Amos 3


Reminder:  The peculiar quotation marks in this chapter indicate that Amos did not inscribe this book.  The inscriber, unknown to us, is quoting Amos.

שִׁמְעוּ אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָה עֲלֵיכֶם בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל כָּל־הַמִּשְׁפָּחָה אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלֵיתִי מֵאֶרֶץ   3:1 מִצְרַיִם לֵאמֹר׃

Amos 3:1   “Hear this word that the Lord speaks against you, children of Israel, against the entire family that ‘I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,

רַק אֶתְכֶם יָדַעְתִּי מִכֹּל מִשְׁפְּחוֹת הָאֲדָמָה עַל־כֵּן אֶפְקֹד עֲלֵיכֶם אֵת כָּל־עֲוֺנֹתֵיכֶם׃   3:2

Amos 3:2   ‘Only you have I known from all the families of the earth;

                             therefore I shall visit upon you all your iniquities.’”

הֲיֵלְכוּ שְׁנַיִם יַחְדָּו בִּלְתִּי אִם־נוֹעָדוּ׃   3:3

Amos 3:3   “Can two walk together

                              if they are not in unison?”

הֲיִשְׁאַג אַרְיֵה בַּיַּעַר וְטֶרֶף אֵין לוֹ הֲיִתֵּן כְּפִיר קוֹלוֹ מִמְּעֹנָתוֹ בִּלְתִּי אִם־לָכָד׃   3:4

Amos 3:4   “Would a lion roar in the forest

                              though he has no prey?

                     Would a young lion give forth his voice from his lair

                              if he had seized nothing?”

הֲתִפֹּל צִפּוֹר עַל־פַּח הָאָרֶץ וּמוֹקֵשׁ אֵין לָהּ הֲיַעֲלֶה־פַּח מִן־הָאֲדָמָה וְלָכוֹד לֹא יִלְכּוֹד׃   3:5

Amos 3:5   “Would a bird succumb to a ground trap

                              though it had no lure?

                     Would a trap spring up from the ground

                              though it would not take a capture?”

אִם־יִתָּקַע שׁוֹפָר בְּעִיר וְעָם לֹא יֶחֱרָדוּ אִם־תִּהְיֶה רָעָה בְּעִיר וַיהוָה לֹא עָשָׂה׃   3:6

Amos 3:6   “If a horn were to be sounded in the city,

                               then would not the people tremble?

                    Might evil occur to a city

                               that the Lord has not done?”

כִּי לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה דָּבָר כִּי אִם־גָּלָה סוֹדוֹ אֶל־עֲבָדָיו הַנְּבִיאִים׃   3:7

Amos 3:7   “But the Master, the Lord, would do nothing

                               unless He revealed His counsel to His servants, the prophets.”

Verse 3:6 and this verse raise an interesting point by their subtle implication.  The second question posed in v. 3:6 could be answered either way, yes or no, depending on one’s beliefs.  But Amos makes clear in this verse that when evil strikes a city and the Lord had not revealed it to the prophets, it would not be the Lord’s doing.  So he seems to have believed that the Lord allows incidental evil to befall a population.  Does that mean that harmful events might occur that were not some kind of test or teaching device?  Or does the Lord allow them because they are such tests or challenges and would tend to drive Jewish understanding to advance (however slowly)?  Quite interesting!  What is your opinion?

אַרְיֵה שָׁאָג מִי לֹא יִירָא אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה דִּבֶּר מִי לֹא יִנָּבֵא׃   3:8

Amos 3:8   “The lion roars,

                              who shall not fear?

                     The Master, the Lord, speaks,

                              who would not prophesy?”

הַשְׁמִיעוּ עַל־אַרְמְנוֹת בְּאַשְׁדּוֹד וְעַל־אַרְמְנוֹת בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם וְאִמְרוּ הֵאָסְפוּ עַל־הָרֵי שֹׁמְרוֹן וּרְאוּ   3:9       מְהוּמֹת רַבּוֹת בְּתוֹכָהּ וַעֲשׁוּקִים בְּקִרְבָּהּ׃

Amos 3:9   “Proclaim upon the fortresses in Ashdod

                              and upon the fortresses in the land of Egypt,

                     and say, ‘Assemble upon the mountains of Samaria

                              and observe the great vexations in her midst,

                     and the oppressions in her midst,

וְלֹא־יָדְעוּ עֲשׂוֹת־נְכֹחָה נְאֻם־יְהוָה הָאוֹצְרִים חָמָס וָשֹׁד בְּאַרְמְנוֹתֵיהֶם׃   3:10

Amos 3:10   and, ‘declares the Lord,

                        ‘those who harbor cruelty and violence in their citadels

                               do not know to do correctly.’”

לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה צַר וּסְבִיב הָאָרֶץ וְהוֹרִד מִמֵּךְ עֻזֵּךְ וְנָבֹזּוּ אַרְמְנוֹתָיִךְ׃   3:11

Amos 3:11   “Therefore thus says the Master, the Lord:

                                ‘The adversary -- and he is all around the land

                        -- and he will bring down your strength from you,

                                and your citadels shall be plundered.’”

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה כַּאֲשֶׁר יַצִּיל הָרֹעֶה מִפִּי הָאֲרִי שְׁתֵּי כְרָעַיִם אוֹ בְדַל־אֹזֶן כֵּן יִנָּצְלוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל   3:12           הַיֹּשְׁבִים בְּשֹׁמְרוֹן בִּפְאַת מִטָּה וּבִדְמֶשֶׁק עָרֶשׂ׃

Amos 3:12   “Thus says the Lord:

                        ‘As the shepherd might tear away two legs

                                 or a piece of an ear from the mouth of the lion,

                        so the children of Israel shall be torn away,

                                  those dwelling in Samaria,

                        with a corner of a bed or a scrap of a couch.’”

שִׁמְעוּ וְהָעִידוּ בְּבֵית יַעֲקֹב נְאֻם־אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה אֱלֹהֵי הַצְּבָאוֹת׃   3:13

Amos 3:13   “’Hear, then testify in the house of Jacob,’

                                  declares the Master, the Lord, the God of hosts.’

כִּי בְּיוֹם פָּקְדִי פִשְׁעֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל עָלָיו וּפָקַדְתִּי עַל־מִזְבְּחוֹת בֵּית־אֵל וְנִגְדְּעוּ קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְנָפְלוּ   3:14       לָאָרֶץ׃

Amos 3:14   ‘When at the time of My visiting

                                  the transgressions of Israel upon him,

                        then I shall visit punishment

                                  upon the altars of Beth-el,

                        and the horns of the altar shall be chopped off

                                  and fall to the earth.’

וְהִכֵּיתִי בֵית־הַחֹרֶף עַל־בֵּית הַקָּיִץ וְאָבְדוּ בָּתֵּי הַשֵּׁן וְסָפוּ בָּתִּים רַבִּים נְאֻם־יְהוָה׃   3:15

Amos 3:15   ‘And I shall smite the winter house

                                 with the summer house,

                       and the houses of ivory shall be destroyed

                                  and the great houses shall cease,’

                       declares the Lord.”


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