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Amos 8:7-8

Context

8:7 The Lord confirms this oath 1  by the arrogance of Jacob: 2 

“I swear 3  I will never forget all you have done! 4 

8:8 Because of this the earth 5  will quake, 6 

and all who live in it will mourn.

The whole earth 7  will rise like the River Nile, 8 

it will surge upward 9  and then grow calm, 10  like the Nile in Egypt. 11 

1 tn Or “swears.”

2 sn In an oath one appeals to something permanent to emphasize one’s commitment to the promise. Here the Lord sarcastically swears by the arrogance of Jacob, which he earlier had condemned (6:8), something just as enduring as the Lord’s own life (see 6:8) or unchanging character (see 4:2). Other suggestions include that the Lord is swearing by the land, his most valuable possession (cf. Isa 4:2; Ps 47:4 [47:5 HT]); that this is a divine epithet analogous to “the Glory of Israel” (1 Sam 15:29); or that an ellipsis should be understood here, in which case the meaning is the same as that of 6:8 (“The Lord has sworn [by himself] against the arrogance of Jacob”).

3 tn The words “I swear” are not in the Hebrew text, but have been supplied in the translation because a self-imprecation is assumed in oaths of this type.

4 tn Or “I will never forget all your deeds.”

5 tn Or “land” (also later in this verse).

6 tn It is not clear whether the speaker in this verse is the Lord or the prophet.

7 tn Heb “all of it.”

8 tc The MT reads “like the light” (כָאֹר, khaor; note this term also appears in v. 9), which is commonly understood to be an error for “like the Nile” (כִּיאוֹר, kior). See the parallel line and Amos 9:5. The word “River” is supplied in the translation for clarity. If this emendation is correct, in the Hebrew of Amos “Nile” is actually spelled three slightly different ways.

sn The movement of the quaking earth is here compared to the annual flooding and receding of the River Nile.

9 tn Or “churn.”

10 tn Or “sink back down.” The translation assumes the verb שָׁקַע (shaqa’), following the Qere.

11 tn The entire verse is phrased in a series of rhetorical questions which anticipate the answer, “Of course!” (For example, the first line reads, “Because of this will the earth not quake?”). The rhetorical questions entrap the listener in the logic of the judgment of God (cf. 3:3-6; 9:7). The rhetorical questions have been converted to affirmative statements in the translation for clarity.



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