Amos 1:2

God Will Judge the Surrounding Nations

1:2 Amos said:

“The Lord comes roaring out of Zion;

from Jerusalem he comes bellowing!

The shepherds’ pastures wilt;

the summit of Carmel withers.”

tn Heb “he;” the referent (Amos) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

sn The Lord, in his role of warrior-king, is compared to a lion. See 3:4, 8.

map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4.

tn Heb “gives his voice.”

tn Lexicographers debate whether there are two roots אָבַל (’aval), one signifying “mourn” and the other “be dry,” or simply one (“mourn”). The parallel verb (“withers”) might favor the first option and have the meaning “wilt away.” It is interesting to note, however, that the root appears later in the book in the context of lament (5:16; 8:8, 10; 9:5). Either 1:2 is a possible wordplay to alert the reader to the death that will accompany the judgment (the option of two roots), or perhaps the translation “mourns” is appropriate here as well (cf. KJV, NASB, NKJV, NJPS; see also D. J. A. Clines, “Was There an ’BL II ‘Be Dry’ in Classical Hebrew?” VT 42 [1992]: 1-10).

sn Carmel was a region known for its abundant plants and trees. See Isa 33:9; 35:2; Jer 50:19.

sn Loss of a land’s fertility is frequently associated with judgment in the OT and ancient Near Eastern literature.