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Amos 3:13-14


3:13 Listen and warn 1  the family 2  of Jacob! 3 

The sovereign Lord, the God who commands armies, 4  is speaking!

3:14 “Certainly when 5  I punish Israel for their 6  covenant transgressions, 7 

I will destroy 8  Bethel’s 9  altars.

The horns 10  of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground.

1 tn Or “testify against.”

2 tn Heb “house.”

3 tn These words are spoken to either the unidentified heralds addressed at the beginning of v. 9, or to the Egyptians and Philistines (see v. 9b). Another possibility is that one is not to look for a specific addressee but rather appreciate the command simply as a rhetorical device to grab the attention of the listeners and readers of the prophetic message.

4 tn Traditionally, “the God of hosts.”

5 tn Heb “in the day.”

6 tn Heb “his.” With the referent “Israel” here, this amounts to a collective singular.

7 tn Traditionally, “transgressions, sins,” but see the note on the word “crimes” in 1:3.

8 tn Heb “punish” (so NASB, NRSV).

9 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

10 sn The horns of an ancient altar projected upwards from the four corners and resembled an animal’s horns in appearance. Fugitives could seek asylum by grabbing hold of these corners (see Exod 21:14; 1 Kgs 1:50; 2:28). When the altar’s horns were cut off, there would be no place of asylum left for the Lord’s enemies.

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