindicatesclause-levelcoordination
withlinea.Theabsenceofanexplicitsubjectisgappingofthesubject,
anditconfirmsthattheprepositionalphraseisboundtotheverb,and
soaffirmstheimplicationoftheaccentsinןוי ִ צ ִ מ הָ והְ י.
ן ֣ ֵ תִ י. Qalyiqtol 3msofןתנ.
a
b
c
d
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ו ֑ ֹלוק. Nounwith3mssuffix.Thephraseולוק ן ֵ תִ י semantically
matchesג ָ א ְ שִׁ י.
Line c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,2constituents,and3units.Thislineissequentialtolines
a–b.
֙ ול ְ ב ֽ ָ אְ ו. Qalweqatal 3cpofלבא.Thisisלבא II,to“dryup”
andnotלבא I,“tomourn.”SeeHALOT.
םי ֔ ִ עֹר ָ ה תו ֣ אְ נ. Feminine plural noun from הָ ו ָ נ, “a green
meadow,”inaconstructchainwithםי ִ עֹר ָ ה.
Line d:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.Thislinehassyntacticparallelism
withandamplifieslinec.
שׁ֖ ֵ בָ י ְ ו. Qalweqatal 3msofשׁבי.Becauseoftheparallelstructure
oflinesc–d,theactionofthisweqatal isnotsequentialtothatofthe
previousline.
ל ֽ ֶ מ ְ ר ַ כ ַ ה שׁא ֥ ֹר. A construct chain. The gentle, and usually
green,slopesofMt.Carmelprovideaspecificexample,afterlinec,of
apasturelandthatisparched.
1:3–2:16: oracles against the nations
This,thefirstmajordivisionofAmos,isaseriesofeightpoems,each
oneanoracleofjudgmentagainstanation(1:3-5,Damascus[Syria];
1:6-8,Gaza[Philistia];1:9-10,Tyre[Phoenicia];1:11-12,Edom;1:13-
15,Ammon;2:1-3,Moab;2:4-5,Judah;2:6-16,Israel).Somesuggest
thatAmosisgeographicallyencirclingIsrael,movingfromnortheast
(Damascus), to southwest (Philistia), to northwest (Tyre), to south-
east(Edom),tothetransjordanstates(AmmonandMoab),toJudah,
and finally to Israel. Others suggest that he bases his rhetoric on
ethnicity,beginningethnicallydistantorunrelatedpeoples(Arame-
ans, Philistines, and Phoenicians), moving to closely related nations
(Edom, Ammon, and Moab) and finally to Judah, who were of the
samepeopleasthenorthernIsraelites,beforeaddressingIsraelitself.
Amos1:2–2:16 17
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Itisclear,however,thatAmosisrhetoricallyentrappingtheIsraelites
bybeginningwithGentilestatesandprogressivelymovingcloseruntil
hereachesthemainobjectofhisdenunciations,Israelanditscapital
city,Samaria.Steinmann(1992)arguesthatotherpatternsareevident
in the order of the poems. For example, the first three are directed
againstcity-states,thenextthreearedirectedagainstpeoples,andthe
lasttwoaredirectedagainstthecovenantnations.
OnemayassumethattheinclusionofIsraelamongthecondemned
nationsisintendedtobeunexpectedandthereforerhetoricallyeffec-
tive. There are several indicators of this. First of all, Israel is placed
last, after a condemnation of seven states, and the audience might
haveassumedthattheoracleswerefinishedatseven.Second,incon-
demningGentilenations,Amoswasprobablyplayingtheroleofthe
“optimisticprophet”whopredictsonlysalvationforIsraelbutdisaster
foritsenemies;thepeoplemaywellhaveexpectedaprophettocon-
demnforeignnations(Barton1980,5).Third,bybeginningwitha
condemnationofSamaria’sancientrivalDamascus,Amoslulledhis
audienceintothinkingthatthiswouldbeajingoisticmessage.
Formally,thefollowingcharacteristicsareevidentinthefirstseven
poems (i.e., in all but the Israel poem). Each is in two stanzas, an
accusation(oneortwostrophes)andapredictionofjudgment(always
one strophe). The accusation stanza always begins with a standard
three-line formula in which each line begins with ל ַ ע (or ל ַ עְ ו). The
judgment stanza always begins with the formula שׁ ֵ א י ִ ת ְ חַ ל ִ שְׁ ו . . .
ה ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו(“andIwillsendfire...anditwillconsume...”),although
thejudgmentonAmmonat1:14distinctivelybeginswithשׁ ֵ א י ִ ת ַ צ ִ הְ ו
(“andIwillkindlefire”)insteadofשׁ ֵ א י ִ ת ְ חַ ל ִ שְׁ ו.Thejudgmentstanza
canbeexpandedtosevenlines,oritmayconsistofonlythetwo-line
formulaheadedbyי ִ ת ְ חַ ל ִ שְׁ ו.
Three patterns are found among the first seven poems. In the
oracles on Damascus (1:3-5), Gaza (1:6-8), Ammon (1:13-15), and
Moab(2:1-3),theaccusationisasinglestropheofthreeorfourlines,
andthejudgmentisasinglestropheofsevenlinesdominatedbythe
weqatal verb.IntheoraclesonEdom(1:11-12)andJudah(2:4-5),the
18 Amos1:3–2:16
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accusation is in two strophes, the first strophe being four lines (the
firstthreeheadedbythestandardל ַ ע)andthesecondstrophebeing
a bicolon headed by a wayyiqtol verb. The judgment stanza in these
twopoemsisminimal,consistingofonlythebicolonheadedbythe
שׁ ֵ א י ִ ת ְ חַ ל ִ שְׁ וformula.Thethirdpatternandtheshortestpoemisthe
judgment on Tyre (1:9-10). It has a four-line accusation stanza and
the minimal two-line judgment formula. Except for the fourth line
ofthefirststanza,theTyreoraclehasonlytheminimalfeaturesfor
theseoracles.
Anotherfeatureofthefirstsevenoraclesisconcatenation,inwhich
oneormoreelementsinoneoraclearerepeatedinthenext.Forexam-
ple,thestructureandmuchofthecontentofDamascusoracle(1:3-5)
arerepeatedintheGaza(Philistine)oracle(1:6-8).Both,forexample,
speakofGodremovingtheonewhosits(onthethrone)andwhoholds
the scepter (ב ֵ שׁוי and ט ֶ ב ֵ שׁ ך ֵ מותְ ו; 1:5 and 1:8). In the Philistine
oracle, God sends fire on the wall of Gaza (1:7); in the next oracle,
GodsendsfireonthewallofTyre(1:10).Tyrein1:9iscriticizedfor
notrememberingthecovenantofbrothers,whereasEdomin1:11pur-
suedhisbrotherwithasword.Edomin1:11slaughteredוי ָ מ ֲ ח ַ ר (which
heremeans“hischildbearers”;seediscussionbelow),whereasAmmon
in1:13cutopenthepregnantwomenofGilead.Ammonwillgointo
exileה ָ עור ְ ת ִ ב,“amidthebattle-cry”(1:14),andMoabwillbedefeated
ר ָ פושׁ לוק ְ ב ה ָ עור ְ ת ִ ב,“amidthebattle-cry,withthesoundofthesho-
far.”In2:2,GodsaysthathewillsendfireonMoab(theregion),and
itwillconsumeKerioth(theprincipalcity).In2:5,Godwillsendfire
on Judah (the region), and it will consume Jerusalem (the principal
city).Forfurtherdiscussionandelaboration,seePaul(1971).
3
Thus says YHWH:
Because of three rebellions of Damascus,
And because of four, I will not revoke it;
Because they threshed Gilead with the iron sledges.
4
And I will send fire on the house of Hazael,
And it will consume the citadels of Ben-hadad;
Amos1:3–2:16 19
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5
And I will shatter the gate-bar of Damascus,
And I will cut off the seated (ruler) from the Valley of Aven
And the one who holds a scepter from Beth-eden,
And the people of Syria will go into exile to Kir.
Says YHWH.
6
Thus says YHWH:
Because of three rebellions of Gaza,
And because of four, I will not revoke it;
Because they carried off a full-scale exile to hand them over to Edom.
7
And I will send fire on the wall of Gaza,
And it will consume its citadels;
8
And I will cut off the seated (ruler) from Ashdod
And the one who holds a scepter from Ashkelon,
And I will send back my hand against Ekron,
And what remains of the Philistines will perish.
Says the Lord YHWH.
9
Thus says YHWH:
Because of three rebellions of Tyre,
And because of four, I will not revoke it;
Because they handed over a full-scale exile to Edom
And did not remember a fraternal covenant.
10
And I will send fire on the wall of Tyre,
And it will consume its citadels.
11
Thus says YHWH:
Because of three rebellions of Edom,
And because of four, I will not revoke it;
Because he pursued his brother with the sword
And was exterminating their child-bearers.
And his rage tore on and on
While his wrath remained ever vigilant.
12
And I will send fire on Teman,
And it will consume the citadels of Bozrah.
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13
Thus says YHWH:
Because of three rebellions of the Ammonites,
And because of four, I will not revoke it;
Because they split open the pregnant women of Gilead
In order to enlarge their territory.
14
And I will kindle a fire on the wall of Rabbah,
And it will consume its citadels
With a war-signal, on a day of battle,
With a wind-storm, on a day of tempest.
15
And their king will go into exile—
He and his princes together.
Says YHWH.
2:1
Thus says YHWH:
Because of three rebellions of the Moab,
And because of four, I will not revoke it;
Because they burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime.
2
And I will send a fire upon Moab,
And it will consume the citadels of Kerioth
And Moab shall perish with clamor,
With a war-signal—with a blast of a shofar.
3
And I will cut off a judge from the midst of it,
And I will kill its princes with him.
Says YHWH.
4
Thus says YHWH:
Because of three rebellions of the Judah,
And because of four, I will not revoke it;
Because they rejected the Torah of YHWH,
And they did not keep his statutes,
5
And their lies led them astray—
(Lies) which their fathers followed.
And I will send a fire upon Judah,
And it will consume the citadels of Jerusalem.
Amos1:3–2:16 21
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6
Thus says YHWH:
Because of three rebellions of the Israel,
And because of four, I will not revoke it;
Because they sell a righteous man because of silver
And an impoverished man because of a pair of sandals;
7
They are people who sniff at the dust of the earth after the heads of
the poor
And stretch out the way of the weak.
And a man and his father go to the same girl
In order to profane my holy name,
8
And on garments taken in pledge they stretch out
Alongside every altar,
And they drink wine taken from people by fines
At the house of their God.
9
But I destroyed the Amorite before you
Whose height was like the height of cedars,
And he was as strong as oaks;
And I destroyed his fruit above
And his roots below.
10
And I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
And I took you through the wilderness for forty years
To possess the land of the Amorite.
11
And I raised up some of your sons as prophets
And some of your young men as Nazirites.
Is not this in fact the case, Sons of Israel?
The oracle of YHWH.
12
And you made the Nazirites drink wine,
And you prohibited the prophets, saying:
“Never prophesy!”
13
Look! I am weighed down under you,
Just as a cart is weighed down —
One that is full of sheaves.
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14
And retreat shall escape the swift:
A strong man will not rally his strength,
And a warrior will not save his life,
15
And one who bends a bow will not stand,
And one swift on his feet will not save (his life),
And one riding a horse will not save his life,
16
And one mighty of heart among warriors
Will flee naked on that day.
The oracle of YHWH.
1:3-5: First Oracle (Damascus)
After the prose heading (הָ והְ י ר ַ מ ָ א הֹכ), the poem has two stan-
zas.Thefirststanza(1:3)givesthereasonsGodwilljudgeDamascus
(threelines)inwhicheachlineisheadedbytheprepositionל ַ ע.The
second stanza (1:4-5) gives the punishment (seven lines), in which
eachlineisheadedbyaweqatal verb,exceptforlineBe,wherethereis
gappingwiththeverbי ִ ת ַ ר ְ כ ִ הְ ו inlineBddoingdouble-duty,andline
Bg,whichistheconcludingהָ והְ י ר ַ מ ָ א.
הָ֔ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א ה ֚ ֹכ
Prose Clause:Aprosedivinespeechformulaforthefollowingoracle.
ר ַ מ ָ א isaqalqatal3msרמא withtheparticleהֹכ,andהָ והְ י isthe
subjectoftheverb.
1:3b:First Stanza. Threelines.Eachisheadedbyל ַ ע orל ַ עְ ו.
ק ֶ ש ֔ ֶ מ ַ ד י ֣ ֵ ע ְ שׁ ִ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע
ונ ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א ֣ ֹל ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ ע ְ ו
׃ד ֽ ָ ע ְ ל ִ ג ַ ה־ת ֶ א ל֖ ֶ ז ְ ר ַ ב ַ ה תו ֥ צ ֻ ר ֲ ח ַ ב ם ֛ ָ שׁוד־ל ַ ע
Line Aa:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qatonandtheconstraintsare:
0predicators,1constituent,and3units.Thislineisgrammatically
dependentonונ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א אֹל inthefollowingline.
1:3a
1:3b Aa
Ab
Ac
Amos1:3 23
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ק ֶ ש ֔ ֶ מ ַ ד י ֣ ֵ ע ְ שִׁ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע. Aprepositionalphrase.ל ַ ע isreg-
ularly used in these oracles to indicate the reason God is bringing
downjudgment,anditshouldbetranslated“because.”ק ֶ ש ֶ מ ַ ד י ֵ ע ְ שׁ ִ פ
isaconstructchainboundtothenumberה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ.Damascuswasthe
dominantcityofSyria,northofIsrael.ע ַ שֶׁ פ,“crime”or“actofrebel-
lion,”indicatesthatYHWHisthelegitimatesovereignovereventhis
Gentilestate.
Line Ab: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ עְ ו. There is gapping with the previous line, the
phraseק ֶ ש ֶ מ ַ ד י ֵ ע ְ שׁ ִ פ beingunderstoodhere.Thesignificanceofthe
formula “for three . . . for four” in Amos is debated. In Proverbs,
theN...N+1formulagenerallyindicatesthatthelatternumberis
thespecificnumberofexamplesthattheteacherwillenumerate.For
example,Proverbs6:16says,“TherearesixthingsthattheLordhates,
seventhatareanabominationtohim,”andverses17-19goontolist
sevensins.ThisisnotthecaseinAmos,whereforDamascushecites
only one specific sin. The “for three . . . for four” therefore could
simplymean,“forseveral.”Itisnoteworthy,however,that3+4=7,
and this is an important number for Amos. The oracles against the
nationsspecify6GentilestatesplusJudah,thecovenantpeople,for
sevenoraclesofjudgment(thefactthatIsraelistheeighthnationis
significant,asdiscussedbelow).Asiswellknown,thenumberseven
generallysignifiescompletion.Thus,thepointof“forthree ...for
four”isprobablythatDamascushasreachedthemaximumallowed
numberoftransgressions. Thatis,thecupof their iniquities isfull.
AmosthereforeassertsthatthenumberofDamascus’sinshasreached
thecriticalpoint,demandingdivinejudgment,butheonlyspecifies
oneparticularsin.
ונ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א֣ ֹל. Negatedhiphilyiqtol 1csofבושׁ with3mssuf-
fix.Itmarkstheapodosisofa“because...therefore”construction,
inwhichtheprotasislinesaremarkedbyל ַ ע.Theverbsignifies“to
causetoturnback”buthere,inajudicialcontext,meansto“revoke.”
24 Amos1:3
Garrett Amos final.indd 24 6/6/08 2:24:28 PM
Thethingnotrevoked(indicatedbythesuffix)istheimpliedpunish-
ment.Forasummaryofalternativeinterpretationsofונ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א אֹל,see
Barton(1980,18).
Line Ac:Thecolon-markerissilluqandtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and4units.Thislineisgrammaticallydepen-
dentonthepreviousline.
ם ֛ ָ שׁוד־ל ַ ע. Qalinfiniteconstructofשׁוד with3mpsuffixand
prepositionל ַ ע.Theverbmeansto“trample”or“thresh.”Theprepo-
sitionresumestheexplanatoryorcausalsequenceoftheprotasis.
ל֖ ֶ ז ְ ר ַ ב ַ ה תו ֥ צ ֻ ר ֲ ח ַ ב. A prepositional phrase (תוצ ֻ ר ֲ ח ַ ב) in con-
struct with the noun לֶ ז ְ ר ַ ב ַ ה. The preposition ְ ב is instrumental.
Sledgeswereheavywoodenplatformsstuddedwithnailsorspikeson
thebottom.Drawnbyoxen,farmersusedsuchtoolstothreshgrain.
The image is a metaphor of harsh military conquest, ripping apart
peopleandcommunitiesjustasasledgeripsapartwheat.Thismeta-
phor for military subjugation also appears in Akkadian texts from
Tiglath-pileserIandEsarhaddon(Barton1980,19).
דֽ ָ ע ְ ל ִ ג ַ ה־ת ֶ א. The direct object. Gilead, east of the Jordan,
was disputed territory that was at times held by Israel and at times
by Damascus. The Omride kings of Israel fought a series of battles
againstDamascusinanattempttomaintaincontrolofGilead.The
conquest alluded to here may be that carried out by Hazael (2 Kgs
10:32-33).SeeBarton(1980,26–31)forasurveyofthehistoryofthe
conflictbetweenDamascusandIsrael.
1:4-5: Second Stanza. Sevenlines.Eachlineisheadedbyaweqa-
tal exceptwherethereisgapping(lineBe)andinthefinalline.The
sevenlinesofdivinejudgmentcorrespondtotheseven(3+4)sinsof
Damascusin1:3.
ל ֑ ֵ אָ ז ֲ ח תי ֣ ֵ ב ְ ב שׁ֖ ֵ א י ִ ת ְ ח֥ ַ ל ִ שְׁ ו
׃ד ֽ ָ ד ֲ ה־ן ֶ ב תו ֥ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו
ק ֶ ש ֔ ֶ מ ַ ד ַ חי ֣ ִ ר ְ ב ֙ י ִ ת ְ ר ַ ב ֽ ָ שְׁ ו
1:4
1:5
Ba
Bb
Bc
Amos1:4-5 25
Garrett Amos final.indd 25 6/6/08 2:24:28 PM
ן ֶ ו ָ֔ א־ת ַ ע ְ ק ִ ב ִ מ ֙ ב ֵ שׁוי י ֤ ִ ת ַ ר ְ כ ִ ה ְ ו
ן ֶ ד֑ ֶ ע תי ֣ ֵ ב ִ מ ט ֶ ב ֖ ֵ שׁ ך ֥ ֵ מותְ ו
ה ָ רי ֖ ִ ק ם ֛ ָ ר ֲ א־ם ַ ע ו ֧ ל ָ ג ְ ו
פ ׃הֽ ָ והְ י ר ֥ ַ מ ָ א
Line Ba: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
י ִ ת ְ ח֥ ַ ל ִ שְׁ ו. Pielweqatal 1csofחלשׁ.Theweqatal issignificant
fortworeasons.First,itcontinuestheapodosisbegunbyונ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א אֹלּ.
Second, this and all subsequent weqatal forms constitute the main-
lineframeworkofananticipatory(futuretense)narration.Fivespe-
cificcalamitiesarepredictedforDamascus,asrepresentedbythefive
weqatal verbsinlinesBa,Bb,Bc,Bd-e,andBf.
שׁ֖ ֵ א. Thedirectobject.Firehereconnotesthedestructionofthe
city.
ל֑ ֵ אָ ז ֲ ח תי֣ ֵ ב ְ ב. Aprepositionalphrase(תי ֵ ב ְ ב)inconstructwith
thepropernounל ֵ אָ ז ֲ ח.Thepreposition ְ ב islocative,butitalsoindi-
cates the secondary object. Hazael, like Ben-hadad, was apparently
a throne-name; the history of Damascus is difficult to reconstruct
becausemanykingsareidentifiedbythesamename(itappearsthat
at least three different kings of Damascus are called Ben-hadad in
the Bible). The famous Hazael of the Bible (2 Kgs 8–12; latter part
oftheninthcentury)wasascourgetoIsrael,inflictingseveredefeats
uponthem,althoughIsraelrecoveredafterhisdeath.The“houseof
Hazael” refers to the dynastic succession of rulers over Damascus.
Notallmembersoftherulinglinewererelated;Hazaelhimselfwas
a usurper. But the entire lineof Damascus kings,the text says,will
cometoanend.
Line Bb:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.
ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו. Qalweqatal 3fsofלכא.Thesubjectisthefireoflinea.
Bd
Be
Bf
Bg
26 Amos1:4-5
Garrett Amos final.indd 26 6/6/08 2:24:29 PM
ד ֽ ָ ד ֲ ה־ן ֶ ב תו ֥ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א. The direct object, a construct chain. The
destruction of the “citadels” of a city in Amos is formulaic for the
destructionofthatcityandfortheendofthatstate.Thewordןומ ְ ר ַ א
may mean “palace,” but it is also construed as fortified, suggesting
that an English term such as “citadel” is appropriate. It could refer
totheacropolisaroundwhichmostancientcitieswerebuilt,asthat
positionwasmosteasilydefendedandwouldalsooftenbetheloca-
tionforapalaceortemple.ד ָ ד ֲ ה־ן ֶ ב istheotherthronenameusedin
Damascus;itisaHebrewversionoftheAramaicBir-Hadad,“sonof
(thegod)Hadad.”HazaelandBen-hadadformamerismindicating
thattherewillbenomoreArameankingsofDamascus.
Line Bc:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and3units.Despitetheversenumber-
ing,thiscontinuesthestrophebeguninv.4.
֙ י ִ ת ְ ר ַ ב ֽ ָ שְׁ ו. Qalweqatal 1csofרבשׁ.Thiscontinuesthemainline
predictionbeguninthepreviouslines.
ק ֶ ש ֔ ֶ מ ַ ד ַ חי ֣ ִ ר ְ ב. Thedirectobject.ThebarofDamascus,bysyn-
ecdoche, represents the gate of the city, which in turn represents its
defenses.Thepointisthatallofthecity’sdefenseswillfail.
Line Bd: The colon-marker is zaqeph qaton and the constraints
are:1predicator,3constituents,and3units(ן ֶ ו ָ א־ת ַ ע ְ ק ִ ב isregardedas
apropernameandthereforeas1unit).
י ֤ ִ ת ַ ר ְ כ ִ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 1csofתרכ.
֙ ב ֵ שׁוי. Qalparticiplemsofבשׁי,thiscouldmean,“inhabitant”
andrefertoallthecitizens.However,itispairedwith“theonewho
holdsascepter”inlinee(semanticmatching)andthereforeitrefersto
apersonwho“sits(uponathrone)”;thatis,totheking.
ן ֶ ו ָ֔ א־ת ַ ע ְ ק ִ ב ִ מ. Aprepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ.Thelocationofthe
“ValleyofAven”isunknown,butthetitleisprobablyacacophemism
(atermofdisparagement)ratherthantheactualnameofaplace,asit
means“valleyofiniquity.”Itprobablyreferstothevalleyareanorthof
GalileebetweentheLebanonandAnti-Lebanonmountains.
Amos1:4-5 27
Garrett Amos final.indd 27 6/6/08 2:24:29 PM
Line Be: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 0
predicators, 3 constituents, and 3 units. There is gapping, in that
thislineisgovernedbyי ִ ת ַ ר ְ כ ִ הְ ו fromlined.Takingintoaccountthe
gapping,linesdandesyntacticallyparalleloneanother,eachhaving
aparticipleorparticipialphrase(ב ֵ שׁוי andט ֶ ב ֵ שׁ ך ֵ מותְ ו)followedby
aprepositionalphraseinwhichatwo-wordpropernameisgoverned
by ן ִ מ.ThegappinghereindicatesthattherulerfromtheValleyof
Aven and of the scepter-holder from Beth-eden are conceptually a
single person. Probably the ruler of each place is one and the same
man,thekingofDamascus.
ך ֥ ֵ מותְ ו. Qalactiveparticiplemsofךמת withconjunction.The
participleissubstantival.
ט ֶ ב ֖ ֵ שׁ. Thedirectobjectofך ֵ מותְ ו.
ן ֶ ד֑ ֶ ע תי֣ ֵ ב ִ מ. Aprepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ.Beth-edenisknown
asBit Adini inAssyriantextsandwaslocatedontheEuphratesRiver
about 200 miles northeast of Damascus. With the Valley of Aven,
apparentlyinthesouthwest,thisindicatesthatthekingsofDamascus
will lose power over all of their territory, from the southwest to the
northeast.
Line Bf:Thecolon-markeristifha.Theconstraintsare:1predica-
tor,3constituents,and4units.Ifהָ והְ י ר ַ מ ָ א weretreatedaspartof
this line, there would be too many constituents and units. Several
times in Amos a tifha will mark a line break before a divine speech
formula.
ו ֧ לָ ג ְ ו.Qalweqatal 3cpofהלג.Thisisthelastinaseriesoffive
mainlinepredictionsmarkedbytheweqatal.
ם֛ ָ ר ֲ א־ם ַ ע. Aconstructchainservingasthesubject.Amosfore-
seesamassdeportationoftheArameanpeople.
ה ָ רי ֖ ִ ק. Apropername,Kir,withadirectiveה.Kir’slocationis
notcertain,butIsaiah22:6suggeststhatitwasintheareaofElam,
east of southern Mesopotamia. Amos 9:7 indicates that this is the
original homeland of the Arameans, and that text asserts that God
broughtuptheArameansinan“exodus”fromKir.Now,hesays,their
28 Amos1:4-5
Garrett Amos final.indd 28 6/6/08 2:24:30 PM
exoduswillbereversed.SeeAmos2:10,wheretheimplicationisthat
Israel’sexodusfromEgyptwillalsobereversed.
Line Bg:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and2units.
ר ֥ ַ מ ָ א. Qalqatal 3msofרמא.Thedivinespeechformulater-
minatesthepoem.
הָ והְ י. Thesubject.
1:6-8: Second Oracle (Gaza)
Aftertheproseheading(הָ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א הֹכ),thepoemhastwostanzas,
eachasinglestrophe.Thispoemisstructurallyidenticalto1:3-5.The
firststanza(1:6)givesthereasonsGodwilljudgeGazaandthePhilis-
tinesinthreelines,witheachheadedbytheprepositionל ַ ע.Thesec-
ond(1:7-8)givesthepunishmentinsevenlines,witheachlineheaded
by a weqatal verb, except for line Bd, where there is gapping with
theverbי ִ ת ַ ר ְ כ ִ הְ ו inlineBcdoingdouble-duty,andlineBg,whichis
theconcludingהִ והְ י י ָ נֹד ֲ א ר ַ מ ָ א.Scholarshavenotedthatthisoracle
includes every city of the Philistine pentapolis except Gath (Gaza,
Ashdod,Ashkelon,andEkronareallmentioned).ItappearsthatGath
wasrelativelyinsignificantbythetimeofAmos.Thelastknownking
ofGathwasAchish(mentionedin1Kgs2:39-40,fromtheearlypart
ofSolomon’sreign),andGathisabsentincuneiformsourcesfromthis
time(forfurtherinformation,seediscussionat6:2).
הָ֔ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א ה ֚ ֹכ
See1:3.
1:6b: First Stanza. Three lines. Each is headed by matching ל ַ ע
orל ַ עְ ו.
ה ֔ ָ ז ַ ע י֣ ֵ ע ְ שׁ ִ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע
ונ ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א ֣ ֹל ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ ע ְ ו
׃םו ֽ ד ֱ א ֶ ל רי ֥ ִ ג ְ ס ַ ה ְ ל ה ֖ ָ מ ֵ ל ְ שׁ תו ֥ ל ָ ג ם ֛ ָ תול ְ ג ַ ה־ל ַ ע
1:6a
1:6b Aa
Ab
Ac
Amos1:6-8 29
Garrett Amos final.indd 29 6/6/08 2:24:30 PM
Line Aa:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0 predicators, 1 constituent, and 3 units. This line is dependent on
thefollowingline.
ה֔ ָ ז ַ ע י ֣ ֵ ע ְ שִׁ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע. Gazaismentionedhereastherepre-
sentativecityofthePhilistineseitherbecauseitisthesouthernmost
Philistinecity(andthusisattheextremesoutheastcornerofAmos’
mapofcondemnednations,oppositeDamascus),orbecauseitwasthe
mostpowerfulofthecity-states,orbecauseitsplacealongthecoastal
trade-route made it an important junction in the slave trade (Paul
1991,56).BythelateeighthcenturyGazawasunderthedomination
of Assyria. Gaza gave tribute to Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria (ruled
745–727)accordingtoanAssyrianbuildinginscription(ANET 282).
Thereafter rulers of Gaza were tributary vassals of Assyria and are
mentioned as such in texts connected with Sennacherib (704–681),
Esar-haddon (680–669) and Ashurbanipal (668–633); see ANET
288,291,294.
Line Ab: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ עְ ו. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע usedcausally.
ונ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א֣ ֹל. Negatedhiphilyiqtol 1csofבושׁ with3mssuf-
fix.
Line Ac:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator(ם ָ תולְ ג ַ ה),4constituents,and5units.
ם ֛ ָ תולְ ג ַ ה־ל ַ ע. Hiphilinfinitiveconstructwith3mpsuffixwith
ל ַ ע usedcausally.
ה֖ ָ מֵ ל ְ שׁ תו ֥ ל ָ ג. The direct object. The word תול ָ ג is a cognate
accusative with ם ָ תולְ ג ַ ה. The word ה ָ מֵ ל ְ שׁ is adjectival, giving the
meaning“acompleteexile.”Itmayrefertoraidingvillagesandtaking
theirentirepopulationsascaptivestosellintoslavery.
רי ֥ ִ ג ְ ס ַ ה ְ ל. Hiphilinfinitiveconstructofרגס with ְ ל.Itisherea
complementtoם ָ תולְ ג ַ ה.Onרגס,see1:9.
30 Amos1:6
Garrett Amos final.indd 30 6/6/08 2:24:31 PM
םו ֽ ד ֱ אֶ ל. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ל,whichmayberegardedas
bothdirectionalandasadativeofadvantage.Edomismentionedhere
andin1:9astherecipientofalargenumberofpersonskidnappedfor
slavery.Edomapparentlyeitherservedasamiddlemanfortransport-
ingslavestoArabiaoritselfusedtheslavesinitscoppermines.
1:7-8: Second Stanza. Sevenlines.Theinitialweqatal verbsconsti-
tuteamainlineseriesoffutureevents.Fourlinesendwithreferences
to names of Philistine cities (Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Ekron),
one line (Bb) ends with ָ הי ֶ תֹ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א (“her [Gaza’s] citadels”), and one
line (Bf ) ends with םי ִ ת ְ שִׁ ל ְ פ תי ִ ר ֵ א ְ שׁ (“the remainder of the Philis-
tines”).Inshort,thefirstfivelineseachdescribethedestructionofa
Philistinelocation,andthesixthbroadlystatesthatallPhilistiawill
bedestroyed.
ה֑ ָ ז ַ ע ת֣ ַ מוח ְ ב שׁ֖ ֵ א י ִ ת ְ ח֥ ַ ל ִ שְׁ ו
׃ ָ הי ֽ ֶ תֹ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו
דו ֔ ד ְ שׁ ַ א ֽ ֵ מ ֙ ב ֵ שׁוי י ֤ ִ ת ַ ר ְ כ ִ ה ְ ו
ןו ֑ ל ְ ק ְ שׁ ַ א ֽ ֵ מ ט ֶ ב ֖ ֵ שׁ ך ֥ ֵ מותְ ו
ןו ֗ ר ְ ק ֶ ע־ל ַ ע י ִ֜ דָ י י ִ תו ֨ בי ִ שׁ ֲ ה ַ ו
םי ֔ ִ ת ְ שׁ ִ ל ְ פ תי ֣ ִ ר ֵ א ְ שׁ ֙ וד ְ ב ֽ ָ אְ ו
פ ׃הֽ ִ והְ י י֥ ָ נֹד ֲ א ר ֖ ַ מ ָ א
Line Ba: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
י ִ ת ְ ח֥ ַ ל ִ שְׁ ו. Piel weqatal 1 c s from חלשׁ. As in 1:4, the weqatal
forms here continue the apodosis and give a mainline sequence of
futureevents.
שׁ֖ ֵ א. Thedirectobject.
ה֑ ָ ז ַ ע ת֣ ַ מוח ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב.ThreetimesYHWH
sendsfireontheה ָ מוח (“wall”)ofacity(1:7,10,14).ה ָ מוח isadefen-
1:7
1:8
Ba
Bb
Bc
Bd
Be
Bf
Bg
Amos1:7-8 31
Garrett Amos final.indd 31 6/6/08 2:24:31 PM
sivewallaroundacity,building,orvineyard.Themoregeneralterm
forawallisר ֵ דָ ג (Hammershaimb1970,31),andרי ִ ק isaninternal,
structuralwall(seeAmos5:19).
Line Bb:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and2units.
ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו. Qalweqatal 3fsfromלכא.
ָ הי ֽ ֶ תֹ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א. Directobjectwith3fssuffix(antecedentisהָ ז ַ ע).
Line Bc:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
י ֤ ִ ת ַ ר ְ כ ִ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 1csofתרכ.
֙ ב ֵ שׁוי. Qalparticiplemsofבשׁי.Asin1:5thiswordrepresents
theruler,onewhositsonathrone,andnotanordinary“inhabitant.”
Itismatchedbyט ֶ ב ֵ שׁ ך ֵ מותְ ו inBd.
דו ֔ ד ְ שׁ ַ אֽ ֵ מ. Prepositional phrase with ן ִ מ. The eighth-century
cityofAshdodsufferedtwoconflagrations.Itwassubduedinaround
760byUzziah(2Chr26:6)andthenin712bytheAssyrianSargon
II (721–705 B.C.). It is thereafter mentioned as a tributary state of
Assyria(seeANET 288,291,294).
Line Bd: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 0
predicators,2constituents,and3units.Thereisgappingoftheverb
י ִ ת ַ ר ְ כ ִ הְ ו inlineBc.
ט ֶ ב ֖ ֵ שׁ ך֥ ֵ מותְ ו. Aqalactiveparticiplemsofךמת withconjunc-
tionandinconstructwithט ֶ ב ֵ שׁ,anobjectivegenitive.Theparticiple
issubstantival.
ןו ֑ ל ְ ק ְ שׁ ַ אֽ ֵ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ.Ashkelonwaslocated
ontheMediterraneancoastbetweenGazatothesouthandAshdod
tothenorth.Tiglath-pileserIIItwiceconfrontedAshkelon,amember
ofananti-AssyriancoalitionledbyDamascus,whilecampaigningin
theLevant.SeeABD,“Ashkelon.”
Line Be:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units.
32 Amos1:7-8
Garrett Amos final.indd 32 6/6/08 2:24:31 PM
י ִ תו ֨ בי ִ שׁ ֲ הַ ו. Hiphil weqatal 1 c s of בושׁ. The verb, with the
direct object י ִ דָ י and the preposition ל ַ ע, means, “I will send back
myhandagainst”(seeIsa1:25).ElsewhereinAmos1–2,thehiphilof
בושׁ meansto“revoke”ajudgment.
י ִ֜ דָ י. Thedirectobject.
ןו ֗ ר ְ ק ֶ ע־ל ַ ע. Prepositional phrase with ל ַ ע. Ekron was located
more toward the interior and further from the coast, making it a
border city between Judah and Philistia. Currently identified at Tel
Miqne, it, too, came under Assyrian domination in the late eighth
century. In his campaign of 701, Sennacherib assaulted Ekron and
killed its leading citizens, impaling them about the city wall; see
ANET 287–88).
Line Bf:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and3units.
וד ְ ב ֽ ָ אְ ו֙. Qalweqatal 3cpofדבא.Thisfinalweqatal completes
themainlineseriesandindicatesthecompleteendofPhilistinecivi-
lization.
םי ֔ ִ ת ְ שִׁ ל ְ פ תי ֣ ִ ר ֵ א ְ שׁ. Thisconstructchain,“theremainderofthe
Philistines,”acknowledgesthattherewereotherPhilistinecitiesand
villages, including what remained of Gath. The point is that all of
Philistiawillbesweptaway.
Line Bg:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.
ר ֖ ַ מ ָ א. Qalqatal 3msofרמא.
הֽ ִ והְ י י֥ ָ נֹד ֲ א. Subject.Theadditionofי ָ נֹד ֲ א (literally“mylords”
butusedfrequentlyasanhonorificforYHWHandsimplytranslated
as “lord”), over against the shorter הָ והְ י ר ַ מ ָ א in 1:5, illustrates the
kindofminorvariationAmosfrequentlyemploys.
1:9-10: Tird Oracle (Tyre)
Aftertheproseheading(הָ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א הֹכ),thepoemhastwostanzas.
Thefirststanza(1:9)givesthereasonsGodwilljudgeTyreandthe
Amos1:7-8 33
Garrett Amos final.indd 33 6/6/08 2:24:32 PM
Phoenicians.Thesecond(1:10),inatruncatedfashion,describesthe
calamitiesthatwillbefallTyre.Theabbreviatedjudgmentclausedoes
notindicatethatTyrewillexperiencealessseveretrauma.Although
Amosemploysrepetitionthroughouthisfirsttwochapters,heavoids
the tedium of structuring every poem in exactly the same manner.
Asdescribedabove,onlytwoelementsarerepeatedverbatiminevery
poem. First, every poem employs the same opening in three lines.
Second,inthepronouncementofjudgment,everyoracleexceptthat
onIsraelhasthetwolines... שׁ ֵ א י ִ ת ְ חַ ל ִ שְׁ וand...ה ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו.Theoracle
onTyreisuniqueinthatithasonlytheserequisitefivelinesplusone
additionalline,Ad.
הָ֔ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א ה ֚ ֹכ
Prose Clause: See1:3.
1:9b: First Stanza. Fourlines.Eachisheadedbyל ַ ע orל ַ עְ ו,except
thatthefourthline(Ad)isheadedbyור ְ כָ ז אֹל ְ ו.Thislineisexposition
onAc,indicatingtheespeciallyheinousnatureofthisactofkidnap-
pingpeopleforslavery.
ר ֔ ֹצ־י ֵ ע ְ שׁ ִ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע
ונ ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א ֣ ֹל ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ ע ְ ו
םו ֔ ד ֱ א ֶ ל ֙ ה ָ מ ֵ ל ְ שׁ תו ֤ ל ָ ג ם ָ֞ רי ִ ג ְ ס ַ ה־ל ֽ ַ ע
׃םי ֽ ִ ח ַ א תי ֥ ִ ר ְ ב ו ֖ ר ְ כָ ז א ֥ ֹל ְ ו
Line Aa:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0 predicators, 1 constituent, and 3 units. This line is dependent on
thefollowingline.
ר ֔ ֹצ־י ֵ ע ְ שִׁ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע. Tyre was the dominant Phoenician
cityintheeighthcentury,Sidonatthistimebeinginvassalstatusto
Tyre(Paul1991,59).
1:9a
1:9b Aa
Ab
Ac
Ad
34 Amos1:9
Garrett Amos final.indd 34 6/6/08 2:24:32 PM
Line Ab: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ עְ ו. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע usedcausally.
ונ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א֣ ֹל. Negatedhiphilyiqtol 1csofבושׁ with3mssuf-
fix.
Line Ac:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare
1 predicator, 3 constituents, and 4 units. This line is the concaten-
ouslinktoasimilaraccusationleveledagainstGazain1:6,butasis
common in Amos, there is minor variation in the wording (see line
Acin1:6).
ם ָ֞ רי ִ ג ְ ס ַ ה־ל ֽ ַ ע. Hiphilinfinitiveconstructofרגס with3mpsuf-
fixandacausalprepositionל ַ ע.Theinfinitivehereservesasapredi-
cator;bycontrast,in1:6,ם ָ תולְ ג ַ ה isthepredicatorandרי ִ ג ְ ס ַ ה ְ ל isits
complement. But the meaning of both lines is essentially the same.
רגס intheqalmeansto“shut”butinthehiphil itmeansto“hand
(arefugee)over”toapursuerorenemy.TheusageinDeuteronomy
23:16(E15)isparticularlyapropos.
֙ ה ָ מֵ ל ְ שׁ תו ֤ ל ָ ג. The direct object. The adjective ם ֵ ל ָ שׁ (“whole,
complete”)suggeststhatanentirecommunitywasseizedandcarried
offintoslavery.
םו ֔ ד ֱ אֶ ל. Prepositional phrase with ְ ל. As in 1:6, Edom is the
recipientofthecapturedslaves.Itisperhapsnoteworthythatplaces
fromwhichtheseslavesweretakenisnotindicatedinthetext.One
mightassumethattheyaresnatchedfromIsraelorJudah,butthetext
doesnotsaythis.Theimportantpointisthatthesenationsengagedin
thecrimeofseizingpeoplestosellasslaves.Whetherornotthepeople
theyseizedwereIsraeliteissecondary.
Line Ad:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator, 2 constituents, and 3 units. Within the accusation stanzas of
theoraclesofthispoem,thelinesheadedbyל ַ ע mayberegardedas
mainline elements of the protasis, listing the principal reasons that
God’sjudgmentiscoming.Thisאֹל ְ ו +qatal clause,asisnormallythe
Amos1:9 35
Garrett Amos final.indd 35 6/6/08 2:24:33 PM
case,isoffline,anditherecommentsontheaccusation.Inthiscase,
the act of attacking villages and taking people to sell into slavery is
madeallthemoreheinousbythefactthatthepeoplestheyattacked
weretreaty-alliesandthusshouldhavebeenundertheirprotection.
ו ֖ ר ְ כָ ז א֥ ֹל ְ ו. Negatedqalqatal 3cpofרכז.Thetermרכז isused
forremembering(i.e.,forabidingbythetermsof )acovenant,asin
Genesis9:15andExodus2:24.
םי ֽ ִ ח ַ א תי ֥ ִ ר ְ ב. A construct chain serving as the direct object.
The covenant alluded to here may be the treaty relations between
IsraelandTyre.SuchatreatywasmadebetweenDavidandHiramof
Tyre(2Sam5:11),anditwasmaintainedunderSolomonandHiram
(1Kgs5:1-12).TherewasalsoamarriageallianceinvolvingAhabof
IsraelandJezebeldaughterofEthbaalofSidon(1Kgs16:31).Again,
however, the lack of specificity is important. The crime of Tyre is
notthattheyactedagainstIsrael,butthattheykidnappedpeoplefor
slaveryandviolatedtreatiesinordertodoso.“Brothers”(םי ִ ח ַ א)isin
theancientNearEastatechnicaltermfortreatypartners(see1Kgs
9:13).SeePriest(1965).
1:10: Second Stanza. Twolines.Bothareheadedbyweqatal verbs,
indicatingthatthisstropheistheapodosis.Asdescribedabove,these
twolinesconstitutetheminimalconfigurationforajudgmentstanza
inthefirstsevenpoems.
ר ֑ ֹצ ת ַ מו ֣ ח ְ ב שׁ֖ ֵ א י ִ ת ְ ח֥ ַ ל ִ שְׁ ו
פ ׃ ָ הי ֽ ֶ תֹ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו
Line Ba: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
י ִ ת ְ ח֥ ַ ל ִ שְׁ ו. Pielweqatal 1csfromחלשׁ.
שׁ֖ ֵ א. Thedirectobject.
ר ֑ ֹצ ת ַ מו ֣ ח ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב onaconstructchain.
1:10 Ba
Bb
36 Amos1:9-10
Garrett Amos final.indd 36 6/6/08 2:24:33 PM
The destruction of Tyre represents the end of Phoenician indepen-
denceandofitshegemonyoverthenorthernLevant.
Line Bb:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and2units.
ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו. Qalweqatal 3fsfromלכא (thesubjectisשׁ ֵ א).
ָ הי ֽ ֶ תֹ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א. The direct object. The 3 f s suffix has Tyre as its
antecedent;citiesareconstruedasfeminine.
1:11-12: Fourth Oracle (Edom)
After the prose הָ והְ י ר ַ מ ָ א הֹכ, the poem has two stanzas, the first
havingtwostrophesandthesecondhavingone.
הָ֔ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א ה ֚ ֹכ
See1:3.
1:11b-c: First Stanza. Twostrophes.Thefirstisastandardaccusa-
tion strophe, but the second is conjoined to it with a wayyiqtol and
givesasecondaryaccusation.
1:11b: First Strophe.4lines.Eachisheadedbyל ַ ע orל ַ עְ ו,except
thatthelastline(1d)isheadedbytheweqatal ת ֵ ח ִ שְׁ ו.
םו ֔ ד ֱ א י ֣ ֵ ע ְ שׁ ִ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע
ונ ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א ֣ ֹל ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ ע ְ ו
֙ וי ִ ח ָ א ב ֶ ר ֤ ֶ ח ַ ב ו ֨ פ ְ ד ָ ר־ל ַ ע
וי ֔ ָ מ ֲ ח ַ ר ת֣ ֵ ח ִ שְׁ ו
Line A1a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0 predicators, 1 constituent, and 3 units. This line is dependent on
thefollowingline.
1:11a
1:11b A1a
A1b
A1c
A1d
Amos1:10-11 37
Garrett Amos final.indd 37 6/6/08 2:24:33 PM
םו ֔ ד ֱ א י ֣ ֵ ע ְ שִׁ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע. Edom, located south of the Dead
Sea,wasanationwhosepeopleweremostcloselyrelatedtotheIsrael-
itesbutwhooftenweretheirmostbitterenemies.Edomismentioned
fourtimesinthesepoems,twiceastherecipientofslaves(1:6,9),once
asthevictimofacrime(2:1),andhere,whereEdomistheobjectof
divinejudgment.
Line A1b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ עְ ו. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע usedcausally.
ונ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א֣ ֹלּ. Negatedhiphilyiqtol 1csofבושׁ with3mssuf-
fix.Asusual,itmarkstheapodosis.
Line A1c: The colon-marker is pashta and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.Theuseofpashta attheendof
alineisunusual,butfortworeasonsthislineshouldterminatehere.
First,ifוי ָ מ ֲ ח ַ ר ת ֵ ח ִ שְׁ ו wereaddedtothisthelinewouldbetoolong
(fiveconstituents).Second,theparallelism,withףדר corresponding
toתחשׁ andwithוי ִ ח ָ א correspondingtoוי ָ מ ֲ ח ַ ר,suggeststhatת ֵ ח ִ שְׁ ו
וי ָ מ ֲ ח ַ ר isaseparateline.
ו ֨ פ ְ ד ָ ר־ל ַ ע. Qal infinitive construct of ףדר with 3 m s suffix
andprepositionל ַ ע usedcausally.Thisservesasthepredicatorofthis
line.
ב ֶ ר ֤ ֶ ח ַ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithinstrumental ְ ב.Theswordis
metonymyformilitaryaction.
֙ וי ִ ח ָ א. Thedirectobject.Asin1:9,“brother”couldhererepre-
sentatreatypartner,butinthiscaseitprobablyrepresentstheracial
kinship between Edom and Judah, their neighbors to the north.
Again,thefactthatJudahisnotexplicitlynamedindicatesthatitis
thenatureofthecrime,notthefactthatJudahwasthevictim,that
is the focus. Because of the condemnation of Edom in the book of
Obadiah,setapparentlyatthetimeoftheexile,somesuggestthatthis
oracleisalaterinsertioncondemningEdomfortheroleitplayeddur-
ingthefallofJerusalemtoNebuchadnezzarII(in586).Thisconclu-
38 Amos1:11
Garrett Amos final.indd 38 6/6/08 2:24:34 PM
sionisunnecessary.Therewerenodoubtmanyincursionsandbattles
alongtheborderofEdomandJudahthroughouttheirlonghistory,
andAmosprobablyhadanincidentinmindthatwehavenospecific
knowledgeof.Thisappearstohavebeenanespeciallyviciousattack,
however;itwasanattempttocarryoutapolicyofgenocideagainst
Judah.
Line A1d:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and2units.
ת֣ ֵ ח ִ שְׁ ו. Pielweqatal 3msofתחשׁ.Theverbmeanstodestroy,
ruin, or exterminate. The use of the weqatal for the past tense is
unusual and demands attention. Amos 1–2 has a large number of
weqatal verbs,butalmostallrepresentamainlinefuturetenseexposi-
tion,asiscommon.Normallyaconjoinedpasttenseactionisexpressed
withthewayyiqtol,buttheuseofthewayyiqtol herewouldsuggesta
separate,sequentialaction.Theweqatal suggeststwothings.First,as
mentioned above, the action of this line (A1d) is simultaneouswith
thatofthepreviousline,A1c.Second,theactionisimperfective(“and
he was exterminating”) and not perfective (“and he exterminated”).
Thelatterwouldberepresentedbythewayyiqtol.
וי ֔ ָ מ ֲ ח ַ ר. Thewordםי ִ מ ֲ ח ַ ר isusedabstractlyfor“compassion”or
“pity,”andthusmostversionstakethislineas“hedestroyedhispity,”
understanding that to mean that he showed no compassion. How-
ever,asShalomPaulstates,suchaninterpretation“isamakeshiftone
andistotallyunattested”(Paul1991,64).Variousinterpretationsfor
םי ִ מ ֲ ח ַ ר herehavebeenproposed,includingtheunconvincingnotion
that it refers to treaty partners (see Fishbane 1970 and 1972; Coote
1971;Barré1985).Itismorelikelyherethatם ֶ ח ֶ ר (“womb”)isusedby
metonymyfor“women”especiallyintheircapacityaschild-bearers.
SimilarusageappearsinJudges5:30:
ל ָ ל ָ שׁ וק ְ ל ַ חְ י וא ְ צ ְ מִ י אֹל ֲ ה
ר ֶ ב ֶ ג שׁאֹר ְ ל םִ י ַ ת ָ מ ֲ ח ַ ר ם ַ ח ַ ר
Amos1:11 39
Garrett Amos final.indd 39 6/6/08 2:24:34 PM
“Won’t they find [and] divide plunder?
A womb, two wombs, for the head of each warrior?”
Here,thesexuallanguageisquitegraphic.Womentakeninplun-
deraredescribedas“wombs”forthe“head”(i.e.,forthesexualorgan)
of each soldier. In Amos, the women are similarly the victims of
enemysoldiers,andagaintheyarebymetonymyreferredtoasםחר
becauseitistheirsexualcapacitythatisinview.InAmos,however,
thewomenarerepresentedaschildbearersandarenotobjectsofrape
butofslaughter,becauseEdom’sobjectiveisgenocide.Thetermםחר
inUgariticalsocanmean“woman,”asitisusedinparallelwithbtlt,
“virgin”(CTA 6:ii:26–27;citedinPaul1991,65).Inaddition,thecon-
catenationpatterndescribedforthispoemindicatesthattheslaughter
ofwomenisinview,sincetheprincipalcrimeoftheAmmonitesin
1:13isthattheycutopenpregnantwomen.Ontheotherhand,the
factthatםי ִ מ ֲ ח ַ ר means“compassion”isnotlostonAmos.Makinga
wordplayonthetwosensesofthewordas“child-bearers”and“com-
passion,”hespeaksofhowtheEdomitesgavefullexpressiontotheir
rageinthenextstrophe(2a-2b).Theantecedentofthe3mssuffixon
וי ָ מ ֲ ח ַ ר is“brother”inthepreviousline.As“brother”acollectiverefer-
encetothepeopleofJudah,thesuffixcanbetranslatedas“their.”
1:11c: Second Strophe. Two lines. The lines are plainly parallel
(ופ ַ א withות ָ ר ְ ב ֶ עְ ו,andד ַ ע ָ ל withח ַ צֶ נ),andconstituteabicolon.The
initialwayyiqtol isusedhereandin2:4tointroduceasecondaryaccu-
sation.
ו ֔ פ ַ א ֙ ד ַ ע ָ ל ף ֤ ֹר ְ טִ י ַ ו
׃ח ַ צֽ ֶ נ ה ָ ר ֥ ָ מ ְ שׁ ו ֖ ת ָ ר ְ ב ֶ ע ְ ו
Line A2a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ף ֤ ֹר ְ טִ י ַ ו. Qalwayyiqtol 3msofףרט.Inprosenarrativethewayy-
iqtol typicallygivesthemainlinestructureforahistoricalsequenceof
1:11c A2a
A2b
40 Amos1:11
Garrett Amos final.indd 40 6/6/08 2:24:35 PM
events.Thistext,however,althoughpasttense,isnotstrictlyanar-
rative but an accusation. The wayyiqtol is not temporally sequential
butitissecondary,beinganadditionalaccusation.Theverbףרט (“to
tear”)isoftenemendedtoרטנ (“toguard”)onthegroundsthatitisa
betterparalleltoרמשׁ inline2b,andalsobecauseoftheusageinJer-
emiah3:5,ח ַ צֶ נ ָ ל רֹ מ ְ שִׁ י־ם ִ א ם ָ לוע ְ ל רֹטְ נִ י ֲ ה (“Willheguard[hisanger]
forever?Willhekeep[it]continually?”).Thisemendationisappealing
andmaybecorrect,butonecanmaintaintheMTasitstands.
֙ ד ַ ע ָ ל. The noun ד ַ ע means “lasting time” or “future,” and the
idiomד ַ ע ָ ל means“permanently.”
ו ֔ פ ַ א. Itisnotcertainwhetherthisistobeconstruedasthesub-
jectorobjectoftheverb,butsince“hetorehiswrath”isunclearand
actually suggests that he destroyed his wrath (i.e., brought it to an
end),itismorelikethatthatופ ַ א isthesubject,“hiswrathtore.”
Line A2b: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ו ֖ ת ָ ר ְ ב ֶ עְ ו. Aswithופ ַ א,itisunclearwhetherthiswordisthesub-
jectorobjectoftheverb.Theparallelwiththepreviousline,however,
suggeststhatitisthesubject.
ה ָ ר ֥ ָ מ ְ שׁ. Asitstands,thisappearstobeaQalqatal 3mswith
3 f s suffix, but without the normal mappiq (such forms are rare
but attested; see GKC §58g). If this is correct, the suffix must be a
resumptivepronounreferringbacktothedirectobjectות ָ ר ְ ב ֶ עְ ו.This
construction(“hisrage,hekepther”)isquitepeculiar,andsomesim-
plyemendtheverbtoר ַ מ ָ שׁ,droppingthesuffix.Analternativeisto
repointtheverbasasimpleQalqatal 3fs,ה ָ ר ְ מ ָ שׁ,aminoremenda-
tionthatleavestheconsonantaltextintact.Sounderstood,ות ָ ר ְ ב ֶ עְ ו is
thesubjectratherthantheobjectoftheverb.Adifficultyhereisthat
thisrequirestakingרמשׁ inanintransitivesense,as“tocontinue”or
“remainvigilant,”althoughitalmostalwaysistransitive,toguardor
keepsomething.Itispossiblethatwehaveanintransitiveusagein2
Samuel11:16,wheretheinfinitiveconstructofרמשׁ seemstomean
to “keep watch” or “maintain vigilance” (even there, however, there
Amos1:11 41
Garrett Amos final.indd 41 6/6/08 2:24:35 PM
isanindirectobject).Nevertheless,itappearsthatreadingהרמשׁ as
aqatal 3fsusedintransitivelywithות ָ ר ְ ב ֶ עְ ו asthesubjectisthebest
option.Theuseofthe ְ ו +[X]+qatal patternafterthewayyiqtol here
indicatesthatthetwolinesdescribeasingleaction.Twolinesheaded
bywayyiqtol verbswouldsuggesttwoseparate,sequentialactions.
ח ַ צֽ ֶ נ. Thismeans“duration”and,asanadverb,“endlessly.”
1:12: Second Stanza. Two lines. This is the standard judgment
stanzainitsshortestform.
ן ֑ ָ מי ֵ ת ְ ב שׁ֖ ֵ א י ִ ת ְ ח֥ ַ ל ִ שְׁ ו
פ ׃ה ֽ ָ ר ְ צ ָ ב תו ֥ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו
Line Ba: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
י ִ ת ְ ח֥ ַ ל ִ שְׁ ו. Pielweqatal 1csfromחלשׁ.
שׁ֖ ֵ א. Thedirectobject.
ן ֑ ָ מי ֵ ת ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב.Temanwasthenameofthe
regionofnorthEdom.
Line Bb:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.
ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו. Qalweqatal 3fsfromלכא.
ה ֽ ָ ר ְ צ ָ ב תו ֥ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א. Aconstructchainandthedirectobject.Boz-
rahwasthechiefcityofEdom;itwasaboutthirtymilessoutheastof
theDeadSea.
1:13-15: Fifth Oracle (Ammon)
After the heading (הָ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א הֹכ), the poem has two stanzas. The
structureofthispoemisthussimilartotheoraclesonDamascus(1:3-
5)andPhilistia(1:6-8).
הָ֔ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א ה ֚ ֹכ
1:12 Ba
Bb
1:13a
42 Amos1:11-13
Garrett Amos final.indd 42 6/6/08 2:24:36 PM
See1:3.
1:13b: First Stanza. ItgivesthereasonsGodwilljudgeAmmonin
fourlines,inwhicheachlineisheadedbytheprepositionל ַ ע except
forlineAd,whichisapurposeclausedependentonlineAc.
ןו ֔ מ ַ ע־יֽ ֵ נ ְ ב י֣ ֵ ע ְ שׁ ִ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע
ונ ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א ֣ ֹל ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ ע ְ ו
ד ֔ ָ ע ְ ל ִ ג ַ ה תו ֣ ר ָ ה ֙ ם ָ ע ְ ק ִ ב־ל ַ ע
׃םֽ ָ לוב ְ ג־ת ֶ א בי ֥ ִ ח ְ ר ַ ה ן ַ ע ֖ ַ מ ְ ל
Line Aa:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0 predicators, 1 constituent, and 3 units. This line is dependent on
thefollowingline.
ןו ֔ מ ַ ע־יֽ ֵ נ ְ ב י ֣ ֵ ע ְ שִׁ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע. This indictment uniquely has
“sonsofAmmon,”thenameofthepeople,ratherthanthenameof
a territory (such as “Moab”) or leading city (such as “Tyre”), as the
designationfortheaccusedstate.
Line Ab: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ עְ ו. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע usedcausally.
ונ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א֣ ֹל. Negatedhiphilyiqtol 1csofבושׁ with3mssuf-
fix.
Line Ac:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and3units.
֙ ם ָ ע ְ ק ִ ב־ל ַ ע. Theprepositionל ַ ע iscausal;ם ָ ע ְ ק ִ ב isaQalinfini-
tive construct of עקב, with a 3 m p suffix serving as the subject of
theaction.
ד ֔ ָ ע ְ ל ִ ג ַ ה תו ֣ ר ָ ה. Aconstructchainasdirectobject;theadjective
ה ָ ר ָ ה (“pregnant”)isherefpandusedsubstantively.Thisisthesecond
time Gilead is mentioned as the object of aggression (see 1:3). This
1:13b Aa
Ab
Ac
Ad
Amos1:13 43
Garrett Amos final.indd 43 6/6/08 2:24:36 PM
atrocity,rippingopenpregnantwomen,issequentialtotheslaughter
ofchildbearers(1:11)intheconcatenousstructureofthepoem.
Line Ad:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units(takingן ַ ע ַ מְ ל asaunit).
בי ֥ ִ ח ְ ר ַ ה ן ַ ע֖ ַ מְ ל. Apurposeclausewithבי ִ ח ְ ר ַ ה,ahiphilinfinitive
constructofבחר (“enlarge”).
םֽ ָ לובְ ג־ת ֶ א. The direct object. The Ammonites desired more
Lebensraum;togainthistheywerewilling,asweretheEdomites,to
slaughterpregnantorchildbearingwomen.
1:14-15: Second Stanza. Thisisanotherseven-linedescriptionof
punishment. Lines Ba, Bb, and Be are each headed by the standard
weqatal verb.LinesBcandBdareprepositionalphrasesdependenton
Bb.LineBfhasgapping,withך ַ ל ָ הְ ו inlineBegoverningbothlines.
LineBgisthestandardconcludingהָ והְ י ר ַ מ ָ א.
ה ָ֔ ב ַ ר ת֣ ַ מוח ְ ב ֙ שׁ ֵ א י ִ ת֤ ַ צ ִ ה ְ ו
ָ הי ֑ ֶ תונ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו
ה ֔ ָ מ ָ ח ְ ל ִ מ םו ֣ י ְ ב ֙ ה ָ עור ְ ת ִ ב
׃ה ֽ ָ פוס םו ֥ י ְ ב ר ַ ע ֖ ַ ס ְ ב
ה֑ ָ לוג ַ ב ם֖ ָ כ ְ ל ַ מ ך֥ ַ ל ָ ה ְ ו
ו ֖ ָ ד ְ חַ י וי ֛ ָ ר ָ שְ ו או ֧ ה
פ ׃הֽ ָ והְ י ר ֥ ַ מ ָ א
Line Ba:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and4units.
י ִ ת֤ ַ צ ִ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 1csfromתצי.Thisrootisunusualin
thatinallofitsinflectedforms(Qal,Niphal,andHiphil),itfollows
themorphologyoftheI-נ root(suchasלפנ),inwhichthefirstradical
assimilates to and doubles the second. This is the only place in the
firstsevenoracleswherethejudgmentstanzabeginswithשׁ ֵ א י ִ ת ַ צ ִ הְ ו
1:14 Ba
Bb
Bc
Bd
Be
Bf
Bg
1:15
44 Amos1:13-15
Garrett Amos final.indd 44 6/6/08 2:24:37 PM
insteadofשׁ ֵ א י ִ ת ְ חַ ל ִ שְׁ ו.Weprobablyshouldnotmaketoomuchof
thisvariation;throughouttheoracles,Amosusesformulasandrepeti-
tionwithoutrigidlyadheringtofixedpatterns.
֙ שׁ ֵ א. Thedirectobject.
ה ָ֔ ב ַ ר ת֣ ַ מוח ְ ב. A construct chain with preposition ְ ב. Rabbah
was located at the site of the modern capital of Jordan, Amman. In
HellenistictimesitwascalledPhiladelphia.IntheIronAge,itwasthe
capitalcityoftheAmmonites.
Line Bb: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו. Qalweqatal 3fsfromלכא.
ָ הי ֑ ֶ תונ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א. Directobjectwith3fssuffixwhoseantecedentis
ה ָ ב ַ ר.
Line Bc:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0predicators,2constituents,and3units.Thislinerelatestothepre-
viouslineadverbially,describingcircumstances.
֙ ה ָ עור ְ ת ִ ב. Prepositional phrase with ְ ב for attendant circum-
stances.
ה ֔ ָ מ ָ חְ ל ִ מ םו ֣ י ְ ב. Prepositionalphraseonaconstructchainwith
ְ ב. Asyndeton (lack of conjunction) here indicates that this phrase
andה ָ עור ְ ת ִ ב areunderstoodtobeinapposition,simultaneous,and
descriptiveofasingleevent.
Line Bd:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators,2constituents,and3units.Thislinegrammaticallymatches
thepreviousbutisnotsemanticallyequivalent,althoughitmetaphor-
icallytreatsthesamecircumstances.
ר ַ ע֖ ַ ס ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithבְ,hereusedforattendantcir-
cumstances.
הֽ ָ פוס םו ֥ י ְ ב. Prepositionalphraseonaconstructchainwith ְ ב,
usedtemporally.Asyndetonagainindicatesthatthisphraseandר ַ ע ַ ס ְ ב
areunderstoodtobeinapposition,simultaneous,anddescriptiveofa
Amos1:14-15 45
Garrett Amos final.indd 45 6/6/08 2:24:37 PM
singleevent.Thestormorwhirlwindismetaphoricalforthechaosand
destructiveness of battle, thus suggesting a metaphorical rather than
literalsemanticunitywiththepreviousline.
Line Be: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ך֥ ַ ל ָ הְ ו. Qalweqatal 3msofךלה.
ם֖ ָ כ ְ ל ַ מ. The subject, ך ֶ ל ֶ מ with a 3 m p suffix. Several Greek
recensions read Mti_oµ here, and thus some believe that this word
should be read as “Milcom,” god of the Ammonites. However, the
subsequent line and also the tendency of Amos to speak of sending
rulersintoexile(1:5,8)indicatethatthisreferstothekingandnot
tothegod.Theremaybe,however,awordplayonMilcominAmos’
useofthetermם ָ כ ְ ל ַ מ insteadofthetermformonarchsthatheuses
above,ב ֵ שֹׁי.
ה֑ ָ לוג ַ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב,usedheretodescribeatten-
dantcircumstancesasacomplementtoךלה.
Line Bf:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:0predica-
tors,1constituent,and3units.Theuseoftifha foracolon-markeris
unusual,butseveraltimesintheseoraclesaweakdisjunctiveprecedes
a formula of divine speech, which should be regarded as a separate
line.Thelinehasgapping,withך ַ ל ָ הְ ו inthepreviouslinegoverning
thislinealso.
ו ֖ ָ ד ְ חַ י וי ֛ ָ ר ָ שְ ו או ֧ ה. Thesubjectoftheverbך ַ ל ָ הְ ו issecondarily
expandedtoincludetheking’shighofficials.Thisisthusacompound
subjectandthereforeasingleconstituent.Rhetorically,thissuggests
thatnooneinleadershipwillescape.
Line Bg:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and2units.Anotherdivinespeechformula.
ר ֥ ַ מ ָ א. Qalqatal 3msofרמא.
הֽ ָ והְ י. Thesubject.
46 Amos1:14-15
Garrett Amos final.indd 46 6/6/08 2:24:38 PM
2:1-3: Sixth Oracle (Moab)
Aftertheheading(הָ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א הֹכ),thispoemhastwostanzas.The
firststanza(2:1)givesthereasonsGodwilljudgeMoab(threelines)
inwhicheachlineisheadedbytheprepositionל ַ ע.Thesecond(2:2-3)
givesthepunishment(sevenlines),inwhicheachlineisheadedbya
weqatal verb,exceptforlineBd,wherethereisgappingwiththeverb
ת ֵ מו inlineBcdoingdouble-duty,lineBf,whichistiedtolineBeby
achiasticstructure,andlineBg,whichistheconcludingהָ והְ י ר ַ מ ָ א.
Thestructureofthispoemisavariationonthepatternfoundwith
Damascus (1:3-5), Philistia (1:6-8) and Ammon (1:13-15). Barton
(1980, 33–35) has a good survey of possible historical backgrounds
forthewarfarealludedtointhisoracle,butheconcludesthatitisnot
possibletoknowwithcertaintywhatincidentAmosherealludesto.
הָ֔ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א ה ֚ ֹכ
See1:3.
2:1b: First Stanza. Three lines. Each is headed by causal ל ַ ע or
ל ַ עְ ו.
ב ָ֔ אומ י֣ ֵ ע ְ שׁ ִ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע
ונ ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א ֣ ֹל ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ ע ְ ו
׃די ֽ ִ ש ַ ל םו ֖ ד ֱ א־ך ֶ ל ֽ ֶ מ תו ֥ מ ְ צ ַ ע ו ֛ פ ְ ר ָ ש־ל ַ ע
Line Aa:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0 predicators, 1 constituent, and 3 units. This line is dependent on
lineAb.
ב ָ֔ אומ י֣ ֵ ע ְ שִׁ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע. Moab,locatedeastoftheJordanand
northofEdom,isaccusedofviolencetowarditssouthernneighbor.
Line Ab: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
2:1b Aa
Ab
Ac
2:1a
Amos2:13 47
Garrett Amos final.indd 47 6/6/08 2:24:38 PM
ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ עְ ו. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע usedcausally.
ונ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א֣ ֹל. Negatedhiphilyiqtol 1csofבושׁ with3mssuf-
fix.
Line Ac: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and5units.
ו ֛ פ ְ ר ָ ש־ל ַ ע. Theprepositionל ַ ע iscausal;ופ ְ ר ָ ש isaQalinfini-
tiveconstructofףרש with3mpsuffixservingasthesubjectofthe
action.
םו ֖ ד ֱ א־ך ֶ ל ֽ ֶ מ תו ֥ מ ְ צ ַ ע. Aconstructchainservingasdirectobject.
ItisnoteworthythatEdomisthevictimofMoab’satrocity,indicating
thatitisthenatureofthecrimeitselfandnottheidentityofthevic-
timthatisAmos’concern.Inotherwords,nationsarenotcondemned
simplyforbeingopposedtoIsrael.
די ֽ ִ שַ ל. Prepositional phrase with ְ ל and definite article serving
as a complement to the verb. The significance of burning bones to
lime (די ִ ש) is disputed. There is no evidence supporting an alterna-
tivetranslationforדי ִ ש oranemendation.Somesuggestthatburn-
ingbonestolimeissimplydisregardforhumandignity,butofitself
thisoffenseseemsratherpaltrycomparedtothecrimesattributedto
theothernations.Otherssuggestthatthisisareligiousactandthat
burningtheboneswasmeanttopreventthedeceasedfromattaining
resurrection(Stuart1987,314).Thereis,however,noevidencefrom
Iron Age Levantine states of a widespread belief that the bones had
tobepreservedinordertoinsurearesurrection(indeed,wehaveno
reason to believe that people in either Moab or Edom believed in a
resurrectionatall).Reverenceforthebonesofthedeadisnotafeature
ofIronAgeburialsitesintheLevant.ItisbesttofollowtheTargum
Jonathan onAmosinitsassertionthatthebodywasburnedtolime
in order to make plaster for the walls of a room. That, after all, is
whatlimeiswasusedfor.Wemaysuggestspecificallythatthelime
was used to whitewash the throne room of the king of Moab. Such
apracticewouldbeanalogoustotheAssyrianpracticeofdecorating
the walls of their palace rooms with scenes depicting their victories
48 Amos2:1
Garrett Amos final.indd 48 6/6/08 2:24:38 PM
over their enemies and even of displaying proudly Assyrian atroci-
tiesagainsttheirenemies.ThenorthpalaceatNineveh,forexample,
hasareliefshowingAshurbanipalandhistroopssackinganElamite
city.MoresignificantforbiblicalscholarsaretheLachishreliefsfrom
Sennacherib’spalaceatNineveh,showingnotonlyhistakingofthe
citybuttheAssyrians’impalingoftheirprisoners.Moab’sburningof
bonestolimecouldberegardedassimilar—gruesomecelebrationof
their own violence on the walls of their palace. It thus implied that
theyhadbecomeinhumanintheirviciousness.
2:2-3: Second Stanza. Sevenlinesinonestrophe,followingwith
minorvariationthestructureofthejudgmentstanzasagainstDamas-
cus,Gaza,andtheAmmonites.
ב ָ֔ אומ ְ ב שׁ֣ ֵ א־י ִ ת ְ ח ַ ל ִ שְׁ ו
תו ֑ י ִ ר ְ ק ַ ה תו ֣ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו
ב ָ֔ אומ ֙ ןוא ָ שׁ ְ ב ת֤ ֵ מו
׃ר ֽ ָ פושׁ לו ֥ ק ְ ב ה֖ ָ עור ְ ת ִ ב
ה֑ ָ ב ְ ר ִ ק ִ מ ט֖ ֵ פושׁ י ֥ ִ ת ַ ר ְ כ ִ ה ְ ו
ו ֖ מ ִ ע גו ֥ ר ֱ ה ֶ א ָ הי ֛ ֶ ר ָ ש־ל ָ כ ְ ו
פ ׃הֽ ָ והְ י ר ֥ ַ מ ָ א
Line Ba:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
י ִ ת ְ ח֥ ַ ל ִ שְׁ ו. Pielweqatal 1csfromחלשׁ.
שׁ֣ ֵ א. Thedirectobject.
ב ָ֔ אומ ְ ב. Here,fireissaidtobesentagainsttheregionornation,
Moab,insteadofagainstthecapitalcity.Butthenextlinementions
thecityKerioth.
Line Bb: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and3units.
2:2
2:3
Ba
Bb
Bc
Bd
Be
Bf
Bg
Amos2:1-3 49
Garrett Amos final.indd 49 6/6/08 2:24:39 PM
ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו. Qalweqatal 3fsfromלכא.
תו ֑ י ִ ר ְ ק ַ ה תו ֣ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א. A construct chain used as a direct object.
KeriothwasoneoftheprincipalcitiesofMoab,anditismentionedin
Jeremiah48:24aswellasinline13oftheMeshaStele(alsoknownas
the“MoabiteStone”),whereitissaidtohavebeenthesiteofatemple
toChemosh,theprincipaldeityofMoab.
Line Bc:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ת֤ ֵ מו. Qalweqatal 3msofתומ.
֙ ןוא ָ שׁ ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithבְ usedadverbiallyforatten-
dant circumstances. ןוא ָ שׁ (from האשׁ II; Isa 17:12). The word
describesaloudnoise,oftenonemadebyacrowdofpeople(Isa5:14;
13:4;24:8;Hos10:14;Ps74:23),butalsothenoiseoftheocean(Isa
17:13;Ps65:8[E7]).Herethesourceofthenoiseisnotdisclosed,but
it probably includes the burning of the city, the lamentation of the
inhabitants,andthewar-criesandbattlesignalsoftheattackers.
ב ָ֔ אומ. Thesubject.Remarkably,anentirenationwill“die.”
Line Bd:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators, 2 constituents, and 3 units. This line is structurally identical
tolineBcinthepreviouspoem(1:14),withwhichitisaconcatenous
link.
ה֖ ָ עור ְ ת ִ ב. Prepositional phrase with ְ ב for attendant circum-
stances(adverbialofת ֵ מו inthepreviousline).
ר ֽ ָ פושׁ לו ֥ ק ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב onaconstructchain.
Thisphrasecouldbestrictlyappositionalwithה ָ עור ְ ת ִ ב,identifying
thenoiseofbattleasashofar,butitisprobablycitedasanexampleof
oneofthenoisesofbattle.
Line Be: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
י ֥ ִ ת ַ ר ְ כ ִ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 1csofתרכ.
ט֖ ֵ פושׁ. Thedirectobject.Forthesakeofassonancewithר ֽ ָ פושׁ,
50 Amos2:2-3
Garrett Amos final.indd 50 6/6/08 2:24:39 PM
Amosemploysט ֵ פושׁ ratherthantermshehasusedpreviously,such
as ב ֵ שֹׁי. As is common, ט ֵ פושׁ connotes a ruler rather than simply
someonewhojudgesinlegalproceedings.
ה֑ ָ ב ְ ר ִ ק ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ andthe3fssuffix.The
antecedenttothefemininesuffixistheimpliedבאומ ץרא,theland
ofMoab.
Line Bf:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units.
ָ הי ֛ ֶ ר ָ ש־ל ָ כְ ו. Adirectobjectconstructchainwith3fssuffix.ר ַ ש
refers to a high official; the older translation “prince” is misleading
sinceaר ַ ש isnotnecessarilyroyalty.
גו ֥ ר ֱ ה ֶ א. Qal yiqtol 1 c s of גרה. The sequence weqatal with a
direct object in line Be followed by a direct object with yiqtol in Bf
implies that the slaying of the “judge” (ט ֵ פושׁ) and all the officials
( ָ הי ֶ ר ָ ש־ל ָ כְ ו) are not sequential but are conceptually part of a single
event.Thereisaninversionhere,withlineBehavingaverb,object,
andprepositionalphrasewhilelineBfhastheobject,thentheverb,
andthenaprepositionalphrase.
ו ֖ מ ִ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithם ִ ע anda3mssuffix;theante-
cedentisט ֵ פושׁ.
Line Bg:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and2units.Thisisanotherdivinespeechfor-
mula.
ר ֥ ַ מ ָ א. Qalqatal 3msofרמא.
הֽ ָ והְ י. Thesubject.
2:4-5: Seventh Oracle (Judah)
This poem, with minor variation, follows the pattern of the Edom
oracle(1:11-12).
הָ֔ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א ה ֚ ֹכ 2:4a
Amos2:3-4 51
Garrett Amos final.indd 51 6/6/08 2:24:40 PM
See1:3.
2:4b: First Stanza. Twostrophes.Thefirstisastandardaccusation
strophewithlinesheadedbyל ַ ע,butthesecondisconjoinedtoitwith
awayyiqtol andgivesasecondaryaccusation.
2:4b: First Strophe.Fourlines.Eachlineisheadedbyל ַ ע orל ַ עְ ו
exceptforthefourth,line1d,whichisboundtoline1cbyachiastic
structure.
ה ֔ ָ דוהְ י י֣ ֵ ע ְ שׁ ִ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע
ונ ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א ֣ ֹל ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ ע ְ ו
הָ֗ והְ י ת֣ ַ רות־ת ֶ א ם ָ֞ ס ֳ א ָ מ־ל ֽ ַ ע
ור ֔ ָ מ ָ שׁ א ֣ ֹל ֙ וי ָ ק ֻ חְ ו
Line A1a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0 predicators, 1 constituent, and 3 units. This line is dependent on
thefollowingline.
ה ֔ ָ דוהְ י י ֣ ֵ ע ְ שִׁ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע. TheaccusationsagainstJudahare
not general crimes against humanity, as was the case in the accusa-
tionsagainsttheGentiles,butconcerncovenantviolations.
Line A1b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ עְ ו. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע usedcausally.
ונ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א֣ ֹל. Negatedhiphilyiqtol 1csofבושׁ with3mssuf-
fix.
Line A1c:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.
ם ָ֞ ס ֳ א ָ מ־ל ֽ ַ ע. Qalinfinitiveconstructofסאמ with3mpsuffix
(theimpliedantecedentisthepeopleofJudah)andtheprepositionל ַ ע
usedcausally.Thisinfinitivefunctionsasapredicator.
הָ֗ והְ י ת֣ ַ רות־ת ֶ א. Thedirectobject.
2:4b A1a
A1b
A1c
A1d
52 Amos2:4
Garrett Amos final.indd 52 6/6/08 2:24:40 PM
Line A1d:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and2units.Thislineformsachiasmus
withthepreviousline.
֙ וי ָ ק ֻ חְ ו. Directobjectwith3mssuffixandconjunction;itparal-
lelsהָ֗ והְ י ת ַ רות־ת ֶ א,andtheantecedenttothesuffixisהָ והְ י.
ור ֔ ָ מ ָ שׁ א֣ ֹל. Negatedqalqatal 3cpofרמשׁ.
2:4c: Second Strophe.2lines.AsintheEdomoracle,thisstrophe,
headedbyawayyiqtol,constitutesasecondaryaccusation.
ם ֔ ֶ הי ֵ בְ ז ִ כ ֙ םוע ְ תַ י ַ ו
׃ם ֽ ֶ הי ֵ ר ֲ ח ַ א ם ֖ ָ תוב ֲ א ו ֥ כ ְ ל ָ ה־ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א
Line A2a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and2units.
םוע ְ תַ י ַ ו֙. Hiphil wayyiqtol 3 m p of העת with a 3 m p suffix
referring to the people of Judah. The wayyiqtol is here logically sec-
ondarytothepreviousaccusationbutitisnottemporallysequential.
ItisbothasecondaryaccusationandanexampleofhowJudahwent
aboutabandoningthelawofYHWH.
ם ֔ ֶ הי ֵ בְ ז ִ כ. Thesubject;ithasa3mpsuffix.Thenounבָ ז ָ כ (“lie”)
hereprobablyreferstoidols.
Line A2b: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
ם ֽ ֶ הי ֵ ר ֲ ח ַ א . . . ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א. A relative clause whose antecedent is
ם ֶ הי ֵ בְ ז ִ כ.Therelativeר ֶ שׁ ֲ א isboundtotheresumptive3mppronoun
suffixinם ֶ הי ֵ ר ֲ ח ַ א.Literally,“whichtheirfatherswentafterthem,”it
means,“afterwhichtheirfatherswent.”Relativeclausesconstitutea
specialproblemindelineatingtheconstituentsofalineaccordingto
the constraints, since elements of the relative, as here, may come at
thebeginningandendoftheclause,withotherconstituentsinserted
betweenthetwoparts.
2:4c A2a
A2b
Amos2:4 53
Garrett Amos final.indd 53 6/6/08 2:24:41 PM
ו ֥ כ ְ ל ָ ה. Qal qatal 3 c p of ךלה (“walk”). The verb here con-
notes believing in something and engaging in the practices associ-
atedwithit.
ם ֖ ָ תוב ֲ א. Thesubject;ithasa3mpsuffixwhoseantecedentis
theimpliedpeopleofJudah.
2:5: Second Stanza. Two lines. This is the standard judgment
stanzainitsshortestform.
ה֑ ָ דוהי ֽ ִ ב שׁ֖ ֵ א י ִ ת ְ ח֥ ַ ל ִ שְׁ ו
פ ׃ִֽ ָ ל ָ שׁורְ י תו ֥ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו
Line Ba: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
י ִ ת ְ ח֥ ַ ל ִ שְׁ ו. Pielweqatal 1csfromחלשׁ.
שׁ֖ ֵ א. Thedirectobject.
ה֑ ָ דוהי ֽ ִ ב. AsintheoracleagainstMoab,fireisheresentagainst
thenation,Judah,insteadofagainstthecapitalcity;butasin2:2,the
nextlinementionstheprincipalcityofthenation,Jerusalem.
Line Bb:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.
ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו. Qalweqatal 3fsfromלכא.
ִֽ ָ ל ָ שׁורְ י תו ֥ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א. Apartfrom1:2,thisistheonlymentionof
JerusaleminAmos(although6:1referstoZion).Strikingly,1:2rep-
resentsJerusalemastheabodeofYHWH,theplacefromwhichhe
roars,whereasthisversedescribesfirefromYHWHconsumingthe
citadelsofJerusalem.
2:6-16: Eighth Oracle (Jerusalem)
Theeighthstanzadramaticallybreaksfromthepatternsetinthefirst
seven. After the normal prose heading (הָ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א הֹכ), it has four
stanzasandatotalofeightstrophes.Onlythefirstthreelinesofthe
2:5 Ba
Bb
54 Amos2:4-5
Garrett Amos final.indd 54 6/6/08 2:24:41 PM
firststrophehavethestandardpatternofaccusationsheadedbythe
prepositionל ַ ע.Also,thestandardjudgmentbicolonusedintheseven
priororacles(withשׁ ֵ א י ִ ת ְ חַ ל ִ שְׁ ו,etc.)isnotemployedintheeighth.
Thereisalargeaccusationstanzaintwostrophes,followedbyastanza
describinginfourstrophesGod’shistoricalactsofgracetoIsraeland
their response. This is followed by a metaphorical description of
YHWH’sgrief(thethirdstanza[asinglestrophe]),andconcludedby
alengthyportrayaloftheIsraelitearmyroutedinbattle(thefourth
stanza[asinglestrophe]).
הָ֔ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א ה ֚ ֹכ
See1:3.
2:6-8: First Stanza. Thisisformedfromtwostrophesofsixlines
each.
2:6b-7a: First Strophe. Six lines (A1a-f ). Each of the first three
linesisheadedbythenormalל ַ ע orל ַ עְ ו.Onemighttreattheopening
two lines of 2:7 as a separate strophe, but two factors speak against
this.First,theparticipleםי ִ פ ֲ אֹש ַ ה (thefirstwordof2:7)functionsas
arelativeclausehavingasitsantecedentthepronounsuffixon ם ָ ר ְ כ ִ מ
from2:6,suggestingthat,despiteappearances,itispartofthesame
strophe.Astheheadofanewstropheםי ִ פ ֲ אֹש ַ ה hangsintheairquite
awkwardly.Seealsotheuseofםי ִ ר ְ צוא ָ ה in3:10,whichbeginsaline
but clearly belongs with the preceding strophe. Similar examples of
apluralparticipleusedinthiswayareatAmos3:10;4:1and5:6-7.
Also,aftertheformulaictwolinesthatintroducethestanza(A1a-b)
thefollowingfourlines(A1c-f )areboundbyfournounsdescribing
thevictimsofabuse: קי ִ ד ַ צ(A1c), ןוי ְ ב ֶ אְ ו(A1d), םי ִ ל ַ ד(A1e),and םי ִ ו ָ נ ֲ ע
(A1f ).Thisstrophe,therefore,ismarkedbyhavingtheabuseofthe
poorasitscentralaccusation.
ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י֣ ֵ ע ְ שׁ ִ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע
ונ ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א ֣ ֹל ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ ע ְ ו
2:6a
2:6b A1a
A1b
Amos2:6-8 55
Garrett Amos final.indd 55 6/6/08 2:24:41 PM
קי ֔ ִ ד ַ צ ֙ ף ֶ ס ֙ ֶ כ ַ ב ם ֤ ָ ר ְ כ ִ מ־ל ַ ע
׃םִ י ֽ ָ ל ֲ עַ נ רו ֥ ב ֲ ע ַ ב ןו ֖ י ְ ב ֶ אְ ו
םי ֔ ִ ל ַ ד שׁא ֣ ֹר ְ ב ֙ ץ ֶ ר ֙ ֶ א־ר ַ פ ֲ ע־ל ַ ע םי ֤ ִ פ ֲ אֹש ַ ה
ו ֑ טַ י םי ֖ ִ ו ָ נ ֲ ע ך ֶ ר ֥ ֶ ד ְ ו
Line A1a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0 predicators, 1 constituent, and 3 units. This line is dependent on
thefollowingline.
ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֣ ֵ ע ְ שִׁ פ ֙ ה ָ שׁל ְ שׁ־ל ַ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע used
causally on a construct chain. Amos at last comes to the principal
objectofhisprophecy,Israel.
Line A1b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
ה֖ ָ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ עְ ו. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע usedcausally.
ונ֑ ֶ בי ִ שׁ ֲ א א֣ ֹל. Negatedhiphilyiqtol 1csofבושׁ with3mssuf-
fix.Thisservesastheapodosistothephraseswithל ַ ע.
Line A1c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ם֤ ָ ר ְ כ ִ מ־ל ַ ע. Qalinfinitiveconstructofרכמ with3mpsuffix
andprepositionל ַ ע usedcausally.
ף ֶ ס ֙ ֶ כ ַ ב֙. Thepreposition ְ ב oftenmarksthepriceofsomething;
seeHALOT ְ ב definition17.Itcouldalsoexpressthecauseorreason
forsomething(HALOT ְ ב definition19).
קי ֔ ִ ד ַ צ. Thedirectobject.Butinwhatsenseistheperson“righ-
teous,”andhowishesold“forsilver”(ף ֶ ס ֶ כ ַ ב)?Thereareatleastthree
possibilities.(1)Heissoldintotoslaveryforasetpriceofsilver,and
קי ִ ד ַ צ indicatesthathedoesnotdeservethis.(2)Heissoldintoslavery
becauseheowessomemoney,andקי ִ ד ַ צ againindicatesthathedoes
notdeservethisandthatthepenaltyistooharsh.(3)Heismetaphori-
cally sold out in the law courts when someone bribes the judges for
2:7a
A1c
A1d
A1e
A1f
56 Amos2:6-7
Garrett Amos final.indd 56 6/6/08 2:24:42 PM
anamountofsilver,andקי ִ ד ַ צ indicatesthatheisinnocentorinthe
rightinthecaseatlaw.
Line A1d:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0pred-
icators,2constituents,and3units.Thereisgappinghere,withם֤ ָ ר ְ כ ִ מ
inthepreviouslinegoverningbothlines.
ןו ֖ י ְ ב ֶ אְ ו. Directobjectwithconjunction.Thisisparalleltoקי ִ ד ַ צ
inthepreviousline.Thethreepossibleinterpretationsdescribedabove
for קי ִ ד ַ צ apply here as well, except that ןוי ְ ב ֶ אְ ו stresses the victim’s
povertyinsteadofhisinnocence.
םִ י ֽ ָ ל ֲ עַ נ רו ֥ ב ֲ ע ַ ב. Asintheaboveline,thisprepositionalphrase
couldmean“forthepriceofapairofsandals”or“onaccountofapair
of sandals.” Should sandals be regarded as something of high value
orassomethingthatisverycheap?Clothingcouldbeofhighvalue
becauseoftheintensivelaborrequiredinweavingcloth,anditcould
be used as currency (e.g., Judg 14:13). But sandals are never spoken
ofinthisway,andSirach46:19explicitlytreatssandalsassomething
ofverylittlevalue.Thisshouldruleouttheideathatthispersonwas
soldforthepriceofapairofsandals;whateverhisoppressorthought
ofhim,hewouldwanttogetasmuchmoneyforsellinghimaspos-
sible. It also seems odd that the judges in a court would accept so
smallabribeasapairofsandals,althoughAmoscouldbemakingthe
pointthatthejudgesaresolackinginintegritythattheywillpervert
justiceforeventhecheapestofbribes.Still,theideaofbribingsome-
onewithsandalsseemsveryodd,andifbriberyincourtisthepoint
here,itmaybebettertoemendthetexttoםלענ,a“hidden(bribe),”
assuggestedbyseveralscholars(Paul1991,78).Suchanemendation
ispurelyconjectural,however.Therefore,thebestsolutionistoassert
thatthepooraresoldintoslaveryforaverysmalldebtthattheycan-
notpay,suchasforthepriceofapairofsandals.
Line A1e: The colon-marker is zaqeph qaton and the constraints
are:1predicator,3constituents,and5units.Theparticipleםי ִ פ ֲ אֹש ַ ה
isnotsubstantivalbutservesasapredicatorwithinaparticipialrela-
Amos2:6-7 57
Garrett Amos final.indd 57 6/6/08 2:24:42 PM
tiveclause.Itcouldbetakentobeperiphrasticandtranslatedwith
afiniteverb.
םי ֤ ִ פ ֲ אֹש ַ ה. Qalparticiplempwithdefinitearticle.Thiswordis
afamousconundrum;itmeansto“pant”or“sniff ”andsoseemsto
make no sense in context. Some interpreters say that the oppressors
aresokeentogetwhattheycanfromthepoorthattheyevensniffat
thedustontheirscalps,butthismakesforsuchabizarremetaphor
thatitcannotpossiblyberight.Anumberofinterpretersemendthe
texttotherootףושׁ orsuggestthatףאשׁ hereisaby-formofףושׁ.
Theytakeףושׁ tomean“trample,”andtranslatetheline,“thosewho
trampletheheadsofthepoorintothedustoftheearth”(Paul1991,
79–80). There are three reasons that this is impossible. First, if the
verb means “trample,” the line literally reads, “who trample on the
dustoftheearthattheheadsofthepoor.”Thisisaveryawkwardand
unnaturalsentence,anditcannotmeanthattheytrampletheheads
of the poor into the earth. Second, ףושׁ does not mean “trample.”
TheverbappearsinGenesis3:15(twice),Psalm139:11,andJob9:17.
WhilethefirstoccurrenceoftheverbinGenesis3:15mightbetaken
tomean“trample,”thesecondcannotmeanthat,anditisbesttotake
bothinstancestomean“tostrike.”SoalsoinJob9:17,whereisףושׁ
usedinparalleltoי ַ ע ָ צ ְ פ ה ָ ב ְ ר ִ הְ ו,“andhemultipliesmywounds,”itis
besttakentomean“tostrike.”Theףושׁ inPsalm139:11appearstobe
ahomonymmeaning“cover”or“hide,”butitclearlydoesnotmean
“trample.”Third,theproposalthatםי ִ פ ֲ אֹש ַ ה isaby-formofףושׁ is
notpersuasive.ShalomPauloffersthreeanalogiesforthis(Hos10:14;
2Sam19:5;Zech14:10),buttheseareallqatal orweqatal formsthat
havetheא asanorthographicfeature(e.g.,inHos10:14writingםא ָ קְ ו
for ם ָ קְ ו) and not as a true by-form, as the m p participle םי ִ פ ֲ אֹש ַ ה
wouldbe.Therefore,ףאשׁ as“tosniff ”remainsourbesttranslation
option,asthatmeaningiswellattested(seeHALOT ףאשׁ).
ץ ֶ ר ֙ ֶ א־ר ַ פ ֲ ע־ל ַ ע֙. Prepositional phrase with ל ַ ע. What sniffs at
the dust of the earth? The answer is a dog when it is hunting. The
oppressorsaremetaphoricallyrepresentedasapackofhuntingdogs
58 Amos2:6-7
Garrett Amos final.indd 58 6/6/08 2:24:43 PM
seekingtheirprey.IfSamarianaristocratsenjoyedhuntingwithdogs
inthemanneroftheir18thcenturyEnglishcounterparts,thiscould
beadeliberaterecastingoftheirsport.Theyhuntedforpeoplewith
thesamerelishthattheyhuntedforanimals.
םי ֔ ִ ל ַ ד שׁא ֣ ֹר ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב onaconstructchain.
Theprepositionmarkstheobjectandcouldbetranslatedas“after.”
Theterm“head”canbemetonymyforthewholeperson(seeHALOT
שׁאֹר definition5).Itispossiblethatthiscontinuesthehuntingmeta-
phor.Didancienthuntersdisplaytheheadsofanimalstheyhadkilled
astrophies,asmodernhuntersdo?Wedonotknow,butwedoknow
thathumanheadscouldbedisplayedastrophies(1Sam17:54).The
pointhereisnotthattheyliterallyhuntedthepoorandmountedtheir
headsastrophies,butthattheirtreatmentofthepoorwasequallyas
ruthless.
Line A1f: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and3units.Aninclusionstructure,with
the predicating participle as the first word of the line A1e and the
verbוטַ י asthelastwordoflineA1f,suggeststhatthesetwolinesare
twoaspectsofasingleactionratherthanbeingsequentialorlogically
distinct.
םי ֖ ִ ו ָ נ ֲ ע ך ֶ ר֥ ֶ דְ ו. Aconstructchainanddirectobjectofthefollow-
ingverb.
ו ֑ טַ י. Hiphilyiqtol 3mpofהטנ.Thetranslationofthisverbis
notoriously difficult, as its meanings include “to stretch out, twist,
bend, extend, spread out, steer away from, guide away, deceive, or
divert.” Job 24:4, ך ֶ ר ָ ד ִ מ םי ִ נוי ְ ב ֶ א וטַ י, “they turn the poor from the
way,”meansthatthepoorareshovedoutoftheroadasasignofno
respectfortheirpersons.ButthisisafalseparalleltoAmos2:7;here,
itisnotthepoorbuttheך ֶ ר ֶ ד itselfthatistheobjectoftheverb.Prob-
ablyהטנ herecombinestheideasof“extend”and“divert”or“twist,”
andthemeaningisthatthepaththatthepoortakeismadelongand
twisted. This may continue the hunting metaphor; the poor, as the
quarryoftherich,mustfollowanextended,evasiveroutetoescape
Amos2:6-7 59
Garrett Amos final.indd 59 6/6/08 2:24:43 PM
capture. The metaphor suggests that the lives of the poor are filled
withcontinualharassmentanddangerfromtheupperclass.
2:7b-8: Second Strophe. Six lines. This unity of this strophe is
thatitprimarilyfocusesuponreligiousoffenses,althoughitsecond-
arily continues the theme of the oppression of the poor. Lines A2b,
A2d,andA2feachendwithreferencetoreligiousmatters( י ִ שׁ ְ ד ָ ק ם ֵ שׁ
[A2b], ַ ח ֵ בְ ז ִ מ[A2d],andם ֶ הי ֵ הל ֱ א תי ֵ ב[A2f ].Furthermore,thesub-
jectofוטַ י inA2c(2:8)isnotanundefined“they”butisthefatherand
sonfromlineA2a.Thisfurtherindicatesthattheselinesareasingle
stropheandshouldnotbefurtherdivided.
ה ֔ ָ ר ֲ עַ נ ֽ ַ ה־ל ֶ א ֙ וכ ְ לֽ ֵ י וי ִ֗ ב ָ אְ ו שׁי ֣ ִ אְ ו
׃י ֽ ִ שׁ ְ ד ָ ק ם ֥ ֵ שׁ־ת ֶ א ל֖ ֵ ל ַ ח ן ַ ע ֥ ַ מ ְ ל
ו ֔ טַ י ֙ םי ִ ל ֻ ב ֲ ח םי ֤ ִ דָ ג ְ ב־ל ַ ע ְ ו
ַ ח֑ ֵ בְ ז ִ מ־ל ָ כ ל ֶ צ ֖ ֵ א
ו ֔ ת ְ שִׁ י ֙ םי ִ שׁונ ֲ ע ןי֤ ֵ י ְ ו
׃ם ֽ ֶ הי ֵ הל ֱ א תי ֖ ֵ ב
Line A2a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and4units.
וי ִ֗ ב ָ אְ ו שׁי ֣ ִ אְ ו. Acompoundsubject;itsinitialpositionintheline
makesprominentthefactthatthisisanentirelynewsubject,onethe
reader has not seen in this text, and that it introduces a new topic.
Thus,thislinebeginsanewstrophe.Theconjunctiononשׁי ִ אְ ו indi-
catesthatitiscontinuingthepreviousseriesofaccusations.
֙ וכ ְ לֽ ֵ י. Qal yiqtol 3mpof ךלה.Theuse of ל ֶ א ךלה to refer to
sexualunionisodd,butthatisnodoubtthemeaninghere.SeePaul
(1982)andBronznick(1985).Thephraseל ֶ א אוב isoftenusedidi-
omatically for sexual union with a woman (e.g., Gen 16:2; 30:3-4;
38:8;Deut22:13),butitreferstosexualrelationswithawomanwho
ispartofthehousehold(awife,concubine,domesticslave[asinGen
2:7b
2:8
A2a
A2b
A2c
A2d
A2e
A2f
60 Amos2:7-8
Garrett Amos final.indd 60 6/6/08 2:24:43 PM
16:2],orasister-in-lawinfulfillmentoflevirateduties).Thefactthat
ךלה isusedhereprobablyindicatesthatthemenaregoingoutsideof
theirhousehold—toashrine—tohavesexualrelationswithawoman.
Foramanandhissontohavesexualrelationswiththesamewoman
violatesthespiritifnottheletterofLev18:8.Theyiqtol hereimplies
thattheactioniscustomaryorrepeated.
ה ֔ ָ ר ֲ עַ נ ֽ ַ ה־ל ֶ א. The use of ה ָ ר ֲ עַ נ raises questions about the set-
tingofthisoffense.ה ָ ר ֲ עַ נ simplymeans“girl”or“youngwoman”and
perhaps “servant girl,” and thus some argue that both the head of a
householdandhisadultsonareusingoneoftheirdomesticslavegirls
forsexualpurposes.Thisisagainsttheviewthatthewomanhereis
a shrine prostitute. The argument is that if Amos had meant shrine
prostitute,hewouldhaveusedthewordה ָ שׁ ֵ ד ְ ק.Butשׁ ֵ ד ָ ק/ה ָ שׁ ֵ ד ְ ק is
actuallyquiterareintheHebrewBible(itoccurseleventimesinnine
verses; three of these occurrences are masculine). It is usually found
in narrative; it appears only once in the Latter Prophets (Hos 4:14,
wherethespecifiedoffenseisthatmenmakesacrificeswithתושׁ ֵ ד ְ ק ַ ה).
In light of the prominence of religious language in this strophe (as
describedinthestropheprofileabove),itseemsthatthisisaculticact
andnotsimplymentakingadvantageofahouseholdslave.Asstated
above,ל ֶ א ךלה stronglysuggeststhatthiswomanisnotpartofthe
householdofthefatherandson.Atthesametime,theuseofה ָ ר ֲ עַ נ ַ ה
issignificant.Theshrineprostituteisherenotportrayedasapowerful
priestesswithcontroloverherowndestiny;sheisalowlywoman,no
doubt a slave who was purchased to perform the duties of a prosti-
tuteforashrine.Thesinismanifoldinnature:(1)itisparticipation
in a fertility cult; (2) it involves father and son having sex with the
samewoman;(3)itinvolvesthebrutaluseofanunfortunateyoung
woman.
Line A2b: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 0
predicators,2constituents,and4units.
ל֖ ֵ ל ַ ח ן ַ ע ֥ ַ מְ ל. Theverb(ל ֵ ל ַ ח)isapielinfinitiveconstruct.While
ן ַ ע ַ מְ ל withaninfinitiveisperhapsrarelyusedforafinalclause(“with
Amos2:7-8 61
Garrett Amos final.indd 61 6/6/08 2:24:44 PM
theresultthat”;Deuteronomy29:19couldbeanexample),itsusefor
apurposeclause(“inorderto”)isoverwhelminglymorecommonand
certain. There is no basis for translating this as “with the result that
theyprofanemyholyname.”Rather,itshouldberendered,“inorder
toprofanemyholyname,”buttheusageisironic.Theyintendthisas
areligiousactandpersuadethemselvesthatitsanctifiesGod’sname,
butinfactitdoestheopposite.Thisfurtherindicatesthatthesexual
actisinthecontextofareligiousrite.
י ֽ ִ שׁ ְ ד ָ ק ם ֥ ֵ שׁ־ת ֶ א. Thisconstructchain,asiscommon,functions
adjectivally(“thenameofmyholiness”representing“myholyname”).
Inthisironicsetting,thisexpressionisprobablyusedpreciselybecause
theprostitutiontakesplaceatashrine.
Line A2c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator, 2constituents,and3units.Thiscouldbejoinedwith
the following phrase ַ ח ֵ בְ ז ִ מ־ל ָ כ ל ֶ צ ֵ א as a single line, but the zaqeph
qaton withitssubordinatepashta suggestsitisafullline.
םי ִ ל ֻ ב ֲ ח םי ֤ ִ דָ ג ְ ב־ל ַ עְ ו֙. Prepositionalphrasewithlocativeל ַ ע.The
wordםי ִ ל ֻ ב ֲ ח isaqalpassiveparticiplempofלבח;theverbimplies
thattheclotheshavebeenseizedfrompoorpeopleforfailuretopaya
debt.Incontext,wherethereissexualactivityatashrine,theideamay
bethatthemendonotwanttofoultheirownclothesbyusingthem
assheetsonwhichtohavesex,andthustheyusethepoorman’scloak.
Theaccusationisagainmulti-faceted:itiscultic,sexual,andinvolves
profounddisrespectforpeopleofalowerclass.
ו ֔ טַ י. Hiphil yiqtol 3 m p of הטנ. The verb is used reflexively
here,“tostretch(oneself )out,”thatis,tolayoneselfdown.Thisusage
mayhavebeenavulgaridiomforhavingsex(cf.English“getlaid”).
Whetherthatisthecaseornot,wearenottoassumethattheysimply
laydownandwenttosleepbesideanaltar.Theyiqtol againimplies
thattheactionisfrequent.
Line A2d: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 0
predicators,1constituent,and2units.
62 Amos2:7-8
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ח֑ ֵ בְ ז ִ מ־ל ָ כ ל ֶ צ֖ ֵ אַ. Thenounל ֶ צ ֵ א,“side,”hereservesinthecon-
struct as a preposition, and it counts as a unit. While it is true that
“incubation,”sleepingatashrineinhopesofreceivingadreamfrom
agod,isattestedintheancientworld,context(sexualactivityinthe
previouslinesanddrunkennessinthefollowinglines)stronglyindi-
catesthatthisisbacchanalianrevelryatashrine.
Line A2e:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator, 2constituents,and3units.Thiscouldbejoinedwith
the following phrase ם ֶ הי ֵ הל ֱ א תי ֵ ב as a single line, but the zaqeph
qaton withitssubordinatepashta suggestsitisafullline.
֙ םי ִ שׁונ ֲ ע ןי֤ ֵ י ְ ו. Aconstructchain,inwhichםי ִ שׁונ ֲ ע,aqalpassive
participleofשׁנע,referstopeopleuponwhomafinancialpenaltyhas
beenimposed,whichtheyhavehadtopayinkind,withwine.The
useofsuchwineindicatesthattherevelersareabletocarryonatno
expensetothemselves,becausethewinewastakenfromothers.
ו ֔ ת ְ שִׁ י. Qal yiqtol 3 m p. The yiqtol again implies customary
action.
LineA2f:Thecolon-markerissilluqandtheconstraintsare:0pred-
icators,1constituent,and2units.
ם ֽ ֶ הי ֵ הל ֱ א תי ֖ ֵ ב. A construct chain; the preposition ְ ב is often
impliedbutnotpresentinpoetry.Theambiguityof ם ֶ הי ֵ הל ֱ א(“their
God”or“theirgods”)suggeststhatthemenconsiderthisbehaviorto
beinkeepingwithcovenantfidelitytoYHWHbutthatAmossees
itotherwise.
2:9-12: Second Stanza. Thisisformedfromfourstrophes,thefirst
threedescribingGod’sactsofmercytoIsraelandthefourthdescrib-
ingtheirsubversionofGod’swork.
2:9: First Strophe. Five lines. The conquest of Canaan is
describedunderthemetaphorofaforest.YHWHfirstdeclaresthat
he destroyed (hiphil of דמשׁ) the Amorite (B1a), and then a rela-
tiveclausedescribestheAmoritesastree-like(B1b-c).YHWHthen
declares that he destroyed (hiphil of דמשׁ) them from fruit to root
Amos2:8-9 63
Garrett Amos final.indd 63 6/6/08 2:24:44 PM
(B1d-e).Inshort,twopairsoflines(B1b-candB1d-e)metaphorically
elaborateonB1a.
ם ֔ ֶ הי ֵ נ ְ פ ִ מ ֙ י ִ רֹ מ ֱ א ֽ ָ ה־ת ֶ א י ִ ת ְ ד֤ ַ מ ְ שׁ ִ ה י ֜ ִ כֹ נ ָ֨ אְ ו
ו ֔ ה ְ ב ָ ג ֙ םי ִ ז ָ ר ֲ א ה ַ ב ֤ ֹ ג ְ כ ר ֨ ֶ שׁ ֲ א
םי֑ ִ נול ַ אֽ ָ כ או ֖ ה ן ֥ ֹס ָ חְ ו
ל ַ ע ֔ ַ מ ִ מ ֙ וי ְ ר ִ פ די ֤ ִ מ ְ שׁ ַ אָ ו
׃ת ַ ח ֽ ָ ת ִ מ וי ֖ ָ שׁ ָ ר ָ שְׁ ו
Line B1a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,4constituents,and4units.
י ֜ ִ כֹ נ ָ֨ אְ ו. Thesubject,withaconjunction.
י ִ ת ְ ד֤ ַ מ ְ שׁ ִ ה. Hiphilqatal 1csofדמשׁ.Thepattern[ו +X+qatal]
isoftencontrastive;here,previousactsbythesubject(“andI”)con-
trast with the previous behavior of the Israelites described above in
strophesoneandtwo.
֙ י ִ רֹ מ ֱ א ֽ ָ ה־ת ֶ א. The direct object. The term “Amorite” is often
usedbroadlyforthepre-Israeliteinhabitantsoftheland.Thechoice
oftheterm“Amorite”insteadof“Canaanite”hereandin2:10maybe
drivenbyGenesis15:16,“theiniquityoftheAmoriteisnotyetcom-
plete.”TheimplicationisthattheiniquityofIsrael,likethatofthe
Amoritesbeforethem,wasmovingtowardacriticalpoint.
ם ֔ ֶ הי ֵ נ ְ פ ִ מ. Literally “from your face,” this depicts the inhabit-
antsofthelandbeingdrivenbackfrombeforetheinvadingIsraelites
underJoshua.
Line B1b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0predicators,2constituents,and4units.
ו ֔ ה ְ בָ ג . . . ר ֨ ֶ שׁ ֲ א. Arelativeclause.The3mssuffixonוה ְ בָ ג is
resumptiveoftherelativepronoun;thus,“whoseheight.”
םי ִ ז ָ ר ֲ א ה ַ ב֤ ֹ ג ְ כ֙. Prepositional phrase with comparative ְ כ on a
constructchain.
2:9 B1a
B1b
B1c
B1d
B1e
64 Amos2:9
Garrett Amos final.indd 64 6/6/08 2:24:45 PM
Line B1c: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 0
predicators,3constituents,and3units.Thisisacopularclause;itis
offlineandaddsaseconddescriptionoftheAmoriteafterlineB1b.
ן ֥ ֹס ָ חְ ו. A predicate adjective. ןֹס ָ ח is attested only twice in the
OT (here and Isa 1:31). Its meaning (“strong”), however, is not in
doubtascognate words are wellattested inother Semitic languages
(see NIDOTTE ןֹס ָ ח). It is striking that in both OT instances the
wordisusedtodescribethestrengthofmenmetaphoricallydescribed
as trees. It may be that in ordinary conversation ןֹס ָ ח was used as a
clichédadjectiveforstrongtrees,suchasoaks.
או ֖ ה. Thesubject.
םי֑ ִ נול ַ אֽ ָ כ. Prepositionalphrasewithcomparative ְ כ.Theןול ַ א is
anoak.
Line B1d:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
די ֤ ִ מ ְ שׁ ַ אָ ו. Hiphil wayyiqtol 1 c s of דמשׁ. This continues the
small historical narrative begun in line B1a of this strophe with
י ִ ת ְ ד ַ מ ְ שׁ ִ ה י ִ כֹ נ ָ אְ ו. The wayyiqtol is genuinely sequential. The idea is
that YHWH first cut down the trees and then ensured that they
wouldnevergrowagain,destroyingboththeirseedandtheirroots.
וי ְ ר ִ פ.֙ Directobjectwith3mssuffix.
ל ַ ע ֔ ַ מ ִ מ. Adverbialusage;literally,“fromabove.”
Line B1e: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 0
predicators,2constituents,and2units.Thereisgapping,withוָאַ שְׁ ־
מִ יד fromlineB1dgoverningbothlines.
וי ֖ ָ שׁ ָ ר ָ שְׁ ו. Direct object with 3 m s suffix. The merism of fruit
androotdescribesthetwopartsofthetreethanmightgerminateor
putforthnewgrowth.ContrastIsaiah6:13,whereafterthe“tree”of
Judahisdestroyed,astumpremainstosproutagain.
ת ַ ח ֽ ָ ת ִ מ. Adverbial usage; literally, “from below” and a merism
withל ַ ע ַ מ ִ מ.
Amos2:9 65
Garrett Amos final.indd 65 6/6/08 2:24:45 PM
2:10: Second Strophe. Three lines. Two factors suggest that this
shouldberegardedasasecondstropheandnotasacontinuationof
thefirststrophebegunin2:9.First,thefactthatboth2:9and2:10
beginwith י ִ כֹ נ ָ אְ ו followed by a hiphil qatal verb indicates that they
aretobethoughtofasparallelbutseparatestrophes.Second,thereis
chronological inversion, describing the conquest in 2:9 but the exo-
dus in 2:10, which one would not expect if it were a single strophe.
Butwhyisthechronologicalsequenceinverted?Probablyitisbecause
Amoswantstofocusontheconquestratherthantheexodusandwil-
dernesssojourn,althoughthese,too,arebrieflymentionedaspartof
the standard recitation of Israel’s formative events. Notice that the
reversalofsequenceallowsAmostobeginlineB1awith“theAmorite
frombeforeyou”andtoendlineB2cwith“thelandoftheAmorite,”
creatingininclusionstructureframedbyreferencetotheexpulsionof
theAmorites.TheimplicationisthatIsrael,too,couldbeexpelled.
םִ י ֑ ָ ר ְ צ ִ מ ץ ֶ ר֣ ֶ א ֵ מ ם֖ ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א י ִ תי ֥ ֵ ל ֱ ע ֶ ה י ֛ ִ כֹ נ ָ אְ ו
ה ֔ ָ נ ָ שׁ םי ֣ ִ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א ֙ ר ָ ב ְ ד ִ מ ַ ב ם֤ ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א ך ֨ ֵ לואָ ו
׃י ֽ ִ רֹ מ ֱ א ָ ה ץ ֶ ר ֥ ֶ א־ת ֶ א ת ֶ שׁ֖ ֶ ר ָ ל
Line B2a: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,4constituents,and5units.
י ֛ ִ כֹ נ ָ אְ ו. Paralleltotheuseofי ִ כֹ נ ָ אְ ו in2:9,thisintroducesasec-
ondmini-historicalnarrative.
י ִ תי ֥ ֵ ל ֱ ע ֶ ה. Hiphilqatal 1csofהלע.
ם֖ ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א. Thedirectobject.
םִ י ֑ ָ ר ְ צ ִ מ ץ ֶ ר֣ ֶ א ֵ מ. Prepositional phrase with ן ִ מ on a construct
chain.
Line B2b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,4constituents,and5units.
ך ֨ ֵ לואָ ו. Hiphilwayyiqtol 1csofךלה.Thewayyiqtol issequential
tothepreviousclauseinlineB2a.
2:10 B2a
B2b
B2c
66 Amos2:10
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ם֤ ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א. Thedirectobject.
֙ ר ָ ב ְ ד ִ מ ַ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב.
ה֔ ָ נ ָ שׁ םי ֣ ִ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א. An expression of duration. Numbers over 10
typicallygovernsingularnouns;thenumberstwothroughtentypi-
callygovernpluralnouns.
Line B2c:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0pred-
icators,2constituents,and3units.
ת ֶ שׁ֖ ֶ ר ָ ל. Qalinfinitiveconstructofשׁרי with ְ ל,hereexpressing
purpose.
י ֽ ִ רֹ מ ֱ א ָ ה ץ ֶ ר ֥ ֶ א־ת ֶ א. Thedirectobject.Theconstructchainץ ֶ ר ֶ א
י ִ רֹ מ ֱ א ָ ה hereisinjuxtapositiontoםִ י ָ ר ְ צ ִ מ ץ ֶ ר ֶ א ֵ מ inlineB2a.Refer-
encetotheAmoritesalsoprovidesalsoaninclusionwithamentionof
theAmoritesinlineB1a.
2:11: Third Strophe.Fourlines.Like2:9-10,thisstrophedescribes
YHWH’s acts of grace toward Israel. Its subject-matter, however, is
quite different from that of the prior two strophes. Also, it begins
withahiphilwayyiqtol insteadoftheי ִ כֹ נ ָ אְ ו +hiphilqatal patternseen
in2:9-10.ItalsoincludesarhetoricalquestiondemandingthatIsrael
confess the validity of YHWH’s claim (line B3c), and it concludes
withanoracleformula(lineB3d).
םי ִ֔ אי ִ ב ְ נ ִ ל ֙ ם ֶ כי ֵ נ ְ ב ִ מ םי ֤ ִ ק ָ אָ ו
םי ֑ ִ ר ִ ז ְ נ ִ ל ם֖ ֶ כי ֵ רוח ַ ב ִ מו
ל ֖ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י֥ ֵ נ ְ ב תא֛ ֹז־ןי ֽ ֵ א ף ֥ ַ א ַ ה
׃הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ
Line B3a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
םי ֤ ִ ק ָ אָ ו. Hiphil wayyiqtol 1 c s of םוק. The hiphil of םוק here
meanstochoosesomeoneforatask,asinJudges2:16.
2:11 B3a
B3b
B3c
B3d
Amos2:10-11 67
Garrett Amos final.indd 67 6/6/08 2:24:46 PM
֙ ם ֶ כי ֵ נ ְ ב ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ,whichispartitivehere.
םי ִ֔ אי ִ בְ נ ִ ל. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ל,whichhereindicatesthe
purposeforwhichtheywerechosen.
Line B3b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.Thislinehasgappingwiththe
previousline,theverbםי ִ ק ָ אָ ו governingbothlines.
ם֖ ֶ כי ֵ רוח ַ ב ִ מו. Prepositional phrase with ן ִ מ, which is partitive
here.
םי ֑ ִ רִ ז ְ נ ִ ל. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ל,whichagainindicatesthe
purpose for which they were chosen. Nazirites are not commonly
mentioned in the Old Testament; the Nazirite vow is described in
Numbers6,andJudges13–16describestheNaziritecareerofSam-
son.Whyaretheymentionedhere?ProbablytheNaziritesrepresent
IsraelitesofexceptionaldevotiontoYHWH.Theimplicationisthat
YHWHsentsuchpeopletothemasremindersoftheneedforalife
oftruepiety.TheNaziritewastheclosestthingancientIsraelhadtoa
manunderamonasticvow,althoughtheoneNaziriteweknowwell,
Samson,wasfarfromfulfillingtheidealofconsecrationtoYHWH.
Line B3c:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:2predi-
cators,3constituents,and3units.ל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֵ נ ְ ב ishereapropername
andthusasingleunit.Ifף ַ א ַ ה werecountedasaunit,thelinewould
stillbewithintheconstraints,butitprobablyshouldnotbecounted.
Why doesAmos introduce arhetoricalquestionhere? Theprobable
reasonisthattheIsraeliteshadnotsubvertedtheconquestortheexo-
dus narratives and that Amos’ audience would need no prompting
to confess that these events had been gracious works of God. They
had,however,underminedtheworkoftheNaziritesandprophets,as
thesubsequentaccusationindicates.Beforemovingintotheaccusa-
tion,therefore,AmosfirstdemandsthatIsraelacknowledgethatthe
appearanceofNaziritesandprophetsamongthemwasalsoamerciful
actofGod.
68 Amos2:11
Garrett Amos final.indd 68 6/6/08 2:24:47 PM
ןי ֽ ֵ א ף ֥ ַ א ַ ה. Thenegativeexistentialןי ֵ א servesasapredicator.
תא֛ ֹז. Thesubject;afemininedemonstrative,thisisaneutrum
thatstandsforprecedingcontent.Here,itsantecedentistheassertion
inlinesB3a-b.
ל ֖ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י֥ ֵ נ ְ ב. Aconstructchainusedasavocative.
Line B3d: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 0
predicators,1constituents,and2units.
הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ. Aconstructchain,thisisastandardoracleformula.
Links tying strophe B1 to strophe B2 have already been noted, and
the discussion below describes how strophes B3 and B4 are bound
together. But the oracle formula הָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ also has the function of
separatingthethreebenefitsdescribedinstrophesB1,B2andB3from
theresponseofIsraelinstropheB4.
2:12: Fourth Strophe.Threelines.Like2:11,thisstrophebegins
withahiphilwayyiqtol.ItcontendsthattheIsraeliteshavesoughtto
subvertGod’sworkbycorruptingorhinderinghisagents,theproph-
ets and Nazirites. Several elements bind this strophe to strophe B3.
Together, they have an inversion structure in that lines B3a-b have
the order prophets–Nazirites, whereas lines B4a-b have the order
Nazirites–prophets.LineB3abeginswiththehiphilwayyiqtol םי ִ ק ָ אָ ו
(“andIraisedup”;Godisthesubject)andB4abeginswiththehiphil
wayyiqtol וק ְ שׁ ַ תַ ו (“andyoumade[them]drink”;Israelisthesubject).
Also,theoracularהָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ ofB3disansweredbythepeople’srejec-
tionofthepropheticwordinB4c,וא ְ בָ נ ִ ת אֹלּ(“neverprophesy”).
ן ִ י֑֑ ָ י םי ֖ ִ ר ִ ז ְ נ ַ ה־ת ֶ א ו ֥ ק ְ שׁ ַ תַ ו
ר ֔ ֹ מא ֵ ל ם֣ ֶ תי ִ ו ִ צ ֙ םי ִ אי ִ ב ְ נ ַ ה־ל ַ ע ְ ו
׃ו ֽ א ְ ב ָ נ ִ ת א ֖ ֹל
Line B4a: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
2:12 B4a
B4b
B4c
Amos2:11-12 69
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ו ֥ ק ְ שׁ ַ תַ ו. Hiphilwayyiqtol 2mpofהקשׁ.
םי ֖ ִ רִ ז ְ נ ַ ה־ת ֶ א. Thedirectobject.
ן ִ י֑֑ ָ י. Asecondarydirectobject,indicatingthesubstancethatwas
drunk.
Line B4b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
֙ םי ִ אי ִ בְ נ ַ ה־ל ַ עְ ו. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע.
ם֣ ֶ תי ִ ו ִ צ. Piel qatal 2 m p of הוצ. The pattern ל ַ ע + הוצ may
occurwithaprohibition,asinGenesis2:16-17;28:6;Jeremiah35:6;
Nahum1:14;Esther2:10.AnotherexampleisIsaiah5:6,םי ִ ב ָ ע ֶ ה ל ַ עְ ו
ר ָ ט ָ מ וי ָ ל ָ ע רי ִ ט ְ מ ַ ה ֵ מ הֶ ו ַ צ ֲ א,“andIwillforbidthecloudsfromsending
rainuponit.”Thereareotherpatternswithהוצ andל ַ ע thatdonot
involveprohibitions,asin2Samuel14:8,ךִ י ָ ל ָ ע הֶ ו ַ צ ֲ א י ִ נ ֲ אַ ו,“andIwill
giveordersconcerningyou.”
ר ֔ ֹ מאֵ ל. Qalinfinitiveconstructofרמא with ְ ל.
Line B4c:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,1constituent,and1unit.Thisviolatestheconstraintsunless
אֹל ishereregardedasaunit.Asdescribedintheintroduction,how-
ever,theconstraintsarenotinviolable.Thislineisreportedspeech.
ו ֽ א ְ בָ נ ִ ת א֖ ֹל. Niphalyiqtol 2mpwithnegative.Theuseofאֹל
insteadofל ַ א forthenegationsuggeststhatthisisastandingorder,
“neverprophesy.”Cp.Exod20:13-15.
2:13: Third Stanza. A single strophe of three lines, this has no
counterpartinthefirstsevenoraclesagainstthenation.Adescription
ofdivineexasperation,itistransitional,movingthereadertowardthe
judgmentstanza(2:14-16).
ם֑ ֶ כי ֵ ת ְ ח ַ ת קי ֖ ִ ע ֵ מ י ֥ ִ כֹ נ ָ א ה֛ ֵ נ ִ ה
ה ֔ ָ ל ָ ג ֲ ע ָ ה ֙ קי ִ ע ָ ת ר ֤ ֶ שׁ ֲ א ַ כ
׃רי ֽ ִ מ ָ ע ה֖ ָ ל ה ֥ ָ א ֵ ל ְ מ ֽ ַ ה
2:13 Ca
Cb
Cc
70 Amos2:12-13
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Line Ca: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,4constituents,and4units.
ה֛ ֵ נ ִ ה. Thisfamiliarwordoftenintroducesdramaticpronounce-
ments, and sometimes these are statements of despair or complaint.
Forexample,Genesis15:3(י ִ תֹ א שׁ ֵ רוי י ִ תי ֵ ב־ן ֶ ב הֵ נ ִ הְ ו)couldbeloosely
translated as, “And do you know what? My household slave will be
myheir!”
י ֥ ִ כֹ נ ָ א. Theparticiplethatfollowsneedsanexplicitsubjectwhich
ishereprovidedbyי ִ כֹ נ ָ א.
קי ֖ ִ ע ֵ מ. Hiphilparticiplemsofקוע inaperiphrasticconstruc-
tion.Contrarytoanumberofinterpreters(e.g.,Hayes1988,118–19),
itdoesnotmeanto“pressdown.”Itappearstobeusedofawagonwith
themeaning,“tomakearut”(seeHALOT)andfromthatmeans,“to
beweighteddown.”Itisintransitive/passive,amiddlevoice,anddoes
nottakeadirectobject,astheusageinthenextlineclearlyshows.
ם֑ ֶ כי ֵ ת ְ ח ַ ת. Prepositional phrase with ת ַ ח ַ ת. This is sometimes
taken to mean “in your place” (as in Exod 16:29; 2 Sam 2:23; Job
40:12),withtheverbקי ִ ע ֵ מ interpretedas“holddown”or“restrain,”
andthus,“Iwillrestrainyouinyourplace.”Butthispassageisnot
truly analogous to texts where ת ַ ח ַ ת means “in (your) place.” For
example, Job 40:12 has ם ָ ת ְ ח ַ ת םי ִ ע ָ שׁ ְ ר ךֹד ֲ הַ ו (“and tread down the
wicked in their place”), but note that the direct object, םי ִ ע ָ שׁ ְ ר, is
explicit.Inם ֶ כי ֵ ת ְ ח ַ ת קי ִ ע ֵ מ י ֥ ִ כֹ נ ָ א,thereisnoindicationthat“you”is
thedirectobjectofקי ִ ע ֵ מ.Thus,ם ֶ כי ֵ ת ְ ח ַ ת hasitsnormalandfarmore
commonmeaning,“underyou.”
Line Cb:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ר ֤ ֶ שׁ ֲ א ַ כ. Meaning “just as,” this word subordinates this line to
theprecedinglinetomakeacomparison.
֙ קי ִ ע ָ ת. Hiphilyiqtol 3fsofקוע;theusagehereisclearlymid-
dlevoiceandintransitive.Noteveryhiphilistransitive,andtheverb
cannot have the transitive meaning “restrain” since the cart is obvi-
Amos2:13 71
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ouslynotrestraininganything.Takingthisoccurrenceoftheverbas
intransitive buttheoccurrenceinlineCaas transitive (asdoesPaul
1991,94–95)ismostimplausible.
ה ֔ ָ לָ ג ֲ ע ָ ה. The subject. The definite article represents a class of
objectsandnotaspecificobject.
Line Cc:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators,3constituents,and3units.Thislineisadjectival,standingin
appositiontoה ָ לָ ג ֲ ע ָ ה.
ה ֥ ָ אֵ ל ְ מ ֽ ַ ה. Adjective f s with definite article, in agreement with
itsantecedentה ָ לָ ג ֲ ע ָ ה.
ה֖ ָ ל. Reflexiveuseofthepreposition ְ ל witha3fssuffix.Literally
“filledtoherself,”itmeans,“filledtothebrim.”
רי ִ מ ָ ע. Englishrequiresaprepositionsuchas“with”toindicate
withwhatthecartisfilled,butHebrewdoesnot.רי ִ מ ָ ע referstothe
sheaves,thecutstalksofgrainthathavenotyetbeenthreshed.SeeJer
9:21(E22);Mic4:12.
2:14-16: Fourth Stanza. Ninelines.Inthefirstsevenoracles,every
stanzaconcludeswithasinglejudgmentstrophe.Insomecasesthis
strophehasonlytherequisitetwo-lineformulabegunwithי ִ ת ְ חַ ל ִ שְׁ ו,
butinothersthereisalengthystrophedominatedbyweqatal verbs.
Here,thetwo-lineשׁ ֵ א י ִ ת ְ חַ ל ִ שְׁ ו formulaismissingbutthejudgment
doesbeginwithaweqatal verb(lineDa).Ofcourse,onecoulddivide
thisstanzaintoseveralstrophes,asinthenumberedverses,butthere
arethreereasonsfortakingthisasasinglestrophe.
The first reason is the analogy to the lengthy judgment strophes
against Damascus, Gaza, Ammon, and Moab. One would expect
Israel,theclimaxofthepoem,toalsohavealargejudgmentstrophe.
ThesecondreasonisthatlinesDb-haregrammaticallyboundtoDa.
Aprophetictextcanbindtwolinestogether,indicatingthatthetwo
describeaspectsofasinglefutureevent,byusingthepatternweqatal +
Xinthefirstlineandthepattern ְ ו +[X]+yiqtol inthesecondline.For
72 Amos2:13-16
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example,Isaiah3:4readsם ָ ב־ול ְ שׁ ְ מִ י םי ִ לול ֲ ע ַ תְ ו ם ֶ הי ֵ ר ָ ש םי ִ ר ָ עְ נ י ִ ת ַ תָ נ ְ ו,
“AndIwillmake(weqatal)boystheirofficials,andbabieswillgovern
(yiqtol)them.”Governancebyboysandtoddlersarenottwoseparate,
sequentialevents,butisasingleeventinwhichincompetentrulersare
metaphoricallydescribedintwoterms.Here,asingleweqatal +Xline
isfollowedbysevenlinesinthe ְ ו +[X]+yiqtol pattern(therearesix
yiqtol verbs,butthesixthyiqtol governsbothlinesDgandDh).This
suggests that the whole of Da-Dh is portrayed as a single military
actioninwhichdifferenttypesofsoldiersarementioned.Bycontrast,
aninitialyiqtol followedbyaseriesofweqatal verbswouldsuggesta
sequentialseriesofdiscreteevents.Notealsothatwehaveaseriesof
fiveאֹל +yiqtol verbsinlinesDb-f;thesixthyiqtol inDg-hbreaksthe
pattern,inthatitlacksthenegative,therebyconcludingthisstrophe.
Thethirdreasonforreadingthisasasinglestropheisthecontentof
2:14-16;everylinedescribesthepanickedsoldiersofadefeatedarmy.
Thesesoldiersaredifferentiatedeitherbytheirmilitaryspecialization
(heavyinfantry,bowmen,lightinfantry,andcavalryinlinesDc-Df )
orbytheirqualitiesassoldiers(physicallytough[Db]orexceptionally
brave[Dg]).Butthewholestrophedescribesasingleaction—arouted
armyinflight.TheargumentoflinesDa-Dhisasfollows:
Da: No one in the army, however swift, will find escape. This
includes:
Db:thephysicallytough(adesirablemilitaryquality)
Dc:theheavyinfantry(amilitaryspecialization)
Dd:thebowmen(amilitaryspecialization)
De:thelightinfantry(amilitaryspecialization)
Df:thecavalry(amilitaryspecialization)
Dg-Dh:thecourageous(adesirablemilitaryquality).
TheinclusionstructureoflinesDbandDg-Dhsuggeststhatnomat-
ter how tough or courageous any members of the four specialized
unitsare,theywillallfleeinterror.
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ל ָ֔ ק ִ מ ֙ סונ ָ מ ד֤ ַ ב ָ אְ ו
ו ֑ חֹכ ץ֣ ֵ מ ַ אְ י־אֹל ק֖ ָ ז ָ חְ ו
׃ו ֽ שׁ ְ פ ַ נ ט֥ ֵ ל ַ מְ י־אֹל רו ֖ ב ִ ג ְ ו
ד ֔ ֹ מ ֲ עַ י א ֣ ֹל ֙ ת ֶ שׁ ֙ ֶ ק ַ ה ש֤ ֵ פֹ תְ ו
ט֑ ֵ ל ַ מְ י א ֣ ֹל וי ֖ ָ ל ְ ג ַ ר ְ ב ל ֥ ַ ק ְ ו
׃ו ֽ שׁ ְ פ ַ נ ט֖ ֵ ל ַ מְ י א ֥ ֹל סו ֔ ס ַ ה ב֣ ֵ כֹר ְ ו
םי ֑ ִ רוב ִ ג ַ ב ו ֖ ב ִ ל ץי ֥ ִ מ ַ אְ ו
או ֖ ה ַ ה־םוי ַ ב סו ֥ נ ָ י םו ֛ ר ָ ע
פ ׃הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ
Line Da:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ד֤ ַ ב ָ אְ ו. Qalweqatal 3msofדבא.Theinitialweqatal formally
follows the pattern of the previous seven judgment strophes in the
previousoracles.
֙ סונ ָ מ. The subject of the verb. Defined as either “flight” or
“placeofrefuge,”itprobablysimplymeans“retreat”or“escape,”and
theusagehereportraysadefeatedarmythatwillnotbeabletoretreat
ingoodorder,resultinginatotalroutandtheensuingannihilation
ofthatarmy.
ל ָ֔ ק ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ.Whyisל ַ ק (hereinpausal
form),the“swift,”specifiedinthefirstline,onlytoberepeatedinline
De?TheexpressioninDeprobablyrefersspecificallytolightinfan-
tryasaunitofthearmy.HereinDa,“swift”indicatesnotaspecific
military specialization but the trait most necessary for the implied
situation,runningawayfromadefeatinbattle.Thepointisthatthe
wholearmywillfleeandthateventhemostswiftamongthemwill
notgetaway.Followingthisinitialsummary,linesDb-Dhdescribes
sixtypesofsoldierswhowillfindnoescape.
2:14
2:15
2:16
Da
Db
Dc
Dd
De
Df
Dg
Dh
Di
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Line Db: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ק֖ ָ ז ָ חְ ו. Thesubject.Theadjectiveקָ ז ָ ח isusedsubstantively,and
itmeans“hard,strong,orsevere.”Itherereferstothemilitaryquality
oftoughness,includingtheabilitytofight,endurepain,andfunction
undersevereduress.
ץ֣ ֵ מ ַ אְ י־אֹל. Pielyiqtol 3mswithnegative.
ו ֑ חֹכ. The direct object; the noun ַ חֹכ with 3 m s suffix. Used
with ץמא, it can refer to rallying one’s strength in the midst of a
militarycrisis(Nah2:1).
Line Dc:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units.
רו ֖ בִ ג ְ ו. Thesubject.Thewordרובִ ג essentiallymeans“hero”or
“warrior,” and it can refer to any kind of soldier (2 Chr 14:8). The
term can describe an exceptionally powerful soldier, such as a war-
rior-king(Gen10:8;Isa9:5),anditisalsousedofelitetroops(2Sam
23:9).Itoftenreferstothemainbodyofthearmy(2Sam20:7;2Chr
17:13-14). In the Iron Age, the heavy infantry composed the back-
bone of the army. It was composed of citizens who were prosperous
enough to afford the equipment of a heavy infantryman; typically,
thesesoldierswerefromthelandedyeomanfarmers.Byanalogy,yeo-
manfarmersmadeuptheAthenianhoplitecorpsandthelegionsof
theRomanrepublic(seealsoABD,“MilitaryOrganizationinMeso-
potamia).Poorercitizensoftenmadeupthelightinfantry,whoserved
asskirmishersandpeltasts,andthetrulywell-offservedascavalry(as
theycouldaffordhorses).Heavyinfantrystoodinranks,woreheavy
armor,andborethebruntoftheseriousfighting.Inthiscontext,set
oppositethearchers,the“swiftoffoot,”andthecavalry,theרובִ ג is
probablytheheavyinfantryman.
ט֥ ֵ ל ַ מְ י־אֹל. Pielyiqtol 3msofטלמ withnegative.
ו ֽ שְׁ פַ נ. Directobjectwith3mssuffix.
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Line Dd:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and3units.
֙ ת ֶ שׁ ֙ ֶ ק ַ ה ש֤ ֵ פֹ תְ ו. Qal active participle of שפת (“hold”) in con-
structwithת ֶ שׁ ֶ ק ַ ה (anobjectivegenitiverelationship).Theparticipleis
notapredicatorhere.The“holderofthebow”is,ofcourse,anarcher.
ד ֔ ֹ מ ֲ עַ י א֣ ֹל. Qalyiqtol 3msofדמע withnegative.Theverbhere
connotesholdingone’spositioninthefaceofdangerduringbattle.
Line De: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ל ֥ ַ ק ְ ו. Thesubject.
וי֖ ָ לְ ג ַ ר ְ ב. Prepositional phrase with ְ ב. The phrase “swift on his
feet”ofitselfonlyconnotessomeonewhocanrunfast,butinthiscon-
textitisprobablynotthosewhoaregiftedrunnersbutthosewhosetask
inamilitaryformationinvolvesspeed.Thiswouldbethelightinfantry,
whotypicallycarriedwickershields,hurledmissilesattheenemy,and
whowereusedforharassmentandswiftflankingattacksratherthan
forfrontalassaults,whichwouldbethetaskoftheheavyinfantry.
ט֑ ֵ ל ַ מְ י א֣ ֹל. Piel yiqtol 3 m s of טלמ with negative. The direct
objectושׁ ְ פַ נ isimplied,asinlinesDcandDf.
Line Df:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and4units.
סו ֔ ס ַ ה ב֣ ֵ כֹרְ ו. The subject, a qal active participle of בכר, used
substantivelyinaconstructchainwithסוס ַ ה.Thesearethecavalry.
ט֖ ֵ ל ַ מְ י א֥ ֹל. Pielyiqtol 3msofטלמ withnegative.
ו ֽ שְׁ פַ נ. Thedirectobject.
Line Dg: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 0
predicators,2constituents,and3units.Thislinedependsonthefol-
lowinglineDh.
ו ֖ ב ִ ל ץי ֥ ִ מ ַ אְ ו. The subject, a construct chain. A man who is
“mightyofhisheart”isamanofexceptionalcourage,asintheEng-
lishexpression,“stoutofheart.”
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םי ֑ ִ רובִ ג ַ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב,heremeaning“among.”
The םי ִ רובִ ג are again the heavy infantrymen. These men, in heavy
armor,presentingawallofshieldsandstandingshoulder-to-shoulder
inthelineofbattle,wereexpectedtowithstandafrontalchargefrom
theenemy,andthuswerethebravestofthebrave.Thelightinfantry
and archers, by contrast, were not expected to hold their ground in
thismanner.
Line Dh:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and4units.AshappenssometimesinAmos,the
tifha markstheendofalinebeforeanoracleformula.
םו ֛ ר ָ ע. Anadjectivewhoseantecedentisthesoldierdescribedas
וב ִ ל ץי ִ מ ַ א.Theadjectiveisadverbialhere,describingtheconditionin
whichthesoldierwillflee.“Naked”couldliterallymeanthathehas
lostallofhisclothing,butitatleastreferstohishavingcastawayall
hisheavyarmorandweapons.
סו ֥ נָ י. Qalyiqtol 3msofסונ.
או ֖ ה ַ ה־םוי ַ ב. Prepositional phrase with ְ ב used for a temporal
phrase.
Line Di:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators,1constituent,and2units.
הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ. Adivinespeechformula.
3:1-15: Te lion roars
Thisdivisionisinthreeparts,withthreepoems(vv.4-6;9-11;13-15)
eachheadedbyaprosesection(vv.1-3;7-8;12).Eachpoemisasingle
stanzaandthusquiteshort.Thegoverningmetaphorofthisdivision
isthehuntinglion,whoappearsinthefirstbicolonofthefirstpoem
(v.4)andinthesecondandthirdprosesections(vv.8and12).Essen-
tially,3:1-15arguesagainstthemisguidedfaithoftheIsraelites,who
assume that because they are YHWH’s people, they are inviolable.
Thisattitudeisimpliedintheclaimofv.2andintheironyofv.12.
Onthebasisofthispresupposition,moreover,theybelievethatAmos
Amos2:14-16 77
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hasnorighttoprophesyashedoes.Thischapterthereforeisalsoan
apologyforAmos’propheticministry.Againstthemisguidedfaithof
Israel,Amosargues,(1)thestatusofbeingGod’speopleimpliesthat
they will be judged, v. 2; (2) Israel is no longer walking with God,
v.3;(3)lookingattheevidence,commonsenseshowsthatGodhas
turned against Israel, vv. 4-6; (4) divine compulsion requires Amos
toprophesy,vv.7-8;(5)eventhepaganswouldbeappalledatwhat
happensinSamaria,vv.9-11;and(6)the“deliverance”ofIsraelwill
beverydifferentfromwhattheyexpect,v.12.Followingthis,Amos
deliversastandardjudgmentoracleanalogoustothosegivenagainst
thenations(vv.13-15).ForananalysisofAmosasadebatebetween
theprophetandhisopponents,seeMöller(2000).Ontherhetoricof
thischapter,seeGitay(1980).
1
Hear this word, which YHWH speaks against you, sons of Israel,
against all the clan that I brought up from the land of Egypt:
2
You only do
I know of all the clans of the land. Therefore I will punish you for all your
iniquities.
3
Will two walk together unless they be agreed?
4
Will the lion roar in the forest
When he has no prey?
Will the maned lion give his voice from his lair
If he has not captured anything?
5
Will a bird swoop down on a trap on the earth
If it has no bait?
Will a trap spring up from the ground
And not catch anything at all?
6
Will a shofar sound in a city
And a people not be terrified?
Will there be disaster in a city
And YHWH has not done it?
7
For the Lord YHWH does not do anything unless he reveals his secret
plan to his servants, the prophets.
8
The lion has roared! Who will not fear?
The Lord YHWH has spoken! Who will not prophesy?
78 Amos3:1-15
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9
Make a proclamation at the citadels of Ashdod
And at the citadels in the land of Egypt!
And say, Gather yourselves upon the hills of Samaria!
And see many outrages in her midst
And oppressive acts within her!
10
And (see that) they do not know how to do what is right—
The oracle of YHWH—
But treasure up violence and destruction in their citadels.
11
Therefore thus says Lord YHWH:
An enemy, and all around the land!
And he will bring your strength down from you,
And your citadels will be plundered.
12
Thus says YHWH: Just as a shepherd might “rescue” from a lion’s
mouth two legs or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel, who sit in
Samaria at the corner of a bed and by a footstool of a couch, be “rescued.”
13
Hear and give testimony against the house of Jacob—
An oracle of Lord YHWH, God of Sabaoth!
14
For in the day that I punish the transgressions of Israel
Then I will punish the altars of Bethel.
And the horns of the altar will be chopped off
And will fall to the earth.
15
And I will strike the winter house in addition to the summer house,
And the ivory houses will be lost,
And many houses will be swept away.
The oracle of YHWH.
3:1-3: Prose Exordium:Thisisasingleproseparagraph.Thecall
tohear(v.1)isfollowedbytwosentencesthatexplainwhyYHWHis
abouttogiveanoracleagainstIsrael(vv.2-3).
י֣ ֵ נ ְ ב ם֖ ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע ה֛ ָ והְ י ר֧ ֶ ב ִ ד ר ֨ ֶ שׁ ֲ א ה ֗ ֶ ז ַ ה ר֣ ָ ב ָ ד ַ ה־ת ֶ א ו ֞ ע ְ מ ִ שׁ
ץ ֶ ר ֥ ֶ א ֵ מ י ִ תי֛ ֵ ל ֱ ע ֶ ה ר ֧ ֶ שׁ ֲ א ה ָ֔ ח ָ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ ַ ה־ל ָ כ ל ַ ֚ ע ל ֑ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י
׃ר ֽ ֹ מא ֵ ל םִ י ֖ ַ ר ְ צ ִ מ
Amos3:1-15 79
3:1
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This sentence is governed by an initial imperative and thus is
volitiveinnature.Tworelativeclausesandtwoappositionalphrases
expanduponelementsinthesentence,asdescribedbelow.
Prose Clause:ר ֽ ֹ מאֵ ל . . . ה֗ ֶ ז ַ ה ר֣ ָ ב ָ ד ַ ה־ת ֶ א ו ֞ ע ְ מ ִ שׁ
Theinitialimperative(וע ְ מ ִ שׁ,aqalimperativempofעמשׁ)sets
thissentenceasanexhortation.Themainclauseincludesרֹ מאֵ ל,the
qal infinitive construct of רמא with preposition ְ ל, and it is inter-
rupted by a series of parenthetical relative and appositional expres-
sions.הֶ ז ַ ה ר ָ ב ָ ד ַ ה־ת ֶ א isthedirectobject,andרֹ מאֵ ל isepexegeticalof
הֶ ז ַ ה ר ָ ב ָ ד ַ ה and,asisnormal,introducesaquotation.
Prose Clause:ל֑ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י֣ ֵ נ ְ ב ם֖ ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע ה֛ ָ והְ י ר֧ ֶ ב ִ ד ר ֨ ֶ שׁ ֲ א
Thisrelativeclausewithר ֶ שׁ ֲ א hasהֶ ז ַ ה ר ָ ב ָ ד ַ ה asitsantecedent.
הָ והְ י ר ֶ ב ִ ד isapielqatal 3msofרבד withהוהי servingasthesubject.
ם ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע isaprepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע,whichcanmean“concern-
ing”buthereundoubtedlymeans“against.”Ithasa2mpsuffix.י ֵ נ ְ ב
ל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י isavocativeinappositiontothe2mpsuffixonם ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע.
Prose Clause:ה ָ֔ ח ָ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ ַ ה־ל ָ כ ל ַ ֚ ע
Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע.Itisinappositiontoם ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע.The
useofה ָ ח ָ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ,“clan,”todesignatethewholenationofIsraelissome-
whatodd,asה ָ ח ָ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ isoftenunderstoodtobeasub-unitofט ֶ ב ֵ שׁ,
“tribe.”ButAmosdesignatesallthenationsofearthasתוח ְ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ inv.
3,andthushedoesnotseemtohaveanyderogatoryintentindesig-
natingIsraelasaה ָ ח ָ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ.
Prose Clause:םִ י ֖ ַ ר ְ צ ִ מ ץ ֶ ר ֥ ֶ א ֵ מ י ִ תי֛ ֵ ל ֱ ע ֶ ה ר ֧ ֶ שׁ ֲ א
Arelativeclauseinappositiontoה ָ ח ָ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ ַ ה־ל ָ כ.Aftertherelative
ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א comestheverbי ִ תי ֵ ל ֱ ע ֶ ה (hiphilqatal 1csofהלע),andfinally
םִ י ַ ר ְ צ ִ מ ץ ֶ ר ֶ א ֵ מ,aprepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ onaconstructchain.
֙ ן ֵ כ־ל ַ ע ה֑ ָ מ ָ ד ֲ א ָ ה תו ֣ ח ְ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ ל ֖ ֹכ ִ מ י ִ ת ְ ע ֔ ַ דָ י ם֣ ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א ק ַ ֚ ר
׃םֽ ֶ כי ֵ תֽ ֹ נו ֲ ע־ל ָ כ ת֖ ֵ א ם ֔ ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע ד ֣ ֹק ְ פ ֶ א
3:2
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This sentence, although lacking any transitional particle such
as י ִ כ, is explanatory, telling the audience why YHWH is speaking
against them. The lack of transition is more forceful because the
sentenceisnotformallysubordinated.Thesecondclause,headedby
ן ֵ כ־ל ַ ע,“thatiswhy,”marksthesentenceasexplanatory.
Prose Clause:ה֑ ָ מ ָ ד ֲ א ָ ה תו ֣ ח ְ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ ל ֖ ֹכ ִ מ י ִ ת ְ ע ֔ ַ דָ י ם֣ ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א ק ַ ֚ ר
The matrix clause of this sentence, it has the order object-verb,
makingtheobjectthemostprominentfeatureoftheclause.Inaddi-
tiontohavingthefrontposition,thedirectobjectם֣ ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א hasthepar-
ticleק ַ ר,“only,”fixingthereader’sattentionontheuniquestatusof
Israel.י ִ ת ְ ע ַ דָ י isaqalqatal 1csofעדי.Theprepositionalphraseלֹכ ִ מ
ה ָ מ ָ ד ֲ א ָ ה תוח ְ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ hasapartitiveן ִ מ,indicatingthatIsraelhasbeen
chosenfromamongthenationsofearth.
Prose Clause:םֽ ֶ כי ֵ תֽ ֹ נו ֲ ע־ל ָ כ ת֖ ֵ א ם ֔ ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע ד ֣ ֹק ְ פ ֶ א ֙ ן ֵ כ־ל ַ ע
This clause is formally the logical conclusion of the preceding
clause, but it is paradoxical. One would expect that Israel’s special
status as the people of God would insulate it from judgment, but
that is the very fallacy that Amos is seeking to expose. ן ֵ כ־ל ַ ע, liter-
ally “upon thus,” is idiomatic for “that is why” or “for that reason.”
Theverbדֹק ְ פ ֶ א (qalyiqtol 1csofדקפ)hasanenormoussemantic
range, including “inspect,” “visit,” “muster (troops),” “take care of,”
and“punish.”Here,itconnotespunishingIsraelfortheirsins,asin
Exodus32:34;20:5;Jeremiah6:15;etc.ם ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע aprepositionalphrase
withל ַ ע and2mpsuffix,repeatsם ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע fromv.1,suggestingthat
thisexplainsGod’sspeechagainstIsraelannouncedthere.Thisuseof
דקפ (withthepersonpunisheddesignatedbyל ַ ע,andwiththesinfor
whichpunishmentcomesbeingthedirectobject)isquitecommon,as
inNumbers14:18andIsaiah13:11.
׃וד ֽ ָ עונ־ם ִ א י ֖ ִ ת ְ ל ִ ב ו ֑ ָ ד ְ חַ י םִ י֑ ֖ ַ נ ְ שׁ ו ֥ כ ְ לֵ י ֲ ה
Thissentenceisarhetoricalquestionwithaninvertedstructure
ofapodosisbeforeprotasis.Thepresenceofaninversionisindicated
Amos3:2-3 81
3:3
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byם ִ א י ִ תְ ל ִ ב inthesecondclause,whichmeans“ifnot”or“unless”
and marks that clause as the protasis. If it were a declarative state-
mentinsteadofarhetoricalquestion,itwouldread,“Unlesstheyare
agreed,twowillnotwalktogether.”Inform,thisverseisidenticalto
thebicolaof3:4-6,andthusitisuniversallyassumedthatthisisthe
firstbicolonofapoemofsevenbicola.Therearetworeasonsthatthis
isnotcorrect.First,thereisnothingpoeticaboutthissentence.Itis
of itself a simple rhetorical question; in isolation, there is no reason
anyonewouldregarditaspoetry;itisinfactaproverb.In3:4-6,by
contrast, this rhetorical question pattern is converted into poetry by
virtue of the repeated parallelism, there being three matched pairs.
Second,although3:3servesasalead-inforthepoemof3:4-6,itis
isolatedfromthatpoembyformandcontent.Formally,itlacksasec-
ond,matchingbicolon.OftenAmos,likeotherprophets,willtermi-
natearepeatedpatternwithanelementthatbreaksfromthepattern,
butitisoddtobeginapoemwithanelementthatdoesnotconform
to the pattern. More significantly, the content is completely differ-
ent. Verse 3 speaks of two people walking together, but the bicolon
pairsofvv.4-6allconcernactsofviolententrapment:alioncaptures
its prey, a snare traps a bird, and city is entrapped by an enemy or
YHWH.Verse3looksbacktovv.1-2,explaininghowitisthatIsrael,
YHWH’s chosen people, will especially experience his punishment.
Verses4-6lookforwardtovv.7ff.,explainingthatbecauseYHWH
hasspoken,Amosmustprophesyanddestruction mustcome.Rhe-
torically,thestructureofv.3leadsintothepoemofvv.4-6,butitis
notpartofthatpoem.
Prose Clause:ו ֑ ָ ד ְ חַ י םִ י֑ ֖ ַ נ ְ שׁ ו ֥ כ ְ לֵ י ֲ ה
Thisistheapodosisoftherhetoricalquestion.וכ ְ לֵ י ֲ ה isaqalyiqtol
3mpofךלה withinterrogativeה.Thesenseofךלה hereisprobably
not “walk together” in the sense of a casual stroll but “go together”
in the sense of having a common purpose and destination, and of
lookingupononeanotheraspartnersinametaphoricaljourney.The
subject(םִ י ַ נ ְ שׁ)isfollowedbyanadverb(ו ָ ד ְ חַ י)modifyingךלה.
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Prose Clause:וד ֽ ָ עונ־ם ִ א י ֖ ִ תְ ל ִ ב
This,asdescribedabove,istheprotasisinarhetoricalquestion.
Thephraseם ִ א י ִ תְ ל ִ ב isadverbial,meaning“unless.”Theverbוד ָ עונ
isaniphalqatal 3cpofדעי.Thisverbisthecrux oftheverse.Shalom
Paul argues that it “here means merely ‘to meet’ without any over-
tonesofbyplanorbydesign”(Paul1991,109).Hearguesthatpeople
often walk together when they have met by chance, and that it is
notcorrecttosaythatpeopleneverwalktogetherexceptbyappoint-
ment. Against this, the Niphal of דעי does signify coming together
atadesignatedplaceandtime(asinNum10:3;14:35;16:11;Ps48:4
[E=5];Neh6:2),andnooccurrenceoftheverbconnotesachance
meeting. Also, as mentioned above, the sense of ךלה here is almost
certainly not of two people who accidentally meet and walk in the
samedirectionforafewminutesbeforeparting.Itistruethat“they
have made an appointment” is not the best translation for this verb
here,ifbythatoneimaginessomethinganalogoustosynchronizing
appointmentbooksforaplannedmeeting.Inthiscontext,theverb
connotes a metaphorical coming together by design, and thus actu-
ally means that they have come to terms with one another and can
consider themselves to be in a partnership. The point, therefore, is
that two will not be partners if they have not come to terms with
each other. In addition, the verbal root דעי recalls the ד ֵ עומ ל ֶ הֹ א,
the“tentofmeeting”ofIsrael’swildernesssojourn.Thisistheplace
where YHWH would come together (Niphal of דעי) with Israel as
theyjourneyedtogether(seeExod25:22;29:42-43;30:6).Theimpli-
cation is that fundamental differences now exist between YHWH
and Israel, such that he can no longer journey with them and must
turnagainstthem.Thus,theversefurtherexplains3:1,thatYHWH
isnowissuinganoracleagainstthem.
3:4-6: first Poem (An Epigram): This is a short epigram (one
stanza)inthreestrophes,witheachstrophecontainingfourlines(con-
sistingoftworhetoricalquestionsoftwolineseach).Everyrhetorical
questionintroducedbyaninterrogativeparticle( ֲ ה in3:4-5andם ִ א
in3:6),withthefirstlineofeachquestionbeinganapodosisandthe
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secondlinebeingaprotasis,asin3:3.Theprotasisisalwaysnegated
(withןי ֵ א in1band2b,י ִ תְ ל ִ ב in1d,andאֹל in2d,3b,and3d).Each
rhetoricalquestionisanimplieddeclarative.Theimplieddeclarative
forthefirstquestion(3:4a),forexample,is:“Unlessthelionhasprey,
he will not roar,” or conversely, “Since the lion has roared, he must
haveprey.”Sinceeverystrophefollowsthesamepattern,theyarenot
givenseparateintroductionsbelow.
AnepigraminHebrewpoetryisashortwisdompoemtypically
employingasinglepoeticdeviceandgivingseveralexamplesofasin-
glelesson.Proverbs6:16-19,anepigramgivingthethingsGodhates,
illustrates the pattern. Here in Amos, the first strophe concerns the
huntinglion,thesecondstropheconcernstheentrapmentofabird,
and the third concerns calamity in a city. The question-and-answer
motifisinkeepingwiththerootsoftheepigraminwisdomliterature.
Theclimaxofthissequenceisthesixthquestion(3:6b).Thepointis
thatrecentdisastersthathaveovertakenSamaria,suchasdescribedin
4:6-11,areproofthatYHWHisagainstSamaria.Thisinturnforces
YHWH’sprophet,Amos,toprophesyagainstSamaria,asindicated
inthefollowingtext,3:7-8.Thefunctionoftheepigramistovindi-
cateAmos’claimsagainstIsrael,arguingthat,givenallthathashap-
pened,itisonlycommonsensethattoconcludethatGodhasturned
againstIsrael.
ר ַ ע֔ ַ י ַ ב ֙ הֵ י ְ ר ַ א ג ֤ ַ א ְ שִׁ י ֲ ה
ו ֑ ל ןי ֣ ֵ א ף ֶ ר ֖ ֶ טְ ו
ו ֔ תָ נ ֣ ֹע ְ מ ִ מ ֙ ולוק רי ֤ ִ פ ְ כ ן ֨ ֵ תִ י ֲ ה
׃דֽ ָ כ ָ ל־ם ִ א י ֖ ִ ת ְ ל ִ ב
Line 1a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ג ֤ ַ א ְ שִׁ י ֲ ה. Qalyiqtol 3msofגאשׁ withinterrogativeה.Itmaybe
thatthelionisroaringintheforesttoparalyzeitspreywithfear.
3:4 1a
1b
1c
1d
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֙ הֵ י ְ ר ַ א. Thesubject.In3:7andelsewhereintheprophetsYHWH
ismetaphoricallyalion(Amos1:2;Hos5:14).Beginningtheepigram
with this metaphor already suggests that YHWH is roaring with
angerandisabouttokill.
ר ַ ע֔ ַ י ַ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב anddefinitearticle.
The definite article represents forest as a representative example; it
doesnotrefertosomespecificforest.
Line 1b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ף ֶ ר֖ ֶ טְ ו. Thesubject.
ןי ֣ ֵ א. Negativeexistentialparticleservingasthepredicator.
ו ֑ ל. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ל,hereusedforpossession.
Line 1c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,4constituents,and4units.
ן ֨ ֵ תִ י ֲ ה. Qalyiqtol 3msofןתנ withinterrogativeה.
רי ֤ ִ פ ְ כ. Thesubject.Itisdifficulttoknowwhetherorinwhatway
theרי ִ פ ְ כ isdifferentfromtheהֵ י ְ ר ַ א,theי ִ ר ֲ א,andtheאי ִ ב ָ ל.Allmean
“lion”;רי ִ פ ְ כ istraditionallytranslatedas“younglion,”butthatmay
wellbeincorrect.AccordingtoNIDOTTE (atי ִ ר ֲ א),boththeי ִ ר ֲ א and
הֵ יר ַ א areAfricanlions,buttheאי ִ ב ָ ל isanAsiaticlion.HALOT רי ִ פ ְ כ
suggeststhatרי ִ פ ְ כ is“distinguishablebyhismane”andthuswould
indicateamalelionthathasreachedmaturity.
֙ ולוק. Thedirectobject.לוק ןתנ isusedofYHWHin1:2.
ו ֔ תָ נ ֣ ֹע ְ מ ִ מ. Prepositional phrase with ן ִ מ. A הָ נֹע ְ מ is a dwelling
place,primarilythedenorlairofawildbeast(Nah2:13[E12];Ps
104:22;Job37:8).Itmaybethatthelionheregivesagrowlofsatisfac-
tionfromhisden,havingkilledandeatenprey.
Line 1d:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and2units.
־ם ִ א י ֖ ִ תְ ל ִ ב. Adverbial,meaning“unless.”
דֽ ָ כ ָ ל. Qalqatal 3msofדכל.Theobject,“prey,”isimplied.
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ץ ֶ ר ָ֔ א ָ ה ח֣ ַ פ־ל ַ ע ֙ רופ ִ צ ל ֤ ֹ פ ִ ת ֲ ה
ה֑ ָ ל ןי ֣ ֵ א שׁ ֖ ֵ קומו
ה ֔ ָ מ ָ ד ֲ א֣ ָ ה־ן ִ מ ֙ ח ַ פ־ה ֶ ל ֲ עֽ ַ י ֲ ה
׃דו ֽ כ ְ לִ י א ֥ ֹל דו ֖ כ ָ ל ְ ו
Line 2a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and4units.
ל ֤ ֹ פ ִ ת ֲ ה. Qalyiqtol 3fsofלפנ withinterrogativeה.Theverbhere
hasthesenseof“swoopdownupon”somethinginordertoeatit.
֙ רופ ִ צ. Thesubject.
ץ ֶ ר ָ֔ א ָ ה ח֣ ַ פ־ל ַ ע. Prepositional phrase with ל ַ ע. The construct
chainץ ֶ ר ָ א ָ ה ח ַ פ referstoatrapthatisonthegroundasopposedto,
forexample,onelocatedinatree.Theimageofthetrapmaysuggest
thatIsraelisentrappingherselfduetohersenselessgreed.
Line 2b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
שׁ ֖ ֵ קומו. The subject. The word here clearly does not mean
“snare,”whichmakesnosenseincontext,but“bait.”
ןי ֣ ֵ א. Negativeexistentialparticleservingasthepredicator.
ה֑ ָ ל.Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ל,hereusedforpossession.
Line 2c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ה ֶ ל ֲ עֽ ַ י ֲ ה. Qalyiqtol 3msofהלע withinterrogativeה.Theverb
representsatrapspringinguptocatchabird.Themotionofthetrap
(הלע)contrastswiththemotionofthebird(ֹלפנ).
֙ ח ַ פ. Thesubject.
ה ֔ ָ מ ָ ד ֲ א֣ ָ ה־ן ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ.
Line 2d:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,1constituent,and2units.
3:5 2a
2b
2c
2d
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דו ֽ כ ְ לִ י א֥ ֹל דו ֖ כ ָ ל ְ ו. Qalinfinitiveabsoluteusedadverbiallywith
negated qal yiqtol 3 m s of דכל. The meaning of a finite verb with
cognateinfinitiveabsolutevariesbycontext.Here,itmeans,“andnot
catchanythingatall.”
רי ֔ ִ ע ְ ב ֙ ר ָ פושׁ ע ֤ ַ ק ָ תִ י־ם ִ א
וד ֑ ָ ר ֱ חֶ י א ֣ ֹל ם֖ ָ ע ְ ו
רי ֔ ִ ע ְ ב ֙ ה ָ ע ָ ר ה֤ ֶ י ְ ה ִ ת־ם ִ א
׃ה ֽ ָ ש ָ ע א ֥ ֹל ה֖ ָ והי ַ ו
Line 3a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ע ֤ ַ ק ָ תִ י־ם ִ א. Niphalyiqtol 3msofעקת withinterrogativepar-
ticleם ִ א.Thechangeofparticleindicatesthatthisisthelaststrophe.
֙ ר ָ פושׁ. The subject. The shofar was used for various purposes
(suchastosignaltheonsetofaholyseason),buthereitisanalarm.
רי ֔ ִ ע ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב.
Line 3b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
ם֖ ָ עְ ו. Thesubject,withconjunction.Thetermherereferstothe
wholepopulationofacity.
וד ֑ ָ ר ֱ חֶ י א֣ ֹל. Negated qal yiqtol 3 m p of דרח, to “tremble” or
“befrantic.”Althoughformallymerelyanotherexampleintheseries
ofrhetoricalquestionsmakingthepointthat“ifAistrue,thenBis
true,”thisexampleinvokesthejudgmentthatAmoshasalreadypro-
nouncedin2:14-16,thatIsraelwillsuffercalamitousmilitarydefeat.
Line 3c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ה֤ ֶ י ְ ה ִ ת־ם ִ א. Qal yiqtol 3 f s of היה with interrogative particle
ם ִ א.
3:6 3a
3b
3c
3d
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֙ ה ָ ע ָ ר. Thesubject.Thisisthefemininesingularoftheadjective
ע ַ ר,“bad,”butitisusedsubstantivelytomean“abadthing.”Theway
inwhichsomethingis“bad”variesbycontext.Itmaybemoralbad-
ness(“wickedness”),butoftenitisabadsituation(“distress,calamity,
disaster”etc.).Ithasthelattersensehere,andmorespecificallyrefers
toacitybeingpillagedbyanenemy.
רי ֔ ִ ע ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב.
Line 3d:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and2units.
ה֖ ָ והי ַ ו. Thesubject.
ה ֽ ָ ש ָ ע א֥ ֹל. Negatedqalqatal 3msofהשע.Amosdoesnotshy
awayfromtheimplicationsofdivinesovereignty,specificallyfromthe
ideathatifGodisall-powerful,heisultimatelyresponsibleforalthat
happensintheworld.Inthiscase,however,Amos’mainconcernis
nottodealwithissuesoftheodicybuttoassertthatrecentcalamities
in Israel (see 4:6-11) are proof that YHWH is acting against Israel.
Thislastquestionisthemainpointoftheentireepigram;theother
questions simply make that point that certain evidence renders cer-
tainconclusionsunavoidable.Inaddition,theviolentnatureofallsix
questionsnaturallysuggeststhatGodhasturnedagainstIsrael.
3:7-8: first Prose Commentary:Thisprosecommentarybothcon-
cludesthefirstpoemandleadsintothesecond,thusservingasatran-
sition.Thefirstsentence(3:7)containstwoclausesinthepatternof
anotherinvertedprotasis-apodosisstatement(i.e.,theapodosiscomes
first).Thisisfollowedin3:8bytwobriefassertions(twowordseach
in Hebrew), each followed by a short, one-clause rhetorical question
introducedbyי ִ מ.Aswith3:3,3:8iswidelybelievedtobepoetry,and
it is generally assumed to be the end of the preceding poem (widely
considered to be 3:3-8). Reasons for believing 3:3 to be prose, and
separatefrom3:4-6,aredescribedabove.Here,thereisanenormous
problemconfrontingthosewhowishtoconnect3:8to3:4-6:verse7
isindisputablyprose,andscanningitaspoetrywouldbeforcedand
unpersuasive. But it is highly peculiar to have a poem with a prose
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sentenceinsertedinsideit.Indeed,thatevidencealoneissufficientto
demonstratethat3:8cannotbepartoftheepigramin3:4-6.H.W.
Wolff avoids this problem by arguing that v. 7 is a later redactional
insertionwithinapoemthatwasoriginally3:3–6:8(Wolff1977,180–
81),butthatonlyremovesthedifficultybypostulatingtheexistenceof
aredactorwhowassoineptthatheinsertedalineofproseinsideofa
poem.Inaddition,thereislittlecompellingevidenceforreadingv.8as
poetry.Itdoescontainparallelism,butparallelismwithinsuchashort
textisscarcelycompelling.Parallelismisneithertheessentialfeature
ofHebrewpoetrynorabsentfromHebrewprose.Thereisnoreason
tothinkthatv.8cannotbeacontinuationoftheproseof3:7,towhich
itisobviouslyconnected.
Verse7commentson3:6b,whichspokeofYHWHacting(השע)
injudgment,andarguesthatYHWHwillnotact(השע)withouttell-
ingtheprophets.Verse8,withitsassertionthatthelionhasroared,
commentsonthebeginningoftheepigram(ג ָ א ָ שׁ הֵ י ְ ר ַ א;cf.ג ַ א ְ שִׁ י ֲ ה
הֵ י ְ ר ַ א in3:2).Thus,itiscorrectthat3:7-8refersbackto3:4-6.On
theotherhand,3:7-8alsolooksforwardtothepropheticmessagein
3:9-11.Verse7assertsthatdivinejudgmentisprecededbyprophecy.
In3:8b,iftheversewereonlyaconclusionto3:4-6,wemightexpect
toreadsomethinglike,וד ְ ר ֱ חֶ י אֹל י ִ מ ה ָ ש ָ ע הוהי (“YHWHhasacted,
whowillnotbeterrified?”).Instead,weread,“YHWHhasspoken,
whowillnotprophesy?”Thisplainlylooksforwardtotheprophetic
proclamationof3:9-11thatbeginswithועי ִ מ ְ שׁ ַ ה,“Makeitheard!”
־ל ֶ א ו ֔ דוס ה֣ ָ ל ָ ג־ם ִ א י ִ ֚ כ ר֑ ָ ב ָ ד ה֖ ִ והְ י י֥ ָ נֹד ֲ א ה ֛ ֶ ש ֲ עַ י א ֧ ֹל י ֣ ִ כ
׃םי ֽ ִ אי ִ ב ְ נ ַ ה וי ֖ ָ ד ָ ב ֲ ע
Prose Clause:ר֑ ָ ב ָ ד ה֖ ִ והְ י י֥ ָ נֹד ֲ א ה֛ ֶ ש ֲ עַ י א֧ ֹל י ֣ ִ כ
Thisistheapodosisofthesentence;theconditionisinthenext
clause,“unlesshereveals....”Theinversionofthenormalorderfol-
lowsthepatternsetinvv.3-6andheremakestheapodosismoreprom-
inent.י ִ כ ishereexplanatory,meaning“because.”ה ֶ ש ֲ עַ י אֹל isanegated
Amos3:6-7 89
3:7
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qalyiqtol3msofהשע,withהִ והְ י י ָ נֹד ֲ א asthesubject.ר ָ ב ָ ד,thedirect
object,heremeansa“thing”andwiththenegative,“anything.”
Prose Clause:םי ֽ ִ אי ִ בְ נ ַ ה וי ֖ ָ ד ָ ב ֲ ע־ל ֶ א ו ֔ דוס ה֣ ָ ל ָ ג־ם ִ א י ִ ֚ כ
Theprotasis,thisassertsthatpropheticwarningsareanessential
precursor to divine judgment. ם ִ א י ִ כ, “unless,” gives the condition.
ה ָ ל ָ ג isaqalqatal3msofהלג.Thenounודוס,thedirectobject,has
a 3 m s suffix. It refers to secret plans or a confidential discussion.
וי ָ ד ָ ב ֲ ע־ל ֶ א isaprepositionalphrasewithל ֶ א,heremarkingtheindi-
rectobject.םי ִ אי ִ בְ נ ַ ה isinappositiontoוי ָ ד ָ ב ֲ ע.ItappearsthatAmosis
defendinghispropheticcredentialsinmuchthesamemannerasPaul
defendedhisapostoliccredentials.
א ֥ ֹל י ֖ ִ מ ר ֶ֔ ב ִ ד ֙ ה ִ והְ י י֤ ָ נֹד ֲ א א֑ ָ רי ִ י א ֣ ֹל י ֣ ִ מ ג ֖ ָ א ָ שׁ ה֥ ֵ י ְ ר ַ א
׃אֽ ֵ ב ָ נ ִ י
Prose Clause:ג ֖ ָ א ָ שׁ ה֥ ֵ י ְ ר ַ א
The fronting of the subject (הֵ י ְ ר ַ א) instead of the verb (ג ָ א ָ שׁ, a
qalqatal 3msofגאשׁ)makesthesubjectmoreprominent.Theqatal
clauseishereisoffline.Itisthesettingorbackgroundinformationfor
thequestionthatfollows.Althoughtheroaringlionobviouslyrelates
to3:4,thefunctionhereisdifferent.Intheformercase,itwasevidence
forthelion’scaptureofprey;here,itisasoundthatprovokesterror.
Prose Clause:א֑ ָ רי ִ י א֣ ֹל י ֣ ִ מ
Thewordorderhere,interrogative+negative+verb,isfixedinbib-
licalHebrewandinvariable;thus,nothingsignificantisimpliedbyit.
Prose Clause:ר ֶ֔ ב ִ ד ֙ הִ והְ י י֤ ָ נֹד ֲ א
Theverb(ר ֶ ב ִ ד)isapielqatal 3msofרבד.Theclausestructure
isthesameasinג ָ א ָ שׁ הֵ י ְ ר ַ א.Theroaringofthelionisthustheana-
logue to divine speech. This suggests that the prophetic message is
itselfterrifying.
Prose Clause:אֽ ֵ בָ נִ י א֥ ֹל י ֖ ִ מ
3:8
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Theverb(א ֵ בָ נִ י)isaniphalyiqtol 3msofאבנ.Theclausestruc-
tureisthesameasinא ָ רי ִ י אֹל י ִ מ.
3:9-11: second Poem: A Prophetic Accusation: This poem, like
3:4-6,isasinglestanzaintwelvelines.Ithasfourstrophes.Inform,
this is an accusation in which witnesses are called in to adjudicate.
Against3:2,thesignificanceofcallinginpagannationsasthejuryis
clear:IsraelisrelyingonherspecialstatusasYHWH’schosenpeople
toprotectandvindicateher,butinfactheroffensesaresoextremethat
evenGentilesare(metaphorically)qualifiedtositinjudgmentonher.
3:9a: First Strophe.Twolines,withtheverbועי ִ מ ְ שׁ ַ ה governsboth
lines (gapping). The strophe is a call for heralds to go out to pagan
lands and summon them to witness the moral chaos within Israel.
This is a rhetorical device; Amos is not literally sending heralds to
theselands.
דו ֔ ד ְ שׁ ַ א ְ ב תו ֣ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ ע ֙ ועי ֙ ִ מ ְ שׁ ַ ה
םִ י ֑ ָ ר ְ צ ִ מ ץ ֶ ר֣ ֶ א ְ ב תו ֖ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א־ל ֽ ַ ע ְ ו
Line 1a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
֙ ועי ֙ ִ מ ְ שׁ ַ ה. Hiphilimperativempofעמשׁ.
תו ֣ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א־ל ַ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע.Here,thepreposi-
tionisalocative“at”anddoesnotmean“against,”asitdoesin3:1.
דו ֔ ד ְ שׁ ַ א ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב.TheLXXreads
Aooupi o, “Assyria,” here for “Ashdod.” The argument in favor of
this reading is that it seems odd to pair the Philistine city with the
greatnationofEgypt;Assyriawouldseemtobeabettercounterpart.
Againstthis,bothAshdod(asarepresentativeofPhilistia)andEgypt
hadalreadybeenmajoroppressorsofIsrael,butAssyriaasofyethad
not.ReferencetoAssyriaisinfactconspicuouslyabsentfromAmos.
Also,itisdifficulttoseehowlaterscribes,afterthefallofSamariato
Assyria,wouldsubstituteAshdodforAssyria.ItmaybethatEgypt’s
3:9a 1a
1b
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andAshdod’shistoryofoppressingIsraelironicallymakesthemexpert
witnesses(Paul1991,115).Snyman(1994)arguesthatAshdodrepre-
sentstheconquestandEgyptrepresentstheexodus.Itisalsopossible
thatדוד ְ שׁ ַ א ishereawordplayonדֹשׁ (“destruction”)in3:10.
Line 1b:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:0
predicators,2constituents,and3units.Thislineemploysbothgap-
ping(withtheverb)andmatching(withtheprepositions).
תו ֖ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א־ל ֽ ַ עְ ו. Prepositional phrase with ל ַ ע. Here again, the
prepositionisalocativeanddoesnotmean“against.”
םִ י ֑ ָ ר ְ צ ִ מ ץ ֶ ר֣ ֶ א ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב.Itmaybe
thatםִ י ַ ר ְ צ ִ מ isawordplayonםי ִ ר ְ צוא ָ ה in3:10.
3:9b: Second Strophe. Three lines. Instead of a separate divine
speechformula,thereisaone-wordimperative(ור ְ מ ִ אְ ו,analogousto
ועי ִ מ ְ שׁ ַ ה inline1a)directedattheimpliedheralds,withtherestofthe
strophebeingthecontentofwhattheheraldsaretosaytothenations.
Theheralds’speechtothenationsgoesatleastthroughline2c,butit
probablyincludeslines3a-4daswell.
ןו ֔ ר ְ מֹשׁ י ֣ ֵ ר ָ ה־ל ַ ע ֙ ופ ְ ס ֽ ָ א ֵ ה ו ֗ ר ְ מ ִ אְ ו
ה ֔ ָ כות ְ ב ֙ תוב ַ ר ת ֤ ֹ מוה ְ מ ו ֞ א ְ רו
׃ה ֽ ָ ב ְ ר ִ ק ְ ב םי ֖ ִ קושׁ ֲ ע ַ ו
Line 2a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
2predicators,3constituents,and4units.
ו ֗ ר ְ מ ִ אְ ו.Qalimperativempofרמא withconjunction.Thesub-
jectistheimpliedheraldswhoaddressthenations.
֙ ופ ְ ס ֽ ָ א ֵ ה. Niphal imperative m p of ףסא. The subject is the
nations,whoarecommandedtogathertogether.
ןו ֔ ר ְ מֹשׁ י ֣ ֵ ר ָ ה־ל ַ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע.Theimagehasa
doublepurpose.Ontheonehanditsuggestsagatheringofarmiesin
campspreparingtolaysiegetoSamaria,butontheotherhand,within
3:9b 2a
2b
2c
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therhetoricalmetaphor,thenationsareseatedasjurymembersupon
thehills,observingtheevidenceandpreparingtogiveaverdict.
Line 2b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and4units.
ו ֞ א ְ רו. Qalimperativempofהאר withconjunction.
֙ תוב ַ ר ת ֤ ֹ מוה ְ מ. The direct object. The word ה ָ מוה ְ מ implies
panicorturmoil,andagainthereisadoublemeaning.Thepanicisthe
comingpanicofSamariawhenitisundersiege,butitisalsothemoral
turmoilbroughtaboutbywidespreadoppressionwithinthecity.Itis
thelatterthatthenationsaretoobserveandrenderaverdicton.
ה ֔ ָ כות ְ ב. Prepositional phrase with ְ ב (used in a locative sense)
anda3fssuffix(theantecedentisSamaria).Acityisunderstoodto
befeminine.
Line 2c:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators,2constituents,and2units.Thereisgapping,withו ֞ א ְ רו gov-
erningthisline.
םי ֖ ִ קושׁ ֲ עַ ו. Thedirectobject.Thenounםי ִ קושׁ ֲ ע (“actsofoppres-
sion”)isfoundonlyhereandinJob35:9.Itisrelatedtotheabstract
nounק ֶ שֹׁע (“extortion,oppression”).
הֽ ָ ב ְ ר ִ ק ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב (usedinalocativesense)
anda3fssuffix.
3:10: Third Strophe. Threelines.Theselineshaveasinglemain
clause (3a) followed by a divine speech formula (3b) and participial
relativeclause(3c).
ה ֖ ָ חֹכ ְ נ־תוש ֲ ע ו ֥ ע ְ דָ י־א ֽ ֹל ְ ו
ה֑ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ
פ ׃ם ֽ ֶ הי ֵ תו ֽ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א ְ ב ד ֖ ֹשָׁ ו ס ֥ ָ מ ָ ח םי ֛ ִ ר ְ צו ֽ א ָ ה
Line 3a:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units.
Amos3:9-10 93
3:10 3a
3b
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ו ֥ ע ְ דָ י־אֽ ֹל ְ ו. Negatedqalqatal 3cpofעדי withconjunction.The
subjectistheIsraelitepeople,andtheconjunctionrelatestothetur-
moilandoppressionthatthenationsarecalledontowitness.Thus,
the implication is that the command for the nations to “see” what
happensinIsraelgovernsthislinealso.
תוש ֲ ע. Qalinfinitiveconstructofהשע usedasacomplement
to וע ְ דָ י. It is not a predicator. The idiom עדי + infinitive normally
meansto“knowhowtodo”athing.
ה ֖ ָ חֹכְ נ. Thedirectobject. ַ חֹכָ נ appearstobeanadjectivemean-
ing“straight,”butitisroutinelyusedsubstantivelytomean“proper
behavior”or“uprightness.”Thewordoftenhasafeminineform,but
thesingular,ashere,isusedmoreabstractly,whiletheplural,asinIsa
30:10,seemstorefermoreconcretelyto“rightthings.”
Line 3b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 0
predicators,1constituent,and2units.
ה֑ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ. Adivinespeechformula.
Line 3c:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and4units.
םי ֛ ִ ר ְ צו ֽ א ָ ה. Qalactiveparticiplempofרצא withdefinitearti-
cle.Theparticipleservesasarelativeclausewhoseantecedentisthe
impliedsubjectofוע ְ דָ י,thepeopleofSamaria.AselsewhereinAmos,
thepluralparticipleisjoinedtoafiniteverbinaprecedinglinewithin
thesamestrophe.
ד ֖ ֹשָׁ ו ס֥ ָ מ ָ ח. Acompounddirectobjectoftwonounsjoinedby
the conjunction. It may be that ס ָ מ ָ ח, “violence,” speaks especially
of crimes against persons while דֹשׁ, “destruction,” speaks of crimes
against property and property rights, but both include the idea of
violence.
ם ֽ ֶ הי ֵ תו ֽ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב (usedhereinaloca-
tivesense).
3:11: Fourth Strophe.Fourlines.Thisisajudgmentstrophe,pro-
claimingthepunishmentthatwillcometoIsraelforalltheoutrages
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that occur within her. The language is reminiscent of the minimal
judgmentstrophesagainstTyre(1:10),Edom(1:12),andJudah(2:5)
inthatitspeaksofdestructioncominguponthecitadels(תונ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א)of
Samaria.
הִ֔ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א ֙ ר ַ מ ָ א ה ֤ ֹכ ן ֗ ֵ כ ָ ל
ץ ֶ ר ֑ ָ א ָ ה בי ֣ ִ ב ְ סו ר֖ ַ צ
ך ֔ ֵ ז ֻ ע ֙ ך ֵ מ ִ מ ד ֤ ִ רוה ְ ו
׃ךִ י ֽ ָ תונ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א וז ֖ ֹב ָ נ ְ ו
Line 4a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and4units.Inform,thiscouldbeprose
(as a number of divine speech formulas appear to be), but 3:11 is a
continuation of the poem and this line, therefore, must be scanned
aspoetry.
ן ֗ ֵ כ ָ ל. Thisreferencesthesinsdescribedinstrophestwoandthree
asthereasonsforthepunishmentdescribedhere.
֙ ר ַ מ ָ א ה ֤ ֹכ. Qalqatal 3mswithanadverb.
הִ֔ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א. Thesubject.
Line 4b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 0
predicators,2constituents,and3units.AsitstandsintheMT,this
line is an exclamation rather than a declarative statement. Thus,
thereisnopredicator,althoughapredicatedsentenceisimplied.“An
enemy! And all around the land!” implies, “There is an enemy all
aroundtheland!”
ר֖ ַ צ. This noun may mean “distress,” as in Job 15:24, but it
oftenmeans“enemy.”Eitherispossiblehere,butline4cimpliesthat
“enemy”isthemeaninghere.TheLXXhas1u po,“Tyre(רֹצ),”which
iscertainlywrong.
ץ ֶ ר ֑ ָ א ָ ה בי ֣ ִ ב ְ סו. Prepositional phrase with בי ִ ב ְ ס and the con-
junction.Manyemendtoב ֵ בוסְ י,thepolalyiqtol 3msofבבס,“an
3:11 4a
4b
4c
4d
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enemyshallsurroundtheland,”onthebasisoftheVulgate(seeBHS
apparatus).ButthefullVulgatereadingistribulabitur et circumietur
terra, “the land shall be distressed and surrounded,” making it dif-
ficulttoassesswhattheVulgate’sVorlage wasandwhetheritactually
supportstheproposedemendation.TheMTisintelligibleandshould
beleftasis.
Line 4c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ד ֤ ִ רוהְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 3msofדרי.Thesubjectisר ַ צ from4b.
Asinearlierjudgmentstrophes,theweqatal formistheprimaryfinite
verb conjugation employed to describe a series of pending disasters
thatwillcomeasdivinejudgmentonanation.
֙ ך ֵ מ ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ anda2fssuffix.Theante-
cedentofthesuffixisthecityofSamaria,metaphoricallyawoman.
ך ֔ ֵ ז ֻ ע. Thedirectobjectwitha2fssuffix.
Line 4d:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and2units.
וז ֖ ֹבָ נ ְ ו. Niphalweqatal 3cpofזזב.Unlikethepriorjudgmentson
thenations,wherethecitadelswereburneddown,heretheyareplun-
dered.Thisisapropos,consideringthatamajorcrimeoftheIsraelite
leadershipwasaplunderingoftheirownpeople.
ךִ י ֽ ָ תונ ְ מ ְ ר ַ א. Thedirectobjectwitha2fssuffix.
3:12: Second Prose Commentary: This commentary serves as
a transition between the second and third poems. Looking back, it
comments on 3:11 by describing with the illustration of the lamb
howthoroughthedestructionofSamariawillbe.Lookingforward,it
anticipatesthedescriptionofthearrogantluxuryoftheupperclasses
inSamariain3:14-15.
י ֥ ֵ ת ְ שׁ י ֛ ִ ר ֲ א ָ ה י ֧ ִ פ ִ מ ה ֜ ֶ עֹר ָ ה לי ֨ ִ צַ י ֩ ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א ַ כ ֒ ה ָ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א ֮ הֹכ
֙ םי ִ ב ְ שֽׁ ֹי ַ ה ל ֵ֗ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י֣ ֵ נ ְ ב ו ֞ ל ְ צ ָ נ ִ י ן֣ ֵ כ ן ֶ ז ֑ ֹ א־ל ַ ד ְ ב ו ֣ א םִ י ֖ ַ ע ָ ר ְ כ
׃ש ֶ ר ֽ ָ ע ק ֶ שׁ֥ ֶ מ ְ ד ִ בו ה ֖ ָ ט ִ מ ת ֥ ַ א ְ פ ִ ב ןו ֔ ר ְ מ ֣ ֹשׁ ְ ב
3:12
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Prose Clause:֒ הָ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א ֮ הֹכ
Adivinespeechformulawithaqalqatal 3msofרמא andthe
particleהֹכ.
Prose Clause:םִ י ֖ ַ ע ָ ר ְ כ י ֥ ֵ ת ְ שׁ י ֛ ִ ר ֲ א ָ ה י ֧ ִ פ ִ מ ה ֜ ֶ עֹר ָ ה לי ֨ ִ צַ י ֩ ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א ַ כ
ן ֶ ז ֑ ֹ א־ל ַ ד ְ ב ו ֣ א
ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א ַ כ. introduces the first part of a two-part comparison, in
whichר ֶ שׁ ֲ א ַ כ markstheprotasisandisequivalentto“justas”andן ֵ כ,
markingtheapodosis,isequivalentto“evenso.”לי ִ צַ י isahiphilyiqtol
3msofלצנ.Theyiqtol representspossibleactivityandcouldberen-
dered“mightsnatch.”However,thisverboftenhastheconnotation
ofdeliverance,anditishereusedironically,asisclearfromtheuseof
לצנ inthesecondclauseofthisverse.ה ֶ עֹר ָ ה isthesubject.Thedefi-
nitearticlerepresentsaclassratherthanaspecificexample,andthus
itcouldbetranslatedas“ashepherd”ratherthan“theshepherd.”י ִ פ ִ מ
י ִ ר ֲ א ָ ה isaprepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ,“from,”onaconstructchain.
Again,thedefinitearticlerepresentsaclass,andsoitcouldbetrans-
latedas“fromalion’smouth.”Thephraseן ֶ זֹ א־ל ַ ד ְ ב וא םִ י ַ ע ָ ר ְ כ י ֵ ת ְ שׁ is
twodirectobjectsseparatedbyוא,“or.”Itmeans,“twolegsorapiece
ofanear.”Theע ָ ר ְ כ isthebonylowerlegofananimal.Thesnatching
ofthelowerlegsorofapieceofearfromalion’smouthisindicative
ofhowthoroughlythelambhasbeendestroyed.Someinterpreterssee
hereanallusiontothelegalrequirementthatahiredshepherdsnatch
apieceofaslainsheepfromabeastsothathemightshowthepieceto
theownerasevidencethatthesheepwasslainbyananimalandthat
the shepherd did not simply lose the sheep (Exod 22:12 [E 13]; see
Paul1991,119).Butevenifsuchalegaltraditionmightexplaintous
whyashepherdwouldgrabapieceofalambfromalion’smouth,we
shouldnotmaketoomuchofthatininterpretingthistext.Thenotion
ofsnatchingbitsofthelambawaytoprovideevidenceexoneratinga
shepherd is never developed in the text. There is no counterpart to
thehiredshepherdinthepassage,andthereisnoreasontosuppose
Amos wants his reader to think that exoneration of the shepherd is
thepointofthepassage.Inshort,focusingonthissupposedcultural
Amos3:12 97
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backgroundtotheshepherd’sactiondoesmoretocloudthemeaning
ofthepassagethantoilluminateit.Themainpointoftheimagehere
isthatthesheephasbeenabsolutelydestroyed.
Prose Clause:ל ֵ֗ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י֣ ֵ נ ְ ב ו ֞ ל ְ צָ נִ י ן֣ ֵ כ
Thisistheapodosisofthecomparisonbeguninthepriorclause.
Theparticleן ֵ כ markstheapodosiswithול ְ צָ נִ י,aniphalyiqtol 3mpof
לצנ.Theironyherecounteractsthecasualconfidenceofthepeopleof
Samariathatiftheyareattacked,YHWHwill“deliver”(לצנ)them.
ל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֵ נ ְ ב isthesubject.Thephraserepresents theIsraelitenation
and,inthemetaphoroftheprotasis,themainpointisthatthenation
will be utterly destroyed. There is no idea of a remnant here. The
metaphor of snatching a piece of an ear from a lion’s mouth means
thatthesheepisdead,notthatparthassurvived.
Prose Clause: ק ֶ שׁ֥ ֶ מ ְ ד ִ בו ה֖ ָ ט ִ מ ת ֥ ַ א ְ פ ִ ב ןו ֔ ר ְ מ ֣ ֹשׁ ְ ב ֙ םי ִ ב ְ שֽׁ ֹי ַ ה
ש ֶ ר ֽ ָ ע
Thisisparticipialexpressionusedasarelativeclauseinapposi-
tiontoל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֵ נ ְ ב.Thewordםי ִ ב ְ שֹׁי ַ ה isaqalactiveparticipleofבשׁי
mpwiththedefinitearticleusedasarelativeclause;theantecedent
isל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֵ נ ְ ב.
ש ֶ ר ֽ ָ ע ק ֶ שׁ֥ ֶ מ ְ ד ִ בו ה ָ ט ִ מ ת ֥ ַ א ְ פ ִ ב ןו ֔ ר ְ מ ֣ ֹשׁ ְ בarethreecoordinatedprep-
ositionalphrases,each with ְ ב anddependentonבשׁי.Thesewords
arenotoriouslydifficult,butattemptstoresolvethedifficultyofthis
text by cutting the Gordian Knot and emending (e.g., Rabinowitz
1961;Zalcman2002)aretoospeculativetobecompelling.Thefirst
issue is the meaning of בשׁי with ְ ב. Shalom Paul vigorously denies
that ְ ב canbeusedwithבשׁי tomean“on,”andsohearguesthatthe
peoplearenotsitting“on”beds.Hethus,likemanyothers,arguesthat
ה ָ ט ִ מ ת ַ א ְ פ ִ ב andfollowinghasnorelationshiptoםי ִ ב ְ שֹׁי ַ ה butrather
modifiesול ְ צָ נִ י.Thewholesentencethereforemeansthat“thosewho
dwell” (םי ִ ב ְ שֹׁי ַ ה) “in” ( ְ ב) Samaria will be “rescued/snatched away”
(ול ְ צָ נִ י)“with”( ְ ב)piecesofabed.Thatis,theywillberefugeesand
theonlypossessionstheywillbeabletoretrievefromtheruinsoftheir
citywillbepartsoftheirbeds(Paul1991,120).Thisinterpretation
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isreflectedinanumberofversions,suchastheESV,whichhas,“so
shallthepeopleofIsraelwhodwellinSamariaberescued,withthe
cornerofacouchandpartofabed.”Thismisunderstandsthetexton
severallevels.
First,itassumesthatthemainpointoftheverseisthatsomeIsra-
eliteswill“berescued”fromslaughterandsurviveasrefugees.Tothe
contrary,asarguedabove,thepointoftheanalogyisnotthesurvival
ofsomebuttheutterdestructionofthenation.
Second,itimpliesthatthepiecesoffurniturearesnatchedawayin
amanneranalogoustothesnatchingawayofthepiecesoftheslain
lamb.Tothecontrary,theanalogyisnotbetweenthelegsandearof
thelambandthepiecesofIsraelitefurniture,itisbetweenthelamb
itself and the whole population, the ל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֵ נ ְ ב. Again, it does not
assertthatsomerefugeeswillgetawayalivebutthenationasawhole
willbekilled.
Third,itistruethatבשׁי with ְ ב normallymeanstoresideorsit
“at”alocationratherthan“on”anobject.However,theuseof ְ ב in
ה ָ ט ִ מ ת ַ א ְ פ ִ ב and in ש ֶ ר ָ ע ק ֶ שׁ ֶ מ ְ ד ִ בו may be by attraction to the use
of ְ ב inןור ְ מֹשׁ ְ ב.Moreimportantly,wereallyhavelittleideawhatthe
nounsה ָ א ֵ פ andק ֶ שׁ ֶ מ ְ ד inthiscontextmeanandwearethusinno
positiontoassertthattheexpressionש ֶ ר ֶ ע ק ֶ שׁ ֶ מ ְ ד ִ בו ה ָ ט ִ מ ת ַ א ְ פ ִ ב בשׁי
isimpossible.ה ָ א ֵ פ normallymeans“corner”or“edge,”andthatmay
beitsmeaninghere(Paul[1991,121]suggeststhatitisthe“headof
thebed,”likeaheadboard,butthatisspeculative).ק ֶ שׁ ֶ מ ְ ד hasbeen
takentomeansomethinglike“sheets”ora“footstool”inthiscontext
(seeHALOT ק ֶ שׁ ֶ מ ְ ד;Paul[1991,121–22]arguesthatitisthe“foot”of
abed,butthisisalsospeculative).Theimportantpointisthat ְ ב with
בשׁי canstillbelocativebutneednotmeantosit“on”acouchorbed.
Itcouldmeantosit“at”thecornerofabedand“with”afootstoolof
acouch.
Fourth, the absurdity of this interpretation speaks against it (cf.
Hammershaimb1970,62).Weareaskedtosupposethatrefugeesflee-
ingtheircityasitgoesupinflamesbeforeaninvadingenemywould,
ofallthings,grabaheadboardorsomeotherpartofabedastheone
Amos3:12 99
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itemtheysnatchfromtheflames.Thisisfar-fetched.Peopleinsuch
asituationmightgrabtheirchildren,gold,orjewels,butwouldnot
burdenthemselveswithbrokenpiecesoffurniture.
Fifth,Amos6:4-7indicatesthatIsraelitesloungingoncouchesand
bedsisexactlywhattheprophethasinmind.
3:13-15: Third Poem: This two-strophe poem (one stanza) pro-
nouncesthedivinejudgmentonIsrael.Thefirststropheintwolines
isacalltolisten,andthesecondineightlinesgivesthedetailsofthe
judgment.
3:13: First Strophe. Two lines. Line 1a is unusual in Amos for
havingtwopredicators,andline1bisanunusuallyfulsomeformula
of divine speech. This is therefore an exaggerated call to listen; its
extravagance is accounted for by the fact that it introduces a major
judgmentspeechinthefollowingstrophe.
ב ֑ ֹק ֲ עֽ ַ י תי ֣ ֵ ב ְ ב ודי ֖ ִ ע ָ ה ְ ו ו ֥ ע ְ מ ִ שׁ
׃תו ֽ א ָ ב ְ צ ַ ה י ֥ ֵ הל ֱ א ה֖ ִ והְ י י֥ ָ נֹד ֲ א־ם ֻ אְ נ
Line 1a: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are:
2 predicators, 3 constituents, and 4 units (3 units if בֹק ֲ עַ י תי ֵ ב is
regardedasapropername).
ו ֥ ע ְ מ ִ שׁ. Qalimperativempofעמשׁ.Theaddresseesarethejury
imaginedtobegatheredfromEgyptandAshdod.
ודי ֖ ִ ע ָ הְ ו. Hiphilimperativempofדוע.Theverbcanmeaneither
togivetestimonyortoadmonish;thepaganjuryiscalledtoinform
Samaria that the charges that YHWH brings against the city are
just.
ב ֑ ֹק ֲ עֽ ַ י תי֣ ֵ ב ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב,whichishereadver-
sative(“against”),onaconstructchain.
Line 1b:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators,1constituent,and5units.
תו ֽ א ָ ב ְ צ ַ ה י ֥ ֵ הל ֱ א ה֖ ִ והְ י י֥ ָ נֹד ֲ א־ם ֻ אְ נ. YHWHisheredescribed
3:13 1a
1b
100 Amos3:12-13
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as the sovereign (י ָ נֹד ֲ א serves as a title) and as God of the heavenly
assembly(תוא ָ ב ְ צ ַ ה י ֵ הל ֱ א isinappositiontoהוהי).
3:14-15: Second Strophe.Eightlines.Ajudgmentspeech,describ-
ing the punishment due to Israel, it is modeled on the judgment
speeches against Damascus (1:4-5), Gaza (1:7-8), Ammon (1:14-15)
andMoab(2:2-3).Afterline2a,whichintroducesthejudgments,like
thoseoraclesithassevenlines,isdominatedbytheweqatal verb,and
endsinadivinespeechformula.Structurally,thisstropheisinthree
parts: a protasis (line 2a), an apodosis (lines 2b-g), and the divine
speech formula (line 2h). Amos gives three lines to the punishment
upontheshrines(2b-d)andthreelinestopunishmentupontheluxu-
rioushousesoftherich(2e-g).Inthis,heneatlysummarizesthetwo
mainobjectsofGod’swrath:areligiouszealwithouttruefearofGod
andthearrogant,oppressivebehaviorofthewealthy.
וי ֑ ָ ל ָ ע ל ֖ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י־י ֽ ֵ ע ְ שׁ ִ פ י ֥ ִ ד ְ ק ָ פ םו ֛ י ְ ב י ֗ ִ כ
ל ֵ֔ א־תי ֽ ֵ ב תו ֣ ח ְ בְ ז ִ מ־ל ַ ע ֙ י ִ ת ְ ד ַ ק ֽ ָ פו
ַ ח ֵ֔ בְ ז ִ מ ַ ה תו ֣ נ ְ ר ַ ק ֙ וע ְ דְ ג ִ נ ְ ו
׃ץ ֶ ר ֽ ָ א ָ ל ו ֖ ל ְ פ ָ נ ְ ו
ץִ י ֑ ָ ק ַ ה תי ֣ ֵ ב־ל ַ ע ף ֶ ר ֖ ֹח ַ ה־תי ֵ ב י ֥ ִ תי ֵ כ ִ ה ְ ו
ן ֗ ֵ ש ַ ה י ֣ ֵ ת ָ ב ו ֞ ד ְ ב ָ אְ ו
םי ֖ ִ ב ַ ר םי ֥ ִ ת ָ ב ו ֛ פ ָ ס ְ ו
ס ׃הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ
Line 2a: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and5units.
י ֥ ִ ד ְ ק ָ פ םו ֛ י ְ ב י ֗ ִ כ. Thesubordinatingparticleי ִ כ followedbythe
temporalprepositionalphraseםוי ְ ב attachedtotheQalinfinitivecon-
structofדקפ witha1cssuffix.Thiscreatesatemporalclausewhich
istheprotasisforlines2b-g.
3:14 2a
2b
2c
2d
2e
Amos3:13-15 101
3:15
2f
2g
2h
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ל֖ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י־י ֽ ֵ ע ְ שִׁ פ. Aconstructchain,thedirectobjectoftheverb.
וי֑ ָ ל ָ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע anda3mssuffix.Theidiom
“tovisit(דקפ)Xupon(ל ַ ע)Y”meansto“punishYforX.”
Line 2b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and3units.
֙ י ִ ת ְ ד ַ קֽ ָ פו. Qalweqatal 1csofדקפ.Theweqatal isbothmarking
anapodosisandindicatingfutureevents.
ל ֵ֔ א־תי ֽ ֵ ב תו ֣ ח ְ בְ ז ִ מ־ל ַ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע onacon-
structchain.ThealtarsaresynecdochefortheshrineofBethel,and
thepointisthattheshrinewillcomeunderespeciallyseverepunish-
ment.
Line 2c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and3units.
֙ וע ְ דְ ג ִ נ ְ ו. Niphalweqatal 3cpofעדג.Theverbmeansto“chop
off.”
ַ ח ֵ֔ בְ ז ִ מ ַ ה תו ֣ נ ְ ר ַ ק.Thedirectobject.Itisaconstructchain,“the
horns of the altar.” The horns were the locus of the altar’s holiness;
theywerewherethebloodofatonementwassmeared.Also,arefugee
wouldseeksanctuarybyclingingtothehornsofanaltar.Thepointis
thatsacrednessofthelocationwouldbedestroyed.
Line 2d:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and2units.
ו ֖ ל ְ פָ נ ְ ו. Qalweqatal 3cpofלפנ.Thesubjectis ַ ח ֵ בְ ז ִ מ ַ ה תונ ְ ר ַ ק in
thepreviousline.
ץ ֶ ר ֽ ָ אָ ל. Prepositional phrase with ְ ל indicating direction. The
imageofthehornsofthealtarfallingintothedirtbespeakstheprofa-
nationofthesite.
Line 2e: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator, 3 constituents, and 5 units. Here, Amos turns from the
destructionofholysitestothedestructionofplacesthatdisplaythe
wealthoftheupperclasses,theirhomes.
102 Amos3:14-15
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י ֥ ִ תי ֵ כ ִ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 1csofהכנ.
ף ֶ ר ֖ ֹח ַ ה־תי ֵ ב. Thedirectobject;aconstructchain.
ץִ י ֑ ָ ק ַ ה תי֣ ֵ ב־ל ַ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע,whichhereintro-
ducesaseconddirectobjectandmeans“inadditionto”(seeHALOT
definition6b,c,d).Theexistenceofbothsummerandwinterhomes
for very wealthy people is documented in the Bible (Jer 36:22) and
elsewhere(Paul1991,125–26).
Line 2f:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.
ו ֞ ד ְ ב ָ אְ ו. Qal weqatal 3 c p of דבא. The verb here means to be
“lost”or“ruined.”
ן ֗ ֵ ש ַ ה י ֣ ֵ ת ָ ב. Another direct object construct chain. The phrase
of course does not mean that the houses were constructed of ivory
but that they were amply decorated with ivory pieces of art. Many
examplesofsuchpieceshavesurvivedfromSamariaitself(mostofit
fromtheninthcenturyB.C.),butotherpieceshavebeenfoundfrom
latebronzeMegiddoandfromastashofivoryworks(someapparently
takenfromIsrael)fromAssyrianNimrud.
Line 2g:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.
ו ֛ פ ָ סְ ו. Qal weqatal 3 c p of הפס. The third plural form here,
althoughitimpliesthatsomeunnamedpeoplewillsweepawaythese
houses,isreallyusedimpersonallyandcanbetranslatedasapassive.
םי ֖ ִ ב ַ ר םי ֥ ִ ת ָ ב. Thedirectobjectwithanadjective.Thiscanbe
translatedasthesubjectofapassiveverb.
Line 2h:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators,1constituents,and2units.
הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ. Thedivinespeechformula.
Amos3:14-15 103
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4:1-13: Cruelty and Hollow religion I
ThisdivisionisthefirstoftwolargeindictmentsagainstIsrael(4:1-
13;5:1–6:14)thatfocusontheoppressivecrueltyandhollowreligion
ofthepeopleandespeciallyofitsleaders.Amos4:1-13isitselfintwo
majorsections,andeachoftheseareintwoparts.Thefirstsection,
4:1–5,isapoeticoracleagainstthewomenofSamaria(4:1-3),towhich
anironicbenedictionisadded(4:4-5).Thesecondsection,4:6-13,isa
proserecitationofYHWH’sfutileattemptstobringIsraelrepentance
(4:6-12),towhichadoxologyisadded(4:13).Thereligiouslanguage
of vv. 4-5 and 13 binds this division together and makes the point
that Israel’s sin is fundamentally theological. They wrongly assume
thatanactivereligiouslifeissufficienttoappeaseGod,andtheyfail
tocomprehendthesignificanceofthedivinemajestyandthuswhat
anencounterwithactuallyGodentails.
1
Hear this word,
Cows of Bashan who are on the hill of Samaria,
Who oppress the poor,
Who crush the impoverished,
Who say to their lords,
“Bring us something to drink!”
2
Lord YHWH has sworn by his holiness:
Behold, days are coming upon you
When you people shall be hoisted up with (meat) hooks,
And the rest of you women (shall be hoisted up) with hooks.
3
And you shall go out by the breaches one after another,
And you shall be cast on the dunghill. <emended text>
The oracle of YHWH.
4
Go to Bethel in order to transgress!
At (go) to Gilgal in order to multiply transgression!
And offer your morning sacrifices
and your three-day tithes!
5
Send up a leavened thanksgiving offering in smoke!
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And proclaim (your) freewill offerings! Make them heard!
For that is what you love to do, sons of Israel.
An oracle of Lord YHWH.
6
And even though I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities and
a lack of food in all your locales, yet you have not returned to me. The
oracle of YHWH.
7
And even though I withheld the rain from you while it was still three
months until the harvest—although I would send rain on a given city,
but on another city I would not send rain; a certain field would get rain,
but a field on which it did not rain would dry up.
8
And two or three cities
would wander to one city to drink water but were not satisfied. Yet you
have not returned to me. The oracle of YHWH.
9
I struck you with blight and rust in abundance; locusts have been eat-
ing your gardens, your vineyards, your fig trees and your olive trees. Yet
you have not returned to me. The oracle of YHWH.
10
I sent against you plagues of the Egyptian sort. I slew your young men
by the sword as your horses were captured, and I raised up the stench of
your army, and that right in your nose! Yet you have not returned to me.
The oracle of YHWH.
11
I overturned some of you in the way God overturned Sodom and
Gomorrah, and you were like a burning stick snatched from a fire. Yet you
have not returned to me. The oracle of YHWH.
12
Therefore, I will continue to do the same to you, Israel! Because I will
do this to you, prepare to meet your God, Israel!
13
For consider:
He fashions mountains and creates the wind!
And he declares to humans what is his grievance!
He makes dawn into darkness,
And treads upon the high places of earth!
His name is YHWH God of Sabaoth!
4:1-5: Te Women of Samaria and an Ironic Benediction
This poem is in two stanzas. The first stanza has two strophes (4:1
and4:2-3),andthesecond,theironicblessing,hasone(4:4-5).
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4:1-3: First Stanza. Thisfollowsthenormalpatternofaccusation
and judgment set in chapters 1–2. Here, the women of Samaria are
accusedinthefirststrophe(4:1),andtheirjudgmentispronouncedin
thesecond(4:2-3).Thejudgmentstrophe,likethoseagainstDamas-
cus,Gaza,Ammon,andMoab,isinsevenlines.
4:1: First Strophe. Six lines. After the initial call to hear (A1a),
theaddresseesarenamed(A1b)anddescribedinfourrelativeclauses.
The first relative clause (A1b) is introduced by ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א and the other
three (A1c-e) are participles. This strophe is similar to the accusa-
tions against the nations except that these accusations are not gov-
ernedbyל ַ ע.ThereischiasticassonancebetweenA1aandA1bwith
ר ָ ב ָ ד ַ ה וע ְ מ ִ שׁandןור ְ מֹשׁ ר ַ ה ְ ב.AllthreelinesinA1c-ebeginwithqal
activeparticiples,andthestrophebeginsandendswithlinesheaded
byimperatives.
ה ֗ ֶ ז ַ ה ר֣ ָ ב ָ ד ַ ה ו ֞ ע ְ מ ִ שׁ
ןו ֔ ר ְ מ ֽ ֹשׁ ר ֣ ַ ה ְ ב ֙ ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א ֙ ן ָ שׁ ָ ב ַ ה תו ֤ ר ָ פ
םי ֔ ִ ל ַ ד תו ֣ ק ְ שֹׁע ָ ה
םי֑ ִ נוי ְ ב ֶ א תו ֖ צ ְ צֹר ָ ה
ם֖ ֶ הי ֵ נ ֽ ֹד ֲ א ַ ל ת ֥ ֹר ְ מֹ א ָ ה
׃ה ֽ ֶ ת ְ שִׁ נ ְ ו ה ָ אי ֥ ִ ב ָ ה
Line A1a:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,2constituents,and3units.
ו ֞ ע ְ מ ִ שׁ. Qalimperativempofעמשׁ.
ה֗ ֶ ז ַ ה ר֣ ָ ב ָ ד ַ ה. Thedirectobject,adefinitenounwithdemonstra-
tivepronoun.
Line A1b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and5units.Thelinecontainsavocative
(thepredicator)andamodifyingrelativeclause.
4:1 A1a
A1b
A1c
A1d
A1e
A1f
106 Amos4:1-3
Garrett Amos final.indd 106 6/6/08 2:25:02 PM
֙ ן ָ שׁ ָ ב ַ ה תו ֤ ר ָ פ. A construct chain vocative; Hebrew vocatives
are generally definite, as is the case here (GKC §126e). Bashan was
theareatothenorthoftheYarmukRiver,eastandnortheastofthe
Sea of Galilee; the name always has the definite article in Hebrew.
It had lush pastureland and thus famously raised healthy cattle and
sheep (Deut 32:14; Ezek 39:18). The epithet “cows of Bashan” here
referstotheupper-classwomenofSamariawho,likethosecows,live
among great abundance. But the term is not necessarily derisive of
itself. Ancient poets regularly employed pastoral imagery to refer to
beautiful women, as Song 4:1 does in describing a woman’s hair as
likeaflockofgoats.InGreektexts,aregularepithetforHeraisthe
“cow-eyed(þoo¬i)goddess.”
֙ ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א. Relativepronoun;theantecedentisתור ָ פ.
ןו ֔ ר ְ מ ֽ ֹשׁ ר֣ ַ ה ְ ב. Prepositional phrase with ְ ב used as a locative.
The women called “cows of Bashan” are not actually from Bashan;
theyarefromSamaria.
Line A1c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1 predicator, 2 constituents, and 2 units. The participle serves as a
relativeclauseandaspredicator.
תו ֣ ק ְ שֹׁע ָ ה. Qal active participle f p of קשׁע with the definite
article.Theverbmeansto“oppress”orfinancially“exploit.”Itsmean-
ing is well-illustrated by the apologia of Samuel in 1 Samuel 12:3:
“WhoseoxhaveItaken?OrwhosedonkeyhaveItaken?Orwhom
haveIexploited?(י ִ ת ְ ק ַ שׁ ָ ע י ִ מ־ת ֶ אְ ו).”
םי ֔ ִ ל ַ ד. Thedirectobjectoftheprecedingparticiple.
Line A1d: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.Theparticipleservesasarela-
tiveclauseandaspredicator.
תו ֖ צ ְ צֹר ָ ה. Qalactiveparticiplefpofץצר withthedefinitearti-
cle.ץצר meansto“mistreat”or,inthePiel,to“strikedown,”butthe
verbsקשׁע andץצר regularlyappeartogetherasakindofhendiadys
(see Deut 28:33; Hos 5:11). In 1 Samuel 12:3, after asking י ִ מ־ת ֶ אְ ו
Amos4:1 107
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י ִ ת ְ ק ַ שׁ ָ ע,Samuelasks,“WhomhaveImistreated?(י ִ תוצ ַ ר י ִ מ־ת ֶ א).”
םי֑ ִ נוי ְ ב ֶ א. Thedirectobjectoftheprecedingparticiple.
Line A1d:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and2units.LinesA1dandA1eshouldnotbe
joinedasasingleline,sincethatwouldcreatealineofthreepredica-
tors and a noun. As a rule, a line with three predicators will have
nothingelse.
ת ֥ ֹר ְ מֹ א ָ ה. Qal active participle f p of רמא with the definite
article.
ם֖ ֶ הי ֵ נ ֽ ֹד ֲ אַ ל. Theindirectobject;thenounןוד ָ א withthe3mp
suffix and the preposition ְ ל. Because of the masculine suffix, one
mightarguethatthe“cowsofBashan”areactuallymenandthatAmos
isnotspecificallyattackingthewomenofSamaria.ButHebrewisnot
consistent about using the feminine plural pronominal suffixes for
feminineantecedents(cf.Ruth1:8).Thenounןוד ָ א heremustmean
“husband”(asinGen18:12),becausenootherinterpretationmakes
sense.The“cowsofBashan”arethereforewomen.Thenounןוד ָ א is
hereusedfor“husband”insteadofthemorecommonשׁי ִ א orל ַ ע ַ ב as
anironiccounterpointtothetitleי ָ נֹד ֲ א,whichisappliedtoYHWH
inlineA2ainthenextstrophe.TheSamarianwomenarrogantlytreat
their“lords”ashouseholdslavesandcommandthemtobringdrinks,
but“LordYHWH”hassworntobringdestructionuponthem.
Line A1e:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:2pred-
icators,2constituents,and2units.
ה ָ אי ֥ ִ ב ָ ה. Hiphilimperativemsofאוב withparagogicה.
ה ֽ ֶ ת ְ שִׁ נ ְ ו. Qalweyiqtol 1cpofהתשׁ.Theweyiqtol hereimplies
purpose,“sothatwemaydrink.”
4:2-3: Second Strophe.LikethejudgmentstropheonDamascus
(1:3-5) and others, it has seven lines and employs weqatal verbs to
describeacomingpunishment.
108 Amos4:1
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ו ֔ שׁ ְ ד ָ ק ְ ב ֙ ה ִ והְ י י֤ ָ נֹד ֲ א ע ַ֨ ב ְ שִׁ נ
ם֑ ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע םי ֣ ִ א ָ ב םי ֖ ִ מָ י ה֥ ֵ נ ִ ה י ֛ ִ כ
תו ֔ נ ִ צ ְ ב ֙ ם ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א א ֤ ָ שִ נ ְ ו
׃הֽ ָ גוד תו ֥ רי ִ ס ְ ב ן ֖ ֶ כ ְ תי ִ ר ֲ ח ַ אְ ו
ה֑ ָ דְ ג ֶ נ ה ֣ ָ ש ִ א הָ נא֖ ֶ צ ֵ ת םי ֥ ִ צ ָ ר ְ פו
הָ נו ֖ מ ְ ר ַ ה ַ ה הָ נ ֥ ֶ ת ְ כ ַ ל ְ שׁ ִ ה ְ ו
׃הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ
Line A2a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and4units.
ע ַ֨ ב ְ שִׁ נ. Niphalqatal 3msofעבשׁ.
֙ הִ והְ י י֤ ָ נֹד ֲ א. Thesubject.
ו ֔ שׁ ְ ד ָ ק ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב,hereusedinanoathfor-
mulatosignifythatbywhichtheoathistaken.שׁוד ָ ק herehasthe3
m s suffix and is probably both representative of God’s character as
thebasisforhisoathandalsometonymyforhiswholebeing;thatis,
Godswearsbyhimself,thesupremelyholybeing.
Line A2b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,4constituents,and4units.
ה֥ ֵ נ ִ ה י ֛ ִ כ. Theparticleי ִ כ hereindicatesthecontentoftheoath
and הֵ נ ִ ה indicates that adivine decree is beinggiven, asin Genesis
1:29.
םי ֖ ִ מָ י. Thesubject.
םי ֣ ִ א ָ ב. Qal active participle m p of אוב and the predicate of
םי ִ מָ י.
ם֑ ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע. Prepositional phrase with ל ַ ע (“against”) and a 2 m p
suffix.
Line A2c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
4:2
4:3
A2a
A2b
A2c
A2d
A2e
A2f
A2g
Amos4;2-3 109
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א ֤ ָ שִ נ ְ ו. Pielweqatal 3msofאשנ.Theformisusedimpersonally
andisherevirtuallypassiveinmeaning.Theweqatal istheapodosis
tothepreviousline.Throughgapping,theverbgovernslineA2das
well. The piel literally means to “raise up” (2 Sam 5:12). It usually
hasapositivemeaning,to“support”or“supply,”asin1Kings9:11;
Isaiah63:9;Esther5:11;Ezra1:4.Here,however,theliteralmeaning
of“raiseup”ismoreprobable.
֙ ם ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א. Thedirectobject.Themasculinepronounhereaswell
asinlineA2bmayimplythatthejudgmentdescribedherepertainsto
allthepeopleandnottothewomenalone.
תו ֔ נ ִ צ ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithinstrumental ְ ב.Theinterpre-
tationofן ֵ צ hereismuchdebated;seethediscussionofה ָ רי ִ ס inthe
nextline.
Line A2d: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 0
predicators, 2constituents,and3units.Thereisgapping,withthis
linegovernedbyא ָ שִ נ ְ ו inA2c.
ן֖ ֶ כ ְ תי ִ ר ֲ ח ַ אְ ו. The noun תי ִ ר ֲ ח ַ א (here with 2 f p suffix) means
“end.”Fromthat,itcanmean“destiny”or“fate,”orconversely,the
“remainder”ofapreviouslylargergroup.Withasuffix,itoftenmeans
“fate,”asinNumbers20:25,ד ֵ בֹ א י ֵ ד ֲ ע ותי ִ ר ֲ ח ַ אְ ו (“andhisfate[moves]
towardruin”).SimilarusageappearsinDeuteronomy32:20,29;Isa-
iah41:22;Jeremiah5:31;12:4;Psalm73:17;etc.Ifthatwerethesense
here,thelinewouldmean,“Yourfatewillbeinהָ גוד תורי ִ ס,”butthat
is unlikely. The suffixed form of תי ִ ר ֲ ח ַ א is used also for describing
the slaughtering of what is left of a people (Ezek 23:25 and Amos
9:1). In Proverbs it often refers to the final outcome of an action or
wayoflife(Prov5:4,11;14:12,13;16:25;etc.).TheusageinAmos
8:10(ה ָ תי ִ ר ֲ ח ַ אְ ו)issimilartotheusageinProverbs,wherethe“out-
come”oftheIsraelitefeastingwillbeabitterday.HereinAmos4:2,
itcouldrefertothebacksidesofthemetaphoricalcows(assuggested
inHALOT,“תי ִ ר ֲ ח ַ א”),butonewouldexpecttoseeר ַ ח ַ א ifthatwere
themeaning.WithinAmos,theclosestanalogytotheusagehereisin
110 Amos4:2-3
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9:1,whereGodkills“therestofthem”(ם ָ תי ִ ר ֲ ח ַ אְ ו)withasword.This
isprobablythemeaninghere.
הֽ ָ גוד תו ֥ רי ִ ס ְ ב. Prepositional phrase with instrumental ְ ב on
aconstructchain.Thephraseiscommonlytranslatedas“withfish-
hooks,”butitisnotclearthatfishhookswerewidelyusedineighth
centuryB.C.IsraelorMesopotamia(fishingwascommonlydoneat
thistimewithnetsorgigs).Wedonotknowwhataהָ גוד ת ַ רי ִ ס isor
howitgotitsname.Althoughהָ גוד possiblyisrelatedtothewordג ָ ד,
“fish,”thisdoesnotmeanthatהָ גוד תורי ִ ס aretoolsusedinfishing,
whether it be fishhooks, fishing poles, or fish baskets, all of which
have been suggested. In the terminology of a trade, a thing may be
namedforsomesuperficialreason,suchasitsappearance,andnotlit-
erallyaccordingtofunction.Byanalogy,ifatruckdriversaysthathe
beganto“fishtail,”heisnotdescribinganythingthathastodowith
literalfishorfishing.Anenormousrangeofinterpretationshasbeen
appliedtothewordsתונ ִ צ andהָ גוד תורי ִ ס inA2candA2d(seePaul
1978andPaul1991,130–35).Briefly,theyareasfollows:
Interpretation 1: Shields,oralternativelyboats,onwhichthewomen
are carried away. The Aramaic Targum has this interpretation (see
CathcartandGordon1989,82).Thisislexicographicallyandhistori-
callyunlikely.
Interpretation 2: Potsorbasketsinwhichfisharecarriedtomarket
(רי ִ ס canmeana“pot”forcooking).Thismayrepresenteithertaking
thewomenintocaptivity(Paul1991,134)orcartingoffthedeadbod-
ieslikefishinbasketsafteraslaughter(Hayes1988,140–41).Neither
ispersuasivebecausethechangeinmetaphoristooabrupt.Uptothis
point,thewomenaremetaphoricallycattle;nothinghaspreparedthe
readerforthinkingofthemasfish.Tosuddenlyintroducethisimage
without telling the reader that the women are like caught fish is a
poeticnon-sequitur,andthereaderisleftwithabewilderingpicture
ofwomen(orcattle!)beingcarriedinpotsandfish-baskets.
Interpretation 3: תונ ִ צ has been interpreted as “ropes,” but this is
linguisticallyimplausible(Paul1991,131).
Amos4:2-3 111
Garrett Amos final.indd 111 6/6/08 2:25:04 PM
Interpretation 4: Thorns, probably here meaning hooks, and fish-
hooks(הָ גוד תורי ִ ס),whicharehookedintothewomentopullthem
along. This is a common interpretation (e.g., Markert 1977, 106;
Hammershaimb 1970, 66; de Waard and Smalley 1979, 79). Per-
haps the women are literally to be pulled into exile with fishhooks,
orperhapstheyaremetaphoricalcattlebeingpulledwithfishhooks,
Whateverthecase,thisinterpretationhassignificantproblems.First,
itisunlikelythatthepielofאשנ (“raisehigh,carryaloft”)wouldbe
used for pulling cattle (or people). Second, as mentioned above, use
offishhooksappearstohavebeenlittlepracticedintheLevantatthis
time(seePaul1991,132–33).Third,ifthewomenarestillthought
of as metaphorical cattle, it would be dangerous to both owner and
beast,andverystrange,totrytopullcattlewithfishhooks.2Kings
19:28doesspeakofleadingawayAssyriawithwhatisoftentranslated
as “hooks,” but the word there (ח ָ ח) is more properly taken to be
the nose-rings, such as are used with cattle, rather than as “hooks”
(cf. Exod 35:22). ח ָ ח is never used in parallel with either תונ ִ צ or
הָ גוד תורי ִ ס.Itisnotimpossiblethatthetextrepresentsthewomenas
beingledintocaptivitylikecattlewithringsthroughtheirnoses(thus
Kleven 1996), but linguistic support for this interpretation is weak,
andtheverbאשנ seemstoruleitout.
Interpretation 5: Thewordsתונ ִ צ andהָ גוד תורי ִ ס mayrefertofish-
hooks,andthewomenareconceivedofasfishcaughtwithhooks.If
so,itisagainanabruptandunannouncedchangeofmetaphorfrom
cattle to fish. And again, it may be anachronistic to take this as a
metaphorofangling.
Interpretation 6: Itispossiblethatתונ ִ צ andהָ גוד תורי ִ ס aretechni-
caltermsusedbyshepherdsandranchersfortoolsoftheirtrade.Ifso,
thenתונ ִ צ andהָ גוד תורי ִ ס areperhapssomekindofprodsfordriving
cattle.OnthebasisofProverbs22:5,itappearsthatן ֵ צ referstosome
kindofspikedobject(inthattextthenounismasculineandmaybe
eitherbriarsorakindofspikedtrap).Here,itmaybebarbedprods.
Themainproblemwiththisinterpretationisthatthepielofאשנ is
112 Amos4:2-3
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anoddverbtousefordrivingcattle(althoughofcoursetherecould
havebeenanidiomaticusageofאשנ amongcattlemen).
Interpretation 7: Itispossiblethat“hooks”isthemeaningofתונ ִ צ
andהָ גוד תורי ִ ס ifthemetaphorisoneofbutcheredcattle,withthe
meat hanging on hooks (cf. Stuart 1987, 327). This requires taking
ם ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א and ן ֶ כ ְ תי ִ ר ֲ ח ַ אְ ו to refer the meat of slaughtered, metaphori-
cal cattle. Given the limitations of our knowledge, interpretation 7
maybethebest.TheAssyrianpracticeofactuallyimpalingpeopleon
hooksgivessomecredibilitytothisview.
Line A2e: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,4constituents,and4units.
םי ֥ ִ צ ָ ר ְ פו. A preposition ְ ב is implied. Thus, it means “(by the)
breaches”(thatareinthewalls)afterthecityhasfallen.Hayes(1988,
141)takesץ ֶ ר ֶ פ heretorefertobloatedcorpsesthatarecarriedoutof
the city. His evidence for this interpretation is weak, however, and
theverbהָ נא ֶ צ ֵ ת wouldseemtorefertopeoplewholeaveundertheir
ownpower.
הָ נא֖ ֶ צ ֵ ת. Qalyiqtol 2fpofאצי.
ה֣ ָ ש ִ א. Thenounishereuseddistributivelytomean“each.”
ה֑ ָ דְ ג ֶ נ. Prepositionalphrasewithדֶ ג ֶ נ anda3fssuffix.Literally,
“eachwomanbeforeher,”itheremeans,“onebehindtheother,”asin
Joshua6:20.
Line A2f:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and2units.
הָ נ ֥ ֶ ת ְ כ ַ ל ְ שׁ ִ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 2fpof ךלשׁ withparagogicה.A
paragogicה onaweqatal isoddandmaybeascribalerror—perhaps
dittographyfromthefollowingword.Thehiphil,to“throw,”isdiffi-
culttomakesenseofhere.OnthebasisoftheLXX(o ¬oppi¢q otoût),
onemightemendtothehophalן ֶ ת ְ כ ַ ל ְ שׁ ָ הְ ו,“andyoushallbethrown.”
הָ נו ֖ מ ְ ר ַ ה ַ ה. The meaning of this word is entirely lost to us,
althoughitpossiblyendswithadirectiveה.Itmaybeapropername
(“toHarmon,”orifrepointedtoread,“toHermon,”itcouldreferto
Amos4:2-3 113
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themountainnortheastofDanandrefergenerallytoanexiletothe
north[Wolff1977,207;seealsoWilliams1979]).Itmaybeaproper
name with ר ַ ה (such as “to the mountain of Remman” [LXX: ti
¬o o po ¬o Ptµµov],perhapsreferringtoArmenia?).Oritmaybea
commonnoun(such as“tothecitadel”[emending toןומ ְ ר ַ א]or“to
thedung”[emendingtoן ֶ מֹד].Itmaybethattheunemendedlineis
anotheridiomfromthevocabularyoftheshepherdandrancher.Allof
theseinterpretationsarehighlyspeculative.Amosdoes,however,tend
torepeathimselfagooddeal,andat8:3ךילשׁה clearlyreferstodead
bodiesbeingcastaway.Thus,onemaysuggestthattheemendationto
ן ֶ מֹד isthebestwecando.
Line A2g: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 0
predicators,1constituent,and2units.
הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ. Aconstructchaindivinespeechformula.
4:4-5: Second Stanza. This stanza (one strophe) is an ironic
pilgrimage benediction in eight lines (cf. Dell 1995, 55–56). It is
appendedtotheoracleagainstthewomenofSamariaasaparallelto
the doxology of 4:13, which is appended to a prose recitation. This
ironicbenedictiondoesnotdirectlyrelatetothewomenofSamaria
orto theirsin,exceptforthefactthat all thepeopleofSamariaare
guiltyofsupposingthatanactivereligiouslife,herecharacterizedby
regular pilgrimages, vindicates their lives. It may be, however, that
the upper class women were especially zealous about making these
pilgrimages.Amorepositiveillustration oftheidealofthepilgrim-
agefortheIsraelitewomanisfoundinthereligiouslifeofHannah,
motherofSamuel(1Sam1).
ו ֔ ע ְ שׁ ִ פו ֙ ל ֵ א־תי ֽ ֵ ב וא ֤ ֹב
ַ ע ֑ ֹשׁ ְ פ ִ ל ו ֣ ב ְ ר ַ ה ל֖ ָ ג ְ ל ִ ג ַ ה
ם ֔ ֶ כי ֵ ח ְ בִ ז ֙ ר ֶ ק ֨ ֹב ַ ל ואי ֤ ִ ב ָ ה ְ ו
׃םֽ ֶ כי ֵ ת ֽ ֹר ְ ש ְ ע ַ מ םי ֖ ִ מָ י ת ֶ שׁ֥ ל ְ שׁ ִ ל
ה ֔ ָ דות ֙ ץ ֵ מ ָ ח ֽ ֵ מ ר ֤ ֵ ט ַ ק ְ ו
4:4
4:5
Ba
Bb
Bc
Bd
Be
114 Amos4:3-5
Garrett Amos final.indd 114 6/6/08 2:25:05 PM
ועי ֑ ִ מ ְ שׁ ַ ה תו ֖ ב ָ דְ נ ו ֥ א ְ ר ִ ק ְ ו
ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י֣ ֵ נ ְ ב ֙ ם ֶ ת ְ ב ַ ה ֲ א ן ֤ ֵ כ י ֣ ִ כ
׃הֽ ִ והְ י י֥ ָ נֹד ֲ א ם֖ ֻ אְ נ
Line Ba:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
2predicators,3constituents,and3units.Whentherearetwoimpera-
tivesinaline,andthesecondhastheconjunction,thesecondimpera-
tiveoftentosomedegreeconnotespurpose.
וא ֤ ֹב.Qalimperativempofאוב.
֙ ל ֵ א־תי ֽ ֵ ב. Apropername,“Bethel.”Adirectionalparticle,suchas
theprepositionל ֶ א orthedirectionalה,isoftenomittedinpoetry.
ו ֔ ע ְ שִׁ פו. Qalimperativempofעשׁפ withconjunction.
Line Bb: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and3units.Thereisgappingofוא ֤ ֹב from
lineBa.
ל֖ ָ ג ְ לִ ג ַ ה. A proper name, “Gilgal,” with definite article. Gilgal is
usuallybutnoalwayswrittenwiththearticle.Alocativemarker,such
asthepreposition ְ ב orthedirectionalה,isagainomittedbutimplied.
ַ ע ֑ ֹשְׁ פִ ל ו ֣ ב ְ ר ַ ה. Hiphilimperativempofהבר withqalinfinitive
constructofעשׁפ (with ְ ל)asanauxiliary.Literally,“Makeabundant
tosin,”thismustberenderedwithsomethinglike,“Sinabundantly!”
Itisobviouslysarcasm.
Line Bc:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ואי ֤ ִ ב ָ הְ ו.Hiphilimperativempofאוב,hereusedforthebring-
ingofasacrifice,withconjunction.
֙ ר ֶ ק ֨ ֹב ַ ל. Prepositional phrase with ְ ל used for reference, as “for
themorning.”
ם ֔ ֶ כי ֵ ח ְ בִ ז. The direct object with a 2 m p suffix. With ר ֶ קֹב ַ ל,
thismeans,“yourmorningsacrifices.”Aח ַ בֶ ז isablood-sacrifice(an
animalofferingratherthanagrainoffering).
Amos4:4-5 115
Bf
Bg
Bh
Garrett Amos final.indd 115 6/6/08 2:25:05 PM
Line Bd:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators,2constituents,and3units.Thereisgappingofואי ֤ ִ ב ָ הְ ו from
thepreviousline.
םי ֖ ִ מָ י ת ֶ שׁ֥ ל ְ שִׁ ל. Inparallelwithר ֶ קֹב ַ ל inlineBc,thisisaref-
erentialuseofthepreposition ְ ל meaning“forathree-dayperiod”or
“afterthreedays.”
םֽ ֶ כי ֵ ת ֽ ֹר ְ ש ְ ע ַ מ. Thedirectobjectwitha2mpsuffix.Inparallel
withlineBcandwithםי ִ מָ י ת ֶ שׁל ְ שִׁ ל,thismustmean,“yourthree-day
tithes.” Perhaps pilgrims were expected to make a tithe gift on the
thirdday(twodaysaftertheirarrivalatashrine).Wehavenoevidence
elsewhereforsuchapractice,butourknowledgeofculticworshipat
theseshrinesisverysparse.Thereisaprovisionforathree-yeartithe
inDeuternomy14:28,butthisisprobablynotmeanthere.
Line Be: The colon-marker is zaqeph qaton and the constraints
are:1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ר֤ ֵ ט ַ קְ ו. Pielimperativempwithconjunction.Theverbmeansto
sendanofferingupinsmoke,whetheritistheburningofincenseor
ofsomeotheroffering.
֙ ץ ֵ מ ָ חֽ ֵ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ usedpartitively.Anoffer-
ingwithleavenedbreadwasforbiddeninTorahforcertainsacrifices,
butitcouldbeofferedwiththethankoffering(Lev7:12).Elsewhere
inthistext,Amosisattackingfaithintheautomaticefficacyofpil-
grimagestotheshrinesratherthanillicitpracticesattheshrines,soit
isdoubtfulthathereheisassertingthattheofferingsareunlawful.
ה ֔ ָ דות. The direct object. The thank offering of Leviticus 7:12
iscalledה ָ דות ַ ה.
Line Bf: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 2
predicators,3constituents,and3units.
ו ֥ א ְ ר ִ קְ ו. Qalimperativempofארק withconjunction.
תו ֖ ב ָ דְ נ. Thedirectobject.Thefreewillofferingswouldbepro-
claimedaloudbecausetheyweregiveninfulfillmentofvows.
116 Amos4:4-5
Garrett Amos final.indd 116 6/6/08 2:25:06 PM
ועי ֑ ִ מ ְ שׁ ַ ה. Hiphilimperativempofעמשׁ.Theasyndetonwith
thissecond,redundantimperativegivesitthesenseofironicencour-
agement.
Line Bg:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
2predicators(includingthevocative),2constituents,and2units.
֙ ם ֶ ת ְ ב ַ ה ֲ א ן֤ ֵ כ י ֣ ִ כ. Qalqatal 2mpwiththeparticlesי ִ כ (usedinan
explanatorysense)andן ֵ כ (usedadverbially,“thatishow”).
ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י֣ ֵ נ ְ ב. Aconstructchainvocative.
Line Bh:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators,1constituent,and3units.
הֽ ִ והְ י י֥ ָ נֹד ֲ א ם֖ ֻ אְ נ. Adivinespeechformula.
4:6-13: Blindness to YHWH's Warnings and a Doxology of Dread
This section, like the previous, is in two parts except that the first
part (vv. 6-12) is prose. Just as 4:4-5 is an ironic benediction on the
pilgrimstotheshrines,soalsov.13isironicinthatitisadoxologybut
itpromptsonlyterrorandnotjoyorworship.Inaddition,theconstant
complaintofthistext,thattheIsraeliteshavenotreturnedtoYHWH,
issetagainstthesarcasticencouragementtogototheshrines.
4:6-12: Unheeded Warnings: Thisisalengthyprosetextinwhich
YHWHdetailshisvaineffortstobringIsraeltorepentancebymeans
ofvariousafflictions.BehindthispassagestandthewarningsofDeu-
teronomy28:15-68,whichtelltheIsraelitesthatiftheyrefusetoobey
the laws of the covenant, they will be beset with disease, drought,
cropfailure,andmilitarydefeatinincreasingseverity.Althoughsome
clausescouldbescannedaspoetry,otherclausesaretoolongandthe
grammarofthesentencesistoocomplextoanalyzethistextconvinc-
inglyasapoem.
ר ֶ ס ֣ ֹחְ ו ם ֔ ֶ כי ֵ ר֣ ָ ע־ל ָ כ ְ ב ֙ םִ י ֙ ַ נ ִ שׁ ןו ֤ י ְ קִ נ ם ֜ ֶ כ ָ ל י ִ ת ֨ ַ תָ נ ֩ י ִ נ ֲ א־ם ַ ג ְ ו
׃הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ י ֖ ַ ד ָ ע ם ֥ ֶ ת ְ ב ַ שׁ־א ֽ ֹל ְ ו ם֑ ֶ כי ֵ ת ֽ ֹ מוק ְ מ ל ֖ ֹכ ְ ב ם ֶ ח ֔ ֶ ל
Amos4:4-13 117
4:6
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Thisverseisasentenceofthreeclauses,thefirstbeingaconces-
siveprotasisandthesecondbeingtheapodosis.Thethirdclauseisthe
divinespeechformula.
Prose Clause:ם ֔ ֶ כי ֵ ר֣ ָ ע־ל ָ כ ְ ב ֙ םִ י ֙ ַ נ ִ שׁ ןו ֤ י ְ קִ נ ם ֜ ֶ כ ָ ל י ִ ת ֨ ַ תָ נ ֩ י ִ נ ֲ א־םַ ג ְ ו
ם֑ ֶ כי ֵ ת ֽ ֹ מוק ְ מ ל ֖ ֹכ ְ ב ם ֶ ח ֔ ֶ ל ר ֶ ס ֣ ֹחְ ו
Aconcessiveclause(introducedbyםַ ג ְ ו)servingasaprotasis,ithas
atransitiveverb(י ִ ת ַ תָ נ,aqalqatal 1csofןתנ)andtwoconjoinedand
parallelconstructchaindirectobjects(םִ י ַ נ ִ שׁ ןוי ְ קִ נ [“cleannessofteeth”]
andם ֶ חֶ ל ר ֶ סֹחְ ו [“andlackofbread”]).Eachdirectobjecthasaphrase
withlocativeבְ appendedtoit(ם ֶ כי ֵ ר ָ ע־ל ָ כ ְ ב andם֑ ֶ כי ֵ תֹ מוק ְ מ לֹכ ְ ב).Par-
allelismisafeatureofrhetoric;itisnotuniquetopoetry.“Cleannessof
teeth”(םִ י ַ נ ִ שׁ ןוי ְ קִ נ)obviouslyreferstoafoodshortage.
Prose Clause:י ֖ ַ ד ָ ע ם ֥ ֶ ת ְ ב ַ שׁ־אֽ ֹל ְ ו
The conjunction on אֹל ְ ו marks the apodosis. ם ֶ ת ְ ב ַ שׁ is a qal
qatal 2mpofבושׁ,whichsignifiesrepentancewhenusedofpersons
“returning”toGod.Theqatal couldbetranslatedwithapasttenseor
aperfectorevenpresenttense.
Prose Clause:הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ
Adivinespeechformula.
ה ֤ ָ שׁל ְ שׁ דו ֨ ע ְ ב ם ֶ שׁ֗ ֶ ג ַ ה־ת ֶ א ם ֜ ֶ כ ִ מ י ִ ת ְ ע֨ ַ נ ָ מ ֩ י ִ כֹ נ ָ א ם֣ ַ ג ְ ו
רי ֥ ִ ע־ל ַ ע ְ ו ת ָ֔ ח ֶ א רי ֣ ִ ע־ל ַ ע ֙ י ִ ת ְ ר ַ ט ְ מ ִ ה ְ ו רי ֔ ִ צ ָ ק ַ ל ֙ םי ִ שׁ ָ ד ֳ ח
ה ֛ ָ ק ְ ל ֶ חְ ו ר ֵ֔ ט ָ מ ִ ת ֙ ת ַ ח ַ א ה ֤ ָ ק ְ ל ֶ ח רי ֑ ִ ט ְ מ ַ א א ֣ ֹל ת ֖ ַ ח ַ א
׃שֽׁ ָ בי ִ ת ָ הי ֖ ֶ ל ָ ע רי ֥ ִ ט ְ מ ַ ת־א ֽ ֹל־ר ֽ ֶ שׁ ֲ א
Thisverseisaseriesofsixclauses,allofwhicharepartofacon-
cessiveprotasistotheapodosisattheendof4:8.
Prose Clause: דו ֨ ע ְ ב ם ֶ שׁ֗ ֶ ג ַ ה־ת ֶ א ם ֜ ֶ כ ִ מ י ִ ת ְ ע֨ ַ נ ָ מ ֩ י ִ כֹ נ ָ א ם֣ ַ ג ְ ו
רי ֔ ִ צ ָ ק ַ ל ֙ םי ִ שׁ ָ ד ֳ ח ה ֤ ָ שׁל ְ שׁ
4:7
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םַ ג ְ ו withtheverbי ִ ת ְ עַ נ ָ מ (qalqatal 1csofענמ)againmarksa
concessive protasis. ם ֶ כ ִ מ (the preposition ן ִ מ [“from”] with a 2 m p
suffix)isanindirectobjectcomplementto י ִ ת ְ עַ נ ָ מ (thedirectobject
being ם ֶ שֶׁ ג ַ ה־ת ֶ א [“the rain”]). The prepositional phrase with ְ ב on
theadverbדוע isidiomaticfor“whilestill.”The ְ ל onרי ִ צ ָ ק ַ ל (“tothe
harvest”)illustrateshowsometimesthisprepositioncanbetranslated
as“from”or“until.”Tohavenorainsolongbeforeharvestwasobvi-
ouslyacalamity.
Prose Clause:ת ָ֔ ח ֶ א רי ֣ ִ ע־ל ַ ע ֙ י ִ ת ְ ר ַ ט ְ מ ִ הְ ו
֙ י ִ ת ְ ר ַ ט ְ מ ִ הְ ו,ahiphilweqatal 1csofרטמ herefunctionsimper-
fectively,“andIwouldsendrain,”incontrasttothesimplepastmean-
ing a wayyiqtol would convey. This clause is epexegetical of “and I
withheldrain”inthefirstclause(itisofflinerelativetocontext;itis
alsoconcessivehereandcouldberenderedas“although”).Theword
ת ָ ח ֶ א in the prepositional phrase ת ָ ח ֶ א רי ִ ע־ל ַ ע (“upon one city”)
functionsindefinitelylike“agiven”or“acertain.”
Prose Clause:רי ֑ ִ ט ְ מ ַ א א֣ ֹל ת֖ ַ ח ַ א רי ֥ ִ ע־ל ַ עְ ו
The ו + [x] + yiqtol pattern (with רי ִ ט ְ מ ַ א, a hiphil yiqtol 1 c s
of רטמ), following the previous weqatal, binds the two contrasting
clausestogetherandindicatesthattheactionofthetwoisconceptu-
allysimultaneous.
Prose Clause:ר ֵ֔ ט ָ מ ִ ת ֙ ת ַ ח ַ א ה ֤ ָ ק ְ ל ֶ ח
ThislinehasØconjunction(asyndeton),indicatingthatitisan
offlinecommentaryonthepreviousclauses.ר ֵ ט ָ מ ִ ת (niphalyiqtol 3fs
ofרטמ)isimperfective.ה ָ ק ְ ל ֶ ח,literallya“share,”herereferstoaplot
ofarableland.
Prose Clause:שֽׁ ָ בי ִ ת . . . ה ֛ ָ ק ְ ל ֶ חְ ו
This clause is interrupted by a relative clause (thus the ellipsis).
Theו +[x]+yiqtol joinsthisclausetothepreviousofflineclauseasa
parallelbutcontrastingevent.
Prose Clause: ָ הי֖ ֶ ל ָ ע רי ֥ ִ ט ְ מ ַ ת־אֽ ֹל־ר ֽ ֶ שׁ ֲ א
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Thisisarelativeclauseinsertedinthepreviousclause;itsante-
cedentisה ָ ק ְ ל ֶ חְ ו.Thereisaresumptivepronounpatternin. . . ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א
ָ הי ֶ ל ָ ע,meaning“uponwhich.”Theyiqtol verbinרי ִ ט ְ מ ַ ת (hiphilyiqtol
3fs)isimperfective,implyingaprolongedperiodwithnorain.The3
fsissurprising;somemanuscripts,withtheLXXandVulgate,havea
1cs.Butthe3fsmaybeimpersonal,liketheEnglish,“itrained.”
םִ י ֖ ַ מ תו ֥ ת ְ שׁ ִ ל ת ֛ ַ ח ַ א רי ֥ ִ ע־ל ֶ א םי ֜ ִ ר ָ ע שׁ ֨ ל ָ שׁ ֩ םִ י ַ ת ְ שׁ ו ֡ עָ נ ְ ו
׃הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ י ֖ ַ ד ָ ע ם ֥ ֶ ת ְ ב ַ שׁ־א ֽ ֹל ְ ו וע֑ ָ ב ְ שִ י א ֣ ֹל ְ ו
Thisverseismadeoffourclauses.Thefirsttwocontinuethepro-
tasisfromv.7,thethirdistheapodosis,andthefourthistheoracle
formula.
Prose Clause: ת֛ ַ ח ַ א רי ֥ ִ ע־ל ֶ א םי ֜ ִ ר ָ ע שׁ ֨ ל ָ שׁ ֩ םִ י ַ ת ְ שׁ ו ֡ עָ נ ְ ו
םִ י ֖ ַ מ תו ֥ ת ְ שִׁ ל
The weqatal ועָ נ ְ ו (qal weqatal 3 c p of עונ) resumes the series
ofconcessiveclausesthatmakeuptheprotasis.Theasyndetonwith
שׁל ָ שׁ םִ י ַ ת ְ שׁ means,“twoorthree.”םי ִ ר ָ ע (“cities”)isheresynecdo-
che for the people of those cities. תות ְ שִׁ ל, a qal infinitive construct
ofהתשׁ with ְ ל,hereexpressespurposeasacomplementtothemain
verb.םִ י ַ מ isthedirectobject.
Prose Clause:וע֑ ָ ב ְ שִ י א֣ ֹל ְ ו
The ְ ו + אֹל + yiqtol (וע ָ ב ְ שִ י, a qal yiqtol 3 m p of עבש) here
impliesanegationofaresultonemighthavedesiredorexpectedon
thebasisofthepreviousclause.Itcouldbetranslatedas“butwerenot
satisfied.”Cf.the ו+אֹל +yiqtol inGenesis2:25:םי ִ מור ֲ ע ם ֶ הי ֵ נ ְ שׁ וי ְ הִ י ַ ו
ושׁ ָ שֹׁב ְ תִ י אֹל ְ ו ות ְ שׁ ִ אְ ו ם ָ ד ָ א ָ ה (“andthetwoofthem,themanandhis
woman,werenakedbutnotashamed”).
Prose Clause:י ֖ ַ ד ָ ע ם ֥ ֶ ת ְ ב ַ שׁ־אֽ ֹל ְ ו
The ְ ו+אֹל +yiqtol (ם ֶ ת ְ ב ַ שׁ,aqalyiqtol 2mpofבושׁ)isherethe
apodosisoftheprecedinglengthyprotasis.Noticethatinstructureit
isidenticaltotheprecedingclause,butthatitservesanentirelydiffer-
4:8
120 Amos4:7-8
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entsyntacticalfunction.Thechangeinsubjectfromthirdtosecond
personistheonlysignalthatthisclauseplaysadifferentroleinthe
sentence-levelstructure.
Prose Clause:הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ
Adivinespeechformula.
ם֧ ֶ כי ֵ תונ ַ ג תו ֨ ב ְ ר ַ ה ֒ןוק ָ רֵ י ַ בו ןו ֣ פ ָ ד ִ ש ַ ב ֮ ם ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א י ִ תי֣ ֵ כ ִ ה
ם ֥ ֶ ת ְ ב ַ שׁ־א ֽ ֹל ְ ו ם֑ ָ ז ָ ג ַ ה ל֣ ַ כאֹי ם֖ ֶ כי ֵ תי ֵ ז ְ ו ם֥ ֶ כי ֵ נ ֵ א ְ תו ם֛ ֶ כי ֵ מ ְ ר ַ כ ְ ו
ס ׃הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ י ֖ ַ ד ָ ע
This verse is made of four clauses. The first three are another
concessiveprotasis-apodosispatternandthefourthistheoraclefor-
mula.
Prose Clause:תו ֨ ב ְ ר ַ ה ֒ןוק ָ רֵ י ַ בו ןו ֣ פ ָ ד ִ ש ַ ב ֮ ם ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א י ִ תי֣ ֵ כ ִ ה
י ִ תי ֵ כ ִ ה isahiphilqatal 1csofהכנ.Thisclause,unlike4:6-7,
lackstheparticleםַ ג ְ ו,butthesimilaritiestothoseversesindicatethat
thesyntaxofthesentenceisthesame.Havingtheqatal alone(where
the previous verses have the particle and a pronoun) is rhetorically
moredramatic.ןופ ָ ד ִ שׁ,oftentranslated“blight,”isliterallyadrying
out or scorching (see HALOT, ןופ ָ ד ִ שׁ). ןוק ָ רֵ י, literally “paleness,” is
a plant affliction and is often translated as “rust” or “mildew.” The
two terms regularly appear as a pair (Deut 28:22; 2 Chr 6:28; Hag
2:17)andmaybehendiadys.ThisclauseperhapsalludestoDeuter-
onomy28:22(ןוק ָ רֵ י ַ בו ןופ ָ ד ִ ש ַ בו . . . ת ֶ פ ֶ ח ַ ש ַ ב הָ והְ י ה ָ כ ְ כַ י [“YHWH
willstrikeyouwithconsumption...andwithblightandmildew”]).
תוב ְ ר ַ ה, the hiphil infinitive absolute of הבר, here as elsewhere is
adverbial(“much”or“abundantly”).TheMTgivesthewordthecon-
junctiveazla,apparentlylinkingittothefollowingwords,butthatis
probablyincorrect.
Prose Clause: ל֣ ַ כאֹי ם֖ ֶ כי ֵ תי ֵ ז ְ ו ם֥ ֶ כי ֵ נ ֵ א ְ תו ם֛ ֶ כי ֵ מ ְ ר ַ כְ ו ם֧ ֶ כי ֵ תונ ַ ג
ם֑ ָ ז ָ ג ַ ה
4:9
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TheØ+[x]+yiqtol patternindicatesthatthisisanoffline,imper-
fectiveclausehereservingasepexegesisforthepreviousclause.That
is,theconditionsthatfavoredthedevelopmentofblightandmildew
also favored the development of insect vermin. The fronting of the
directobjectinacompoundphraseoffournouns(ם ֶ כי ֵ מ ְ ר ַ כְ ו ם ֶ כי ֵ תונ ַ ג
ם ֶ כי ֵ תי ֵ ז ְ ו ם ֶ כי ֵ נ ֵ א ְ תו) indicates that destruction of the gardens—espe-
cially the variety and quantity of what was lost—is the focus here.
Theagentofdestruction,thelocusts,isnotthefocus.Theverbל ַ כאֹי
(qalyiqtol 3msofלכא)isimperfectiveandcouldberendered,“have
beeneating.”
Prose Clause:י ֖ ַ ד ָ ע ם ֥ ֶ ת ְ ב ַ שׁ־אֽ ֹל ְ ו
See4:6,8.
Prose Clause:הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ
Adivinespeechformula.
֙ ב ֶ ר ֙ ֶ ח ַ ב י ִ תְ ג ֤ ַ ר ָ ה םִ י ֔ ַ ר ְ צ ִ מ ך ֶ ר֣ ֶ ד ְ ב ֙ ר ֶ ב ֙ ֶ ד ם֥ ֶ כ ָ ב י ִ ת ְ ח ֨ ַ ל ִ שׁ
֙ ם ֶ כי ֵ נ ֲ ח ַ מ שׁ ֤ ֹ א ְ ב ה ֞ ֶ ל ֲ ע ַ אָ ו ם֑ ֶ כי ֵ סו ֽ ס י ֣ ִ ב ְ שׁ ם ֖ ִ ע ם ֔ ֶ כי ֵ רו ֣ ח ַ ב
׃הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ י ֖ ַ ד ָ ע ם ֥ ֶ ת ְ ב ַ שׁ־א ֽ ֹל ְ ו ם ֔ ֶ כ ְ פ ַ א ְ ב ֽ ו
Thisverseismadeoffiveclauses.Thefirstfourareanothercon-
cessive protasis-apodosis pattern and the fifth is the oracle formula.
Incontrastto4:7-8,theverbsinthefirsttwoclauseshereareqatal,
indicatingthattheyaretwodistinctactionsandarenotimperfective
inaspect.
Prose Clause:םִ י ֔ ַ ר ְ צ ִ מ ך ֶ ר֣ ֶ ד ְ ב ֙ ר ֶ ב ֙ ֶ ד ם֥ ֶ כ ָ ב י ִ ת ְ ח ֨ ַ ל ִ שׁ
Again,םַ ג ְ ו isimpliedonthebasisof4:6,7,andfrontingofthe
qatal verb(י ִ ת ְ חַ ל ִ שׁ,apielqatal 1csofחלשׁ)isrhetoricallydramatic.
The preposition ְ ב in ם ֶ כ ָ ב may either mean “among” or be used in
ahostilesense,“against”(seetheuseof ְ ב חלשׁ inGen37:22).ר ֶ ב ֶ ד
(“plague”) is the direct object, and ך ֶ ר ֶ ד in ך ֶ ר ֶ ד ְ ב means “way” or
“manner,” as in Genesis 31:35, and it here refers to the manner in
4:10
122 Amos4:9-10
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which God struck Egypt with plagues. Israel had evidently recently
gone through a series of natural calamities analogous to those that
befellEgyptattheexodus.
Prose Clause:ם֑ ֶ כי ֵ סו ֽ ס י ֣ ִ ב ְ שׁ ם֖ ִ ע ם ֔ ֶ כי ֵ רו ֣ ח ַ ב ֙ ב ֶ ר ֙ ֶ ח ַ ב י ִ תְ ג ֤ ַ ר ָ ה
Asecondprotasisclauseheadedbyqatal,thisisasecondexample
inthisseries;itisanalogoustotheactionofthefirstclausebutissepa-
rateanddistinct.Hereב ֶ ר ֶ ח ַ ב י ִ תְ ג ַ ר ָ ה indicatesdeathinbattle.י ִ תְ ג ַ ר ָ ה
isaqalqatal 1cs.ם ֶ כי ֵ רוח ַ ב,“youryoungmen,”isthedirectobject
and refers to the rank and file soldiers.ם ֶ כי ֵ סוס י ִ ב ְ שׁ ם ִ ע, “with the
captivityofyourhorses,”issometimesemendedtoreadי ִ ב ְ צ (“pomp”)
insteadofי ִ ב ְ שׁ onthegroundsthatי ִ ב ְ שׁ normallyreferstothecapture
ofhumans(e.g.,Wolff1977,210noteq).Butthisisunnecessary.The
pointisthattheIsraeliteshavesufferedthedoublelossofhavingtheir
troopskilledinbattleandtheirwar-horsescaptured.
Prose Clause:ם ֔ ֶ כ ְ פ ַ א ְ בֽ ו ֙ ם ֶ כי ֵ נ ֲ ח ַ מ שׁ ֤ ֹ א ְ ב ה ֞ ֶ ל ֲ ע ַ אָ ו
Thewayyiqtol verb(ה ֶ ל ֲ ע ַ אָ ו,hiphilwayyiqtol 1csofהלע)joins
thisclausetothepreviousandindicatesthatthetworefertoasequence
ofeventswithinasingleepisode,thedefeatofanIsraelitearmyand
subsequentrottingofthedeadbodies.שֹׁ א ְ ב,“stench,”issometimes
emendedtoשׁ ֵ א ְ ב,“withfire,”onthebasisoftheLXXt v ¬upi ,but
thisdoesnotyieldabettersense.ם ֶ כ ְ פ ַ א ְ בו (“andinyournose”)isalso
consideredsuspect,oratleastsurprising,forhavingtheconjunction.
Thisisthewaw explicativum (GKC§154a,note1b).Itmightberen-
dered,“andrightinyournose!”Thepointisthatthedefeatdidnot
occurfaraway,wheretheycouldonlyhearnewsofitfromadistance,
butrightintheirmidst,wheretheycouldsmellit.Amosmayherebe
referringtodefeatssufferedunderHazael.
Prose Clause:י ֖ ַ ד ָ ע ם ֥ ֶ ת ְ ב ַ שׁ־אֽ ֹל ְ ו
See4:6,8.
Prose Clause:הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ
Adivinespeechformula.
Amos4:10 123
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־ת ֶ אְ ו ם ֣ ֹד ְ ס־ת ֶ א ֙ םי ִ הל ֱ א ת֤ ַ כ ֵ פ ְ ה ַ מ ְ כ ם ֗ ֶ כ ָ ב י ִ ת ְ כ֣ ַ פ ָ ה
י ֖ ַ ד ָ ע ם ֥ ֶ ת ְ ב ַ שׁ־א ֽ ֹל ְ ו ה֑ ָ פ ֵ ר ְ ש ִ מ ל֣ ָ צ ֻ מ דו ֖ א ְ כ ו ֕ י ְ ה ִ תַ ו ה ֔ ָ רֹ מ ֲ ע
ס ׃הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ
This verse is made of four clauses. The first three are another
concessiveprotasis-apodosispatternandthefourthistheoraclefor-
mula.SodomandGomorrahrepresentGod’sultimatejudgment,the
completeeradicationofapeople,andthusthisisthelastinthisseries
of references to recent calamities. The first clause seems to say that
Israelsufferedthisjudgment(which,iftrue,wouldmeanthatAmos
would have no Israel to address), but the second clause draws back
fromthisinference,assertingthatIsraeljustbarelysurvivedthisexpe-
rience.ItprobablyreferstothenearcollapseofIsraelpriortotherise
ofJeroboamII.
Prose Clause: ם ֣ ֹד ְ ס־ת ֶ א ֙ םי ִ הל ֱ א ת֤ ַ כ ֵ פ ְ ה ַ מ ְ כ ם ֗ ֶ כ ָ ב י ִ ת ְ כ֣ ַ פ ָ ה
ה ֔ ָ רֹ מ ֲ ע־ת ֶ אְ ו
Again,םַ ג ְ ו isimplied,andfrontingoftheqatal verb(י ִ ת ְ כ ַ פ ָ ה,a
qalqatal 1csofךפה)isrhetoricallydramatic.Thepreposition ְ ב in
ם ֶ כ ָ ב maybepartitive,“someofyou,”indicatingthatsomebutnotall
ofthecitiesofIsraelwereannihilatedinthemannerofSodom.The
prepositionalphraseםי ִ הל ֱ א ת ַ כ ֵ פ ְ ה ַ מ ְ כ,where ְ כ andthenounה ָ כ ֵ פ ְ ה ַ מ
(an“overturning”)functionlikeaninfinitiveconstructphraseusedas
afiniteverb.Thusittakesthedirectobjectsה ָ רֹ מ ֲ ע־ת ֶ אְ ו םֹד ְ ס־ת ֶ א.
Prose Clause:ה֑ ָ פ ֵ ר ְ ש ִ מ ל֣ ָ צ ֻ מ דו ֖ א ְ כ ו ֕ י ְ ה ִ תַ ו
Thewayyiqtol verb(וי ְ ה ִ תַ ו,qalwayyiqtol 2mpofהיה)joinsthis
clausetothepreviousandindicatesthatthetworefertoasingleepi-
sode, the near annihilation but subsequent survival of Israel. Rhe-
torically, the prepositional phrase with ְ כ parallels ת ַ כ ֵ פ ְ ה ַ מ ְ כ in the
previousclauseandsetsupacontrast.דוא isaburningstickinabon-
fire;cf.Zech3:2.ל ָ צ ֻ מ isahophalparticiplemsfromלצנ,“snatched.”
A ה ָ פ ֵ ר ְ ש is a very hot fire meant to either harden something (like
4:11
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firing clay in a kiln; Gen 11:3) or incinerate it (such as the fire for
incineratingtheredheifer;Num19:6).
Prose Clause:י ֖ ַ ד ָ ע ם ֥ ֶ ת ְ ב ַ שׁ־אֽ ֹל ְ ו
See4:6,8.
Prose Clause:הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ
Adivinespeechformula.
־ה ֶ ש ֱ ע ֽ ֶ א תא֣ ֹז־י ֽ ִ כ ב ֶ ק ֵ ֚ ע ל ֑ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י ֖ ך ְ ל־ה ֶ ש ֱ ע ֶ א ה ֥ ֹכ ן ֕ ֵ כ ָ ל
׃ל ֽ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י ךי ֖ ֶ הל ֱ א־תא ַ ר ְ ק ִ ל ןו ֥ כ ִ ה ך ֔ ָ ל
This verse concludes the prose recitation. It is pregnant in that
judgmentisthreatenedbutnotexpresslyorspecificallydescribed;the
readerislefttoimaginewhatmaycomenext.Inlightofhowtheseries
ofjudgmentshasprogressedtothispoint,thereasonableconclusion
isthattheultimatedecreeofjudgment,theannihilationofIsrael,is
coming. A number of scholars believe that the first two clauses fit
togetherawkwardlyandthatthepresenttextisaconflationofvariant
readings (see Paul 1991, 150). This is unnecessary; the two clauses
haveentirelydifferentfunctionsandareinfactindifferentsentences,
asdescribedbelow.
Prose Clause:ל֑ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י ֖ ך ְ ל־ה ֶ ש ֱ ע ֶ א ה ֥ ֹכ ן ֕ ֵ כ ָ ל
ה ֶ ש ֱ ע ֶ א,aqalyiqtol 1csofהשע (usedhereforfutureaction),is
followedbyanindirectobject(ך ְ ל)andavocative(ל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י).Thekey
tounderstandingtheclauseistheparticleהֹכ,whichheremeans,“in
the same manner.” Shalom Paul appropriately compares this to the
oathformulain1Kings2:23,ףי ִ סוי הֹכְ ו םי ִ הל ֱ א י ִ ל־ה ֶ ש ֲ עַ י הֹכ,“May
Goddothesametomeandmayhedomoreofthesame!”(Paul1991,
150). This clause therefore looks back over all of the preceding and
assertsthatGodwillcontinuetoafflictIsraelinthesamemanner.
Prose Clause:ך ֔ ָ ל־ה ֶ ש ֱ ע ֽ ֶ א תא֣ ֹז־י ֽ ִ כ ב ֶ ק ֵ ֚ ע
4:12
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ב ֶ ק ֵ ע means “back, end,” and from that means “result” or
“wages,” with י ִ כ ב ֶ ק ֵ ע idiomatically meaning “because.” תאֹז is the
directobjectofה ֶ ש ֱ ע ֶ א (qalyiqtol 1csofהשע),anditsantecedentis
theimpliedjudgmentofthepreviousclause.Thisclauseisthecausal
protasisofthenextclause.Itinfactbeginsanentirelynewsentence
andisseparatefromtheprecedingclause.
Prose Clause:ל ֽ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י ךי ֖ ֶ הל ֱ א־תא ַ ר ְ ק ִ ל ןו ֥ כ ִ ה
Thisistheapodosisofthepreviousclause.ןוכ ִ ה isaniphalimper-
ative m s of ןוכ (cf. Ezek 38:7, where the niphal imperative implies
preparationforcombat).תא ַ ר ְ ק ִ ל isaqalinfinitiveconstructofארק
II(“meet”)and,againstYoungblood(1971),notארק I(“call”).ךי ֶ הל ֱ א
isthedirectobject.Therepetitionofthevocativeל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י (alsofound
inthefirstclause),indicatesagainthattherearetwosentencesinthis
verse(sinceitispeculiartorepeatavocativeintwoseparateplacesin
onesentence).
4:13: Doxology:Thispoemisadoxologyinfivelines(onestanza
and one strophe). The doxology concludes this section and appears
abruptly; the reader is not expecting such language. Its presence
heightens the suspense created by the pregnant threat of judgment
inv.12.ThedoxologydescribesthekindofGodthatIsraelmustbe
readytomeet(viz.,anall-powerfulGod).Itmayalsobeadaptedfrom
oneofthehymnssungattheIsraeliteshrines.Thedoxologyconsists
offourlinesgivingdescriptionsofYHWH’spower,withthefifthline
naminghim.Thewholedoxologyisthusakindofimpliedquestion
andanswer,withlinesa-dimplicitlyasking,“Whoisthefashionerof
hillsandcreatorofwind...?”andlineegivingtheanswer.Thelogic
ofthefirstfourlinesisthatYHWHisfirstmakerofheavenandearth
(hererepresentedbymountainsandwind;linea),hesecondlyisjudge
ofalltheearth,bringingaccusationsagainsthumanity(lineb),and
hethirdlycomesinapocalypticterror(linesc-d).
֩ הֵ נ ִ ה י ֡ ִ כ
126 Amos4:12-13
4:13a
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Thefirsttwowords(הֵ נ ִ ה י ִ כ)areaproseintroductiontothedox-
ology.Theycallthereader’sattentiontothedoxologyandencourage
meditationoveritssignificance.
ַ חו ֗ ר א֣ ֵ רֹבו םי ֜ ִ ר ָ ה ר ֨ ֵ צוי
ו ֔ ח ֵ ש־ה ַ מ ֙ ם ָ ד ָ א ְ ל די֤ ִ ג ַ מו
ה ֔ ָ פי ֵ ע ֙ ר ַ ח ֙ ַ שׁ ה ֥ ֵ שֹע
ץ ֶ ר ֑ ָ א י ֵ ת ֳ מ֣ ָ ב־ל ַ ע ך ֖ ֵ רֹד ְ ו
ס ׃ו ֽ מ ְ שׁ תו ֖ א ָ ב ְ צ־י ֽ ֵ הל ֱ א ה֥ ָ והְ י
Line a:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:2predi-
cators,2constituents,and4units.
םי ֜ ִ ר ָ ה ר ֨ ֵ צוי. Aconstructchainwiththeqalactiveparticiplem
sofרצי usedinaperiphrasticconstructionwiththeimpliedsubject
“he”(אוה).םי ִ ר ָ ה isanobjectivegenitive.
ַ חו ֗ ר א֣ ֵ רֹבו. Anotherconstructchain,withtheqalactiveparti-
ciplemsofארב usedperiphrasticallybeforeanobjectivegenitive.
Line b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,4constituents,and4units.
די֤ ִ ג ַ מו. Hiphilparticiplemsofדגנ withconjunctioninaperi-
phrasticconstruction.
֙ ם ָ ד ָ אְ ל. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ל indicatingaddressee.
ה ַ מ. Thepronounisthedirectobjectofדי ִ ג ַ מו andintroducesan
indirectquestion.
ו ֔ ח ֵ ש. Thenoun ַ ח ֵ ש ishapax legomenon. ַ ח ֵ ש isoftentranslated
as “thought” in Amos, but there is confusion regarding the 3 m s
suffix. Is God declaring his own thoughts, or is he telling the man
what the man is thinking? There are no grounds for translating it
as“plan,”asissometimesdone(Stuart1987,335). ַ ח ֵ ש isapparently
aby-formof ַ חי ִ ש II,“meditation,lament”(“InSamariadiphthongs
4:13b a
b
c
d
e
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were monophthongized”; Paul 1991, 254). In 1 Kings 18:27 Elijah
mockinglysaysthatBaalhasa ַ חי ִ ש,butthemeaningof ַ חי ִ ש inthat
text is disputed. חיש appears a number of times in the Hebrew of
Sirach, as at 13:11: וחיש ברל ןמאת לאו (“and do not believe his
abundantspeech”).Elsewhere, ַ חי ִ ש isalmostalwaysusedforacom-
plaint(1Sam1:16;Ps55:3[E=2];142:3[E=2];Job7:13;9:27;10:1;
etc.).Normally,ofcourse,apersonpoursouthiscomplainttoGod.
Here,however,itisverystrangetotreatthe3mssuffixasreferring
totheman,asthatwouldmeanthatGodwastellingamanwhatis
thatman’scomplaint.Thus,thesuffixmustrefertoGod.Theuseof
ַ ח ֵ ש hereisclosetoJob’suseof ַ חי ִ ש,whereitisaformalcomplaintor
accusation,analogoustoבי ִ ר.Sirach11:8,inacontextofadjudicat-
ingadispute,hasרבדת לא החיש ךותבו (“anddonotspeakwhile
[another]makeshiscase”).Thus,Godismakingknownhischarge
orgrievanceagainstaman,or,moreprobably,againsthumanity(so
understandingם ָ ד ָ א).
Line c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,2constituents,and3units.
֙ ר ַ ח ֙ ַ שׁ ה ֥ ֵ שֹע. Aconstructchainwithqalactiveparticipleofהשע
andanobjectivegenitive.
ה ֔ ָ פי ֵ ע. Asecondaryobject,theoutcomeofwhatGodmakesof
ר ַ ח ַ שׁ.Thislineisoftentranslated,“whomakesthedawnintodark-
ness,”withtheunderstandingthatthisisanapocalypticdarkeningof
theheavens.ShalomPaul,however,understandsthemeaningofthe
wordstobereversed,sothatitactuallymeans,“whomakesgloominto
shiningdawn”(Paul1991,155).Atissueiswhetherה ָ פי ֵ ע isderived
fromףוע,tobedark,orףעי,toshine.OnbalanceandagainstPaul,it
ismorelikelythatitisderivedfromףוע (seeNIDOTTE ףוע II).
Line d:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,2constituents,and3units.
ך֖ ֵ רֹדְ ו. Qalactiveparticipleofךרד withconjunction.
ץ ֶ ר ֑ ָ א י ֵ ת ֳ מ֣ ָ ב־ל ַ ע. Prepositional phrase with locative ל ַ ע. The
language of this verse has several analogies in the Bible. In Deuter-
128 Amos4:13
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onomy33:29Israeltreadson(לע ךרד)thebacks(ה ָ מ ָ ב)oftheirene-
mies.InHabakkuk3:19thepsalmistassertsthatGodmadehisfeet
asswiftasadeer’s,sothathecantreadon(לע ךרד)hills(ה ָ מ ָ ב).In
Micah1:3,YHWHcomesforthasawarriorandtramples(לע ךרד)
thehills(ה ָ מ ָ ב)sothattheymeltunderhim,andinJob9:8Godsteps
across(לע ךרד)thewaves(ה ָ מ ָ ב)ofthesea.Thesignificanceofה ָ מ ָ ב
hereisdebated.Interpretationsinclude:(1)YHWHislikeagigantic
figuresteppingfromhilltoptohilltop.(2)YHWHislikeavigorous
manwhowalksupanddownhillswithease.(3)YHWHistreading
on (i.e., crushing) the cultic high places of Canaan. Amos probably
impliesacombinationofideas,thatYHWHisvigorous,thatheisa
cosmicfiguresteppingacrosstheearth,andthatheisawarriorbefore
whom nothing can stand (the parallel to Mic 1:3 is especially tell-
ing).ThenotionofGodstampingoncultichighplacesmayalsobe
impliedasareflectionon4:4-5.(SeealsoCrenshaw1972,42–44).
Line e:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predica-
tors,2constituents,and4units.
תו ֖ א ָ ב ְ צ־י ֽ ֵ הל ֱ א ה֥ ָ והְ י. Thepredicateinaverblessclause.
ו ֽ מ ְ שׁ. Nounwith3mssuffix;thesubject.
5:1–6:14: Cruelty and Hollow religion II
With4:1-13,thisisthesecondoftwoindictmentsagainstIsraelforits
oppressionanditsemptyreligion.TheopeningcallforIsraeltolisten
toalament(5:1)misleadssomereaderstosupposethattheentiresec-
tionthatfollows,oftendefinedasincludingatleastallofchapter5,is
formallyalamentation.Thisisnotcorrect.Thelamentproperisonly
5:2;versessubsequenttothatareamixtureoforaclesandexhortations
of various kinds in both prose and poetry. On the other hand, the
lamentationmotifdoesprovideimportantstructureforthispassage.
Threetimesthemotifoflamentationisprominent:first,inalament
poem(5:2);second,inaprediction thatpeoplewillcallformourn-
ers(5:16-17);andthird,inanaccountofasceneinwhichtypically
therewouldbewailingandlamentationbutironicallylamentationis
Amos4:13–6:14 129
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absent(6:9-10).Thefulltextof5:1–6:14isboundedbyaninclusion
(seediscussionat6:14).Instructure,thisdivisionhasanintroduction
(5:1-3) followed by a series of accusations and warnings (5:4–6:8a),
afterwhichthereisajudgmentoracleintroducedbyalongandsol-
emndivinespeechformula(6:8b-11).Finally,thereisasummarizing
conclusion(6:12-14).Therearenumerousparallelelements,especially
insectionsI,IIandIII,asisapparentintheoutlinebelow.Amotifof
thistext,broughtoutclearlyintheproverbthatopenstheconcluding
summary(6:12a),isIsrael’sperversity,theideathatthenationbehaves
inawaythatisabsurdlywrongheaded.Thestructureis:
I.Introduction:(5:1-3)
A:TheCalltoHear(5:1)
B:TheLamentPoem(5:2)
C:TheOracleofDoom(5:3)
II:Accusations,Warnings,andExhortations(5:4–6:8a)
A:FirstSeries(5:4-15)
1:Accusation:ReligiousArrogance(5:4-7)
2:Doxology:YHWHMadetheHeavens(5:8-9)
3:Accusation:NoRespectforPoor(5:10-15)
B:DoomOraclePredictingLamentation(5:16-17)
A’:SecondSeries(5:18–6:8a)
1’:Accusation:ReligiousArrogance(5:18-24)
2’:QuestionandOracle:SkyGods(5:25-27)
3’:Accusation:ArrogantLuxuries(6:1-8a)
III.JudgmentontheHousesofSamaria(6:8b-11)
A:OracleofDoom(6:8b)
B:AMass-FuneralwithoutLamentation(6:9-10)
A’:OracleofDoom:(6:11)
130 Amos5:1–6:14
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IV.Summary(6:12-14)
A:Proverb(6:12a)
B:ProverbExpositionandAccusation(6:12b-13)
C:OracleofDoom(6:14)
Lookingatthedatainaslightlydifferentmanner,thistextcan
be seen as a pair of linked chiastic structures with a summarizing
conclusion.Thefirstchiasmusis5:1-17(A:doom[1-3],B:accusation
[4-7],C:doxology[8-9],B’:accusation[10-15],A’:doom[16-17]),and
thesecondchiasmusis5:16–6:11(A:doom[5:16-17],B:accusation
[5:18-24],C:skygods[5:25-27],B’:accusation[6:1-8a],andA’:doom
[6:8b-11]).Onthechiasmusof5:1-17,seealsodeWaard(1977).
1
Hear this word that I am raising against you as a lament, house of
Israel!
2
She has fallen never to rise again—
The Virgin Israel—
She is abandoned on her land with no one to raise her!
3
For thus says the Lord YHWH:
The city that sends out a thousand will have a hundred left,
And the one that sends out a hundred will have ten left in the house
of Israel.
4
For thus says YHWH to the house of Israel:
Seek me that you may live!
5
Do not seek Bethel!
And do not go to Gilgal!
And do not cross over to Beersheba!
For Gilgal will certainly go into exile,
And Bethel will become a disaster!
6
Seek YHWH that you may live!
Lest he rush upon the House of Joseph like a fire,
And it consume without anyone at Bethel to put it out,
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7
Where they turn justice to wormwood
And lay righteousness in the dirt.
8
He is the maker of Pleiades and Orion!
And he turns deep darkness to morning
And darkens daylight at night!
He calls to the waters of the sea
And then pours them out on the surface of the earth!
His name is YHWH!
9
He smiles destruction upon the strong
And destruction comes upon the fortress!
10
At the gate, they hate a reprover
And they abhor an honest speaker.
11
Therefore, because you impose a grain tax upon the poor
And you take a grain-duty from them,
You build houses of ashlar
But you will not dwell in them.
You build pleasant vineyards
But you will not drink their wine.
12
For I know that your transgressions are many,
(I know) that your sins are strong.
They attack a righteous man! They take bribes!
And they turn aside poor people at the gate.
13
Therefore the prudent man is silent in such a time as this;
It is indeed an evil time.
14
Seek good and not evil
So that you may live
And it may be true: ‘YHWH, God of Sabaoth be with you!’
Just as you say.
15
Hate evil and love good,
And establish justice at the gate!
Perhaps YHWH, God of Sabaoth, will favor
The remnant of Joseph.
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16
Therefore, thus says YHWH, God of Sabaoth, the Lord:
In all plazas, (there will be) lamentation!
And in all streets, they will say, “Woe! Woe!”
And they will call farmers to mourning
And (will call for) lamentation to those skilled in wailing!
17
And in all vineyards there will be lamentation!
For I will pass over in the midst of you,
Says YHWH.
18
Woe to those who desire the day of YHWH!
Why is the day of YHWH this to you?
It will be darkness and not light!
19
Just as though a man were to flee from a lion
And a bear met him.
Or he went home
And leaned his hand on the wall,
And a snake bit him.
20
Isn’t the day of YHWH darkness—not light —
And gloom without any brightness in it?
21
I hate, I despise your festivals,
And I will not show favor to your assemblies.
22
For even if you were to offer whole offerings to me,
I would neither be pleased with your gifts
Nor would I favorably look upon your peace offerings of fatted calves.
23
Get the noise of your songs away from me!
And I will not listen to the music of your lyres.
24
But let justice roll like water,
And (let) righteousness (roll) like a perennial stream!
25
Did you bring me sacrifices and offering for forty years in the wilder-
ness, house of Israel,
26
while you were carrying Sikkuth, your king, and
Kiyyun—your images, your astral deities that you made for yourselves?
Amos5:1–6:14 133
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27
But I shall exile you beyond Damascus,
Says YHWH, whose name is “God of the Heavenly Hosts.”
6:1
Alas! The carefree in Zion,
And those confident in the acropolis of Samaria!
They are marked as “the best of the nations”
And the house of Israel comes to them.
2
Cross over to Calneh and see!
And go from there to Great Hamath!
And go down to Gath of the Philistines!
Are you better than these kingdoms,
Or is their territory bigger than your territory?
3
They push away the evil day
And bring near the habitation of violence.
4
They lie on beds of ivory
And recline on their couches
And eat lambs from the flock
And calves from the midst of the stall!
5
They strum at the mouth of the lyre;
Like David they improvise for themselves upon musical instruments!
6
They drink with wine-bowls
And anoint (themselves) with the best of oils.
And they feel no distress over the breakup of Joseph.
7
Therefore, they will now go into exile at the head of the exiles
And the symposium of the reclining (revelers) will come to an end,
8
Swears the Lord YHWH by himself.
The oracle of YHWH, God of Sabaoth.
I abhor the pride of Jacob
And I hate his citadels,
And I will hand the city and the people who fill it over (to exile).
9
And it shall be that if ten persons are left in one household, they will
die.
10
And their Uncle Undertaker will take them up to remove the bodies
from the household, and he will say to the one who is in the back chamber
134 Amos5:1–6:14
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of the house, “Any more with you?” And (the one at the back) will say,
“That’s it!” And (Uncle Undertaker) will say, “Hush! For it is not right to
invoke YHWH’s name!”
11
For behold YHWH is issuing a command,
And he will knock the great house to pieces
And the small house to rubble.
12
Do horses run upon a rocky crag?
Or does one plow (a rocky crag) with oxen?
Well, you turn justice into the poisonous Rosh plant,
And the “righteousness plant” into bitter wormwood.
13
(You, who) rejoice at Lo-debar
And say,
“Didn’t we take Karnaim for ourselves by our own strength?”
14
For behold, House of Israel, I am raising up against you—the oracle
of YHWH, God of Sabaoth—a nation, and it will push you out (of the
land that stretches) from Lebo-Hamath to the Brook of the Arabah.
5:1-3: Introduction
Thistextbeginswithaprosecalltolistentoalament(v.1),followed
bythelamentitselfinv.2.Thelament,asiscustomary,ispoeticin
form.Ithasonestropheofthreelines.Thisisfollowedbyanoracle
thatexplainswhatpromptsthislament.
5:1: Call to Hear: A formal summons for Israel to listen to the
prophet,inprose,announcesalament.
ם֛ ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע א ֧ ֵ שֹ נ י ֜ ִ כֹ נ ָ א ר ֨ ֶ שׁ ֲ א ה ֗ ֶ ז ַ ה ר֣ ָ ב ָ ד ַ ה־ת ֶ א ו ֞ ע ְ מ ִ שׁ
׃ל ֽ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֥ ֵ ב ה֖ ָ ני ִ ק
Prose Clause:ל ֽ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֥ ֵ ב . . . ה֗ ֶ ז ַ ה ר֣ ָ ב ָ ד ַ ה־ת ֶ א ו ֞ ע ְ מ ִ שׁ
וע ְ מ ִ שׁ. the qal imperative m p of עמשׁ, opens major divisions
Amos5:1-3 135
5:1
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ofAmosat3:1;4:1;hereat5:1;and8:4.הֶ ז ַ ה ר ָ ב ָ ד ַ ה־ת ֶ א isthedirect
objectandל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֵ ב isavocativeconstructchain.
Prose Clause:ה֖ ָ ני ִ ק ם֛ ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע א֧ ֵ שֹ נ י ֜ ִ כֹ נ ָ א ר ֨ ֶ שׁ ֲ א
A relative clause headed by ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א, this interrupts the previous
clause.Theantecedentofר ֶ שׁ ֲ א isהֶ ז ַ ה ר ָ ב ָ ד ַ ה,andtherelativeisthe
direct object of א ֵ שֹ נ (qal active participle of אשנ with י ִ כֹ נ ָ א as the
subject). The prepositional phrase ם ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע is a complement meaning
“concerning you” or “against you.” הָ ני ִ ק, “lament,” is in apposition
toר ֶ שׁ ֲ א.
5:2: The Lament Poem: The lament proper is made of a single
stanza(onestropheofthreelines).Itservestointroducetheaccusa-
tion,exhortations,andjudgmentsthatfollow.Thereisaninclusion
construction in that lines a and c both begin with a qatal 3 f s and
bothstartwithנ,andbothlinesendwiththerootםוק.
םו ֔ ק ףי ֣ ִ סות־א ֽ ֹל ֙ ה ָ ל ְ פֽ ָ נ
ל ֑ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י ת֖ ַ לות ְ ב
׃ה ֽ ָ מי ִ ק ְ מ ןי ֥ ֵ א ה ֖ ָ ת ָ מ ְ ד ַ א־ל ַ ע ה ֥ ָ שׁ ְ טִ נ
Line a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:2
predicators,2constituents,and3units.
֙ ה ָ ל ְ פֽ ָ נ. Qalqatal 3fsofלפנ.
םו ֔ ק ףי ֣ ִ סות־אֽ ֹל. Negated hiphil yiqtol 3 f s of ףסי with qal
infinitiveconstructofםוק asanauxiliary.Theverbףסי(hiphilstem),
whennegated,oftentakesaninfinitiveasitsauxiliarytomean,“shall
not do (X) anymore.” The asyndeton with a negated yiqtol after a
qatal alsomakesthisclauseeffectivelyadverbialafterה ָ ל ְ פָ נ;itcould
betranslatedas“nevertoriseagain.”
Line b:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:0pred-
icators,1constituents,and2units.
5:2 a
b
c
136 Amos5:1-2
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ל֑ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י ת֖ ַ לות ְ ב. Thesubjectofthetwopriorverbsisnotnamed
untilthesecondlineandissetbyitselfbetweenthetwolinesofthe
inclusion. This makes the naming of Israel as the object of lament
more prominent. Describing a nation as a “virgin” suggests that it
oughttobeimpregnable;itisnotastatementaboutthemoralquality
ofthecitizens.
Line c:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:2predica-
tors,4constituents,and4units.Likelinea,thislinehastwoclauses
withasyndeton.
ה ֥ ָ שׁ ְ טִ נ. Niphalqatal 3fsofשׁטנ.Therootmeanstoleavesome-
thingalone(suchasleavinggroundfallow,Exod23:11),ortoaban-
donsomething.Thatwhichisabandonedinthismanner(niphalstem
of שׁטנ) may run rampant, as there is nothing to restrain it (Judg
15:9;Isa16:8),oritmaybeleftdesolateandwithouthelp,asisthe
casehere.
ה֖ ָ ת ָ מ ְ ד ַ א־ל ַ ע. Prepositional phrase with locative ל ַ ע on the
nounה ָ מ ָ ד ֲ א witha3fssuffix(ל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תַ לות ְ ב istheantecedentof
thesuffix).
ןי ֥ ֵ א. Thesecondpredicator.Againthereisasyndetonafteraqatal
form,andagainthiscouldberenderedadverbially,“withoutanyone
toraiseher.”
ה ֽ ָ מי ִ ק ְ מ. Hiphilparticiplemsofםוק with3fssuffix.Withןי ֵ א,
thisformsonepredicator,aperiphrasticconstruction.
5:3: Oracle: A prophecy of military disaster explains why the
lamentisnecessary.Afteraprosedivinespeechformulaintroducing
theoracle,theoracleitselfisatwo-linepoem.Theoracleassertsthat
Israelwillsufferveryhighcasualties(90percentiftakenliterally)in
acomingconflict.
הִ֔ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א ֙ ר ַ מ ָ א ה ֤ ֹכ י ֣ ִ כ
Amos5:2-3 137
5:3a
Garrett Amos final.indd 137 6/6/08 2:25:14 PM
The above is a divine speech formula in prose with ר ַ מ ָ א, a qal
qatal 3msofרמא.
5:3b: Judgment Poem:Twolines.Thiscouldbecalledanoracleof
doom, describing as it does a military disaster (oracular statements
canbeveryshortpoems).Itlooksbacktotheinitialjudgmentagainst
Israelin2:14-16.
ה ֑ ָ א ֵ מ רי ֣ ִ א ְ שׁ ַ ת ף ֶ ל ֖ ֶ א תא֥ ֵ צֹי ַ ה רי ֛ ִ ע ָ ה
ס ׃ל ֽ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֥ ֵ ב ְ ל ה ֖ ָ ר ָ ש ֲ ע רי ֥ ִ א ְ שׁ ַ ת ה ֛ ָ א ֵ מ תא֥ ֵ צוי ַ ה ְ ו
Line a:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:2pred-
icators,3constituents,and5units.
ף ֶ ל ֖ ֶ א תא֥ ֵ צֹי ַ ה רי ֛ ִ ע ָ ה. Bothתא ֵ צֹי ַ ה (qalactive participle fsof
אצי)andthenumeralף ֶ ל ֶ א areinappositiontoרי ִ ע ָ ה.The“city”here
bysynecdocherepresentsthemilitarymenofthatcity.Theparticiple
formsarelativeclause.
רי ֣ ִ א ְ שׁ ַ ת. Hiphilyiqtol 3fsofראשׁ.Theyiqtol hereisasimple
futureindicative;thisisapredictivetext.
ה֑ ָ א ֵ מ. is a complement to the verb and has the phrase רי ִ ע ָ ה
ף ֶ ל ֶ א תא ֵ צֹי ַ ה asitsantecedent.
Line b:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:2predica-
tors,4constituents,and5units(asapropername,ל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֵ ב canbe
countedasasingleunit).
ה֛ ָ א ֵ מ תא֥ ֵ צוי ַ הְ ו. There is gapping of רי ִ ע ָ ה from line a. This
participlephraseservesasanotherrelativeclause.
רי ֥ ִ א ְ שׁ ַ ת. Hiphilyiqtol 3fsofראשׁ.
ה֖ ָ ר ָ ש ֲ ע. functionsthesameasה ָ א ֵ מ inlinea.
ל ֽ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֥ ֵ ב ְ ל. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ל,whichishereprop-
erly possessive in meaning although it might be translated, “in the
houseofIsrael.”
5:3b a
b
138 Amos5:3
Garrett Amos final.indd 138 6/6/08 2:25:14 PM
5:4-15: First Series of Accusations, Warnings, and Exhortations
This series, as described above, is in three parts: an accusation that
focusesonreligiousarrogance(5:4-7);adoxologytoYHWH,maker
andgovernoroftheHeavens(5:8-9);andasecondaccusationfocusing
onhowthepoorareabusedbeforethecourts(5:10-15).Theoverall
messageisthatthisisatopsy-turvyworld,inwhichwrongbehavior
andconceptsaboutGodaresubstitutedforwhatisright.
5:4-7: Accusation Concerning Religious Arrogance: Thepoem,
afteraprosedivinespeechformula,isintwostrophes.Thereisachi-
asticstructureinthefirststrophe,asfollows:
A:Seekandlive(line1a)
B:Bethel(line1b)
C:Gilgal(line1c)
D:Beersheba(line1d)
C’:Gilgal(line1e)
B’:Bethel(line1f )
A’:Seekandlive(line1g).
Thischiasmusisfollowedbyasecondstrophe,awarningintro-
ducedby ן ֶ פ(lines2a-2d).
ל ֑ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֣ ֵ ב ְ ל ה֖ ָ והְ י ר ֛ ַ מ ָ א ה ֥ ֹכ י ֣ ִ כ
A prose divine speech formula preceded by י ִ כ, which here is
probably explanatory (“for”), with ר ַ מ ָ א, a qal qatal 3 m s of רמא.
Theprepositionalphraseל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֵ ב ְ ל namesthepoem’saddressee.
5:4b-6a: First Strophe.Sevenlines.Theinitialimperativemarks
this as a directive text-type, as the poem uses commands, purpose
clauses, prohibitions, and explanatory clauses to make its exhorta-
tion.
Amos5:4-15 139
5:4a
Garrett Amos final.indd 139 6/6/08 2:25:14 PM
׃ו ֽ י ְ חֽ ִ ו י ִ נו ֖ שׁ ְ ר ִ ד
ל ֵ֔ א־תי ֽ ֵ ב ֙ ושׁ ְ ר ְ ד ִ ת־ל ֽ ַ אְ ו
וא ֔ ֹב ָ ת א ֣ ֹל ֙ ל ָ ג ְ ל ִ ג ַ ה ְ ו
ור ֑ ֹב ֲ ע ַ ת א ֣ ֹל ע ַ ב ֖ ֶ שׁ ר ֥ ֵ א ְ בו
ה ֔ ֶ ל ְ ג ִ י ה ֣ ל ָ ג ֙ ל ָ ג ְ ל ִ ג ַ ה י ֤ ִ כ
׃ן ֶ ו ֽ ָ א ְ ל ה֥ ֶ י ְ הִ י ל ֖ ֵ א־תי ֽ ֵ בו
ו ֑ י ְ חֽ ִ ו ה֖ ָ והְ י־ת ֶ א ו ֥ שׁ ְ ר ִ ד
Line 1a:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:2predi-
cators,2constituents,and2units.
י ִ נו ֖ שׁ ְ ר ִ ד. Qalimperativempofשׁרד with1cssuffixandener-
gicנ.SeeGKC§58i.
ו ֽ י ְ חֽ ִ ו. Qalimperativempofהיח.Althoughitmaybetranslated
simplyas“andlive,”itprobablyisimplyingpurpose(“sothatyoumay
live”).SeetheparalleltothisverbinAmos5:14,וי ְ ח ִ ת ן ַ ע ַ מְ ל,andcf.
ה ָ כ ָ ר ְ ב הֵ י ְ הֶ ו (“sothatyoumaybeablessing”)inGenesis12:2.
Line 1b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and2units.
֙ ושׁ ְ ר ְ ד ִ ת־ל ֽ ַ אְ ו. Negatedqalyiqtol 2mpofשׁרד (usedforapro-
hibition).Thenegativeל ַ א ratherthanאֹל mayhavebeenusedhere
asaplayonthenameל ֵ א־תי ֵ ב.Contrasttheuseofאֹל inlines1cand
1d,andnotetheinclusionstructureformedbyלא atthebeginning
andendofthisline.
ל ֵ֔ א־תי ֽ ֵ ב. The direct object. The shrine here is synecdoche for
thereligiousleadershipthere.SetupasarivalshrinetotheJerusalem
temple,itisalsoimplicitlyarivaltoGod.
Line 1c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.Thislinehasachiasticstruc-
turewithline1b.
5:4b
5:5
5:6a
1a
1b
1c
1d
1e
1f
1g
140 Amos5:4-6
Garrett Amos final.indd 140 6/6/08 2:25:15 PM
֙ ל ָ ג ְ ל ִ ג ַ הְ ו. Onemightexpectadirectiveה orprepositionל ֶ א here,
butomittingitmakesforabetterparalleltoל ֵ א־תי ֵ ב.Gilgalwason
thewestsideoftheJordannearJericho(Josh4:19).Asthefirstground
occupiedbyIsraelwestoftheJordanandasthespotwherethedis-
graceofanuncircumcisedgenerationwasremoved(Josh5:2-9),Gil-
galbecameamajorculticsite.Samuelvisiteditannually,alongwith
BethelandMizpah,inthecircuitofhisministry(1Sam7:16),and
thesiteappearsrepeatedlyintheSamuelnarrative.
וא ֔ ֹב ָ ת א֣ ֹל. Negatedqalyiqtol 2mpofאוב usedforaprohibi-
tion.Asageneralrule,ל ַ א oftenmarksatemporaryorspecificpro-
hibitionwhileאֹל marksapermanentorgeneralone,butthisisnot
alwaysthecase,asitclearlyisnothere.Amosisnotsayingthatnoone
shouldevergotoGilgal.
Line 1d: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.Thislineissyntacticallyparal-
lelto1c,andthusit,too,isboundto1b.Lines1b-darethusasingle
setofprohibitions.
ע ַ ב ֖ ֶ שׁ ר ֥ ֵ א ְ בו. ItissurprisingthatthepeopleofSamariawould
crossJudahtomakeapilgrimagetoBeersheba,butthesiteisimpor-
tantinthestoriesofAbraham.Adismantledaltarwasfoundinlayer
III–II of Beersheba (Tell es-Seba), suggesting that a cult flourished
theirduringthedividedmonarchyperiod.Thealtarmayhavebeen
dismantled as part of the reforms of Hezekiah (see ABD, “Beer-
Sheba”).
ור ֑ ֹב ֲ ע ַ ת א֣ ֹל. Negatedqalyiqtol 2mpofרבע usedforaprohibi-
tion. The use of רבע reflects the fact that the pilgrims had to cross
through Judahite territory. There is assonance ofר ֵ א ְ בו at the begin-
ningofthelinewithורֹב ֲ ע ַ ת attheendwiththerepetitionofב andר.
Line 1e:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and3units.
֙ ל ָ ג ְ ל ִ ג ַ ה י ֤ ִ כ. Theי ִ כ isexplanatory.Thereisobviouslyassonance
betweenל ָ ג ְ ל ִ ג ַ ה andthefollowingה ֶ לְ גִ י הל ָ ג.
Amos5:4-6 141
Garrett Amos final.indd 141 6/6/08 2:25:15 PM
ה ֔ ֶ לְ גִ י ה֣ ל ָ ג. Qalinfinitiveabsoluteofהלג withtheqalyiqtol 3m
softhesameroothereexpressescertainty.
Line 1f:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units.
ל֖ ֵ א־תי ֽ ֵ בו. Inthechiasticstructure,Bethelheadsandconcludes
the list of towns, attesting to its prominence in the religious life of
Israel.
ה֥ ֶ י ְ הִ י. Qal yiqtol 3 m s of היה. Used with ְ ל, it often means
“become”(HALOT היה Qal7c).
ן ֶ ו ֽ ָ אְ ל. Theuseofן ֶ ו ָ א (heremeaning“disaster”or“nothingness”;
cf.Paul1991,164)asawordplayonthenameל ֵ א־תי ֵ ב istakenupin
Hosea4:15;5:8.Thatis,insteadofbeingthe“HouseofGod”(ל ֵ א)it
isthe“HouseofNothingness”(ן ֶ ו ָ א).
Line 1g: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 2
predicators,3constituents,and3units.
ו ֥ שׁ ְ ר ִ ד. Qalimperativempofשׁרד.
ה֖ ָ והְ י־ת ֶ א. Incontrasttoline1a,whichhas“seekme,”theparal-
lelherehasthedivinename.
ו ֑ י ְ חֽ ִ ו. Again, the qal imperative m p of היח probably connotes
purpose(seeline1a).
5:6b-7: Second Strophe.Fourlinesintwobicola.Becauseofthe
close connection between םי ִ כ ְ פֹה ַ ה in 2c and ל ֵ א־תי ֵ ב ְ ל in 2b, these
lines should not be separated into two different strophes (see com-
mentsonline2cbelow).
ף ֵ֔ סוי תי ֣ ֵ ב ֙ שׁ ֵ א ָ כ ח֤ ַ ל ְ צִ י־ן ֶ פ
׃ל ֽ ֵ א־תי ֽ ֵ ב ְ ל ה֖ ֶ ב ַ כ ְ מ־ןי ֵ אְ ו ה֥ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו
ט֑ ָ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ ה֖ ָ נ ֲ ע ַ ל ְ ל םי ֥ ִ כ ְ פֹה ַ ה
׃וחי ֽ ִ נ ִ ה ץ ֶ ר ֥ ָ א ָ ל ה ֖ ָ ק ָ ד ְ צו
5:6b
5:7
2a
2b
2c
2d
142 Amos5:4-7
Garrett Amos final.indd 142 6/6/08 2:25:16 PM
Line 2a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1 predicator, 3 constituents, and 3 units. This treats ף ֵ סוי תי ֵ ב as a
propernameandthereforeasingleunit.
ח֤ ַ ל ְ צִ י־ן ֶ פ. Theuseofן ֶ פ tobeginastrophemayseemunusual,
butcf.Ps7:3(E2);Job32:13;Prov5:9.ן ֶ פ alsobeginsasentenceat
Deuteronomy 8:12. The qal yiqtol 3 m s of חלצ is somewhat enig-
matic,asthatrootoftenmeansto“besuccessful”(Isa54:17)or“be
useful” (Jer 13:10; Ezek 15:4). However, the verb can also mean to
“rush upon” (Judg 14:6), where the subject is the הוהי ַ חור. Here,
YHWHrushesupontheHouseofJosephasanenemy.
֙ שׁ ֵ א ָ כ. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ כ usedforasimile.Notethat
YHWH,notthefire,istheactualsubjectoftheverbחַ ל ְ צִ י.
ף ֵ֔ סוי תי֣ ֵ ב. Aconstructchaindirectobject.
Line 2b:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:2predi-
cators,4constituents,and4units.
ה֥ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו. Qal weqatal 3 f s of לכא. The simile of the fire is
extendedhere.
ןי ֵ אְ ו. Althoughןי ֵ א isasecondpredicatorintheHebrewgram-
mar of this line, it can be translated adverbially as a circumstantial
clause,“withouttherebeing.”
ה֖ ֶ ב ַ כ ְ מ. Thepielparticiplemsofהבכ ishereusedperiphrasti-
callywithןי ֵ אְ ו.
ל ֽ ֵ א־תי ֽ ֵ ב ְ ל. Thepreposition ְ ל mayexpresseitheradvantage(“for
the sake of ”) or possession. The latter is probably preferable, and it
herecouldbetranslatedas“at.”
Line 2c: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
םי ֥ ִ כ ְ פֹה ַ ה. Qalparticiplempofךפה withdefinitearticle,here
servingasarelativeclause.Whatistheantecedentofthisparticiple?
Clearly this cannot be linked to the following verse, a doxology to
YHWH.Theverbוחי ִ נ ִ ה inline2disthirdperson(andlines2cand
Amos5:6-7 143
Garrett Amos final.indd 143 6/6/08 2:25:16 PM
2dareobviouslyboundtogether),whichindicatesthattheanteced-
ent to םי ִ כ ְ פֹה ַ ה is not the implied second person “you” of ושׁ ְ ר ִ ד
inline1g.Thismeansthatthecommontranslation,“youthatturn
justicetowormwood”(thustheNRSV;theESVandNIVaresimilar)
cannotbecorrect.Theantecedentcanonlybetheimpliedpeopleat
Bethelfromline2b,andismostlikelythepriestsandotherofficialsof
thatshrine.Theparticipleisthereforeimplicitlyexplanatory,assert-
ingthatIsraelshouldnotgotoBethelbecausetheprieststhereturn
justice to wormwood. To bring out this connection to Bethel, one
canrendertheparticipleas“wheretheyturn,”asisdoneintheabove
translation.
ה֖ ָ נ ֲ ע ַ ל ְ ל. After ךפה, the preposition ְ ל points to the thing into
whichsomethingischanged.
ט֑ ָ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ. Thedirectobject.Thepointisthatthepriestsandoffi-
cials at Bethel and the other shrines give teachings and rulings that
areperverse.
Line 2d: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 1
predicator, 3 constituents, and 3 units. This line is bound to 2c in
a chiasmus, indicating that the two lines describe a single event or
circumstance.
ה ֖ ָ ק ָ ד ְ צו. The direct object. The conjunction binds this line to
theprevious.ה ָ ק ָ ד ְ צ herestandsforthepreceptsofrightreligion.
ץ ֶ ר ֥ ָ אָ ל. Thepreposition ְ ל isheredirectional.ץ ֶ ר ֶ א isherebetter
translatedas“dirt”than“land”or“earth.”
וחי ֽ ִ נ ִ ה. Hiphilqatal 3cpof ַ חונ.Thehiphilofthisroothastwo
different forms, with the one ( ַ חי ִ נ ֵ ה) generally having a meaning of
“givingrepose”tosomethingor“satisfying”it,andtheother( ַ חי ִ נ ִ ה)
meaningto“laydown”or“leavebehind”(seeHALOT).Thisisthe
secondform.
5:8-9: Doxology: YHWH, Ruler of the Skies: The following
poem is one stanza in two strophes. It has one unusual feature: the
nominalclauseומ ְ שׁ הָ והְ י inline1fsuggeststhatthedoxologyends
here (see 4:13; 9:6). However, lines 2a-b seem to function as a dark
144 Amos5:6-7
Garrett Amos final.indd 144 6/6/08 2:25:16 PM
and unexpected afterthought; the cosmic deity YHWH, who con-
trolsdaysandseasonsandrains,isbringinghispoweragainsthuman
institutions.ItmaybethatAmoshasadded5:9toanalreadyfamiliar
doxology in 5:8. The insertion of this doxology at this point seems
arbitrary,butitservestwopurposes.First,byproclaimingthecosmic
powerofYHWH,itrebukestheattemptstodomesticatehim,treat-
inghimasagodoftheshrineswhocanbeappeasedbypilgrimages
andofferings.Second,itsetsupacontrasttotheIsraeliteadorationof
skydeitiesin5:25-27.
5:8: First Strophe. Sixlines.Thereisaninclusionwithanominal
clauseateachendofthepoem(lines1aand1f ).Withinthat,there
are two couplets (1b-c and 1d-e), each having a periphrastic parti-
cipleinthefirstlineandafiniteverbinthesecondline.Thefocusis
onYHWH’spowersovertheskyandseas,asheisbothmakerand
governoroftheheavenlybodiesandtheonewhosendsrain.Thereis
nothingthreateninginthispictureofYHWH;itismadethreatening
byaddedsecondstrophe.
לי ִ֗ ס ְ כו ה ֜ ָ מי ִ כ ה ֨ ֵ שֹע
תֶ ו ֔ ָ מ ְ ל ַ צ ֙ ר ֶ ק ֨ ֹב ַ ל ך֤ ֵ פֹה ְ ו
ךי ֑ ִ שׁ ְ ח ֶ ה ה ָ לְ י֣ ַ ל םו ֖ י ְ ו
ם֗ ָ י ַ ה־י ֽ ֵ מ ְ ל א֣ ֵ רוק ַ ה
ץ ֶ ר ֖ ָ א ָ ה י֥ ֵ נ ְ פ־ל ַ ע ם֛ ֵ כ ְ פ ְ שִׁ י֑ ֽ ַ ו
ס ׃ו ֽ מ ְ שׁ ה֥ ָ והְ י
Line 1a:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators,2constituents,and3units.
ה ֨ ֵ שֹע. Qalactiveparticiplemsconstructofהשע.Onthesyntax
oftheparticiple,seeline1b.
לי ִ֗ ס ְ כו ה ֜ ָ מי ִ כ. ThesearewidelyregardedasrespectivelythePle-
iades and Orion. These constellations are associated with the New
Amos5:8 145
5:8 1a
1b
1c
1d
1e
1f
Garrett Amos final.indd 145 6/6/08 2:25:17 PM
Yearandthechangefromwintertosummer,andthustheirmention
hereimpliesthatYHWHgovernstheseasons(Paul1991,168).
Line 1b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ך֤ ֵ פֹהְ ו. Qal active participle m s of ךפה functioning as a peri-
phrastic predicator. There are two possible interpretations of this
and the previous participle. They could be substantival in verbless
clauses,asin“(heis)makerofthePleiadesandOrion.”Or,theycould
periphrastic, as in, “and(he) turns darkness to morning.”Infact,it
appearsthat,notwithstandingtheformalsimilaritybetweenlines1a
and1b,ה ֵ שֹע issubstantivalandך ֵ פֹהְ ו isperiphrastic.Line1arefers
toasingleeventinthepastandnottoongoingactivity,butline1b
refers to ongoing activity. Also, line 1b is bound in a chiasmus to
thefiniteverbinline1c,whichimpliesthatך ֵ פֹהְ ו isverbalandnot
substantival.
֙ ר ֶ ק ֨ ֹב ַ ל. Thereisprobablysomeintendedironyintherepetition
oftheidiom ְ ל ךפה hereafteritsusagein5:7.
תֶ ו ֔ ָ מְ ל ַ צ. Thedirectobject.
Line 1c: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
םו ֖ י ְ ו. Thedirectobject.
ה ָ לְ י֣ ַ ל. Wemighthaveexpectedthepreposition ְ ל,meaning“into
night.” The lack of the preposition suggests that ה ָ לְ י ַ ל is here tem-
poral,“atnight.”Butitshouldnotbetakenapocalyptically(as,“he
makesdayasdarkasnight”)sinceeverythingelseinlinesa-frelates
to the normal functioning of the cosmos and not to an apocalyptic
calamity.
ךי ֑ ִ שׁ ְ ח ֶ ה. Hiphilqatal 3msofךשׁח.Thechangefromparticiple
inline1btothepattern ְ ו +[X]+qatal herecreatescontrastivematch-
ing for the two lines (i.e., it is conceptually a single event that goes
throughcyclesofdayandnight).
Line 1d:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.
146 Amos5:8
Garrett Amos final.indd 146 6/6/08 2:25:17 PM
א֣ ֵ רוק ַ ה. Qal active participle m s of ארק with definite article
andformingaperiphrasticrelativeclause.
ם֗ ָ י ַ ה־י ֽ ֵ מְ ל. Thepreposition ְ ל heremarkstheaddressee.
Line 1e:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.
ם֛ ֵ כ ְ פ ְ שִׁ י֑ ֽ ַ ו. Qalwayyiqtol 3msofךפשׁ with3mpsuffix.The
wayyiqtol isusedherebecausethewayyiqtol moreclearlysuggeststhe
idea of sequential action (rather than the cyclic pattern of lines 1b-
c).Theideaofsequencemaybeincludedinthetranslationwiththe
Englishword“then,”asisdoneabove.
ץ ֶ ר ֖ ָ א ָ ה י֥ ֵ נ ְ פ־ל ַ ע. Prepositional phrase with ל ַ ע on a construct
chain.Theprepositionisdirectional,markingmotionfromabove.
Line 1f:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators, 2 constituents, and 2 units. It is impossible to tell with cer-
tainty which noun in this nominal clause is the subject and which
is the predicate. Probably the suffixed noun is the subject and the
predicate,הָ והְ י,isfrontedasthefocusoftheclause.
ה֥ ָ והְ י. Propernameaspredicate(orsubject).
ו ֽ מ ְ שׁ. Suffixednounassubject(orpredicate).
5:9: Second Strophe. Twolines.Asdescribedabove,thiscomesas
an unexpected amendment to the doxology after line 1f. Praised as
adeityofskyandsea,YHWHseemssafelydistant.Suddenly,heis
threateninglyclose.
ז ֑ ָ ע־ל ַ ע ד ֖ ֹשׁ גי ֥ ִ ל ְ ב ַ מ ַ ה
׃או ֽ בָ י ר֥ ָ צ ְ ב ִ מ־ל ַ ע ד ֖ ֹשְׁ ו
Line 2a: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
גי ֥ ִ ל ְ ב ַ מ ַ ה. Hiphilparticiplemsofגלב withdefinitearticle.The
hiphilofגלב elsewheremeansto“smile”(Ps39:14[E=13];Job9:27;
Amos5:8-9 147
5:9 2a
2b
Garrett Amos final.indd 147 6/6/08 2:25:18 PM
10:20). Some resolve the problem by emending the text (e.g., Mays
1969, 95, reads לי ִ פ ַ מ ַ ה. “who sends down”; Wolff 1977, 229, reads
לי ִ ד ְ ב ַ מ ַ ה, supposedly “who appoints,” on the basis of the LXX (o
öioipov). For discussion of other proposed emendations, see Zalc-
man(1981).Butsuchemendationisguessworkandhardlypersuasive.
Sometake“smile”toconnoteashiningorflashingcountenance,and
thustranslatethewordhereas“flashforth,”butothersaredubious
ofthis(e.g.,Paul1991,169).Itmaybethatגי ִ ל ְ ב ַ מ ַ ה connotesmock-
ing or laughing at, as do קחש and געל in Psalm 2:4. The benefi-
cent management of the cosmos in lines 1a-f is therefore ironically
reversed.God’spowerovertheworldissuchthathesmiles,butnot
benevolently,onthehumanpowerthatopposeshim,andheuseshis
cosmicpowertobringdestructionuponthem.
ד ֖ ֹשׁ. Although the hiphil of גלב is elsewhere intransitive (Ps
39:14[E13];Job9:27;10:20),דֹשׁ appearstobeadirectobject.The
resultantoxymoron,“hesmilesdestruction,”isprobablyaspeculiarin
HebrewasitisinEnglish,butitisintelligibleincontext.
ז ֑ ָ ע־ל ַ ע. Inlightoftheverbusedhere,theprepositionmayspeak
ofapotentialorimminentdestructionhangingabovethestrong,and
theadjectiveisusedsubstantively.
Line 2b:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units.
ד ֖ ֹשְׁ ו. Neitherthisnorthepreviousoccurrenceofדֹשׁ shouldbe
emended,astherepetitionconnotesthefulfillmentofaprocess:God
conceivesofand“smilesdestruction”uponthemighty,andthenthat
destructiondoesinfactcome.Notethatthepatternofline3ais:par-
ticiple+דֹשׁ +prepositionל ַ ע,whilethepatternofline3bis:דֹשׁ +
prepositionל ַ ע +yiqtol.Thatis,thetwolinesarepairedinamanner
analogoustothatoflines1b-candlines2a-b,onlyherethepattern
isoneofanticipationandfulfillment.Thatis,line3asuggestsdivine
intent,andline3bsuggeststhefulfillment,inanegativecounterpart
totheword-creationsequenceseeninGenesis1.Thusitishere,and
notinstrophe1,thatthereisanapocalypticelement.Thebenevolent
148 Amos5:9
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creator God of strophe 1 becomes the destructive, apocalyptic God
instrophe2.
ר֥ ָ צ ְ ב ִ מ־ל ַ ע. The preposition ל ַ ע again is directional, marking
motionfromabove.
או ֽ בָ י. Qalyiqtol 3msofאוב.
5:10-15: Accusation: No Respect for the Poor: Thefundamental
accusationhereisthatthepowerfulclassexploitsthepoorbyimpos-
ingseveretaxesontheirgrainharvestsandthen,bymeansofitscon-
trolofthecourtsystem,thwartsanyeffortsbythepoortogetjustice.
Sinceitscontrolofthecourtsisthekeytoitsabilitytofleecethepoor,
the aristocracy is openlyhostile to anyone who feels obligedto deal
honestly and fairly with legal cases. Thus, honest men are silenced.
The structure of this poem is as follows. The first two strophes are
bound by a chiastic pattern (third person / second person // second
person / third person). The third strophe is an exhortation that fol-
lowsfromtheaccusations.
Stanza 1:Firstaccusationpair(5:10-11)
Strophe 1:Accusationinthirdperson(5:10)
Strophe 2: Protasis-Apodosis; accusation and judgment in sec-
ondperson(5:11)
Stanza 2:Secondaccusationpair(5:12-13)
Strophe 1:Accusationinsecondperson(5:12a)
Strophe 2:Protasis-Apodosis;accusationandsocialconsequence
inthirdperson(5:12b-13)
Stanza 3:Exhortation(5:14-15)
Strophe 1: “Seekgoodandnotevil”(5:14)
Strophe 2:“Hateevilandlovegood”(5:12b-13)
5:10-11: First Stanza. Two strophes respectively of two and six
lines.Thefirststrophemakesageneralaccusationabouttheantago-
nism displayed toward honest people who take part in judicial pro-
ceedings.Byitself,thisisdifficultforthereadertounderstandasithas
Amos5:9-15 149
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nocontext.However,thesecondstropheexplainswhymenofintegrity
areunwelcomeatcourt.
5:10: First Strophe. Twolinesinchiasticparallelism.
ַ חי ֑ ִ כומ ר ַ ע ֖ ַ ש ַ ב ו ֥ אְ נ ָ ש
׃ובֽ ֵ ע ָ תְ י םי ֖ ִ מ ָ ת ר ֥ ֵ בֹד ְ ו
Line A1a: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ו ֥ אְ נ ָ ש. Qalqatal 3cpofאנש.Theqatal hereconnotesgnomic
ortypicalaction.
ר ַ ע ֖ ַ ש ַ ב. Thepreposition ְ ב islocative,andthegaterepresentsthe
lawcourts.
ַ חי ֑ ִ כומ. Hiphilparticiplemsofחכי (usedsubstantivelyandnot
as a predicator here). This is a person who openly criticizes corrupt
practicesduringcourtproceedings.Amoderncounterpartwouldbe
a“whistle-blower.”
Line A1b:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,2constituents,and3units.
םי ֖ ִ מ ָ ת ר֥ ֵ בֹדְ ו. Qalactiveparticiplemsofרבד withconjunction
andtheadjectiveםי ִ מ ָ ת.This isapersonwhotestifieshonestlyina
courtcase.Theparticipleissubstantival.
ובֽ ֵ ע ָ תְ י. Pielyiqtol 3mpofבעת.Boththeqatal andtheyiqtol
canbeusedforgnomicaction.
5:11: Second Strophe. Six lines, including a protasis (lines A2a-
b) and an apodosis (lines A2c-f ). The apodosis is a loose citation of
Deuteronomy 28:30. The punishment fits the crimes, but being an
allusiontoDeuteronomy28:30,italsoimpliesthatthecursesofDeu-
teronomy28havefallenuponIsrael.Thisapodosis,moreover,isitself
madeoftwobicola(A2c-dandA2e-f ),eachoneaprotasis-apodosis
construction.Thusthetexthasacomplexprotasis-apodosisstructure,
asfollows:
150 Amos5:10-11
5:10 A1a
A1b
Garrett Amos final.indd 150 6/6/08 2:25:19 PM
Majorprotasis
LineA2a
LineA2b
Majorapodosis
LineA2c Minorprotasis1
LineA2d Minorapodosis1
LineA2e Minorprotasis2
LineA2f Minorapodosis2
ל ֗ ָ ד־ל ַ ע ם ֞ ֶ כ ְ ס ַ שׁוב ן ַ ע֣ ַ י ן ֵ כ ָ ל
ונ ֔ ֶ מ ִ מ ו ֣ ח ְ ק ִ ת ֙ ר ַ ב־ת ַ א ְ ש ַ מו
ם ֖ ֶ תי ִ נ ְ ב תי֛ ִ ז ָ ג י ֥ ֵ ת ָ ב
ם֑ ָ ב וב ְ שׁ֣ ֵ ת־אֹל ְ ו
ם ֔ ֶ ת ְ ע ַ טְ נ ד ֶ מ֣ ֶ ח־י ֵ מ ְ ר ַ כ
׃םֽ ָ ני ֵ י־ת ֶ א ו ֖ ת ְ שׁ ִ ת א ֥ ֹל ְ ו
Line A1a:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,3constituents,and3units.
ן ֵ כ ָ ל. Thewordן ֵ כ ָ ל hasbeenmovedupintotheprotasisandaway
fromitsnormalplaceintheapodosis.Thisplacingofן ֵ כ ָ ל makesthe
apodosisrhetoricallystronger,asitdoesnotbeginwithatransitional
adverb.
ם ֞ ֶ כ ְ ס ַ שׁוב ן ַ ע֣ ַ י. ThisistheonlyplaceintheHebrewBiblewhere
ן ַ עַ י (“because”)immediatelyfollowsן ֵ כ ָ ל;itisן ַ עַ י thatmarksthisline
astheprotasis.Theverbם ֶ כ ְ ס ַ שׁוב isoftenregardedasapoelinfini-
tiveconstructofסוב,to“trample,”butitmoreprobablyisacognate
ofAkkadiansabas ̄ u sibsa,“toextractagraintax”(HALOT סשׁב).In
Hebrew,theשׁ and ְ ב metathesized(Paul1991,173,suggeststhatit
shouldherebepointedasaQalinfinitiveconstructwith2mpsuffix
as ם ֶ כ ְ ס ְ שׁ ָ ב). Officials of the royal government apparently taxed the
Amos5:11 151
5:11 A2a
A2b
A2c
A2d
A2e
A2f
Garrett Amos final.indd 151 6/6/08 2:25:19 PM
peasants exorbitantly for their crops and also skimmed off some for
themselves.
ל ֗ ָ ד־ל ַ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע.Theprepositionsuggests
thatthetaxisaburdenuponthepoor.
Line A1b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and4units.
֙ ר ַ ב־ת ַ א ְ ש ַ מו. Aconstructchainusedasthedirectobject.This
isanothertaxordutyimposedontheyeomenandpaidinkindwith
grain.
ו ֣ ח ְ ק ִ ת. Qal yiqtol 2 m p from חקל. The shift from the more
abstract third person in A1a-b to the more direct second person in
A2a-fisstriking;thefirstbicolonisageneralstatementaboutthecur-
rentstateofmoralperversityintheland,whilethesecondisadirect
accusationandleadsintoapronouncementofdoom.
ונ ֔ ֶ מ ִ מ. The3mssuffixonן ִ מ hasל ָ ד inA2aasitsantecedent.
Line A2c:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.Thisisthefirstminorprotasis(hav-
ingA2dasitsapodosis),butitisunmarked,havingnoparticlesuchas
ן ַ עַ י toindicatethatitisaprotasis.Thiscreatesmomentarysuspense,
asthereaderdoesnotyetknowwhyAmosmentionsthattheybuild
ashlarhouses.
תי֛ ִ ז ָ ג י ֥ ֵ ת ָ ב. Housesbuiltofashlar(cutstone)wouldbeofthehigh-
estqualityandextremelyexpensive.Becausetheaccusedenrichedthem-
selvesbyexploitingthefarmerstheycanaffordsuchextravagance.
ם֖ ֶ תי ִ נ ְ ב. Qalqatal 2mpofהנב.Thisshouldnotbetranslatedas
apasttensebutapresent,sinceitwouldnotmakesensetosupposethat
theyhadalreadybuiltsuchhousesbutwerenotinhabitingthem.
Line A2d: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
וב ְ שׁ֣ ֵ ת־אֹל ְ ו. Qal yiqtol 2 m p of בשׁי with אֹל and conjunc-
tionservingtomarkthefirstminorapodosis.Theconjunctionhere
isadversative.
152 Amos5:11
Garrett Amos final.indd 152 6/6/08 2:25:20 PM
ם֑ ָ ב. Preposition ְ ב with3mpsuffix;theantecedentisי ֵ ת ָ ב.
Line A2e:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1 predicator, 2 constituents, and 3 units. This is the second minor
protasis,andit,too,isunmarked.
ד ֶ מ֣ ֶ ח־י ֵ מ ְ ר ַ כ. Aconstructchaindirectobjectinwhichtheabso-
lute noun is used adjectivally. Thus, “vineyards of pleasure” means
“pleasantvineyards.”
ם ֔ ֶ ת ְ ע ַ טְ נ. Qalqatal 2mpofעטנ.
Line A2f:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,2constituents,and2units.
ו ֖ ת ְ שׁ ִ ת א֥ ֹל ְ ו. Qalyiqtol 2mpofהתשׁ withאֹל andconjunction
servingtomarkthesecondminorapodosis.
םֽ ָ ני ֵ י־ת ֶ א. Thedirectobject;the3mpsuffixhasד ֶ מ ֶ ח־י ֵ מ ְ ר ַ כ as
itsantecedent.
5:12-13: Second Stanza. Two strophes of two and four lines. It
mirrorsthefirststanza,exceptthatithasthefirststropheinthesec-
ondpersonandthesecondstropheinthethird.
5:12a: First Strophe.Twolines.Anotheraccusation,inwhichthe
crimes of Israel are grammatically governed by י ִ ת ְ ע ַ דָ י, rhetorically
implyingthatthesecrimesareundeniablebyvirtueofbeingobjects
ofdivineknowledge.
ם ֔ ֶ כי ֵ ע ְ שׁ ִ פ םי ֣ ִ ב ַ ר ֙ י ִ ת ְ ע ֙ ַ דָ י י ֣ ִ כ
ם֑ ֶ כי ֵ תא ֽ ֹט ַ ח םי ֖ ִ מ ֻ צ ֲ ע ַ ו
Line B1a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraints
are: 1 predicator, 3 constituents, and 3 units. After the predicator
י ִ ת ְ ע ַ דָ י, the words ם ֶ כי ֵ ע ְ שׁ ִ פ םי ִ ב ַ ר are a subordinate verbless clause
describingthecontentofwhatYHWHknows.
֙ י ִ ת ְ ע ֙ ַ דָ י י ֤ ִ כ. Qalqatal 1csofעדי withanexplanatoryי ִ כ,indicat-
ingthatthisisjustificationfortheaforementionedpunishment.
Amos5:11-12 153
5:12a B1a
B1b
Garrett Amos final.indd 153 6/6/08 2:25:20 PM
םי ֣ ִ ב ַ ר. Apredicateadjective.
ם ֔ ֶ כי ֵ ע ְ שִׁ פ. Definitebyvirtueofthepronounsuffix,thisisthe
subjectofthetwo-wordverblessclauseם ֶ כי ֵ ע ְ שׁ ִ פ םי ִ ב ַ ר.
Line B1b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 0
predicators,2constituents,and2units.Thereisgapping,withי ִ ת ְ ע ַ דָ י
inlineB1agoverningbothlines.
םי ֖ ִ מ ֻ צ ֲ עַ ו. Apredicateadjective.
ם֑ ֶ כי ֵ תא ֽ ֹט ַ ח. Definitebyvirtueofthepronounsuffix,thisisthe
subjectofanothertwo-wordverblessclause.
5:12b-13: Second Strophe. Four lines. The two lines of 5:12b
belong with 5:13 and not with 5:12a. This is because, first, the
abstractaccusationof5:12acontrastswiththespecificdetailsof5:12b
inamanneranalogoustothetwostrophesof5:10-11.Second,5:12a
isinsecondperson,while5:12bisthirdperson(seeוט ִ ה inlineB2b).
Third,themutedresponseoftheprudentmanin5:13makessensein
thecontextoftheperversionofjusticegoingoninthecourtproceed-
ingsatthegate.
ר ֶ פ ֔ ֹכ י ֵ ח ְ ק ֣ ל ֙ קי ִ ד ַ צ י ֤ ֵ ר ְ רֹצ
׃ו ֽ ט ִ ה ר ַ ע ֥ ַ ש ַ ב םי֖ ִ נוי ְ ב ֶ אְ ו
ם ֑ ֹדִ י אי ֖ ִ ה ַ ה ת֥ ֵ ע ָ ב לי ֛ ִ כ ְ ש ַ מ ַ ה ן ֗ ֵ כ ָ ל
׃אי ֽ ִ ה ה֖ ָ ע ָ ר ת֥ ֵ ע י ֛ ִ כ
Line B2a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
2predicators,2constituents,and4units.Thetwoparticiplesarein
constructform.Theyarepredicatorsbyvirtueofbeingcoordinated
withthefiniteverboflineB2b.Thispattern,oneormoreparticiples
in a series of clauses that concludes in a finite verb, is frequent in
Amos.Thetwoparticiplesherearepredicatestotheimpliedsubject
inlineB2bandthereforeshouldbetranslatedasthirdpersonverbs.
֙ קי ִ ד ַ צ י ֤ ֵ ר ְ רֹצ. Qalparticiplempconstructofררצ II(“attack”)
5:12b
5:13
B2a
B2b
B2c
B2d
154 Amos5:12-13
Garrett Amos final.indd 154 6/6/08 2:25:21 PM
withtheabsolutenounקי ִ ד ַ צ servingasanobjectivegenitive.Inthis
context,aקי ִ ד ַ צ isamanwhosecasebeforethecourtisright.
ר ֶ פ ֔ ֹכ י ֵ ח ְ ק֣ ל. Qalparticiplempconstructofחקל withtheabso-
lutenounר ֶ פֹכ servingasanobjectivegenitive.
Line B2b: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.Whenthepoorgotocourtto
complainoftheinjusticedonetothem,theyareturnedaway.
םי֖ ִ נוי ְ ב ֶ אְ ו. Thedirectobject.Thewordןוי ְ ב ֶ א,“poor,”isderived
fromהבא,to“need,”andoftenconnotesfinancialpoverty.InPsalm
49:3(E2),itisthepolaroppositeof“rich”(ןוי ְ ב ֶ אְ ו רי ִ שׁ ָ ע)inamerism.
ר ַ ע ֥ ַ ש ַ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב.
ו ֽ ט ִ ה. Hiphilqatal 3mpofהטנ.Theverbheremeansto“turn
away.” Similar usage is found, for example, in Psalm 27:9, ־ט ַ ת־ל ַ א
ך ֶ ד ְ ב ַ ע ף ַ א ְ ב (“Donotturnawayyourservantawayinanger”).
Line B2c: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,4constituents,and5units.
ן ֗ ֵ כ ָ ל. Theparticle(“therefore”)leadsintotheconsequenceofthe
aforementioned situation. The widespread corruption in the courts
hassilencedmenofintegrity;theycannotopenlyopposesuchasys-
temforfearofreprisalandbecausenooneinpowerwilllisten.
לי ֛ ִ כ ְ ש ַ מ ַ ה. Hiphilparticiplemsofלכש withdefinitearticle;itis
substantiveandisnotapredicator.Thehiphilparticipleofלכש (used
eitherasasubstantive,לי ִ כ ְ ש ַ מ ַ ה,orwithoutthearticleasanattribu-
tiveorpredicateadjective)regularlyimpliespositivemoralqualities.
ApersonsodescribedisprudentandseeksGod(Ps14:2;53:3[E2]),
givesthoughttothepoor(Ps41:2[E1]),isdiligent(Prov10:5),con-
trolshistongue(Prov10:19),andisintelligentandofgoodcharacter
(Dan1:4).Evenwherethepersoncalledלי ִ כ ְ ש ַ מ isdescribedashaving
success,theimplicationthathehasprudenceorpietyisalsopresent(1
Sam18:14-15;Prov14:35;17:2).AgainstSmith(1988),theworddoes
notrefertowealthybutunscrupulousindividualswhobytheirsilence
joinintheoppressionofthepoor.
Amos5:12-13 155
Garrett Amos final.indd 155 6/6/08 2:25:21 PM
אי ֖ ִ ה ַ ה ת֥ ֵ ע ָ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב.Thisexpression,anal-
ogoustotheEnglish“insuchatimeasthis,”marksexasperationover
thecurrentmoralclimate.
ם ֑ ֹדִ י. Qal yiqtol 3 m s of םמד, “be silent.” Many geminate qal
yiqtol verbshaveamorphologythatseemstofollowthatoftheroot
I-נ (suchasלפנ,withtheyiqtol לֹ פִ י).
Line B2d: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 0
predicators,2constituents,and3units.
ה֖ ָ ע ָ ר ת֥ ֵ ע י ֛ ִ כ. The predicate ת ֵ ע is modified by the adjective
ה ָ ע ָ ר.Theparticleי ִ כ introducesthissecondcommentonthenature
ofthetime,thatsocietyissocorruptthatthiseracansimplybecalled
“evil.”
אי ֽ ִ ה. Aneutrum,thisisthesubjectofthenominalclauseofthis
line.
5:14-15: Third Stanza. This stanza is made up of two strophes
thatrecall5:4b-7andalsocloselyreflectoneanother.Eachisinfour
lines,andinbothaprotasisexhortsIsraeltoseekgoodandnotevil,
andthenanapodosisoffersapotentialbenefittothemfordoingso.
5:14: First Strophe.Fourlinesinprotasis-apodosisstructure,with
C1abeingtheprotasis,andC1b-cbeingtheapodosis.LineC1dcom-
ments on the apodosis, declaring that the condition it describes is
whatIsraeldesires.
ע ֖ ָ ר־ל ַ אְ ו בו ֥ ט־ושׁ ְ ר ִ ד
ו ֑ י ְ ח ֽ ִ ת ן ַ ע֣ ַ מ ְ ל
ם֖ ֶ כ ְ ת ִ א תו ֛ א ָ ב ְ צ־י ֽ ֵ הל ֱ א ה֧ ָ והְ י ן ֞ ֵ כ־י ִ הי ִ ו
׃ם ֽ ֶ ת ְ ר ַ מ ֲ א ר ֥ ֶ שׁ ֲ א ַ כ
Line C1a:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units.
5:14 C1a
C1b
C1c
C1d
156 Amos5:13-14
Garrett Amos final.indd 156 6/6/08 2:25:21 PM
ושׁ ְ ר ִ ד. Qalimperativempofשׁרד.
בו ֥ ט. The direct object. One may wonder to what specifically
בוט refers.IsitGodhimself,orrightbehavior,or“truereligion”(as
describedinJames1:26-27)?Itprobablyincludesallofthese.
ע ֖ ָ ר־ל ַ אְ ו. Negated direct object. The specific content of ע ַ ר
wouldbethereverseofבוט above.
Line C1b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,1constituents,and2units.
ו ֑ י ְ ח ֽ ִ ת ן ַ ע֣ ַ מְ ל. A purpose clause with a qal yiqtol 2 m p of היח
givingtheexpectedresultoffollowingthecommandinC1a,thepro-
tasis.היח includesavoidanceofthemilitarycalamitypredictedin5:3
andmorebroadlyinvokesalltheblessingspromisedinDeuteronomy
(e.g.,4:1;5:33;8:1;16:20;30:16).
Line C1c:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and5units.Theparticleן ֵ כ isnotaunit.The
verblessclauseם ֶ כ ְ ת ִ א תוא ָ ב ְ צ־י ֵ הל ֱ א הָ והְ י isapparentlyaconventional
blessingusedattheshrines,whichAmosciteswiththehopethatit
mayonedaycometrue.
ן ֞ ֵ כ־י ִ הי ִ ו. Qalweyiqtol 3msexpressingpurpose,withן ֵ כ,which
heremeans“true.”
תו ֛ א ָ ב ְ צ־י ֽ ֵ הל ֱ א ה֧ ָ והְ י. ThenameYHWHisheregivenwithone
ofhistitles,asisappropriateforaformalbenediction.
ם֖ ֶ כ ְ ת ִ א. Thepredicateofthebenediction.
Line C1d:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,1constituent,and2units.
ם ֽ ֶ ת ְ ר ַ מ ֲ א ר ֥ ֶ שׁ ֲ א ַ כ. Qal qatal 2 m p of רמא with ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א ַ כ, “just
as.” The context in which this is said is probably in benedictions at
theshrines.
5:15: Second Strophe.Fourlines.Thisparallelsthepreviousstro-
phe,indicatingagainthatgoodwillcomeiftheyrepent.
Amos5:14 157
Garrett Amos final.indd 157 6/6/08 2:25:22 PM
בו ֔ ט וב ֱ ה֣ ֶ אְ ו ֙ ע ָ ר־ואְ נ ִ ש
ט֑ ָ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ ר ַ ע ֖ ַ ש ַ ב וגי ֥ ִ צ ַ ה ְ ו
תו ֖ א ָ ב ְ צ־י ֽ ֵ הל ֱ א ה֥ ָ והְ י ן֑ ֛ ַ נ ֱ חֽ ֶ י י ֗ ַ לוא
ס ׃ף ֽ ֵ סוי תי ֥ ִ ר ֵ א ְ שׁ
Line C2a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraints
are:2predicator,4constituents,and4units.
ואְ נ ִ ש. Qalimperativempofאנש.
֙ ע ָ ר. Thedirectobjectofואְ נ ִ ש.Theorderof“good”and“evil”is
herereversedoveragainstlineC1a.
וב ֱ ה֣ ֶ אְ ו. Qal imperative m p of בהא with conjunction. An
imperativemaybefollowedbyaweqatal withimperativalforcewhen
theyconstituteasequenceofactions.Here,thetwoimperativesindi-
catenotasequencebutamerismwith“hateevil”and“lovegood,”as
intheso-called“antitheticalparallelism”ofProverbs.
בו ֔ ט. Thedirectobjectofוב ֱ ה ֶ אְ ו.
Line C2b:Thecolon-markerisathnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
וגי ֥ ִ צ ַ הְ ו. Hiphilimperativempofגצי,“establish.”OnrootsI-י
withי assimilated,seeGKC §71.
ר ַ ע ֖ ַ ש ַ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב,withר ַ ע ַ שׁ herereferringto
thecourtroomsetting.
ט֑ ָ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ. Thedirectobject.“Justice”herereferstoarightverdict
in the courts, and specifically to one that respects the rights of the
poor.
Line C2c:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and5units.
י ֗ ַ לוא. Introducing the apodosis with י ַ לוא, “perhaps,” implies
thatthesuppliantcannotpresumeupondivinegrace.Itoftenappears
incontextsofrepentanceandsupplication,asinIsaiah37:4;Jeremiah
21:2;Jeremiah36:7;Jonah1:6;Zephaniah2:3.
5:15 C2a
C2b
C2c
C2d
158 Amos5:15
Garrett Amos final.indd 158 6/6/08 2:25:22 PM
ן֑ ֛ ַ נ ֱ חֽ ֶ י. Qalyiqtol 3msofןנח,“begracious.”
תו ֖ א ָ ב ְ צ־י ֽ ֵ הל ֱ א ה֥ ָ והְ י. ThetitleforGodheredeliberatelyfollows
thepleonasticformulausedintheshrinebenedictioncitedinC1c.
Line C2d: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 0
predicators,1constituent,and2units.Thislineisthedirectobject
oftheverboflineC2c.Thereisdramaticpowerinendingthestanza
withthewords,“theremnantofJoseph.”Itimpliesthatdestructionis
allbutcertainbutthatthereisyethope.
ף ֽ ֵ סוי תי ֥ ִ ר ֵ א ְ שׁ. ThisphraseoccursonlyhereintheHebrewBible.
Itisalsooneofthefewplaceswherearemnanttheologyappearsin
Amos,anditsuggeststhatAmosisthinkingmoreofafuturerestora-
tionthanofanavoidanceofthedestructioncurrentlyloomingover
Israel.Otherwise,itisoddthathewoulddescribeJeroboamII’sIsrael,
attheheightofitspowers,asa“remnant.”
5:16-17: Lamentation Predicted
The theme of lamentation is resumed not with a lament poem but
withapredictionoflamentationtocome.
י ֔ ָ נֹד ֲ א ֙ תוא ָ ב ְ צ י ֤ ֵ הל ֱ א הָ֜ והְ י ר ֨ ַ מ ָ א־ה ֽ ֹכ ן ֵ כ ָ ל
The above prose divine quotation formula introduces the fol-
lowingpoem.Theclausehastoomanyunitsforittobeconsidered
poetry. The title for God is given as extravagantly as possible, sug-
gestingthatwhatfollowsisandivineoracleorcursegivenwithfull
solemnity.Also,ifthepleonastictitleisalsousedintheshrinebene-
dictions (5:14), the text tells the reader that the God by whose title
theypronounceblessingsisinfactcursingIsrael.
5:16b-17: Oracle:Sevenlines.Thepoemisnotproperlyalament
butaprophecythatatimeoflamentationiscoming.Itisclearlyan
oracle, being bounded by an inclusion formed by הָ֜ והְ י ר ֨ ַ מ ָ א־ה ֽ ֹכ in
theproseintroductionat5:16aandהָ והְ י ר ַ מ ָ א inlineg.Itthustakes
Amos5:15-16 159
5:16a
Garrett Amos final.indd 159 6/6/08 2:25:23 PM
up the pattern of the long judgment stanzas in the oracles on the
nations(e.g.,1:4-5).Repetitionofל ָ כ ְ ב inlinesa,b,andedominates
thepoem,withlinescanddgivingexpositiononthenatureofthe
lamentationthatwillcome,andlinefgivingthereasonforthelam-
entation.Thisoracleparallelsthatgiven5:3.
ד ֔ ֵ פ ְ ס ִ מ תו ֣ בֹח ְ ר־ל ָ כ ְ ב
ו ֑ ֹה־וה ו ֣ ר ְ מאֹי תו ֖ צוח־ל ָ כ ְ בו
ל ֶ ב ֵ֔ א־ל ֶ א ֙ ר ָ כ ִ א ו ֤ א ְ ר ָ ק ְ ו
׃י ִ הֽ ֶ נ י ֵ ע ְ דו ֥ י־ל ֶ א ד֖ ֵ פ ְ ס ִ מו
ד֑ ֵ פ ְ ס ִ מ םי ֖ ִ מ ָ ר ְ כ־ל ָ כ ְ בו
֖ ך ְ ב ְ ר ִ ק ְ ב ר ֥ ֹב ֱ ע ֶ א־י ֽ ִ כ
ס ׃הֽ ָ והְ י ר ֥ ַ מ ָ א
Line a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0 predicators, 2 constituents, and 2 units. This is a nominal (verb-
less) clause; subsequent verbs indicate that it should be regarded as
predictive.
תו ֣ בֹח ְ ר־ל ָ כ ְ ב. Prepositional phrase with locative ְ ב serving as
the predicate. The plazas referred to here are those within Samaria
andtheothercitiesofIsrael.
ד ֔ ֵ פ ְ ס ִ מ. Thesubject.Thetermד ֵ פ ְ ס ִ מ referstoanoutpouringof
griefandmayrefertoafuneralceremony.Isaiah22:12,י ָ נֹד ֲ א א ָ ר ְ קִ י ַ ו
ק ָ ש רֹ ג ֲ חַ ל ְ ו ה ָ ח ְ ר ָ ק ְ לו ד ֵ פ ְ ס ִ מְ לו י ִ כ ְ ב ִ ל אוה ַ ה םוי ַ ב תוא ָ ב ְ צ הִ והְ י (“Inthat
day YHWH GOD of Sabaoth called to weeping and mourning, to
baldness and putting on sackcloth”), illustrates the four acts associ-
atedwithapublicdisplayofgrief.
Line b:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,3constituents,and4units.
תו ֖ צוח־ל ָ כ ְ בו. Matching the previous line, this begins with a
5:16b
5:17
a
b
c
d
e
f
g
160 Amos5:16-17
Garrett Amos final.indd 160 6/6/08 2:25:23 PM
prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב.Here,however,theprepositional
phrasemodifiesafiniteverb.
ו ֣ ר ְ מאֹי. Qal yiqtol 3 m p of רמא in a predictive (future tense)
text.
ו ֑ ֹה־וה. Reportedspeech;thecontentofwhatthepeoplewillsay.
Line c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ו ֤ א ְ ר ָ קְ ו. Qalweqatal 3cpofארק.
֙ ר ָ כ ִ א. The direct object indicating which person is addressed.
Apparentlyamassivecropfailureisbehindthelamentation,andthus
thefarmeriscalledupontomourn.
ל ֶ ב ֵ֔ א־ל ֶ א. Prepositionalphrasewithל ֶ א indicatingpurpose,the
tasktowhichthefarmeriscalled.ל ֶ ב ֵ א,likeד ֵ פ ְ ס ִ מ,refersgenerally
tomourning,butל ֶ ב ֵ א sometimesrefersmorespecificallytoatimeor
ceremonyofmourning.Seetheusageofל ֶ ב ֵ א andד ֵ פ ְ ס ִ מ inGenesis
50:10.
Line d:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators,2constituents,and3units.Thereisgapping,withו ֤ א ְ ר ָ קְ ו from
line c governing this line as well. Amos’ skills as a poet are evident
here.Formally,thetwolinesparalleleachotherveryclosely,witheach
having a anarthrous noun followed by a prepositional phrase with
ל ֶ א.Functionally,however,thegrammaticalslotshavereversedroles,
withtheanarthrousnounbeingtheaddresseeinlinecbutthetaskto
whichheiscalledinlined,butwiththeל ֶ א phrasebeingthetaskin
linecbuttheaddresseeinlined.
ד֖ ֵ פ ְ ס ִ מו. Thedirectobject.
י ִ הֽ ֶ נ י ֵ ע ְ דו ֥ י־ל ֶ א. Qalactiveparticiplempconstructofעדי ina
constructchainwithי ִ הְ נ (inpausalform)andprepositionל ֶ א.Here,
ל ֶ א indicateswhichpersonsareaddressed.י ִ הְ נ isanactoflamentation
associatedwithweepingandbitterwailing;seeJeremiah9:17(E18);
Micah2:4.
Amos5:16-17 161
Garrett Amos final.indd 161 6/6/08 2:25:24 PM
Line e:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:0pred-
icators, 2 constituents, and 2 units. This is a verbless clause with a
prepositionalphraseasthepredicate.
םי ֖ ִ מ ָ ר ְ כ־ל ָ כ ְ בו. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב.Again,the
textindicatesthatthefocusofthemourningisanagriculturalcalam-
ity.
ד֑ ֵ פ ְ ס ִ מ. Thesubject.
Line f:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:1predica-
tor,2constituents,and2units.
ר ֥ ֹב ֱ ע ֶ א־י ֽ ִ כ. Qalyiqtol 1csofרבע withexplanatoryי ִ כ.
֖ ך ְ ב ְ ר ִ ק ְ ב. The verb רבע with ב ֶ ר ֶ ק ְ ב occurs five times in the
HebrewBible(Deut29:15[E16];Josh1:11;3:2;24:17;andhere).In
allothercases,itreferstoapersonorgrouppassingthroughanother
group of people (in Deut 29:15 and Josh 24:17 it refers to Israel’s
marchduringtheexodus).InExod12:12(with ְ ב,butnotב ֶ ר ֶ ק ְ ב)the
wordרבע describesYHWHmovingthroughEgypttoslaythefirst-
born.Exodusalsospeaksofagreatoutcry(ה ָ ק ָ ע ְ צ)goingupfromthe
Egyptiansovertheirdead;Amosusesל ֶ ב ֵ א andד ֵ פ ְ ס ִ מ,butnotה ָ ק ָ ע ְ צ.
Itisprobable,butnotcertain,thatAmosisalludingtotheExodus12
event,assertingthattheGodofthePassoverwasnowcreatingdevas-
tationinIsraelitself.
Line g:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predica-
tor,2constituents,and2units.Thisisanotherdivinespeechformula.
ר ֥ ַ מ ָ א. Qalqatal 3msofרמא.
הֽ ָ והְ י. Thesubject.
5:18–6:8: Second Series of Accusations, Warnings
and Exhortations
Parallelto5:4-15,thissectionisinthreemajorparts:anaccusation
againstperversereligion(5:18-24;compare5:4-7);aquestionconcern-
ingtheskygods(5:25-27;contrast5:8-9);anaccusationagainstthe
upperclasses(6:1-8a;compare5:10-15).Inaddition,allthreepartsof
162 Amos5:17
Garrett Amos final.indd 162 6/6/08 2:25:24 PM
thissectionbeginwithrhetoricalquestions(5:18,25-26;6:2-3),and
thetwoaccusatorypoems,5:18-24and6:1-8a,bothbeginwithיוה.
5:18-24: Accusation: Perverse Religion.Thissectionbeginswith
יוה,anoutcryofwoebutusedhere,asin6:1,toidentifyinageneral
waythoseagainstwhomYHWHhasanaccusation.Theaccusationis
intwostanzas(vv.18-20and21-24)thatdescribehowIsrael’sreligion
isperverselymisguided.
5:18-20:FirstStanza. Thisstanzaisinthreestrophes.Thereisa
chiasticstructurehere,asstrophes1(v.18)and3(v.20)bothspeak
ofthedayofYHWHasdarknessandnotlight,andbothemployrhe-
toricalquestions.TheessenceofthereligiousperversityofIsraelhere
istheassumptionthatthedayofYHWHissalvationforthemwhen
itisinfactinescapabledoom.
5:18: First Strophe. Three lines. The initial cry of lament, יוה,
connects this to the lament text that precedes this, but this is not a
lamentation,asthesubsequentcontentmakesclear.
ה֑ ָ והְ י םו ֣ ֹי־ת ֶ א םי ֖ ִ ו ַ א ְ ת ִ מ ַ ה יו ֥ ה
ה֖ ָ והְ י םו ֥ י ם֛ ֶ כ ָ ל ה֥ ֶ ז־ה ָ מ ָ ל
׃רו ֽ א־אֹל ְ ו ך ֶ שׁ ֥ ֹח־אוה
Line A1a: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
יו ֥ ה. Aninterjection.Itiscommonlyusedintheprophetswhen
callingouttoanevilpeopleonwhomdisasterissoontocome(e.g.,
Isa1:4;5:8,11;10:5;29:15;45:9;Jer23:1;48:1;Ezek13:18;Mic2:1;
Hab2:12;Zeph2:5),althoughitsometimesisusedofmourninggen-
erally without moral condemnation (e.g., Jer 34:5). An interjection,
itisdistinctfromthewordיוא,whichappearstobeproperlyanoun
meaning“grief ”(cf.Prov23:29,יוא י ִ מְ ל [“Whohasgrief?”]).When
usedtomean“woeto,”יוא almostalwayshasthepreposition ְ ל (e.g.,
Num21:29;1Sam4:7;Isa3:9;Ezek16:23);butיוה,asimpleparticle,
Amos5:18 163
5:18 A1a
A1b
A1c
Garrett Amos final.indd 163 6/6/08 2:25:24 PM
neverdoes(Ezek13:18beingtheexceptionthatprovestherule).In
an extensive discussion, Wolff (1977, 242–45) argues that the “woe
saying”(withיוה)aroseincirclesofclanwisdomandwasadoptedby
Amos,butthisisneitherpersuasivenorhelpful.
םי ֖ ִ ו ַ א ְ ת ִ מ ַ ה. Hithpaelparticiplempwitharticle.Thisparticiple
isaperiphrasticrelativeclauseandisalsovocative,asindicatedboth
bythesecondpersonpronounsuffixinlineA1bandbythefactthat
thesearethepeopletowhom“woe”isaddressed.
ה֑ ָ והְ י םו ֣ י־ת ֶ א. The direct object of the participle. It would
appear thateageranticipationofthedayof YHWHhadbecomea
standardfeatureoftheIsraeliteshrines.Theyprobablythoughtthat
YHWHwouldappearasawarriortodefeatIsrael’senemiesonthat
day.
Line A1b:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators,4constituents,and5units.
ה ָ מָ ל. Interrogativepronoun.
ה֥ ֶ ז. The ז of הֶ ז often has daghesh forte after ה ָ מָ ל, as in Gen-
esis25:22.Also,thereisdoublingofthefirstletterofamonosyllable
closely connected to a preceding word accented on the penult; see
GKC §20f. Apparently ה ָ מָ ל here is to be considered as accented on
the penult. Normally when a demonstrative heads a verbless clause,
the nominative that forms the other part of the clause will be the
predicate,asinהוהי םוי הֶ ז,“ThisisthedayofYHWH.”Inthiscase,
however,thedemonstrativeisthepredicate.Grammaticalclinesthat
describegreaterdegreesofdefinitenessinordertodeterminepredica-
tionarenotinviolable.Theimpliedantecedentforהֶ ז,fromA1a,is
“anobjectofdesire.”
ם֛ ֶ כ ָ ל. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ל and2mpsuffix.Thedative
expression “to you” here means, “in your estimation.” That is, it
means,“WhydoyouregardthedayofYHWHasthis(athingtobe
desired)?”
ה֖ ָ והְ י םו ֥ י. Subjectofverblessclause;aconstructchain.
164 Amos5:18
Garrett Amos final.indd 164 6/6/08 2:25:25 PM
Line A1c:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0pred-
icators,3constituents,and3units.
אוה. Thesubject.Theantecedentisהָ והְ י םוי.
ך ֶ שׁ ֥ ֹח. Thepredicateinaverblessclause.
רו ֽ א־אֹל ְ ו. Asecond,negatedpredicate.Theprecisesignificance
ofthemetaphors“darkness”and“light”isnotmadeclear,butprob-
ablytheyrespectivelyrepresentdisasterandsalvation.
5:19: Second Strophe. Five lines describing a hypothetical flight
fromwildbeastsasananalogytohowinescapableisthedoomofthe
dayofYHWH.
י ֔ ִ ר ֲ א ָ ה י֣ ֵ נ ְ פ ִ מ ֙ שׁי ִ א סו ֥ נ ָ י ר ֨ ֶ שׁ ֲ א ַ כ
ב ֑ ֹד ַ ה ו ֖ עָ ג ְ פו
תִ י ַ֔ ב ַ ה א֣ ָ בו
רי ֔ ִ ק ַ ה־ל ַ ע ֙ ודָ י ך֤ ַ מ ָ ס ְ ו
׃שׁ ֽ ָ חָ נ ַ ה ו ֖ כ ָ שְׁ נו
Line A2a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,4constituents,and4units.
ר ֨ ֶ שׁ ֲ א ַ כ. Thiswordgenerallystandsbeforeafiniteverbandmeans
“justas.”Itcanbeusedinatemporalsense(Gen12:11;Jer38:28),or
it can describe some kind of correspondence, usually either between
whatwassaidandwhatwasdone,orbetweentwoactionsthoughtto
beequivalent(Gen17:23;21:4;26:29;41:13;Exod1:12;7:20;1Kgs
1:30;Isa14:24;Ezek16:59).Here,itisusedtointroduceananalogy
(seeIsa9:2;29:8;65:8;Jer13:11;43:12;Ezek1:16;15:6;Amos2:13).
סו ֥ נָ י. Qal yiqtol 3 m s of סונ. The issue of flight from danger
recallsAmos’initialstatementofjudgmentonIsrael(2:16).Theyiq-
tol hereisusedforthesubjunctivemood,heresettingupanunreal,
hypotheticalcondition.
֙ שׁי ִ א. Thesubject,hereahypotheticalman.
Amos5:18-19 165
5:19 A2a
A2b
A2c
A2d
A2e
Garrett Amos final.indd 165 6/6/08 2:25:25 PM
י ֔ ִ ר ֲ א ָ ה י֣ ֵ נ ְ פ ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithי ֵ נ ְ פ ִ מ.Forasecondtime
Amosusesthelion(י ִ ר ֲ א)asananalogyforthedisasterabouttoover-
takeIsrael;seeAmos3:12.
Line A2b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
ו ֖ עָ ג ְ פו. Qalweqatal 3msofעגפ (“meet”)with3mssuffix.The
weqatal marks the apodosis after the preceding line, a hypothetical
situationthatformstheprotasis.
ב ֑ ֹד ַ ה. This is the only place where Amos refers to the bear,
althoughHosea13:8usesitforametaphorofdivinewrath.Here,it
illustratesfutility;apersonescapesonedisasteronlytorunheadlong
intoanother.
Line A2c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and2units.
א֣ ָ בו. Qal weqatal 3 m s of אוב. The weqatal here could be
sequential to the previous episode, as in, “and then he,” or it could
markanalternativeapodosis,using“or”fortheconjunction.
תִ י ַ֔ ב ַ ה. ThenounhereisequivalenttotheEnglish“home”and
needsnoprepositionordirectiveה.
Line A2d:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ך֤ ַ מ ָ סְ ו. Qal weqatal 3 m s of ךמס. This is another sequential
weqatal.
֙ ודָ י. Thedirectobject.
רי ֔ ִ ק ַ ה־ל ַ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithlocativeל ַ ע.Theimplica-
tionisthathethinkshehasescapedandcanrestamoment.
Line A2e: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
ו ֖ כ ָ שְׁ נו. Qalweqatal 3msofךשׁנ.Althoughsequential,itisalso
theapodosistolinesA2c-d;notealsothatitismorphologicallyidenti-
caltoועָ ג ְ פו inlineA2b.
166 Amos5:19
Garrett Amos final.indd 166 6/6/08 2:25:26 PM
שׁ ֽ ָ חָ נ ַ ה. Thebitingofthesnake(שׁ ָ חָ נ andtheverbךשׁנ)isused
hereandin9:3todescribethefutilityoftryingtoescapeGod’swrath.
Thereismorethanfutilityhere;thereisalsoirony.Themanwhotries
to escape a lion runs straight to a bear or finds himself bitten by a
snake.TheironyrelatestotheabsurdityofIsraelgoingtotheshrines
andthinkingthatthereandinthedayofYHWHtheyhavesafety.
5:20: Third Strophe.Twolines.Repetitionofthehomophone lo
(twice in A3a as אֹל, and twice A3b as אֹל and ול) dominates these
lines.
רו ֑ ֹ א־אֹל ְ ו ה֖ ָ והְ י םו ֥ י ך ֶ שׁ ֛ ֹח־אֹל ֲ ה
׃ו ֽ ל הֽ ַ ג ֥ ֹ נ־אֹל ְ ו ל֖ ֵ פ ָ אְ ו
Line A3a: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 0
predicators,3constituents,and4units.Thisisaverblessclausewith
acompoundpredicate.
ך ֶ שׁ ֛ ֹח־אֹל ֲ ה. Anotherrhetoricalquestion,thisoneisintroduced
byאֹל ֲ ה,implyingthattheanswershouldbeself-evident.Thus,long-
ingforthedayofYHWHisaformofself-delusion.
ה֖ ָ והְ י םו ֥ י. Thesubject,withך ֶ שֹׁח beingthepredicate.
רו ֑ א־אֹל ְ ו. Asecond,negatedpredicate.
Line A3b: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 0
predicators, 3 constituents, and 3 units. There is gapping, with the
subjectהָ והְ י םוי fromlineA3agoverningthisline.
ל֖ ֵ פ ָ אְ ו. Anotherpredicateforהָ והְ י םוי andparalleltoך ֶ שֹׁח.The
formל ֵ פ ָ א isfoundonlyhere;elsewherethewordisל ֶ פֹ א (whichitself
occurs only eight times [five times in Job]). Another cognate noun,
ה ָ ל ֵ פ ֲ א,ismorecommonintheprophets(e.g.,Isa8:22;Joel2:2).All
threecognatesmean“darkness.”
הֽ ַ ג ֥ ֹ נ אֹל ְ ו. Anothernegated,secondarypredicate,andinparallel
withרוא־אֹל ְ ו.
Amos5:19-20 167
5:20 A3a
A3b
Garrett Amos final.indd 167 6/6/08 2:25:26 PM
ו ֽ ל. Prepositionalphrasewithpossessive ְ ל.Thisactuallymakes
for a much stronger statement; line A3a had merely said that it was
darknessandnotlight.Withthisprepositionalphrase,thislinesays
thatthedayofYHWHpossessesnolightatall.Thissuggestshope-
lessness,analogoustoDante’s“Abandonallhopeyewhoenterhere”
(Inferno III.9).
5:21-24:SecondStanza. Fourstrophesatvv.21,22,23,and24.
In these strophes YHWH respectively rejects their feasts, sacrifices
andsacredmusic,butthencallsonthemtofillthelandwithjustice.
Eachstropheisofadistinctgrammaticaltype:strophe1isdeclarative,
strophe2isaprotasis-apodosisconstruction,strophe3hasasecond
personimperativeandanemphaticfirstpersonyiqtol,andstrophe4
isathirdpersonjussive.
5:21: First Strophe. Twolines.ThisstrophedescribesGod’sdis-
dainforIsrael’sfestivals.
ם֑ ֶ כי ֵ ג ַ ח י ִ ת ְ ס֖ ַ א ָ מ י ִ תא֥ ֵ נ ָ ש
׃םֽ ֶ כי ֵ ת ֽ ֹר ְ צ ַ ע ְ ב ַ חי ֖ ִ ר ָ א א ֥ ֹל ְ ו
Line B1a: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 2
predicators,3constituents,and3units.
י ִ תא֥ ֵ נ ָ ש. Qalqatal 1csofאנש,“hate.”
י ִ ת ְ ס֖ ַ א ָ מ. Qalqatal 1csofסאמ,“reject.”Theanarthroussec-
onding of the first verb with another, near-synonymous verb elo-
quentlyexpressesthedisgustofsomeonewhoiswearyofsomething
tediousandirksome.
ם֑ ֶ כי ֵ ג ַ ח. Thedirectobjectwitha2mpsuffix.Festivalswereof
courseintendedtobeoccasionsofcelebration,andthetriumphalist
assumptionoftheparticipantsisthatGodisaspleasedwiththewor-
shipasthepeoplethemselvesare.ThesuffixsubtlysuggeststhatGod
hasnothingtodowithreligiousceremoniesthatbelongto“you”and
nottoGod.
5:21 B1a
B1b
168 Amos5:20-21
Garrett Amos final.indd 168 6/6/08 2:25:26 PM
Line B1b:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,2constituents,and2units.
ַ חי ֖ ִ ר ָ א א֥ ֹל ְ ו. Hiphilyiqtol 1csofחור.Theverbproperlymeans
to“smell,”buthereitconnotesGod’sapprovingacceptanceofsacri-
fices(cf.Gen8:21).InLeviticus26:31,theverbhasthepreposition
ְ ב attached to its object: ם ֶ כ ֲ חֹחי ִ נ ַ חי ֵ ר ְ ב ַ חי ִ ר ָ א אֹל ְ ו (“and I will not
inhaleyourpleasingaromas”).Buttheusagehereseemsdifferent(see
below).
םֽ ֶ כי ֵ ת ֽ ֹר ְ צ ַ ע ְ ב. Thenounה ָ ר ָ צ ֲ ע means“assembly”(2Kgs10:20;
2Chr7:9),whichseemsanoddobjectfortheverb ַ חי ִ ר ָ א.However,
“sacrifices” may be implied as what takes place “in” ( ְ ב) the sacred
assemblies.Notethecloseassociationbetweenofferings,incense,and
theה ָ ר ָ צ ֲ ע inIsaiah1:13.
5:22: Second Strophe. Threelines.Noamountofextravaganceor
expenseinreligiousofferingswillmoveYHWHtoshowthemfavor.
תו ֛ לֹע י ֥ ִ ל־ול ֲ ע ַ ת־ם ִ א י ֣ ִ כ
ה֑ ֶ צ ְ ר ֶ א א ֣ ֹל ם֖ ֶ כי ֵ תֹחְ נ ִ מו
׃טי ֽ ִ ב ַ א א ֥ ֹל ם֖ ֶ כי ֵ אי ִ ר ְ מ ם ֶ ל ֥ ֶ שְׁ ו
Line B2a:Thecolon-markeristevir andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units.Theuseofthetevir foracolon-marker
isunusual;bythecantillationmarksalonewewouldtreatB2aandB2b
togetherasoneline.Here,however,thisispeculiar.First,asoneline,
therewouldbefiveconstituents.Second,תולֹע andם ֶ כי ֵ תֹחְ נ ִ מו donot
fitwelltogetheronasinglelineasthecompounddirectobjectofול ֲ ע ַ ת.
Thisisbecauseתולֹע hasnosuffixbutם ֶ כי ֵ תֹחְ נ ִ מו does.Note,however,
thatinthecolometryproposedabovelineB2bissyntacticallyparallel
toB2c(adirectobjectwith2mpsuffixfollowedbyanegatedyiqtol).
Thus,weproposethatlineB2aistheprotasisandlinesB2bandB2c
areaparallel,two-lineapodosis.
Amos5:21-22 169
5:22 B2a
B2b
B2c
Garrett Amos final.indd 169 6/6/08 2:25:27 PM
ול ֲ ע ַ ת־ם ִ א י ֣ ִ כ. Hiphilyiqtol 2mpofהלע,precededbyם ִ א י ִ כ
(nottheexceptivemeanings“unless”or“instead”[GKC §163]butthe
moreliteral“forif ”).
י ֥ ִ ל. Theindirectobject.
תו ֛ לֹע. Thedirectobject.Asasacrificeinwhichtheofferedbeast
isentirelyconsumedinfire,withnothingleftfortheparticipants,the
wholeofferingisthemostextravagant(andexpensive)culticdisplay
ofdevotiontoGod.Thissuggeststhatthislineisreallyaconcessive
protasis:“even if youweretoofferwholeofferingstome.”
Line B2b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
ם֖ ֶ כי ֵ תֹחְ נ ִ מו. The direct object. The noun ה ָ חְ נ ִ מ is here the
mostgeneralandbroadtermforofferingsmadetoGod,includingall
kindsofsacrifices,libations,andgrainofferings.Itthusincludesbut
isnotlimitedtothewholeofferingsofthepreviousline.Itisoddfor
anegatedapodosistobeginwithaconjunctionandnoun,butthisis
preciselywhatAmosdoestwicein3:6(אֹל ם ָ עְ ו רי ִ ע ְ ב ר ָ פושׁ ע ַ ק ָ תִ י־ם ִ א
וד ָ ר ֱ חֶ י [“Willashofarsoundinacity/Andapeoplenotbeterrified?”]
andה ָ ש ָ ע אֹל הָ והי ַ ו רי ִ ע ְ ב ה ָ ע ָ ר הֶ י ְ ה ִ ת־ם ִ א [“Willtherebedisasterina
city/AndYHWHhasnotdoneit?”]).Granted,3:6containsrhetori-
calquestionsandthepresentversedoesnot.Ontheotherhand,the
frontingofthetwoconjoinednounphrasesinB2b-c(ם ֶ כי ֵ תֹחְ נ ִ מו and
ם ֶ כי ֵ אי ִ ר ְ מ ם ֶ ל ֶ שְׁ ו) suggests that these two items are made prominent
in order to set them in contrast with תולֹע in line B2a. The idea is
thatGodwouldnotaccepttheirgiftsandpeaceofferingsevenifthey
includedwholeburntsacrifices.
ה֑ ֶ צ ְ ר ֶ א א֣ ֹל. Negatedqalyiqtol 1csofהצר.
Line B2c:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,2constituents,and3units.
ם֖ ֶ כי ֵ אי ִ ר ְ מ ם ֶ ל ֥ ֶ שְׁ ו. Thedirectobjectinaconstructchainwith
theconjunction.
טי ֽ ִ ב ַ א א֥ ֹל. Negatedhiphilyiqtol 1csofטבנ.Theuseofthisverb
170 Amos5:22
Garrett Amos final.indd 170 6/6/08 2:25:27 PM
inaculticsettingwiththemeaning“lookfavorablyupon”isunusual,
buttheword,whenGodisthesubject,canhavesuchameaning.Cf.
Isaiah66:2: ַ חור־ה ֵ כְ נו י ִ נ ָ ע־ל ֶ א טי ִ ב ַ א הֶ ז־ל ֶ אְ ו (“andtothisoneIwill
look[withfavor],tothehumbleandbroken-hearted”).
5:23: Third Strophe.Twolines.ThisstrophedescribesGod’sdis-
dainforIsrael’ssacredmusic.
ךי ֑ ֶ ר ִ שׁ ןו ֣ מ ֲ ה י ֖ ַ ל ָ ע ֵ מ ר ֥ ֵ ס ָ ה
׃ע ֽ ָ מ ְ שׁ ֶ א א ֥ ֹל ךי ֖ ֶ ל ָ ב ְ נ ת ֥ ַ ר ְ מִ ז ְ ו
Line B3a: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
ר ֥ ֵ ס ָ ה. Hiphilimperativemsofרוס.
י ֖ ַ ל ָ ע ֵ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ andל ַ ע ona1cssuffix.The
prepositionל ַ ע suggeststhatthemusicofIsraelhasbecomeanunbear-
ableburdenuponYHWH.ItisdifficulttoconveythisinEnglish.
ךי ֑ ֶ ר ִ שׁ ןו ֣ מ ֲ ה. The direct object; a construct chain with 2 m s
suffix.Here,theabsolutenoun(“yoursongs”)isadjectival,describing
whattheconstructnoun(“noise”)consistsof.Theredoesnotappear
tobeanysignificancetothechangefrompluralsuffixesintheprevi-
ousstrophetothesingularsuffixesusedhere,exceptthatperhapsit
helpstodelineatestrophicdivisions.Thenounןומ ָ ה generallyrefers
eithertoamobofpeople(Isa5:13)ortothediscordantnoisetheycre-
ate(1Sam14:19;Isa31:4).Thus,theworshipsongsofIsrael’ssingers
areregardedasthecacophonyofamob.
Line B3b: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and3units.
ךי֖ ֶ ל ָ בְ נ ת֥ ַ ר ְ מִ ז ְ ו. The direct object; a construct chain with 2 m
ssuffix.Thisisformallyparalleltoךי ֶ ר ִ שׁ ןומ ֲ ה inthepreviousline.
Thenounת ַ ר ְ מִ ז ְ ו,however,doesnotcarryanynegativeconnotations
(see Ps 81:3 [E 2]). The important point is that it is not the quality
oftheirplayingthatmakestheirsongsdiscordantinGod’sears,but
Amos5:22-23 171
5:23 B3a
B3b
Garrett Amos final.indd 171 6/6/08 2:25:27 PM
their moral and spiritual lives. The ל ֶ בֵ נ (“lyre”) is associated with
worshipinvariouscontexts(e.g.,Ps144:9).Forfurtherdiscussionon
thenatureoftheinstrument,seethecommentson6:5.
ע ֽ ָ מ ְ שׁ ֶ א א֥ ֹל. Qalyiqtol 1csofעמשׁ andthenegativeאֹל.The
firstpersonyiqtol hereisnotasimplestatementofthefuturebutan
emphaticrefusaltolisten,aswhenanEnglishspeakersays,“Iwillnot
go!”asanemphaticrefusaltogo.
5:24: Fourth Strophe. Two lines. YHWH here gives Israel an
alternativetotryingtopleasehimwithsacrificeandsong.
ט֑ ָ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ םִ י ֖ ַ מ ַ כ ל֥ ַ ג ִ י ְ ו
׃ן ֽ ָ תי ֵ א ל ַ ח֥ ַ נ ְ כ ה ֖ ָ ק ָ ד ְ צו
Line B4a: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ל֥ ַ גִ י ְ ו. Niphalweyiqtol 3msofללג.Theweyiqtol hasjussiveforce
and is here contrastive, suggesting that the Israelites should do this
rather than sing their praise-songs. ללג is not elsewhere used with
םִ י ַ מ.Theniphalofללג appearsinonlyoneotherplace,Isaiah34:4,
whereheavenis“rolleduplikeascroll.”Thustheverbhereseemsto
refertohowwaterrollsoveritselfinwaves.Thissuggestswatersthat
movewithspeedandinabundance.Justiceshouldcomeforthplente-
ouslyandnot,asitwere,inasmalltrickle.
םִ י ֖ ַ מ ַ כ. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ כ,formingananalogy.Water
isrefreshingandcleansing,andsoisanaptmetaphorforjustice.
ט֑ ָ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ. Thedirect object.Incontext,thiswouldrefer toput-
tinganendtotheoppressionofthepoor.
Line B4b: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 0
predicators,2constituents,and3units.Thereisgapping,withל֥ ַ גִ י ְ ו
governingthisline.
ה ֖ ָ ק ָ ד ְ צו. Parallel to ט ָ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ, this again refers to honesty in the
courtsandconcernfortheneedsofthepoor.
5:24 B4a
B4b
172 Amos5:23-24
Garrett Amos final.indd 172 6/6/08 2:25:28 PM
ן ֽ ָ תי ֵ א ל ַ ח֥ ַ נ ְ כ. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ כ andparalleltoםִ י ַ מ ַ כ.
Theadjectiveן ָ תי ֵ א means“permanent,perennial”andsohererefers
toastreamthatdoesnotrundry.
5:25-27: Question and Oracle: Sky Gods: This text, a prose
rhetoricalquestion(5:25-26)withanoraclefromYHWH(5:27),is
ironicallyjuxtaposedwith5:8-9,adoxologythatassertsthatYHWH
is ruler of the heavens (note also that ומ ְ שׁ הָ והְ י in 5:8 is answered
by ומ ְ שׁ תוא ָ ב ְ צ־י ֵ הל ֱ א הָ והְ י ר ַ מ ָ א in 5:27). Although YHWH rules
heavenandearth,Israelworshipsminorastraldeities!Theonlypos-
sibleresponsetothisperverseapostasyisforIsraeltogointoexile.
5:25-26:Thisisaproserhetoricalquestion;itisasinglesentence
inthreeclauses.
םי ֥ ִ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א ר֛ ָ ב ְ ד ִ מ ַ ב י ֧ ִ ל־ם ֶ ת ְ שַׁ ג ֽ ִ ה ה ָ֜ חְ נ ִ מו םי ִ֨ ח ָ בְ ז ַ ה
ם ֔ ֶ כ ְ כ ְ ל ַ מ תו ֣ כ ִ ס ת ֵ א֤ם ֗ ֶ תא ָ שְ נו ׃ל ֽ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֥ ֵ ב ה֖ ָ נ ָ שׁ
ם ֖ ֶ תי ִ ש ֲ ע ר ֥ ֶ שׁ ֲ א ם ֔ ֶ כי ֵ ה ֣ ל ֱ א ֙ ב ַ כוכ ם֑ ֶ כי ֵ מ ְ ל ַ צ ןו ֣ י ִ כ ת֖ ֵ אְ ו
׃םֽ ֶ כ ָ ל
ProseClause:םי ֥ ִ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א ר֛ ָ ב ְ ד ִ מ ַ ב י ֧ ִ ל־ם ֶ ת ְ שַׁ ג ֽ ִ ה ה ָ֜ חְ נ ִ מו םי ִ֨ ח ָ בְ ז ַ ה
׃ל ֽ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֥ ֵ ב ה֖ ָ נ ָ שׁ
Theabove,5:25,isasingleclause.Itsverb,ם ֶ ת ְ שַׁ ג ִ ה (hiphilqatal
2mpofשׁגנ),hereindicatesthatthetextperspectiveishistorical(past
tense).Thesentencebeginswithtwodirectobjects(ה ָ חְ נ ִ מו םי ִ ח ָ בְ ז ַ ה
[“sacrifices and offering”]) pointing to the focus of this paragraph,
the religious observances of Israel. Formally, the prefix on םי ִ ח ָ בְ ז ַ ה
hasallthecharacteristicsofadefinitearticle,butitiswidelytakento
beaninterrogativeה (cf.thepathach anddaghesh forte beforeshewa
intheinterrogativeה ofNumbers13:19,םי ִ נ ֲ ח ַ מ ְ ב ַ ה).Iftheprefixon
םי ִ֨ ח ָ בְ ז ַ ה were the article, it would be anomalous that ה ָ חְ נ ִ מו does
nothavethearticle.Allinall,itappearscertainthattheprefixisin
factaninterrogativeה.Thefirstpersonindirectobject(י ִ ל)indicates
Amos5:24-27 173
5:25-26
Garrett Amos final.indd 173 6/6/08 2:25:28 PM
therecipientofthesacrifices,YHWH.Thelocativephrase(ר ָ ב ְ ד ִ מ ַ ב)
and the temporal phrase (הָ נ ָ שׁ םי ִ ע ָ ב ְ ר ַ א) together indicate that the
setting for the question is the forty years in the wilderness. A voca-
tive (ל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֵ ב) concludes the clause. The real problem here, of
course,isnotthegrammarofthetextbuttheastonishinginference
onedrawsfromit,thatAmoshereclaimsthatIsraelmadenosacri-
ficestoGodforfortyyearsinthewilderness.Acommoninterpreta-
tion is that Amos 5:25, along with Jeremiah 7:22-23, either follows
JE against P (Paul 1991, 194) or reflects Deuteronomistic thinking
(Wolff1977,264–65)whenitassertsthattheIsraelitesreceivedlittle
ifanyculticinstructioninthewilderness.Mays(1974,111–12)sug-
gests that Amos’ words reflect a somewhat strident attitude on his
part as a spokesman for the anti-sacrifice party. See also the views
expressed in Smith (1998, 253–54); Cripps (1929, 338–48); Ander-
sen and Freedman (1989, 531–37). I am on record for rejecting the
documentaryhypothesis(Garrett1991),butthisisnottheplacefor
entering into such a far-reaching discussion, nor is there room here
fordealingeitherwithJeremiah7:22-23orwiththereconstructionof
Israel’sreligioushistorythatassertsthattheprophetsrejectedthecult.
Inmyview,theentirediscussionofAmos5:25ismisguidedsinceit
failstoreckonwiththeconnectionbetween5:25and5:26(Andersen
and Freedman do see a connection between these verses, but they
arenotabletoworkthisintoanintelligibleinterpretationandtheir
discussionflounders).
Prose Clause: ןו ֣ י ִ כ ת֖ ֵ אְ ו ם ֔ ֶ כ ְ כ ְ ל ַ מ תו ֣ כ ִ ס ת ֵ א ם ֗ ֶ תא ָ שְ נו
ם ֔ ֶ כי ֵ ה֣ ל ֱ א ֙ ב ַ כוכ ם֑ ֶ כי ֵ מְ ל ַ צ
Thesinglemostimportantgrammaticalfeatureofthistextisthe
verbם ֶ תא ָ שְ נו, aqalweqatal 2mpofאשנ.Whyistheweqatal used?
It cannot have one of its more common functions here (such as an
apodosis,afinalclause,oramainlineverbinapredictiveordirective
text), since all of these interpretations disregard the context. Rather,
thisisacasewheretheweqatal hasimperfectiveforceinapasttense
context.Thisismostoftenseenwherethepasttensecontextissetbya
174 Amos5:25-26
Garrett Amos final.indd 174 6/6/08 2:25:29 PM
priorwayyiqtol verb(Gen30:40-41;1Sam7:15-16;seeIBHS §32.2.3),
butinthiscasethecontextisarhetoricalquestion,whichisnaturally
headedbyaqatal ratherthanawayyiqtol.Translatingliterally,there-
fore,ם ֶ תא ָ שְ נו heremeans,“andyouwerecarrying”or“andyouwould
carry,”butputtingitintonormalEnglishinthecontextofapasttense
rhetoricalquestion,itmeans,“whileyouwerecarrying.”Amosisnot
simplyaskingiftheymadesacrificestoYHWHduringthefortyyears,
butwhether they made sacrifices while also carrying images of the sky gods
from place to place.HeisnotdenyingthatIsraelsacrificedtoYHWH
in the wilderness. He is saying that sacrificing to YHWH is funda-
mentallyincompatiblewithgivingreverencetotheskygods,andhe
is pointing out how absurd it is to imagine the wilderness Israelites
underMosesdoingsuchathing.Also,the“carrying”oftheskygods
mayalludetofestiveprocessions,inwhichimagesofastraldeitieswere
paradedabout,thattookplaceattheshrinesinAmos’time.Thealter-
native interpretation, takingם ֶ תא ָ שְ נו as a future tense that refers to
the Israelites carrying their gods into exile, is both grammatically a
nonsequiturandhistoricallyimplausible.Thegrammaroftherestof
thesentenceissomewhatdifficultforhavingsomanynounsoneafter
another.Emendingthetext,asisproposedbyIsbell(1978)onthebasis
oftheLXX,ishighlyspeculativeandnotpersuasive.Thebestsolution
istotakeתוכ ִ ס andןוי ִ כ,bothpropernames,asthedirectobjectsofthe
verb.Paul(1991,195–96)hasdemonstratedthatSikkuthandKiyyun
wereancientdeities knowninMesopotamiaand Ugaritandthatno
emendationisnecessary.ם ֶ כ ְ כ ְ ל ַ מ isacommonnouninappositionto
תוכ ִ ס,whileם ֶ כי ֵ מְ ל ַ צ andם ֶ כי ֵ הל ֱ א ב ַ כוכ bothstandinappositionto
both proper names. The singular noun ב ַ כוכ in ם ֶ כי ֵ הל ֱ א ב ַ כוכ here
referstoapluralityandshouldberenderedas,“thestarsofyourgods”
ormoresimply,“yourastralgods”(cf.theanalogousconstructionin
Gen 32:17, וי ָ ד ָ ב ֲ ע־דַ י ְ ב [“in the hands (singular noun representing a
plural) of his servants”]). The phrasing ןוי ִ כ ת ֵ אְ ו ם ֶ כ ְ כ ְ ל ַ מ תוכ ִ ס ת ֵ א
ם ֶ כי ֵ מְ ל ַ צ maybedeliberatelyconstructedasamockingrhyme.
Prose Clause: םֽ ֶ כ ָ ל ם֖ ֶ תי ִ ש ֲ ע ר ֥ ֶ שׁ ֲ א
Amos5:25-26 175
Garrett Amos final.indd 175 6/6/08 2:25:29 PM
Theisarelativeclause;theantecedentofר ֶ שׁ ֲ א isthetwoproper
namesSikkuthandKiyyun.ם ֶ תי ִ ש ֲ ע,aqalqatal 2mpofהשע,and
ם ֶ כ ָ ל, “for yourselves,” point out that these deities are man-made
and are novelties as far as Israel’s religious traditions go. The words
ם ֶ כ ָ ל ם ֶ תי ִ ש ֲ ע ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א ם ֶ כי ֵ הל ֱ א may also allude to the golden calf epi-
sode,suggestingthatIsraelisfulfillingthatoneunsavoryaspectofthe
exodusstory(cf.Exod32:1,םי ִ הל ֱ א ונ ָ ל־ה ֵ ש ֲ ע [“makegodsforus!”]).
5:27: Oracle.Twolines.Thisisconnectedtotheprecedingtext
bytheverb(weqatal),butitsignalsachangebyaswitchtothefirst
personsingularoveragainstthepriorsecondpluralverbs.Thissec-
tionscansasapoem,unlikethepriortext,andasisappropriatetoan
oracleithasadivinespeechformula.
ק ֶ ש֑ ָ מ ַ ד ְ ל ה ָ א ְ ל ֣ ָ ה ֵ מ ם֖ ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א י ֥ ִ תי ֵ ל ְ ג ִ ה ְ ו
פ ׃ו ֽ ֹ מ ְ שׁ תו ֖ א ָ ב ְ צ־י ֽ ֵ הל ֱ א ה֥ ָ והְ י ר ֛ ַ מ ָ א
Line a:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,3constituents,and4units.
י ֥ ִ תי ֵ לְ ג ִ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 1csofהלג,herefunctioningasapre-
dictivetext.Asindicatedabove,thisverbfallswithinaseparatesection
ofthetextfromthepreviousweqatal,ם ֶ תא ָ שְ נו,anditisalsomarkedby
achangeinsubject.Apartfromthat,itisnotatallunusualfortwocon-
secutiveweqatal verbstohaveentirelydifferentsyntacticalfunctions.
ם֖ ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א. Thedirectobject.
ק ֶ ש֑ ָ מ ַ ד ְ ל ה ָ אְ ל֣ ָ ה ֵ מ. Thepronounה ָ אְ ל ָ ה (“overthere”)combines
with ן ִ מ and ְ ל to form the preposition ְ ל ה ָ אְ ל ָ ה ֵ מ (“beyond”). It is
foundinGenesis35:21;Jeremiah22:19;andhere.“BeyondDamascus”
suggestsAssyriandomainsinnorthernMesopotamia.Thisremoves
theIsraelitesbeyondtheexpandeddomainIsraelhadachievedunder
JeroboamII(see2Kgs14:28).
Line b:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,4constituents,and5units.Therearetwoclauses:הָ והְ י ר ַ מ ָ א
5:27 a
b
176 Amos5:26-27
Garrett Amos final.indd 176 6/6/08 2:25:30 PM
and ומ ְ שׁ תוא ָ ב ְ צ־י ֵ הל ֱ א. The conjunctive merka in ה֥ ָ והְ י should be
disregarded;itmakesthelineungrammatical.Thesecondclauseisa
relativeclausewithimpliedר ֶ שׁ ֲ א.
ר֛ ַ מ ָ א. Qalqatal 3msofרמא.
ה֥ ָ והְ י. Thesubjectinthedivinespeechformulaהָ והְ י ר ַ מ ָ א.
תו ֖ א ָ ב ְ צ־י ֽ ֵ הל ֱ א. Thisconstructchainisthepredicateoftherela-
tiveclauseומ ְ שׁ תוא ָ ב ְ צ־י ֵ הל ֱ א(ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א).
ו ֽ מ ְ שׁ. This is the subject (with implied ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א) of the relative
clause.Itmeans,“whosename(is).”
6:1-8a: Accusation: Perverse Behavior: Four stanzas. Like the
firstpoemofthesecondcomplaint(5:18-24),thispoembeginswith
thelamentcryיוה.Itisacomplextextofseveralparts.Aftertheini-
tialcryofwoe,identifyingtheaccused(6:1),thetextcommandsthe
accusedtotakenoteofnationsthatarecomparabletotheirownand
drawtherelevantlesson(6:2).Afterthis,itpresentsthearistocratsin
Samariawithadetailedlistofaccusations(6:3-6)andconcludeswith
anoracleofjudgment(6:7-8a).
6:1:FirstStanza. Thisstanzaisinonestropheoffourlines.The
Hebrewissomewhatdifficult,butneitheremending(asinHolladay
1972)norremovinglineAcasaDeuteronomisticgloss(asinWolff
1977,270–71)ispersuasive.Thisstanzaistwoparts.Thefirst,lines
Aa-b, is an interjection, a cry of woe against the upper classes. The
second,linesAc-d,isasentenceintwoclausesdescribingthehonors
giventothoseclasses.
ןו ֔ ֹי ִ צ ְ ב םי֣ ִ נ ַ נ ֲ א ַ ש ַ ה יוה
ןו ֑ ר ְ מֹשׁ ר ֣ ַ ה ְ ב םי ֖ ִ ח ְ טֹב ַ ה ְ ו
ם֔ ִ יוג ַ ה תי ֣ ִ שׁא ֵ ר ֙ י ֵ ב ֻ קְ נ
׃ל ֽ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֥ ֵ ב ם֖ ֶ ה ָ ל וא֥ ָ בו
Amos5:27–6:8 177
6:1 Aa
Ab
Ac
Ad
Garrett Amos final.indd 177 6/6/08 2:25:30 PM
Line Aa:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0predicators,3constituents,and3units.Thislineisanexclamation
andlacksanypredication.
יוה. TheinitialcryofwoegovernslinesAa-b.
םי֣ ִ נ ַ נ ֲ א ַ ש ַ ה. Theadjectiveן ָ נ ֲ א ַ שׁ (“self-confident,carefree”)with
adefinitearticle.
ןו ֔ י ִ צ ְ ב. Prepositional phrase with locative ְ ב. It is peculiar that
Amos, who devotes almost the whole of his book to castigating
Samariaandthenorthernkingdom,shouldinthisbriefinstanceand
contrarytocontextspeakagainsttheJerusalemaristocracy.TheLXX
hereisquitedifferent,takingitasanattackonthosewhorejectZion
theology (ou oi ¬oi t çouûtvou oiv 2iov [“Woe to those who despise
Zion”]).ButtheLXXshouldnotbefollowedhere(itisunreliableas
awitnesstotheHebrewUrtext;seeGelston2002).Scholarsroutinely
treatthislineasaninterpolationorseektoemendthetext(seeWolff
1977,269–70).Itisbettertoseethisasaplacewherethehumanity
ofAmoscomesthrough.Amoscouldnothavebeenunawareoffact
thatmostofthearistocratsinhishomelandwerenobetterthanthose
ofSamaria,andheprobablyfeltgreaterbitternesstowardsthecorrupt
snobswhomistreatedhisownpeople.HiscommissionwastoIsrael,
butheinsertsawordofcondemnationagainstsimilarsinnersinZion.
Theauthenticityof“Zion”hereisalsoattestedtobyAmos’oblique
referencetoJerusalem’sdominationoverGathin6:2(seethediscus-
sionat6:2b).
Line Ab:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:0
predicators,2constituents,and3units.
םי ֖ ִ ח ְ טֹב ַ הְ ו. Qal active participle of חטב with conjunction. It
functionsadjectivallyinparallelwithםי ִ נ ַ נ ֲ א ַ ש ַ ה inlineAa.
ןו ֑ ר ְ מֹשׁ ר֣ ַ ה ְ ב. Prepositional phrase with locative ְ ב. The term
ר ַ ה herereferstotheacropolisofthecityandbyextensionitsfortifi-
cationsandculticsitesinwhichpeopleplacedtheirhopesformilitary
anddivineprotection.
178 Amos6:1
Garrett Amos final.indd 178 6/6/08 2:25:30 PM
Line Ac:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,1constituent,and3units.
ם֔ ִ יוג ַ ה תי ֣ ִ שׁא ֵ ר ֙ י ֵ ב ֻ קְ נ. A construct chain with a qal passive
participlempconstructofבקנ (“designate,mark”).Itisnotgram-
maticallyconnectedtotheprevioustwolines(notethelackofacon-
junction), but it is joined to the next line (indicated by the weqatal
thatbeginslineAd).Forthisreason,thislineshouldbetranslatedas
aperiphrasticclausewiththesubject (“they,”fromם ֶ ה ָ ל inthenext
line)implied.תי ִ שׁא ֵ ר isanappositionalgenitiveandםִ יוג ַ ה isapar-
titive genitive. It ironically speaks to the conceit of the aristocracy
of Samaria, who think of themselves as the best people of the best
countryintheworld.
Line Ad:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units(countingל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֵ ב asaproper
nameandthereforeoneunit).ThislineisexpositiononlineAc.
וא֥ ָ בו. Qalweqatal 3cpofאוב.Theweqatal functionsimperfec-
tivelytodescribeafrequentevent.
ם֖ ֶ הָ ל. Prepositionalphrasewithdirectional ְ ל anda3mpsuffix.
ל ֽ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֥ ֵ ב. The subject. The phrase here stands for all the
peopleofIsrael,andthusthethirdpluralverb.Themeaningisthat
thearistocracybasksinthegloryofhavingpeoplefromalloverthe
nationcometothemforadvice,help,ortopayhomage.
6:2: Second Stanza. This stanza is in two strophes. The first is
atricolonofimperativesandthesecondisapairofalternativeques-
tions. It pointsto othernations inorderto demonstrate the follyof
Samaria’sconfidenceandpride.
6:2a: First Strophe. Threelines,eachbeginningwithanimpera-
tive.
ו ֔ א ְ רו ֙ הֵ נ ְ ל ֽ ַ כ ו ֤ ר ְ ב ִ ע
ה֑ ָ ב ַ ר ת֣ ַ מ ֲ ח ם ֖ ָ ש ִ מ ו ֥ כ ְ לו
םי ֗ ת ְ שׁ ִ ל ְ פ־תַ ג ו ֣ ד ְ רו
Amos6:1-2 179
6:2a B1a
B1b
B1c
Garrett Amos final.indd 179 6/6/08 2:25:31 PM
Line B1a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
2predicators,3constituents,and3units.
ו ֤ ר ְ ב ִ ע. Qalimperativempofרבע.Theverbheresignifiescross-
ingintoanothernation’sterritory.
֙ הֵ נ ְ לֽ ַ כ. Calneh, also called Calno, was located in Syria, in the
lowerOrontesvalley(itisalsomentionedinIsa10:9).Onthesignifi-
canceofmentioningCalnehhere,seethediscussionbelowat6:2b.
ו ֔ א ְ רו. Qalimperativempofהאר withconjunction;theimpera-
tivewithconjunctionsometimesimpliespurpose.
Line B1b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units(takingה ָ ב ַ ר ת ַ מ ֲ ח asaproper
nameandthereforeoneunit).
ו ֥ כ ְ לו. Qalimperativempofךלה withconjunction.
ם ֖ ָ ש ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ.
ה֑ ָ ב ַ ר ת֣ ַ מ ֲ ח. “Great Hamath,” so-called because it contained
varioussmallerstateswithinit.InthetextoftheEponymChronicle,
whereTiglath-pileserIIImentionshisdefeatofCalneh,healsorefers
tothe“nineteendistrictsofHamath.”ItwaslocatedontheOrontes
inSyria.
Line B1c:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and2units.
ו ֣ ד ְ רו. Qalimperativempofהדר withconjunction.
םי ֗ ת ְ שִׁ ל ְ פ־תַ ג. Thepropernameconstructchain“Gathofthe
Philistines.” A directive particle such as a preposition ל ֶ א or direc-
tive ה is implied. Gath was almost certainly located at Tell es-Safi.
Accordingto2Kings12:18(E17),HazaelofDamascusseizedGath
inthelateninthcentury.UzziahofJudah,withinwhosereignAmos
prophesied(Amos1:1),pulleddownthewallsofGathintheearly8th
century according to 2 Chronicles 26:6. A major destruction level,
togetherwithamajorsiegetrench,datingtoIronAgeIIAhasbeen
foundatTelles-Safi.Evidenceindicatesthatthissiegewascarriedout
180 Amos6:2
Garrett Amos final.indd 180 6/6/08 2:25:31 PM
byHazael;UzziahprobablyfurtherreducedGathaftertheHazael’s
departurefromthearea.Forfurtherdiscussion,seeMaeir(2004).
6:2b: Second Strophe. Two lines, each containing a direct ques-
tion.
ה ֶ ל ֵ֔ א ָ ה תו ֣ ֹכ ָ ל ְ מ ַ מ ַ ה־ן ִ מ ֙ םי ִ בוט ֲ ה
׃םֽ ֶ כ ְ ל ֻ ב ְ ג ִ מ ם֖ ָ לוב ְ ג ב ֥ ַ ר־ם ִ א
Line B2a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0predicators,2constituents,and3units.Thisisaverblessclause,but
thesubjectisnotexplicit;itisimpliedtobe“you”bythe2mpsuffix
inlineB2b.
֙ םי ִ בוט ֲ ה. Adjective with interrogative ה. In the comparative
context,thismeans“better,”whichhereimpliesricher,morepower-
ful,orhavingalargerterritory.
ה ֶ ל ֵ֔ א ָ ה תו ֣ כ ָ ל ְ מ ַ מ ַ ה־ן ִ מ. Prepositional phrase with compara-
tive ן ִ מ followed by a noun with demonstrative pronoun. The word
ה ָ כ ָ ל ְ מ ַ מ referstothedomain,reignorroyalpowerofaking.
Line B2b: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 0
predicators,3constituents,and3units.
ב ֥ ַ ר־ם ִ א. The word ם ִ א here means “or.” The adjective ב ַ ר in
conjunction with the following ן ִ מ is comparative in force and thus
means“larger”or“greater.”
ם֖ ָ לובְ ג. The subject, with 3 m p suffix. This word may mean
“boundary” or “territory”, and it here focuses on the size of a king-
dom’sterritoryasameasureofitsgreatness.
םֽ ֶ כ ְ ל ֻ בְ ג ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithcomparativeן ִ מ.Theseter-
ritories, Calneh, Great Hamath, and Gath, are held up as examples
before the arrogant people of Samaria. Calneh and Hamath suf-
fered either destruction or subjugation c. 738 B.C. at the hands of
Tiglath-pileserIII.SeeABD,“Calneh,”andalsoRaineyandNotley
Amos6:2 181
6:2b B2a
B2b
Garrett Amos final.indd 181 6/6/08 2:25:31 PM
(2006, 226–27). Hamath was listed among states giving tribute to
Tiglath-pileser III in that year, and its territory was reduced (Paul
1991,202).Theproblem,however,isthattheconquestofCalnehby
Tiglath-pileserIIIwassometwentyyearsaftertheministryofAmos,
but the text here indicates that the subjugation of these states has
already taken place. A number of scholars therefore argue that this
sectionisalaterinterpolationbyadiscipleofAmosfromtheperiod
afterTiglath-pileserIII’scampaign(seeWolff1977,274).Thereare
twopossiblealternativestothisanalysis.(1)ItmaybethatAmosis
not at all suggesting that these nations have already been brought
down but in fact asserting that they were equally as prosperous as
Israel (Paul 1991, 203). The question of line B2b (“Or is their ter-
ritory bigger than yours?”) indicates that in Amos’ day these cities
werestillstandingandstillfairlyrobust.Againstthisinterpretation,
however,isthementionofGath,whichhadlostitspowerandpres-
tige by the time of Amos (see the discussion at 1:6-8). (2) A better
solutionisthatthesethreestatesarementionedneitherbecausethey
hadbeenalreadyobliteratedbyAssyrianorbecausetheywerestillas
prosperousasIsraelbutbecausetheywereunderIsraeliteorJudahite
domination. Jeroboam II himself had forced Hamath into submis-
sionearlierinhisreign(2Kgs14:28),andGathwasruledbyUzziah
ofJudah(2Chr26:6).Nothingcertainisknownofthesituationof
CalnehduringAmos’ministry.Ontheotherhand,sinceJeroboam
IIhadbecomedominantintheregion,itisreasonabletoassumethat
Calneh,too,wasinsomemeasuresubordinatetoIsrael.Thesmug-
nessofthearistocraciesinSamariaandZionwasinpartduetotheir
dominationofthesethreekingdoms.
6:3-6: Third Stanza. This stanza, giving the details of the
accusationsagainstthearistocrats,haselevenlinesdividedintothree
strophes. The key to the strophic division is in Amos’ tendency to
matchaparticipleinanopeninglineorlineswithafiniteverbina
closinglineorlines.Thispatterngovernsthesethreestrophes(C1a
withC1b;C2a-ewithC2f;C3awithC3b-c).Throughoutthestanza,
theparticiplesthatleadlinesmustberegardedaspredicators,asin
182 Amos6:2
Garrett Amos final.indd 182 6/6/08 2:25:32 PM
every case they are joined by a conjunction to a concluding finite
verb.Thestanzaendsin6:6withtwolinesgovernedbyfiniteverbs.
The lengthy second strophe, describing the carefree attitude of the
aristocrats, is the heart of the stanza. The first strophe introduces
the theme by noting that they push back any thought that disaster
maybecoming,andthethirdstanzaconcludesitwithapictureof
anself-indulgentdrinkingparty.Anumberofscholarscallthistext
a“woe”passage(seediscussionoflineC1b).Theyseemtothinkthat
thegrammarofhavingaparticipleinonelinefollowedbyaconjunc-
tionandfiniteverbinthenext,thepatternusedthroughoutthistext,
means that the text is a “woe.” This is plainly wrong; in 6:8b this
patternisusedwithGodasthesubject,andGodisnotpronouncing
awoeonhimself.
6:3: First Strophe. Two lines describing how the wicked have a
kind of cognitive dissonance, on the one hand scoffing at the idea
thatdisasterisnearbutontheotherpromotingtheconditionsthat
guaranteeitwillcome.
ע ֑ ָ ר םו ֣ י ְ ל םי ֖ ִ דַ נ ְ מ ֽ ַ ה
׃ס ֽ ָ מ ָ ח ת ֶ ב ֥ ֶ שׁ ןו ֖ שׁי ִ ג ַ תַ ו
Line C1a: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and3units.
םי ֖ ִ דַ נ ְ מ ֽ ַ ה. Piel participle m p of הדנ with definite article. The
rootהדנ occursonlyinthePielandtwiceintheHebrewBible(here
andIsaiah66:5:ם ֶ כי ֵ דַ נ ְ מ ם ֶ כי ֵ אְ נֹש ם ֶ כי ֵ ח ֲ א,“yourbrothers[who]hate
you [and] push you away”). This interpretation of the verb is sup-
ported by the Hebrew of Sirach 6:10 (concerning the false friend):
ךממ הדנתי ךתערב (“whenyouareintroubleheseparateshimself
from you”), using the Hithpael. Stuart (1987, 357) argues that this
is the Akkadian nadû, to “forecast.” But, apart from the aforemen-
tioned evidence, the antithesis of the piel הדנ in this line with the
hiphilשׁיגה (“bringnear”)inthenextiscompelling,andanalterna-
Amos6:2-3 183
6:3 C1a
C1b
Garrett Amos final.indd 183 6/6/08 2:25:32 PM
tivemeaningforהדנ isnotpersuasive.Also,theideathatthey“push
awaytheevilday”(i.e.,dismissthenotionthattroubleisnear)leads
intothenextstrophe,wheretheyliveincarelessindulgence.
ע ֑ ָ ר םו ֣ י ְ ל. Prepositional phrase with ְ ל. The use of ְ ל to mark
an accusative is well-attested (IBHS §11.2.10g), but we do not have
anydataforל הדנ apartfromthisexample.ע ַ ר םוי onlyoccurshere,
althoughwedohaveע ַ ר י ֵ מְ י inPsalm49:6(E5)andPsalm94:13.It
referstoatimeofdisaster.ThearistocratsofSamariarejecttheidea
thatsuchacrisisiscoming,asillustratedbytheirwordsin9:10.
Line C1b:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,2constituents,and3units.
ןו ֖ שׁי ִ ג ַ תַ ו. Hiphilwayyiqtol 2mpofשׁגנ withconjunctionand
paragogicנ.Theparagogicנ maymarkcontrast(seeIBHS §31.7.1b),
andcontrastisapparenthere.Thenormalmeaningofthisverbisto
“bring close.” Stuart (1987, 357) suggests that the verb here means
“produceviadivination,”butsuchameaningisunparalleledforthis
verb. A number of scholars have stated that the second person verb
looks peculiar here; Wolff has proposed emending to third person
(Wolff1977,271–72).Thisisfoundedonthenotionsthatthisstro-
pheisa“woe”statement,whichshouldbeinthethirdperson.Butin
factthisisaseriesofaccusations;itisnotgovernedbytheיוה of6:1;
thesecondstanza(6:2)between6:1and6:3precludesthispossibility
(contrary,e.g.,toAndersenandFreedman[1989,544–46,559–60],
who arbitrarily add יוה six times in 6:1-6 to create a series of seven
woes).
ס ֽ ָ מ ָ ח ת ֶ ב ֥ ֶ שׁ. The direct object. The meaning of ת ֶ ב ֶ שׁ here is
debated.Itappearstobeanoun(orinfinitiveconstruct)oftheroot
בשׁי, which would give the meaning “seat / habitation of violence.”
ThisiscomparedtoPsalm94:20,תוו ַ ה א ֵ ס ִ כ ך ְ ר ְ ב ָ חְ י ַ ה (“Canathrone
ofdestructionbejoinedtoyou?”i.e.,“Canviolentrulersbealliedwith
you,[YHWH]?”).Or,ת ֶ ב ֶ שׁ couldbederivedfromtherootתבשׁ and
taken to mean “cessation.” But “cessation of violence” is surely not
the meaning here. Occurrences of ת ֶ ב ֶ שׁ in Exodus 21:19; 2 Samuel
184 Amos6:3
Garrett Amos final.indd 184 6/6/08 2:25:33 PM
23:7;Isaiah30:7arethemselvesquiteobscure,butin1Kings10:19
(||2Chr9:18);Obadiah3;Lamentations3:63itclearlymeans“seat”
or “sitting.” In Proverbs 20:3 either “sitting” or “cessation” is possi-
ble. Stuart (1987, 357) emends ת ֶ ב ֶ שׁ to ת ָ ב ַ שׁ and so translates the
verse,“Thosewhoareforecastingabadday/Anddiviningaharmful
week,”butthisbuildsspeculationonspeculationandcannotbefol-
lowed. For other proposed emendations or interpretations of ת ֶ ב ֶ שׁ,
seeWolff1977,272.Onthewhole,“habitationofviolence”remains
themostpersuasiveoption.Thebicolonmeansthattheyscoffatthe
notion that disaster is near but make Samaria a place where violent
oppressionhasahome.
6:4-5: Second Strophe.Sixlinesfollowingthepatternofaparti-
ciple(linesC2a-e)followedbyafiniteverb(C2f ).Translatingthese
participlesintoEnglish,itisappropriatetousefiniteverbs(e.g.,“They
lieonbedsofivory”).
ן ֔ ֵ שׁ תו ֣ ט ִ מ־ל ַ ע ֙ םי ִ ב ְ כ ֽ ֹש ַ ה
ם ֑ ָ תוש ְ ר ַ ע־ל ַ ע םי ֖ ִ ח ֻ ר ְ סו
ןא ֔ ֹצ ִ מ ֙ םי ִ ר ָ כ םי ֤ ִ ל ְ כֹ אְ ו
׃קֽ ֵ ב ְ ר ַ מ ךו ֥ ת ִ מ םי ֖ ִ ל ָ ג ֲ ע ַ ו
ל ֶ ב֑ ָ נ ַ ה י ֣ ִ פ־ל ַ ע םי ֖ ִ ט ְ רֹ פ ַ ה
׃רי ֽ ִ שׁ־י ֵ ל ְ כ ם֖ ֶ ה ָ ל ו ֥ ב ְ שׁ ָ ח די ִ֕ ו ָ ד ְ כ
Line C2a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and3units.
֙ םי ִ ב ְ כ ֽ ֹש ַ ה. Qalactiveparticiplempofבכשׁ withdefinitearti-
cle.Incontext,theyarenotlyingdowntosleepbutrecliningatfeasts.
Thedefinitearticleappears withtheparticiple here andinC2ebut
notinC2bandC2c.Thisgroupsthestropheintotwoparts,C2a-d
andC2e-f;seethetranslationabove.
ן ֔ ֵ שׁ תו ֣ ט ִ מ־ל ַ ע. Prepositional phrase with ל ַ ע on a construct
Amos6:3-5 185
6:4
6:5
C2a
C2b
C2c
C2d
C2e
C2f
Garrett Amos final.indd 185 6/6/08 2:25:33 PM
chain(anadjectivalgenitive).Thisofcoursedoesnotmeanthatthe
entirebedismadeofivorybutthatitisdecoratedwithivoryinlay.
Line C2b:Thecolon-markerisathnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.Thelineissemanticallyparal-
leltoC2a.
םי ֖ ִ ח ֻ ר ְ סו. Qalpassiveparticiplempofחרס withconjunction.
The verb חרס appears in the qal yiqtol in Exodus 26:12 (ח ַ ר ְ ס ִ ת)
where it refers to an excess of tent fabric that hangs over the back
ofthetent.Inthenextverse,Exodus26:13, ַ חור ָ ס הֶ י ְ הִ י (“itshallbe
overhung”),withthepassiveparticiple,isusedinaparallelmanner.
See also Ezekiel 23:15. Used of people, this refers to lounging on a
couch(drapingone’sbodyoverit)inacarefreemannerthatsuggests
luxuryandarrogance.
ם ֑ ָ תוש ְ ר ַ ע־ל ַ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithlocativeל ַ ע.
Line C2c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
םי ֤ ִ ל ְ כֹ אְ ו. Qal active participle m p of לכא with conjunction,
implyingthattheloungingoncouchesandeatingarepartofasingle
event(i.e.,amealwhilereclining).
֙ םי ִ ר ָ כ. The direct object. The word refers to young rams or
lambs,themeatofwhichwouldbetenderandpresumablyexpensive.
In1Samuel15:9,םי ִ ר ָ כ ַ ה arelistedamongthebestoftheflockthat
thepeoplerefusedtodestroyintheherem ofAgag’spossessions.
ןא ֔ ֹצ ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithpartitiveן ִ מ.
Line C2d: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 0
predicators,2constituents,and3units.Thereisgappingofםי ֤ ִ ל ְ כֹ אְ ו
fromthepreviousline.
םי ֖ ִ לָ ג ֲ עַ ו. Thedirectobject.Anלֶ ג ֵ ע isayoungbullfromwhich
tendercutsofvealwouldcome.
קֽ ֵ ב ְ ר ַ מ ךו ֥ ת ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ,referringtoorigin.
Cattlewereconfinedtostallsinordertofattenthem;theywouldof
coursebeveryexpensive.
186 Amos6:4-5
Garrett Amos final.indd 186 6/6/08 2:25:34 PM
Line C2e: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and3units.
םי ֖ ִ ט ְ רֹ פ ַ ה. Qalactiveparticiplempofטרפ withdefinitearti-
cle.Therootishapax legomenon;itisprobablyonomatopoeicforthe
soundofstrummingonstrings.
ל ֶ ב֑ ָ נ ַ ה י ֣ ִ פ־ל ַ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithlocativeל ַ ע onacon-
structchain.Theל ֶ בֵ נ isgenerallytranslated“harp”whiletheרונ ִ כ is
generally translated “lyre.” The lyre is bow-shaped with a cross-bar
acrossthetopofthebow;stringsextendparalleltoeachotherfromthe
bartothebow,andthelongeststringsarethoseatthecenter.Artistic
depictions of symposia on Greek pottery routinely show celebrants
holdinglyres.Theharp,bycontrast,isbowedbutthestringsrunpar-
alleltooneanotherfromoneendofthebowtotheotherend(likethe
stringonabowforarrows),andtheygetprogressivelylongernearer
tothetwoendsofthebow.Aharpmayhaveacross-bartostrengthen
thebow,butstringswillnotbestrungfromit.Largeharps,suchas
standonapedestal(likethemodernharp),areattestedintheancient
world.Wecannotbesure,however,thatthesedefinitionsforlyreand
harpapplytotheרונ ִ כ andל ֶ בֵ נ.TheBiblespeaksofbothaל ֶ בֵ נ and
ofaרונ ִ כ whichwashand-heldandthusrelativelysmall(e.g.,1Sam
10:5;Isa23:16;1Chr13:8).Josephus,Antiq.7:306(7.12.3.306)says
thattheרונ ִ כ (|ivu po)hadten“strings”(_opöq )andwasplayedwith
a plectrum but that the ל ֶ בֵ נ (vo þio) had twelve “notes” (¢ûo yyo)
andwasplayedwiththefingers.IfJosephusiscorrectabouthowthe
instruments were played, and if analogies from classical Greece are
appropriate,thentheל ֶ בֵ נ wasactuallyalyre.Classicaldepictionsof
symposia generally have the participants playing the lyre (with the
fingers,notaplectrum)andnottheharp.The“mouth”(ה ֶ פ)ofthe
lyrewouldbetheopenspaceinthecenterwherethefingersplucked
thestrings.
Line C2f:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,4constituents,and5units.
די ִ֕ ו ָ ד ְ כ. Prepositionalphrasewithcomparative ְ כ.
Amos6:4-5 187
Garrett Amos final.indd 187 6/6/08 2:25:34 PM
ו ֥ ב ְ שׁ ָ ח. Qalqatal 3cpofבשׁח.Theverbheremeans“devise,”as
inExodus31:4.Incontext,itcouldbetranslatedas“improvise.”
ם֖ ֶ ה ָ ל. Indirectobjectwith ְ ל anda3mpsuffix.
רי ֽ ִ שׁ־י ֵ ל ְ כ. Thisconstructchainappearstobethedirectobject
andtomean“musicalinstruments,”sinceי ִ ל ְ כ normallyreferstosome
object,suchaspottery,atool,oraweapon.Seealsoרי ִ שׁ־י ֵ ל ְ כ inNehe-
miah12:36;1Chronicles15:16;16:42;2Chronicles7:6;34:12;where
it always means “musical instruments.” It seems odd, however, that
revelersrecliningoncouchesatasymposiumwouldbebusyinventing
newmusicalinstruments,anditcontradictsthepreviousline,where
theyareplaying instrumentsandnotmakingthem.Itisbesttoassume
that רי ִ שׁ־י ֵ ל ְ כ is not the direct object but is instrumental; it may be
thattheל ַ ע fromlineC2eimplicitlygovernsthisphrase.Thedirect
object,impliedbythetermרי ִ שׁ־י ֵ ל ְ כ,isanunstatedרי ִ שׁ (“song”).See
also the next line, C3a, which speaks of the vessel with which they
drinkbutdoesnotexplicitlystatewhattheydrinksincetheimplied
directobjectwithן ִ י ַ י י ֵ ק ְ רְ ז ִ מ ְ ב (“withbowlsofwine”)isן ִ י ַ י.
6:6: Third Strophe.Threelines.Theendofthisstanzaismarked
byendingthestrophewithtwofiniteverbsinsteadofjustone.
ן ִ י ֔ ַ י ֙ י ֵ ק ְ ר ְ ז ִ מ ְ ב םי ֤ ִ תֹש ַ ה
וח ֑ ָ שׁ ְ מִ י םי֖ ִ נ ָ מ ְ שׁ תי ֥ ִ שׁא ֵ ר ְ ו
׃ף ֽ ֵ סוי ר ֶ ב ֥ ֵ שׁ־ל ַ ע ו ֖ ל ְ חֶ נ א ֥ ֹל ְ ו
Line C3a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and3units.
םי ֤ ִ תֹש ַ ה. Qal active participle m p of התשׁ with the definite
article.
ן ִ י ֔ ַ י ֙ י ֵ ק ְ רְ ז ִ מ ְ ב. Prepositional phrase with instrumental ְ ב. The
ק ָ רְ ז ִ מ isashallowbowlusedfordrinkingwineandpouringoutliba-
tions. In Greece, participants in a symposium might drink from a
6:6 C3a
C3b
C3c
188 Amos6:5-6
Garrett Amos final.indd 188 6/6/08 2:25:35 PM
large bowl called a ¢io iq, which they passed from one to the other
(Plato,Symposium 223c:¬i vtiv t | ¢io iq µtyo iq[“todrinkfroma
large bowl”]). Artwork also depicts celebrants drinking from small,
shallow,cup-sizedbowlsheldinonehand.Intheconstructchain,ן ִ י ַ י
isanadjectivalgenitive.
Line C3b:Thecolon-markeris athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and3units.
םי֖ ִ נ ָ מ ְ שׁ תי ֥ ִ שׁא ֵ רְ ו. Aconstructchainwithconjunction,thisis
an accusative phrase describing the substance with which they were
anointed.Thegenitiverelationshipintheconstructchainispartitive;
theyusethebestofallavailableoils.
וח ֑ ָ שׁ ְ מִ י. Qal yiqtol 3 m p of חשׁמ. The verb usually connotes
somekindofritualanointing,butitcanbeusedfornon-ritualpur-
poses(Isa21:5;Jer22:14).Peoplegenerallyanointedthemselveswith
oilsatdinnersandparties;cf.Luke7:46.
Line C3c: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and3units.
ו ֖ ל ְ חֶ נ א֥ ֹל ְ ו. Niphalqatal 3cpofהלח.Theverbmeanstobesickor
feelpain,andhereitreferstoemotionaldistress.
ף ֽ ֵ סוי ר ֶ ב ֥ ֵ שׁ־ל ַ ע. Prepositional phrase with ל ַ ע meaning “con-
cerning.” The construct chain here properly means the “breakup of
Joseph.”Theuseof“Joseph”assynecdocheforthenorthernkingdom
isfairlyrare;itisalsofoundinEzekiel37:16,19;Psalm80:2(E1).
ר ֶ ב ֵ שׁ canrefertothedestructionofanationbyanoutsideentity(Jer
4:6). This could be the meaning here, but Amos implies that this
is something the leaders of society should perceive around them at
thepresent;itisnotsomethinginthefuturethatonlyaprophetcan
see.Itmayrefertothesplitofthenationintofactionsanddivisions.
Ontheonehand,divisionsbetweeneconomicandsocialclasseswere
widening,andontheother,factionswithinthearistocracymusthave
already been apparent. With the death of Jeroboam II, Israel would
fallintopoliticalchaosifnotoutrightcivilwar.
Amos6:6 189
Garrett Amos final.indd 189 6/6/08 2:25:35 PM
6:7-8a: Fourth Stanza. This stanza is in one strophe and has
threelines.InterpretersnormallytakelineDc(thebeginningofv.8)
withtherestofv.8inaccordancewiththeparagraphdivisionofthe
MT.However,itisbettertoreadlineDcwithv.7fortworeasons.
First,adivineoathnormallyshouldbeattachedtoasolemnstatement
in which God declares what he will or will not do in the future, as
intheotherinstancesofעבשׁנ inAmos(4:2and8:7).Itispeculiar
thatGodwould,takinglineDcwithv.8,swearanoaththathehates
something. It makes more sense to take the oath with 6:7, a prom-
isethattheleadingmenofSamariawillheadoffintoexile.Second,
beginningthenextsectionin6:8bwithתוא ָ ב ְ צ י ֵ הל ֱ א הָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ,as
is proposed below, creates an inclusion structure for 6:8 with 6:14,
wherewehaveתוא ָ ב ְ צ ַ ה י ֵ הל ֱ א הָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ.
םי ֑ ִ לֹ ג שׁא ֣ ֹר ְ ב ו ֖ ל ְ ג ִ י ה ֥ ָ ת ַ ע ן ֛ ֵ כ ָ ל
פ ׃םי ֽ ִ חור ְ ס ח֥ ַ ז ְ ר ִ מ ר ֖ ָ ס ְ ו
ו ֗ שׁ ְ פ ַ נ ְ ב הִ֜ והְ י י ֨ ָ נֹד ֲ א ֩ ע ַ ב ְ שִׁ נ
Line Da: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,4constituents,and5units.
ן֛ ֵ כ ָ ל. “Therefore.” The previous accusations conclude with the
judgmentthatmustlogicallyfollow.
ה ֥ ָ ת ַ ע. Thiswordisnotmerelyfiller;theliteralmeaning“now”
indicatesthatthejudgmentisimminent.
ו ֖ לְ גִ י. Qalyiqtol 3mpofהלג usedforfuturetense.
םי ֑ ִ לֹ ג שׁא ֣ ֹר ְ ב. Prepositional phrase with locative ְ ב on the qal
active participle m s of הלג. Their prior position, according to 6:1,
hadbeenastheםִ יוג ַ ה תי ִ שׁא ֵ ר י ֵ ב ֻ קְ נ;nowtheygooffםי ִ לֹ ג שׁאֹר ְ ב,at
theheadofthelineofexiles.
Line Db:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.
6:7
6:8a
Da
Db
Dc
190 Amos6:7-8
Garrett Amos final.indd 190 6/6/08 2:25:35 PM
ר ֖ ָ סְ ו. Qalweqatal 3msofרוס.Normallymeaning“turnaside”
or“goaway,”itheremeans,“cometoanend.”
םי ֽ ִ חור ְ ס ח֥ ַ ז ְ ר ִ מ. Aconstructchainwithaqalpassiveparticiple
m p of חרס (see 6:4) used substantively as the absolute noun. The
ַ חֵ ז ְ ר ַ מ isclearlyaouµ¬o oiov(“symposium”;lit.,“drinkingtogether”)
such as is familiar from classical Greece. All of the major elements
familiar from the classical world are present: revelers reclining on
couches,musicmaking,feasting,anddrinkingwinefrombowls.
Line Dc: The colon-marker is revia and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
֩ ע ַ ב ְ שִׁ נ.Niphalqatal 3msofעבשׁ.
הִ֜ והְ י י ֨ ָ נֹד ֲ א. Thesubject.
ו ֗ שְׁ פַ נ ְ ב. Prepositional phrase with ְ ב for that by which one
swears.שֶׁ פֶ נ heremeans“self.”Godisswearingbyhisownperson.
6:8b-11: Judgment on the Houses of Samaria:Thistextiscom-
posed of two judgment oracles (6:8, 11), between which is a prose
description of a grisly funerary scene (6:9-10), ironically making
thepointthat,owingtotheextentofthedisaster,nolamentationis
heard.
6:8b:OracleagainsttheCitadelsofSamaria. Thisisasingle
stropheoffourlines.Itservesthreefunctions.First,itusesalengthy
formula of divine speech (line a) to introduce a pronouncement of
divinedispleasureinlinesc-d.Second,itlinksthisdispleasuretothe
oraclesagainstthenationsinAmos1–2andsotreatsIsraelasoneof
thenations.Godhatesthe“citadels”(ןומ ְ ר ַ א)ofSamaria,andןומ ְ ר ַ א is
usedinthejudgmentsagainstallofthefirstsevennations.Also,Israel
willbe“handedover”(ריגסה)toitsenemies(ריגסה isusedinAmos
1:6,9forcarryingoffcaptivesintoslavery).Third,itprovidesalead-in
tothefollowingprosetext,6:9-10,inthatlinedspeaksofthewhole
ofthecitybeingremoved,andvv.9-10describealargehouseholdthat
isentirelywipedout.
Amos6:7-8 191
Garrett Amos final.indd 191 6/6/08 2:25:36 PM
תו ֔ א ָ ב ְ צ י ֣ ֵ הל ֱ א ֙ ה ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ
ב ֔ ֹק ֲ עֽ ַ י ןו ֣ א ְ ג־ת ֶ א ֙ י ִ כֹ נ ֽ ָ א ב֤ ֵ א ָ ת ְ מ
י ִ תא֑ ֵ נ ָ ש וי ֖ ָ תֹ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ אְ ו
׃ה ֽ ָ אל ְ מו רי ֥ ִ ע י ֖ ִ ת ְ ר ַ ג ְ ס ִ ה ְ ו
Line a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:0
predicators,1constituent,and4units.
תו ֔ א ָ ב ְ צ י ֣ ֵ הל ֱ א ֙ הָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ. This is another divine oracle for-
mula,butitismademoresolemnbythepleonasticdivinetitle.
Line b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
ב֤ ֵ א ָ ת ְ מ. Pielparticiplemsofבאת II,usedperiphrastically.This
rootishapax legomenon withthemeaning“abhor”(itisclearlymeant
to be the parallel of י ִ תאֵ נ ָ ש in line c). In Psalm 119:40, 174, a root
באת (qal)meansto“longfor.”Notwithstandingthedifferentstems,
it is astonishing that two homonyms could have such diametrically
oppositemeanings.Itispossiblethatascribehasdeliberatelyaltered
בעת toבאת forthesakeofeuphemismorthatבאת,“abhor,”issim-
plyaby-formforבעת.Anotherpossibilityisthatthereisadeliberate
wordplayhere.God“abhors”theprideofJacob(theirwealth,citadels,
etc.)butalso“longsfor”itinthesensethatGodhimselfoughttobe
theirpride.Thelikelihoodofsuchaninterpretationisenhancedby
thefactthatGodreferstohimselfasthe“prideofJacob”in8:7.Itis
impossibletobringthisoutintranslation,however.
֙ י ִ כֹ נ ֽ ָ א. Thefirstpersonsubjecthastobeexplicitbecausetheverb
isaparticiple.
ב ֔ ֹק ֲ עֽ ַ י ןו ֣ אְ ג־ת ֶ א. Thedirectobject.Thenounןואָ ג canreferto
anykindofarrogance,buthereitseemstoreferspecificallytotheir
confidence in their military power and high walls, as the next line
indicates.
Line c:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,2constituents,and2units.
6:8b a
b
c
d
192 Amos6:8
Garrett Amos final.indd 192 6/6/08 2:25:36 PM
וי ֖ ָ תֹ נ ְ מ ְ ר ַ אְ ו. Thedirectobject.Thechiasticstructureofthisand
thepreviouslinestronglysuggeststhatthefortificationsofSamaria
arethebasisfortheirpride(ןואְ ג).
י ִ תא֑ ֵ נ ָ ש. Qalqatal 1csofאנש.Notethathereagainaparticiple
inonelineisfollowedbyaconjunctionandfiniteverbinthenext.
Line d:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units.
י ֖ ִ ת ְ ר ַ ג ְ ס ִ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 1csofרגס.Thisreferstosendingthe
peopleintoexileandslavery,asinAmos1:6,9.
רי ֥ ִ ע. Thedirectobject.“City”isheresynecdocheforthepeople
ofthecity.
ה ֽ ָ אל ְ מו. Aseconddirectobjectwitha3fssuffix(theantecedent
isרי ִ ע).The“fullness”ofthecityiseverythingthatenrichesit,includ-
ingitspeople,itstreasures,anditsprestige.
6:9-10:AMass-FuneralwithoutLamentation:Thistextisnot
poetry.Itisakindofone-actplay,apictureofthetraumathatwill
overtakethearrogantnation,inwhichtheonlylivingandspeaking
characters are two gravediggers. The scene is grotesque, ironic, and
notmeanttobefullyrealistic.Itportraysalandinwhichthenormal
conventionsofmourninghavebeenabandoned.
׃ות ֽ ֵ מָ ו ד ֖ ָ ח ֶ א תִ י ֥ ַ ב ְ ב םי ֛ ִ שָׁ נ ֲ א ה ֧ ָ ר ָ ש ֲ ע ו ֜ ר ְ ת֨ ָ ו ִ י־ם ִ א ה֗ ָ י ָ ה ְ ו
Prose Clause:ה֗ ָ י ָ הְ ו
The qal weqatal 3 m s of היה serves as a discourse marker to
introduceananticipatory(futureoriented)narrative.Onthepattern
ם ִ א הָ י ָ הְ ו,seethediscussionat7:2.
Prose Clause:ד ֖ ָ ח ֶ א תִ י ֥ ַ ב ְ ב םי ֛ ִ שָׁ נ ֲ א ה֧ ָ ר ָ ש ֲ ע ו ֜ ר ְ ת֨ ָ ו ִ י־ם ִ א
Aprotasiswithור ְ תָ ו ִ י,aniphalyiqtol 3mpofרתי,aspredicate.
Theimpliedsettingissomefuturecalamityinwhichthepopulation
of the northern kingdom has been all but eradicated. An extended
Amos6:8-9 193
6:9
Garrett Amos final.indd 193 6/6/08 2:25:37 PM
familymayhaveoncehadfiftyorevenonehundredpeopleinit(תִ י ַ ב
hereisprobablynotasinglestructurebutaב ָ א־תי ֵ ב,asmallinterre-
latedcommunitybuiltaroundalocalpatriarch).Afterthedevastation
oftheland,almostallwillhavebeentakenawayorkilled.But,the
protasisasks,whatiftenpersonssurvive?(םי ִ שָׁ נ ֲ א hereis“persons”of
eithergenderoranyage.)
Prose Clause:ותֽ ֵ מָ ו
Theqalweqatal 3cpofתומ istheapodosis,anditrespondsto
theindirectquestionwithastartling,one-wordanswer:theywilldie.
Thepointisthattherewillbenoescapefromthefurytocome.
֒ תִ י ַ ב ַ ה־ן ִ מ ֮ םי ִ מ ָ צ ֲ ע אי ֣ ִ צוה ְ ל ו ֗ ֹ פ ְ ר ָ ס ְ מו ו ֣ ֹדוד ו ֞ א ָ שְ נו
ס ֶ פ ֑ ָ א ר֣ ַ מ ָ אְ ו ך ֖ ָ מ ִ ע דו ֥ ע ַ ה תִ י ֛ ַ ב ַ ה י ֥ ֵ ת ְ כ ְ רַ י ְ ב ר ֨ ֶ שׁ ֲ א ַ ל ר ֞ ַ מ ָ אְ ו
׃הֽ ָ והְ י ם ֥ ֵ שׁ ְ ב רי ֖ ִ כְ ז ַ ה ְ ל א ֥ ֹל י ֛ ִ כ ס ֔ ָ ה ר֣ ַ מ ָ אְ ו
Prose Clause: ־ן ִ מ ֮ םי ִ מ ָ צ ֲ ע אי ֣ ִ צוה ְ ל ו ֗ ֹ פ ְ ר ָ ס ְ מו ו ֣ ֹדוד ו ֞ א ָ שְ נו
֒ תִ י ַ ב ַ ה
וא ָ שְ נו.aqalweqatal 3msofאשנ witha3mssuffix,continues
the apodosis with a second mainline clause. ופ ְ ר ָ ס ְ מו ודוד is hendi-
adysforapersonwhoisresponsibleforthedisposalofadeadbody.
Thebasicmeaningofדוד isprobably“uncle,”butbyextensionitis
a term of endearment and could probably be applied to a nonrela-
tiveperformingthedutiesofarelative.Indeed,דוד maybeaddedto
thisman’stitleasaeuphemisminlightofhowunpleasanthistaskis
andbecauseideallyitoughttobedonebyafamilymember.ופ ְ ר ָ ס ְ מו
appearstobeapielparticiplemswitha3mssuffixandconjunction.
Therootiseitherףרש I(“burn”)orףרש II(“embalm”).Ineithercase
itreferstosomeonedesignatedthetaskoftakingcareofadeadbody,
butitisprobablyfromףרש II.Immolationnotattestedasafunerary
riteinIronAgeIsrael,andףרס isaknownvariantforףרש IIbutnot
forףרש I(Paul1991,215–16).Thus,inourtermsandmaintaining
theeuphemism,ופ ְ ר ָ ס ְ מו ודוד is“hisUncleUndertaker.”The3ms
6:10
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suffixontheverb(andthetwonouns)referstoanydeceasedperson
that the “undertaker” must deal with; the suffix can be translated
into English as “their.” אי ִ צוה ְ ל, a hiphil infinitive construct of אצי
with ְ ל, expresses purpose. םי ִ מ ָ צ ֲ ע, “bones,” is synecdoche for dead
bodies(thisversedoesnotrefertotheritualprocessofdesiccatingthe
bones,althoughthatprocessmaybebehindreferringtoadeadbody
as“bones”).
Prose Clause:תִ י ֛ ַ ב ַ ה י ֥ ֵ ת ְ כ ְ רַ י ְ ב ר ֨ ֶ שׁ ֲ אַ ל ר ֞ ַ מ ָ אְ ו
ר ַ מ ָ אְ ו.anotherqalweqatal 3msofרמא,continuesthemainline
predictivediscourse.Thesubjectistheundertaker,ופ ְ ר ָ ס ְ מו ודוד,and
hespeakstosomeslaveorsubordinatewhoishelpinghimfindand
removebodies,herecalledתִ י ַ ב ַ ה י ֵ ת ְ כ ְ רַ י ְ ב ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א (thisperson,“whois
inthebackpartsofthehouse,”shouldnotberegardedasoneofthe
originalinhabitants;heisinthehouseonlybecauseheislookingfor
dead bodies). In the Israelite “three-room” or “four-room” house of
theIronAge,תִ י ַ ב ַ ה י ֵ ת ְ כ ְ רַ י wouldprobablybethestoreroomthatgoes
acrossthebackpartofthegroundfloorofthebuilding(seeKingand
Stager2001,28–30).Thus,theinnermostrecessesofthehousesare
beingsearched.
Prose Clause:ך֖ ָ מ ִ ע דו ֥ ע ַ ה
Reportedspeech;averblessclausewithaprepositionalphraseas
thepredicateandthesubjectunstated.Theparticleדוע hasaninter-
rogativeה;thus,“(Are)therestill(anybodies)withyou?”Thisiscol-
loquial speech; it could be accurately rendered as, “Any more with
you?”or“Stillgotany?”
Prose Clause:ר֣ ַ מ ָ אְ ו
ר ַ מ ָ אְ ו.Anotherqalweqatal 3msofרמא,continuesthemain-
line predictive discourse. The assistant “who is in the back of the
house”responds.
Prose Clause:ס ֶ פ֑ ָ א
Reported speech. Literally “end,” ס ֶ פ ֶ א (in pausal form in this
text)heremeans,“that’sit”or“therearenomore.”
Amos6:10 195
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Prose Clause:ר֣ ַ מ ָ אְ ו
ר ַ מ ָ אְ ו.Anotherqalweqatal 3msofרמא,continuesthemain-
linepredictivediscourse.Theundertakerspeaks.
Prose Clause:ס ֔ ָ ה
Reportedspeech.LiketheEnglish“Hush!”thisisanindeclinable
imperativethatcallsforsilence.
Prose Clause:הֽ ָ והְ י ם ֥ ֵ שׁ ְ ב רי ֖ ִ כְ ז ַ ה ְ ל א֥ ֹל י ֛ ִ כ
Thereportedspeechoftheundertakercontinues.Thepatternי ִ כ
אֹל with ְ ל andaninfinitiveconstructappearshereandinJudges1:19.
InJudges,itmeans“although(theywere)not(able)to.”Here,however,
itmustmean,“for(itis)not(permissible)to.”Thehiphilofרכז,when
usedwithם ֵ שׁ ְ ב andthenameofadeity,meansto“makeaninvoca-
tion”inthedeity’sname(Josh23:7;Ps20:8[E7];seealsoW.Smelik
1999).The“undertaker”isconcernedthatthe“assistant”maycasu-
ally,inhisdistressoverthescene,invokeYHWH’snameinsomeway
(perhapsusingsomethinganalogoustotheEnglish“Lordblessus!”as
anapotropaicinvocation).Butwhydoestheundertakerdeclarethatit
isnotpermissibletomakeaninvocationinYHWH’sname?Therea-
sonisthatthelandhasbecomesodefiledwithdeath,bloodshedand
gorethatitwouldbeblasphemingGod’snametoinvokeitinsucha
place.Inthecontextofthebook,thishastwofunctions.First,after
the hollow exuberance of praise found at the shrines (5:21-23), the
trauma and defilement will make it impossible to invoke YHWH’s
nameinanymanner,beittheformalliturgyoftheshrinesoracasual
exclamation by an undertaker’s assistant. Second, it ironically refers
tothethemeoflamentationthatappearsat5:1-2;5:16-17;andinthe
useofיוה at5:18and6:1.Thatis,whenlamentismostcalledfor,any
lamentthatinvokesthenameofYHWHwillbeforbiddenbecauseof
theexcessivedefilementpresent.ThelandofIsraelwilltrulybeGod-
forsaken,andonewillnotbeallowedtocalluponthenameofGod
inanymannerthere.
6:11:JudgmentOracle:Asecondjudgmentoracleinonestrophe
concludes6:8-11.Thisprophecy,introducedbyהֵ נ ִ ה י ִ כ,isexplana-
196 Amos6:10
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toryofthepreviousprosetext.Godwillcrusheveryhouseholdinthe
land.
הֶ֔ ו ַ צ ְ מ ֙ ה ָ והְ י ה֤ ֵ נ ִ ה־י ֽ ִ כ
םי ֑ ִ סי ִ ס ְ ר לו ֖ דָ ג ַ ה תִ י ֥ ַ ב ַ ה ה֛ ָ כ ִ ה ְ ו
׃םי ֽ ִ ע ִ ק ְ ב ן ֖ ֹט ָ ק ַ ה תִ י ֥ ַ ב ַ ה ְ ו
Line 1a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ה֤ ֵ נ ִ ה־י ֽ ִ כ. Withoneexception,theexpressionהֵ נ ִ ה י ִ כ occursonly
intheLatterProphets(theoneexceptionisJudges13:5,inwhichan
angelicvisitormakesaprophecy).Italmostalwaysoccursinaproph-
ecywhichisexplanatoryofapriortext.Forexample,Jeremiah30:10
reads,“Butasforyou,Jacobmyservant,donotfear—theoracleof
YHWH—norbedismayed,OIsrael;forbehold(הֵ נ ִ ה י ִ כ),Iwillsave
youfromfaraway....”Seealso,e.g.,Isa26:20-21;60:1-2;65:16-17;
Jer1:14-15;25:28-29;50:8-9;Ezek36:8-9;Mic1:2-3.Thisnotonly
explainsthesyntacticalfunctionofthislinebutalsoindicatesthatthe
oracleof6:11isattachedto6:9-10inthestructureofthissection.
֙ הָ והְ י. Thesubjectofthefollowingparticiple.
הֶ֔ ו ַ צ ְ מ. Pielparticiplemsofהוצ usedperiphrastically.Unusu-
ally,noreportedspeechfollowsthisverb—wearenottoldwhatthe
commandofYHWHis.Theverbisusedabsolutelyandmeansthat
YHWHismakingadecreeabouthowthingsshouldtranspire.
Line 1b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
ה֛ ָ כ ִ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 3msofהכנ.Theweqatal functionsasan
apodosistothepreviouslinetoindicatewhatwillhappenasaresult
ofYHWH’sdecree.
לו ֖ דָ ג ַ ה תִ י ֥ ַ ב ַ ה. Thedirectobject.“Thelargehouse”iseithera
householdofanaristocratorahouseholdthathasmanypeopleinit.
Amos6:11 197
6:11 1a
1b
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לודָ ג regularlyreferstoimportantandpowerfulpeople,butinlightof
theprecedingprosetext,wecannotexcludethepossibilitythatalarge
familymayequallybeimplied.
םי ֑ ִ סי ִ ס ְ ר. These are the fragments or pieces that remain after
somethinghasbeensmashed.Thisword,סי ִ ס ָ ר II,ishapax legomenon
unless סי ִ ס ָ ר I (“drop”; used only in Song 5:2) is actually the same
word.Butitsmeaningisnotindoubt;cf.HALOT.
Line 1c:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators,2constituents,and3units.Thereisgappingoftheverbה֛ ָ כ ִ הְ ו
fromthepreviousline.
ן ֖ ֹט ָ ק ַ ה תִ י ֥ ַ ב ַ הְ ו. Thisformsamerismwithלודָ ג ַ ה תִ י ַ ב ַ ה fromthe
previousline.Itisthuseitherthehomeofthecommonerorahome
withasmallfamilyinit.
םי ֽ ִ ע ִ ק ְ ב. Fromtherootעקב,to“split,”thisreferstofissuresin
wallsandthenalsototherubblethatisleftafterawallisbreached.
6:12-14: Summary: The full series of accusations, exhortations
andjudgmentsin5:1–6:11isheresummarizedundertheheadingof
aproverb.
6:12a:AProverb: Thisisasinglebicolon,anditspeaksofabsurd
orirrationalbehavior(contrarytoCooper1988).Itisappropriatehere
since throughout 5:1–6:14 Amos has decried the Israelite behavior
asfundamentallyperverse.Theholyshrinesareplacesthatthetruly
pious should avoid (5:5). The people worship God without paying
attention to his demands (5:21-24), honor the sky gods instead of
YHWH,ruleroftheheavens(5:8,26),androutinelyturnrightinto
wrong(5:7).Theyrefusetodrawtherightlessonsfromhistory(6:2)
andplacetheirfaithinfortificationsratherthanGod(6:3,8).
םי ִ֔ סוס ֙ ע ַ ל ֙ ֶ ס ַ ב ןו ֤ צ ֻ רְ י ַ ה
םי ֑ ִ ר ָ ק ְ ב ַ ב שׁו ֖ ר ֲ חַ י־ם ֽ ִ א
198 Amos6:11-12
6:12a a
b
Garrett Amos final.indd 198 6/6/08 2:25:39 PM
Line a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ןו ֤ צ ֻ רְ י ַ ה. Qalyiqtol 3mpofץור,“run,”withinterrogativeה and
paragogicנ.Iftheparagogicנ markscontrast(seeIBHS §31.7.1band
commentsat6:3),thecontrasthereisnotwiththenextlinebutwith
reality.Inotherwords,thesituationdescribedinthislineisinherently
implausible.
֙ ע ַ ל ֙ ֶ ס ַ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב anddefinitearticle.
ע ַ ל ֶ ס normallyreferstoaclifforrockycrag,anditcanbealargestone.
Therhetoricalquestion,whichexpectsananswerof“Obviouslynot,”
couldbewhetherhorsesrunupthefaceofacliff.Probably,however,
the word here refers to rocky ground that is badly broken with fis-
sures,largestones,andsheerdrops,suchthatahorsecouldnotrun
onitwithoutbreakinghisleg.
םי ִ֔ סוס. Thesubject.
Line b:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,2constituents,and2units.
שׁו ֖ ר ֲ חַ י־ם ֽ ִ א. Qalyiqtol 3msofשׁרח (“toplow”)withם ִ א.
םי ֑ ִ ר ָ ק ְ ב ַ ב. Prepositional phrase with instrumental ְ ב. This line
gaverisetoafamousbutmisguidedemendation.Thinkingthat“Or
doesoneplowwithoxen”incontextmakesnosense(becausepeople
obviouslydoplowwithoxen,andcontextrequiresanegativeanswer),
thishasbeenemendedtoםי רקבב (“Doesoneplowwithanox[the]
sea?”).ThiswasfollowedbytheRSVandNJB,forexample.Inreality,
ע ַ ל ֶ ס ַ ב fromlineaisgappedhere(i.e.,does“double-duty”).Theques-
tionis,“Doesoneplowstonewithoxen?”Obviously,onedoesnot.
6:12b-13:ProverbExpositionandAccusation:Theexposition
oftheaboveproverbconstitutesasummaryaccusationagainstIsrael.
Itisasinglestropheinfivelines.Thestartingpointfortheaccusation,
lines a-b, is a metaphor of transforming as if by magic wholesome
plantsintonoxiousandpoisonousplants.Thissummarizesthetheme
ofmoralperversitythatdominates5:1–6:14.Afterthis,inlinesc-e,
Amos6:12 199
Garrett Amos final.indd 199 6/6/08 2:25:39 PM
thetextreturnstoIsrael’sprideandjoyovertheirmilitarypower(cf.
5:3;6:2,8.
ט ֔ ָ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ ֙ שׁאֹר ְ ל ם ֤ ֶ ת ְ כ ַ פ ֲ ה־י ֽ ִ כ
׃הֽ ָ נ ֲ ע ַ ל ְ ל ה ֖ ָ ק ָ ד ְ צ י ֥ ִ ר ְ פו
ר֑ ָ ב ָ ד א ֣ ֹל ְ ל םי ֖ ִ ח ֵ מ ְ ש ַ ה
םי ֔ ִ ר ְ מ ֣ ֹ א ָ ה
׃םִ י֑ ֽ ָ נ ְ ר ַ ק ונ֖ ָ ל ונ ְ ח ֥ ַ ק ָ ל ונ ֵ֔ קְ ז ָ ח ְ ב או ֣ ל ֲ ה
Line a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ם֤ ֶ ת ְ כ ַ פ ֲ ה־י ֽ ִ כ. Qal qatal 2 m p of ךפה (to “turn” or “change”)
withי ִ כ.Theparticleי ִ כ isatthesametimeexplanatory(asin,“Isay
thisbecause”)andadversative(asin,“Horsesandoxenarenotsofool-
ish,butyouare”).
֙ שׁאֹר ְ ל. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ל.Thenounisשׁאֹר II,avari-
etyofpoisonousplant,notשׁאֹר I,“head.”Withךפה,thepreposition
ְ ל isthatintowhichsomethingischanged.
ט ֔ ָ פ ְ שׁ ִ מ. Thedirectobject.
Line b:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators, 2 constituents, and 3 units. There is gapping of the verb
ם ֶ ת ְ כ ַ פ ֲ ה.
ה ֖ ָ ק ָ ד ְ צ י ֥ ִ ר ְ פו. Aconstructchainasthedirectobject.Inconstruct
withanothernoun,thenounי ִ ר ְ פ (“fruit”)isalmostalwaysboundto
agenitiveofsource(“andthefruitofyourground”[ך ֶ ת ָ מ ְ ד ַ א י ִ ר ְ פו],
Deuteronomy28:42;“likethefruitofhisdeeds”[וי ָ ל ָ ל ֲ ע ַ מ י ִ ר ְ פ ִ כ],Jer-
emiah 17:10; “from the fruit of your genitals” [ךְ נ ְ ט ִ ב י ִ ר ְ פ ִ מ], Psalm
132:11,etc.).Therelationshiphere,however,isprobablynotagenitive
of source, as “the fruit that comes from righteousness.” It is prob-
ablyappositionalordescriptiveofthenatureofthefruit,analogous
6:12b
6:13
a
b
c
d
e
200 Amos6:12-13
Garrett Amos final.indd 200 6/6/08 2:25:40 PM
toSong4:13,םי ִ דָ ג ְ מ י ִ ר ְ פ,“choicefruits.”Thus,itisthe“fruit(that
is)righteousness.”
הֽ ָ נ ֲ ע ַ ל ְ ל. Prepositional phrase with ְ ל. The plant הָ נ ֲ ע ַ ל, “worm-
wood,”isastereotypedmetaphorforbitternessintheOTanditoften
appearswithשׁאֹר (seeDeut29:18;Jer23:15;Lam3:19).Inthesetwo
lines,theIsraelitesaresomethinglikedemonicmagiciansorwhotake
thegoodcreationofGod,justiceandrighteousness,heremetaphori-
cally portrayed as wholesome fruit, and transform it into bitter and
poisonousplants.Specifically,theytakeTorah,theworshipofGod,
andthejusticesystemandturnthemintomeansofexploitation.
Line c:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,2constituents,and2units,takingר ָ ב ָ ד אֹל asapropername.
םי ֖ ִ ח ֵ מ ְ ש ַ ה. Qalactiveparticiplempofחמש withdefinitearti-
cle.Thisservesasarelativeclausewith“you”(thesuffixoftheverb
ם ֶ ת ְ כ ַ פ ֲ ה)asitsantecedent.
ר֑ ָ ב ָ ד א֣ ֹל ְ ל. Prepositionalphrasewithcausative ְ ל.Lo-debarwas
in the Transjordan near the Yarmuk River and in the area of Gil-
ead.Thiswasahotlycontestedterritory,withDamascusandSamaria
both seeking to maintain control over it. Under Jeroboam II, Israel
wasascendantoverSyriaandthuscouldclaimthisareaforitself.The
joyofthepeopleovertheirvictoriesagainstSyrianenemiesisreflected
alsoin6:2.Butthereisanobviouswordplayhere;ר ָ ב ָ ד אֹל alsomeans
“nothing.”Thus,theyarerejoicingovernothing.
Line d:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,1constituents,and1unit.Thiscolometryviolatesthe
normalconstraints,anditszaqeph qaton,beingprecededbyanathn-
ach andhavingnosubordinatedisjunctiveaccent,doesnotnormally
constitute a colon-break. But lines d-e together are too long to be
joinedasoneline,andthisseemsthebestsolution.Seealso9:10.
םי ֔ ִ ר ְ מ ֣ ֹ א ָ ה. Qalactiveparticiple3mpofץור withdefinitearti-
cle.
Amos6:12-13 201
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Line e:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator, 4 constituents, and 4 units. This line is reported speech. The
threefoldrepetitionoftheendingונ (“we,our,us”)isironic,mocking
howpleasedthepeoplearewiththemselves.
ונ ֵ֔ קְ ז ָ ח ְ ב או ֣ ל ֲ ה. Prepositionalphrasewithinstrumental ְ ב,asuf-
fix1cp,andprecededbytherhetoricalquestionmarkerאול ֲ ה.The
nounקֶ זֹח appearsonlyhereandinExodus13:3,14,16;Haggai2:22,
butitisfromthewell-attestedrootקזח anditsmeaning,“strength,”
isnotindoubt.
ונ ְ ח ֥ ַ ק ָ ל. Qalqatal 3cpofחקל.
ונ֖ ָ ל. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ל asadativeofadvantageand1
cpsuffix.
םִ י֑ ֽ ָ נ ְ ר ַ ק. Karnaim,likeLo-debar,wasintheTransjordanandits
capture reflects the triumph of Israel over their Syrian enemy. The
dualformofthewordן ֶ ר ֶ ק,itliterallymeans“twohorns.”Sinceahorn
could represent power, this could sound like a worthy boast. Taken
literally,however(“Wehavecapturedtwohorns!”),itisabsurd.
6:14:OracleofDoom: AsummaryofthejudgmentagainstIsrael
concludes 5:1–6:14. It is marked by an expanded formula of divine
speech,and(unusuallyforajudgmentoracle)isinprose.Theconclu-
sionformsaninclusionwiththeintroductionin5:1-3.Like5:3,this
verseisaprophecyofdoomintroducedbyי ִ כ.Also,6:14looksback
ironically to 5:2, which lamented that there was no one to raise up
(hiphilparticipleofםוק)fallenIsrael.Inthisverse,Godwillraiseup
(hiphilparticipleofםוק)anationagainstIsrael.Inaddition,thereis
aconceptualinclusion.Amos5:3hadspokenofcalamitousmilitary
defeat, and here Israel suffers oppression at the hands of a Gentile
nation.Finally,תוא ָ ב ְ צ ַ ה י ֵ הל ֱ א הָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ hereandin6:8bformsan
inclusion to demarcate this division’s final sections, in which judg-
mentsaregiveninresponsetotheaccusationsof5:4–6:8a.
202 Amos6:13
Garrett Amos final.indd 202 6/6/08 2:25:40 PM
י ֥ ֵ הל ֱ א ה֛ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ ל ֵ֗ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֣ ֵ ב ם ֜ ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע םי ֨ ִ ק ֵ מ ֩ י ִ נ ְ נ ִ ה י ֡ ִ כ
ל ַ ח֥ ַ נ־ד ַ ע ת֖ ָ מ ֲ ח או ֥ ֹב ְ ל ִ מ ם֛ ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א ו ֥ צ ֲ ח ָ ל ְ ו יו ֑ ֹ ג תו ֖ א ָ ב ְ צ ַ ה
׃ה ֽ ָ ב ָ ר ֲ ע ָ ה
Prose Clause:יו ֑ ג . . . ם ֜ ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע םי ֨ ִ ק ֵ מ ֩ י ִ נ ְ נ ִ ה י ֡ ִ כ
The1cssuffixonי ִ נ ְ נ ִ ה functionsasthesubjectofםי ִ ק ֵ מ,apiel
participlempofםוק.Thedirectobjectisיוג,andtheclauseisinter-
ruptedbyadivinespeechformula.ם ֶ כי ֵ ל ֲ ע hasadversativeforce,and
ל ֵ֗ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי֣ ֵ ב isvocative.
Prose Clause:תו ֖ א ָ ב ְ צ ַ ה י ֥ ֵ הל ֱ א ה֛ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ
Adivinespeechformulawithapleonasticdivinetitle.Itgivesthe
prophecysuitablesolemnityandindicatescertaintyoffulfillment.
Prose Clause: ל ַ ח֥ ַ נ־ד ַ ע ת֖ ָ מ ֲ ח או ֥ ב ְ ל ִ מ ם֛ ֶ כ ְ ת ֶ א ו ֥ צ ֲ חָ ל ְ ו
הֽ ָ ב ָ ר ֲ ע ָ ה
Theweqatal 3cpofץחל continuesthemainlineofthispredictive
textandindeedmakesthefinalandconcludingprophecyof5:1–6:14.
Theverbץחל isusedfortheoppressiondonetotheHebrewslavesby
theEgyptians(Exod3:9;22:20)andforthemaltreatmentofIsraelby
foreignersduringtheJudgesperiod(Judg2:18;4:3;6:9;10:12).But
theverbliterallymeansto“push,”anditherespeaksofdrivingIsrael
intodiaspora.Lebo-Hamath(ת ָ מ ֲ ח אוב ְ ל,“EntranceofHamath”)is
atraditionalnorthernborderofIsrael(Num34:7-9;Josh13:5;Ezek
47:16).ItsmentionhereisappropriatebecauseHamathwasoneofthe
kingdomsIsraelgloatedover(6:2).Thelocationoftheה ָ ב ָ ר ֲ ע ָ ה ל ַ חַ נ
(“the Brook of the Arabah”) is unknown, but it clearly was in the
farsouthandishereinamerismwithLebo-Hamath.Itthusrepre-
sentsthesouthernborderofgreaterIsrael.Normally,theOTusesthe
“Brook of Egypt” (םִ י ַ ר ְ צ ִ מ ל ַ חַ נ) as a traditional designation for the
southernborder(Josh15:4;Ezek47:19).Amos’language,however,is
deliberatelyshapedtoreversetheprophecyspokenbyJonahthesonof
AmittaioverJeroboamII,thathewouldrestore“theterritoryofIsrael
from(ן ִ מ)Lebo-hamathto(ד ַ ע)theSeaoftheArabah”(2Kgs14:25).
Amos6:14 203
6:14
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ThegloryofJeroboam’sreignwouldsoonendandthepeoplewould
bedrivenoutoftheland.Inthistext,ה ָ ב ָ ר ֲ ע ָ ה ל ַ חַ נ־ד ַ ע ת ָ מ ֲ ח אוב ְ ל ִ מ
doesnotmeanthattheywouldbedrivenfrom Lebo-Hamathto the
BrookoftheArabah;heusesן ִ מ andד ַ ע toparodyJonah.Thepointis
thatIsraelwouldbeexpelledfromallthelandwithinthoselimits.
7:1–8:3: Amos the seer
Thisisacollectionoffourvisions(7:1-3,4-6,7-9;8:1-3)interrupted
byanaccountofAmos’encounterwithAmaziahthepriestofBethel
(7:10-17). Some scholars consider vv. 10-17 to be a later redactional
insertion,althoughothersarguefortheoriginalunityofthetext(e.g.,
Noble1998,althoughaspectsofhispresentationarenotpersuasive).
Theentiretextisinproseexceptforfouroraclesofjudgmentappended
to,respectively,Amaziah’scomplaint(7:11b),theAmos’responseto
Amaziah (7:17), and the third and fourth visions (7:8b-9; 8:2b-3).
Because YHWHrelentsinvisions oneandtwo,these sections have
nooraclesofjudgment.

7:1
This is what Lord YHWH showed me: Behold, (he was) forming
a locust swarm at the beginning of the sprouting of the latter crop —now
it was the latter crop that is after the king’s cut.
2
And it would happen,
whenever it finished eating the vegetation of the earth, that I said, “Lord
YHWH, forgive! How will Jacob stand? After all, he is small.”
3
YHWH
relented about this. “It will not happen,” YHWH said.
4
This is what Lord YHWH showed me: Behold, Lord YHWH was
calling for a judgment with fire, and it consumed the great deep and was
consuming the fields.
5
And I said, “Lord YHWH, desist! How will Jacob
stand? After all, he is small.”
6
YHWH relented about this. “It will not
happen,” Lord YHWH said.
7
This is what he showed me: Behold, the Lord was standing at a wall
of anak, and anak was in his hand.
8
And YHWH said to me, “What do
you see, Amos?” And I said, “Anak.” And the Lord said,
Behold, I am setting anak
In the midst of my people, Israel.
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I will no longer pass by him.
9
And the high places of Isaac will be laid desolate,
And the sanctuaries of Israel will be laid waste.
And I will arise against the house of Jeroboam with a sword.
10
And Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent (a message) to Jeroboam, the
king of Israel, as follows:
“Amos has conspired against you right in the middle of the house of
Israel. The land is not able to contain all his words!
11
For thus says Amos:
‘Jeroboam will die by the sword
And Israel will wholly go from its land into exile!’”
12
And Amaziah said to Amos, “Seer, go on and flee to the land of
Judah! So eat bread there and prophesy there!
13
But never again prophesy
at Bethel! For it is a royal shrine, and it is a national structure.”
14
And Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I am (was) not a prophet
and I am (was) not a son of a prophet. Rather, I am (was) a herdsman and
a cutter of sycamore figs.
15
And YHWH took me from behind the flock.
And YHWH said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel!’
16
Now listen to
the word of YHWH! You are saying, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel and
do not preach against the house of Isaac!’
17
Therefore, thus says YHWH:
Your wife will be used as a prostitute in the city
And your sons and your daughters will fall by the sword.
And your ground will be divided with a measuring line
And you will die on unclean ground.
And Israel will wholly go from its land into exile!’ ”
8:1
This is what Lord YHWH showed me: Behold, a basket of summer
produce.
2
And YHWH said to me, “What do you see, Amos?” And I said,
“A basket of summer produce.” And the Lord said to me,
The end has come upon my people Israel.
I will no longer pass by him.
3
And they shall wail temple songs on that day—
An oracle of the Lord YHWH:
“An abundance of corpses! They are thrown everywhere!
Hush!”
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7:1-3: Te Vision of Locusts
תו ֣ ל ֲ ע ת֖ ַ ל ִ ח ְ ת ִ ב י ַ֔ בֹ ג ר֣ ֵ צוי ֙ הֵ נ ִ ה ְ ו הִ֔ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א ֙ י ִ נ ֙ ַ א ְ ר ִ ה ה ֤ ֹכ
׃ך ֶ ל ֽ ֶ מ ַ ה י֥ ֵ ז ִ ג ר ֖ ַ ח ַ א שׁ ֶ ק ֔ ֶ ל־הֵ נ ֨ ִ ה ְ ו שׁ ֶ ק֑ ָ ל ַ ה
Prose Clause:הִ֔ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א ֙ י ִ נ ֙ ַ א ְ ר ִ ה ה ֤ ֹכ
Hiphilqatal 3msofהאר with1cssuffix.הִ והְ י י ָ נֹד ֲ א isthesub-
ject.Thisclause,headedbyהֹכ,introducesavisionaccountinaman-
neranalogoustohowהוהי רמא הכ introducesapropheticspeech.
Prose Clause:שׁ ֶ ק֑ ָ ל ַ ה תו ֣ ל ֲ ע ת֖ ַ ל ִ ח ְ ת ִ ב י ַ֔ בֹ ג ר֣ ֵ צוי ֙ הֵ נ ִ הְ ו
The particle הֵ נ ִ הְ ו gives the reader Amos’ perspective on the
vision. ר ֵ צוי is a qal active participle m s of רצי. The verb רצי (to
“form”) may be a deliberate catchword with רצי in the doxology of
4:13;soalsoארק occursinthesecondvisionat7:4andinthesecond
doxologyat5:8(seePaas2002).Afterהֵ נ ִ ה,aparticipialphrase(rather
thanafiniteverb)oftenservesaspredicate,althoughapronounsuffix
isoftenaddedtoהֵ נ ִ ה toindicatethesubject.Here,a3mspronoun
(withYHWHasantecedent)isimpliedasthesubjectoftheverb.The
noun י ַ בֹ ג refers to some variety of locust or grasshopper. It appears
in only one other OT passage, Nahum 3:17, where it is parallel to
ה ֶ ב ְ ר ַ א (whichalsomeans“locust”).Theinfinitiveclause(תול ֲ ע,aqal
infinitiveconstructofהלע)headedbyתַ ל ִ ח ְ ת ִ ב functionstemporally,
tellingthereaderwhenthevisiontookplace.Theverbהלע refersto
thesproutingofyoungplants.Thetermשׁ ֶ ק ֶ ל (“lattercrop”)appears
inthesecondlineofthetenthcenturyB.C.GezerCalendarandonly
hereintheOT.
Prose Clause:׃ך ֶ ל ֽ ֶ מ ַ ה י֥ ֵ ז ִ ג ר ֖ ַ ח ַ א שׁ ֶ ק ֔ ֶ ל־הֵ נ ֨ ִ הְ ו
הֵ נ ִ הְ ו. hereintroducespertinentinformation,specifyingforthe
readerwhenthisvisionoccurredsothatthereadermayfullyappreci-
atewhatathreatthiswastotheharvest.י ֵ ז ִ ג isthepluralconstructof
themasculinenounז ֵ ג,whichcanmeaneitherthefleeceofsheep,as
inDeuteronomy18:4,orthecuttingofgrassorofagraincrop.Ithere
7:1
206 Amos7:1
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referstothe“cut”oftheharvestthattheroyalhousetakesforitself
(thekindofgraintaxthatiscondemnedinAmos5:11).Onthesur-
face,thisclauseisonlyatemporalmarker.Butitmayalsobeasubtle
attack on the royal taxation system. Note how similar this clause is
totheprevious,andespeciallyhowsimilararetheconsonantsofיבג,
“locusts,”andיזג “(theking’s)cuttings,”implyingthatthekingwas
alocusttotheyeomanfarmers.Amos’choiceofthesewordsmaynot
havebeenaccidental.
י֤ ָ נֹד ֲ א ר ֗ ַ מֹ אָ ו ץ ֶ ר ָ֔ א ָ ה ב ֶ ש֣ ֵ ע־ת ֶ א ֙ לוכ ֱ אֽ ֶ ל ֙ ה ָ ל ִ כ־ם ִ א ה֗ ָ י ָ ה ְ ו
׃או ֽ ה ן ֖ ֹט ָ ק י ֥ ִ כ ב ֑ ֹק ֲ עֽ ַ י םו ֖ קָ י י ֥ ִ מ א֔ ָ נ־חֽ ַ ל ֽ ְ ס ֙ ה ִ והְ י
Prose Clause:ץ ֶ ר ָ֔ א ָ ה ב ֶ ש֣ ֵ ע־ת ֶ א ֙ לוכ ֱ אֽ ֶ ל ֙ ה ָ ל ִ כ־ם ִ א ה֗ ָ י ָ הְ ו
Theqalweqatal 3msofהיה isfollowedbyם ִ א,whichintroduces
aprotasis.Thepatternם ִ א הָ י ָ הְ ו occursfivetimesintheHebrewBible
(Jer12:16;17:24;Amos6:9;7:2;Zech6:15).Ineveryothercasebut
thisone,thepatternintroducesafuturecontingencyinaprophetic
context(withthemeaning,“anditshallhappen,if...”).Here,this
meaningisnotpossible,andscholarshavesuggestedvariousemenda-
tions(seePaul1991,228n.20).Buttakingthetextasitstands,one
cantreattheweqatal asapastimperfective,suggestingthatthevision
wasrepeatedseveraltimes(suchascenarioforvisionsisnotunlikely;
cf. Acts 10:9-16). We should note that Stuart creatively translates
thisas,“Itseemedasiftheywouldcompletelydevour”(Stuart1987,
370),buthegivesnoevidencetosupportthisrendition.Ifthatwere
the meaning, the Hebrew would probably have something like י ִ הְ י ַ ו
לוכ ֱ אֶ ל ה ֶ ל ַ כ ְ מ ִ כ (seeGen19:14;Num13:33).Thepielofהלכ followed
by ְ ל andaninfinitiveconstructmeansto“complete”theverbofthe
infinitive,asinGenesis24:45,ר ֵ ב ַ ד ְ ל ה ֶ ל ַ כ ֲ א ם ֶ ר ֶ ט י ִ נ ֲ א (“beforeIfin-
ishedspeaking”).ץ ֶ ר ָ א ָ ה ב ֶ ש ֵ ע־ת ֶ א referstoanykindofvegetationand
iswhatthelocustplagueconsumedduringtheexodus(Exod10:12).
Prose Clause:ר ֗ ַ מֹ אָ ו
Amos7:1-2 207
7:2
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Thewayyiqtol 1csofרמא introducestheapodosis(beingpast
tense,theapodosisisawayyiqtol andnotaweqatal).
Prose Clause:א֔ ָ נ־חֽ ַ ל ֽ ְ ס ֙ הִ והְ י י֤ ָ נֹד ֲ א
Afterthevocativeהִ והְ י י ָ נֹד ֲ א,theqalimperativemsofחלס with
נָ א givesthewholeofAmos’request,whatfollowsbeingmerelyargu-
mentthatstrengthenshisappeal.Theimperativeofחלס alsoappears
in the intercessions of Moses (Num 14:19) and Daniel (Dan 9:19).
The parallel to Moses is particularly notable as Amos’ imitation of
Moseshelpstoauthenticatehisclaimtobeingatrueprophet.
Prose Clause:ב ֑ ֹק ֲ עֽ ַ י םו ֖ קָ י י ֥ ִ מ
םוקָ י isaqalyiqtol 3msofםוק withבֹק ֲ עַ י assubject.Thecuri-
ousfeatureisי ִ מ,whichhereseemstomean,“how.”Italsoseemsto
mean“how”inRuth3:16.HereinAmos,theclauseprobablyimplies,
“WhoisJacobthatheshouldstandinthefaceofsuchacalamity?”
But“HowwillJacobstand?”isaccurate.םוק,literallyto“arise,”may
connoterecoveryafteradisaster.
Prose Clause:או ֽ ה ן ֖ ֹט ָ ק י ֥ ִ כ
Anominal(verbless)clauseintroducedbyexplanatoryי ִ כ.Israel
isןֹט ָ ק (“small”)inthesensethatitistooweaktowithstandadivine
assault.DuringthereignofJeroboamII,ofcourse,Israel’spowerwas
thegreatestithadeverbeen,butbeforeYHWHthatisinsignificant.
׃הֽ ָ והְ י ר ֥ ַ מ ָ א ה֖ ֶ י ְ ה ִ ת א ֥ ֹל תא֑ ֹז־ל ַ ע ה֖ ָ והְ י ם ֥ ַ חִ נ
Prose Clause:תא֑ ֹז־ל ַ ע ה֖ ָ והְ י ם ֥ ַ חִ נ
ם ַ חִ נ,morphologicallyeitheraniphalorpielqatal 3msofםחנ,
isheretheniphal,to“regret”or“changeone’smind.”Theverbalso
appearsinExodus32:14,themostfamousinstanceofGodrelenting
overanintendedjudgment,settingupanotherparallelbetweenAmos
andMoses.Theprepositionל ַ ע heremeans,“concerning.”Thechoice
ofaqatal overawayyiqtol hereisnoteworthy.Itfocusesmoreonthe
factthatYHWHrelentedthanonthehistoricalsequence.
7:3
208 Amos7:2-3
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Prose Clause:ה֖ ֶ י ְ ה ִ ת א֥ ֹל
Reported speech. The qal yiqtol 3 f s of היה. The verb is femi-
nine,asispronounזֹאת inthepreviousclause,toindicateabstractly
thehypotheticaleventofalocustplague.
Prose Clause:הֽ ָ והְ י ר ֥ ַ מ ָ א
Adivinespeechformulawiththeqalqatal 3msofרמא.
7:4-6: Te Vision of Drought
י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א שׁ֖ ֵ א ָ ב ב ֥ ִ ר ָ ל א֛ ֵ רֹק ה֥ ֵ נ ִ ה ְ ו הִ֔ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א ֙ י ִ נ ֙ ַ א ְ ר ִ ה ה ֤ ֹכ
׃ק ֶ ל ֽ ֵ ח ַ ה־ת ֶ א ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו ה ָ֔ ב ַ ר םו ֣ ה ְ ת־ת ֶ א ֙ ל ַ כא ֙ ֹתַ ו ה֑ ִ והְ י
Prose Clause:הִ֔ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א ֙ י ִ נ ֙ ַ א ְ ר ִ ה ה ֤ ֹכ
See7:1.
Prose Clause:ה֑ ִ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א שׁ֖ ֵ א ָ ב ב ֥ ִ ר ָ ל א֛ ֵ רֹק ה֥ ֵ נ ִ הְ ו
The grammar of א ֵ רֹק הֵ נ ִ הְ ו is like that of 7:1. שׁ ֵ א ָ ב ב ִ ר ָ ל has
theqalinfinitiveconstructofבי ִ ר (writtendefectively)headedbythe
preposition ְ ל followedbyaprepositionalphrasewith ְ ב.Thiscould
betakentobesomethinglikea“trialbyfire,”butבי ִ ר isnotusedfora
judicialordeal.Adifficultywiththisphraseisthatintheformulaביר
ְ ב thepreposition ְ ב usuallysignifiestheopposingparty,asinGenesis
31:36;Judges6:32,andwiththenounבי ִ ר,Jeremiah25:31(בי ִ ר י ִ כ
םִ יוג ַ ב הָ והי ַ ל;“forYHWHhasacontentionwiththenations”).Obvi-
ouslythefireisnottheopposingparty.Thus,anumberofscholars
reconfigure the text as שׁ ֵ א בי ִ ב ְ ר ִ ל, “for a rain of fire” (Wolff 1977,
292–93).ElsewhereintheHebrewBible,thewordביבר appearsonly
inthepluralasםי ִ בי ִ ב ְ ר,butasingularformisattestedinUgaritic.If
this emendation is correct, it probably alludes to the fire that God
rained down on Sodom according to Genesis 19:24. On the other
hand,Limburg(1973)arguesthat ביר heremeansto“judge,” since
בי ִ ר in Jeremiah 25:31 is paralleled by the niphal participle ט ָ פ ְ שִׁ נ
(“initiate a judgment”). Compare also Isaiah 66:16, הָ והְ י שׁ ֵ א ָ ב י ִ כ
Amos7:3-4 209
7:4
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ט ָ פ ְ שִׁ נ (“forYHWHisbringingaboutajudgmentwiththefire”).In
short,thepointisthatfireispunishmentimposedafterajudgment.
Thus,itisbesttoleavethetextunemended.
Prose Clause:ה ָ֔ ב ַ ר םו ֣ ה ְ ת־ת ֶ א ֙ ל ַ כא ֙ ֹתַ ו
לכא,hereaqalwayyiqtol 3fs,isoftenusedforfireburningup
itsfuel.Here,however,itappearsthatthetextdoesnotmeanaliteral
fire but a drought. The ה ָ ב ַ ר םוה ְ ת (“great deep”) is not the Medi-
terranean Sea but the primeval ocean under the earth that feeds all
thespringsandotherperennialwatersources.Inotherwords,allthe
springsandstreamsdriedup.
Prose Clause:ק ֶ ל ֽ ֵ ח ַ ה־ת ֶ א ה֖ ָ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו
לכא appearsagain,buthereitisaqalweqatal 3fs.Intheprevi-
ous clause, the wayyiqtol is used perfectively and simply means that
the springs dried up and had no water. Here, the weqatal is imper-
fective and means that the fields were getting progressively more
parched,crackedandbarren.ק ֶ ל ֵ ח,“portion,”herereferstothearable
landapportionedoutamongthepeople.
ן ֖ ֹט ָ ק י ֥ ִ כ ב ֑ ֹק ֲ עַ י םו ֖ קָ י י ֥ ִ מ א֔ ָ נ־ל ַ ד ֲ ח ֙ ה ִ והְ י י֤ ָ נֹד ֲ א ר ֗ ַ מֹ אָ ו
׃או ֽ ה
Prose Clause:ר ֗ ַ מֹ אָ ו
Theqalwayyiqtol 1csofרמא resumesthemainlineofthenar-
rative.
Prose Clause:א֔ ָ נ־ל ַ ד ֲ ח ֙ הִ והְ י י֤ ָ נֹד ֲ א
Afterthevocativeהִ והְ י י ָ נֹד ֲ א,theqalimperativemsofלדח calls
on God to desist. This is not implying that the situation in 7:4-6 is
somehowdifferentfromthatin7:1-3,whereAmoscalledout,אָ נ־חַ ל ְ ס
(“forgive!”).Inbothcases,AmoswantsGodtoforgiveJacobandstop
ravagingtheland.
Prose Clause:ב ֑ ֹק ֲ עַ י םו ֖ קָ י י ֥ ִ מ
See7:2.
7:5
210 Amos7:4-5
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Prose Clause:או ֽ ה ן ֖ ֹט ָ ק י ֥ ִ כ
See7:2.
י֥ ָ נֹד ֲ א ר ֖ ַ מ ָ א ה֔ ֶ י ְ ה ֽ ִ ת א ֣ ֹל ֙ אי ִ ה־ם ַ ג תא֑ ֹז־ל ַ ע ה֖ ָ והְ י ם ֥ ַ חִ נ
ס ׃הֽ ִ והְ י
Prose Clause:תא֑ ֹז־ל ַ ע ה֖ ָ והְ י ם ֥ ַ חִ נ
See7:3.
Prose Clause:ה֔ ֶ י ְ ה ֽ ִ ת א֣ ֹל ֙ אי ִ ה־םַ ג
See7:3.
Prose Clause:הֽ ִ והְ י י֥ ָ נֹד ֲ א ר ֖ ַ מ ָ א
Adivinespeechformula.
7:7-9: Te Vision of YHWH at the Wall
Thepriorvisionnarrativeswereinproseonly.Thisoneandthenext
(8:1-3)areeachintwoparts,withaprosevisionnarrativefollowedby
apoeticoracleofdoom.
7:7-8a: Prose Narrative: Achangeissignaledbyaformalchange
inthenarrative.Here,unlikethepriortwovisionnarratives,YHWH
questions Amos about the content of the vision before pronouncing
doom.Amos,inturn,doesnotmakeintercessionforIsrael.
ו ֖ דָ י ְ בו ך֑ ֑ ָ נ ֲ א ת֣ ַ מוח־ל ַ ע ב֖ ָ צ ִ נ י֛ ָ נֹד ֲ א ה֧ ֵ נ ִ ה ְ ו י ִ נ ַ֔ א ְ ר ִ ה ה ֣ ֹכ
׃ך֑ ֽ ָ נ ֲ א
Prose Clause:י ִ נ ַ֔ א ְ ר ִ ה ה ֣ ֹכ
See7:1.
Prose Clause:ך֑ ֑ ָ נ ֲ א ת֣ ַ מוח־ל ַ ע ב֖ ָ צִ נ י֛ ָ נֹד ֲ א ה֧ ֵ נ ִ הְ ו
The grammar here is similar to that of 7:1, with ב ָ צִ נ, a niphal
participle m s of בצנ, “to stand.” The preposition ל ַ ע may literally
7:6
Amos7:5-8 211
7:7
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mean“upon”awallorsimply“at”or“beside”awall.Intheconstruct
chainךָ נ ֲ א ת ַ מוח,thewallisqualifiedasbeing“ofךָ נ ֲ א,”whichmay
meanthatךָ נ ֲ א wasthematerialofwhichitwasmade,orthatitwas
somehowcharacterizedormadebyךָ נ ֲ א.
Prose Clause:ך֑ ֽ ָ נ ֲ א ו ֖ דָ י ְ בו
Averblessclausewithךָ נ ֲ א asthesubjectandודָ י ְ בו asthepredi-
cate.YHWHheldךָ נ ֲ א “inhishand,”suggestingthatךָ נ ֲ א wasasub-
stanceorobjectthatcouldbeheld.Whetherahumancouldholdit,
oronlyGodcould,isunclear.
ך֑ ֑ ָ נ ֲ א ר ֖ ַ מֹ אָ ו סו ֔ מ ָ ע ֙ ה ֶ אֹר ה ֤ ָ ת ַ א־ה ֽ ָ מ י ֗ ַ ל ֵ א הָ֜ והְ י ר ֶ מא֨ ֹי ַ ו
י ֗ ָ נֹד ֲ א ר ֶ מא֣ ֹי ַ ו
Prose Clause:י ֗ ַ ל ֵ א הָ֜ והְ י ר ֶ מא֨ ֹי ַ ו
Themainlineofthenarrativecontinueswiththeqalwayyiqtol 3
msofרמא,whichintroducesreportedspeech.Theexpressmention
ofthesubjectindicatesthatthisisanewsentence.
Prose Clause:סו ֔ מ ָ ע ֙ ה ֶ אֹר ה ֤ ָ ת ַ א־ה ֽ ָ מ
Reportedspeech.Theinterrogativeה ָ מ isusedhereforthefirst
timeinthevisions,sincepreviouslyAmoshadsimplyinterpretedthe
visionsforhimselfandonhisownintercededwithYHWH.Thenew
pattern, a divine interrogation, suggests a new development, and it
mayimplythatAmos,thoughherecognizedtheךָ נ ֲ א forwhatitwas,
did not understand its significance. The qal active participle m s of
האר suggeststhatGodquestionedAmoswhiletheprophetwaslook-
ingattheךָ נ ֲ א.
Prose Clause:ר ֖ ַ מֹ אָ ו
See7:5.
Prose Clause:ך֑ ֑ ָ נ ֲ א
Amos’answerisshortandtothepoint.ךָ נ ֲ א wasobviouslysome-
thingthatAmoscouldeasilyrecognize;itisalsonoteworthythathe
7:8a
212 Amos7:7-8
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doesnotspeakoftheךָ נ ֲ א ת ַ מוח butsimplytheךָ נ ֲ א itself;itistheךָ נ ֲ א
inYHWH’shand,notthewall,thatisthefocus.Theotherclueabout
ךָ נ ֲ א isthatin7:8bGodplacesךָ נ ֲ א inthemidstofIsraelasajudgment.
Thus,therewasawallofךָ נ ֲ א,butךָ נ ֲ א couldbeheldinthehand(at
least in God’s hand), and Amos knew ךָ נ ֲ א when he saw it, and it
couldbesetinIsraelasamarkofjudgment.Butwhatisךָ נ ֲ א?Options
include:(1)ךָ נ ֲ א isaplumbline.Thisisamedievalviewandisbased
ontheideathatךָ נ ֲ א isliterallythemetalleadbutthatbymetonymyit
isaplumbline,andthisviewuntilrecentlywaswidelyfollowed(e.g.,
Maag1951,44–45,66;Hammershaimb1970,111).Thisinterpreta-
tionfitsalltheaboveconditions;aךָ נ ֲ א ת ַ מוח wouldbeawallmade
withaplumbline(i.e.,awallthatisplumb),itissomethingthatcan
beheldinthehandandthatAmoswouldrecognize,itsignifiesjudg-
ment,sincesettingitinthemidstofIsraelwouldimplyareckoning
againstadivinerule.Againstthis,recentanalysisisfairlyconclusive
thatךָ נ ֲ א doesnotmean“lead”andthereforethatitdoesnotsignifya
plumbline(Paul1991,233–34;seealsoNIDOTTE ךָ נ ֲ א).Inaddition,
noancientversionrendersitas“plumbline,”indicatingthatifitever
hadthatmeaning,itwasentirelylostontheearliesttranslatorsofthe
text.Thisisnotafatalobjectiontothetranslation“plumbline,”but
itdoesrenderitlesslikely.(2)ךָ נ ֲ א means“tin.”Thisisbasedonthe
Akkadianannaku,“tin.”Theproblemisthatthismeaningfailsevery
aspect of the context in Amos. First, “wall of tin” makes no sense.
Somesaythatitmightbemetaphoricalforweakdefenses,justas“wall
ofiron”couldbemetaphoricalforastrongarmyinheavyarmor.One
might well have such a verbal metaphor, but it is doubtful that one
wouldsee awalloftininavision.Whatwouldsuchawalllooklike?
Howcouldonemakesenseofitorevenrecognizeit?Second,wouldit
bemeaningfulforGodtoholdalumpoftininhishand,andwould
Amosrecognizeit?Inparallelvisions,thethingobservedisanevery-
dayobjectandeasilyrecognized(analmondbranchinJeremiah1:11;
abasketofsummerfruitinAmos8:1-2).Alumpoftinishardlythe
same.Third,itisdifficulttoseehowsettingtininthemidstofIsrael
Amos7:8 213
Garrett Amos final.indd 213 6/6/08 2:25:45 PM
signifiesjudgment.Somesuggestthatךָ נ ֲ א mightmean“tin”butalso
beawordplayonה ָ קָ נ ֲ א,“moaning,”meaningthatGodintendstoset
“moaning”inIsrael(e.g.,Stuart1987,373).Butintheparallelvisions
thewordplayisexplicit(thesignificanceofthesummerfruit[ץִ י ָ ק]is
explicitly that the end [ץ ֵ ק] has come in Amos 8:2; the significance
of the almond [ד ֵ ק ָ שׁ] is explicitly that God is watching [ד ֵ קֹשׁ] in
Jer 1:11-12). This is not the case here. Fourth, the normal word for
“tin” in biblical Hebrew is לי ִ ד ְ ב, and thus it is likely that ךָ נ ֲ א has
someothermeaning.(3)Ancientinterpretationsincludethattheךָ נ ֲ א
is “adamant” (LXX: o öoµov¬ivo and o öo µo), or “plaster” and a
“trowel”(Vulgate:litum andtrulla),or“judgment”(Targum:ןיד).All
oftheseappeartobeguessworkandnonesuitsthefullcontextwell.
(4)Cripps(1929),workingfromtheLXX,suggeststhato öo µomay
referto“iron”andbymetonymymeana“sword”or“war-hammer.”
Rudolph (1971, 234–35) similarly, rendered it as Brecheisen (“crow-
bar”). This is rather far-fetched and lacks support in the Greek use
of o öo µo, and few scholars follow it. (5) Andersen and Freedman
(1989,754)actuallytakeךָ נ ֲ א tobefirstawallof“plaster,”then“tin”
inYHWH’shand,andthen“grief ”thatYHWHwillsetinthemidst
of Israel. This is altogether unsatisfactory. (5) On the other hand,
Aquilaherereadsyovo ¬o(“shining”)andTheodotionhas¬q|o µtvov
(“molten”).Bothsuggestsomethinglikeaglowing,moltenmetal,and
thisinterpretationdoesmakesomesenseincontext:amelting,burn-
ingwallcouldsuggestacollapseofIsrael’sdefenses,Godcouldhold
a molten metal in his hand (cf. Isa 6:6) and Amos could recognize
it,andsettingsuchasubstanceinIsraelcouldsignifyjudgmentand
destruction.Unfortunately,wehavenogroundsonwhichtosustain
this interpretation. (6) Another wordplay-based interpretation sug-
geststhatwhateverךָ נ ֲ א originallymeant,itisusedasawordplayfor
י ִ כֹ נ ֲ א, “I,” in v. 8, where God declares that he is setting ךָ נ ֲ א in the
midstofIsrael(seeLandy2001,165–66).Theideaisthatheisset-
tinghimselfinthemidstofIsrael.Thisisgrammaticallypeculiarand
quitefar-fetched.Inshort,themeaningofךָ נ ֲ א islost.
Prose Clause:י ֗ ָ נֹד ֲ א ר ֶ מא֣ ֹי ַ ו
214 Amos7:8
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Adivinespeechformulawithaqalwayyiqtol 3msofרמא.
7:8b-9: Oracle of Doom: Apoemofsixlines.YHWHinterprets
thevisionwithanoraclepredictingthedestructionofIsrael.Inthis
case,hemakesclear,thereisnopossibilitythathewillrelent.
֙ ךָ נ ֲ א ם ֤ ָ ש י ֨ ִ נ ְ נ ִ ה
ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֣ ִ מ ַ ע ֙ ב ֶ ר ֙ ֶ ק ְ ב
׃ו ֽ ל רו ֥ ב ֲ ע דו ֖ ע ףי ֥ ִ סוא־א ֽ ֹל
ק ָ֔ ח ְ שִ י תו ֣ מ ָ ב ֙ ומ ֙ ַ שָׁ נ ְ ו
וב֑ ָ ר ֱ חֶ י ל ֖ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֥ ֵ שׁ ְ ד ְ ק ִ מו
פ ׃ב ֶ ר ֽ ָ ח ֶ ב ם֖ ָ ע ְ ב ָ רָ י תי ֥ ֵ ב־ל ַ ע י ֛ ִ ת ְ מ ַ ק ְ ו
Line a:Thecolon-markerispashta andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units.Itisrarebutnotunknowntohavea
line-breakinAmosaccentedwithpashta.Ifabreakisnotplacedhere,
theresultinglinewouldviolatetheconstraintsforbothconstituents
and units. But ending the line here is probably correct because this
endsthefirstlinewithanounthatisobviouslyveryimportanthere,
ךָ נ ֲ א.
י ֨ ִ נ ְ נ ִ ה. Particleהֵ נ ִ ה with1cssuffixassubjectofparticiple.הֵ נ ִ ה
canintroduceasolemndivinedisclosure.
ם ֤ ָ ש. Qalactiveparticiplemsofםי ִ ש.
֙ ךָ נ ֲ א. Thedirectobject.
Line b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:0
predicators,2constituents,and3units.
י ֣ ִ מ ַ ע ֙ ב ֶ ר ֙ ֶ ק ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב onaconstruct
chain.
ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ שִ י. Thisisinappositiontoי ִ מ ַ ע.
Line c:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predica-
tor,2constituents,and4units.
Amos7:8-9 215
7:8b
7:9
a
b
c
d
e
f
Garrett Amos final.indd 215 6/6/08 2:25:46 PM
רו ֥ ב ֲ ע דו ֖ ע ףי ֥ ִ סוא־אֽ ֹל. Negatedhiphilyiqtol 1csofףסי.The
expressionדוע אֹל means,“nolonger.”רוב ֲ ע,theqalinfinitivecon-
structofרבע,isusedasanauxiliarytothefiniteverb.
ו ֽ ל. Theexpression ְ ל רבע meansto“passby.”Itappearstomean
topassbywithouttakingaction(i.e.,tooverlookIsrael’scrimes).The
expression ע ַ שֶׁ פ־ל ַ ע רבע, to “overlook an offense” (Mic 7:18; Prov
19:11)isillustrative.
Line d:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,2constituents,and3units.
֙ ומ ֙ ַ שָׁ נ ְ ו. Niphalweqatal 3cpofםמשׁ.Theniphalsuggeststhat
theshrinesaretheobjectsofviolentaction.
ק ָ֔ ח ְ שִ י תו ֣ מ ָ ב. The subject (a construct chain). The unusual
spelling for “Isaac” (ק ָ ח ְ שִ י instead of ק ָ ח ְ צִ י) occurs here and in v.
16, and also in Jeremiah 33:26. The use of “Isaac” to refer to the
nationandinparallelwith“Israel”isquitepeculiar,butinAmosit
occurshereandagainin7:16.Thelatteroccurrenceismostsignifi-
cant,becauseitappearsthereonthelipsofAmaziah.Thissuggests
thattheuseofק ָ ח ְ שִ י todesignatethenorthernkingdom,andperhaps
alsotheunusualspelling,isalocalphenomenonattheBethelshrine.
Seefurtherdiscussionatv.16.
Line e:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator, 2 constituents, and 3 units. This line forms a chiasmus with
thepreviousline.
ל ֖ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֥ ֵ שׁ ְ ד ְ ק ִ מו. Thesubject(aconstructchain),sethereasa
paralleltoק ָ ח ְ שִ י תומ ָ ב.
וב֑ ָ ר ֱ חֶ י. Qal yiqtol 3 m p of ברח, “to be ruined, wasted.” The
yiqtol is offline, and is joined to the preceding weqatal in line d to
speakofonesingleeventandnottwoseparateevents.Thethirdplural
isimpersonalandcanberenderedasapassive.Thechoiceofthisverb
maybedrivenbyadesiretocreateawordplaywithב ֶ ר ֶ ח inlinef.
Line f:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predica-
tor,3constituents,and4units.
216 Amos7:8-9
Garrett Amos final.indd 216 6/6/08 2:25:46 PM
י ֛ ִ ת ְ מ ַ קְ ו. Qalweqatal 1csofםוק.Theweqatal ismainlineand
hereintroducesaprophecythatisseparatefromtheonegiveninlines
d-e.
ם֖ ָ ע ְ ב ָ רָ י תי ֥ ֵ ב־ל ַ ע. Prepositional phrase with ל ַ ע, here meaning
“against.”Severalinterpretationsfor“thehouseofJeroboam”arepos-
sible.(1)Hisdynasty.Butifthatwerethemeaning,onewouldexpect
ittobethe“houseofJehu”afterthefounderofthedynasty,asinHos
1:4.Ontheotherhand,JeroboamIIwassospectacularlysuccessful
thedynastyherecouldbenamedforhim.(2)Aroyalpalacelocatedat
Bethel.Thisinterpretationispossibleifat7:13ה ָ כ ָ ל ְ מ ַ מ תי ֵ בו istaken
tomean“andaroyalpalace,”butthatseemsunlikely.(3)TheBethel
shrineitself,whichwassponsoredbytheking.Amos7:13doesseem
todescribeBethelasa“royalshrine,”butonbalanceitisbettertotake
“houseofJeroboam”tobeareferencetothedynasty.
ב ֶ ר ֽ ָ ח ֶ ב. Prepositional phrase with instrumental ְ ב. The sword
hererepresentscomingtoaviolentend.Ontheendofthedynasty,
see2Kings15:8-10.
7:10-17: An Encounter with Amaziah:Abiographicalaccountof
Amos’ encounter with the chief priest of Bethel is abruptly inserted
here. Calling this insertion “redactional” really does nothing to
explain why it is here; it simply makes us ask questions about the
redactorinsteadoftheauthor.Atminimum,thisepisodeisinserted
heretoforceustoreckonwiththisencounterinthecontextofAmos’
fourvisions.Also,thearroganceofAmaziahenablesthereadertosee
thejusticeintheverdictsthataregiveninthethirdandfourthvisions.
Moresignificantly,thisepisodeishighlyironicwhensetagainstthe
visions.AmaziahderisivelycallsAmosa“seer”(v.12),andthereader
knowsfromthevisionaccountsthatthisispreciselywhatAmosis.In
addition,AmaziahseesAmosasanenemyofIsrael,butthefirsttwo
visionsshowhimintercedingwithYHWHtopardonIsrael.Finally,
thissectionisprobablyputherebecausetheprophecyofdoomagainst
the house of Jeroboam at the end of 7:9 is the basis for Amaziah’s
accusationin7:11.
Amos7:9-17 217
Garrett Amos final.indd 217 6/6/08 2:25:47 PM
7:10-17a: Prose Narrative: ThestoryofAmos’encounterwith
Amaziahisinprose,butitconcludeswithanoracleinpoeticform.
־ך ֶ ל ֽ ֶ מ ם֥ ָ ע ְ ב ָ רָ י־ל ֶ א ל ֵ֔ א־תי ֽ ֵ ב ן ֣ ֵ הֹכ ֙ הָ י ְ צ ַ מ ֲ א ח ֗ ַ ל ְ שִׁ י ַ ו
ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֣ ֵ ב ֙ ב ֶ ר ֙ ֶ ק ְ ב סו ֗ מ ָ ע ךי ֜ ֶ ל ָ ע ר ֨ ַ שׁ ָ ק ר ֑ ֹ מא ֵ ל ל ֖ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י
׃וי ֽ ָ ר ָ ב ְ ד־ל ָ כ־ת ֶ א לי ֖ ִ כ ָ ה ְ ל ץ ֶ ר ָ֔ א ָ ה ל֣ ַ כות־אֹל
Prose Clause: ם֥ ָ ע ְ ב ָ רָ י־ל ֶ א ל ֵ֔ א־תי ֽ ֵ ב ן ֣ ֵ הֹכ ֙ הָ י ְ צ ַ מ ֲ א ח ֗ ַ ל ְ שִׁ י ַ ו
ר ֑ ֹ מאֵ ל ל ֖ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י־ך ֶ ל ֽ ֶ מ
Theuseoftheqalwayyiqtol 3msofחלשׁ setsthestoryofthe
encounterwithAmaziahinthecontextofthevisions,althoughitdoes
not necessarily mean that the encounter actually occurred between
theAmos’receptionofthethirdandfourthvisions.ל ֵ א־תי ֵ ב ן ֵ הֹכ,in
appositiontoהָ י ְ צ ַ מ ֲ א,suggeststhathewasahigh-rankingpriestatthe
shrine.רֹ מאֵ ל,theqalinfinitiveconstructofרמא with ְ ל,introduces
thecontentoftheimpliedlettertotheking.
Prose Clause:ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי֣ ֵ ב ֙ ב ֶ ר ֙ ֶ ק ְ ב סו ֗ מ ָ ע ךי ֜ ֶ ל ָ ע ר ֨ ַ שׁ ָ ק
The qal qatal 3 m s of רשׁק introduces a factual summation
(fromAmaziah’sperspective)ofthesituation.Thisisanabbreviated
versionoftheletter;nodoubtthefulloriginalwouldhavecontained
a suitable salutation. The idiom לע רשׁק can literally mean to tie
somethingontosomething(Jer51:63),butoftenitmeansto“conspire
against”(1Sam22:8;1Kgs15:27;2Kgs10:9).ל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֵ ב ב ֶ ר ֶ ק ְ ב
probablyconnotes,“rightinthemiddleofthehouseofIsrael,”sug-
gestingthatAmoswasadangertotheroyalhouseandwasguiltyof
great effrontery. The “house of Israel” may refer to the nation orto
theBethelshrine.
Prose Clause:׃וי ֽ ָ ר ָ ב ְ ד־ל ָ כ־ת ֶ א לי ֖ ִ כ ָ ה ְ ל ץ ֶ ר ָ֔ א ָ ה ל֣ ַ כות־אֹל
The negated qal yiqtol 3 f s of לכי with its auxiliary, a hiphil
infinitive construct of לוכ, literally says that the land cannot “con-
tain” all his words (see 1 Kgs 7:26; 1 Kgs 8:64; Ezek 23:32). This
7:10
218 Amos7:10-17
Garrett Amos final.indd 218 6/6/08 2:25:47 PM
couldmeansomeorallofthefollowing:(1)Amos’wordsaresomany
thattheyfilltheland;thatis,hewon’tstoppreaching.(2)Hismes-
sageisspreadingthroughallIsraelandevenspillingoverintoother
nations,makingthemwonderwhatishappeninghere.(3)Theland
(referringtothepeople)cannotbearhispreaching;inotherwords,he
isdiscouragingandfrighteningthem.(4)Amos’messageisaboutto
burstthelandopenlikeanoverstuffedbag;thatis,aviolentreaction,
possiblydirectedagainsttheking,willsoonerupt.
סו ֔ מ ָ ע ר֣ ַ מ ָ א ֙ הֹכ־י ִ כ
Theaboveclauseisprose,butAmaziah’scitationofAmosbelow
ispoetry.Amaziah’sintroductionofAmos’wordsisstrikinglysimilar
tooneofAmos’divinespeechformulas,הָ והְ י ר ַ מ ָ א הֹכ(1:3,6,8,etc.).
Infact,thispatternisalmostalwaysusedofGod,andtheexceptions
citethespeechofakingoraking’srepresentative (Isa36:4;14,16;
37:3).Thisisironic;whetherhehasintendedtoornot,Amaziahhas
citedAmosasarepresentativeofGod.
ם֑ ָ ע ְ ב ָ רָ י תו ֣ מָ י ב ֶ ר ֖ ֶ ח ַ ב
ס ׃ו ֽ ת ָ מ ְ ד ַ א ל ֥ ַ ע ֵ מ ה֖ ֶ ל ְ ג ִ י ה ֥ ל ָ ג ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ ש֨ ִ י ְ ו
Line a:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,3constituents,and3units.Thechiasticrelationshipoflinea
(prepositionalphrase/verb/subject)tolineb(subject/verb/prepo-
sitionalphrase)indicatesthatJeroboam’sdeathandIsrael’sexilewill
beasingleeventtakingplaceataboutthesametime.Butwehaveno
evidencethatAmosactuallysaidthis;thewordsoflineasubtlybut
criticallydistortlinefin7:9.
ב ֶ ר ֖ ֶ ח ַ ב. Prepositional phrase with instrumental ְ ב. The front-
ing of this phrase makes the violent nature of Jeroboam’s death the
focus.
Amos7:10-11 219
7:11a
7:11b a
b
Garrett Amos final.indd 219 6/6/08 2:25:47 PM
תו ֣ מָ י. Qalyiqtol 3msofתומ.
ם֑ ָ ע ְ ב ָ רָ י. Propernameassubject.
Line b:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and4units.Thislineiscitedverbatimin7:17,
andsimilarstatementsappearin5:5and6:7.
ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ ש֨ ִ י ְ ו. Propernameassubjectwithconjunction.
ה֖ ֶ לְ גִ י ה֥ ל ָ ג. Qalinfinitiveabsoluteandqalyiqtol 3msofהלג.
Theinfinitiveabsolutemayimplycertaintyortotality.
ו ֽ ת ָ מ ְ ד ַ א ל֥ ַ ע ֵ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithlocativeן ִ מ andל ַ ע.
־ל ֶ א ֖ ך ְ ל־ח ַ ר ְ ב ך֥ ֵ ל ה֕ ֶ זֹח סו ֔ מ ָ ע־ל ֶ א ֙ הָ י ְ צ ַ מ ֲ א ר ֶ מא֤ ֹי ַ ו
׃אֽ ֵ ב ָ נ ִ ת ם ֖ ָ שְׁ ו ם ֶ ח ֔ ֶ ל ם ֣ ָ שׁ־ל ָ כ ֱ אֶ ו ה֑ ָ דוהְ י ץ ֶ ר֣ ֶ א
Prose Clause:סו ֔ מ ָ ע־ל ֶ א ֙ הָ י ְ צ ַ מ ֲ א ר ֶ מא֤ ֹי ַ ו
ר ֶ מא֤ ֹי ַ ו,aqalwayyiqtol 3msofרמא,headsamainlinenarrative
clause and initiates the second episode of Amaziah’s dealings with
Amos;italsointroducesAmaziah’sreportedspeech.
Prose Clause:ה֑ ָ דוהְ י ץ ֶ ר֣ ֶ א־ל ֶ א ֖ ך ְ ל־ח ַ ר ְ ב ך֥ ֵ ל ה֕ ֶ זֹח
Thisisreportedspeech.הֶ זֹח,aqalactiveparticiplemsofהזח,
ishereavocativesubstantive.Theuseofthistitleisunintendedirony
onAmaziah’spart;hehasderisivelycalledAmosa“seerofvisions,”
butthecontextindicatesthatthisispreciselywhatAmosis.ח ַ ר ְ ב ך ֵ ל
(qalimperativesmsofךלה andחרב),althoughtwoverbs,isreally
asyndetichendiadysandnottwoseparateclauses.Notetheconjunc-
tivemerka withך ֵ ל.Theprepositionalphraseך ְ ל isanidiomaticverbal
complement (the “ethical dative”) and need not be translated. The
prepositionalphraseה ָ דוהְ י ץ ֶ ר ֶ א־ל ֶ א isdirective,givingtheplaceto
whichAmosshouldflee.
Prose Clause:ם ֶ ח ֔ ֶ ל ם֣ ָ שׁ־ל ָ כ ֱ אֶ ו
ל ָ כ ֱ אֶ ו isaqalimperativemswithו,heresubordinatetotheprevi-
ousclauseandfunctioningasanimplicitpurposeclause,givingthe
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reasonAmosshouldfleethere.Theantecedentofם ָ שׁ isה ָ דוהְ י inthe
previousclause.ם ֶ חֶ ל isthedirectobject.Idiomatically,eatingbread
referstoearningaliving.
Prose Clause:אֽ ֵ בָ נ ִ ת ם ֖ ָ שְׁ ו
א ֵ בָ נ ִ ת isaniphalyiqtol 2msfunctioningmodally.Theו +[x]+
yiqtol hereiscoordinatedtotheimperativeל ָ כ ֱ אֶ ו inthepreviousline,
implying that the two actions are bound together as one. Note the
chiasticstructureofthetwoclauses:
אֽ ֵ ב ָ נ ִ ת ם ֖ ָ שְׁ ו ם ֶ ח ֔ ֶ ל ם ֣ ָ שׁ־ל ָ כ ֱ אֶ ו
(verb+ם ָ שׁ + ם ֶ חֶ ל + ם ָ שׁ +verb)
ThelinesmeanthatAmosshouldearnhislivingbyperforming
hisservicesasaprofessionalprophetinJudah.
֙ ך ֶ ל ֙ ֶ מ־שׁ ַ ד ְ ק ִ מ י ֤ ִ כ א֑ ֵ ב ָ נ ִ ה ְ ל דו ֖ ע ףי ֥ ִ סות־א ֽ ֹל ל ֵ֔ א־תי ֽ ֵ בו
ס ׃או ֽ ה ה֖ ָ כ ָ ל ְ מ ַ מ תי ֥ ֵ בו או ֔ ה
Prose Clause:א֑ ֵ בָ נ ִ ה ְ ל דו ֖ ע ףי ֥ ִ סות־אֽ ֹל ל ֵ֔ א־תי ֽ ֵ בו
Headingthenextclausewiththelocativeל ֵ א־תי ֵ בו indicatesthat
Amaziah does not care whether or where Amos prophesies, so long
ashedoesnotdoithere.Thehiphilmodalyiqtol 2msofףסי with
itsauxiliary,theniphalinfinitiveconstructofאבנ,togetherwiththe
strong negative אֹל and the temporal adverb דוע, imply that Amos
mustneverprophesythereagain.
Prose Clause:או ֔ ה ֙ ך ֶ ל ֙ ֶ מ־שׁ ַ ד ְ ק ִ מ י ֤ ִ כ
The explanation, introduced by י ִ כ, is that Bethel is a ־שׁ ַ ד ְ ק ִ מ
ך ֶ ל ֶ מ. The construct chain probably designates a royally sponsored
shrine.Itisindefinite,suggestingthatitisoneofseveral(therewas
alsooneatDan,andalmostcertainlyoneatSamariaaswell).
Prose Clause:או ֽ ה ה֖ ָ כ ָ ל ְ מ ַ מ תי ֥ ֵ בו
The phrase ה ָ כ ָ ל ְ מ ַ מ תי ֵ ב could be taken to mean that Bethel
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wasalsoaroyalresidence,butthisisunlikely.Thephraseisprobably
simplyaparalleltotheprecedingclauseandmaymean,“anational
temple”(seePaul1991,243).
א ֥ ֹל ְ ו י ִ כ ֔ ֹנ ָ א אי ֣ ִ ב ָ נ־אֹל ה֔ ָ י ְ צ ַ מ ֲ א־ל ֶ א ר ֶ מא֣ ֹי ַ ו ֙ סומ ָ ע ן ַ ע֤ ַ י ַ ו
׃םי ֽ ִ מ ְ ק ִ שׁ ס֥ ֵ לובו י ִ כ ֖ ֹ נ ָ א ר ֥ ֵ קוב־י ֽ ִ כ י ִ כ ֑ ֹ נ ָ א אי ֖ ִ ב ָ נ־ן ֶ ב
Prose Clause: ֙ סומ ָ ע ן ַ ע֤ ַ י ַ ו
Thewayyiqtol carriesthemainlinenarrativeforward.ן ַ עַ י ַ ו isaqal
wayyiqtol 3msofהנע.
Prose Clause:ה֔ ָ י ְ צ ַ מ ֲ א־ל ֶ א ר ֶ מא֣ ֹי ַ ו
Epexegesisofן ַ עַ י ַ ו fromthepreviousclause,introducingthecon-
tentofAmos’words.ר ֶ מאֹי ַ ו isaqalwayyiqtol 3msofרמא and־ל ֶ א
הָ י ְ צ ַ מ ֲ א isaprepositionalphrasewithל ֶ א indicatingtheaddressee.
Prose Clause:י ִ כ ֔ ֹנ ָ א אי ֣ ִ בָ נ־אֹל
Negated verbless clause. As such, it is impossible to determine
whether it is a present or past tense. Some prefer past tense on the
grounds that Amos at this point obviously is a prophet and would
notdenybeingsuch(seev.15,whichseemstoestablishthepasttense
meaning).ButAmosmaymorepreciselymeanthatheisnotaprofes-
sional prophet.Inotherwords,hedoesnotearnmoneybyprophesy-
ing,incontrasttoAmaziah’ssarcasticandimpliedaccusationinv.12.
ProbablyAmoshereandinthenextclauseisdeliberatelyexploiting
thetemporalambiguityoftheverblessclauses:heis not aprofessional
prophetbutcontinues toearnhislivingasaherdsman;hewas not a
prophet but was a herdsman until God chose him to be a prophet.
Englishcannotadequatelyconveythis.
Prose Clause:י ִ כ֑ ֹ נ ָ א אי ֖ ִ בָ נ־ן ֶ ב א֥ ֹל ְ ו
Anothernegatedverblessclause.Aאי ִ בָ נ־ן ֶ ב isamemberofapro-
pheticguild,notaprophet’sbiologicalson(2Kgs2:3,7;6:1).
Prose Clause:׃םי ֽ ִ מ ְ ק ִ שׁ ס֥ ֵ לובו י ִ כ֖ ֹ נ ָ א ר ֥ ֵ קוב־י ֽ ִ כ
7:14
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A verbless clause with a compound predicate (ר ֵ קוב and ס ֵ לוב
םי ִ מ ְ ק ִ שׁ).Theparticleי ִ כ ishereadversative.Sinceר ָ ק ָ ב oftenmeans
“cattle,”thiswouldmeansomethinglike“cattleman,”butitisanach-
ronistic to suppose that this precludes his also being a shepherd, as
heindicatesheisinv.15.Probably“herdsman”isabetterrendition,
indicatinghemanagedsheep,goatsandcattle.Anotherpossibilityis
thatרקב shouldbeemendedtoרקד,givingthemeaning“piercer.”
So emended, it would go with םי ִ מ ְ ק ִ שׁ ס ֵ לוב and refer to someone
who pierces sycamore figs (as proposed by Zalcman 1980). A ס ֵ לוב
םי ִ מ ְ ק ִ שׁ isapparentlyapersonwhocutthehuskofthesycamorefig
tree to enable the figs to ripen properly to an edible state. ס ֵ לוב, a
qalactiveparticiplemsconstructofסלב,isusedsubstantively;סלב
appearsonlyhereintheHebrewBiblebutthereisfairlystrongcon-
sensus about its meaning (for an alternative view, see Rosenbaum
1990, 47–50). The problem with the emendation of רקב to רקד is
that,becauseofthewordorder,רקד cannotbeinconstructandcon-
joinedtoס ֵ לובו (togivethesense,“Iamapiercerandcutterofsyca-
morefigs”).Forthattobethemeaning,thewordorderwouldhave
tobeםי ִ מ ְ ק ִ שׁ ס ֵ לובו ר ֵ קוד י ִ כֹ נ ָ א.Also,רקד iselsewhereusedforthe
piercingofpeople,generallybytheswordorinsomeactofviolence.
Thus,thetextshouldnotbeemended.Wecannottellfromthesejob
descriptionshowwealthyorpoorAmoswas,butclearlyheidentified
himselfwiththosewhoworkedinthefields(seeGiles1992).
ך֥ ֵ ל הָ֔ והְ י ֙ י ַ ל ֵ א ר ֶ מא֤ ֹי ַ ו ןא ֑ ֹצ ַ ה י ֖ ֵ ר ֲ ח ַ א ֵ מ הָ֔ והְ י י ִ נ ֣ ֵ ח ָ קִ י ַ ו
׃ל ֽ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֥ ִ מ ַ ע־ל ֶ א א֖ ֵ ב ָ נ ִ ה
Prose Clause:ןא ֑ ֹצ ַ ה י ֖ ֵ ר ֲ ח ַ א ֵ מ הָ֔ והְ י י ִ נ ֣ ֵ ח ָ קִ י ַ ו
Theprecedingnominalclausesarebackgroundinformationand
presented the setting for Amos’ small narrative; this clause, headed
byי ִ נ ֵ ח ָ קִ י ַ ו,aqalwayyiqtol 3msofחקל witha1cssuffix,isthefirst
event of his narrative. The prepositional phrase ןאֹצ ַ ה י ֵ ר ֲ ח ַ א ֵ מ com-
binesן ִ מ,indicatingthesituationfromwhichGodtookhim,andthe
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constructpluralofר ַ ח ַ א,indicatinghispositionrelativetotheflock
thathewatchedover(hewalkedbehindhisherdsandflocks).
Prose Clause:הָ֔ והְ י ֙ י ַ ל ֵ א ר ֶ מא֤ ֹי ַ ו
Thewayyiqtol 3msofרמא continuesthemainlinesequenceof
Amos’ narrative and introduces another reported speech. The sub-
jectofר ֶ מאֹי ַ ו isofcourseהָ והְ י,butthepositionoftheprepositional
phrase י ַ ל ֵ א between verb and subject is slightly unusual. It may be
thatthepositionofהוהי attheendoftheclauseisstrongerthanif
inthemiddle(itcannothavethefirstpositionbecauseofthewayy-
iqtol).Thus,whatYHWHsaidtoAmoshere(“Prophesy!”)issetin
contrasttowhatAmaziahsaid(“Donotprophesy!”),asnotedinthe
nextverse.Bethatasitmay,theimportanceofthisasadivinespeech
is not understated; the name YHWH is given twice in this verse as
thesubjectofthetwoverbsי ִ נ ֵ ח ָ קִ י ַ ו andר ֶ מאֹי ַ ו;thisisadivinecom-
missioning.
Prose Clause:ך֥ ֵ ל
Aqalimperativemsofךלה;comingfromJudah,Amosnaturally
hadto“go”toIsraelbeforehecouldprophesythere.Amaziah’scom-
mandtoAmosalsobeganwithך ֵ ל.
Prose Clause:ל ֽ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֥ ִ מ ַ ע־ל ֶ א א֖ ֵ בָ נ ִ ה
ThissingleclauseisthewholeofAmos’defenseandexplanation
forhisactivity;heisprophesyinginIsraelbecauseYHWHtoldhim
todoso.ContrastAmaziah’scommandinv.12,whichusesvirtually
identicallanguage(א ֵ בָ נ ִ ת ם ָ שְׁ ו . . . ה ָ דוהְ י ץ ֶ ר ֶ א־ל ֶ א . . . ך ֵ ל).The
wordא ֵ בָ נ ִ ה,aniphalimperativemsofאבנ,impliesthatAmoshas
thetitleofאי ִ בָ נ entirelybydivinecommissionratherthanbytraining
orpersonalpreference.Theprepositionalphraseל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ִ מ ַ ע־ל ֶ א fur-
thermoredemonstratesthathisareaofpropheticactivity,Israelrather
thanJudah,isbyGod’scommandincontrasttoAmaziah’sorder.
־ל ַ ע ֙ א ֵ ב ָ נ ִ ת א ֤ ֹל ר ֗ ֵ מֹ א ה ֣ ָ ת ַ א ה֑ ָ והְ י־ר ַ ב ְ ד ע֣ ַ מ ְ שׁ ה ֖ ָ ת ַ ע ְ ו
׃ק ֽ ָ ח ְ שִ י תי ֥ ֵ ב־ל ַ ע ףי ֖ ִ ט ַ ת א ֥ ֹל ְ ו ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ שִ י
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Prose Clause:ה֑ ָ והְ י־ר ַ ב ְ ד ע֣ ַ מ ְ שׁ ה ֖ ָ ת ַ עְ ו
ה ָ ת ַ עְ ו, literally “and now,” is an inference marker that brings
theprevioushistoricaldiscoursequicklytothepresentanddescribes
theramificationsofprioreventsforthecurrentsituation.Inanother
ironic touch, Amos, who had been forbidden to prophesy, responds
to the command with another prophecy introduced by ע ַ מ ְ שׁ, a qal
imperativemsofעמשׁ,anditsobject,הָ והְ י־ר ַ ב ְ ד.
Prose Clause:ר ֗ ֵ מֹ א ה֣ ָ ת ַ א
Rather than using a finite verb (such as the qatal ר ַ מ ָ א), Amos
employs a periphrastic qal active participle m s in ר ֵ מֹ א. This need
notbetakentomeanthatAmaziahisrepeatinghimselforspeaking
constantly; it only implies that this is the demand that Amaziah is
currentlyputtingforth.
Prose Clause:ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ שִ י־ל ַ ע ֙ א ֵ בָ נ ִ ת א֤ ֹל
Amaziah’sprohibition,א ֵ בָ נ ִ ת אֹל (withaniphalyiqtol 2msof
אבנ),herecontrastswithYHWH’scommissioninthepreviousverse.
Thenegativeאֹל (incontrasttoל ַ א)islegislativeinnature(seeIBHS
34.2.1b) and suggests a permanent injunction. The preposition ל ַ ע
probablyhasthesenseof“against.”
Prose Clause:ק ֽ ָ ח ְ שִ י תי ֥ ֵ ב־ל ַ ע ףי ֖ ִ ט ַ ת א֥ ֹל ְ ו
This clause is parallel to the previous, with another prohibitive
אֹל withףי ִ ט ַ ת,thehiphilyiqtol 2msofףטנ,andanotheradversative
useofל ַ ע.Theverbףטנ (qalandhiphilstems)meansto“secrete”or
“drip,”butitreferstopropheticpreachinghereandinEzekel21:2,7;
Micah 2:6. The term is not of itself derisive, as God uses the word
to direct Ezekiel to prophesy. Here again, “Isaac” is set as a parallel
to“Israel,”butitmaybenoteworthythatAmaziahalsoreferstothe
“houseofIsaac.”Whilethismaybenomorethananalternativename
forthekingdom,thetermmayhavespecialsignificanceattheBethel
shrine.Ofcourse,theGenesisstoriesprimarilyassociateBethelwith
Jacob,butthisdoesnotmeanthatthenameIsaacwasnotusedatthe
shrine.
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הָ֗ והְ י ר֣ ַ מ ָ א־הֹכ ן ֞ ֵ כ ָ ל
Theaboveisadivinespeechformulainprose;itintroducesthe
poeticoraclethatfollows.
7:17b: Oracle of Doom: Amosheregivesaone-strophe,five-line
oracleinwhichhepredictspersonaldisasterforAmaziahontopofthe
generalcalamitycomingtoIsrael.Everylinebeginswiththesubject,
then has a prepositional phrase (with ְ ב in lines a-c and ל ַ ע in lines
d-e),andthenhasayiqtol predicateattheendoftheline(exceptfor
linee,whichbreaksthepatternbyinvertingtheorderoftheverband
prepositional phrase). Also, each of the subjects in lines a-c has the
2mssuffix(theothersubjectsobviouslycannothavesuchasuffix),
andlinesc-eeachhavethenounה ָ מ ָ ד ֲ א.Theselineshavenumerous
interconnectionsandareineffectalistofcomingdisasters.Thesefive
linesaregroupedintotwocouplets(linesa-b:wifeandchildren;lines
c-d: your ground and unclean ground) concluding with a final line
thatcastsAmaziah’sreporttoJeroboambackintohisface(compare
lineetothesecondlineof7:11b).
֙ הֶ נ ְ ז ִ ת רי ֤ ִ ע ָ ב ֞ ך ְ ת ְ שׁ ִ א
ול ֔ ֹ פִ י ב ֶ ר ֣ ֶ ח ַ ב ֙ ךי ֙ ֶ תֹ נ ְ בו ךי֤ ֶ נ ָ בו
ק֑ ָ ל ֻ ח ְ ת ל ֶ ב֣ ֶ ח ַ ב ֖ ך ְ ת ָ מ ְ ד ַ אְ ו
תו ֔ מ ָ ת ֙ ה ָ א ֵ מ ְ ט ה֤ ָ מ ָ ד ֲ א־ל ַ ע ה ֗ ָ ת ַ אְ ו
ס ׃ו ֽ ת ָ מ ְ ד ַ א ל ֥ ַ ע ֵ מ ה֖ ֶ ל ְ ג ִ י ה ֥ ל ָ ג ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ ש֨ ִ י ְ ו
Line a:Thecolon-markerispashta andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units.
֞ ך ְ ת ְ שׁ ִ א. Thesubject.WolffnotesthatAkkadiantreatiescallfor
thesexualhumiliationofthewivesofcovenantviolators(Wolff1977,
315n.59).
רי ֤ ִ ע ָ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב.Presumablythecity
7:17a
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meanthereisthecityofAmaziah’sresidence,Bethel.Thephrasemay
implythatwhatshedoes,orwhathappenstoher,willbeamatterof
publicknowledge(cf.Deut22:23–24).
֙ הֶ נ ְ ז ִ ת. Qal yiqtol 3 f s of הנז. The verb usually implies willful
promiscuity. It seems very odd, however, that Amos should in this
contextpredictthatAmaziah’swifewouldbecomelustfullyimmoral.
EveryotherlinespeaksofviolenceforciblycarriedoutagainstIsrael,
Amaziah and his children and possessions. הנז here probably con-
notes not willful promiscuity but sexual defilement either through
rapeorsellingherselfoutofdesperationtosurvive.Asthewifeofa
priest,suchdefilementisparticularlyheinous.Herruinmaybesym-
bolicofthedesecrationofthesanctityoftheBethelshrine.
Line b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
֙ ךי ֙ ֶ תֹ נ ְ בו ךי֤ ֶ נ ָ בו. Thesubjects;itisnotnecessarytoassumeAma-
ziah’ssonsanddaughterswouldbechildrenatthetimethispredic-
tionwasfulfilled.
ב ֶ ר֣ ֶ ח ַ ב. Prepositional phrase with instrumental ְ ב. Falling “by
thesword”representsaviolentdeath.Amaziah’ssonsmayhavebeen
combatantswhile hisdaughtersmayhavebeenkilledinthesackof
thecity.
ול ֔ ֹ פִ י. Qalyiqtol 3mpofלפנ.
Line c:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,3constituents,and3units.
֖ ך ְ ת ָ מ ְ ד ַ אְ ו. The subject; here it seems to be land that Amaziah
privatelyowned.
ל ֶ ב֣ ֶ ח ַ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithinstrumental ְ ב.Thedistribu-
tionofhislandviaa“measuringline”indicatesthathislandisbroken
upinanofficialprocessbyanewadministrationthathasnoregard
forhispriorclaimtotheland.Inotherwords,itisnotsimplyoccu-
piedbysquatters.ThisimpliesthefallofthegovernmentofJeroboam
II,Amaziah’spatron.Also,itisfittingthatmembersoftheelite,who
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usedjudicialmeanstotakethelandofthepoor,shouldhavethesame
donetothem.
ק֑ ָ ל ֻ ח ְ ת. Pualyiqtol 3fsofקלח,“bedivided.”Amaziahappar-
ently owned an estate large enough for it to be divided and appor-
tionedoutbytheconquerors.ThissuggeststhatAmaziahhimselfwas
oneofthewealthyaristocratsthatAmosinveighsagainst.
Line d:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
ה ֗ ָ ת ַ אְ ו. Thesubject.
֙ ה ָ א ֵ מ ְ ט ה֤ ָ מ ָ ד ֲ א־ל ַ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithlocativeל ַ ע.The
“unclean land” is a Gentile land where Israelite concerns for kosher
foods,sabbathregulations,andsoforthwerenotobserved.Wesome-
times imagine that the prophets’ opponents were so paganized that
they had no regard for Torah requirements, and sometimes this is
so (cf. 8:5). But Amaziah appears to have taken some aspects of his
priesthoodseriously.
תו ֔ מ ָ ת. Qalyiqtol 2msofתומ.
Line e:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predica-
tor, 3 constituents, and 5 units. This line repeats Amaziah’s charge
aboutthecontentofAmos’prophecies(see7:11),implyingthatAmos
isassertingbacktoAmaziahthathisprophecywillinfactcometrue.
ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ ש֨ ִ י ְ ו. Thesubject;thefinalexileofIsraeltookplacec.722,
anditappearsthatAmos’ministrywasnolaterthanc.755B.C.We
neednotassume,however,thatallaspectsofthisoraclewerefulfilled
atthesametime.Hischildren’sdeathandwife’shumiliation,andhis
owndeath,couldhaveoccurredearlierandatdifferenttimes.
ה֖ ֶ לְ גִ י ה֥ ל ָ ג. Qalinfinitiveabsoluteandyiqtol 3msofהלג.The
infinitiveabsolutehereimpliescertaintyandisincontrasttoAmazi-
ah’srefusaltolistenandimplieddenial.
ו ֽ ת ָ מ ְ ד ַ א ל֥ ַ ע ֵ מ. Prepositional phrase with ן ִ מ and ל ַ ע, implying
removalfromtheirhomeland.
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8:1-3: A Basket of Summer Fruit
Thisvisionisstructurallyparalleltotheenigmaticthirdvision,butits
meaningismuchmoreclear.
8:1-2a: Prose Narrative: Asbefore,Amosnarratestheessential
detailsofthevisioninprose.
׃ץִ י ֽ ָ ק בו ֥ ל ְ כ ה֖ ֵ נ ִ ה ְ ו ה֑ ִ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א י ִ נ ֖ ַ א ְ ר ִ ה ה ֥ ֹכ
Prose Clause:ה֑ ִ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א י ִ נ ֖ ַ א ְ ר ִ ה ה ֥ ֹכ
See7:1.
Prose Clause:ץִ י ֽ ָ ק בו ֥ ל ְ כ ה֖ ֵ נ ִ הְ ו
This is a clause with an implied הָ י ָ ה, “there was.” הֵ נ ִ הְ ו intro-
ducesAmos’perspectiveonthevisionandprovidesthesettingforthe
narratedconversationthatfollows.Intheconstructchainץִ י ָ ק בול ְ כ,
the term ץִ י ַ ק, literally “summer,” connotes the produce of summer
(cf.Jer40:10).Thelatesummerharvestwouldbefigsandalategrape
harvest(Mic7:1).ץִ י ַ ק isalsofoundintheseventhandlastlineofthe
GezerCalendar(spelledasץק;seealsoRhatjen1964).
ץִ י ֑ ָ ק בו ֣ ל ְ כ ר ֖ ַ מֹ אָ ו סו ֔ מ ָ ע ֙ ה ֶ אֹר ה ֤ ָ ת ַ א־ה ֽ ָ מ ר ֶ מא֗ ֹי ַ ו
י ֗ ַ ל ֵ א הָ֜ והְ י ר ֶ מא֨ ֹי ַ ו
Therearefiveproseclauseshere;see7:8aforadiscussionofthe
grammar.Closelyparallelingthethirdvisionreport,thisintroduces
aneworacle.
8:2b-3: Oracle of Doom: Sixlinesinonestrophe.Theseriesof
visionsendswithanoraclethatforetellstheendofthekingdom.After
a general statement to the effect that disaster is sure to come (lines
a-b),thereisaprophecyofwailinglamentationattheshrines(linec)
and,afteraparentheticaldivinespeechformula(lined),thelyricsof
thelamentsongsaregiven(linese-f ).
Amos8:1-3 229
8:1
8:2a
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ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֣ ִ מ ַ ע־ל ֶ א ֙ ץ ֵ ק ַ ה א֤ ָ ב
׃ו ֽ ל רו ֥ ב ֲ ע דו ֖ ע ףי ֥ ִ סוא־אֹל
או ֔ ה ַ ה םו ֣ י ַ ב ֙ ל ָ כי ֵ ה תו ֤ רי ִ שׁ ולי ֜ ִ לי ֵ ה ְ ו
ה֑ ִ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א ם֖ ֻ אְ נ
ךי ֥ ִ ל ְ שׁ ִ ה םו ֖ ק ָ מ־ל ָ כ ְ ב ר ֶ ג ֔ ֶ פ ַ ה ב֣ ַ ר
פ ׃ס ֽ ָ ה
Line a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
א֤ ָ ב. Qalqatal 3msofאוב.
֙ ץ ֵ ק ַ ה. The subject, “the end,” is obviously a word-play on ץִ י ַ ק,
“summerproduce.”Thetwowordsarefromdifferentroots(ץִ י ַ ק from
ץיק, and ץ ֵ ק from ץצק; Paul 1991, 254) but they would have been
pronounced the same in Samaria and, if the Gezer Calendar is any
indicationandunlessmatres lectionis werealreadyemployedinAmos’
day,theywerespelledthesame(seealsoWolters1988).Also,thefact
thatthetimeofץִ י ַ ק isattheendoftheagriculturalyearisapropos
tothewordplay.
ל ֵ֔ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֣ ִ מ ַ ע־ל ֶ א. Prepositionalphrasewithל ֶ א.
Line b:See7:8.
Line c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,3constituents,and5units.
ולי ֜ ִ לי ֵ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 3mpofללי,forfuturetense(mainline
clauseinananticipatorytext).Theverbisgenerallyintransitive,like
the English “wail,” but here it seems to be transitive, taking תורי ִ שׁ
ironically as its direct object. But just as the English counterpart,
“theyshallwailtemplesongs,”isunusualbutnotunintelligible,the
sameistrueoftheHebrew.
֙ ל ָ כי ֵ ה תו ֤ רי ִ שׁ. The direct object in a construct chain. ה ָ רי ִ שׁ,
“song,”occurstwelvetimesintheMTbutonlyhereintheplural(the
8:2b
8:3
a
b
c
d
e
f
230 Amos8:2-3
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masculine plural םי ִ רי ִ שׁ occurs seven times), but that is no reason
to emend. Many interpreters (e.g., Noble 1998, 432–33) do emend
תורי ִ שׁ to תור ָ שׁ (“[female] singers”; thus, “the female singers of the
templeshallwail”),butthisisunpersuasive,anditistypicalofhow
emendation often flattens the vivid language of the prophets. The
phraseל ָ כי ֵ ה תורי ִ שׁ is,asdescribedabove,anironicdirectobjectto
theverb.Themeaning,ofcourse,isthatinsteadofharmonioussing-
ingthereshallbewailing.
או ֔ ה ַ ה םו ֣ י ַ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב inatemporalphrase.
Line d:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:0pred-
icators,3constituents,and3units.
ה֑ ִ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א ם֖ ֻ אְ נ. A divine speech formula using a construct
chain.
Line e:Thisline,asproposedhere,doesnotfollowtheMTcantil-
lation.Theconstraintsare:1predicator,4constituents,and4units.
Therearetwoclauses,רֶ ג ֶ פ ַ ה ב ַ ר andךי ֥ ִ ל ְ שׁ ִ ה םוק ָ מ־ל ָ כ ְ ב.
ב֣ ַ ר. Adjectiveusedasapredicate.
רֶ ג ֔ ֶ פ ַ ה. Thesubject;acollectivenoun,itrepresentsaplurality.
םו ֖ ק ָ מ־ל ָ כ ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב onaconstruct
chain.
ךי ֥ ִ ל ְ שׁ ִ ה. Hiphilyiqtol 3msofךלשׁ.Theimpliedobjectisרֶ ג ֔ ֶ פ ַ ה.
The subject could be YHWH, but it is more likely that the verb is
usedimpersonallyandisavirtualpassive.
Line f:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predica-
tor,1constituent,and1unit.Thisviolatestheconstraintsforhaving
a one-unit line, but it is a dramatic end to the oracle. Most signifi-
cantly,settingthiswordbyitselfdramaticallyrecallsthegrimscene
in6:10.
ס ֽ ָ ה. Theimperative“Hush!”hasherepreciselythesameconcep-
tual context as in its use in 6:10: Samaria is filled with corpses and
thusacityundertaboo;itissodefiledthatGod’snamemustnoteven
bementionedthere.
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8:4–9:15: final Condemnation and redemption
TheconclusionofAmosisapairoflengthypoems(8:4-12;9:1b-15).
These poems are separated by a prose conclusion to the first poem
(8:13-14)andaproseintroductiontothesecondpoem(9:1a).Butthe
textdividesintothreemajorparts,asfollows.
1. 8:4-6 is an introduction describing briefly the sins of the
people. The offenses described here are the basis for the
appropriatepunishmentGoddecreesinsubsequentverses.
2. 8:7–9:6givesYHWH’sfinaljudgmentagainstIsrael.Thisis
intwoparts,8:7-14and9:1-6.
3. 9:7-15 predicts Israel’s diaspora and recovery. It compares
Israeltothenations,indicatingthatIsraelisnotreallydif-
ferent from them in God’s eyes (9:7-10). But then the text
predicts the redemption of Israel and also draws the Gen-
tilesintothatredemption,assertingthatGodwillbringthe
nations into Israel (9:11-12). The book ends with a prom-
iseofagreatharvestandarobustpopulationforthenation
(9:13-15).
Severalrepeatedthemesbindthistexttogether.
A. There is focus on what may be called the fate of the Isra-
elites. First, the fate of impoverished Israelites is abuse and
suffering.Themorewell-offmembersofsocietyhuntthem
down and sell them into slavery (8:4,6). Second, and as a
fittingjudgment,Godwillhuntdowntheentirenationand
slaughterIsraeliteswherevertheyhide(9:1b-4),andtheywill
wander among the nations and face slaughter everywhere
(9:9-10). Third, however, these judgments will be reversed
andIsraelwillbesecureinitslandforever(9:14-15).
B. Anotherthemeofthetextmaybebroadlydefinedasfood.
First,themerchantscheatpeoplewhentheysellgrain(8:5).
Second,thejudgmentonIsraelisdescribedasa“famine”for
thewordofGod(8:11-13).Intherestoration,however,Israel
willexperienceamiraculouslygreatharvest(9:13).
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C. The matter of oaths appears three times. First, YHWH
swearsanoathbytheprideofJacobin8:7.Second,thepeo-
pleswearbytheirshrinesin8:14.Third,YHWHmakesa
solemn decree against Israel while standing by an altar in
9:1,anactthatisimplicitlyanoath.
D. Theupheavalofthelandlike the Nile istwotimesasignof
thedayoftheYHWH(8:8;9:5c).
E. The theme of YHWH’s cosmic power appears three times:
in his darkening of the daytime sky (8:9), in his causing
the earth to melt (9:5a), and in the fact that his dominion
extendsfromheaventoearth(9:6).
F. Themourning ofthepeopleismentionedtwice,in8:10and
9:5b.
G. Finally, the theme of Israel and the Gentiles is taken up in
9:7-8, 11-12. First, Israel is declared to be no better than
the pagan nations (9:7-8). Second, however, the ancient
promise that David’s dynasty will have dominion over all
the nations is reaffirmed, and even Gentiles are called the
people of YHWH (9:11-12). This theme is also important
forthestructureofthewholebook,asitcreatesaninclusion.
ThebookbeginswithIsraelnobetterthantheGentilesand
likethemfacingYHWH’swrath(1:3–2:16).Thebookalso
endswithIsraelnobetterthantheGentiles,butitincludes
theGentilesintheblessingsofYHWH’ssalvationofIsrael
(9:11-12).
Thetablebelowlaysoutthestructureofthispassage.Ontheleft
side,onecanseehowthetwopoemsaredividedintostanzasaswellas
wheretheproseboundarytextsareplaced.Ontherightside,thetext
isdividedaccordingtocontent,showingthemajorpartsofthisfinal
divisionofthebook.Thethematiclinksdescribedabovearealsopre-
sentedhere.Theselinksarelaidouttoshowwherethevariousthemes
are located and to provide a map for following how Amos develops
thesethemes,asdescribedabove.Onecansee,infact,thatthethemes
ofPartI(the“fateoftheIsraelites”and“food”)aretakenupagainin
Amos8:4–9:15 233
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Part III (with the addition of “Israel and the Gentiles”). Also, every
themePartIIaistakenupagaininPartIIb,exceptthatPartIIadeals
withthethemeof“food”butPartIIbdoesnot,whereasPartIIbgives
attentiontothe“fateoftheIsraelites”in9:1b-4.Thus,oneseessome-
thingofaninclusionpatternorchiasmusinthisdivision,withPartI
mirroredbyPartIIIandPartIIamirroredbyPartIIb.

Stanza1(8:4-6)
A.FateofIsraelites(8:4)
B.Food(8:5)
A.FateofIsraelites(8:6)
Stanza2(8:7)
C.Oath(8:7)
Stanza3(8:8) D.LandlikeNile(8:8)
Stanza4(8:9-10)
E.YHWH’sCosmicpower(8:9)
F.Mourning(8:10)
Stanza5(8:11-12)
B.Food(8:11-13)
Prose(8:13-14) C.Oath(8:14)
Prose(9:1a) C.Oath(9:1a)
Stanza1(9:1b-4) A.FateofIsraelites(9:1b-4)
Stanza2(9:5-6)
E.YHWH’sCosmicpower(9:5a)
F.Mourning(9:5b)
D.LandlikeNile(9:5c)
E.YHWH’sCosmicpower(9:6)
Stanza3(9:7-8) G.IsraelandGentiles(9:7-8)
Stanza4(9:9-10) A.FateofIsraelites(9:9-10)
Stanza5(9:11-12) G.IsraelandGentiles(9:11-12)
Stanza6(9:13-15)
B.Food(9:13)
A.FateofIsraelites(9:14-15)
F
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s
t

P
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m

(
8
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4
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I
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S
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(
8
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4
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I
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a
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J
u
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g
m
e
n
t

(
8
:
7
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1
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234 Amos8:4–9:15
S
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c
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P
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(
9
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)
I
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J
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2

(
9
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(
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8:4
Hear this, you who sniff after the poor
And who annihilate the impoverished in the land,
5
while saying:
“When will the new moon be over
So that we may sell grain,
And the Sabbath, so that we may open up the grain business —
By shrinking the ephah and enlarging the shekel,
By making twisted balance scales that deceive,
6
For obtaining poor people because of silver
And a poor man because of sandals—
And so that we may sell the bottom-of-the-barrel grain?”
7
YHWH has sworn by the pride of Jacob,
“I will never forget all their deeds!”
8
Isn’t it for this reason that the earth will shake
And all who dwell on it will mourn,
And all of it will rise like the Nile,
And it will overflow and subside like the Egyptian Nile?
9
And it shall be on that day—
An oracle of Lord YHWH—
That I shall bring down the sun at noon
And I shall bring darkness to earth on a bright day.
10
And I will turn your festivals into mourning
And all your songs into lamentation.
And I shall bring sackcloth up around every waist
And baldness on every head.
And I shall make it as the mourning for an only son
And (I shall make) its outcome into a truly bitter day.”
11
Behold, days are coming—
An oracle of Lord YHWH—
When I shall release a famine upon the earth.
(It will) not be a famine for bread and not be thirst for water.
Rather, (it will be a famine) for hearing the words of YHWH.
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12
And they will wander from sea to sea
And from the northlands to the rising of the sun.
They will rove about to seek the word of YHWH but not find (it).
13
On that day they will collapse from thirst—the beautiful maidens
and the fine young men
14
who swear by the guilt of Samaria and say, “As
your gods live, Dan!” and “As the ‘way’ of Beersheba lives!”—and they
will fall never to rise again.
9:1
I saw the Lord standing at the altar, and he said,
Strike the capital so that the door-frames shake!
And sever them at the top—all of them!
And I will slay the rest of them with the sword.
Not one of their fugitives will get away,
And not one of their refugees will escape.
2
If they dig into Sheol,
From there my hand shall get them.
And if they ascend into heaven,
From there I shall bring them down.
3
And if they hide on the top of Carmel,
From there I will hunt them down and get them.
And if they are concealed from before my eyes on the floor of the sea,
From there I will command the serpent to bite them.
4
And if they go into captivity in the presence of their enemies,
From there I will command the sword to slay them.
And I shall set my eye upon them—
For evil and not for good.
5
The Lord YHWH Sabaoth:
Who touches the earth and it melts,
So that all who inhabit it begin mourning,
And it—all of it—convulses like the Nile
And then sinks like the Nile of Egypt;
6
Who builds in the heavens his (throne’s) stairway
While laying his (throne’s) foundation platform upon the earth;
236 Amos8:4–9:15
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Who calls to the waters of the sea
And then pours them out on the surface of the earth;
His name is YHWH!
7
Are you not like the sons of the Cushites as far as I am concerned,
Sons of Israel? The oracle of YHWH.
Didn’t I raise up Israel from the land of Egypt
And the Philistines from Caphtor and Aram from Kir?
8
Behold, the eyes of Lord YHWH are on the sinful kingdom
And I shall annihilate it from the surface of the ground,
Except that I will not altogether annihilate the house of Jacob.
The oracle of YHWH.
9
For behold I am issuing a command,
And I shall make the house of Israel wander among all the nations,
Just as when there is a jostling in a sieve
Without a pebble falling to earth.
10
They shall die by the sword—all the sinners of my people
Who say,
“Trouble will not overtake or approach us.”
11
In that day
I will raise up the collapsing booth of David.
And I shall wall up its breaches
And raise up its ruins;
And I shall build it up as in the days of old,
12
So that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations
Who are called by my name.
The oracle of YHWH, who does this.
13
Behold the days are coming—the oracle of YHWH—
When a plowman will be present with the harvester
And a grape treader will be present with the seed-spreader.
And the mountains will flow with grape juice
And all the hills will melt.
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14
And I shall bring about a restoration of my people, Israel.
And they will rebuild desolate cities and inhabit them.
And they will plant vineyards and drink their wine.
And they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
15
And I shall plant them on their ground.
And they will never again be pulled up from their ground
That I gave to them,
Says YHWH your God.
8:4-14: First Poem and Prose Conclusion
8:4-6: First Stanza. Thisstanzaisintwostrophes.Thefirststro-
phe,intwolines,callsonthemerchantandaristocraticclasstolisten,
andinsummaryfashionitmakesanaccusation(8:4).Thesecond,in
eightlines,makesacaricaturedquotationofthemerchantsandinso
doingsetsforthadetailedaccusationoftheircrimes(8:5-6).Thereis
noreasontobreakthesecondstropheintotwoparts,asisdoneinthe
MTversedivision.
8:4: First Strophe.Twolines,withthecalltohearinitiating8:4–
9:15.
ןו ֑ י ְ ב ֶ א םי ֖ ִ פ ֲ אֹש ַ ה תא֕ ֹז־וע ְ מ ִ שׁ
ר ֗ ֹ מא ֵ ל ׃ץ ֶ ר ֽ ָ א־י ֵ י ִ נ ֲ ע תי ֖ ִ ב ְ שׁ ַ ל ְ ו
Line A1a: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 2
predicators,4constituents,and4units.
וע ְ מ ִ שׁ. Qalimperativempofעמשׁ.
תא֕ ֹז. Thedirectobjectofוע ְ מ ִ שׁ.
םי ֖ ִ פ ֲ אֹש ַ ה. Qalactiveparticiplempabsoluteofףאשׁ withdefi-
nite article; it functions as a vocative relative clause and also as the
subject of וע ְ מ ִ שׁ, and it takes a direct object. See the discussion at
2:7a,whereemendationofthisverbisrejectedanditissuggestedthat
238 Amos8:4-6
8:4
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itmetaphoricallyrepresentstheupperclassofSamariaasdogssniff-
ingatthegroundwhiletheyhunttheirprey.
ןו ֑ י ְ ב ֶ א. The direct object of םי ִ פ ֲ אֹש ַ ה, the poor are the meta-
phoricalpreyofthepowerful.
Line A1b:Thecolon-markersilluq attheendof8:4isdisregarded
hereinfavorofattachingרֹ מאֵ ל tothisline,andtheconstraintsare:2
predicators,2constituents,and3units.
תי ֖ ִ ב ְ שַׁ ל ְ ו. The hiphil infinitive construct of תבשׁ. One would
expect to see this as תי ִ ב ְ שׁ ַ ה ְ ל (Ps 8:2), but the preposition ְ ל has
caused syncopation in a manner analogous to how the yiqtol form
syncopatesfromhypotheticalלי ִ ט ְ ק ַ הְ י toלי ִ ט ְ קַ י (GKC §53a).Theverb
heremeansto“putanendto”andthusto“exterminate.”Usingתבשׁ
with this meaning is somewhat odd, but it is a wordplay on ת ָ ב ַ ש ַ ה
(“the Sabbath”), which these persons are eager to see over accord-
ing to line A2c. The infinitive construct could be taken as a clause
expressingpurposeormotive(acomplementtoםי ִ פ ֲ אֹש ַ ה).Ifso,the
conjunctionmightbeeitheremphatic(“even”)orexplanatory(“that
is”), but GKC §114p observes that the infinitive construct with the
conjunction ו and preposition ְ ל can express “the continuation of a
previousfiniteverb.”Psalm104:21,שׁ ֵ ק ַ ב ְ לו ף ֶ ר ָ טַ ל םי ִ ג ֲ אֹשׁ םי ִ רי ִ פ ְ כ ַ ה
ם ָ ל ְ כ ָ א ל ֵ א ֵ מ (“thelionsareroaringattheprey,andseekfromGodtheir
food”)isespeciallyanalogoushere.SeealsoIBHS §36.3.2,wherethis
constructionisdescribedasthe“equivalentofafiniteverb.”Here,the
infinitiveservesasasecondrelativeclauseafterםי ִ פ ֲ אֹש ַ ה.
ץ ֶ ר ֽ ָ א־י ֵ י ִ נ ֲ ע. Aconstructchainasthedirectobject.
ר ֗ ֹ מאֵ ל. Qal infinitive construct of רמא introducing a quota-
tion.Likeתי ִ ב ְ שַׁ ל ְ ו,thiscountsasapredicator.Notwithstandingthe
MTversedivision,thisworksbetterwiththisinsteadofthefollowing
strophe.Whatfollowsarethewordsoftheoppressivemercantileclass,
but it seems odd that רֹ מאֵ ל is not preceded by some word associ-
atedwithspeech(suchas“boast”or“speak”).Butרֹ מאֵ ל candescribe
what one says while doing some other act, as in Isaiah 4:1 וקי ִ ז ֱ ח ֶ הְ ו
ל ֵ כאֹנ ונ ֵ מ ְ חַ ל רֹ מאֵ ל אוה ַ ה םוי ַ ב ד ָ ח ֶ א שׁי ִ א ְ ב םי ִ שָׁ נ ע ַ ב ֶ שׁ (“Andseven
Amos8:4 239
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womenwillgrabonemanonthatdaywhilesaying,‘Wewilleatour
bread...’”).
8:5-6: Second Strophe. Eight lines. This entire strophe (after
רֹ מאֵ ל) portrays itself as a quotation of the evil merchants. It seems
unlikelythattheyweresobrazenastoactuallysaythesethings;Amos
isusingthiscaricatureortravestyasaliterarydevicetoportraytheir
attitudesasbetrayedbytheiractions.
֙ שׁ ֶ ד ֨ ֹח ַ ה ר ֤ ֹב ֲ עַ י י ֞ ַ ת ָ מ
ר ֶ ב ֔ ֶ ש ה ָ רי ֣ ִ ב ְ שַׁ נ ְ ו
ר֑ ָ ב־ה ָ ח ְ ת ְ פ ִ נ ְ ו ת֖ ָ ב ַ ש ַ ה ְ ו
ל ֶ ק ֔ ֶ שׁ לי ֣ ִ דְ ג ַ ה ְ לו ֙ ה ָ פי ֵ א ןי ֤ ִ ט ְ ק ַ ה ְ ל
׃ה ֽ ָ מ ְ ר ִ מ י֥ ֵ נ ְ זאֹמ ת֖ ֵ ו ַ ע ְ לו
םי ֔ ִ ל ַ ד ֙ ף ֶ ס ֙ ֶ כ ַ ב תו ֤ נ ְ ק ִ ל
םִ י ֑ ָ ל ֲ עַ נ רו ֣ ב ֲ ע ַ ב ןו ֖ י ְ ב ֶ אְ ו
׃רי ֽ ִ ב ְ שַׁ נ ר֖ ַ ב ל ֥ ַ פ ַ מו
Line A2a: The colon-marker is pashta and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
י ֞ ַ ת ָ מ. Temporalinterrogativepronoun.
ר ֤ ֹב ֲ עַ י. Qalyiqtol 3msofרבע.Themerchantslongfortheholy
daysto“passby”sothattheyresumecorruptbusinesspractices,but
ironicallyYHWHhasjustsaidthathewill“passby”Israelnolonger
(8:2).
֙ שׁ ֶ ד ֨ ֹח ַ ה. Thesubject.TheTorahdoesnotcommandIsraelitesto
desistfromlaboronthedayofthenewmoon,butapparentlythiswas
thestandardpractice(1Sam20:5;2Kgs4:23).
Line A2b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and2units.
8:5
8:6
A2a
A2b
A2c
A2d
A2e
A2f
A2g
A2h
240 Amos8:4-6
Garrett Amos final.indd 240 6/6/08 2:25:55 PM
ה ָ רי ֣ ִ ב ְ שַׁ נ ְ ו. Hiphil weyiqtol 1 c p of רבשׁ with paragogic ה; it
hereexpressespurposeorintent,“sothatwemaysell.”
ר ֶ ב ֔ ֶ ש. Thedirectobject,acognateaccusativewiththeverb.The
dagheshintheשׁ isanexampleofadaghesh forte conjunctivum (GKC
§20c).
Line A2c: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.Thereisgappingofר ֤ ֹב ֲ עַ י from
lineA2a.
ת֖ ָ ב ַ ש ַ הְ ו. Asecondsubjectforרֹב ֲ עַ י,theverbfromA2athatis
gapped.
ה ָ ח ְ ת ְ פִ נ ְ ו. Qalweyiqtol 1cpofחתפ withparagogicה;ithere
expressespurposeorintent,“sothatwemayopen.”Thestoragejarsof
grainwouldbeopenedupsothatthecontentscouldbemeasuredout
andsold.Cf.Genesis41:56:רֹב ְ שִׁ י ַ ו ם ֶ ה ָ ב ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א־ל ָ כ־ת ֶ א ף ֵ סוי ח ַ ת ְ פִ י ַ ו
םִ י ַ ר ְ צ ִ מְ ל (“and Joseph opened all [the storehouses] that were among
themandhesold[it]toEgypt”).
ר֑ ָ ב. The direct object. ר ַ ב III is threshed grain as opposed to
cut stalks (רי ִ מ ָ ע) or unthreshed grain. It appears that ר ֶ ב ֶ שׁ II and
ר ַ ב IIIareessentiallysynonymous,referringtograinthatisthreshed
and suitable for purchase, but that ן ָ ג ָ ד is a more general term, as it
canrefertograineitherinthefields(Ezek36:29;Ps65:10[E9])or
threshedandreadyforeat(Lam2:12).
Line A2d:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
2predicators,4constituents,and4units.
ןי ֤ ִ ט ְ ק ַ ה ְ ל. Hiphilinfinitiveconstructofןטק with ְ ל.Thisandthe
otherinfinitiveconstructformsinlinesA2d-ffunctionasgerundives
explainingthenatureoftheirgrainselling(seeIBHS 36.2.3e).Asthe
gerundivefunctionswithinaclausegovernedbyanactualorimplied
finiteverb,itisdebatablewhetheritcanbeconsideredapredicator.
But as every gerundive here has a direct object, they are counted as
predicators.
Amos8:5-6 241
Garrett Amos final.indd 241 6/6/08 2:25:56 PM
֙ ה ָ פי ֵ א. Thedirectobject.“Shrinkingtheephah,”adrymeasure
ofcapacity,resultsingivingthecustomerlessgrainthanhepaidfor.
Theprecisesizeofanephahisunknown,butitwascertainlylessthan
abushel(forafulldiscussion,seeABD,“WeightsandMeasures”).
לי ֣ ִ דְ ג ַ ה ְ לו. Hiphilinfinitiveconstructofלדג with ְ ל andthecon-
junction.
ל ֶ ק ֔ ֶ שׁ. Thedirectobject.“Enlargingtheshekel,”aweightagainst
whichsilverwasweighed,resultsinchargingthecustomermorethan
theagreedprice.
Line A2e:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,2constituents,and3units.
ת֖ ֵ ו ַ ע ְ לו. Pielinfinitiveconstructofתוע (to“bend”)with ְ ל and
conjunction.Apparentlythescalesweresubtlydistortedinamanner
thatcausedunequalweightstoappeartobeinbalance.
ה ֽ ָ מ ְ ר ִ מ י֥ ֵ נ ְ זאֹמ. An adjectival construct chain, with “scales of
deceit”meaning“deceitfulscales.”
Line A2f:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
תו ֤ נ ְ ק ִ ל. Qalinfinitiveconstructofהנק with ְ ל.Herethegerun-
divedescribesnotthemeansofcheatingbutthegoal,“forgettingfor
silver....”
֙ ף ֶ ס ֙ ֶ כ ַ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב,whichcouldbeconsidered
a ְ ב ofprice(IBHS §11.2.5d).Butthepointisnotthattheyarebuy-
ing slaves on the open market for silver, but that, by driving people
into poverty and then lending them money, they can seize them as
debt-slaves.
םי ֔ ִ ל ַ ד. Thedirectobject.
Line A2g: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 0
predicators,2constituents,and3units.Thereisgapping,withתונ ְ ק ִ ל
inA2fgoverningtheobjectsinbothlines.Thislinerepeatsverbatim
alinein2:6,indicatingthatpeoplearesoldintoslaveryforassmalla
242 Amos8:5-6
Garrett Amos final.indd 242 6/6/08 2:25:56 PM
debtasthecostofapairofsandals(seethediscussionofA1din2:6b
above).
ןו ֖ י ְ ב ֶ אְ ו. Thedirectobject.
םִ י֑ ָ ל ֲ עַ נ רו ֣ ב ֲ ע ַ ב. See2:6b.
Line A2h: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and3units.Thislinehasthepatternו +
[x]+yiqtol,andassuchanswersweyiqtol verbofthesameroot(רבשׁ)
in A2b. In addition, it also closes the above sequence of infinitive
constructformsbybreakingthechainofinfinitiveconstructforms.
Iteffectivelymeans:“Andontopofeverythingelse,wewillsellthem
grainthatisalmostworthless.”
ר֖ ַ ב ל֥ ַ פ ַ מו. A construct chain as the direct object. ל ַ פ ַ מ (“fall-
ings”)referstograinfromthebottomoftheheapthatisheavilycon-
taminatedwithdirtandchaff.
רי ֽ ִ ב ְ שַׁ נ. Hiphilyiqtol 1cpusedtoexpressintent.
8:7: Second Stanza. Thisstanzaisinonestropheoftwolines.
ב ֑ ֹק ֲ עַ י ןו ֣ א ְ ג ִ ב ה֖ ָ והְ י ע֥ ַ ב ְ שִׁ נ
׃ם ֽ ֶ הי ֵ ש ֲ ע ַ מ־ל ָ כ ח ַ צ֖ ֶ נ ָ ל ח֥ ַ כ ְ שׁ ֶ א־ם ִ א
Line Ba: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
ע֥ ַ ב ְ שִׁ נ. Niphalqatal 3msofעבשׁ.
ה֖ ָ והְ י. Thesubject.
ב ֑ ֹק ֲ עַ י ןו ֣ אְ ג ִ ב. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ב forthatbywhichhe
swears.ItissurprisingthatGodwouldswearbythe“prideofJacob”
sincehesaidin6:8thathehatesit.Assuggestedinourinterpretation
of that verse, however, there is probably ambiguity in the term ןואְ ג
בֹק ֲ עַ י. The current and perverse pride of Jacob is their wealth and
fortifications,buttherightandproperprideofJacobistheircovenant
Amos8:6-7 243
8:7 Ba
Bb
Garrett Amos final.indd 243 6/6/08 2:25:57 PM
God.Inswearingbytheבֹק ֲ עַ י ןואְ ג,Godisswearingbyhimself,as
at4:2and6:8.
Line Bb:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units.
ח֥ ַ כ ְ שׁ ֶ א־ם ִ א. The particle ם ִ א in a truncated oath is a strong
negative.Theverbisqalyiqtol 1csofחכשׁ,“forget.”
ח ַ צ֖ ֶ נ ָ ל. Theprepositionalphraseisadverbial(“forever”).
ם ֽ ֶ הי ֵ ש ֲ ע ַ מ־ל ָ כ. Thedirectobject.
8:8: Third Stanza. Thisstanzaisinonestropheoffourlines.This
isacommentonthepreviousstanza:sinceGodhassoswornanoath
againstIsrael,isitanysurprisethatthelandreelsandheaves?
ץ ֶ ר ָ֔ א ָ ה ז֣ ַ ג ְ ר ִ ת־א ֽ ֹל ֙ תאֹז ל ַ ע ֤ ַ ה
ה֑ ָ ב ב ֣ ֵ שׁוי־ל ָ כ ל֖ ַ ב ָ אְ ו
ה ֔ ָ ל ֻ כ ֙ רֹ א ָ כ ה ֤ ָ ת ְ ל ָ ע ְ ו
ס ׃םִ י ֽ ָ ר ְ צ ִ מ רו ֥ אי ִ כ ה֖ ָ ע ְ ק ְ שִׁ נ ְ ו ה ֥ ָ שׁ ְ ר ְ ג ִ נ ְ ו
Line Ca:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
תאֹז ל ַ ע֤ ַ ה֙. Prepositional phrase with the explanatory ל ַ ע (“on
accountofthis”)andtheinterrogativeה.
ז֣ ַ ג ְ ר ִ ת־אֽ ֹל. Negated qal yiqtol 3 f s of זגר, “shake.” The yiqtol
heresignifiesafuturetense.Thenegativerhetoricalquestiongener-
allydoesnotseparatetheinterrogativeה fromthenegativeאֹל,but
writesitasאֹל ֲ ה.Butthereareotherexampleslikethisone,suchas2
Samuel19:22,י ִ ע ְ מ ִ שׁ ת ַ מוי אֹל תאֹז ת ַ ח ַ ת ֲ ה (“Shouldn’tShimeibeput
todeathonaccountofthis?”).
ץ ֶ ר ָ֔ א ָ ה. Thesubject.
Line Cb: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
244 Amos8:7-8
8:8 Ca
Cb
Cc
Cd
Garrett Amos final.indd 244 6/6/08 2:25:57 PM
ל֖ ַ ב ָ אְ ו. Qal weqatal 3 m s of לבא in a mainline sequence with
theinitialverbז ַ ג ְ ר ִ ת.Thereisalinkheretotheopeningofthebook
at1:2,whereYHWHroarsandthepastureswither(לבא II).Here,
YHWHswearsanoath,theearthshakes,andtheinhabitantsmourn
(לבא I).
ב֣ ֵ שׁוי־ל ָ כ. Thesubject,aqalactiveparticiplemsofבשׁי (used
substantively)andלֹכ.
ה֑ ָ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב;theantecedenttothe
suffixisץ ֶ ר ָ א ָ ה.
Line Cc:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ה ֤ ָ תְ ל ָ עְ ו. Qalweqatal 3fsofהלע inamainlinesequencewith
theinitialverb.
֙ רֹ א ָ כ. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ כ.Thereisascribalerrorofרֹ א ָ כ
(“likethelight”)forרֹ אְ י ַ כ (“liketheNile”).Cf.Vulgatequasi fluvius
(“likeariver”).
ה ֔ ָ ל ֻ כ. Thesubject.Theantecedenttothesuffixisץ ֶ ר ָ א ָ ה.
Line Cd:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:2predi-
cators,3constituents,and4units.
ה ֥ ָ שׁ ְ רְ ג ִ נ ְ ו. Niphal weqatal 3 f s of שׁרג in a mainline sequence.
AsisdoneinHALOT,therootשׁרג isoftendividedintotwoseparate
homonyms,שׁרג I(“todriveout”)andשׁרג II(“tochurnup[water]”),
butthisisneedlessandmisleading.Usedofariver,itdoesnotmean
to splash about or be unsettled, it means to overflow its banks and
sotossupmudandsilt(Isa57:20).Thisissimplyafunctionofthe
meaning“driveout.”
ה֖ ָ ע ְ ק ְ שִׁ נ ְ ו. Niphalweqatal 3fsofעקשׁ inamainlinesequence.
The verb describes the subsidence of the river after the crest of the
flood.Thisistheqere here;thekethiv ה ָ ק ְ שִׁ נ ְ ו,anelsewhereunattested
niphalofהקשׁ (“togivewatertodrink”)isplainlywrong.
םִ י ֽ ָ ר ְ צ ִ מ רו ֥ אי ִ כ. Prepositional phrase with ְ כ on a construct
Amos8:8 245
Garrett Amos final.indd 245 6/6/08 2:25:58 PM
chainidentifyingtheרואְ י specificallyastheNile.Thetermרואְ י can
beusedofotherrivers;inDaniel12:5-7itreferstotheTigris.
8:9-10: Fourth Stanza. Thisstanzaisasinglestropheoftenlines.
Itisofcoursepossibletodivideintosmallerstrophes,butthatwould
seemarbitrary,asthereisnoclearstrophicdivision.Infact,thewhole
stanza is a single protasis (line Da) and apodosis (lines Dc-j) con-
struction. After the protasis and divine speech formula (Da-b), the
apodosisisajudgmentoracleofeightlines(notealsothatallofthe
verbsoftheapodosisarefirstsingularwithYHWHasthesubject).
Itisdominatedbyweqatal verbs,andinthisisanalogoustothefull
judgmentoraclesagainstthenations(1:4-5,7-8,14-15;2:2-3)except
that each of those has seven lines. It may be that the eight lines of
Dc-jcorrespondtothefactthatIsraelistheeighthnationjudgedin
1:3–2:16. Also, the eight lines of judgment correspond to the eight
linesofaccusationin8:5-6.
או ֗ ה ַ ה םו ֣ י ַ ב ׀ ה֣ ָ י ָ ה ְ ו
הִ֔ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א ֙ ם ֻ אְ נ
םִ י ֑ ָ ר ֳ ה ָ צ ֽ ַ ב שׁ ֶ מ ֖ ֶ ש ַ ה י ֥ ִ תא ֵ ב ֵ ה ְ ו
׃רו ֽ א םו ֥ י ְ ב ץ ֶ ר ֖ ָ א ָ ל י ֥ ִ ת ְ כ ַ שׁ ֲ ח ַ ה ְ ו
ל ֶ ב ֵ֗ א ְ ל ם ֜ ֶ כי ֵ ג ַ ח י ֨ ִ ת ְ כ ַ פ ָ ה ְ ו
ה ֔ ָ ני ִ ק ְ ל ֙ ם ֶ כי ֵ רי ֽ ִ שׁ־ל ָ כ ְ ו
ק ֔ ָ ש ֙ םִ י ֙ ַ נ ְ ת ָ מ־ל ָ כ־ל ַ ע י ֤ ִ תי ֵ ל ֲ ע ַ ה ְ ו
ה ֑ ָ ח ְ ר ָ ק שׁא ֖ ֹר־ל ָ כ־ל ַ ע ְ ו
די ִ֔ חָ י ל ֶ ב֣ ֵ א ְ כ ֙ ָ הי ֙ ִ ת ְ מ ַ שְ ו
׃ר ֽ ָ מ םו ֥ י ְ כ ה ֖ ָ תי ִ ר ֲ ח ַ אְ ו
Line Da:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.
246 Amos8:8-10
8:9 Da
Db
Dc
Dd
8:10 De
Df
Dg
Dh
Di
Dj
Garrett Amos final.indd 246 6/6/08 2:25:58 PM
׀ ה֣ ָ י ָ הְ ו. Qalweqatal 3msofהיה introducinganoracleandalso
servingasaprotasis.
או ֗ ה ַ ה םו ֣ י ַ ב. Nounwithpreposition ְ ב anddemonstrative.“That
day”referstothedayofYHWH;itmayincludeboththeimminent
destructionofSamariaandaneschatologicalfinalday.Thelanguage
ofthisstrophe,withthedaylightturningtodarkness,isstandardpro-
pheticlanguageforthecomingofthedayofYHWH.
Line Db:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0predicators,1constituent,and3units.
הִ֔ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א ֙ ם ֻ אְ נ. Adivinespeechformula.
Line Dc: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
י ֥ ִ תא ֵ ב ֵ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 1csofאוב introducingtheapodosis
andservingasthemainlineverbinapredictivesequence.Usedwith
שׁ ֶ מ ֶ שׁ, the root אוב means to “go down” (Gen 15:12; Exod 17:12).
Thus,thehiphilheremeansto“bringdown.”
שׁ ֶ מ ֖ ֶ ש ַ ה. Thesubject.
םִ י ֑ ָ ר ֳ ה ָ צ ֽ ַ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithtemporal ְ ב,“atnoon.”
Line Dd:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and4units.
י ֥ ִ ת ְ כ ַ שׁ ֲ ח ַ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 1csofךשׁח continuingthepredic-
tivemainlinesequence.
ץ ֶ ר ֖ ָ אָ ל. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ל servingeithertomarkץ ֶ ר ֶ א
astheobjectorusedinadirectional sense,asin“bringdarkness to
theearth.”
רו ֽ א םו ֥ י ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithtemporal ְ ב.Thegenitiveis
adjectival,meaning“abrightday.”
Line De:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units.
י ֨ ִ ת ְ כ ַ פ ָ הְ ו. Qal weqatal 1 c s of ךפה continuing the predictive
mainlinesequence.
Amos8:9-10 247
Garrett Amos final.indd 247 6/6/08 2:25:59 PM
ם ֜ ֶ כי ֵ ג ַ ח. Thedirectobject,“yourfestivals.”Inlightof5:26,these
feastsmayrelatedtoastraldeities.Attheleast,theyprobablyweretied
toastronomicaleventsinthecalendar.Thus,thecosmicdarkeningof
theskyisdirectlyrelevant.
ל ֶ ב ֵ֗ אְ ל. Prepositional phrase with ְ ל indicating the outcome of
the transformation described by י ִ ת ְ כ ַ פ ָ הְ ו, as in the English “to turn
XintoY.”
Line Df:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0 predicators, 2 constituents, and 2 units. There is gapping, with
י ֨ ִ ת ְ כ ַ פ ָ הְ ו fromlineDealsogoverningthisline.
ם ֶ כי ֵ רי ֽ ִ שׁ־ל ָ כְ ו֙. Thedirectobject.
ה֔ ָ ני ִ ק ְ ל. Anotherprepositionalphrasewith ְ ל indicatingtheresult
ofthetransformation.Aהָ ני ִ ק isasongoflament.
Line Dg:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
י ֤ ִ תי ֵ ל ֲ ע ַ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 1csofהלע continuingthepredictive
mainlinesequence.
םִ י ֙ ַ נ ְ ת ָ מ־ל ָ כ־ל ַ ע֙. Prepositional phrase with locative ל ַ ע. The
wordםִ י ַ נ ְ ת ָ מ referstothehips,lowerabdomenandcrotch,andthus
thesackclothreferredtoherewasapparentlywornasaloincloth.
ק ֔ ָ ש. Thedirectobject.Jeremiah48:37alsoatteststothewear-
ingofsackclothaboutthewaistandtheshavingofthehead(seeline
Dh)asasignoflamentation.SeealsoIsaiah3:24.
Line Dh: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 0
predicators,2constituents,and2units.Thereisgappingofי ִ תי ֵ ל ֲ ע ַ הְ ו.
שא ֖ ֹר־ל ָ כ־ל ַ עְ וׁ. Prepositionalphrasewithlocativeל ַ ע.
ה֑ ָ ח ְ ר ָ ק. Thedirectobject,“baldness.”Womenpullingouttheir
hairasasignoflamentismentionedasearlyastheSumerianlament
overthefallofUr(ANET 461:299).
Line Di:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and3units.
248 Amos8:9-10
Garrett Amos final.indd 248 6/6/08 2:25:59 PM
֙ ָ הי ֙ ִ ת ְ מ ַ שְ ו. Qalweqatal 1csofםי ִ ש anda3fssuffixcontinuing
the predictive mainline sequence. But what is the antecedent of the
femininesuffix?OnecouldtakeittobeeitherthecityofSamariaor
thelandofIsrael,butitprobablyisaneutrumreferringtoanunspe-
cificantecedentortothewholesituation,liketheEnglish“it.”
די ִ֔ חָ י ל ֶ ב֣ ֵ א ְ כ. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ כ,forananalogy,ona
constructchaininanobjectivegenitiverelationship;thatis,theדי ִ חָ י
(“onlyson”)iswhatis“mourned.”Butthisisnotmerelyasimile;in
2:14-16weseethatmanysonswillinfactneedtobemournedbecause
theywillhavefalleninbattle.
Line Dj:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators,2constituents,and3units.
ה֖ ָ תי ִ ר ֲ ח ַ אְ ו. Again,the3fssuffixprobablyreferstotheentire
situation.Literally“Itsoutcome”or“Theendofit,”thiscouldbethe
subjectofanominalclause,butprobablyitistheobjectof ָ הי ִ ת ְ מ ַ שְ ו
duetogapping.
ר ֽ ָ מ םו ֥ י ְ כ. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ כ.Thisisthekaph veritatis,
a ְ כ preposition with an event that literally comes to pass. In other
words,itisnotsimply“like”abitterday,itisabitterdayinthefullest
sense.GKC §118xissomewhatskepticalaboutthekaph veritatis,but
itisclearthatthisisnotsimplyananalogy.IBHS 11.2.9bdescribes
kaph veritatis as follows: “The agreement of the things compared is
complete, insofar as the discourse is concerned.” It aptly illustrates
thiswithNehemiah7:2:ת ֶ מ ֱ א שׁי ִ א ְ כ אוה־י ִ כ (“Forheisineveryway
anhonestguy”).
8:11-12: Fifth Stanza. Likethepreviousstanzathisbeginswitha
reference to the coming days serving as an initial protasis (compare
lineDatoE1a),anditrepeatsthesamedivinespeechformula(com-
parelineDbtoE1b).Unlikethepreviousstanza,however,thisisin
twostrophes.Thefirststrophebeginstheapodosiswithafirstperson
weqatal verb,justaswasdonebefore.Butthesecondstrophe(8:12)is
markedbyachangetothirdpluralverbs.
Amos8:10-12 249
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8:11: First Strophe.Fivelines.LinesE1aandE1c,servingrespec-
tively as the protasis and apodosis, are the structural heart of this
strophe.
םי ִ֗ א ָ ב םי ֣ ִ מָ י ׀ ה֣ ֵ נ ִ ה
הִ֔ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א ֙ ם ֻ אְ נ
ץ ֶ ר ֑ ָ א ָ ב ב֖ ָ ע ָ ר י ֥ ִ ת ְ ח ַ ל ְ שׁ ִ ה ְ ו
םִ י ֔ ַ מ ַ ל א֣ ָ מ ָ צ־א ֽ ֹל ְ ו ֙ ם ֶ ח֙ ֶ ל ַ ל ב֤ ָ ע ָ ר־א ֽ ֹל
׃הֽ ָ והְ י י ֥ ֵ ר ְ ב ִ ד ת֖ ֵ א ַ ע ֔ ֹ מ ְ שׁ ִ ל־ם ִ א י ֣ ִ כ
Line E1a:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units.
׀ ה֣ ֵ נ ִ ה. The expression םי ִ א ָ ב םי ִ מָ י הֵ נ ִ ה occurs three times in
Amos,alwaysattheheadofadivinejudgmentregardingthefutureof
Israel.In4:2itannouncesthejudgmentthatwillbefallthewomenof
Samariawhenthecityfalls,andin9:13itannounceseschatological
salvationforIsrael.Here,itannouncesaprolongedperiodofdiaspora
duringwhichtimeIsraelwithbewithoutthewordofGod.
םי ֣ ִ מָ י. Thesubjectoftheperiphrasticsentencewithםי ִ א ָ ב.
םי ִ֗ א ָ ב. Qalactiveparticiplempofאוב;itishereusedperiphras-
ticallyasapredicator.
Line E1b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0predicators,1constituent,and3units.
הִ֔ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א ֙ ם ֻ אְ נ. Adivinespeechformula.
Line E1c: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
י ֥ ִ ת ְ חַ ל ְ שׁ ִ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 1csofחלשׁ.Ithereintroducesthe
apodosis.Thehiphilofחלשׁ isusedfivetimesintheHebrewBible
(Exod8:17;Lev26:22;2Kgs15:37;Ezek14:13;here).Godisalways
thesubject,anditalwaysinvolvesthedispatchofaplagueorcalam-
250 Amos8:11
8:11 E1a
E1b
E1c
E1d
E1e
Garrett Amos final.indd 250 6/6/08 2:26:00 PM
ityuponGod’senemy.Thisisincontrasttotheotherstemsofחלשׁ,
whichoftendonotimplyhostileaction(wheretheverbmightbeused
forsendingamessenger,thereleaseofaperson,etc.)Especiallyillus-
trativeisExodus8:17,whereYHWHsaystothepharaoh,“Orelse,
ifyouwillnotdismiss(חלשׁ piel)mypeople,behold,Iwilldispatch
(חלשׁ hiphil)swarmsoffliesonyou.”
ב֖ ָ ע ָ ר. Thedirectobject.
ץ ֶ ר ֑ ָ א ָ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב.
Line E1d:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0predicators,4constituents,and4units.Thislineisparenthetical,
explainingthenatureofthefaminepredictedinE1c.
ב֤ ָ ע ָ ר־אֽ ֹל. Thesubjectב ָ ע ָ ר fromthepreviouslineisrepeatedin
ordertoclarifywhatkindoffamineismeant.
֙ ם ֶ ח֙ ֶ ל ַ ל. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ל markingtheobjectofhun-
ger.
א֣ ָ מ ָ צ־אֽ ֹל ְ ו. “Thirst” is here used in parallel with “famine,” as
thetwooftengotogether.Seealsothedescriptionofthirstin4:7-8.
םִ י ֔ ַ מַ ל. Samepatternasם ֶ חֶ ל ַ ל.
Line E1e:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0pred-
icators,2constituents,and3units.Theentirelineafterם ִ א י ִ כ quali-
fiestheimpliedtopicwordב ָ ע ָ ר:“Rather,(itisafamine)forhearing
thewordsofYHWH.”
ַ ע ֔ ֹ מ ְ שִׁ ל־ם ִ א י ֣ ִ כ. The particles ם ִ א י ִ כ, as is common, here
togethermean“but”or“rather.”Theqalinfinitiveconstructofעמשׁ
with preposition ְ ל here parallels the usage of ְ ל in the previous line
(ם ֶ חֶ ל ַ ל andםִ י ַ מַ ל);theinfinitivehasagerundfunctionastheobject
of ְ ל (“forhearing”).
הֽ ָ והְ י י ֥ ֵ ר ְ ב ִ ד ת֖ ֵ א. Thedirectobjectof ַ עֹ מ ְ שִׁ ל.
8:12: Second Strophe.Threelines.Thisstropheexplainshowthe
people will respond to the famine for the word of God with which
YHWHwillafflictthem.
Amos8:11 251
Garrett Amos final.indd 251 6/6/08 2:26:00 PM
ם֔ ָ י־ד ַ ע ם֣ ָ י ִ מ ֙ ועָ נ ְ ו
ח֑ ָ ר ְ ז ִ מ־ד ַ ע ְ ו ןו ֖ פ ָ צ ִ מו
׃ואֽ ָ צ ְ מִ י א ֥ ֹל ְ ו ה֖ ָ והְ י־ר ַ ב ְ ד־ת ֶ א שׁ ֥ ֵ ק ַ ב ְ ל ו ֛ ט ְ טו ֽ שְׁ י
Line E2a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
֙ ועָ נ ְ ו. Qalweqatal 3cpofעונ,“wander.”Itisamainlinepredic-
tive text. The action of this verb is subsequent to and follows upon
theconditiondescribedinthepreviousstrophe,thattherewouldbea
famineforthewordofGod.
ם֣ ָ י ִ מ. Prepositional phrase with locative ן ִ מ. The preposition
referstothebeginningpointoftheirwandering.
ם֔ ָ י־ד ַ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithד ַ ע,indicatingtheendpointof
theirwandering.Buttheidentitiesofthetwoseasisleftunstated,and
the verb “wander” by definition implies a lack of specificity regard-
ingone’soriginanddestination.Thus,itisunlikelythatoneshould
identify the seas mentioned here as some specific seas. Some inter-
pretersbelievethat,ontheanalogyofJoel2:20,thetwoseasarethe
Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. The idea is that the people will
wanderabouttheterritoryofJudah(Paul1991,266).Anotherview
isthatAmoshasthefourcardinaldirectionsinmind,andthatsince
lineE2bclearlyreferstonorthandeast,thislinemustrefertowest
andsouth(AndersenandFreedman1989,825–26).Onthisreckon-
ing,oneoftheseasmustbetheMediterranean(west)andtheother
must be either the Dead Sea or perhaps the Gulf of Aqaba (south).
Neitherinterpretationisconvincing.Againstthefirstinterpretation,
itisreallyratherabsurdtopicturethefugitives“wandering”thesmall
space between the Dead Sea and Mediterranean. Also, unlike this
text,Joel2:20specificallyidentifiesitstwoseasasthe“eastern”and
“western”seas.Amos’refusaltospecifyaparticular“sea”cannotbe
disregarded. Against the second interpretation, it is not at all clear
thatAmoshasthepointsofthecompassinmind(seethecomments
252 Amos8:12
8:12 E2a
E2b
E2c
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onthenextline).Rather,asinZecheriah9:10andPsalm72:8,םָ י ִ מ
םָ י־ד ַ ע ineffectmeans“tothemostdistantregionsoftheearth”and
is not confined to the southern Levant. Why does Amos speak of
wandering “from sea to sea” instead of saying “from land to land”?
Probablybecauseheisimplyingthattheywillcrossmanyseasandgo
farawayintounknownterritory.
Line E2b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 0
predicators,2constituents,and2units.
ןו ֖ פ ָ צ ִ מו. Prepositional phrase with ן ִ מ. Although ןופ ָ צ means
“north,”itconnotesmorethanacompasspoint.ןופ ָ צ istheplaceof
the divine mountain (Isa 14:13; Ps 48:3 [E 2]). It stretches out into
agreatvoid(Job26:7).Towanderןופ ָ צ impliesnotjustbeingsome-
whereinthenorthbutbeingunimaginablyfaraway.Itisthesenseof
greatdistance,notthegeographicaldirection,thatistherealpoint.
ח֑ ָ רְ ז ִ מ־ד ַ עְ ו. Prepositionalphrasewithד ַ ע andtheconjunction.
ח ָ רְ ז ִ מ is the sunrise and therefore by extension the east, but it is by
implicationalimitlessdistance,asnohumancanevergettotheplace
fromwhichthesunrises.Thus,thislinealsospeaksofwanderingfar
andwideandnotstrictlyofcompasspoints.
Line E2c:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:2pred-
icators,4constituents,and5units.
ו ֛ ט ְ טו ֽ שְׁ י.Polelyiqtol 3mpofטושׁ.Beingayiqtol,ratherthan
anotherweqatal,thisverbintroducesnotanothermainlinepredictive
clause but an offline clause, a prediction that summarizes and con-
cludes the message of the whole stanza. The polel of טושׁ connotes
goingbackandforth,movingallaboutaterritory,asifinsearchof
something.Cf.2Chr16:9:ץ ֶ ר ָ א ָ ה־ל ָ כ ְ ב תוט ְ טֹשׁ ְ מ וי ָ ני ֵ ע הָ והְ י י ִ כ (“For
YHWH’seyesroveaboutinalltheearth”).
שׁ ֥ ֵ ק ַ ב ְ ל. Pielinfinitiveconstructofשׁקב (“seek”)usedasacom-
plementwiththemainverb.
ה֖ ָ והְ י־ר ַ ב ְ ד־ת ֶ א. Thedirectobjectofשׁ ֵ ק ַ ב ְ ל.
ואֽ ָ צ ְ מִ י א֥ ֹל ְ ו. Negated qal yiqtol 3 m p of אצמ with conjunc-
Amos8:12 253
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tion.Thisofflineclauseiscontrastivetothepreviousclauseheaded
byוט ְ טושְׁ י.
8:13-14: Prose Conclusion:Thestructureofthispassageindicates
thatitisprose.Ifitweretreatedaspoetry,thecolonbreakwouldhave
tobeafterתופָ י ַ ה.Thisfitstheformalrequirementsoftheconstraints,
butitisunusuallylongforalineinAmos,andtheessentialpreposi-
tionalphraseא ָ מ ָ צ ַ ב doesnotappearuntilthenextline.Thesecond
colonwouldhavetobeא ָ מ ָ צ ַ ב םי ִ רוח ַ ב ַ הְ ו,whichwouldbeabsurdly
truncatedafterthepreviousline.Inaddition,thecantillationsuggests
thattheMasoretesdidnotregardthisaspoetry(notethelackofany
majordisjunctiveinv.13beforethesilluq).Inordertoseetheclause
structure,thetwoversesmustbeconsideredtogether.
תו ֛ פָ י ַ ה ת ֧ לות ְ ב ַ ה הָ נ ְ פ ַ ל ַ ע ְ ת ִ ֠ ת או ֜ ה ַ ה םו ֨ י ַ ב
ןו ֔ ר ְ מ ֽ ֹשׁ ת֣ ַ מ ְ שׁ ַ א ְ ב ֙ םי ִ ע ָ ב ְ שִׁ נ ַ ה ׃א ֽ ָ מ ָ צ ַ ב םי ֖ ִ רוח ַ ב ַ ה ְ ו
ע ַ ב ֑ ָ שׁ־ר ֽ ֵ א ְ ב ך ֶ ר֣ ֶ ד י ֖ ֵ חְ ו ן ֔ ָ ד ֙ ךי ֙ ֶ הל ֱ א י ֤ ֵ ח ו ֗ ר ְ מ ָ אְ ו
ס ׃דו ֽ ע ומו ֥ קָ י־אֹל ְ ו ו ֖ ל ְ פ ָ נ ְ ו
Prose Clause: תו ֛ פָ י ַ ה ת֧ לות ְ ב ַ ה הָ נ ְ פ ַ ל ַ ע ְ ת ִ ֠ ת או ֜ ה ַ ה םו ֨ י ַ ב
׃א ֽ ָ מ ָ צ ַ ב םי ֖ ִ רוח ַ ב ַ הְ ו
Allofv.13isasingleclause.Themainverbהָ נ ְ פ ַ ל ַ ע ְ תת (hithpael
yiqtol 3 f p of ףלע, to “faint”) has both תלות ְ ב ַ ה and םי ִ רוח ַ ב ַ הְ ו as
subject. The word א ָ מ ָ צ ַ ב (“by thirst”) is adverbial and it applies to
bothsubjectnouns.Ithasthepreposition ְ ב (usedinstrumentally)to
describewhatcausesthehealthyyoungpeopletocollapse.Thedefi-
nitearticlesonתלות ְ ב ַ ה andםי ִ רוח ַ ב ַ הְ ו aswellasonא ָ מ ָ צ ַ ב refertoa
classortypeandnottosomespecificpersonsorthing.רוח ָ ב (“young
man”) is derived from רחב (“choose”) and refers to young men of
quality(seeNIDOTTE,רוח ָ ב).
Prose Clause: ןו ֔ ר ְ מ ֽ ֹשׁ ת֣ ַ מ ְ שׁ ַ א ְ ב ֙ םי ִ ע ָ ב ְ שִׁ נ ַ ה
254 Amos8:12-14
8:13-14
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Thebeginningofv.14,ןור ְ מֹשׁ ת ַ מ ְ שׁ ַ א ְ ב םי ִ ע ָ ב ְ שִׁ נ ַ ה,isheadedby
aniphalparticiplempofעבשׁ servingasarelativeclausewhoseante-
cedentisbothםי ִ רוח ַ ב ַ הְ ו andתלות ְ ב ַ ה (theparticipleismasculineby
virtue of the gender of the nearer antecedent, just as הָ נ ְ פ ַ ל ַ ע ְ תת, the
main verb, is feminine by virtue of the nearer subject noun). Thus,
although ןור ְ מֹשׁ ת ַ מ ְ שׁ ַ א ְ ב םי ִ ע ָ ב ְ שִׁ נ ַ ה is a relative clause, it is closely
boundtotheprecedingclauseasitfunctionsasanadjectivalphrase
withthesubjects,andatranslationneedstoreflectthat.Thephrase
ןור ְ מֹשׁ ת ַ מ ְ שׁ ַ א ְ ב is emended by some to ןור ְ מֹשׁ ת ַ מי ִ שׁ ֲ א ַ ב (“by [the
deity]AshimaofSamaria”).ButAshimawasnotintroducedintothe
landuntilafterthedestructionofSamariain722(seeABD,“Ashima”),
and there is no reason to suppose that Ashima was ever known as
“Ashima of Samaria.” ןור ְ מֹשׁ ת ַ מ ְ שׁ ַ א ְ ב should be left as is, “by the
guiltofSamaria.”ItreferstorivalshrinessuchasthatsetupatDan,
elsewherereferredtoinsimilarterms,suchasthe“thesinsofJeroboam
the son of Nebat” (2 Kgs 15:9, etc.). That is, the “god of Dan” and
the“wayofBeersheba”thatarementionedbelowtogetherconstitute
examplesofthe“guiltofSamaria”bywhichtheyswear.
Prose Clause: ו ֗ ר ְ מ ָ אְ ו
Aqalweqatal 3cpofרמא,thisverbislinkedtotheparticiple
םי ִ ע ָ ב ְ שִׁ נ ַ ה andgivesthecontentoftheoathsspokenbythemenand
womenofSamaria.Thetextcouldhaveusedthefamiliarרֹ מאֵ ל for
thispurpose,buttheweqatal morestronglysuggeststhattheyusethe
oathformulasrepeatedlyorroutinely.
Prose Clause: ן ֔ ָ ד ֙ ךי ֙ ֶ הל ֱ א י ֤ ֵ ח
Averblessoathclause.Theformי ַ ח isnormallyusedforswearing
byYHWHwhiletheformי ֵ ח isusedforswearingbymen(e.g.,2Kgs
2:6, ך ְ שׁ ְ פַ נ־י ֵ חְ ו הָ והְ י־י ַ ח, “as YHWH lives and as your soul lives”).
Butwedohavetheexampleoftheangel’soathinDaniel12:7,ע ַ ב ָ שִ י ַ ו
ם ָ לוע ָ ה י ֵ ח ְ ב,“andhesworebythelifeoftheeternal,”soperhapswe
should not make too much of this. ךי ֶ הל ֱ א could be taken to mean
“yourgods”andtorefertoshrinesforpagandeitiesatDan.Onthe
Amos8:13-14 255
Garrett Amos final.indd 255 6/6/08 2:26:02 PM
other hand, it could mean “your God” and refer to YHWH. If the
latter, it implies that the Israelites regarded YHWH as a localized
shrinedeity.
Prose Clause: ע ַ ב ֑ ָ שׁ־ר ֽ ֵ א ְ ב ך ֶ ר֣ ֶ ד י ֖ ֵ חְ ו
Anotherverblessoathclause.Swearingbythe“wayofBeersheba”
seemsodd,andinterpretershaveproposedvariousemendations,none
ofwhichisconvincing(seeWolff1977,323–24,andPaul1991,271–
72).ך ֶ ר ֶ ד hereapparentlyreferstothepilgrimagetoBeershebaandby
extensiontotheGodthere(Paul[1991,272]comparesittoaMuslim
custom of swearing by the pilgrimage to Mecca). As Beersheba was
relativelyfarfromSamaria,itmakessensethattheymightswearby
thepilgrimageasaeuphemismforthedeity.
Prose Clause: דו ֽ ע ומו ֥ קָ י־אֹל ְ ו ו ֖ ל ְ פָ נ ְ ו
Formallythisistwoclauses,butthenegatedqalyiqtol 3mpof
םוק inדוע ומוקָ י־אֹל ְ ו servestomodifyadverbiallyול ְ פָ נ ְ ו andcould
betranslated,“nevertoriseagain.”ול ְ פָ נ ְ ו,aqalweqatal 3cpofלפנ,
resumes the mainline of the prophecy after הָ נ ְ פ ַ ל ַ ע ְ ת ִ ת, a verb with
whichitsharessomesemanticoverlap.
9:1-15: Second Poem with Prose Introduction
9:1a: Prose Introduction: ThistextdescribesavisionofYHWH
andassuchgivescontexttothefinaloraclesofthebook.
֩ ר ֶ מאֹי ַ ו ַ ח ֵ֗ בְ ז ִ מ ַ ה־ל ֽ ַ ע ב֣ ָ צ ִ נ י ֜ ָ נֹד ֲ א־ת ֶ א י ִ תי ִ֨ א ָ ר
Prose Clause: ַ ח ֵ֗ בְ ז ִ מ ַ ה־ל ֽ ַ ע ב֣ ָ צִ נ י ֜ ָ נֹד ֲ א־ת ֶ א י ִ תי ִ֨ א ָ ר
Theinitialverb,aqalqatal 1csofהאר,indicatesthatthisisa
visionreport,althoughthisreportisformallydifferentfromtheother
four(7:1-9;8:1-3).YHWHdoesnotaddressAmosdirectly,andthere
isnowordplaybasedonsomeobjectinthevision.YHWHisstand-
ing(niphalparticiplemsofבצנ;anadjectivalparticiple)ל ַ ע thealtar.
Does ל ַ ע here mean “upon”? This is possible but not necessary; the
256 Amos8:14–9:1
9:1a
Garrett Amos final.indd 256 6/6/08 2:26:02 PM
meaning“beside”iswellattested(e.g.,Jer17:2).Thepatternל ַ ע בצנ
as“standbeside”appearsinGenesis24:13;Numbers23:6andelse-
where.Thealtarinquestionisprobablyatoneofthemajorshrines,
suchasBethelorDan.
Prose Clause: ֩ ר ֶ מאֹי ַ ו
The qal wayyiqtol 3 m s of רמא continues the mainline of the
narrativeofthevision.AlthoughcontextindicatesthatYHWHisthe
speaker,thisisnotadivinespeechformula.
9:1b-4: First Stanza. Thisstanzaisinthreestrophes.Itdescribes
YHWH’spurposetohuntdownandexterminatetheIsraelites(par-
ticularlytheleaders)inresponseto8:5-6.Thefirststrophespeaksof
thedestructionofthepeopleunderthemetaphorofstrikingapillared
structure, the second declares that none will escape, and the third
elaboratesonhowitisthatnonewillgetaway.
9:1b: First Strophe.Threelines.Itisacommandtocutdownthe
pillars of some edifice, such as a shrine or palace, and to so bring
downthewholestructure.Itismetaphoricalforbringingdownallof
society,startingwithitsmosthigh-rankingmembers(thecapitalsof
thepillars).
םי ֗ ִ פ ִ ס ַ ה ו ֣ שׁ ֲ ע ְ רִ י ְ ו רו ֜ ת ְ פ ַ כ ַ ה ך ֨ ַ ה
ם ֔ ָ ל ֻ כ שׁא ֣ ֹר ְ ב ֙ ם ַ ע ֙ ַ צ ְ בו
ג ֑ ֹר ֱ ה ֶ א ב ֶ ר ֣ ֶ ח ַ ב ם ֖ ָ תי ִ ר ֲ ח ַ אְ ו
Line A1a:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:2pred-
icators,4constituents,and4units.
ך ֨ ַ ה. Hiphilimperativemsofהכנ.
רו ֜ ת ְ פ ַ כ ַ ה. “Thecapital,”thedirectobjectofך ַ ה.Ithasthedefi-
nitearticle.
ו ֣ שׁ ֲ ע ְ רִ י ְ ו. Qalweyiqtol 3mpofשׁער.Theweyiqtol ishereapur-
poseclause,“sothattheyshake.”
Amos9:1 257
9:1b A1a
A1b
A1c
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םי ֗ ִ פ ִ ס ַ ה. Thesubjectofושׁ ֲ ע ְ רִ י ְ ו,itmeans,“thedoor-frames.”
Line A1b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
֙ ם ַ ע ֙ ַ צ ְ בו. Qalimperativemsofעצב with3mpsuffixandcon-
junction. The verb means to “sever”; it does not mean to “shatter”
(ESV)or“bringdown”(NIV).SeeHALOT עצב.
שׁא ֣ ֹר ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב.Thecolumnsare
tobeseveredatthe“top”(themeaningofשׁאֹר inthiscontext;this
isשׁאֹר Iandnotשׁאֹר II,“poison,”contrarytoCathcart1994[one
cannot “sever” with poison]). Many interpreters take שׁאֹר to be a
constructbeforeם ָ ל ֻ כ andreadthelinetomean,“andseverthemon
thehead(s)ofallofthem”(i.e.,“onalltheirheads”).Cf.ESV,NIV,
RSV,NRSV.Thepattern“constructnoun+לֹכ +suffixdoesappear;
cf. Judges 7:16, “and he placed shofars in the hands of each one of
them(ם ָ ל ֻ כ־דַ י ְ ב),”wherethepatternhasadistributivefunction.But
“and sever them on(to) the head(s) of all of them” is very awkward,
and one would expect, if the meaning were that the pillars were to
beseveredandfalldownontoalloftheirheads,thatthetextwould
insteadusethepatternם ֶ הי ֵ שׁא ָ ר־ל ָ כ ְ ב (seeEzek7:18[ם ֶ הי ֵ שׁא ָ ר־ל ָ כ ְ בו];
alsocompareNehemiah9:32[ך ֶ מ ַ ע־ל ָ כ ְ לו];Psalm143:5[ך ֶ ל ֳ ע ָ פ־ל ָ כ ְ ב];
Jeremiah 16:17 [ם ֶ הי ֵ כ ְ ר ַ ד־ל ָ כ־ל ַ ע]). It is better (notwithstanding the
accentmunah)toreadשׁאֹר asanabsolutenounandtakeם ָ ל ֻ כ tobe
in apposition to the pronoun suffix on the verb ם ַ ע ַ צ ְ בו: “and sever
thematthehead—allofthem!”AnanalogouscaseisinMicah3:7,
ם ָ ל ֻ כ ם֖ ָ פ ָ ש־ל ַ ע וט ָ עְ ו,“andtheyshallcovertheupperlip—allofthem”
(ם ָ פ ָ ש clearly is notin construct). We have another similar example
inthisverycontext,inAmos9:5,הָ ל ֻ כ רֹ אְ י ַ כ ה ָ תְ ל ָ עְ ו,“and(theland)
shallriseliketheNile—allofit,”whereרֹ אְ י obviouslyisnotincon-
struct.
ם ֔ ָ ל ֻ כ. As stated above, this is in apposition to the suffix on
ם ַ ע ַ צ ְ בו.
Line A1c: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
258 Amos9:1
Garrett Amos final.indd 258 6/6/08 2:26:03 PM
ם ֖ ָ תי ִ ר ֲ ח ַ אְ ו. Thisdoesnotformamerismwithשׁאֹר ְ ב fromline
A1b.שׁאֹר,“head”or“top,”isnottheantonymtoתי ִ ר ֲ ח ַ א,“ending”
or “remainder.” The two terms appear together in Isaiah 2:2; Amos
8:10; 9:1; Micah 4:1 and in the Aramaic of Daniel 2:28, but they
neverformamerism.Thereisakindofmerisminthistext,butnot
specificallywithשׁאֹר.Rather,thepillars,thataccordingtolinesA1a-
b,aretobestruckdownaremetaphoricallytheleadingmembersof
society(cf.Gal2:9),andם ָ תי ִ ר ֲ ח ַ אְ ו referstotherestofthepopulace,
thecommonpeople.
ב ֶ ר֣ ֶ ח ַ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithinstrumental ְ ב.
ג ֑ ֹר ֱ ה ֶ א. Qalyiqtol 1csofגרה.Thepattern ְ ו +[X]+yiqtolused
hereprobablymarksthislineasanofflinefuturefollowingtheimper-
ativeך ַ ה inlineA1a.Itisanadditionalcommentmakingthepoint
that God will deal with the rest of the people after his command
concerningtheleadersiscarriedout.
9:1c: Second Strophe.Twolines.Thisbicolonwithsyntacticand
semantic parallelism makes the point that no one will escape. The
third strophe elaborates on this theme in much more detail. The
impossibilityofflightfromdeathanddisasterlooksbackto2:14-16
(wheretheverbsסונ andטלמ areprominent)andformssomethingof
aninclusionforthebook.
ס֔ ָ נ ֙ ם ֶ ה ָ ל סו ֤ נ ָ י־א ֽ ֹל
׃טי ֽ ִ ל ָ פ ם֖ ֶ ה ָ ל ט֥ ֵ ל ָ מִ י־א ֽ ֹל ְ ו
Line A2a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
סו ֤ נָ י־אֽ ֹל. Negatedqalyiqtol 3msofסונ.
֙ ם ֶ ה ָ ל. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ ל anda3mpsuffix.Thiscould
bean“ethicaldative”(GKC §119s),butonewouldexpectthesuffixto
besingular,liketheverb,ifthatwerethecase.Itisprobablyfunction-
ingasapartitivegenitive,asin“nooneofthem.”
Amos9:1 259
9:1c A2a
A2b
Garrett Amos final.indd 259 6/6/08 2:26:04 PM
ס֔ ָ נ. Qalactiveparticipleofסונ usedsubstantivelyasacognate
nominativewiththemainverb.
Line A2b: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ט֥ ֵ ל ָ מִ י־אֽ ֹל ְ ו. Negatedniphalyiqtol 3msofטלמ.
ם֖ ֶ ה ָ ל. SameasA2a.
טי ֽ ִ ל ָ פ. Thesubject;itisnotcognatewithitsverb(טֵ ל ָ מִ י),butit
hasassonancewithit,creating anotherlayerofparallelismwiththe
previousline.
9:2-4: Third Strophe. Twelve lines in six sub-strophe couplets.
This has a series of five protasis-apodosis bicola, with A3a, c, e, g,
ibeingtheprotasislinesandA3b,d,f,h,jbeingtheapodosislines.
The last two lines of the strophe, A3k-l, do not follow this pattern
and could be regarded as a separate strophe, but in Hebrew poetry,
a lengthy parallel series is often terminated by a final element that
breakstheformalpattern.Throughoutthestrophe,untiltheendat
lineA3k,theverbsareprimarilyyiqtol,markingthepotentialfuture
conditionsoftheprotasesandapodoses.
לו ֔ א ְ שׁ ִ ב ו ֣ ר ְ ת ְ חַ י־ם ִ א
ם ֑ ֵ ח ָ ק ִ ת י ֣ ִ דָ י ם ֖ ָ ש ִ מ
םִ י ֔ ַ מ ָ ש ַ ה ֙ ול ֲ עַ י־ם ֽ ִ אְ ו
׃םֽ ֵ די ִ רוא ם ֖ ָ ש ִ מ
ל ֔ ֶ מ ְ ר ַ כ ַ ה שׁא ֣ ֹר ְ ב ֙ וא ְ ב ֽ ָ חֵ י־ם ִ אְ ו
םי ֑ ִ ת ְ ח ַ ק ְ לו ש֖ ֵ פ ַ ח ֲ א ם ֥ ָ ש ִ מ
ם֔ ָ י ַ ה ע ֣ ַ ק ְ ר ַ ק ְ ב ֙ י ַ ני ֵ ע דֶ ג֑֤ ֶ נ ִ מ ו ֜ ר ְ ת ָ֨ סִ י־ם ִ אְ ו
׃םֽ ָ כ ָ שְׁ נו שׁ֖ ָ חָ נ ַ ה־ת ֶ א ה֥ ֶ ו ַ צ ֲ א ם ֛ ָ ש ִ מ
ם ֔ ֶ הי ֵ בי ֽ ֹ א י֣ ֵ נ ְ פ ִ ל ֙ י ִ ב ְ ש ַ ב ו ֤ כ ְ לֵ י־ם ִ אְ ו
ם ַ ת֑ ָ ג ָ ר ֲ ה ַ ו ב ֶ ר ֖ ֶ ח ַ ה־ת ֶ א ה֥ ֶ ו ַ צ ֲ א ם ֛ ָ ש ִ מ
260 Amos9:1-4
9:2
9:3
9:4
A3a
A3b
A3c
A3d
A3e
A3f
A3g
A3h
A3i
A3j
Garrett Amos final.indd 260 6/6/08 2:26:04 PM
ם֛ ֶ הי ֵ ל ֲ ע י֧ ִ ני ֵ ע י ֨ ִ ת ְ מ ַ שְ ו
׃ה ֽ ָ בוט ְ ל א ֥ ֹל ְ ו ה֖ ָ ע ָ ר ְ ל
Line A3a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and2units.
ו ֣ ר ְ ת ְ חַ י־ם ִ א. Qalyiqtol 3mpofרתח (“dig”)withם ִ א marking
theprotasis.
לו ֔ א ְ שׁ ִ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocativeordirective ְ ב.Sheol,
liketheGreekHades,ishereconceivedofasbeingunderground.In
lines A3a-j, the first four hiding places are vertical in nature: Sheol
(down), heaven (up), Mt. Carmel (up), and the bottom of the sea
(down).Sheolisoftenthoughtofastheplacewhereoneisultimately
andfinallyremovedfromGod(Ps6:6[E5];9:18[E17],butseealso
Ps139:8).
Line A3b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ם ֖ ָ ש ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ,“fromthere.”
י ֣ ִ דָ י. Thesubject.
ם֑ ֵ ח ָ ק ִ ת. Qalyiqtol 3fsofחקל with3mpsuffix.
Line A3c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and2units.
֙ ול ֲ עַ י־ם ֽ ִ אְ ו. Qalyiqtol 3mpofהלע withם ִ א markingthepro-
tasis.
םִ י ֔ ַ מ ָ ש ַ ה. HeavenishereinamerismwithSheolrepresentingthe
hypotheticalhighestandlowestplacesinthecosmos,andsoindicat-
ingthatthereisnoplacewheretheycangotohide.Thisisanironic
treatmentofwhatweseeinPsalm139:8,whichtakescomfortinthe
factthateveninheavenandinSheolnooneisbeyondGod’sreach.
Here,thatfactisathreat.
Line A3d: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
Amos9:2-4 261
A3k
A3l
Garrett Amos final.indd 261 6/6/08 2:26:05 PM
ם ֖ ָ ש ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ.
םֽ ֵ די ִ רוא. Hiphilyiqtol 1csofדרי (“bringdown”)with3mp
suffix.ThisverbmaybeusedofGodbringingdowntheproud(e.g.,
Jer 49:16: ך ְ די ִ רוא ם ָ ש ִ מ ךֶ נ ִ ק ר ֶ שֶׁ נ ַ כ ַ הי ִ בְ ג ַ ת־י ִ כ [“although you, like
theeagle,makeyournesthigh,fromthereIwillbringyoudown”]).
Here,however,thepeopleareuphighnotoutofpridebutoutofa
desiretoescapeGod.
Line A3e:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and3units.
֙ וא ְ ב ֽ ָ חֵ י־ם ִ אְ ו. Niphal yiqtol 3 m p of אבח (“hide”) with ם ִ א
markingtheprotasis.
ל ֔ ֶ מ ְ ר ַ כ ַ ה שׁא ֣ ֹר ְ ב. Prepositional phrase with ְ ב on a construct
chain.ButwhyisMt.Carmelmentionedasaplaceofhiding?Cren-
shaw suggests that it was because of its height (second only to Mt.
Tabor in Israel), its dense forests and its many caves. He notes that
the classical geographer Strabo says that robbers hid there. Also,
sinceCarmeljutsoutintotheMediterranean,itsetsthestageforthe
nexthidingplace,thebottomofthesea(Crenshaw1975,133).Itis
remarkable, however, that a local and certainly accessible mountain
ismentionedasahidingplaceamongthreeotherplacesthatinvolve
mythologicalvoyages(intoSheol,heaven,andthebottomofthesea).
ItmaybethatCarmelwasconsideredasacredplaceatthistime(note
especiallytheassociationofMt.CarmelwithElijah[1Kgs18],who
diedsome40yearsbeforeAmos’ministry).
Line A3f: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 2
predicators,3constituents,and3units.
ם ֥ ָ ש ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ.
ש֖ ֵ פ ַ ח ֲ א. Pielyiqtol 1csofשפח.Thepielofשפח oftenmeans
toseekoutinahostilesense(Gen44:12;1Sam23:23;1Kgs20:6;
2Kgs10:23).ThisforcefullydevelopsthemetaphorofGodhunting
downthefleeingIsraelites.
םי ֑ ִ ת ְ ח ַ ק ְ לו. Qal weqatal 1 c s of חקל with 3 m p suffix. The
262 Amos9:2-4
Garrett Amos final.indd 262 6/6/08 2:26:05 PM
weqatal adds a second prediction to the apodosis verb שֵ פ ַ ח ֲ א. This
shouldnotberenderedasapurposeclause;ifthatwerethemeaning,
aweyiqtol verbprobablywouldhavebeenused.
Line A3g:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and5units.
ו ֜ ר ְ ת ָ֨ סִ י־ם ִ אְ ו. Niphal yiqtol 3 m p of רתס (“hide”) with ם ִ א
markingtheprotasis.
י ַ ני ֵ ע דֶ ג֑֤ ֶ נ ִ מ֙. The idiom ן ִ י ַ ע דֶ ג ֶ נ ִ מ occurs five times in the Old
Testament.Intheseexamples,italwaysconnotesbeingoutofGod’s
sightandthuspresumablyoutofhisthoughtsaswell.Isa1:16exhorts
the people to remove their evil deeds from before God’s eyes, and
Jeremiah16:17saysthattheiriniquityisnothiddenfromGod’seyes.
InJonah2:5andPsalm31:23,thepsalmistisalarmedatthethought
ofbeingremovedfromGod’ssight(i.e.,abandonedbyhim).Herein
Amos,however,thepeopletrytoremovethemselvesfromGod’ssight,
asthoughtheywanthimtoforgetaboutthem.
ם֔ ָ י ַ ה ע ֣ ַ ק ְ ר ַ ק ְ ב. “On the floor of the sea.” In Gilgamesh, the
herodivestothebottomoftheseatorecovertheplantofeternallife
(ANET 96).Here,insteadofbeingonahero’squest,Israeliterefugees
plungeintothedeeptoescapeGod.Thebottomoftheseacouldalso
representtherealmofthedeadinparallelwithSheolinlineA3a(cf.
Rev20:13).Ofcourse,itdoesnotseemtomakesensethatsomeone
whoisalreadyintherealmofthedeadwouldbepunishedbybeing
puttodeath.Butrationalcoherenceofthatsortisnotthepointhere;
rather,themessageisthatthereisnoplacetohide.
Line A3h: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 2
predicators,4constituents,and4units.
ם ֛ ָ ש ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ.
ה֥ ֶ ו ַ צ ֲ א. Pielyiqtol 1csofהוצ.
שׁ֖ ָ חָ נ ַ ה־ת ֶ א. Thedirectobjectofהֶ ו ַ צ ֲ א.Againthereisaparallel
toGilgamesh’squest,inthatitwasaserpentthatthwartedhisquest
bycarryingawaytheplantofeternallife(ANET 96).Here,theser-
Amos9:2-4 263
Garrett Amos final.indd 263 6/6/08 2:26:06 PM
pentisanagentofGodanditattackstheIsraelitesdirectly.Inaddi-
tion,thisparallelsAmos5:19,wheretheserpent’sbitefrustratesthe
flightofthemanseekingrefugefromalionorbear.
םֽ ָ כ ָ שְׁ נו. Qalweqatal 3msofךשׁנ with3mpsuffix.Theweqa-
tal againindicatesasecondprediction,whichhereistheoutcomeof
God’scommand.
Line A3i:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and4units.
ו ֤ כ ְ לֵ י־ם ִ אְ ו. Qalyiqtol 3mpofךלה.
֙ י ִ ב ְ ש ַ ב. Thelasthidingplace,thecaptivity,isremarkableintwo
ways.First,itisnotahypotheticalvoyageescapeGodbutcorresponds
totherealityofIsrael’sexileanddiaspora.Second,Israelitesarehere
portrayedasthinkingofexileanddiaspora,theultimatepunishment
fromGod,asawaytohidefromGod.Itisasthoughttheywantedto
meldintothecrowdofGentilesanddisappear,hopingthatGodand
theythemselveswouldforgetthattheyarethecovenantpeople.
ם ֔ ֶ הי ֵ בי ֽ ֹ א י֣ ֵ נ ְ פ ִ ל. The preposition י ֵ נ ְ פ ִ ל, “in the presence of,”
insteadof ְ ב,“in,”orךות ְ ב,“inthemidstof,”suggeststhattheywill
stillstandoutasJews.Thechoiceofם ֶ הי ֵ ביֹ א,“theirenemies,”instead
of a more neutral term such as םִ יוג ַ ה, “the nations,” reminds them
thattheirhostsretainalevelofhostilitytowardthem.
Line A3j: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 2
predicators,4constituents,and4units.
ם ֛ ָ ש ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ.
ה֥ ֶ ו ַ צ ֲ א. Pielyiqtol 1csofהוצ.
ב ֶ ר ֖ ֶ ח ַ ה־ת ֶ א. The direct object of הֶ ו ַ צ ֲ א, the sword is here per-
sonifiedastheagentofGod’swrath,anditisconcretelyrealizedin
theliteralswordsoftheenemiesofthediasporaJews.
ם ַ ת֑ ָ ג ָ ר ֲ הַ ו. Qalweqatal 3fsofגרה with3mpsuffix.ב ֶ ר ֶ ח isa
femininenoun,inagreementwiththisverb.Theweqatal againindi-
catestheoutcomeoftheactionoftheapodosisverb.
264 Amos9:2-4
Garrett Amos final.indd 264 6/6/08 2:26:06 PM
Line A3k:Thecolon-markeristevir andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and3units.Tevir doesnotnormallysignalaline
break,butitwouldviolatetheconstraints(toomanyconstituents)to
havenobreakbetweenA3kandA3l.Thebreakispreferable,more-
over,becauseA3kcreatesasuspension(“TowhatendwillGodkeep
hiseyeuponthem?”)thatA3lbringstoatragicresolution.
י ֨ ִ ת ְ מ ַ שְ ו. Qalweqatal 1csofםי ִ ש.Thisactsasamainlineverb
continuingthesequenceofpredictionsinalltheapodosislinesabove.
Breakingthepatternofprotasisandapodosisline-pairsandbeingthe
last verb of this lengthy strophe, moreover, it describes the abiding
conditioninwhichtheIsraeliteswillfindthemselvesvis-à-vis God.
י֧ ִ ני ֵ ע. ReferencetoYHWH’seyerecallslineA3g.
ם֛ ֶ הי ֵ ל ֲ ע. Prepositional phrase with ל ַ ע. “My eye upon you” has
abenevolentsenseinPsalm32:8,andthereadermightanticipatethe
samemeaninghere,butthenextlineshowsthatithasahostilesense
here.
Line A3l:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0pred-
icators, 2 constituents, and 2 units. This line is dependent on the
previousline.
ה֖ ָ ע ָ ר ְ ל. Prepositional phrase with ְ ל here denoting goal or pur-
pose.Thisisineffectanabbreviatedwayofsaying,“forthepurpose
ofharmingthem.”
הֽ ָ בוטְ ל א֥ ֹל ְ ו. Amos’direpredictionisreversedintheeschato-
logicalredemptionpredictedinJeremiah24:6:“Iwillsetmyeyeson
themforgood”(ה ָ בוטְ ל ם ֶ הי ֵ ל ֲ ע י ִ ני ֵ ע י ִ ת ְ מ ַ שְ ו).
9:5-6: Second Stanza. Thisdoxologicalstanzaisinonestrophe.
ThestanzaisopenedinBawithתוא ָ ב ְ צ ַ ה הִ והְ י י ָ נֹדאַ ו,andisclosed
inBjwithומ ְ שׁ הָ והְ י,forminganinclusion.Settingasidethesetwo
lines,therearethreesub-stropheseachheadedbyadefiniteqalactive
participle( ַ עֵ גונ ַ ה inBb,הֶ נוב ַ ה inBf,andא ֵ רֹק ַ ה inBh).Itistempting
tobreakthisintothreestrophesateachparticipleline,butthisstanza
isinfactasinglesentence(“TheLordYHWHSabaoth...,hisname
Amos9:4-6 265
Garrett Amos final.indd 265 6/6/08 2:26:06 PM
is YHWH”) within which there are three complex relative clauses,
eachformedbyaparticipleandoneormorefiniteverbs.Amos’ten-
dencytohaveoneormoreparticipleslinesfollowedbylinesheaded
bytheconjunctionandpredicatedwithafiniteverbhasalreadybeen
noted; see 6:3-6. He does the same thing here in Bb-e (one parti-
ciple line and three finite verb lines), Bf-g (one participle line and
onefiniteverbline)andBh-i(oneparticiplelineandonefiniteverb
line).Ineachofthesewehaveaparticipialrelativeclauseextendedby
theadditionofoneormorefiniteverblines.Thedivinetitle(י ָ נֹדאַ ו
תוא ָ ב ְ צ ַ ה הִ והְ י)servesastheantecedentforallthreecomplexrelative
clauses.ThisstanzaassertsGod’sauthorityoverallthingsbyvirtueof
hisintrinsicpower(firstrelativeclause[Bb-e])andhisroyalauthority
(secondrelativeclause[Bf-g]).Thesetwoconceptsarecombinedin
thethirdrelativeclause(Bh-i),whereGodcalls(ארק)thewatersup
fromtheseaandpoursthemonearth.Thestressondivineauthority
arisesfromtheprophet’sassertionthatGodwoulddealwithIsraelby
issuingjudgmentalcommands(notetheuseofהוצ in9:3,4,9).
תו ֗ א ָ ב ְ צ ַ ה הִ֜ והְ י י ֨ ָ נֹדאַ ו
גו ֔ מ ָ תַ ו ֙ ץ ֶ ר ֙ ָ א ָ ב ַ ע֤ ֵ גונ ַ ה
ה֑ ָ ב י ֵ ב ְ שׁו ֣ י־ל ָ כ ו ֖ ל ְ ב ָ אְ ו
ה ֔ ָ ל ֻ כ ֙ רֹ אְ י ַ כ ה ֤ ָ ת ְ ל ָ ע ְ ו
׃םִ י ֽ ָ ר ְ צ ִ מ ר ֥ ֹ אי ִ כ ה֖ ָ ע ְ ק ָ שְׁ ו
וי ֔ ָ תול ֲ ע ַ מ ֙ םִ י ֙ ַ מ ָ ש ַ ב ה֤ ֶ נוב ַ ה
ה֑ ָ ד ָ סְ י ץ ֶ ר֣ ֶ א־ל ַ ע ו ֖ ת ָ דֻ ג ֲ אַ ו
ם֗ ָ י ַ ה־י ֽ ֵ מ ְ ל א֣ ֵ רֹק ַ ה
ץ ֶ ר ֖ ָ א ָ ה י֥ ֵ נ ְ פ־ל ַ ע ם֛ ֵ כ ְ פ ְ שִׁ י֑ ֽ ַ ו
׃ו ֽ מ ְ שׁ ה֥ ָ והְ י
266 Amos9:5-6
9:5 Ba
Bb
Bc
Bd
Be
9:6 Bf
Bg
Bh
Bi
Bj
Garrett Amos final.indd 266 6/6/08 2:26:07 PM
Line Ba:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators,1constituent,and3units.
תו ֗ א ָ ב ְ צ ַ ה הִ֜ והְ י י ֨ ָ נֹדאַ ו. YHWH’snameisproclaimedinapleo-
nasticmannertopreparethereaderfortheattributesandpowersthat
willbepredicatedtohiminthefollowinglines.Thisisatitle(“Lord
YHWH of the Sabaoth”), not a clause (“YHWH of the Sabaoth is
Lord”). Since הוהי ינדא appears as a title almost 300 times in the
Hebrew Bible (twenty times in Amos), it is impossible that ינדא is
hereapredicate.
Line Bb:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
2predicators,3constituents,and3units.
ע֤ ֵ גונ ַ ה.ַ Qalactiveparticiplemsofעגנ (“touch”)withthearticle.
Itisapredicator,asindicatedbythewayyiqtol verbcoordinatedwithit
inthisline.Asindicatedabove,itservesasarelativeclause.
ץ ֶ ר ֙ ָ א ָ ב֙. Prepositional phrase with locative ְ ב. The earth is here
thedomainofhumanhabitation,unlikeseaandsky.
גו ֔ מ ָ תַ ו. Qalwayyiqtol 3fsofגומ (“melt”).Thesubjectisץ ֶ ר ָ א ָ ה.
Theperfectivewayyiqtol isheregnomicandnotinreferencetopast
action, although the choice of a wayyiqtol (instead of a pattern ו +
[X]+qatal)makesthepointthattheactionofthisverbissequential
totheactionoftheprecedingparticiple.The“melting”oftheearth
probablyreferstoanearthquake.
Line Bc: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and3units.
ו ֖ ל ְ ב ָ אְ ו. Qalweqatal 3mpofלבא.Theuseofaweqatal aftera
wayyiqtol isnoteworthy.Theactionisbothresultativeandingressive
(“sothattheybegintomourn”).
ה֑ ָ ב י ֵ ב ְ שׁו ֣ י־ל ָ כ. Afterלֹכ,theqalactiveparticiplempconstruct
ofבשׁי isjoinedtoaprepositionalphrasewith ְ ב.Theuseofacon-
structbeforethepreposition ְ ב isunusualbutnotwithoutanalogy.
Cf. Isaiah 5:11, ר ֶ קֹב ַ ב י ֵ מי ִ כ ְ שׁ ַ מ יוה (“Woe to those who rise early
inthemorning...”),and9:1,תֶ ו ָ מְ ל ַ צ ץ ֶ ר ֶ א ְ ב י ֵ ב ְ שֹׁי (“inhabitantsin
Amos9:5-6 267
Garrett Amos final.indd 267 6/6/08 2:26:07 PM
a land of deep darkness”). In each of these cases, the construct is a
participle.
Line Bd:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ה ֤ ָ תְ ל ָ עְ ו. Qalweqatal 3fsofהלע.Theimperfectiveweqatal here
describesrepeatedaction;thelanddoesnotsimplyheaveuponcebut
risesandfallsmanytimes.
֙ רֹ אְ י ַ כ. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ כ.
ה ֔ ָ ל ֻ כ. Thisisinappositiontoץ ֶ ר ֶ א inlineB1b,theimpliedsub-
jectoftheverbה ָ תְ ל ָ עְ ו.
Line Be:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.
ה֖ ָ ע ְ ק ָ שְׁ ו. Qalweqatal 3fsofעקשׁ.Again,theweqatal expresses
repeatedaction.
םִ י ֽ ָ ר ְ צ ִ מ ר ֥ ֹ אי ִ כ. See8:8.
Line Bf:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ה֤ ֶ נוב ַ ה. Therelativeclause,likethefirst,beginswithaqalactive
participlems(hereofהנב)withthearticle.
֙ םִ י ֙ ַ מ ָ ש ַ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב.
וי ֔ ָ תול ֲ ע ַ מ. Thedirectobject.Thewordהָ ל ֲ ע ַ מ consistentlyrefers
to the steps of a stairway (Exod 20:26; 1 Kgs 10:19; etc.), although
it can refer metaphorically to the direction of one’s thoughts (Ezek
11:5).Thismayexplainthemysteriouspsalmdesignationתול ֲ ע ַ מַ ל רי ִ שׁ
(“songofascents”).ButitseemsoddthatGodwouldbuildhis“steps”in
heaven.Somethereforeemendtoותָ י ִ ל ֲ ע,“hisupperchamber”(הָ י ִ ל ֲ ע);
thusHALOT הָ ל ֲ ע ַ מ.ButMurXII(88)8:16(fromtheWadiMurab-
baattextsfromtheJudeanDesert)atteststothereadingותולעמ,and
thisrendersemendationdoubtful.Oneshouldnotsimplytranslatethe
wordas“upperchamber”asthoughהָ ל ֲ ע ַ מ andהָ י ִ ל ֲ ע meantthesame
thing.Butifוי ָ תול ֲ ע ַ מ means“hisstairsteps,”itobviouslycannotrefer
268 Amos9:5-6
Garrett Amos final.indd 268 6/6/08 2:26:08 PM
to a stairway to some higher place (What could be above heaven?).
However,in1Kings10:19and2Kings9:13thetermreferstostepsup
toathroneorplaceofroyalauthority.Thus,itmaybethatthe“steps”
arepartofYHWH’sthroneorjudgmentseatandthatbysynecdoche
thestepsrefertothethroneitself.
Line Bg: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ו ֖ ת ָ דֻ ג ֲ אַ ו. Thedirectobjectwitha3mssuffixandaconjunction.
Thenounה ָ דֻ ג ֲ א referstosomethingthatiscloselyboundtogether(it
isapparentlyfromtherootדדג II,“tojointogether”).Itcanreferto
abunchofhyssop(Exod12:22)ortoadisciplinedbodyoftroops(2
Sam2:25).Englishtranslationspersistentlyrenderthisas“vault,”but
itisnotclearwhattheymeanbythat.Avaultisoftenanarchedor
domedstructureoftheRomanesquetype,butsucharchitecturedid
notexistinIronAgeIsrael.Avaultmaybeanundergroundchurch
crypt, but this, too, does not exist in Israelite architecture. Stuart
(1987,393)takesittomean“storeroom”buthedoesnotindicatewhat
ishisevidenceforthisrendering(nordoeshesaywhatissupposedto
bekeptinthisstoreroom).Maystranslatesitwithoutexplanationas
“reservoir”(Mays1969,151),possiblyjustifyingthistranslationfrom
thenextline.Butthisiswrong;theparticipleא ֵ רֹק ַ ה inlineBhbelow
indicatesthatthisisaseparate,thirdrelativeclauseandisunrelated
to the ה ָ דֻ ג ֲ א. The ה ָ דֻ ג ֲ א is here apparently some architectural fea-
ture which, in keeping with the root meaning of the word (“bound
together”), is made very secure and uniform. Since it is “founded”
(דסי) we might speculate that the ה ָ דֻ ג ֲ א is the foundation itself, a
platformthatispreciselyjoinedtogethersothatitisverysecure,like
a well-made footing of cut stone or wood. Furthermore, if וי ָ תול ֲ ע ַ מ
in2BareferstoGod’sthrone,theה ָ דֻ ג ֲ א maybetheplatformforthe
throne.Thisconcept,thattheupperpartofGod’sthroneisinheaven
andthelowerpartonearth,maybebaseduponaconceptsuchasin
Deuteronomy 4:39, ץ ֶ ר ָ א ָ ה־ל ַ עְ ו ל ַ ע ַ מ ִ מ םִ י ַ מ ָ ש ַ ב םי ִ הל ֱ א ָ ה אוה הָ והְ י
ת ַ ח ָ ת ִ מ (“YHWHisGodinheavenaboveandonearthbelow”).Thus,
Amos9:5-6 269
Garrett Amos final.indd 269 6/6/08 2:26:08 PM
lines Bf-g assert that God’s throne occupies heaven and earth, as in
Isaiah66:1,“Heavenismythroneandtheearthismyfootstool.”
ץ ֶ ר֣ ֶ א־ל ַ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithlocativeל ַ ע.
ה֑ ָ ד ָ סְ י. Qalqatal 3msofדסי (“fix,establish”)with3fssuffix
(antecedentisץ ֶ ר ֶ א).
Line Bh:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator, 2 constituents, and 3 units. Lines Bh-j repeat verbatim three
linesfrom5:8.
א֣ ֵ רֹק ַ ה. Qal active participle of ארק with definite article; it is
coordinated with the following wayyiqtol ם ֵ כ ְ פ ְ שִׁ י ַ ו in line Bi and is
thereforeapredicator.Theuseofארק hereisanalogous,ontheone
hand, to a king who issues commands to his subjects, and on the
other hand, to a conjuror who summons up the power of the deep.
SeeAmos7:4.
ם֗ ָ י ַ ה־י ֽ ֵ מְ ל. Prepositional phrase with ְ ל and a construct chain;
indicatestheaddressee.
Line Bi:Thecolon-markeristifha andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.
ם֛ ֵ כ ְ פ ְ שִׁ י֑ ֽ ַ ו. Qalwayyiqtol 3msofךפשׁ (“pourout”)with3mp
suffix.Thewayyiqtol isheresequentialbutgnomic(notpasttense).
ץ ֶ ר ֖ ָ א ָ ה י֥ ֵ נ ְ פ־ל ַ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithdirectionalל ַ ע.The
constructי ֵ נ ְ פ isnotprepositionalbutisliterallythe“faceof ”(i.e.,the
surfaceof )theground.
Line Bj:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:0predi-
cators,2constituents,and2units.
Seethediscussionofline1fin5:8.
9:7-8: Third Stanza. This stanza is in two strophes. There is an
inclusion structure here; הָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ appears at the beginning of the
stanzainC1bandatitsendinC2e.ThisstanzaconcernsIsrael’splace
asoneofthenations,statinginthefirststrophethatIsraelcannotcite
theexodusasproofthatGodespeciallyfavorsIsrael,sinceGodalso
led other nations in something of an exodus. Significantly, the last
270 Amos9:5-8
Garrett Amos final.indd 270 6/6/08 2:26:09 PM
twonationsnamedinstropheone(thePhilistinesandAraminC1d)
arethefirsttwonationsjudgedinAmos1:3-8,creatinganotherinclu-
sion for the beginningand endingof the book. The second strophe
indicates that like those Gentile nations, Israel, too, will be judged,
butitalsoassertsthatIsraelwillnotbeeradicated.
9:7: First Strophe. Fourlines.Astoundingly,theexodus,elsewhere
describedasthesingulareventthatmarkedIsraelastheelectpeople,
isheredemotedtothelevelofbeinganalogoustotheearlymigrations
ofotherpeoples.WhydoesAmosdothis?AgainstHoffman(1989),
itisnotbecauseAmos,asarepresentativeofthesouthernkingdom,
rejectedthebelief(supposedlyparticularlypredominantinthenorth-
ernkingdom)thattheexoduswasaconstitutivetheologicalevent.If
onetakes9:7tomeanthatAmosdidnotregardtheexodusasacrucial
event in redemption history, then one would also have to conclude
thatAmosrejectedalsotheveryideaofIsrael’selection(seelinesC1a-
b below). This he manifestly does not do (3:1-2). Rather, Amos is
continuingtoattacktheexaggeratedandperversesignificanceIsrael
attached to its election and exodus. Negatively, he had argued that
just as God judges the Gentiles, so he will also judge Israel (Amos
1–2).Here,hearguesmorepositivelythatjustasGodhadcreatedand
redeemedIsrael,soalsohesupervisedthebirthsoftheothernations.
In short, the distance betweenelect Israel and the Gentile outsiders
wasnotnearlysogreatasAmos’audiencehadimagined.
י ֛ ִ ל ם ֥ ֶ ת ַ א םי ֨ ִ י ִ שׁ ֻ כ ֩ י ֵ נ ְ ב ִ כ או ֣ ל ֲ ה
ה֑ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ ל ֖ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י֥ ֵ נ ְ ב
םִ י ֔ ַ ר ְ צ ִ מ ץ ֶ ר֣ ֶ א ֵ מ ֙ י ִ תי ֙ ֵ ל ֱ ע ֶ ה ל ֵ֗ א ָ ר ְ שִ י־ת ֶ א או ֣ ל ֲ ה
׃רי ֽ ִ ק ִ מ ם ֥ ָ ר ֲ אַ ו רו ֖ ת ְ פ ַ כ ִ מ םי ֥ ִ י ִ ת ְ שׁ ִ ל ְ פו
Line C1a:Thecolon-markeristevir andtheconstraintsare:0pred-
icators, 3 constituents, and 3 units (taking םי ִ י ִ שֻׁ כ י ֵ נ ְ ב as a proper
name).Thisisaverblessclause.
Amos9:7 271
9:7 C1a
C1b
C1c
C1d
Garrett Amos final.indd 271 6/6/08 2:26:09 PM
םי ֨ ִ י ִ שֻׁ כ ֩ י ֵ נ ְ ב ִ כ או ֣ ל ֲ ה. After the rhetorical interrogative marker
אול ֲ ה andtheprepositionכְ ,theconstructchain“sonsoftheCushites”
headsthisstrophe,givingrhetoricalprominencetotheCushites.In
otherwords,bynamingtheCushitesfirst,theyaremademorepromi-
nentandIsraelis,bycomparison,diminished.
ם ֥ ֶ ת ַ א. Thesubject.
י ֛ ִ ל. “Tome”heremeans,“asfarasitconcernsme.”Cf.theidiom
ך ָ ל ָ ו י ִ ל־ה ַ מ (or,ם ֶ כ ָ ל ְ ו י ִ ל־ה ַ מ),“Whatdealingsaretherebetweenme
andyou?”asinJudges11:12;2Samuel16:10;2Kings3:13.Thepoint
here is not simply that the Israelites are like the Cushites in God’s
opinion,butthattheIsraeliteshavenogreaterclaimonGodthando
theCushites.
Line C1b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and3units.
ל ֖ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י֥ ֵ נ ְ ב. A vocative (a predicator according to the con-
straints).Byusingthesameformulaforbothpeoples(םי ִ י ִ שֻׁ כ י ֵ נ ְ ב and
ל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֵ נ ְ ב),theprophetrhetoricallyremovesanydistinctionbetween
them.
ה֑ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ. Adivinespeechformula.
Line C1c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and4units.
ל ֵ֗ א ָ ר ְ שִ י־ת ֶ א או ֣ ל ֲ ה. The second rhetorical question (also
headed by אול ֲ ה) here places Israel first, making it the focus. Rhe-
torically,thisdeliberatelymisdirectsthereader.BymakingIsraelthe
focusandreferringtotheexodus,itappearstobereadytoaffirmthat
IsraeldoesindeedhaveauniquerelationshiptoGod.Thefollowing
line,however,undercutsthiscompletelybyassigningthesamestatus
toPhilistiaandSyria.
֙ י ִ תי ֙ ֵ ל ֱ ע ֶ ה. Hiphilqatal 1csofהלע.Amosusesthehiphilofהלע
to refer to God taking Israel from Egypt in the exodus also in 2:10
and3:1.
272 Amos9:7
Garrett Amos final.indd 272 6/6/08 2:26:10 PM
םִ י ֔ ַ ר ְ צ ִ מ ץ ֶ ר֣ ֶ א ֵ מ. Prepositional phrase with ן ִ מ on a construct
chain.Thisobviouslyreferstotheexodus.
Line C1d: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 0
predicators,4constituents,and4units.Thereisgappingoftheverb
י ִ תי ֵ ל ֱ ע ֶ ה.Thisgappingisrhetoricallyeffective;theoneverbrefersto
themovementsofIsrael,Philistia,andSyria,andthusthepossibility
oftherebeingaqualitativedifferenceamongthemiseliminated.
םי ֥ ִ י ִ ת ְ שִׁ ל ְ פו. Thesubjectofthe(gapped)secondclause.
רו ֖ ת ְ פ ַ כ ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ forplaceoforigin.Crete,
Cyprus,andCiliciahaveallbeensuggestedasthelocationofCaphtor,
butCreteisprobablycorrect(RaineyandNotley2006,108).
ם ֥ ָ ר ֲ אַ ו. Thesubjectofthe(gapped)thirdclause.
רי ֽ ִ ק ִ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ forplaceoforigin.OnKir,
seecommentson1:5.
9:8: Second Strophe.Fourlines.ThetextspeaksofGod’sdeter-
mination to destroy “the sinful kingdom” (which can be any sinful
kingdom)butassertsthatIsraelwillnotbetotallydestroyed.Israelis
thereforebothlikeandunliketheothernationsofearth.
ה ָ֔ א ָ ט ַ ח ֽ ַ ה ֙ ה ָ כ ָ ל ְ מ ַ מ ַ ב הִ֗ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א ׀ י֣ ֵ ני ֵ ע ה ֞ ֵ נ ִ ה
ה֑ ָ מ ָ ד ֲ א ָ ה י֣ ֵ נ ְ פ ל֖ ַ ע ֵ מ ה ֔ ָ תֹ א י ֣ ִ ת ְ ד ַ מ ְ שׁ ִ ה ְ ו
ב ֖ ֹק ֲ עַ י תי ֥ ֵ ב־ת ֶ א די ֛ ִ מ ְ שׁ ַ א די ֥ ֵ מ ְ שׁ ַ ה א ֣ ֹל י ִ֠ כ ס ֶ פ ֶ֗ א
׃הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ
Line C2a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0 predicators, 3 constituents, and 6 units. This violates the normal
constraints(toomanyunits),butallthelinesofthisstrophe(except
thedivinespeechformulainC2d)areunusuallylongforAmos.
ה֞ ֵ נ ִ ה. As always, הֵ נ ִ ה draws attention to what follows. In this
case,however,itprobablyalsolooksbacktotheprecedingcontext,in
Amos9:7-8 273
9:8 C2a
C2b
C2c
C2d
Garrett Amos final.indd 273 6/6/08 2:26:10 PM
whichIsraelenjoysnofavoritismfromGodoveragainstCush,Philis-
tiaandSyria.Thus,הֵ נ ִ ה functionsherealmostasifitwereהֵ נ ִ ה ה ָ ת ַ עְ ו
(cf.Gen12:19;Num24:14;Josh9:12;Jer40:4,etc.,whereהֵ נ ִ ה ה ָ ת ַ עְ ו
occupiesakindofJanusposition,lookingbacktotheformerreality
andaheadtowhatfollows).
הִ֗ והְ י י֣ ָ נֹד ֲ א ׀ י֣ ֵ ני ֵ ע. Aconstructchainservingasthesubjectofa
verblessclause.After9:4,itisclearthatthe“eyesofYHWH”areon
people“forevilandnotforgood.”
ה ָ֔ א ָ ט ַ ח ֽ ַ ה ֙ ה ָ כ ָ ל ְ מ ַ מ ַ ב. Prepositional phrase with locative or
objective ְ ב on a noun with adjective. The “sinful kingdom” is not
identifiedhere.AftertheprecedingindictmentsofIsrael,therecanbe
nodoubtthatIsraelisincludedinthisconcept.ButIsraelisnotthe
only “sinful kingdom,” as the opening oracles of the book indicate.
Thus,IsraelisonceagaingroupedtogetherwithsinfulGentilestates
thatGodisreadytodestroy.
Line C2b:Thecolon-markerisathnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
י ֣ ִ ת ְ ד ַ מ ְ שׁ ִ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 1csofדמשׁ (“destroy”).
ה ֔ ָ תֹ א.ּ Thedirectobject.
ה֑ ָ מ ָ ד ֲ א ָ ה י֣ ֵ נ ְ פ ל֖ ַ ע ֵ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ andל ַ ע.This
expressionisoftenusedtodescribethedivineannihilationofaperson
orpeople(Gen6:7;7:4;Exod32:12;Deut6:15;1Kgs9:7;Jer28:16;
Zeph1:2).
Line C2c: The colon-marker is tifha and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and4units(takingבֹק ֲ עַ י תי ֵ ב asaproper
name).
י ִ֠ כ ס ֶ פ ֶ֗ א. ThisidiomappearshereandinNumbers13:28;Deu-
teronomy15:4;Judges4:9;and2Samuel12:14.Itmeans“neverthe-
less.”
די ֛ ִ מ ְ שׁ ַ א די ֥ ֵ מ ְ שׁ ַ ה א֣ ֹל. Negated hiphil infinitive absolute of
דמשׁ withHiphilyiqtol 1csofדמשׁ.Theinfinitiveisusedadverbi-
allytoindicatetotality;here,ofcourse,itisnegated.Itseemsaself-
274 Amos9:8
Garrett Amos final.indd 274 6/6/08 2:26:11 PM
contradictiontosayinonelinethatGodwillwipethemofftheface
oftheearthandinthenextlinesaythathewillnotutterlydestroy
them.Note,however,thatYHWHdidnotspecifyinlinesC2a-bthat
hewouldutterlydestroyIsrael;rather,hewouldutterlydestroy“the
sinfulkingdom.”Israel,AramandPhilistiaallfallintothiscategory,
butYHWHmakesapartialexceptionIsrael’scase.
ב ֖ ֹק ֲ עַ י תי ֥ ֵ ב־ת ֶ א. Thedirectobject.
Line C2d: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 0
predicators,1constituent,and2units.
הֽ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ. Adivinespeechformula.
9:9-10: Fourth Stanza. Thisstanzaisintwostrophes.Thestanza
isintroducedbyהֶ ו ַ צ ְ מ י ִ כֹ נ ָ א הֵ נ ִ ה־י ִ כ inD1a,alinethatactsasapro-
tasisforthewholestanza.Theapodosis,thecontentofwhatYHWH
commands, is in two parts, the first apodosis being at D1b and the
secondatD2a.SettingasidetheprotasisatD1a,eachstrophehasa
three-lineapodosis.ThecontentofthestanzaconcernsIsraelindias-
poraamongthenations.
9:9: First Strophe.Fourlines,makingthepointthatexiledIsrael
willnotstopwanderingfromplacetoplace.
הֶ֔ ו ַ צ ְ מ ֙ י ִ כֹ נ ֽ ָ א ה֤ ֵ נ ִ ה־י ֽ ִ כ
ל ֑ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֣ ֵ ב־ת ֶ א ם֖ ִ יוג ַ ה־ל ֽ ָ כ ְ ב י ִ תו ֥ עִ נ ֲ ה ַ ו
ה ֔ ָ ר ָ ב ְ כ ַ ב ֙ ַ עו ֙ נ ִ י ר ֤ ֶ שׁ ֲ א ַ כ
׃ץ ֶ ר ֽ ָ א רו ֖ ר ְ צ לו ֥ פִ י־א ֽ ֹל ְ ו
Line D1a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.Thislineisidenticaltothe
firstlineof6:11exceptthatthesubjectisfirstperson.
ה֤ ֵ נ ִ ה־י ֽ ִ כ. The expression הֵ נ ִ ה־י ִ כ is almost always explanatory
(as opposed to י ִ כ by itself, which has a wide range of meanings). It
isoftenusedintheprophetstointroducesomepredictedactofGod
Amos9:8-9 275
9:9 D1a
D1b
D1c
D1d
Garrett Amos final.indd 275 6/6/08 2:26:11 PM
thatisthebasisforawarning,exhortation,orappeal(e.g.,Isa26:20;
60:2;65:17;Jer1:15;25:29;49:15;Amos6:11).
֙ י ִ כֹ נ ֽ ָ א. Notethatהוצ appearswithafirstpersonsubjectin9:3-4
also.
הֶ֔ ו ַ צ ְ מ. Pielparticiplemsofהוצ.Thisparallelstheuseofהוצ
in6:11and9:3-4,whereGoddecreesjudgmentonIsrael.Here,asin
6:11,הוצ hasnoaddressee.
Line D1b: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units(takingל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֵ ב asaproper
name).
י ִ תו ֥ עִ נ ֲ הַ ו. Hiphilweqatal 1csofעונ.Thehiphilofעונ isused
with שׁאֹר to mean, “to shake the head” (as a sign of derision), as
inLam2:15.Theverbalsomeanstomakesomethingtotter(before
brining it down) in Psalm 59:12 (E 11). In 2 Kings 23:18 it is used
fordisturbingthebonesofadeceasedperson.InNumbers32:13and
2 Samuel 15:20 (qere) it is used for making people wander about.
In general, the root עונ means either to “wander” (of people; Gen
4:12,14;Ps109:10;Lam4:14)orto“sway,”“tremble”or“quiver”(of
trees[Judg9:9],orofaperson’shand[Zeph2:15]orlips[1Sam1:13],
orofapersonorhisheart,signifyingfear[Exod20:18;Isa7:2]).In
itsotherusesinAmos(4:8;8:12)itreferstothewanderingofpeople.
Thatisthemeaninghereaswell.
ם֖ ִ יוג ַ ה־לֽ ָ כ ְ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב.
ל֑ ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי֣ ֵ ב־ת ֶ א. Thedirectobject.
Line D1c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ר ֤ ֶ שׁ ֲ א ַ כ. As is normal, this means “just as.” It here sets up an
analogy.
֙ ַ עו ֙ נִ י. Niphalyiqtol 3msofעונ.UsedonlyhereandinNahum
3:12,theniphalmeanstobe“shakenabout”or“jostled.”Thesubject
isnotindicated;itcouldbeרור ְ צ (“pebble”)fromthenextline.The
subjectcannotbeל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י תי ֵ ב fromtheprecedinglinesincethisline
276 Amos9:9
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describestheanalogyandnotthethingitself.Probably,however,an
impersonaltranslationisbest:“Justaswhenthereisashaking....”
ה ֔ ָ ר ָ ב ְ כ ַ ב. Prepositionalphrasewithlocative ְ ב.Thewordה ָ ר ָ ב ְ כ
ishapax legomenon intheHebrewBible.הרבכ occursonajarstamp
from Tell el-Judeideh, but this is probably a homonym with no rel-
evance toAmos9:9 (seeBliss1900, 221–22). Thestandard transla-
tionforה ָ ר ָ ב ְ כ here,“sieve,”isbasedonlaterHebrew.Severalscholars
believethatSirach27:4mayrefertotheה ָ ר ָ ב ְ כ.TheLXXofthattext
readst v oti oµo¬i |oo|i vou öioµt vti |o¬pi o(“Whenasieveisshaken,
dungremains”).Wolff(1977,349)indicatesthattheHebrewforthe
Sirachtextisר ָ פ ָ ע דֹ מ ֲ עַ י ה ָ ר ָ ב ְ כ ַ עי ִ נ ָ ה ְ ב,butheprovidesnosourcefor
this. In fact, no extant Hebrew manuscript of Sirach contains 27:4
(seeSkehanandDiLella1987,52–53;seealsoLevi1951;Yadin1965),
andnoextantHebrewtextofSirachcontainsthewordה ָ ר ָ ב ְ כ (accord-
ingtoBen-Hayyim1973).ItappearsthatWolff ’sHebrewtextishis
ownretroversionandthusisofnovalueforlexicalanalysis.AUgaritic
parallel,kbrt,appearsintheBaalmyth(CTA 6:v:16),wheretheline
istranslatedbyDennisPardeeas“onaccountof[you]Iexperienced
[beingstrained]withasieve.”However,onlyasinglelettertheverbis
extant([…y];seeCOS 1,272[especiallyn.270]),makingthisinter-
pretation less certain and perhaps dependent on later Hebrew texts.
Thus,theUgaritictextaddslittleclarity.ה ָ ר ָ ב ְ כ hasseveral possible
cognatesinbiblicalHebrew,includingרי ִ ב ָ כ,agoat-hairquiltorpil-
low(1Sam19:13,16),ר ֵ ב ְ כ ַ מ,anotherkindofquilt(2Kgs8:15),and
ר ָ ב ְ כ ִ מ,thebronzegratingfoundinthebronzealtar(Exod27:4;35:16;
38:4,5,30;39:39).Thecommonelementinallofthesemayhavebeen
aninterlacedconstruction.Ontheotherhand,theconstructionand
purposesofthesevariouscognatenounsvarysignificantlyandtheir
relationshiptooneanotherisuncertain.Thenatureandpurposeof
the ה ָ ר ָ ב ְ כ is particularly opaque. If it was a sieve, it is not certain
whetheritwassomethinglikeabasketwithalatticebottom,orabag
madewithcrisscrossedcords,orsomethingentirelydifferent.Shalom
Paularguesthatitwasusedforcleansinggrain,andsaysthatthegrain
wouldfallthroughthelatticeworkwhiletheimpuritieswouldremain
Amos9:9 277
Garrett Amos final.indd 277 6/6/08 2:26:12 PM
intheה ָ ר ָ ב ְ כ (Paul1991,286n.39;seealsoStuart1987,393).This
isimplausible;itisunlikelythatkernelsofgrainwouldfallthrougha
sievebutthatpebbles,whichwouldoftenbesmaller,smoother,and
heavier,wouldnot(seelineD1d).Ontheotherhand,othersclaimthat
thegrainwouldremaininthesievewhiletheimpuritiesfellthrough.
Ifso,whydoesAmospointoutthatnopebblesfallthrough?Infact,
thereisnoindicationherethattheה ָ ר ָ ב ְ כ wasusedforsiftinggrain.
Line D1d: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and3units.
לו ֥ פִ י־אֽ ֹל ְ ו. Negated qal yiqtol 3 m s of לפנ with conjunction.
Thenegatedyiqtol hereadverbiallymodifiestheprecedingverb ַ עונִ י
andcouldbetranslated,“withoutapebblefallingtoearth”(lit.,“and
apebbledoesn’tfalltoearth”).
רו ֖ ר ְ צ. From 2 Samuel 17:13, where the word describes what
remains after a wall is brought down, this word probably means
“small stone” or “pebble.” It does not mean “kernel (of wheat),”
againstAndersenandFreedman(1989,870–71)(whoappeartowant
toemendonthebasisoftheLXXtoר ֶ ב ֶ שׁ II,butthisemendationis
far-fetched)andSmith(1998,367).
ץ ֶ ר ֽ ָ א. Alocativesense,“totheearth,”isimplieddespitethelack
ofaprepositionordirectiveה.Thestandardinterpretationofthese
lines is that there will be a sifting out the good or elect from the
evilorrejected.Butproblemsherearenumerous.Isthe“pebble”the
goodorthebad?Whatisthesubstance(apartfromthepebbles)that
is being sifted? What falls through the sieve? Is it something good
(wheat)orsomethingbad(dirt)?Isthefactthatnotapebblefallsout
a judgment or salvation? Issues in the interpretation of the analogy
areequallyobscure.Ifthereisasifting,areIsraelitesbeingseparated
from Gentiles? Are sinful Israelites being separated from repentant
ones?Inshort,everyaspectofthe“sifting”interpretationisunclear
both in terms of the details of the cultural analogy and in terms of
thetheologicalmeaningofitssymbols.Wolff(1977,349)argueson
thebasisofSirach27:4thatthepebblesaresinnersandthattheones
278 Amos9:9
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thatfalloutaretheremnant(alsoPaul1991,286).Butthistextsays
nothingaboutaremnant;itonlydescribesthejostlingofthepebbles.
ElsewhereintheBible,whenthereisananalogyinvolvingsiftingor
separating, it is generally separating grain from chaff, and it is at a
threshing floor or using the wind, a sledge or a threshing fork, and
notasieve.Insuchtexts,theanalogyistransparentinbothcultural
contextandinterpretation(e.g.,Job21:18;Ps1:4;Isa29:5;41:15;Mal
4:1; Luke 3:17). The present text is nothing like that. We therefore
concludethatthistextdoesnotmentioneithersiftingoraremnant.
Rather,thepebblesshakingaboutwithintheה ָ ר ָ ב ְ כ isitselfthepoint.
The meaning, following the usage of עונ in Amos 8:12, is that the
Israeliteswillwandertoandfroamongthenations.Thereasonthat
a“sieve”(ifthatisthemeaningofה ָ ר ָ ב ְ כ)ismentionedissimplythat
thisissomethingwhichislikelytobeshaken.Thestatementthatno
pebblefallstoearthonlymeansthatnoJewwillescapethebuffeting
ofbeingbouncedaboutfromplacetoplace.Thatis,theywillnotbe
releasedfromtheirwandering.Thisisapredictionofdiaspora,notof
separatingoutaremnant.
9:10: Second Strophe.Threelines.Thestanzadescribeshowthe
Israelites/Jewswillfindthemselvesviolentlyattackedinplaceswhere
theythoughtthattheyhadobtainedrefuge.TheslaughterofJewsin
diaspora,andnotjustthedestructionofSamaria,isinviewhere.
י ֑ ִ מ ַ ע י ֣ ֵ א ָ ט ַ ח ל ֖ ֹכ ותו ֔ מָ י ב ֶ ר ֣ ֶ ח ַ ב
םי ֗ ִ ר ְ מֹ א ָ ה
׃ה ֽ ָ ע ָ ר ָ ה וני ֖ ֵ ד ֲ ע ַ ב םי ֛ ִ ד ְ ק ַ תְ ו שׁי֧ ִ ג ַ ת־א ֽ ֹל
Line D2a:Thecolon-markerisathnach andtheconstraintsare:1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
ב ֶ ר֣ ֶ ח ַ ב. Prepositional phrase with instrumental use of ְ ב. The
“sword”isheremetonymyfortheviolenceofanenemy.
ותו ֔ מָ י. Qalyiqtol 3mpofתומ.
Amos9:9-10 279
9:10 D2a
D2b
D2c
Garrett Amos final.indd 279 6/6/08 2:26:13 PM
י ֑ ִ מ ַ ע י ֣ ֵ א ָ ט ַ ח ל ֖ ֹכ. This is a construct chain and the subject of
ותומָ י. The word לֹכ appears to be absolute but it is construct; cf.
Amos 3:2 and 4:6. An important question is whether the construct
chainי ִ מ ַ ע י ֵ א ָ ט ַ ח createsapartitivegenitive,indicatingthatGodwill
selectoutthesinnersofthenationandsetthemasideforpunishment
but spare the rest, who might be defined as a remnant. Analogous
constructchainsappearatExodus23:11(ך ֶ מ ַ ע י ֵ נֹי ְ ב ֶ א)1Samuel15:30
(י ִ מ ַ ע־י ֵ נ ְ קִ ז);Isaiah3:14(ומ ַ ע י ֵ נ ְ קִ זֹ);10:2(י ִ מ ַ ע י ֵ י ִ נ ֲ ע);14:32(ומ ַ ע י ֵ י ִ נ ֲ ע);
Psalm113:8(ומ ַ ע י ֵ בי ִ דְ נ);andRuth4:4(י ִ מ ַ ע י ֵ נ ְ קִ ז).Ineachofthesethe
genitiverelationshipwouldbebetterdefinedas“focal”thanas“parti-
tive.”Inotherwords,thosewhoaredefinedasthe“poor”or“elders”
or“nobles”ofthepeoplearethefocus oftheirrespectivesentences,but
theyarenotconceivedofasbeingsomehowseparatedfromtherestof
thepopulation.Forexample,in1Samuel15:30,whenSaulasksSam-
ueltohonorhim“beforetheeldersofmypeople,”hedoesnotmean
that the elders are to be set apart from the rest of Israel, much less
thathewillnotbehonoredbytherestofthenation;hemerelygives
focustothemenofhighstanding(Saul’sfullrequestisדֶ ג ֶ נ אָ נ י ִ נ ֵ ד ְ ב ַ כ
ל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י דֶ ג ֶ נ ְ ו י ִ מ ַ ע־י ֵ נ ְ קִ ז [“Honormebeforetheeldersofmypeopleand
beforeIsrael”]).Similarly,whenIsaiah10:2criticizesthosewho“rob
thepoorofmypeople,”itdoesnotmeanthattherobberssingleout
thepoorforrobberyorthatitisofnoconsequenceiftheyrobpeople
whoarenotpoor;thetextmerelyfocusesontheheinousnatureofthe
crimeascommittedagainstthepoor.Amosdoesnotmeanthatonly
apartofIsraelwillbesingledoutforpunishment.Thephraseי ֵ א ָ ט ַ ח
י ִ מ ַ ע focusesonthosewhohavecommittedthecrimesthischapterhas
described.Amosonlyleavesthedooropenforthesurvivalofsome,
buthehasherenothingherelikeafull-fledgedremnanttheology.See
alsoNoble(1997).
Line D2b: The colon-marker is revia and the constraints are: 1
predicator,1constituent,and1unit.Thisviolatestheconstraintsbut
seemsthebestsolutionforthecolometryofthisstrophe.
280 Amos9:10
Garrett Amos final.indd 280 6/6/08 2:26:13 PM
םי ֗ ִ ר ְ מֹ א ָ ה. Qalactiveparticiplempofרמא witharticle;itserves
asarelativeclausewithי ִ מ ַ ע י ֵ א ָ ט ַ ח לֹכ asitsantecedent.
Line D2c: The colon-marker is silluq and the constraints are: 2
predicators,4constituents,and4units.Thisisreportedspeech.
שׁי ֧ ִ ג ַ ת־אֽ ֹל. Hiphil yiqtol 3 f s of שׁגנ. But the hiphil (“offer,
bringnear”)makeslittlesensehere,anditmaybebettertoemendit
totheqalשַׁ ג ִ ת (“approach,comenear”).ThehiphiloftheMTmaybe
accountedforbyattractiontoםי ִ ד ְ ק ַ תְ ו.Thesubjectisleftundefined
untilthelastwordoftheline.
םי ֛ ִ ד ְ ק ַ תְ ו. Hiphilweyiqtol 3fsofםדק (“meet”).Thisdoesnot
functionasaweyiqtol normallydoes(e.g.,tointroduceafinalclause).
Instead, םי ִ ד ְ ק ַ תְ ו שׁי ִ ג ַ ת־אֹל is a compounded verb clause, with the
negativeאֹל governingbothverbs.Notetheconjunctiveaccentdarga
inשׁי ִ ג ַ ת.
וני ֖ ֵ ד ֲ ע ַ ב. Prepositional phrase with ד ַ ע ַ ב. The word generally
connotesbeingbehindoraroundsomethingeithertoentrapit(Jonah
2:7) or protect it (Zech 12:8). It can also mean “for the sake of ” or
“beyond.”Inthiscontext,itseemstoimplyentrappingorcatchingup
withthepeople.
הֽ ָ ע ָ ר ָ ה. Thesubject.“Thetrouble”hereconnotestheproblems
andviolencethataristocracyofIsraelsupposesitcanescape.
9:11-12: Fifth Stanza. This stanza is a single strophe headed by
אוה ַ ה םוי ַ ב in line Ea and concluded with תאֹז ה ֶ שֹע הָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ in
line Eh. A predictive text, this stanza has a series of weqatal verbs
at Ec-e, analogous to how weqatal verbs dominate the predictions
of doom in Amos 1–2. Also, this stanza has eight lines, analogous
to the seven-line doom predictions in 1:4–5, 7-8, 14-15; 2:2-3. The
eight-line stanza here may reflect the fact that in Amos 1–2 Israel
is the eighth nation named. In content, however, this text reverses
theothersinthatitisapredictionofrestoration.Manyscholars,of
course, believe that 9:11-15 is a secondary addition to the book (cf.
Hasel1991,105–20),butthatconclusionisunnecessary.Structurally,
Amos9:10 281
Garrett Amos final.indd 281 6/6/08 2:26:14 PM
this material is integrated into the whole of 8:4–9:15, as illustrated
bythefocusonmattersinvolvingfoodandagriculturein8:5,11-13
and9:13.Also,8:4–9:10isessentialtounderstanding9:11-15.After
God’spromisetohuntdownandslaughterIsraeliteswherevertheygo,
thesurvivalandrenewalofIsraelisasurprisingworkofGodandso
dramaticareversaloftheforegoingpronouncementsofdoomthatthe
lattertextcanonlybeexplainedasaresurrection.Thisismorefully
developedinlaterprophets,especiallyEzekiel37.But9:11-15depends
upontheearliersentenceofdeath.Theastonishing,counter-intuitive
natureofthetextisintentional.
או ֔ ה ַ ה םו ֣ י ַ ב
ת ֶ ל֑ ֶ פֹ נ ַ ה די ֖ ִ ו ָ ד ת֥ ַ כ ֻ ס־ת ֶ א םי ֛ ִ ק ָ א
ן ֗ ֶ הי ֵ צ ְ ר ִ פ־ת ֶ א י ֣ ִ ת ְ ר ַ דָ ג ְ ו
םי ֔ ִ ק ָ א ֙ וי ָ תֹס ֽ ִ ר ֲ ה ַ ו
׃םֽ ָ לוע י ֥ ֵ מי ִ כ ָ הי ֖ ִ תי ִ נ ְ בו
ם֔ ִ יוג ַ ה־ל ָ כ ְ ו ֙ םוד ֱ א תי ֤ ִ ר ֵ א ְ שׁ־ת ֶ א ו ֜ שׁ ְ רי ֽ ִ י ן ַ ע ֨ ַ מ ְ ל
ם֑ ֶ הי ֵ ל ֲ ע י ֖ ִ מ ְ שׁ א ֥ ָ ר ְ קִ נ־ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א
פ ׃תאֽ ֹז ה ֶ ש ֥ ֹע ה֖ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ
Line Ea:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
0predicators,1constituent,and2units.
או ֔ ה ַ ה םו ֣ י ַ ב. Thefamiliarprophetictemporalmarkerhererefers
tosometimeattheendofIsrael’sdiaspora.
Line Eb: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and4units.
םי ֛ ִ ק ָ א. Hiphilyiqtol 1csofםוק.
תֶ ל֑ ֶ פֹ נ ַ ה די ֖ ִ ו ָ ד ת֥ ַ כ ֻ ס־ת ֶ א. A construct chain with a participle
(תֶ ל ֶ פֹ נ ַ ה:qalactiveparticiplefsofלפנ withdefinitearticle)serving
asanattributiveadjectivetoת ַ כ ֻ ס.Aה ָ כ ֻ ס iseitheralean-tomadeof
282 Amos9:11-12
9:11
9:12
Ea
Eb
Ec
Ed
Ee
Ef
Eg
Eh
Garrett Amos final.indd 282 6/6/08 2:26:14 PM
branchesoratent;itissomekindoftemporaryshelter.(Richardson
1973arguesthatthewordherereferstothetownSuccoth,butthis
isnotpersuasive.Similarly,interpretingtheדי ִ ו ָ ד ת ַ כ ֻ ס asashrineby
tying it to the discredited idea that דוד in the Tel Dan inscription
is a god [Davies 1994] should be rejected.) David’s “house” (תִ י ַ ב, a
“dynasty”in2Sam7:11)isherecalledaה ָ כ ֻ ס toindicatethewretched
stateintowhichtheDavidicdynastyandempirehadfallen.
Line Ec:Thecolon-markerisrevia andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and2units.
י ֣ ִ ת ְ ר ַ דָ ג ְ ו. Qalweqatal 1csofרדג (to“wallup”).Itisamainline
verbinapredictivetext.
ן ֗ ֶ הי ֵ צ ְ ר ִ פ־ת ֶ א. The direct object. The “breaches” function on
twolevelshere.Theyarethebreachesinthewallsoftheconquered
cityandsoreflectthedestructionofIsrael’sgreatcities,buttheyare
also breaches in the walls of a decrepit house, a metaphor for the
Davidicdynasty.
Line Ed:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,2constituents,and2units.
֙ וי ָ תֹס ֽ ִ ר ֲ הַ ו. Thedirectobject.ה ָ סי ִ ר ֲ ה ishapax legomenon inthe
HebrewBible,butitisderivativeofסרה,to“ruin”or“teardown,”so
itsmeaning,“ruins,”isnotindoubt.
םי ֔ ִ ק ָ א. Hiphilyiqtol 1csofםוק.Thislineandclausehasaו +
[X]+yiqtol patternandisnotmainline(whichwouldrequireaweqa-
tal).Instead,lineEdisboundtolineEcasaparallelclause.
Line Ee:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,2constituents,and3units.
ָ הי ֖ ִ תי ִ נ ְ בו. Qalweqatal 1csofהנב with3fssuffix.Theante-
cedent to the feminine suffix is די ִ ו ָ ד ת ַ כ ֻ ס (line Eb). This resumes
themainlineprediction.LinesEc-ddescribethemakingofessential
repairs;thislinedescribestheenlargementandaggrandizementofthe
houseofDavid.
Amos9:11-12 283
Garrett Amos final.indd 283 6/6/08 2:26:15 PM
םֽ ָ לוע י ֥ ֵ מי ִ כ. Prepositionalphrasewith ְ כ.Theconstructchain
createsanadjectivalgenitive,inwhich“asindaysofage”means“as
inancienttimes.”
Line Ef:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1 predicator, 3 constituents, and 5 units. לֹכ should be counted as
a unit only if it is in the absolute or is suffixed; thus this line con-
formstotheconstraintsandhasonlyfiveunits.TheLXXherereads
o¬o t|Çq¬qoooiv oi |o¬oioi¬oi ¬ov ovûpo¬ov |oi ¬ov¬o ¬o
tûvq,“sothattheremainingonesofthepeoplesandallthenations
mayseek.”Thisisanunintelligibletranslationbecauset |Çq¬q oooiv
has no direct object unless |oi ¬o v¬o ¬o t ûvq be treated as the
object,butthisisunlikelybecauseofthe|oi(andalsobecausethe
resultantsentence,“theremainingonesofthepeoplesmayseekalso
all the nations,” makes no sense). The citation of this line in Acts
15:17emendsthedifficultybyinserting¬ov |upiovasadirectobject.
TheGreekappearstohaveasitsVorlage ושׁרדי forושׁריי andםדא
(“humanity”)forםודא.TheLXXofAmos,however,isofpoorqual-
ity,andoneshouldnotemendthetextonthebasisoftheGreek.
ו ֜ שׁ ְ רי ֽ ִ י ן ַ ע ֨ ַ מְ ל. Qal yiqtol 3 m p of שׁרי (“possess”) with ן ַ ע ַ מְ ל,
indicatingpurpose.
םוד ֱ א תי ֤ ִ ר ֵ א ְ שׁ־ת ֶ א֙. Thedirectobject.Thenounתי ִ ר ֵ א ְ שׁ sug-
geststhatEdomwilldeclinetothepointthatithasonlyafractionof
itsformerglory.Ontheotherhand,תי ִ ר ֵ א ְ שׁ isusedforanelectrem-
nantsavedfromdestruction(e.g.,Mic2:12).Thereisatensionhere,
as throughout the Old Testament, between an eschatology in which
IsraelrulestheGentilesandoneinwhichGentilesarebroughtintothe
blessingsofthecovenant(e.g.,Ps87).InNewTestamenttheology,this
tensionisresolvedbythecomingofGentilesintothechurch(thereby
submittingthemselvestotheDavidicMessiah)andbytheeschatologi-
cal dominion of Christ in the new earth (thereby placing a Davidic
kingoverallthenationsofearth).ButwhyisEdomsingledoutatall,
since the next words tell us that Israel will possess “all the nations”?
ProbablyEdomishererepresentativeofallGentilehostilitytoIsrael.
284 Amos9:11-12
Garrett Amos final.indd 284 6/6/08 2:26:15 PM
ם֔ ִ יוג ַ ה־ל ָ כְ ו. Aseconddirectobject.Havingwanderedamongall
thenations,Israelwillpossessallthenations.Thissoundsimperialis-
ticinnature,butthefollowinglinegivesnewmeaningtotheIsraelite
“possession”oftheGentiles.
Line Eg: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.ThislinespeaksoftheGen-
tilesnotasconqueredpeoplesbutastheelectofGod.
ם֑ ֶ הי ֵ ל ֲ ע . . . ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א. Relativewitharesumptivepronounonthe
prepositionל ַ ע,“uponwhom.”
א ֥ ָ ר ְ קִ נ. Niphalqatal 3ms(orparticiplems)ofארק.
י ֖ ִ מ ְ שׁ. The subject of א ָ ר ְ קִ נ. The expression, “upon whom my
nameiscalled,”meansthattheGentilesaretreatedasGod’sownpos-
session(2Chr7:14,ם ֶ הי ֵ ל ֲ ע י ִ מ ְ שׁ־א ָ ר ְ קִ נ ר ֶ שׁ ֲ א י ִ מ ַ ע [“mypeopleupon
whomismynamecalled”]).
Line Eh:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1predi-
cator,3constituents,and4units.
ה֖ ָ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ. Adivinespeechformula.
ה ֶ ש ֥ ֹע. Theqalactiveparticiplemsofהשע.Itisprobablybestto
takethisasarelativeclausewithanimpliedר ֶ שׁ ֲ א.
תאֽ ֹז. Thedirectobject.Thefemininesingularpronounisherea
neutrum,representingallthatispredictedinthisstanza.
9:13-15: Sixth Stanza. Thisstanzahasthreestrophes.Oneshould
note that in this stanza, as in the previous, the lines are dominated
bytheweqatal thatdescribethegloriesoftherestoredkingdom.This
recallsthelongjudgmentstrophesinchapters1–2,inwhichlineswere
dominatedbytheweqatal (1:4-5,7-8,14-15;2:2-3).Thus,thesuffer-
ingsofIsrael’sjudgmentarerepaidintherestoration.Inresponseto
theearlierfaminemotif(8:11),theimageofagriculturalabundance
dominatesthisstanza.
9:13: First Strophe.Fivelinesdepictingagriculturalbounty.
Amos9:12-15 285
Garrett Amos final.indd 285 6/6/08 2:26:16 PM
הָ֔ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ ֙ םי ִ א ָ ב םי ֤ ִ מָ י ה ֨ ֵ נ ִ ה
ר ֔ ֵ צֹק ַ ב ֙ שׁ ֵ רוח שׁ֤ ַ ג ִ נ ְ ו
ע ַ ר֑ ֑ ָ ז ַ ה ך ֣ ֵ שֹׁ מ ְ ב םי ֖ ִ ב ָ נ ֲ ע ך ֥ ֵ רֹד ְ ו
סי ִ֔ ס ָ ע ֙ םי ִ ר ָ ה ֽ ֶ ה ופי ֤ ִ ט ִ ה ְ ו
׃הָ נ ְ ג֑ ֽ ַ גומ ְ ת ִ ת תו ֖ ע ָ ב ְ ג ַ ה־ל ָ כ ְ ו
Line F1a:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,4constituents,and5units.
ה֨ ֵ נ ִ ה. In Amos, הנה often introduces a statement of judgment
(4:2;6:11,14;7:1,4,7,8;8:1,11;9:8,9).Here,itintroducesamessageis
ofsalvation.
םי ֤ ִ מָ י. This masculine plural of םוי is the subject of the peri-
phrasticparticiplethatfollows.
֙ םי ִ א ָ ב. Qal active participle m p of אוב. The temporal clause
םי ִ א ָ ב םי ִ מָ י ishereaprotasis.
הָ֔ והְ י־ם ֻ אְ נ. Adivinespeechformula.
Line F1b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
שׁ֤ ַ ג ִ נ ְ ו. Niphalweqatal 3msofשׁגנ.Theweqatal istheapodosis
tolineF1a.AsinIsaiah29:13andJeremiah30:21,theverbmeansto
“approach”or“comecloseto.”
֙ שׁ ֵ רוח. Qalactiveparticiplemsofשׁרח (to“plow”)usedsub-
stantively.
ר ֔ ֵ צֹק ַ ב. Qalactiveparticiplemsof רצק(to“harvest,”usedsub-
stantively)withpreposition ְ ב anddefinitearticle.Inthistextalone
theniphalofשׁגנ seemstohave ְ ב withitsobject;itisusuallyused
absolutely or has ל ֶ א with its object. Isaiah 65:5 and Job 41:8 have
ְ ב with the qal of שׁגנ and so are not fully parallel. For further dis-
cussion, see comments on the next line. In the Israelite agricultural
year,plowingtookplaceinOctober-Novemberandthegrainharvest
286 Amos9:13
9:13 F1a
F1b
F1c
F1d
F1e
Garrett Amos final.indd 286 6/6/08 2:26:16 PM
occurredinApril-May,whichmeantthattherewasadormantperiod,
sofarasthegraincropswereconcerned,fromJuneuntilearlyOcto-
ber.Inthenewecosystem,plowingforthegraincropwillbeginagain
immediatelyaftertheharvest.
Line F1c: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 0
predicators,2constituents,and4units.Thereisgappingoftheverb
שַׁ ג ִ נ ְ ו fromthepreviousline.
םי ֖ ִ בָ נ ֲ ע ך ֥ ֵ רֹדְ ו. Qal active participle m s construct of ךרד (to
“tread,”usedsubstantively)withconjunction.
ע ַ ר֑ ֑ ָ ז ַ ה ך֣ ֵ שֹׁ מ ְ ב. Qalactiveparticiplemsconstructofךשׁמ (used
substantively) with preposition ְ ב. The word ךשׁמ (which normally
meansto“pull”or“drag”)heredescribesthesowerleavingatrailof
seedbehindhimself.Theparticipleisdefinitebyvirtueoftheabsolute
nounע ַ ר ָ ז ַ ה.Thus,inbothF1bandF1c,thefirstparticipleisindefi-
niteandthesecondparticiplehas ְ ב andisdefinite.Butwhyisך ֥ ֵ רֹדְ ו
םי ֖ ִ בָ נ ֲ ע (andשׁ ֵ רוח inthepreviousline)indefinite?Thepointmaybe
thattherearesomestartingtodothefirstactivitywhilethesecond
activityisstillinfullswing.Thismayalsohelpustounderstandthe
peculiar niphal of שׁגנ with ְ ב. The ְ ב here does not really mark a
directobject;theverbisusedabsolutely.Theproximityistemporal,
notspatial. ְ ב heremeans“with”andthemeaningisthatamanmight
begintoploworspreadseedwhiletheharvestersorgrape-treadersstill
haveplentyofworkaheadofthem.Thegrapeharvestandsubsequent
treadingofthegrapestookplaceinattheendoftheagriculturalyear
in August-September, with the sowing of new crops taking place in
November-December.Inthenewecosystem,thegapbetweentheend
ofoneagriculturalyearandthebeginningofthenextwillbeelimi-
nated,withtheresultthatcropswillbeenormous.
Line F1d:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ופי ֤ ִ ט ִ הְ ו. Hiphilweqatal 3cpofףטנ.Literallyto“causetoflow,”
thepointhereisthatthehillswillbesofertilethatthegrapesupon
themwillbenumerousandwillswelltothepointofbursting.There
Amos9:13 287
Garrett Amos final.indd 287 6/6/08 2:26:17 PM
appearstobelittledifferencebetweentheqalandhiphilforthisroot;
seeJoel4:18.
֙ םי ִ ר ָ ה ֽ ֶ ה. Thesubject,herereferringtothehillcountryofIsrael.
סי ִ֔ ס ָ ע. The direct object. The word refers to unfermented or
freshgrapejuice.
Line F1e:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,2constituents,and2units.Thisformsachiasticcoupletwith
thepreviousline.
תו ֖ ע ָ בְ ג ַ ה־ל ָ כְ ו. Thesubject;inparallelwithםי ִ ר ָ ה ֶ ה.
הָ נ ְ ג֑ ֽ ַ גומ ְ ת ִ ת. Hithpolelyiqtol 3fpofגומ.Theו +[X]+yiqtol
patternisoffline,implyingherethatthislinedoesnotmovethepre-
dictionforwardtoasubsequenteventbutisparalleltotheprevious
line. In Amos 9:5, the verb גומ described chaotic upheavals of the
landasadivinejudgment.Here,thehills“melt”inthataharvestof
plentyflowsdownfromthem.
9:14: Second Strophe.Fourlinesdepictingtherebuildingofcities
andfarms.
֒ל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֣ ִ מ ַ ע תו ֣ ב ְ שׁ־ת ֶ א ֮ י ִ ת ְ ב ַ שְׁ ו
וב ֔ ָ שָׁ י ְ ו ֙ תומ ַ שְׁ נ םי ֤ ִ ר ָ ע ו ֞ נ ָ בו
ם֑ ָ ני ֵ י־ת ֶ א ו ֖ ת ָ שְׁ ו םי ֔ ִ מ ָ ר ְ כ ו ֣ ע ְ טָ נ ְ ו
׃ם ֽ ֶ הי ִ ר ְ פ־ת ֶ א ו ֖ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו תו ֔ נ ַ ג ו ֣ ש ָ ע ְ ו
Line F2a: The colon-marker is segholta and the constraints are: 1
predicator,3constituents,and4units.
֮ י ִ ת ְ ב ַ שְׁ ו. Qalweqatal 1csofבושׁ.Theweqatal resumesamain-
linesequenceofpredictions.
י ֣ ִ מ ַ ע תו ֣ ב ְ שׁ־ת ֶ א. A construct chain direct object. The word
תוב ְ שׁ functionsasacognateaccusativetotheverb;itshouldberen-
dered,“Iwillbringaboutarestorationof...”andnot,“Iwillbring
backthecaptivityof...”(seePaul1991,294).
288 Amos9:13-14
9:14 F2a
F2b
F2c
F2d
Garrett Amos final.indd 288 6/6/08 2:26:17 PM
֒ל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י. Apropernameinappositiontoי ִ מ ַ ע.
Line F2b:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
2predicators,3constituents,and4units.
ו ֞ נ ָ בו. Qalweqatal 3cpofהנב.Thisisamainlineclauseandis
sequentialtothepreviousclause.
֙ תומ ַ שְׁ נ םי ֤ ִ ר ָ ע. Plural noun םי ִ ר ָ ע (from רי ִ ע) with adjectival
niphal participle f p of םמשׁ, “desolate.” It here serves as the direct
object.
וב ֔ ָ שָׁ י ְ ו. Qal weqatal 3 c p of בשׁי. As another weqatal, this is
anothermainlineprediction.Itcouldbeafinalclause,“sothatthey
may inhabit (them).” The weyiqtol would more clearly mark a final
clause.
Line F2c: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 2
predicators,4constituents,and4units.
ו ֣ ע ְ טָ נ ְ ו. Qalweqatal 3cpofעטנ.Thisisanothermainlinepre-
diction.
םי ֔ ִ מ ָ ר ְ כ. Thedirectobject.
ו ֖ ת ָ שְׁ ו. Qal weqatal 3 c p of התשׁ. As with וב ָ שָׁ י ְ ו in F2b, this
couldbeafinalclause.
ם֑ ָ ני ֵ י־ת ֶ א. Thedirectobject.
Line F2d:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:2pred-
icators,4constituents,and4units.
ו ֣ ש ָ עְ ו. Qalweqatal 3cpofהשע.
תו ֔ נ ַ ג. Thedirectobject.
ו ֖ ל ְ כ ָ אְ ו. Qalweqatal 3cpofלכא.Thisisanotherpossiblefinal
clause.
ם ֽ ֶ הי ִ ר ְ פ־ת ֶ א. Thedirectobject.
9:15: Third Strophe. Four lines, using an agricultural metaphor
depictingIsraelasaplantthatYHWHplacesinthegroundneverto
beuprootedagain.
Amos9:14 289
Garrett Amos final.indd 289 6/6/08 2:26:18 PM
290 Amos9:15
ם ֑ ָ ת ָ מ ְ ד ַ א־ל ַ ע םי ֖ ִ ת ְ ע ַ טְ נו
֙ ם ָ ת ָ מ ְ ד ַ א ל֤ ַ ע ֵ מ דו ֗ ע ו ֜ שׁ ְ תָ נ ִ י א ֨ ֹל ְ ו
ם ֔ ֶ ה ָ ל י ִ ת֣ ַ תָ נ ר ֣ ֶ שׁ ֲ א
׃ךי ֽ ֶ הל ֱ א ה֥ ָ והְ י ר ֖ ַ מ ָ א
Line F3a: The colon-marker is athnach and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and2units.
םי ֖ ִ ת ְ ע ַ טְ נו. Qal weqatal 1 c s of עטנ with 3 m p suffix. Agri-
cultural language dominates this text; Israel “plants” vineyards and
YHWH“plants”Israel.
ם ֑ ָ ת ָ מ ְ ד ַ א־ל ַ ע. Prepositionalphrasewithל ַ ע.Theuseofה ָ מ ָ ד ֲ א
(“arableground”)insteadofץ ֶ ר ֶ א (“land”) isprobablyafunctionof
theagriculturalimage.
Line F3b: The colon-marker is pashta and the constraints are: 1
predicator,2constituents,and3units.
דו ֗ ע ו ֜ שׁ ְ תָ נִ י א ֨ ֹל ְ ו. Negatedniphalyiqtol 3mpofשׁתנ withcon-
junctionandadverbדוע.Althoughtheverbisoftenusedtodescribe
theuprootingofpeoplesfromtheirhomelands(e.g.,Jer12:14-17),itis
fundamentallyanagriculturaltermthatdescribespullingaplantup
fromthesoil.Cf.Ezekiel19:12,“but(thevine)wasuprooted(שׁ ַ ת ֻ תַ ו)
inanger.”
֙ ם ָ ת ָ מ ְ ד ַ א ל֤ ַ ע ֵ מ. Prepositionalphrasewithן ִ מ andל ַ ע.Again,the
pictureisofaplantpulledoutofthesoil.
Line F3c:Thecolon-markeriszaqeph qaton andtheconstraintsare:
1predicator,3constituents,and3units.
ר ֣ ֶ שׁ ֲ א. Relativepronounservingasthedirectobjectofי ִ ת ַ תָ נ.The
antecedentisם ָ ת ָ מ ְ ד ַ א.
י ִ ת֣ ַ תָ נ. Qalqatal 1csofןתנ.Thisisprobablynota“prophetic
perfect”butatruepasttense.Itlooksbacktotheoriginalgivingof
thelandtoIsrael.
9:15 F3a
F3b
F3c
F3d
Garrett Amos final.indd 290 6/6/08 2:26:18 PM
Amos9:15 291
ם ֔ ֶ ה ָ ל. Indirectobject;preposition ְ ל with3mpsuffix.
Line F3d:Thecolon-markerissilluq andtheconstraintsare:1pred-
icator,2constituents,and3units.
ר ֖ ַ מ ָ א. Qalqatal 3msofרמא inthelastdivinespeechformula
ofthebook.
ךי ֽ ֶ הל ֱ א ה֥ ָ והְ י. Thesubject.Herealoneinthedivinespeechfor-
mulasYHWHiscalled“yourGod.”Thisindicatesthatintheresto-
ration,Israel’spriorrelationshiptoGodisresumed.
Garrett Amos final.indd 291 6/6/08 2:26:18 PM
Glossary
Adjectival genitive:Aconstructioninwhichthegenitive(absolute)
substantiveisinsomemanneradjectivallymodifyingthegoverning
(construct) substantive, as in Amos 6:4, ן ֵ שׁ תוט ִ מ, “beds of ivory,”
whereן ֵ שׁdescribesthematerialthatdecoratesתוט ִ מ.
Appositional genitive:Aconstructioninwhichthegenitive(abso-
lute) substantive is in apposition to the governing (construct) sub-
stantive,asinAmos6:1,תי ִ שׁא ֵ ר י ֵ ב ֻ קְ נ,“designatedasfinest,“where
תי ִ שׁא ֵ רisinappositiontoי ֵ ב ֻ קְ נ.
Constituent:Oneofthepoetic constraints.Itisawordorphrase
thatfillsonegrammaticalslot.Exampleswouldbeasubject,apredi-
cate, or a prepositional phrase. A construct chain functioning as a
subjectordirectobject,forexample,isasingleconstituent.
Dependence:Atropeinwhichalineisgrammaticallyincomplete
anddependsuponeitherthepreviousorfollowingline.Forexample,
in1:3,linesAaandAcbothdependonlineAb.
Gapping:Atropeinwhichawordinonelinealsogovernsormod-
ifiesanadjacentline.Forexample,theverbי ִ ת ַ ר ְ כ ִ הְ וinlineBdof1:5
alsogovernslineBe.Thisistraditionallydescribedasaworddoing
“double-duty.”
Hapax legomenon:AwordthatoccursonlyonetimeintheHebrew
Bibleandthusisdifficulttodefine.
Hendiadys:Expressingasingleideabymeansoftwowords.והֹ ת
והֹבָ ו,“emptyandvoid,”inGen1:2isanexample.
Mainline: In Hebrew discourse, mainline clauses make up the
basicstructureofthetext.Inhistoricalnarrative,forexample,clauses
predicated by the wayyiqtol generally form the mainline sequence,
givingtheessentialchainofeventsinastoryline.Inapredictivetext,
theweqatalgenerallygivesthemainlinesequence.Mainlineclauses
generally form a chain that is either logically or chronologically
sequential.Forexample,inAmos1:4-5,aseriesofweqatalverbssets
upasequenceofpredictions,thatGodwillsendfireonDamascus,
thatitwillconsumethecity,thatthefortificationswillbedestroyed,
292 Glossary
Garrett Amos final.indd 292 6/6/08 2:26:19 PM
andthethatthepeoplewillgointoexile.Mainlineclausesgenerally
donothaveprominence.
Neutrum:Apronounsuchas“this”or“it”usedtorefertoanasser-
tionorasituationratherthantoaconcreteitemoraspecificnoun.
Forexample,inAmos2:11תאֹז(“this”)referstothepriorassertion
thatGodhadsentprophetsandNaziritestoIsrael.
Objective genitive:Aconstructioninwhichthegenitive(absolute)
substantiveisthedirectobjectofthegoverning(construct)substan-
tive,asinAmos1:8,ט ֶ ב ֵ שׁ ך ֵ מותְ ו,“and(the)holderof(the)scepter.”
Offline: In Hebrew discourse, offline clauses in some way add
detailtoorqualifythemainlineclauses.Anofflineclausemaygive
backgroundinformation,oritmaydescribeanactthatisconceptu-
allyorchronologicallyconcurrentwiththepreviousmainlineclause,
or it may in some way have prominence. In historical narrative,
ְ ו + [X] + qatal clauses are often offline, and in predictive texts, ְ ו
+[X]+yiqtolclausesareoftenoffline.Negatedclausesandcopu-
larclausesarealmostalwaysoffline.Forexample,inAmos7:9,the
clauseומ ַ שָׁ נ ְ ו תומ ָ ב ק ָ ח ְ שִ י(“AndthehighplacesofIsaacwillbelaid
desolate”)ismainlineandtheclause וב ָ ר ֱ חֶ י ל ֵ א ָ ר ְ שִ י י ֵ שׁ ְ ד ְ ק ִ מו (“And
thesanctuariesofIsraelwillbelaidwaste”)isoffline.Inthiscase,
thetwoclausesareconceptuallysimultaneous.
Partitive: A grammatical function in which a subset is separated
fromalargergroup.Aconstructchainmayhaveapartitivefunction,
asinםִ יוג ַ ה תי ִ שׁא ֵ ר,“finestofthenations,”inAmos6:1.Thepreposi-
tionן ִ מsometimesispartitive,asinם ֶ כי ֵ רוח ַ ב ִ מו,“someofyouryoung
men,”inAmos2:11.
Poetic constraint: Following the research of Michael O’Connor,
this model asserts that a line of Hebrew poetry generally will have
from0to3predicators,from1to4constituents,andfrom2to5
units.Thatis,forexample,alineofHebrewpoetrywillnotcontain
only1unit,orhave5constituents.
Predicator: One of the poetic constraints. A predicator may be
afiniteverb,aninfinitiveabsolutethatfunctionsasafiniteverb,an
infinitive construct phrase functioning as a finite verb, a participle
Glossary 293
Garrett Amos final.indd 293 6/6/08 2:26:19 PM
functioningasaperiphrasticfiniteverb,andtheparticlesןי ֵ אandשֵׁ י,
oravocative.
Prominence:Aclause, phrase or wordthat is prominent insome
waystandsoutfromthetextaroundit.Theprominencemaybeacon-
trasttothecontext,orthesentencestructuremaydrawattentionto
somethingunexpectedordramatic,orsomeindividualitemorperson
maybegivengreaterattention.
Qatal:Theconjugationtraditionallycalled“perfect.”
Semantic matching:Atropeinwhichawordorphraseinoneline
issynonymousornearlysynonymouswithawordinanadjacentline.
Seelinebof1:2.
Semantic parallelism:Atropeinwhichonelinemore-or-lesshas
thesamemeaningasanadjacentline.Seelinesaandbin1:2.usually
the second line in some way advances or in some way modifies the
thoughtofthefirst.
Substantival:Whenaparticiplefunctionsasanounratherthanas
verb,itissubstantival.Forexample,ט ֵ פֹשׁ,“judge,”isasubstantival
useoftheverbטפשׁ.
Syntactic parallelism: A trope in which two adjacent lines have
thesamegrammaticalstructure,asinlinescanddin1:2.
Trope: In this commentary, this refers to devices used in con-
structingalineofHebrewpoetry.Commontropesincludegapping,
dependence,semantic matching,andsyntactic parallelism.
Unit: One of the poetic constraints. A unit is basically a word,
butsmallparticlessuchasי ִ כorם ִ אorprepositionssuchasל ֶ אdonot
countasunits.Inthiscommentary,אֹלisregardedasanon-unit,and
לֹכiscountedasaunitonlyifitisabsolute.
Volitive:Averbformusedtoexpressthedesireofthespeaker.Voli-
tivesincludecohortatives,jussives,andimperatives.
Wayyiqtol: The conjugation traditionally called “vav conversive”
or“vavconsecutive.”
Weqatal:Theconjugationtraditionallycalled“imperfect”witha
simpleconjunction,asinלֹט ְ קִ י ְ ו.
294 Glossary
Garrett Amos final.indd 294 6/6/08 2:26:20 PM
Weyiqtol: The conjugation traditionally called “perfect” with a
simpleconjunction,asinל ַ ט ָ קְ ו.
Yiqtol:Theconjugationtraditionallycalled“imperfect.”
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301
InDEx of moDErn AuTHors
Andersen,FrancisI.,174,184,
214,252,278
Barré,Michael,39
Barton,John,18,25,47
Ben-Hayyim,Z.,277
Bliss,F.J.,277
Boyle,MarjorieO’Rourke,3
Bronznick,Norman,60
Cathcart,KevinJ.,111,258
Cooper,Alan,198
Coote,Robert,39
Crenshaw,JamesL.,129,262
Cripps,RichardS.,174,214
Davies,PhilipR.,283
Dell,KatharineJ.,114
DiLella,AlexanderA.,277
Fishbane,Michael.,39
Freedman,DavidNoel,174,184,
214,252,278
Garrett,DuaneA.,174
Gelston,A.,178
Giles,Terry,223
Gitay,Yehoshua,78
Gordon,RobertP.,111
Hammershaimb,Erling,32,99,
112,213
Hasel,Gerhard,14,281
Hayes,JohnH.,71,111,113
Hoffman,Yair,271
Holladay,William,9,177
Hoop,Raymondde,8
Isbell,Charles,175
Kleven,Terence,112
Koch,Klaus,3
Kugel,JamesL.,11
Landy,Francis,214
Limburg,James,3,4,209
Maag,Victor,213
Maeir,ArenM,181
Markert,Ludwig,112
Mays,JamesLuther,148,174,
269
Garrett Amos final.indd 301 6/6/08 2:26:23 PM
Miller,CynthiaL.,4
Möller,Karl,2,78
Noble,PaulR.,3,204,231,280
Notley,R.Steven,181,273
O’Connell,RobertH.,3
O’Connor,MichaelP.,9,293
Paas,Stefan,206
Park,Aaron,2
Paul,Shalom,19,30,34,39,
40,57,58,60,72,83,90,92,
97,98,99,103,111,112,125,
128,142,148,151,174,175,
182,194,207,213,222,230,
252,256,277,278,279,288
Priest,John,36
Rainey,AnsonF.,181,273
Rhatjen,Bruce,229
Richardson,H.Neil,283
Rosenbaum,StanleyN.,14,223
Rottzoll,D.U.,2
Rudolph,Wilhelm,214
Skehan,PatrickW.,277
Smalley,WilliamA.,112
Smelik,Willem,196
Smith,GaryV.,155,174,278
Snyman,S.D.,92
Stager,LawrenceE.,195
Steinmann,AndrewE.,18
Stuart,DouglasK.,48,113,127,
183,184,185,207,214,269,
278
Waard,Jande,,112,131
Williams,A.J.,114
Wolff,HansWalter,2,114,123,
148,164,174,184,185,209,
226,256,277,278
Wolters,Al,230
Wood,JoyceRilett,2
Yadin,Yigael,277
Youngblood,Ronald,126
Zalcman,Lawrence,98,148,223
302 IndexofModernAuthors
Garrett Amos final.indd 302 6/6/08 2:26:23 PM
303
suBJECT InDEx
adjectivalgenitive,186,189,284
Amaziah,204–5,216–28
Ammon,17–21,40–49
Amos(book),Redactionand
Structure,2–7
Amos(person),1,14–15,218–28
appositionalgenitive,179
Ashdod,20,29–32,79,91–92,
100
Ashkelon,20,29–32
Assyria,28,30,32–33,48–49,
91,103,112–13,176,182
Bashan,104,107–8
Beersheba,139,141,236,255–56
Ben-Hadad,19,26–27
Calneh,180–81
Caphtor,273
Carmel,17,261,262
concatenation,19
Cush,272,274
Damascus,17–28,176,180,201
Dan,221,236,255,257,283
David(kingofIsrael),15,36,
134,233,237,283–84
dependence,23,25,30,34,37,
43,44,47,52,56,98,265
Edom,9,17–21,31,35,37–44,
47–48,237,284
Egypt,22,29,79,91–92,100,
105,123,162,203,237,241,
272
Ekron,29,31
Esarhaddon,25
gapping,57,65,68,91–93,110,
115–16,138,154,161,167,
172,186,198,200,
241–42,248–49,273,287
Gath,29,33,178–181
Gaza,17–20,29–32
Gilead,19,21,25,43
Gilgal,104,115,131,139,141
Gomorrah,124
Hamath,134–35,180–81,
203–4
Garrett Amos final.indd 303 6/6/08 2:26:23 PM
Hazael,25–27,123,180–81
hendiadys,107,121,220
hymn,126
Isaac,205,216,225,293
Israel,1,13,15,17–18,24–29,
34–36,55–295
Jacob,197,208,210
Jacob,“prideof,”192,243
Jeroboam,1,13,124,159,176,
182,189,201,203–5
Jerusalem,14,19,21,38,54,
140,178
Joseph,132,134,143,159,189
Judah,1,6,13–19,33,35,
38–40,51–54,65,95,141,
180,224,252
Karnaim,202
Kerioth,49–50
Kir,28,273
lamentation,127–37,159–63,
196,202,229,248
liturgy,196
Lo-Debar,201
Moab,14,17–19,47–51
Nile,233–36,245–46
objectivegenitive,32,76,127,
128,155,249
partitive,68,81,116,186,189,
259,280
Philistia,17,20,29–33,91,134,
237,271–75
Poetry,Hebrew,8–11
Rabbah,45
Samaria,18,59,78–79,84,
91–100,103–108,114,127,
141,160,177–85,190–93,
201,230,231,236,239,247,
249,250,255–56,279
semanticparallelism,259
Sikkuth,175–76
Sodom,124,209
syntacticparallelism,17
Tekoa,14
Teman,42
Tiglath-pileserI,25,30,32,
180–81
Tyre,17,19–20,33–37,95
Uzziah,32,180–181
volitive,80
Zion,16,54,178,182
304 SubjectIndex
Garrett Amos final.indd 304 6/6/08 2:26:25 PM

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