Amos 8:1-12

Amos 8:1-12
Ordinary C34


This is what the LordI GodII showedIII me:IV

Notes on verse 1a

I “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.
II “God” = 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.
III “showed” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
IV {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!

a basketV of summer fruit.VI He said, “Amos,VII what do you see?”VIII

And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.”

Then the LordIX said to me,

Notes on verses 1b-2a

V “basket” = kelub. 3x in OT – 2x in Amos & 1x in Jeremiah. Perhaps From the same as keleb (yelping or attacking; a dog or a male prostitute). This is a basket or cage.
VI “summer fruit” = qayits. From quts (summer, clip off). This is fruit, harvest, or summer – the dry season.
VII “Amos” = Amos. 7x in OT. From amas (to carry a load, to load, lift; figuratively, infliction). This is Amos, whose name may mean “burdensome.”
VIII “see” = raah. Same as “showed” in v1. See note III above.
IX “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “God” in v1. This is the same as “God” in v1, but with a different vowel pointing. It has the same meaning. See note II above.

“The endX has comeXI upon my peopleXII Israel;XIII
    I will spareXIV them no longer.XV

Notes on verse 2b

X “end” = qets. From qatsats (to cut or chop off in a literal or figurative sense). This is outer border, end, or extremity. It can also mean infinite.
XI “come” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
XII “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.
XIII “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.
XIV “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.
XV “longer” = yasaph. This is to add, increase, continue, exceed.

The songsXVI of the templeXVII shall become wailingsXVIII on that day,”XIX
            saysXX the LordXXI God;XXII

Notes on verse 3a

XVI “songs” = shir. From shir (to sing; one who is singing or leading others in song). This is song or singer.
XVII “temple” = hekal. Perhaps from yakol (to be able, endure, overcome, prevail). This is a large building with public access such as a palace or temple.
XVIII “become wailings” = yalal. This is to howl, yell, or wail.
XIX “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
XX “says” = neum. From na’am (to speak a prophecy; properly, to whisper, which implies saying an oracle). This is an utterance or speaking an oracle.
XXI “Lord” = Adonai. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
XXII “God” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v2. See note IX above.

“the dead bodiesXXIII shall be many,XXIV
    cast outXXV in everyXXVI place.XXVII Be silent!”XXVIII

Notes on verse 3b

XXIII “dead bodies” = peger. From pagar (to be exhausted, relax). This is a carcass or remains, whether a person or animal. Figuratively, it can also refer to an idol.
XXIV “many” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
XXV “cast out” = shalak. This is to throw, fling, or hurl. It can also be to throw away in a literal or figurative sense.
XXVI “every” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
XXVII “place” = maqom. From qum(to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide; rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action; standing in a figurative sense). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.
XXVIII “be silent” = has. 8x in OT. This is hush, still, hold peace, be quiet. It is an interjection that is likely an onomatopoeia.

HearXXIX this, you who trampleXXX on the needy,XXXI

Notes on verse 4a

XXIX “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.
XXX “trample” = sha’aph. 14x in OT. This is to pant, long for, trample, crush, to rise as the sun, to hurry. It can refer to gasping as a woman in labor does or gasping from desire. It can also imply anger.
XXXI “needy” = ebyon. From abah (to consent, obey, want, yield, accept). This is needy, poor, beggar. Someone who is wanting.

    and bring to ruinXXXII the poorXXXIII of the land,XXXIV

Notes on verse 4b

XXXII “bring to ruin” = shabat. This is to rest, stop, repose, cease working. By implication, it is to celebrate. It can also mean to fail or be lacking.
XXXIII “poor” = anav + ani. Anav is from anah (to be bowed down; can refer to a sense of humility or to a sense of being browbeaten, oppressed, afflicted, or depressed; literal or figurative – depressed in mood or circumstance). This is poor, needy, afflicted as well as humble or meek. Ani is related to “poor” in v4. From anah (see note above). This is humble, lowly, poor, or afflicted.
XXXIV “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.

saying, “When will the new moonXXXV be overXXXVI
    so that we may sellXXXVII grain,XXXVIII
and the Sabbath,XXXIX
    so that we may offer wheatXL for sale?XLI

Notes on verse 5a

XXXV “new moon” = chodesh. From chadash (to renew, repair). This refers to a new moon. It can also mean monthly.
XXXVI “be over” = abar. Same as “spare” in v2. See note XIV above.
XXXVII “sell” = shabar. From sheber (corn, grain). This is to trade in grain, whether to buy or sell.
XXXVIII “grain” = sheber. Related to “sell” in v5. 9x in OT– 7x in Genesis. Se note XXXVII above.
XXXIX “Sabbath” = shabbat. Related to “bring to ruin” in v4. From shabat (see note XXXII above). This is sabbath, literally meaning rest or intermission.
XL “wheat” = bar. 14x in OT. From barar (to select, polish, cleanse, brighten, purify). This is something that is winnowed so any kind of grain, whether in the field or harvested. It can be corn, wheat, or other grains. This can also refer to a field or the open country.
XLI “offer…for sale” = pathach. This is to open wide in a literal or figurative sense. So, it is open, draw out, let something go free, break forth. It can also mean to plow, engrave, or carve.

We will make the ephahXLII smallerXLIII and the shekelXLIV heavierXLV
    and practice deceitXLVI with falseXLVII balances,XLVIII

Notes on verse 5b

XLII “ephah” = ephah. Perhaps from Egptian ipet (“a dry measure of volume equivalent to…about 19.2 litres”). This is an ephah – specifically, a measure for flour or grain. It can also be used ore generally to refer to a measure. See
XLIII “make…smaller” = qaton. 4x in OT. Perhaps from qatan (least, small, young, littlfe one; it is literally smaller whether in amount or size; figuratively smaller in the sense of younger or less important); from qut (grieved, cut off, to detest). This is to be small, diminished, insignificant, or unworthy.
XLIV “shekel” = sheqel. From shaqal (to weigh, spend, trade). This is shekel or sheqel. It is a unit of weight, generally used in trade.
XLV “heavier” = gadal. This is to grow up, become great, become wealthy – to advance. The root meaning may be to twist in the sense of the process of growing.
XLVI “practice deceit” = avat. 11x in OT. This is to be crooked, falsify, pervert, thwart, turn upside down, overthrow.
XLVII “false” = mirmah. From ramah (to betray, deceive, beguile). This is deceit, treachery, guile, or fraud
XLVIII “balances” = mozen. 15x in OT. From azan (to weigh, prove, ponder, test). This is balances or scales.

buyingXLIX the poorL for silverLI
    and the needy forLII a pair of sandalsLIII
    and selling the sweepingsLIV of the wheat.”

Notes on verse 6

XLIX “buying” = qanah. This is to acquire, create, purchase, own. Its root may mean to smith or to produce.
L “poor” = dal. From dalal (to be low, hang, fade, be emptied, become poor, be oppressed). This is lean, weak, needy, poor. Properly, it is one who is dangling.
LI “silver” = keseph. From kasaph (to long for, be greedy; to become pale). This is silver or money.
LII “for” = abur. Related to “spare” in v2. From abar (see note XIV above). This is for, so that, on account of. Properly, it means crossed.
LIII “pair of sandals” = naal. From naal (properly to secure with a bar or cord; to lock, bolt, enclose; to secure with a cord i.e. to put on a sandal). This is the tongue of a sandal and, by extension, a sandal or shoe itself. Figuratively, this can refer to occupancy, unwillingness to marry, or something without value.
LIV “sweepings” = mappal. 2x in OT. From naphal (to fall, literal or figurative; death, calamity, wasting away). This is something that falls off- refuse, a thing that hangs, a fold.

The LordLV has swornLVI by the prideLVII of Jacob:LVIII

Notes on verse 7a

LV “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v2. See note IX above.
LVI “sworn” = shaba. From sheba (seven – the number of perfection/sacred fullness). This is to swear, curse, vow, make a covenant. Properly, it can mean to be complete. This is to seven oneself – as in affirming something so strongly it is as though it were said seven times.
LVII “pride” = ga’own. From the same as ga’avah (majesty, excellency, pride, arrogance, ornament); from gaah (to rise up, be exalted, triumph; figuratively, be majestic). This is majesty, pride, redemption, pomp, excellency, swelling, or arrogance.
LVIII “Jacob” = Yaaqob. From the same as aqeb (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is Isaac’s son and his descendants. The name means heel-catcher or supplanter.

Surely I will neverLIX forgetLX anyLXI of their deeds.LXII

Notes on verse 7b

LIX “surely…never” = imnetsach. Im is if, whether, when, or not. Netsach is from natsach (something that glitters from a distance or stands out, excels, has status/standing; also to be permanent or enduring). This is properly a goal or destination as the bright focus to which one journeys. It can be splendor, truthfulness, or confidence. Most often, it refers to everlastingness, always, continually.
LX “forget” = shakach. This is to forget because of not remembering something or not paying attention to it. It can also mean to mislay.
LXI “any” = kol. Same as “every” in v3. See note XXVI above.
LXII “deeds” = maaseh. From asah (to do, make, accomplish, become). This is a word – any action whether positive or negative. It can also be a transaction, construction, activity, property, or something that is produced.

Shall not the land trembleLXIII on this account,
    and everyoneLXIV mournLXV who livesLXVI in it,

Notes on verse 8a

LXIII “tremble” = ragaz. This is shaking from any strong emotion, particularly anger or fear. It can be agitated, excited, perturbed, afraid, quaking, quivering.
LXIV “everyone” = kol. Same as “every” in v3. See note XXVI above.
LXV “mourn” = abal. This is to lament or bewail.
LXVI “lives” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.

and allLXVII of it riseLXVIII like the Nile,LXIX
    and be tossedLXX about and sinkLXXI again, like the Nile of Egypt?LXXII

Notes on verse 8b

LXVII “all” = kol. Same as “every” in v3. See note XXVI above.
LXVIII “rise” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
LXIX “Nile” = Yeor. From Egyptian yeor (river). This is the Nile as the main river in Egypt. It is also used for the Tigris for its similar status in Assyria. It can also more generally mean river, steam, channel, or flood.
LXX “tossed” = garash. This is to cast out or expel. It can be to exile someone or to divorce them.
LXXI “sink” = shaqa. 6x in OT. This is to sink, subside, lower, quench, be overflowed, stop.
LXXII “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.

LXXIIIOn that day, saysLXXIV the LordLXXV God,LXXVI
    I will make the sunLXXVII go downLXXVIII at noonLXXIX

Notes on verse 9a

LXXIII {untranslated} = hayah. Related to “God” in v1 & “Lord” in v2 See note II above.
LXXIV “says” = neum. Same as “says” in v3. See note XX above.
LXXV “Lord” = Adonai. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
LXXVI “God” = YHVH. Same as “God” in v1. See note II above.
LXXVII “sun” = shemesh. This is sun or toward the east. Its root may mean being brilliant. Figuratively, this could be a ray or an arch.
LXXVIII “make…go down” = bo. Same as “come” in v2. See note XI above.
LXXIX “noon” = tsohar. From tsahar (pressing oil, glistening); from yitshar (fresh oil, anointed; oil as that which is burned to make light; used figuratively to talk about anointing). This is a light, window, or midday.

    and darkenLXXX the earthLXXXI in broad daylight.LXXXII

Notes on verse 9b

LXXX “darken” = chashak. 18x in OT. This is to be or become dark. It can also mean to dim or hide.
LXXXI “earth” = erets. Same as “land” in v4. See note XXXIV above.
LXXXII “broad daylight” = yom + or. Yom is the same as “day” in v3. See note XIX above. Or is from or (to be or become light). This is light, sun, sunshine, dawn, or daylight. Figuratively, it can refer to light from instruction, light of a face (that is to say one that is cheerful or finds favor). It can refer to prosperity or salvation; a light that guides, a light eternal from Zion.

10 I will turnLXXXIII your feastsLXXXIV into mourningLXXXV
    and all your songs into lamentation;LXXXVI

Notes on verse 10a

LXXXIII “turn” = haphak. This is to turn, overturn, change, return, turn over, pervert.
LXXXIV “feasts” = chag. From chagag (feast, celebrating a festival, making a pilgrimage; properly, going in a circle or marching in sacred procession; implies giddiness and dancing; reeling to and fro). This is a feast, a sacrifice as part of a festival, or the gathering of the festival.
LXXXV “mourning” = ebel. Related to “mourn” in v8. From abal (see note LXV above). This is mourning or lamentation.
LXXXVI “lamentation” = qinah. 18x in OT. From the same as qayin (spear, lance); {from qun (to chant a lament, to play a musical note)}. This is lament or elegy. It could be an act of mourning or a dirge played on instruments.

I will bringLXXXVII sackclothLXXXVIII on all loinsLXXXIX
    and baldnessXC on every head;XCI

Notes on verse 10b

LXXXVII “bring” = alah. Same as “rise” in v8. See note LXVIII above.
LXXXVIII “sackcloth” = saq. Perhaps from shaqaq (to run, rush; by implication having an appetite, seeking greedily). This is sack or sackcloth used as bags for grain and so on. Also worn during times or mourning or when seeking humility. The word “sack” in English is derived from this Semitic root.
LXXXIX “loins” = mothen. This is the waist, slender, or small of back. It can also refer to the loins when in plural.
XC “baldness” = qorchah. 11x in OT. From qarach (to shave bald, perhaps frozen). This is baldness – from shaving or plucking. It could also be a bald spot
XCI “head” = rosh. This may come a word that means to shake. It is the head, captain, or chief. It can also be excellent or the forefront. It can be first in position or in statue or in time (i.e. the beginning).

I will makeXCII it like the mourning for an onlyXCIII son
    and the endXCIV of it like a bitterXCV day.

Notes on verse 10c

XCII “make” = sim. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
XCIII “only” = yachid. 12x in OT. From yachad (to join, be united). This is united, sole, solitary, only, or desolate. It can also mean beloved or darling.
XCIV “end” = acharit. From achar (to be behind, delay, be late, procrastinate, continue). This is the last, length, remnant, end, reward, future.
XCV “bitter” = mar. From marar (to be bitter, embittered, weep, troubled). This is bitterness literal or figurative. It could be fierce, angry, or discontented.

11 The timeXCVI is surelyXCVII coming, saysXCVIII the LordXCIX God,C

Notes on verse 11a

XCVI “time” = yom. Same as “day” in v3. See note XIX above.
XCVII “surely” = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note IV above.
XCVIII “says” = neum. Same as “says” in v3. See note XX above.
XCIX “Lord” = Adonai. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
C “God” = YHVH. Same as “God” in v1. See note II above.

    when I will sendCI a famineCII on the land,
not a famine of breadCIII or a thirstCIV for water,CV
    but of hearing the wordsCVI of the Lord.CVII

Notes on verse 11b

CI “send” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
CII “famine” = raab. From raeb (to be hungry). This is hunger, death, or hunger from famine.
CIII “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.
CIV “thirst” = tsama. 17x in OT. From tsame (to thirst in a literal or figurative sense). This is thirst in a literal or figurative sense. It could also refer to dry ground.
CV “water” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
CVI “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.
CVII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v2. See note IX above.

12 They shall wanderCVIII from seaCIX to sea
    and from northCX to east;CXI

Notes on verse 12a

CVIII “wander” = nua. This is to waver in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could be to tremble, quiver, totter. It could also refer to a fugitive.
CIX “sea” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.
CX “north” = tsaphon. From tsaphan (to hide, hoard, reserve; to cover over or figuratively to deny; also to lurk). This is properly hidden, dark, or gloomy. It can also be used to refer to the north.
CXI “east” = mizrach. From zarach (to rise, shine, or dawn; can also describe symptoms of leprosy). This is the east as the place where the sun rises. It can also refer to the sunrise itself.

they shall run to and fro,CXII seekingCXIII the word of the Lord,CXIV
    but they shall not findCXV it.

Notes on verse 12b

CXII “run to and fro” = shut. 13x in OT. This is to rove around, push forth, go back and forth. It can also refer to a rower as one who travels around.
CXIII “seeking” = baqash. This is to seek, ask, desire, or request. It can be any kind of searching. It can also mean to worship or pray – implies a striving for.
CXIV “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v2. See note IX above.
CXV “find” = matsa. This is to find, catch or acquire. It can also mean to come forth or appear. Figuratively, this can mean to meet or be together with.

Image credit: “Our Figs” by Monica Arellano-Ongpin, 2012.

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