UPDATED AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION

Translating Truth

The Book of Amos

  • Author: Amos
  • Place Written: Judah
  • Writing Completed: c. 800-755 B.C.E.

Amos Receives Judgment Message on Neighbor Nations

1 The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

Judgment on Israel's Neighbors

And he said,

“Jehovah roars from Zion
    and utters his voice from Jerusalem;
the pastures of the shepherds mourn,
    and the top of Carmel dries up.”

Judgment on Syria

Thus says Jehovah,

“For three transgressions of Damascus,
    and for four, I will not turn it back,[1]
because they have threshed Gilead
    with threshing sledges of iron.
So I will send a fire upon the house of Hazael,
    and it shall devour the citadel fortresses[2] of Ben-hadad.
I will break the gate bars of Damascus,
    and cut off the inhabitants from the Bikath-aven,[3]
and him who holds the scepter from Beth-eden;[4]
    and the people of Syria[5] will go into exile to Kir,”
says Jehovah.

Judgment on Philistia

Thus says Jehovah:

“For three transgressions of Gaza,
    and for four, I will not turn it back,[6]
because they carried into exile a whole people
    to deliver them up to Edom.
So I will send a fire upon the wall of Gaza,
    and it shall devour her citadel fortresses.[7]
I will cut off the inhabitants from Ashdod,
    and him who holds the scepter from Ashkelon;
I will turn my hand against Ekron,
    and the remnant of the Philistines will perish,”
says Jehovah God.

Judgment on Tyre

Thus says Jehovah:

“For three transgressions of Tyre,
    and for four, I will not turn it back,[8]
because they delivered up a whole people to Edom,
    and did not remember the covenant of brothers.
10 So I will send a fire upon the wall of Tyre,
    and it will devour her citadel fortresses.”[9]

Judgment on Edom

11 Thus says Jehovah:

“For three transgressions of Edom,
    and for four, I will not turn it back,[10]
because he pursued his brother with the sword
    and cast off all pity,
and his anger tore perpetually,
    and he kept his wrath forever.
12 So I will send a fire upon Teman,
    and it will devour the citadel fortresses[11] of Bozrah.”

Judgment on Ammon

13 Thus says Jehovah:

“For three transgressions of the sons of Ammon,[12]
    and for four, I will not turn it back,[13]
because they have ripped open pregnant women in Gilead,
    that they might enlarge their border.
14 So I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah,
    and it will devour her citadel fortresses,[14]
with shouting on the day of battle,
    with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind;
15 and their king will go into exile,
    he and his princes together,”
says Jehovah.

Judgment for Repeated Revolts

Judgment on Moab

2 Thus says Jehovah:

“For three transgressions of Moab,
    and for four, I will not turn it back,[15]
because he burned to lime
    the bones of the king of Edom.
So I will send a fire upon Moab,
    and it shall devour the citadel fortresses[16] of Kerioth,
and Moab shall die amid uproar,
    amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet;
I will cut off the ruler from its midst,
    and will kill all its princes with him,”
says Jehovah.

Judgment on Judah

Thus says Jehovah:

“For three transgressions of Judah,
    and for four, I will not turn it back,[17]
because they have rejected the law of Jehovah,
    and have not kept his statutes,
but their lies have led them astray,
    those after which their fathers walked.
So I will send a fire upon Judah,
    and it shall devour the citadel fortresses[18] of Jerusalem.”

Judgment on Israel

Thus says Jehovah:

“For three transgressions of Israel,
    and for four, I will not turn it back,[19]
because they sell the righteous for silver,
    and the needy for a pair of sandals.
those who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth
    and turn aside the way of the afflicted;
a man and his father go in to the same girl,[20]
    so that my holy name is profaned;
they lay themselves down beside every altar
    on garments taken in pledge,
and in the house of their God they drink
    the wine of those who have been fined.

“Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them,[21]
    whose height was like the height of the cedars
    and who was as strong as the oaks;
I destroyed his fruit above
    and his roots beneath.
10 And it was I who brought you up out of the land of Egypt
    and led you forty years in the wilderness,
    to possess the land of the Amorite.
11 And I raised up some of your sons for prophets,
    and some of your young men for Nazirites.
    Is it not indeed so, O sons of Israel?”
declares Jehovah.

12 “But you made the Nazirites drink wine,
    and commanded the prophets,
    saying, ‘You shall not prophesy.’

13 “Look, I will press you down in your place,
    as a cart full of sheaves presses down.
14 Flight will perish from the swift,
    and the strong will not retain his strength,
    nor will the mighty save his soul;
15 he who handles the bow will not stand,
    and he who is swift of foot will not save himself,
    nor will he who rides the horse save his soul.
16 Even he who is strong of heart among the mighty
    will flee away naked in that day,”
declares Jehovah.

Israel's Guilt and Punishment

3 Hear this word that Jehovah has spoken against you, O sons of Israel, against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt:

“You only have I known
    of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
    for all your iniquities.

“Do two men walk together,
    unless they have agreed to meet?
Does a lion roar in the forest,
    when he has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from his den,
    if he has taken nothing?
Does a bird fall in a snare on the ground,
    when there is no snare for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground,
    when it has taken nothing?
Is a trumpet blown in a city,
    and the people are not afraid?
Does calamity come to a city,
    unless Jehovah has done it?

“For Jehovah God does nothing
    without revealing his secret
    to his servants the prophets.
The lion has roared;
    who will not fear?
Jehovah God has spoken;
    who can but prophesy?”

A Message against Samaria

Proclaim to the citadel fortresses[22] in Ashdod
    and to the citadel fortresses[23] in the land of Egypt,
and say, “Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria,
    and see the great turmoil in her midst,
    and the oppressed in her midst.”
10 “They do not know how to do right,” declares Jehovah,
    “those who store up violence and robbery in their citadel fortresses.”[24]

11 Therefore thus says Jehovah God:

“An adversary shall surround the land
    and bring down your strength from you,
    and your citadel fortresses shall be plundered.”

12 Thus says Jehovah: “As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the sons of Israel who dwell in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed.

13 “Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,”
    declares Jehovah God, the God of armies,
14 “For on the day that I punish Israel for his transgressions,
    I will punish the altars of Bethel,
and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
    and fall to the ground.
15 I will strike the winter house along with the summer house,
    and the houses of ivory shall perish,
and the great houses shall come to an end,”
declares Jehovah.

Social and Spiritual Corruption

4 “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan,
    who are on the mountain of Samaria,
who oppress the poor, who crush the needy,
    who say to your husbands, ‘Bring, that we may drink!’
Jehovah God has sworn by his holiness
    that, look, the days are coming upon you,
when they shall take you away with hooks,
    even the last of you with fishhooks.
And you shall go out through the breaches,
    each one straight ahead;
    and you shall be cast out into Harmon,”
declares Jehovah.

Jehovah Scorns the False Worship of Israel

“Come to Bethel, and transgress;
    to Gilgal, and multiply transgression;
bring your sacrifices every morning,
    your tithes every three days;
offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened,
    and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them;
    for so you love to do, O sons of Israel!”
declares the Jehovah God.

Israel Has Not Returned to Jehovah

“But I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities,
    and lack of bread in all your places,
but you did not come back to me,”
declares Jehovah.

“I also withheld the rain from you
    when there were yet three months to the harvest;
I made it rain on one city,
    but not on another city;
one plot of land would have rain,
    another plot of land where there was no rain[25] would dry up;
so two or three cities would stagger to another city
    to drink water, and would not be satisfied;
but you did not come back to me,”
declares Jehovah.

“I struck you with blight and mildew;
    your many gardens and your vineyards,
    But the locust would devour your fig trees and olive trees;
yet you did not return to me,”
declares Jehovah.

10 “I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt;
    I killed your young men with the sword,
and carried away your horses,
    and made the stench of your camps rise up into your nostrils;
but you did not come back to me,”
declares Jehovah.

11 “I overthrew some of you,
    as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
    and you were as a log snatched out of the burning;
but you did not come back to me,”
declares Jehovah.

12 “Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel;
    because I will do this to you,
    prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”

13 For look, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind,
    and declares to man what is his thought,[26]
who makes the morning darkness,
    and treads on the high places of the earth,
    Jehovah, the God of armies,[27] is his name!

Seek Jehovah and Live

5 Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel:

“Fallen, no more to rise,
    is the virgin Israel;
forsaken on her land,
    with none to raise her up.”

For thus says Jehovah God:

“The city that went out a thousand
    shall have a hundred left,
and that which went out a hundred
    shall have ten left
    to the house of Israel.”

For thus says Jehovah to the house of Israel:

“Seek me and live;
but do not seek Bethel,
and do not enter into Gilgal
    or cross over to Beersheba;
for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity,
    and Bethel shall come to nothing.”

Seek Jehovah and live,
    lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
    and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,
You turn justice into wormwood
    and cast down righteousness to the earth!

He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
    and turns deep shadow into morning
    and makes day as dark as night,
who calls for the waters of the sea
    and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
Jehovah is his name;
who makes destruction burst forth against the strong,
    so that destruction comes upon the fortress.

10 They hate him who reproves in the gate,
    and they detest him who speaks truthfully.
11 Therefore because you trample on the poor
    and you exact a grain tax from him,
you have built houses of hewn stone,
    but you shall not dwell in them;
you have planted pleasant vineyards,
    but you shall not drink their wine.
12 For I know how many are your transgressions
    and how great are your sins,
you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,
    and turn aside the needy in the gate.
13 Therefore he who has insight will keep silent in such a time,
    for it is an evil time.

14 Seek good, and not evil,
    that you may live;
and so Jehovah, the God of hosts, will be with you,
    as you have said.
15 Hate evil, and love good,
    and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that Jehovah the God of armies,
    will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

16 Therefore thus says Jehovah, the God of armies, Jehovah:[28]

“In all the squares there shall be wailing,
    and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! Alas!’
They shall call the farmers to mourning
    and the professional mourners to wail,
17 and in all vineyards, there shall be wailing,
    for I will pass through your midst,”
says Jehovah.

The Day of Jehovah, a Day of Darkness

18 Woe to you who desire the day of Jehovah!
    Why would you have the day of Jehovah?
It is darkness, and not light,
19 as if a man fled from a lion,
    and a bear met him,
or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall,
    and a serpent bit him.
20 Is not the day of Jehovah darkness, and not light,
    will it not have gloom, and not brightness?

21 “I hate, I despise your feasts,
    and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.

Israel’s Sacrifices rejected

22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them;
and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,
    I will not look with favor on them.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs;
    for I will not listen the melody of your harps.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
    and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

25 “Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel? 26 Now you shall carry away Sakkuth your king[29] and Kaiwan,[30] Your images, the star of your god, whom you made for yourselves. 27 And I will send you into exile beyond Damascus, says Jehovah, whose name is the God of armies.

Woe to the Complacent Ones

6 “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion,
    and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria,
the notable men of the first of the nations,
    to whom the house of Israel comes!
Cross over to Calneh, and see,
    and from there go to Hamath the great;
    then go down to Gath of the Philistines.
Are you better than these kingdoms?
    Or is their territory greater than your territory,
Are you putting off the day of calamity
    and bringing in a seat[31] of violence?

Beds of Ivory, Bowls of Wine

“They lie on beds of ivory
    and stretch themselves out on their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock
    and calves from the midst of the stall,
who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp
    and like David invent for themselves instruments of music,
who drink wine in bowls
    and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
    but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
Therefore they shall go into exile at the head of the exiles,
    and the revelry of those who stretch themselves out shall come to an end.”

Jehovah Abhors the Pride of Israel

Jehovah God has sworn by his soul, declares Jehovah, the God of armies:

“I detest the pride of Jacob
    and hate his citadel fortresses,[32]
    and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.”

And it shall come about if ten men remain in one house, they shall die. 10 And when his father’s brother, will come to carry them out and burn them one by one. He will bring their bones out from the house and shall say to him who is in the innermost parts of the house, “Is there still anyone with you?” he shall say, “No”; and he shall say, “Silence! We must not mention the name of Jehovah.”

11 For look, Jehovah commands,
    and the great house shall be struck down into pieces,
    and the little house into to rubble.
12 Do horses run on rocks?
    Does one plow there with oxen?
But you have turned justice into poison
    and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood,
13 you who rejoice in Lo-debar,[33]
    who say, “Have we not by our own strength
    captured Karnaim[34] for ourselves?”[35]
14 “For look, I will raise up against you a nation,
    O house of Israel,” declares Jehovah, the God of armies;
“and they shall oppress you from the entrance of Hamath[36]
    to the Brook of the Arabah.”

Warning Visions for Isael, Showing the End Is Near

Locusts

7 This is what Jehovah GOD showed me: look, he was forming locusts when the latter crop[37] was just beginning to sprout, and look, it was the latter crop after the king’s mowing.[38] 2 When they had finished eating the grass of the land, I said, “O Jehovah God, please forgive! How can Jacob rise up? For he is small!” Jehovah felt regret over[39] this: “It shall not be,” said Jehovah.

Fire

This is what the Jehovah God showed me: look, Jehovah God was calling for a punishment by fire, and it devoured the great deep and was eating up the land. Then I said, “O Jehovah God, please cease! How can Jacob stand? For he is small!”

Jehovah felt regret over[40] concerning this: “This also shall not be,” said Jehovah God.

A Plumb Line

This is what he showed me: look, Jehovah[41] was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. And Jehovah said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then Jehovah said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will no longer pass by them again;

the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam[42] with the sword.”

Amos Told to Stop Prophesying

10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. 11 For thus Amos has said, ‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of his land.’”

12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, 13 but no longer prophesy at Bethel, for it is the sanctuary of a king and the house of a kingdom.”

14 Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. 15 But Jehovah took me from following the flock, and Jehovah said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now therefore hear the word of Jehovah. “You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel, and do not preach against the house of Isaac.’ 17 Therefore thus says Jehovah: ‘Your wife shall be a prostitute in the city, and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword, and your land shall be divided up with a measuring line; you yourself shall die in a land that is unclean, and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.’”

The Coming Day of Bitter Mourning

8 This is what Jehovah God showed me: look, a basket of summer fruit.And he said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then Jehovah said to me,

“The end has come upon my people Israel;
    I will never again pass by them.
The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day,”
declares Jehovah God.
“So many dead bodies!”
“They are thrown everywhere!”
“Hush!”

Oppressors Condemned

Hear this, you who trample on the poor
    and bring the meek ones[43] of the land to an end,
saying, “When will the new moon be over,
    that we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
    that we may offer wheat for sale,
that we may make the ephah smaller and the shekel great
    and falsify our scales of deception,
that we may buy the poor for silver
    and the needy for a pair of sandals
    and sell the chaff of the wheat?”

Jehovah has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
“Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
Shall not the land tremble on this account,
    and everyone mourn who dwells in it,
and all of it rise like the Nile,[44]
    and it shall surge and sink down, like the Nile of Egypt.”

“And it shall come about on that day,” declares Jehovah God,
    “I will make the sun go down at noon
    and darken the earth in broad daylight.
10 I will turn your feasts into mourning
    and all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on every hip
    and baldness on every head;
I will make it like the mourning for an only son
    and the end of it like a bitter day.

A Spiritual Famine

11 “Look, the days are coming,” declares Jehovah God,
    “when I will send a famine into the land,
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
    but for hearing the words of Jehovah.
12 And they shall wander from sea to sea,
    and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of Jehovah,
    but they shall not find it.

13 “In that day the beautiful virgins and the young men
    shall faint for thirst.
14 Those who swear by the guilt of Samaria,
    and say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan,’
and, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives,’
    they shall fall, and they shall not rise up again.”

The Destruction of Israel Inescapable

9 I saw Jehovah standing beside the altar, and he said: “Strike the head of the pillar until the thresholds shake and break them on the heads of all the people; and those who are left of them I will kill with the sword; not one of them shall flee away; not one of them shall escape.

“If they dig into Sheol,
    from there shall my hand take them;
if they climb up to heaven,
    from there I will bring them down.
If they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,
    from there I will search them out and take them;
and if they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea,
    there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them.
And if they go into captivity before their enemies,
    there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them;
and I will fix my eyes upon them
    for evil and not for good.”

Jehovah God of armies,[45]
he who touches the earth so that it melts,
    and all who dwell in it mourn,
and all of it rises like the Nile,
    and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt.
He who builds his upper chambers in the heavens
    and founds his vault upon the earth;
who calls for the waters of the sea
    and pours them out upon the surface of the earth,
Jehovah is his name.

“Are you not like the Cushites[46] to me,
    O people of Israel?” declares Jehovah.
“Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt,
    and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Syrians[47] from Kir?[48]
Look, the eyes of Jehovah God are upon the sinful kingdom,
    and I will destroy it from the face of the earth,
    except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,”
declares Jehovah.

“For look, I will command,
    and shake the house of Israel among all the nations
as one shakes with a sieve,
    but no pebble shall fall to the earth.
10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword,
    who say, ‘Calamity shall not overtake or meet us.’

The Restoration of Israel

11 “In that day I will raise up
    the booth of David that is fallen
and repair its breaches,
    and raise up its ruins
    and rebuild it as in the days of old,
12 that they may possess the remnant of Edom
    and all the nations who are called by my name,”
    declares Jehovah who does this.

13 “Look, the days are coming,” declares Jehovah,
    “when the plowman shall overtake the reaper
    and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed;
the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
    and all the hills shall melt.[49]
14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
    and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
    and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant them on their land,
    and they shall never again be uprooted
    out of the land that I have given them,”
says Jehovah your God.[50]

[1] Or I will not revoke the punishment

[2] Citadel fortress: (אַרְמוֹן armon) A military defensive building, small based and relatively tall, a part of a palace area. – 1 Ki 16:18; Ps. 122:7; Isa. 13:22; Amos 1:4.

[3] Or the Valley of Aven; Or possibly “valley of wickedness.” A disparaging name for Damascus and the kingdom of Aram.

[4] Or the House of Eden

[5] LXX VG “Syria” MT AT SYR “Aram”

[6] Or I will not revoke the punishment

[7] Citadel fortress: (אַרְמוֹן armon) A military defensive building, small based and relatively tall, a part of a palace area. – 1 Ki 16:18; Ps. 122:7; Isa. 13:22; Amos 1:4.

[8] Or I will not revoke the punishment

[9] Citadel fortress: (אַרְמוֹן armon) A military defensive building, small based and relatively tall, a part of a palace area. – 1 Ki 16:18; Ps. 122:7; Isa. 13:22; Amos 1:4.

[10] Or I will not revoke the punishment

[11] Citadel fortress: (אַרְמוֹן armon) A military defensive building, small based and relatively tall, a part of a palace area. – 1 Ki 16:18; Ps. 122:7; Isa. 13:22; Amos 1:4.

[12] Or the Ammonites

[13] Or I will not revoke the punishment

[14] Citadel fortress: (אַרְמוֹן armon) A military defensive building, small based and relatively tall, a part of a palace area. – 1 Ki 16:18; Ps. 122:7; Isa. 13:22; Amos 1:4.

[15] That is, I will not revoke the punishment

[16] Citadel fortress: (אַרְמוֹן armon) A military defensive building, small based and relatively tall, a part of a palace area. – 1 Ki 16:18; Ps. 122:7; Isa. 13:22; Amos 1:4.

[17] That is, I will not revoke the punishment

[18] Citadel fortress: (אַרְמוֹן armon) A military defensive building, small based and relatively tall, a part of a palace area. – 1 Ki 16:18; Ps. 122:7; Isa. 13:22; Amos 1:4.

[19] That is, I will not revoke the punishment

[20] That is, a man and his father go in to the same girl, to have sexual relations (likely a temple prostitute)

[21] Lit from the face of them

[22] Citadel fortress: (אַרְמוֹן armon) A military defensive building, small based and relatively tall, a part of a palace area. – 1 Ki 16:18; Ps. 122:7; Isa. 13:22; Amos 1:4.

[23] Citadel fortress: (אַרְמוֹן armon) A military defensive building, small based and relatively tall, a part of a palace area. – 1 Ki 16:18; Ps. 122:7; Isa. 13:22; Amos 1:4.

[24] Citadel fortress: (אַרְמוֹן armon) A military defensive building, small based and relatively tall, a part of a palace area. – 1 Ki 16:18; Ps. 122:7; Isa. 13:22; Amos 1:4.

[25] LXX VG “I do not send rain” MT “it would not rain”

[26] MT “his thought” LXX “his Christ”

[27] MT “God of armies” LXX “God, the Almighty” Compare Rev. 11:17.

[28] This is one of the 134 scribal changes from יהוה [JHVH] to אדני [Adonai]. The earliest MSS have the Tetragrammaton.

[29] LXX VG “the tabernacle of Moloch”

[30] Both false gods may refer to the planet Saturn.

[31] Or a reign

[32] Citadel fortress: (אַרְמוֹן armon) A military defensive building, small and relatively tall, is a part of a palace area. – 1 Ki 16:18; Ps. 122:7; Isa. 13:22; Amos 1:4.

[33] Meaning nothing, worthless

[34] Lit taken horns for ourselveshorns meaning a symbol of strength

[35] That is, you who rejoice in what is worthless (or nothing), who say, “Have we not taken power by our own strength for ourselves?”

[36] Or shall oppress you from Lebo-hamath

[37] That is, January and February.

[38] That is, after the king’s hay had been cut

[39] Or changed his mind, or relented

The Hebrew verb (נִחוּם nichum), which denotes repentance or a change of mind or feel regret over.

The English word “regret” means ‘to feel sorry and sad about something previously done or said that now appears wrong, mistaken, or hurtful to others.’ The Hebrew word (nacham here translated “regretted” relates to a change of attitude or intention. This could not be used to suggest that God felt that he had made a mistake in creating man.  First, the above example and others are not really instances of God changing his mind per se but rather his altering circumstances once persons with free will brought those altered circumstances about, so God could carry out his will and purposes. Second, draw comfort in the fact that we can be certain that God will never change his standards of love and justice regardless of what created beings do with their free will. Nevertheless, just as any of us might change our mind about someone who has altered the way they treat us, God does change in the way that he deals with humans to changing circumstances, situations, and conditions. There are also times when God has changed his commands, his laws, his instructions according to the situation and needs of his people. We should not be astonished by this because God has foreknowledge, and he is well aware of situations that will come where he is going to have to change or alter circumstances.

[40] See vs. 3 fn.

[41] This is one of the 134 scribal changes from יהוה [JHVH] to אדני [Adonai]. The earliest MSS have the Tetragrammaton.

[42] This is a reference to Jeroboam II, the son of Joash (aka Jehoash); not Jeroboam I, the son of Nebat.

[43] MT “meek ones” MTmargin “afflicted ones”

[44] MT “will rise like the light” is a scribal error.

[45] MT AT VG “of the armies,” LXX “God the Almighty” SYR “the Mighty One”

[46] MT SYR “the Cushites” LXX VG “the Ethiopians”

[47] MT SYR “Aram” LXX VG “the Syrians”

[48] MT SYR “Kir” AT VG “Cyrene”

[49] Or shall flow with it

[50] MT AT SYR VG “your God” LXX “God the Almighty”