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Amos 2:1

Context

2:1 This is what the Lord says:

“Because Moab has committed three crimes 1 

make that four! 2  – I will not revoke my decree of judgment. 3 

They burned the bones of Edom’s king into lime. 4 

Amos 2:4

Context

2:4 This is what the Lord says:

“Because Judah has committed three covenant transgressions 5 

make that four! 6  – I will not revoke my decree of judgment. 7 

They rejected the Lord’s law; 8 

they did not obey his commands.

Their false gods, 9 

to which their fathers were loyal, 10 

led them astray.

1 tn Traditionally, “transgressions” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV) or “sins” (NIV). For an explanation of the atrocities outlined in this oracle as treaty violations of God’s mandate to Noah in Gen 9:5-7, see the note on the word “violations” in 1:3.

2 tn Heb “Because of three violations of Moab, even because of four.”

sn On the three…four style that introduces each of the judgment oracles of chaps. 1-2 see the note on the word “four” in 1:3.

3 tn Heb “I will not bring it [or “him”] back.” The translation understands the pronominal object to refer to the decree of judgment that follows; the referent (the decree) has been specified in the translation for clarity. For another option see the note on the word “judgment” in 1:3.

4 sn The Moabites apparently desecrated the tomb of an Edomite king and burned his bones into a calcined substance which they then used as plaster (cf. Deut 27:2, 4). See S. M. Paul, Amos (Hermeneia), 72. Receiving a proper burial was very important in this culture. Desecrating a tomb or a deceased individual’s bones was considered an especially heinous act.

5 tn This is the same Hebrew term that is translated “crimes” in the previous oracles (see at 1:3). The change to “covenant transgressions” reflects the probability that the prophet is condemning the nation of Israel for violating stipulations of the Mosaic Law.

6 tn Heb “Because of three violations of Judah, even because of four.”

sn On the three…four style that introduces each of the judgment oracles of chaps. 1-2 see the note on the word “four” in 1:3.

7 tn Heb “I will not bring it [or “him”] back.” The translation understands the pronominal object to refer to the decree of judgment that follows; the referent (the decree) has been specified in the translation for clarity. For another option see the note on the word “judgment” in 1:3.

8 tn Or “instruction”; NCV “teachings.”

9 tn Heb “lies.” This may very well be a derogatory term for idols (perhaps also at Ps. 40:4 [Heb 40:5]). Elsewhere false gods are called “vanities” (Deut 32:21; 1 Kgs 16:13, 26) and a delusion (Isa 66:3). In no other prophetic passages, however, are they called “lies.” The term could refer to the deceptions of false prophets (note Ezek 13:6-9; cf. Hab 2:3). See F. I. Andersen and D. N. Freedman, Amos (AB), 301-6.

10 tn Heb “after which their fathers walked.” The expression “to walk after” is an idiom meaning “to be loyal to.” See S. M. Paul, Amos (Hermeneia), 75-76.

sn Here the idolatry of the parents carried over to the children, who persisted in worshiping the idols to which their fathers were loyal.



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