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Amos 5:7


5:7 The Israelites 1  turn justice into bitterness; 2 

they throw what is fair and right 3  to the ground. 4 

Amos 5:12


5:12 Certainly 5  I am aware of 6  your many rebellious acts 7 

and your numerous sins.

You 8  torment the innocent, you take bribes,

and you deny justice to 9  the needy at the city gate. 10 

1 tn Heb “Those who”; the referent (the Israelites) has been specified in the translation for clarity. In light of vv. 11-13, it is also possible that the words are directed at a more limited group within the nation – those with social and economic power.

2 tn There is an interesting wordplay here with the verb הָפַךְ (hafakh, “overturn, turn”). Israel “turns” justice into wormwood (cf. 6:12), while the Lord “turns” darkness into morning (v. 8; cf. 4:11; 8:10). Israel’s turning is for evil, whereas the Lord’s is to demonstrate his absolute power and sovereignty.

3 tn Heb “they throw righteousness.”

4 sn In v. 7 the prophet begins to describe the guilty Israelites, but then interrupts his word picture with a parenthetical, but powerful, description of the judge they must face (vv. 8-9). He resumes his description of the sinners in v. 10.

5 tn Or “for.”

6 tn Or “I know” (so most English versions).

7 tn Or “transgressions,” “sins.” See the note on the word “crimes” in 1:3 and on the phrase “covenant violations” in 2:4.

8 tn Heb “Those who.”

9 tn Heb “turn aside.” They “turn aside” the needy by denying them the justice they deserve at the city gate (where legal decisions were made, and therefore where justice should be done).

10 sn Legal disputes were resolved in the city gate, where the town elders met.

TIP #07: Use the Discovery Box to further explore word(s) and verse(s). [ALL]
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