Friday, April 22, 2016

Amos 5

I hope to push the limits in the next couple of weeks to see how far I can get. We'll see. I am also preparing a presentation on the music for SBL regional meeting so there are other thought demands. The music always helps to hear the result of my reading, but I don't always look at everything.

Amos 5 seems as if it might be a central chapter (of 9 it is). It is also the chapter that supports the awful unaccompanied singing of the closed table assemblies that don't allow instruments. Well, hey, if I were God, I would close my ears at lots of the music in the churches and outside them and say so too.

There is no rest in the first verse and the 22nd. Now - can Amos, the not-prophet, write poetry? My Jerusalem Bible has all of Amos laid out as if it were poetry. It's still moot to me. The lines are longer than Job and the Psalms. (I could make the lines shorter by observing more accents as unambiguous carriage returns, but that is cheating I think.) There are a few verses that conform to typical poetic lengths (7-11 syllables roughly), a few that are shorter, and many that are much longer.

My use of the word conclave has naught to do with Rome. It is a handy term for an enclosed meeting.

The dirge that begins in verse 2 seems to carry on to the end of the chapter. There is a frame of lift up/borne (this root repeats in verse 11 for load) and the house of Israel. There is a repeated line containing search out and live. Gate repeats three times (10, 12, 15 as if hopeful of good government) and wailing (16,17). The segments or stanzas of this chapter as poetry are not obvious to me at the moment. There are no other significant recurrence patterns that I have uncovered by experiment.

Certain verses are encouraging like 14. But the promise of the God of hosts with you is muted by the afterthought, as you say. It is somewhat of a contrast with the threat of verse 17.
Amos 5
שִׁמְע֞וּ אֶת הַדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָנֹכִ֜י נֹשֵׂ֧א עֲלֵיכֶ֛ם קִינָ֖ה בֵּ֥ית יִשְׂרָאֵֽל 1 Hear this word that I lift up about you, a dirge for the house of Israel. 24
נָֽפְלָה֙ לֹֽא תוֹסִ֣יף ק֔וּם בְּתוּלַ֖ת יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
נִטְּשָׁ֥ה עַל אַדְמָתָ֖הּ אֵ֥ין מְקִימָֽהּ
2 Fallen not again to arise is virgin Israel.
Abandoned on her ground, there is none to raise her up.
12
10
כִּ֣י כֹ֤ה אָמַר֙ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֔ה הָעִ֛יר הַיֹּצֵ֥את אֶ֖לֶף תַּשְׁאִ֣יר מֵאָ֑ה
וְהַיּוֹצֵ֥את מֵאָ֛ה תַּשְׁאִ֥יר עֲשָׂרָ֖ה לְבֵ֥ית יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
3 For thus says my Lord Yahweh, The city, a thousand going out, will have a residue of a hundred,
and a hundred going out, will have a residue of ten for the house of Israel.
20
16
כִּ֣י כֹ֥ה אָמַ֛ר יְהוָ֖ה לְבֵ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
דִּרְשׁ֖וּנִי וִֽחְיֽוּ
4 Because thus says Yahweh to the house of Israel,
Search me out and live.
11
5
וְאַֽל תִּדְרְשׁוּ֙ בֵּֽית אֵ֔ל וְהַגִּלְגָּל֙ לֹ֣א תָבֹ֔אוּ וּבְאֵ֥ר שֶׁ֖בַע לֹ֣א תַעֲבֹ֑רוּ
כִּ֤י הַגִּלְגָּל֙ גָּלֹ֣ה יִגְלֶ֔ה וּבֵֽית אֵ֖ל יִהְיֶ֥ה לְאָֽוֶן
5 And do not search out Bethel, and the Gilgal do not enter, and to Beersheva do not cross over,
for the Gilgal is gone into exile and Bethel will be for mischief.
23
16
דִּרְשׁ֥וּ אֶת יְהוָ֖ה וִֽחְי֑וּ
פֶּן יִצְלַ֤ח כָּאֵשׁ֙ בֵּ֣ית יוֹסֵ֔ף וְאָכְלָ֥ה וְאֵין מְכַבֶּ֖ה לְבֵֽית אֵֽל
6 Search out Yahweh and live,
lest he thrive as the fire of the house of Joseph and devour, and there is none to quench for Bethel.
7
19
הַהֹפְכִ֥ים לְלַעֲנָ֖ה מִשְׁפָּ֑ט
וּצְדָקָ֖ה לָאָ֥רֶץ הִנִּֽיחוּ
7 You who change judgment to wormwood,
and righteousness for the earth leave off,
9
9
עֹשֵׂ֨ה כִימָ֜ה וּכְסִ֗יל וְהֹפֵ֤ךְ לַבֹּ֙קֶר֙ צַלְמָ֔וֶת וְי֖וֹם לַ֣יְלָה הֶחְשִׁ֑יךְ
הַקּוֹרֵ֣א לְמֵֽי הַיָּ֗ם וַֽיִּשְׁפְּכֵ֛ם עַל פְּנֵ֥י הָאָ֖רֶץ יְהוָ֥ה שְׁמֽוֹ
8 the one making the Pleiades and Orion and changing to morning the shadow of death, and darkening day to night,
the one calling to the waters of the sea and pouring them out upon the face of the earth, Yahweh is his name.
21
21
הַמַּבְלִ֥יג שֹׁ֖ד עַל עָ֑ז
וְשֹׁ֖ד עַל מִבְצָ֥ר יָבֽוֹא
9 Who smiles at devastation against strength,
and devastation against the enclosures will come.
6
7
שָׂנְא֥וּ בַשַּׁ֖עַר מוֹכִ֑יחַ
וְדֹבֵ֥ר תָּמִ֖ים יְתָעֵֽבוּ
10 They hate at the gate a referee.
And speaking what is complete, they abhor.
8
9
לָ֠כֵן יַ֣עַן בּוֹשַׁסְכֶ֞ם עַל דָּ֗ל וּמַשְׂאַת בַּר֙ תִּקְח֣וּ מִמֶּ֔נּוּ בָּתֵּ֥י גָזִ֛ית בְּנִיתֶ֖ם וְלֹא תֵ֣שְׁבוּ בָ֑ם
כַּרְמֵי חֶ֣מֶד נְטַעְתֶּ֔ם וְלֹ֥א תִשְׁתּ֖וּ אֶת יֵינָֽם
11 Therefore because you encroach on the weak, and a load of corn you take from them, houses of cut-stones you will build, and not settle in them.
Attractive vineyards you will plant, and not imbibe their wine.
30
14
כִּ֤י יָדַ֙עְתִּי֙ רַבִּ֣ים פִּשְׁעֵיכֶ֔ם וַעֲצֻמִ֖ים חַטֹּֽאתֵיכֶ֑ם
צֹרְרֵ֤י צַדִּיק֙ לֹ֣קְחֵי כֹ֔פֶר וְאֶבְיוֹנִ֖ים בַּשַּׁ֥עַר הִטּֽוּ
12 For I know your many transgressions and numerous are your sins.
They trouble a righteous one, taking a cover-price, and the needy at the gate they bend.
17
17
לָכֵ֗ן הַמַּשְׂכִּ֛יל בָּעֵ֥ת הַהִ֖יא יִדֹּ֑ם
כִּ֛י עֵ֥ת רָעָ֖ה הִֽיא
13 Therefore the insightful at that time will be mute,
for a time of evil it is.
11
5
דִּרְשׁוּ ט֥וֹב וְאַל רָ֖ע לְמַ֣עַן תִּֽחְי֑וּ
וִיהִי כֵ֞ן יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֵֽי צְבָא֛וֹת אִתְּכֶ֖ם כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר אֲמַרְתֶּֽם
14 Search out goodness and do not be dejected so that you may live,
and it will be so that Yahweh the God of hosts is with you as you say.
11
19
שִׂנְאוּ רָע֙ וְאֶ֣הֱבוּ ט֔וֹב וְהַצִּ֥יגוּ בַשַּׁ֖עַר מִשְׁפָּ֑ט
אוּלַ֗י יֶֽחֱנַ֛ן יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵֽי צְבָא֖וֹת שְׁאֵרִ֥ית יוֹסֵֽף
15 Hate evil and love goodness and exhibit at the gate judgment.
Maybe Yahweh, God of hosts will be gracious to the residue of Joseph.
17
18
לָ֠כֵן כֹּֽה אָמַ֨ר יְהוָ֜ה אֱלֹהֵ֤י צְבָאוֹת֙ אֲדֹנָ֔י בְּכָל רְחֹב֣וֹת מִסְפֵּ֔ד וּבְכָל חוּצ֖וֹת יֹאמְר֣וּ הוֹ ה֑וֹ
וְקָרְא֤וּ אִכָּר֙ אֶל אֵ֔בֶל וּמִסְפֵּ֖ד אֶל י֥וֹדְעֵי נֶֽהִי
16 Therefore thus says Yahweh God of hosts my Lord, In all the piazzas wailing, and in all the streets, it will be said, Aye yai yai.
And they will call the farmer to lament, and wailing to those who know how to moan.
31
16
וּבְכָל כְּרָמִ֖ים מִסְפֵּ֑ד
כִּֽי אֶעֱבֹ֥ר בְּקִרְבְּךָ֖ אָמַ֥ר יְהוָֽה
17 And in all vineyards wailing,
for I go among you, says Yahweh.
7
12
ה֥וֹי הַמִּתְאַוִּ֖ים אֶת י֣וֹם יְהוָ֑ה
לָמָּה זֶּ֥ה לָכֶ֛ם י֥וֹם יְהוָ֖ה הוּא חֹ֥שֶׁךְ וְלֹא אֽוֹר
18 Alas, those who desire the day of Yahweh.
Why this for you? The day of Yahweh, it is darkness and not light.
10
14
כַּאֲשֶׁ֨ר יָנ֥וּס אִישׁ֙ מִפְּנֵ֣י הָאֲרִ֔י וּפְגָע֖וֹ הַדֹּ֑ב
וּבָ֣א הַבַּ֔יִת וְסָמַ֤ךְ יָדוֹ֙ עַל הַקִּ֔יר וּנְשָׁכ֖וֹ הַנָּחָֽשׁ
19 As if someone withdraws from the presence of the lion and the bear forces him,
or he enters the house and supports his hand on the house wall and the snake takes interest in him.
16
19
הֲלֹא חֹ֛שֶׁךְ י֥וֹם יְהוָ֖ה וְלֹא א֑וֹר
וְאָפֵ֖ל וְלֹא נֹ֥גַֽהּ לֽוֹ
20 Is it not darkness, the day of Yahweh and not light?
And gloom and no illumination for it?
10
8
שָׂנֵ֥אתִי מָאַ֖סְתִּי חַגֵּיכֶ֑ם
וְלֹ֥א אָרִ֖יחַ בְּעַצְּרֹֽתֵיכֶֽם
21 I hate, I refuse your festivities,
and I will not smell in your conclaves.
9
10
כִּ֣י אִם תַּעֲלוּ לִ֥י עֹל֛וֹת וּמִנְחֹתֵיכֶ֖ם לֹ֣א אֶרְצֶ֑ה
וְשֶׁ֥לֶם מְרִיאֵיכֶ֖ם לֹ֥א אַבִּֽיט
22 For if you offer up to me burnt offerings and your gifts, I will not accept,
and peace offerings of fatlings I will not take note of.
16
10
הָסֵ֥ר מֵעָלַ֖י הֲמ֣וֹן שִׁרֶ֑יךָ
וְזִמְרַ֥ת נְבָלֶ֖יךָ לֹ֥א אֶשְׁמָֽע
23 Put aside from me the tumult of your songs,
and the psalm of your lutes I will not hear.
10
10
וְיִגַּ֥ל כַּמַּ֖יִם מִשְׁפָּ֑ט
וּצְדָקָ֖ה כְּנַ֥חַל אֵיתָֽן
24 Let judgment roll like water,
and righteousness like a perennial torrent.
7
8
הַזְּבָחִ֨ים וּמִנְחָ֜ה הִֽגַּשְׁתֶּם לִ֧י בַמִּדְבָּ֛ר אַרְבָּעִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה בֵּ֥ית יִשְׂרָאֵֽל 25 Offerings and gift have you brought close to me in the wilderness a forty year span, O house of Israel? 22
וּנְשָׂאתֶ֗ם אֵ֚ת סִכּ֣וּת מַלְכְּכֶ֔ם וְאֵ֖ת כִּיּ֣וּן צַלְמֵיכֶ֑ם
כּוֹכַב֙ אֱלֹ֣הֵיכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר עֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם לָכֶֽם
26 But you have borne the booth of your Moloch and Kyon, your images,
the star of your God that you have constructed for yourselves.
16
13
וְהִגְלֵיתִ֥י אֶתְכֶ֖ם מֵהָ֣לְאָה לְדַמָּ֑שֶׂק
אָמַ֛ר יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵֽי צְבָא֖וֹת שְׁמֽוֹ
27 So I will exile you, removed far beyond Damascus,
says Yahweh. The God of hosts is his name.
13
12


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