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Amos 7:7-8

Context

7:7 He showed me this: I saw 1  the sovereign One 2  standing by a tin 3  wall holding tin in his hand. 7:8 The Lord said to me, “What do you see, Amos?” I said, “Tin.” The sovereign One then said,

“Look, I am about to place tin among my people Israel.

I will no longer overlook their sin. 4 

1 tn Heb “behold” or “look.”

2 tn Or “the Lord.” The Hebrew term translated “sovereign One” here and in the following verse is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

3 tn The Hebrew word אֲנָךְ (’anakh, “tin”) occurs only in this passage (twice in this verse and twice in the following verse). (Its proposed meaning is based on an Akkadian cognate annaku.) The tin wall of the vision, if it symbolizes Israel, may suggest weakness and vulnerability to judgment. See S. M. Paul, Amos (Hermeneia), 233-35. The symbolic significance of God holding tin in his hand and then placing tin among the people is unclear. Possibly the term אֲנָךְ in v. 8b is a homonym meaning “grief” (this term is attested in postbiblical Hebrew). In this case there is a wordplay, the אֲנָךְ (“tin”) of the vision suggesting the אֲנָךְ (“grief”) that judgment will bring upon the land. See F. I. Andersen and D. N. Freedman, Amos (AB), 759. Another option is to maintain the meaning “tin” and understand that the Lord has ripped off a piece of the tin wall and placed it in front of all to see. Their citadels, of which the nation was so proud and confident, are nothing more than tin fortresses. The traditional interpretation of these verses (reflected in many English versions) understands the term אֲנָךְ to mean “lead,” and by extension, “plumb line.” In this case, one may translate: “I saw the sovereign one standing by a wall built true to plumb holding a plumb line in his hand. The Lord said to me, ‘What do you see, Amos?’ I said, ‘A plumb line.’ The sovereign one then said, ‘Look, I am about to place a plumb line among my people…’” According to this view, the plumb line symbolizes God’s moral standards by which he will measure Israel to see if they are a straight or crooked wall.

4 tn Heb “And I will no longer pass over him.”



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