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Amos 5:3-4

Context

5:3 The sovereign Lord says this:

“The city that marches out with a thousand soldiers 1  will have only a hundred left;

the town 2  that marches out with a hundred soldiers 3  will have only ten left for the family of Israel.” 4 

5:4 The Lord says this to the family 5  of Israel:

“Seek me 6  so you can live!

1 tn The word “soldiers” is supplied in the translation for clarification.

2 tn Heb “The one.” The word “town” has been used in the translation in keeping with the relative sizes of the armed contingents sent out by each. It is also possible that this line is speaking of the same city of the previous line. In other words, the contingent sent by that one city would have suffered a ninety-nine percent casualty loss.

3 tn The word “soldiers” is supplied in the translation for clarification.

4 tn Heb “for/to the house of Israel.” The translation assumes that this is a graphic picture of what is left over for the defense of the nation (NEB, NJB, NASB, NKJV). Others suggest that this phrase completes the introductory formula (“The sovereign Lord says this…”; see v. 4a; NJPS). Another option is that the preposition has a vocative force, “O house of Israel” (F. I. Andersen and D. N. Freedman, Amos [AB], 476). Some simply delete the phrase as dittography from the following line (NIV).

5 tn Heb “house.”

6 sn The following verses explain what it meant to seek the Lord. Israel was to abandon the mere formalism and distorted view of God and reality that characterized religious activity at the worship sites, as well as the social injustice that permeated Israelite society. Instead the people were to repent and promote justice in the land. This call to seek the Lord echoes the challenge in 4:13 to prepare to meet him as he truly is.



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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