The sovereign Lord, the God who commands armies, 4 is speaking!
4:13 For here he is!
He 5 formed the mountains and created the wind.
He turns the dawn into darkness 8
and marches on the heights of the earth.
The Lord, the God who commands armies, 9 is his name!”
5:8 (But there is one who made the constellations Pleiades and Orion;
he can turn the darkness into morning
and daylight 10 into night.
He summons the water of the seas
and pours it out on the earth’s surface.
The Lord is his name!
5:14 Seek good and not evil so you can live!
Then the Lord, the God who commands armies, just might be with you,
as you claim he is.
5:15 Hate what is wrong, love what is right!
“In all the squares there will be wailing,
in all the streets they will mourn the dead. 18
They will tell the field workers 19 to lament
and the professional mourners 20 to wail.
5:27 and I will drive you into exile beyond Damascus,” says the Lord.
He is called the God who commands armies!
He touches the earth and it dissolves; 22
all who live on it mourn.
He summons the water of the sea
and pours it out on the earth’s surface.
The Lord is his name.
9:15 I will plant them on their land
and they will never again be uprooted from the 30 land I have given them,”
says the Lord your God.
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 “For look, the one who.” This verse is considered to be the first hymnic passage in the book. The others appear at 5:8-9 and 9:5-6. Scholars debate whether these verses were originally part of a single hymn or three distinct pieces deliberately placed in each context for particular effect.
6 tn Or “declares” (NAB, NASB).
7 tn Or “his thoughts.” The translation assumes that the pronominal suffix refers to God and that divine self-revelation is in view (see 3:7). If the suffix refers to the following term אָדַם (’adam, “men”), then the expression refers to God’s ability to read men’s minds.
8 tn Heb “he who makes dawn, darkness.” The meaning of the statement is unclear. The present translation assumes that allusion is made to God’s approaching judgment, when the light of day will be turned to darkness (see 5:20). Other options include: (1) “He makes the dawn [and] the darkness.” A few Hebrew
9 tn Traditionally, “God of hosts.”
10 tn Heb “darkens the day into night.”
11 tn Heb “set up, establish.” In the ancient Near East it was the responsibility especially of the king to establish justice. Here the prophet extends that demand to local leaders and to the nation as a whole (cf. 5:24).
13 tn Or “will show favor to.”
14 tn Or “the remnant of” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV); CEV “what’s left of your people.”
15 sn Joseph (= Ephraim and Manasseh), as the most prominent of the Israelite tribes, represents the entire northern kingdom.
16 tn Heb “Therefore.” This logical connector relates back to the accusation of vv. 10-13, not to the parenthetical call to repentance in vv. 14-15. To indicate this clearly, the phrase “Because of Israel’s sins” is used in the translation.
17 tn Or “the Lord.” The Hebrew term translated “sovereign One” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).
18 tn Heb “they will say, ‘Ah! Ah!’” The Hebrew term הוֹ (ho, “ah, woe”) is an alternate form of הוֹי (hoy), a word used to mourn the dead and express outwardly one’s sorrow. See 1 Kgs 13:30; Jer 22:18; 34:5. This wordplay follows quickly, as v. 18 begins with הוֹי (“woe”).
19 tn Or “farmers” (NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT).
20 tn Heb “those who know lamentation.”
21 tn The words “will do this” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
23 tn Heb “all of it.”
24 tn Heb “the Nile.” The word “River” is supplied in the translation for clarity.
25 tn Or “sinks back down.”
27 tc The MT reads “his steps.” If this is correct, then the reference may be to the steps leading up to the heavenly temple or the throne of God (cf. 1 Kgs 10:19-20). The prefixed מ (mem) may be dittographic (note the preceding word ends in mem). The translation assumes an emendation to עֲלִיָּתוֹ (’aliyyato, “his upper rooms”).
28 tn Traditionally, “vault” (so ASV, NAB, NRSV). The precise meaning of this word in this context is unclear. Elsewhere it refers to objects grouped or held together. F. I. Andersen and D. N. Freedman (Amos [AB], 845-46) suggest the foundational structure of a building is in view.
30 tn Heb “their.” The pronoun was replaced by the English definite article in the translation for stylistic reasons.