Amos 6:1a, 4-7

Amos 6:1a, 4-7
Ordinary C44


WoeA to those who are at easeB in ZionC
    and for those who feel secureD on MountE Samaria,F

Notes on verse 1a

A “woe” = hoy. Perhaps from ho (ah, alas); from hahh (alas, used for grief or woe); from ahahh (alas or ah, used to express pain). This is meant to be onomatopoeia – ah, O, alas, woe. Perhaps where the Yiddish “oy” comes from.
B “at ease” = shaanan. 10x in OT. From shaan (to rest, be quiet, be peaceful). This is secure, quiet, undisturbed. It can also be arrogance.
C “Zion” = Tsiyyon. Related to tsyiyyun (signpost, monument); from tsavah (to charge someone, to command, order); from the same as tsiyyah (dryness drought); from a root meaning parched as desert, dry land. Zion can refer to a mountain in Jerusalem as well as another name for Jerusalem itself or the people.
D “feel secure” = batach. This is to hide for refuge, be secure or sure. Figuratively, it refers to trust, being confident, or hoping.
E “Mount” = har. From harar (hill or mountain). This is mountain, hill, hilly region.
F “Samaria” = Shomron. From shamar (to keep, watch, or preserve; to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something). This is Samaria, meaning watch station.

the notablesG of the firstH of the nations,I

Notes on verse 1b

G “notables” = naqab. This is to pierce, bore holes, puncture; to make a hole more or less forcefully. It is also to curse or libel. It can also mean to appoint, express, blaspheme, or name.
H “first” = reshith. From rosh (head, captain, or chief; excellent or the forefront; first in position or in statue or in time). This is beginning, first place, highest rank, chief thing.
I “nations” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.

    to whom the houseJ of IsraelK resorts!L

Notes on verse 1c

J “house” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
K “Israel” = Yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
L “resorts” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.

Woe to those who lieM on bedsN of ivoryO
    and loungeP on their couchesQ

Notes on verse 4a

M “lie” = shakab. This is to lie down, lodge. It is lying for sleep, sex, or other reasons.
N “beds” = mittah. From natah (to stretch or spread out, extend, bend). This is a couch or bed that is spread out to sleep on or for eating. It can also refer to a litter or a bier.
O “ivory” = shen. From shanan (to sharpen, point, pierce; figuratively to teach). This is a tooth, ivory, something sharp, or, figuratively, a cliff.
P “lounge” = sarach. 7x in OT. This is to hang, vanish, spread, flow, lounge, go free, overrun.
Q “couches” = eres. 10x in OT. Root may refer to an arch. So, this would be a couch or bed that has a canopy.

and eatR lambsS from the flockT
    and calvesU fromV the stall,W

Notes on verse 4b

R “eat” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
S “lambs” = kar. 16x in OT. From karar (to dance, whirl). This is a ram, battering ram, lamb, pasture for sheep, camel’s saddle.
T “flock” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.
U “calves” = egel. May be from the same as agol (round, circular – root meaning revolve). This is a male calf as one that frisks about. Often used for one that is almost grown up. This is also the word used for the molten calf in Ex 32.
V {untranslated} = tavek. This is among, middle, in the midst, the center. Perhaps, properly, to sever.
W “stall” = marbeq. 4x in OT. May come from a word that means to tie up. This is fatted or stall. It is the word that Rebekah’s name come’s from.

who sing idle songsX to the soundY of the harpZ

Notes on verse 5a

X “sing idle songs” = parat. 1x in OT. This may come from a root that means to divide. So, it is a chant or hum – some kind of improvised song.
Y “sound” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
Z “harp” = nebel. From nabel (to fall away, faint, wither, languish, sink; figuratively, being senseless, foolish, or wicked; to despise, disgrace, or fall to nothing, to be seen with contempt). This is a vessel, perhaps made of skins for holding liquids. It could be a skin, vase, or lyre as having a similar shape.

    and like DavidAA improviseBB on instrumentsCC of music,DD

Notes on verse 5b

AA “David” = David. From the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”
BB “improvise” = chashab. This is properly to braid or interpenetrate. Literally it is to create or to wear. Figuratively, it can mean plotting – generally in a negative sense. More broadly, this can also mean think, consider, or make account of.
CC “instruments” = keli. From kalah (to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed). This is something that was prepared – any implement, utensil, article, vessel, weapon, or instrument. Also includes jewels, weapons, bags, carriages, and furniture.
DD “music” = shir. From shir (to sing; one who is singing or leading others in song). This is song or singer.

who drinkEE wineFF from bowlsGG
    and anointHH themselves with the finestII oilsJJ

Notes on verse 6a

EE “drink” = shathah. This is to drink literally or figuratively. It could also be a drinker.
FF “wine” = yayin. Root may mean to effervesce, referring to the fermentation process. This is wine, grape, or banquet. It can imply intoxication.
GG “bowls” = mizraq. From zaraq (to toss, scatter, sprinkle). This is a bowl or basin. It comes from the root in the sense that it was used for sprinkling.
HH “anoint” = mashach. This is smear, paint, spread, or paint. It can also be to rub with oil or, otherwise stated, to anoint. This implies a consecration. This root verb is where the word “messiah” comes from.
II “finest” = reshith. Same as “first” in v1. See note H above.
JJ “oils” = shemen. From shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, oil, grease, olive oil – often with perfume. Used figuratively for fertile, lavish, rich.

    but are not grievedKK over the ruinLL of Joseph!MM

Notes on verse 6b

KK “grieved” = chalah. Properly, this is to be worn; hence, being weak, sick, or afflicted. It can also mean to grieve or, positively, to flatter or entreat.
LL “ruin” = sheber. From shabar (break, collapse, destroy, break in pieces, tear; bursting in a literal or figurative sense). This is a fracture, breach, collapse, brokenness, ruin, affliction, bruise. It can also be an interpretation of a dream or a vexation.
MM “Joseph” = Yoseph. From yasaph (to add, increase, continue, exceed). This is Joseph, meaning “he increases” or “let him add.”

ThereforeNN they shall now be the firstOO to go into exile,PP, QQ
    and the revelryRR of the loungers shall pass away.SS

Notes on verse 7

NN “therefore” = ken. Perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
OO “first” = rosh. Related to “first” in v1. See note H above.
PP “go into exile” = galah. This is to remove, bring, carry, lead, appear, advertise. It can mean to strip someone or something bare in a negative sense. Captives were typically stripped before they were sent into exile. Used figuratively, in a positive sense, this word means reveal, disclose, discover.
QQ {untranslated} = galah. Same as “go into exile” in v7. See note PP above. Here, it is a participle, i.e. “go into exile as the first of the exiles.”
RR “revelry” = mirzach. 1x in OT. From the same as marzeach (a cry of lament, banqueting). This is a cry, a revel.
SS “pass away” = sur. This is to turn aside in a literal or figurative sense – to depart, decline, rebel, remove, or withdraw.

Image credit: “When Extremes Meet” by William Balfour Ker, 1906.

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