Amos 7:7-17

Amos 7:7-17
Ordinary C33


This is what he showedA me:B the LordC was standingD

Notes on verse 7a

A “showed” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
B {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
C “Lord” = Adonai. From adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is the actual Hebrew word for Lord used (in a different form) of humans and (in the present form) of God. It means someone who is in control.
D “standing” = natsab. This is to station, appoint, establish, take a stand.

beside a wallE built with a plumb line,F with a plumb line in his hand.G 

Notes on verse 7b

E “wall” = chomah. From the same as cham (father-in-law – one’s husband’s father; perhaps from a root meaning to join). This is a wall – a wall as used for protection.
F “plumb line” = anak. 4x in OT– all in Amos 7. This is a plumb line, plummet, or hook. There are words comparable in related languages that mean lead or tin. It may alternately come from a root that means to be narrow.
G “hand” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.

And the LordH said to me, “Amos,I what do you see?”J

And I said, “A plumb line.”

Then the LordK said,

“See,L I am settingM a plumb line

Notes on verse 8a

H “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
I “Amos” = Amos. 7x in OT. From amas (to carry a load, to load, lift; figuratively, infliction). This is Amos, whose name may mean “burdensome.”
J “see” = raah. Same as “showed” in v7. See note A above.
K “Lord” = Adonai. Same as “Lord” in v7. See note C above.
L “see” = hen. Related to {untranslated} in v7. See note B above.
M “setting” = sim. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.

    in the midstN of my peopleO Israel;P
    I willQ spareR them no longer;

Notes on verse 8b

N “midst” = qereb. Perhaps from qarab (to come near or approach). This is among, in the midst, before, the center It is the inward part, whether literal or figurative. It can also be used for the heart, the site of thoughts and feelings. This word is also used as a technical term for the entrails of the animals who are sacrificed.
O “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
P “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.
Q “spare” = yasaph. This is to add, increase, continue, exceed.
R “spare” = abar. This is to pass over or cross over. It is used for transitions, whether literal or figurative. It can also mean to escape, alienate, or fail. This is the root verb from which “Hebrew” is drawn.

the high placesS of IsaacT shall be made desolate,U
    and the sanctuariesV of Israel shall be laid waste,W

Notes on verse 9a

S “high places” = bamah. The root might mean being high. This is height, wave, or elevation.
T “Isaac” = Yischaq. 4x in OT. From tsachaq (to laugh, mock, play, make sport; this is laughing out loud whether in joy or in a scornful way) OR from shachtsom (Schachtsom, Shahazumah, or Shahazimah – a city; proudly); from the same as shachats (pride, dignity, lion; a haughty attitude; root may mean to strut). This is Isaac, meaning “he laughs.” This is Isaac, meaning “he will laugh.”
U “made desolate” = shamem. This is to amaze or be astonished. It can also mean devastate, stun, become numb, or be appalled.
V “sanctuaries” = miqdash. From the same as qodesh (set apart and so sacred; God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart; things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy); related to qadash (set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified; something or someone set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean). This is a sacred place, sanctuary, holy place. It is something or somewhere that is consecrated, whether to God or to another.
W “be laid waste” = charab. This is to dry up because of drought, destroy, or make waste.

    and I will riseX against the houseY of JeroboamZ with the sword.”AA

Notes on verse 9b

X “rise” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
Y “house” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
Z “Jeroboam” = Yarobam. Related to “people” in v8. From rabab (to be or become much or many, multiply) + am (see note O above) OR from rib (properly to toss or grapple; used figuratively to mean wrangling and so for arguments, complaints, or disputes; used in a legal setting for pleading or defending a case) + am (see above). This is Jeroboam, a name meaning “the people increase” or “the people will contend” or “whose people are countless.” See
AA “sword” = chereb. Related to “be laid waste” in v9. From charab (see note W above). This is any sharp instrument like a sword, dagger, axe, or mattock.

10 Then Amaziah,BB the priestCC of Bethel,DD sentEE to KingFF Jeroboam of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspiredGG against you

Notes on verse 10a

BB “Amaziah” = Amatsyahu. Related to “Lord” in v8. From amets (to be strong, stout, alert, or bold; to harden, make firm, be courageous or mighty, fortify, or establish; physical alertness or mental courage or steadfastness.) + Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (see note H above)}. This is Amaziah, meaning “the Lord is mighty” or “the strength of the Lord.”
CC “priest” = kohen. This is literally the one who officiates i.e. the priest. This is where the Jewish last name “Cohen” (and its variants) comes from.
DD “Bethel” = Bethel. Related to “Israel” in v8 & “house” in v9. From bayit (see note Y above) + el (see note P above). This is Bethel, literally meaning “house of God.”
EE “sent” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
FF “King” = melek. From malak (to be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned; by implication, to take counsel). This is king or royal.
GG “conspired” = qashar. This is to tie or bind. It can also refer to joining together as a league or in love. In a negative sense, it can mean to conspire.

in the very centerHH of the house of Israel; the landII is not ableJJ to bearKK allLL his words.MM 

Notes on verse 10b

HH “center” = qereb. Same as “midst” in v8. See note N above.
II “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
JJ “is…able” = yakol. This is to be able, endure, overcome, prevail.
KK “bear” = kul. This is to hold in. So, it can be to contain, measure, guide, or feed. It can also mean to be able to or sustain.
LL “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
MM “words” = dabar. From dabar (to speak, declare, discuss). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.

11 For thus Amos has said,

‘Jeroboam shall dieNN by the sword,
    and Israel must go into exileOO
    away from his land.’”PP

Notes on verse 11

NN “die” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.
OO “must go into exile” = galah + 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. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
PP “land” = adamah. From the same as adam (man, humankind); perhaps from ‘adom (to be red). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land.

12 And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer,QQ go,RR flee awaySS

Notes on verse 12a

QQ “seer” = chozeh. From chazah (to gaze at – to see or behold; perceiving as a mental process or looking at something with pleasure; seeing a vision). This is seer, prophet, or agreement. It is one who behold a vision or an agreement that the parties see approvingly.
RR “go” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
SS “flee away” = barach. This is to flee, drive away, hurry, to bolt.

to the landTT of Judah,UU earnVV your breadWW there, and prophesyXX there, 

Notes on verse 12b

TT “land” = erets. Same as “land” in v10. See note II above.
UU “Judah” = Yehudah. Probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judah, meaning “praised.”
VV “earn” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
WW “bread” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
XX “prophesy” = naba. Related to nabi (prophet, prophecy, speaker; someone inspired). This is to prophesy. It can also refer to an ecstatic state – raving. It is associated with speech, song, teachings, and predictions.

13 but never againYY prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a templeZZ of the kingdom.”AAA

Notes on verse 13

YY “again” = yasaph. Same as “spare” in v8. See note Q above.
ZZ “temple” = bayit. Same as “house” in v9. See note Y above.
AAA “kingdom” = mamlakah. Related to “king” in v10. From the same as melek (see note FF above). This is kingdom, dominion, sovereignty, rule. It can also refer to the realm.

14 Then Amos answeredBBB Amaziah, “I am no prophetCCC nor a prophet’s son,DDD but I am a herdsmanEEE and a dresserFFF of sycamore trees,GGG 

Notes on verse 14

BBB “answered” = anah. This is answer, respond, announce, sing, shout, or testify. It means to pay attention, which implies responding and, by extension, starting to talk. Used in a specific sense for singing, shouting, testifying, etc.
CCC “prophet” = nabi. Related to “prophesy” in v12. See note XX above.
DDD “son” = ben. Related to “house” in v9 & “Bethel” in v10. From banah (see note Y above). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
EEE “herdsman” = boqer. 1x in OT. From baqar (cattle – an animal used for plowing); from baqar (to seek, plow, break forth, admire, care for). This is someone who tends cattle.
FFF “dresser” = balas. 1x in OT. This is someone who grows or gathers sycamore figs.
GGG “sycamore trees” = shiqmah. 7x in OT. This is a sycamore tree or its fruit. It may be the root of the word sycamore, also used for trees in North America.

15 and the LordHHH tookIII me from followingJJJ the flock,KKK and the LordLLL said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’

Notes on verse 15

HHH “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v8. See note H above.
III “took” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
JJJ “following” = achar. From achar (to remain behind, linger, continue, be behind, or delay; can also imply procrastination). This is after or the last part, following.
KKK “flock” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.
LLL “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v8. See note H above.

16 “Now therefore hearMMM the word of the Lord.NNN
You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel,
    and do not preachOOO against the house of Isaac.’

Notes on verse 16

MMM “hear” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
NNN “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v8. See note H above.
OOO “preach” = nataph. 18x in OT. This is to drip, ooze, or drop. It can also refer to the process of gradual distillation that causes liquid to fall drop by drop. Figuratively, it can mean prophesying or inspired speech.

17 ThereforePPP thus says the Lord:QQQ
Your wifeRRR shall become a prostituteSSS in the city,TTT

Notes on verse 17a

PPP “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.
QQQ “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v8. See note H above.
RRR “wife” = ishshah. From ish (man); perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is woman, wife, or female.
SSS “become a prostitute” = zanah. This is being or playing a prostitute. Figuratively, it can also mean fornicating.
TTT “city” = iyr. From uwr (to awaken or wake oneself up). This can mean excitement in the sense of wakefulness or city. Properly, this is a place that is guarded. Guards kept schedules according to watches. This sense of the word would include cities as well as encampments or posts that were guarded.

    and your sons and your daughtersUUU shall fallVVV by the sword,
    and your landWWW shall be parceled outXXX by line;YYY

Notes on verse 17b

UUU “daughters” = bat. Related to “house” in v 9 & “Bethel” in v10 & “son” in v14. From ben (see note DDD above). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.
VVV “fall” = naphal. This is to fall, whether by accident, to fall prostrate, or to fall in violent death. Figuratively, it can refer to personal ruin or calamity, a city falling, an attack or a falling away. It can also be a deep sleep or wasting away.
WWW “land” = adamah. Same as “land” in v11. See note PP above.
XXX “parceled out” = chalaq. This is to be smooth in a figurative sense. So, it can refer to the stones that were part of casting lots – hence, apportion, share, distribute. Figuratively, it can also mean to flatter.
YYY “line” = chebel. From chabal (to bind, pledge, or wind tight; figuratively, can refer to perverting or destroying something; can also be used of writhing in pain, particularly in reference to childbirth). This is a band, rope, measuring line, noose. It can be a company, territory, or country. It can also refer to a throe of labor or ruin.

you yourself shall die in an uncleanZZZ land,AAAA
    and Israel shall surely go into exileBBBB away from its land.”CCCC

Notes on verse 17c

ZZZ “unclean” = tame. From tame (to defile, be unclean, pollute in a ritual or ethical sense). This is unclean, ill, or ritually impure.
AAAA “land” = adamah. Same as “land” in v11. See note PP above.
BBBB “surely go into exile” = galah + galah. Same as “must go into exile” in v11. See note OO above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
CCCC “land” = adamah. Same as “land” in v11. See note PP above.

Image credit: “Unknown Lead Alloy Plumb Bob” by Wendy Scott, 2010.

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