3 sn There is a wordplay involving “sound…in Tekoa” mentioned in the study note on “destruction” in v. 1. The Hebrew verb “they will pitch” is from the same root as the word translated “sound” (taqÿ’u [תִּקְעוּ] here and tiq’u [תִּקְעוּ] in v. 1).
2 sn The wordplay begun with “sound…in Tekoa” in v. 1 and continued with “they will pitch” in v. 3 is concluded here with “turn away” (וּבִתְקוֹעַ תִּקְעוּ [uvitqoa’ tiq’u] in v. 1, תָּקְעוּ [taq’u] in v. 3 and תֵּקַע [teqa’] here).
5 sn It is possible that herdsmen agreed to care for sycamore fig trees in exchange for grazing rights. See P. King, Amos, Hosea, Micah, 116-17. Since these trees do not grow around Tekoa but rather in the lowlands, another option is that Amos owned other property outside his hometown. In this case, this verse demonstrates his relative wealth and is his response to Amaziah; he did not depend on prophecy as a profession (v. 13).
1 tn Heb “And after the death of Hezron in Caleb Ephrathah, and the wife of Hezron, Abijah, and she bore to him Ashhur the father of Tekoa.” Perhaps one could translate: “After Hezron died in Caleb Ephrathah, Abijah, Hezron’s wife, bore to him Ashhur, the father of Tekoa” (cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV). In this case the text suggests that Abijah was born after his father’s death. Because of the awkward syntax and the odd appearance of “Caleb Ephrathah” as a place name, some prefer to emend the text. Some alter בְּכָלֵב אֶפְרָתָה (bÿkhalev ’efratah, “in Caleb Ephrathah”) to בָּא כָלֵב אֶפְרָתָה (bo’ khalev ’efratah, “Caleb had sexual relations with Ephrath”) and then change אֲבִיָּה (’aviyyah, “Abijah”) to אָבִיהוּ (’avihu, “his father”). This results in the following translation: “And after Hezron’s death, Caleb had sexual relations with Ephrath, his father Hezron’s wife, and she bore to him Ashhur the father of Tekoa” (cf. NAB). This would mean that Caleb’s second wife Ephrath had actually been his late father’s wife (probably Caleb’s stepmother). Perhaps the text was subsequently altered because Caleb’s actions appeared improper in light of the injunctions in Lev 18:8; 20:11; Deut 22:30; 27:20 (which probably refer, however, to a son having sexual relations with his stepmother while his father is still alive).
4 sn This passage is emotionally charged. There are two examples of assonance or wordplay in the verse: “sound” (Heb tiq’u, “blow”), which has the same consonants as “Tekoa” (Heb uvitqoa’), and “signal fire,” which comes from the same root as “light” (Heb sÿ’u mas’et, “lift up”). There is also an example of personification where disaster is said to “lurk” (Heb “look down on”) out of the north. This gives a sense of urgency and concern for the coming destruction.
3 sn The kings of Israel and Judah were responsible for justice. See Pss 122:5. The king himself was the final court of appeals judging from the incident of David with the wise woman of Tekoa (2 Sam 14), Solomon and the two prostitutes (1 Kgs 3:16-28), and Absalom’s attempts to win the hearts of the people of Israel by interfering with due process (2 Sam 15:2-4). How the system was designed to operate may be seen from 2 Chr 19:4-11.
6 sn This refers to a well-known earthquake that occurred during the first half of the 8th century