I get no pleasure 2 from your religious assemblies!
I will not look with favor on your peace offerings of fattened calves. 4
I don’t want to hear the music of your stringed instruments. 6
5:24 Justice must flow like torrents of water,
righteous actions 7 like a stream that never dries up.
1 tn Heb “I hate”; “I despise.”
2 tn Heb “I will not smell.” These verses are full of vivid descriptions of the Lord’s total rejection of Israelite worship. In the first half of this verse two verbs are used together for emphasis. Here the verb alludes to the sense of smell, a fitting observation since offerings would have been burned on the altar ideally to provide a sweet aroma to God (see, e.g., Lev 1:9, 13, 17; Num 29:36). Other senses that are mentioned include sight and hearing in vv. 22-23.
3 tn Heb “burnt offerings and your grain offerings.”
4 tn Heb “Peace offering[s], your fattened calves, I will not look at.”
5 tn In this verse the second person suffixes are singular and not plural like they are in vv. 21-22 and vv. 25-27. Some have suggested that perhaps a specific individual or group within the nation is in view.
6 tn The Hebrew word probably refers to “harps” (NASB, NIV, NRSV) or “lutes” (NEB).
7 tn Traditionally, “righteousness.”
8 tn Heb “Did you bring me…?” This rhetorical question expects a negative answer. The point seems to be this: Since sacrifices did not characterize God’s relationship with Israel during the nation’s formative years, the people should not consider them to be so fundamental. The
sn Like Jer 7:22-23, this passage seems to contradict the Pentateuchal accounts that indicate Israel did offer sacrifices during the wilderness period. It is likely that both Amos and Jeremiah overstate the case to emphasize the relative insignificance of sacrifices in comparison to weightier matters of the covenant. See R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 428.
9 tn Heb “house.”