8:9 In that day,” says the sovereign Lord, “I will make the sun set at noon,
and make the earth dark in the middle of the day. 1
and all your songs into funeral dirges.
I will make everyone wear funeral clothes 3
and cause every head to be shaved bald. 4
I will make you mourn as if you had lost your only son; 5
when it ends it will indeed have been a bitter day. 6
“when I will send a famine through the land –
not a shortage of food or water
but an end to divine revelation! 9
and from the north around to the east.
They will wander about looking for a revelation from 12 the Lord,
but they will not find any. 13
But they will fall down and not get up again.”
[8:10] sn Mourners wore sackcloth (funeral clothes) as an outward expression of grief.
[8:10] 4 tn Heb “and make every head bald.” This could be understood in a variety of ways, while the ritual act of mourning typically involved shaving the head (although occasionally the hair could be torn out as a sign of mourning).
[8:14] 19 tn Heb “the sin [or “guilt”] of Samaria.” This could be a derogatory reference to an idol-goddess popular in the northern kingdom, perhaps Asherah (cf. 2 Chr 24:18, where this worship is labeled “their guilt”), or to the golden calf at the national sanctuary in Bethel (Hos 8:6, 10:8). Some English versions (e.g., NEB, NRSV, CEV) repoint the word and read “Ashimah,” the name of a goddess worshiped in Hamath in Syria (see 2 Kgs 17:30).
[8:14] 21 sn Your god is not identified. It may refer to another patron deity who was not the God of Israel, a local manifestation of the Lord that was worshiped by the people there, or, more specifically, the golden calf image erected in Dan by Jeroboam I (see 1 Kgs 12:28-30).
[8:14] 22 tc The MT reads, “As surely as the way [to] Beer Sheba lives,” or “As surely as the way lives, O Beer Sheba.” Perhaps the term דֶּרֶךְ (derekh, “the way”) refers to the pilgrimage route to Beersheba (see S. M. Paul, Amos [Hermeneia], 272) or it may be a title for a god. The notion of pilgrimage appears elsewhere in the book (cf. 4:4-5; 5:4-5; 8:12). The translation above assumes an emendation to דֹּדְךְ (dodÿkh, “your beloved” or “relative”; the term also is used in 6:10) and understands this as referring either to the Lord (since other kinship terms are used of him, such as “Father”) or to another deity that was particularly popular in Beer Sheba. Besides the commentaries, see S. M. Olyan, “The Oaths of Amos 8:14” Priesthood and Cult in Ancient Israel, 121-49.