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Amos 7:1-6

Symbolic Visions of Judgment

7:1 The sovereign Lord showed me this: I saw 1  him making locusts just as the crops planted late 2  were beginning to sprout. (The crops planted late sprout after the royal harvest. 3 ) 7:2 When they had completely consumed the earth’s vegetation, I said,

“Sovereign Lord, forgive Israel! 4 

How can Jacob survive? 5 

He is too weak!” 6 

7:3 The Lord decided not to do this. 7  “It will not happen,” the Lord said.

7:4 The sovereign Lord showed me this: I saw 8  the sovereign Lord summoning a shower of fire. 9  It consumed the great deep and devoured the fields.

7:5 I said, “Sovereign Lord, stop!

How can Jacob survive? 10 

He is too weak!” 11 

7:6 The Lord decided not to do this. 12  The sovereign Lord said, “This will not happen either.”

1 tn Heb “behold” or “look.”

2 sn The crops planted late (consisting of vegetables) were planted in late January-early March and sprouted in conjunction with the spring rains of March-April. For a discussion of the ancient Israelite agricultural calendar, see O. Borowski, Agriculture in Iron Age Israel, 31-44.

3 tn Or “the mowings of the king.”

sn This royal harvest may refer to an initial mowing of crops collected as taxes by the royal authorities.

4 tn “Israel” is supplied in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Heb “stand” (so ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV).

6 tn Heb “small.”

7 tn Or “changed his mind about this.”

8 tn Heb “behold” or “look.”

9 tc The Hebrew appears to read, “summoning to contend with fire,” or “summoning fire to contend,” but both are problematic syntactically (H. W. Wolff, Joel and Amos [Hermeneia], 292; S. M. Paul, Amos [Hermeneia], 230-31). Many emend the text to לרבב אשׁ, “(calling) for a shower of fire,” though this interpretation is also problematic (see F. I. Andersen and D. N. Freedman, Amos [AB], 746-47).

10 tn Heb “stand.”

11 tn Heb “small.”

12 tn Or “changed his mind about this.”

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