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Amos 9:2-4

Context

9:2 Even if they could dig down into the netherworld, 1 

my hand would pull them up from there.

Even if they could climb up to heaven,

I would drag them down from there.

9:3 Even if they were to hide on the top of Mount Carmel,

I would hunt them down and take them from there.

Even if they tried to hide from me 2  at the bottom of the sea,

from there 3  I would command the Sea Serpent 4  to bite them.

9:4 Even when their enemies drive them into captivity, 5 

from there 6  I will command the sword to kill them.

I will not let them out of my sight;

they will experience disaster, not prosperity.” 7 

1 tn Heb “into Sheol” (so ASV, NASB, NRSV), that is, the land of the dead localized in Hebrew thought in the earth’s core or the grave. Cf. KJV “hell”; NCV, NLT “the place of the dead”; NIV “the depths of the grave.”

2 tn Heb “from before my eyes.”

3 tn Or perhaps simply, “there,” if the מ (mem) prefixed to the adverb is dittographic (note the preceding word ends in mem).

4 sn If the article indicates a definite serpent, then the mythological Sea Serpent, symbolic of the world’s chaotic forces, is probably in view. See Job 26:13 and Isa 27:1 (where it is also called Leviathan). Elsewhere in the OT this serpent is depicted as opposing the Lord, but this text implies that even this powerful enemy of God is ultimately subject to his sovereign will.

5 tn Heb “Even if they go into captivity before their enemies.”

6 tn Or perhaps simply, “there,” if the מ (mem) prefixed to the adverb is dittographic (note the preceding word ends in mem).

7 tn Heb “I will set my eye on them for disaster, not good.”



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