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Amos 6:4-6

Context

6:4 They lie around on beds decorated with ivory, 1 

and sprawl out on their couches.

They eat lambs from the flock,

and calves from the middle of the pen.

6:5 They sing 2  to the tune of 3  stringed instruments; 4 

like David they invent 5  musical instruments.

6:6 They drink wine from sacrificial bowls, 6 

and pour the very best oils on themselves. 7 

Yet they are not concerned over 8  the ruin 9  of Joseph.

1 tn Heb “beds of ivory.”

2 tn The meaning of the Hebrew verb פָּרַט (parat), which occurs only here in the OT, is unclear. Some translate “strum,” “pluck,” or “improvise.”

3 tn Heb “upon the mouth of,” that is, “according to.”

4 sn The stringed instruments mentioned here are probably harps (cf. NIV, NRSV) or lutes (cf. NEB).

5 tn The meaning of the Hebrew phrase חָשְׁבוּ לָהֶם (khoshvu lahem) is uncertain. Various options include: (1) “they think their musical instruments are like David’s”; (2) “they consider themselves musicians like David”; (3) “they esteem musical instruments highly like David”; (4) “they improvise [new songs] for themselves [on] instruments like David”; (5) “they invent musical instruments like David.” However, the most commonly accepted interpretation is that given in the translation (see S. M. Paul, Amos [Hermeneia], 206-7).

6 sn Perhaps some religious rite is in view, or the size of the bowls is emphasized (i.e., bowls as large as sacrificial bowls).

7 tn Heb “with the best of oils they anoint [themselves].”

8 tn Or “not sickened by.”

9 sn The ruin of Joseph may refer to the societal disintegration in Israel, or to the effects of the impending judgment.



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