Word Woche 9.25.14

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Continuing on the tradition until October, here’s a little more Amos 5 for some fun 😀

Amos 5:13-15
13) Therefore the one acting prudently in time  will keep silent because it is an evil time.
14) Seek good and not evil in order that you may live and may the LORD God of Hosts be with you as you have said.
15) Hate evil and Love good! Establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the LORD God of Hosts will show favor to the remanent of Joseph.

Second Call to Reconciliation (v13-15)
The second reconciliation section begins with a verse that appears very out of context.  It begins by ending the previous second of accusations (v11-12) but unlike verses 14 & 15 that contain imperatives and 2nd person plural verbs, its main verb is in a participial form.  It also changes from plural to singular subjects-possibly directing the cursing towards a singular person or to the idea that the nation of Israel as one unit is committing these sins. In verse 14 דרש “seek” is used when seeking out objects such as justice, implying in Amos’ prophetic message seeking for others’ well-being but at the same time possibly holding the other meaning “to seek” in reference to seeking God. “Seeking is a privilege and responsibility of belonging to the covenant community.” (1)  Finally, verses 14 & 15 encourage again the same as verse 4 & 6 – Seek God so that you may live.

A new addition to this section is the change of using YHWH or LORD God to Yahweh, God of Hosts.  Not only does it reflect God’s coming judgment upon Israel but it also has a military context in connection with verse 3.  “In texts where God calls judgement upon Israel, often through the use of foreign armies, they remain God’s hosts in the service of a divine objective.” (2)  The focuses is shifting to the unavoidable death of Israel through God’s might armies. (3)

1. Willem A. Van Gemeren, gen ed., The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, vol.1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1997) 994-995
2. Willem A. Van Gemeren, gen ed., The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, vol.4 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1997) 1297
3. This is why the New Living Translation of the Bible refers to “God’s Mighty Armies” when translating from YHWH, God of Hosts.

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