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Amos 1:5


1:5 I will break the bar 1  on the gate of Damascus.

I will remove 2  the ruler 3  from Wicked Valley, 4 

the one who holds the royal scepter from Beth Eden. 5 

The people of Aram will be deported to Kir.” 6 

The Lord has spoken!

1 sn The bar on the city gate symbolizes the city’s defenses and security.

2 tn Heb “cut off.”

3 tn Heb “the one who sits.” Some English versions take the Hebrew term in a collective sense as “inhabitants” (e.g., KJV, NKJV, NASB, NRSV). The context and the parallel in the next clause (“the one who holds the royal scepter”), however, suggest that the royal house is in view. For this term (יוֹשֵׁב, yoshev), see N. K. Gottwald, The Tribes of Yahweh, 512-30.

4 tn Heb “valley of wickedness.” Though many English versions take the Hebrew phrase בִקְעַת־אָוֶן (biq-ataven) as a literal geographical place name (“Valley of Aven,” so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT), it appears to be a derogatory epithet for Damascus and the kingdom of Aram.

5 tn Many associate the name “Beth Eden” with Bit Adini, an Aramean state located near the Euphrates River, but it may be a sarcastic epithet meaning “house of pleasure.”

6 sn According to Amos 9:7, the Arameans originally came from Kir. The Lord threatens to reverse their history and send them back there.

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