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Amos 5:14-17

Konteks

5:14 Seek good and not evil so you can live!

Then the Lord, the God who commands armies, just might be with you,

as you claim he is.

5:15 Hate what is wrong, love what is right!

Promote 1  justice at the city gate! 2 

Maybe the Lord, the God who commands armies, will have mercy on 3  those who are left from 4  Joseph. 5 

5:16 Because of Israel’s sins 6  this is what the Lord, the God who commands armies, the sovereign One, 7  says:

“In all the squares there will be wailing,

in all the streets they will mourn the dead. 8 

They will tell the field workers 9  to lament

and the professional mourners 10  to wail.

5:17 In all the vineyards there will be wailing,

for I will pass through 11  your midst,” says the Lord.

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[5:15]  1 tn Heb “set up, establish.” In the ancient Near East it was the responsibility especially of the king to establish justice. Here the prophet extends that demand to local leaders and to the nation as a whole (cf. 5:24).

[5:15]  2 sn Legal disputes were resolved in the city gate (see the note in v. 12). This repetition of this phrase serves to highlight a deliberate contrast to the injustices cited in vv. 11-13.

[5:15]  3 tn Or “will show favor to.”

[5:15]  4 tn Or “the remnant of” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV); CEV “what’s left of your people.”

[5:15]  5 sn Joseph (= Ephraim and Manasseh), as the most prominent of the Israelite tribes, represents the entire northern kingdom.

[5:16]  6 tn Heb “Therefore.” This logical connector relates back to the accusation of vv. 10-13, not to the parenthetical call to repentance in vv. 14-15. To indicate this clearly, the phrase “Because of Israel’s sins” is used in the translation.

[5:16]  7 tn Or “the Lord.” The Hebrew term translated “sovereign One” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

[5:16]  8 tn Heb “they will say, ‘Ah! Ah!’” The Hebrew term הוֹ (ho, “ah, woe”) is an alternate form of הוֹי (hoy), a word used to mourn the dead and express outwardly one’s sorrow. See 1 Kgs 13:30; Jer 22:18; 34:5. This wordplay follows quickly, as v. 18 begins with הוֹי (“woe”).

[5:16]  9 tn Or “farmers” (NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT).

[5:16]  10 tn Heb “those who know lamentation.”

[5:16]  sn Professional mourners are referred to elsewhere in the OT (2 Chr 35:25; Jer 9:17) and ancient Near Eastern literature. See S. M. Paul, Amos (Hermeneia), 180.

[5:17]  11 sn The expression pass through your midst alludes to Exod 12:12, where the Lord announced he would “pass through” Egypt and bring death to the Egyptian firstborn.



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