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Amos 2:13


2:13 Look! I will press you down,

like a cart loaded down with grain presses down. 1 

Amos 6:9-10


6:9 If ten men are left in one house, they too will die. 6:10 When their close relatives, the ones who will burn the corpses, 2  pick up their bodies to remove the bones from the house, they will say to anyone who is in the inner rooms of the house, “Is anyone else with you?” He will respond, “Be quiet! Don’t invoke the Lord’s name!” 3 

1 tn The precise meaning of this verse is unclear. Various suggested meanings have been proposed (see S. M. Paul, Amos [Hermeneia], 94): (1) One option is to relate the verb to an Arabic verb, meaning “to hinder; to hamper,” and translate, “I am making you immobile, like a cart filled with grain is immobile.” In this case, the Lord refers to Israel’s inability to escape his coming judgment (see vv. 14-16; NJPS). (2) Another view relates the verb to a different Arabic verb meaning “to cut in pieces,” translating “I will cut you in pieces as a cart cuts in pieces [the earth],” referring to the ruts and rifts in the ground caused by an earthquake. (3) Some relate the verb to an Arabic root meaning “to groan” with the idea that the Lord causes the ground underneath Israel to groan (cf. NLT). (4) The translation connects the verb to an Aramaism signifying to “press down” (cf. NIV, NRSV). Some English versions translate the verb in an intransitive sense as “I am weighted down” (cf. NASB, NKJV) or “I groan beneath you” (NEB). For this last option, see F. I. Andersen and D. N. Freedman, Amos (AB), 334.

2 tn The translation assumes that “their relatives” and “the ones who will burn the corpses” are in apposition. Another option is to take them as distinct individuals, in which case one could translate, “When their close relatives and the ones who will burn the corpses pick up…” The meaning of the form translated “the ones who burn the corpses” is uncertain. Another option is to translate, “the ones who prepare the corpses for burial” (NASB “undertaker”; cf. also CEV). See S. M. Paul, Amos (Hermeneia), 215-16.

3 tn This verse is notoriously difficult to interpret. The Hebrew text literally reads, “And he will lift him up, his uncle, and the one burning him, to bring out bones from the house. And he will say to the one who is in the inner parts of the house, ‘Is there [anyone] still with you?’ And he will say, ‘Be quiet for not to invoke the name of the Lord.’” The translation assumes that the singular pronominal and verbal forms throughout the verse are collective or distributive. This last sentence has been interpreted in several ways: a command not to call on the name of the Lord out of fear that he might return again in judgment; the realization that it is not appropriate to seek a blessing in the Lord’s name upon the dead in the house since the judgment was deserved; an angry refusal to call on the Lord out of a sense that he has betrayed his people in allowing them to suffer.

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