Amos 5

 

שִׁמְעוּ אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי נֹשֵׂא עֲלֵיכֶם קִינָה בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל׃   5:1

Amos 5:1   Hear this word, a lamentation that I am taking up over you, house of Israel.

Something rather interesting to me happens in parts of this chapter.  It begins in this verse and has to do with the Hebrew phrase translated as you, house of Israel.  The word for house is, naturally, singular.  But the pronoun for you is plural.  We have seen this before, and I have remarked that with this phrasing the speaker (or writer) is addressing each member of the house of Israel, not the house itself.  In other words, the passage conveys a sense of a personal sorrow over each one who is to be affected by what is to happen.  In this case, I believe the words are coming from Amos.  However, see v. 5:4 below.

נָפְלָה לֹא־תוֹסִיף קוּם בְּתוּלַת יִשְׂרָאֵל נִטְּשָׁה עַל־אַדְמָתָהּ אֵין מְקִימָהּ׃   5:2

Amos 5:2   The virgin of Israel falls,

                             not rising again;

                     she is forsaken upon her soil;

                             there is no one who can raise her up.

כִּי כֹה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הָעִיר הַיֹּצֵאת אֶלֶף תַּשְׁאִיר מֵאָה וְהַיּוֹצֵאת מֵאָה תַּשְׁאִיר עֲשָׂרָה לְבֵית   5:3 יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

Amos 5:3   For thus says the Master, the Lord:  “Any city of which a thousand is going forth, shall have a hundred left, and of which a hundred is going forth shall have ten left, belonging to the house of Israel.”

כִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה לְבֵית יִשְׂרָאֵל דִּרְשׁוּנִי וִחְיוּ׃   5:4

Amos 5:4   Except that thus says the Lord

                              to the house of Israel:

                     “Seek Me and live!”

At the end of this verse, it is the Lord speaking, and He uses the same approach to His communication.  Amos first mentions the house of Israel (singular), but in the words dictated by the Lord, we see plural forms for the words Seek and live.  I believe this tends to reinforce my belief that the Lord is concerned with each of us individually.  He is a personal God to His people, Israel, and Amos knew it.  The plural verbs and pronouns continue into the next two verses as well.  After a short hiatus during which there is no mention of such verbs and pronouns, they resume again in v. 5:11 and continue for almost all of the rest of the chapter (one singular verb and pronoun appear in v. 5:23).

וְאַל־תִּדְרְשׁוּ בֵּית־אֵל וְהַגִּלְגָּל לֹא תָבֹאוּ וּבְאֵר שֶׁבַע לֹא תַעֲבֹרוּ כִּי הַגִּלְגָּל גָּלֹה יִגְלֶה וּבֵית־אֵל   5:5       יִהְיֶה לְאָוֶן׃

Amos 5:5   But do not seek Beth-el,

                              and you cannot go to Gilgal;

                      you will also not pass through Beer-sheba.

                              For the whole of Gilgal shall surely depart into exile,

                      and Beth-el shall become for a sorrow.

דִּרְשׁוּ אֶת־יְהוָה וִחְיוּ פֶּן־יִצְלַח כָּאֵשׁ בֵּית יוֹסֵף וְאָכְלָה וְאֵין־מְכַבֶּה לְבֵית־אֵל׃   5:6

Amos 5:6   Seek the Lord and live,

                              or He will rush and consume the house of Joseph like a fire,

                     with no one to extinguish it for Beth-el,

הַהֹפְכִים לְלַעֲנָה מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה לָאָרֶץ הִנִּיחוּ׃   5:7

Amos 5:7   those who turn justice to wormwood,

                              and lower righteousness to the ground.

עֹשֵׂה כִימָה וּכְסִיל וְהֹפֵךְ לַבֹּקֶר צַלְמָוֶת וְיוֹם לַיְלָה הֶחְשִׁיךְ הַקּוֹרֵא לְמֵי־הַיָּם וַיִּשְׁפְּכֵם עַל־פְּנֵי   5:8               הָאָרֶץ יְהוָה שְׁמוֹ׃

Amos 5:8   The Maker of the Pleiades and Orion,

                              and the Transformer of deep shadow

                      to morning,

                              and Who darkens day to night,

                      Who calls for the water of the sea

                              and pours it out on the surface of the earth

                       -- the Lord is His name–

הַמַּבְלִיג שֹׁד עַל־עָז וְשֹׁד עַל־מִבְצָר יָבוֹא׃   5:9

Amos 5:9   Who is making destruction burst on to the mighty,

                               and can bring violence upon any fortress.

שָׂנְאוּ בַשַּׁעַר מוֹכִיחַ וְדֹבֵר תָּמִים יְתָעֵבוּ׃   5:10

Amos 5:10   They hate the rebuker at the gate,

                               and must abhor the speaker of integrity.

לָכֵן יַעַן בּוֹשַׁסְכֶם עַל־דָּל וּמַשְׂאַת־בַּר תִּקְחוּ מִמֶּנּוּ בָּתֵּי גָזִית בְּנִיתֶם וְלֹא־תֵשְׁבוּ בָם כַּרְמֵי־חֶמֶד   5:11     נְטַעְתֶּם וְלֹא תִשְׁתּוּ אֶת־יֵינָם׃

Amos 5:11   Therefore, because of your trampling

                                upon any weak one from whom you would seize tribute of grain,

                        you have built houses of cut stones,

                                but you will not dwell in them;

                        you have planted vineyards of delight,

                                yet you will not drink their wine.

כִּי יָדַעְתִּי רַבִּים פִּשְׁעֵיכֶם וַעֲצֻמִים חַטֹּאתֵיכֶם צֹרְרֵי צַדִּיק לֹקְחֵי כֹפֶר וְאֶבְיוֹנִים בַּשַּׁעַר הִטּוּ׃   5:12

Amos 5:12   For I know the abundance of your transgressions

                                and the extent of your sins,

                       distressors of any righteous one,

                                snatchers of ransom,

                       who thrust aside the needy at the gate.

לָכֵן הַמַּשְׂכִּיל בָּעֵת הַהִיא יִדֹּם כִּי עֵת רָעָה הִיא׃   5:13

Amos 5:13   Therefore one who understands

                                should be silent at this time,

                        for it is a time of misery.

דִּרְשׁוּ־טוֹב וְאַל־רָע לְמַעַן תִּחְיוּ וִיהִי־כֵן יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי־צְבָאוֹת אִתְּכֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר אֲמַרְתֶּם׃   5:14

Amos 5:14   Seek good and not evil,

                                so that you may live

                        and thus the Lord, God of hosts, will be with you,

                                as you had thought.

שִׂנְאוּ־רָע וְאֶהֱבוּ טוֹב וְהַצִּיגוּ בַשַּׁעַר מִשְׁפָּט אוּלַי יֶחֱנַן יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי־צְבָאוֹת שְׁאֵרִית יוֹסֵף׃   5:15

Amos 5:15   Hate evil and love good,

                                and exhibit justice at the gate!

                       Maybe the Lord, God of hosts,

                               will pity the remnant of Joseph.

לָכֵן כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי צְבָאוֹת אֲדֹנָי בְּכָל־רְחֹבוֹת מִסְפֵּד וּבְכָל־חוּצוֹת יֹאמְרוּ הוֹ־הוֹ וְקָרְאוּ   5:16

 אִכָּר אֶל־אֵבֶל וּמִסְפֵּד אֶל־יֹודְעֵי נֶהִי׃

Amos 5:16   Therefore, thus says the Lord, God of hosts, the Master:

                        “Wailing shall be in all the plazas,

                                and in all the streets they shall utter, ‘Alas, alas!’

                        and they shall call the husbandman

                                 to mourning and wailing,

                         to the practitioners of lamentation.”

וּבְכָל־כְּרָמִים מִסְפֵּד כִּי־אֶעֱבֹר בְּקִרְבְּךָ אָמַר יְהוָה׃   5:17

Amos 5:17   “And wailing shall be in all the vineyards

                                 when I shall pass through in your midst,”

                       says the Lord.

הוֹי הַמִּתְאַוִּים אֶת־יוֹם יְהוָה לָמָּה־זֶּה לָכֶם יוֹם יְהוָה הוּא־חֹשֶׁךְ וְלֹא־אוֹר׃   5:18

Amos 5:18   Alas, those desiring the day of the Lord!

                                 Of what purpose is this day of the Lord to you?

                        It is of darkness and not of light.

כַּאֲשֶׁר יָנוּס אִישׁ מִפְּנֵי הָאֲרִי וּפְגָעוֹ הַדֹּב וּבָא הַבַּיִת וְסָמַךְ יָדוֹ עַל־הַקִּיר וּנְשָׁכוֹ הַנָּחָשׁ׃   5:19

Amos 5:19   As someone would flee from the presence of a lion

                                 and the bear encounter him

                        and he would go in the house and lean his hand against the wall

                                 and the serpent would bite him,

הֲלֹא־חֹשֶׁךְ יוֹם יְהוָה וְלֹא־אוֹר וְאָפֵל וְלֹא־נֹגַהּ לוֹ׃   5:20

Amos 5:20   would not the day of the Lord be of darkness and not of light,

                                 with gloom, and no brightness to it?

שָׂנֵאתִי מָאַסְתִּי חַגֵּיכֶם וְלֹא אָרִיחַ בְּעַצְּרֹתֵיכֶם׃   5:21

Amos 5:21   “I hate -- despise -- your feasts,

                                  and I can take no delight in your solemn assemblies.”

כִּי אִם־תַּעֲלוּ־לִי עֹלוֹת וּמִנְחֹתֵיכֶם לֹא אֶרְצֶה וְשֶׁלֶם מְרִיאֵיכֶם לֹא אַבִּיט׃   5:22

Amos 5:22   “Certainly, though you may offer burnt offerings

                                  and your meal offerings to Me,

                        I will not be pleased,

                                  and will not consider any peace offering of your fatlings.”

הָסֵר מֵעָלַי הֲמוֹן שִׁרֶיךָ וְזִמְרַת נְבָלֶיךָ לֹא אֶשְׁמָע׃   5:23

Amos 5:23   “Put away from Me the sound of your songs,

                                  so I need not hear the music of your instruments.”

וְיִגַּל כַּמַּיִם מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה כְּנַחַל אֵיתָן׃   5:24

Amos 5:24   “Now judgment shall spill down like water

                                  and justice like a steady torrent.”

הַזְּבָחִים וּמִנְחָה הִגַּשְׁתֶּם־לִי בַמִּדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל׃   5:25

Amos 5:25   “Did you bring sacrifices with a meal offering near to Me in the wilderness forty years, house of Israel?”

וּנְשָׂאתֶם אֵת סִכּוּת מַלְכְּכֶם וְאֵת כִּיּוּן צַלְמֵיכֶם כּוֹכַב אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם לָכֶם׃   5:26

Amos 5:26   “Now you would lift up Siccuth, your king, and Chiun, your images, star of your gods, that you fashioned for yourselves.”

Siccuth and Chiun are pagan deities.

וְהִגְלֵיתִי אֶתְכֶם מֵהָלְאָה לְדַמָּשֶׂק אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי־צְבָאוֹת שְׁמוֹ׃   5:27

Amos 5:27   “So I will take you farther into captivity than Damascus,” says the Lord -- God of hosts is His name.

 

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