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Amos 2:1-2


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 

2:2 So I will set Moab on fire, 5 

and it will consume Kerioth’s 6  fortresses.

Moab will perish 7  in the heat of battle 8 

amid war cries and the blaring 9  of the ram’s horn. 10 

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 sn The destruction of Moab by fire is an example of a judgment in kind – as the Moabites committed the crime of “burning,” so the Lord will punish them by setting them on fire.

6 sn Kerioth was an important Moabite city. See Jer 48:24, 41.

7 tn Or “die” (KJV, NASB, NRSV, TEV); NAB “shall meet death.”

8 tn Or “in the tumult.” This word refers to the harsh confusion of sounds that characterized an ancient battle – a mixture of war cries, shouts, shrieks of pain, clashes of weapons, etc.

9 tn Heb “sound” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV).

10 sn The ram’s horn (used as a trumpet) was blown to signal the approaching battle.

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