New English Translation
2 So I will set Moab on fire,[a]
and it will consume Kerioth’s[b] fortresses.
Moab will perish[c] in the heat of battle[d]
amid war cries and the blaring[e] of the ram’s horn.[f]
3 I will remove[g] Moab’s leader;[h]
I will kill all Moab’s[i] officials[j] with him.”
The Lord has spoken!
4 This is what the Lord says:
“Because Judah has committed three covenant transgressions[k]—
make that four[l]—I will not revoke my decree of judgment.[m]
They rejected the Lord’s law;[n]
they did not obey his commands.
Their false gods,[o]
to which their fathers were loyal,[p]
led them astray.
- Amos 2:2 sn The destruction of Moab by fire is an example of a judgment in kind—as the Moabites committed the crime of “burning,” so the Lord will punish them by setting them on fire.
- Amos 2:2 sn Kerioth was an important Moabite city. See Jer 48:24, 41.
- Amos 2:2 tn Or “die” (KJV, NASB, NRSV, TEV); cf. NAB “shall meet death.”
- Amos 2:2 tn Or “in the tumult.” This word refers to the harsh confusion of sounds that characterized an ancient battle—a mixture of war cries, shouts, shrieks of pain, clashes of weapons, etc.
- Amos 2:2 tn Heb “sound” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV).
- Amos 2:2 sn The ram’s horn (used as a trumpet) was blown to signal the approaching battle.
- Amos 2:3 tn Heb “cut off” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); cf. NAB “root out,” NCV “bring to an end.”
- Amos 2:3 tn Heb “the leader [traditionally, “judge”] from her midst.”
- Amos 2:3 tn Heb “her”; the referent (Moab) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Amos 2:3 tn Or “princes” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NLT); cf. TEV, CEV “leaders.”
- Amos 2:4 tn This is the same Hebrew term that is translated “crimes” in the previous oracles (see at 1:3). The change to “covenant transgressions” reflects the probability that the prophet is condemning the nation of Israel for violating stipulations of the Mosaic Law.
- Amos 2:4 tn Heb “Because of three violations of Judah, even because of four.”sn On the three…four style that introduces each of the judgment oracles of chaps. 1-2 see the note on the word “four” in 1:3.
- Amos 2:4 tn Heb “I will not bring it [or “him”] back.” The translation understands the pronominal object to refer to the decree of judgment that follows; the referent (the decree) has been specified in the translation for clarity. For another option see the note on the word “judgment” in 1:3.
- Amos 2:4 tn Or “instruction”; cf. NCV “teachings.”
- Amos 2:4 tn Heb “lies.” This may very well be a derogatory term for idols (perhaps also at Ps 40:4 ET [40:5 HT]). Elsewhere false gods are called “vanities” (Deut 32:21; 1 Kgs 16:13, 26) and a delusion (Isa 66:3). In no other prophetic passages, however, are they called “lies.” The term could refer to the deceptions of false prophets (note Ezek 13:6-9; cf. Hab 2:3). See F. I. Andersen and D. N. Freedman, Amos (AB), 301-6.
- Amos 2:4 tn Heb “after which their fathers walked.” The expression “to walk after” is an idiom meaning “to be loyal to.” See S. M. Paul, Amos (Hermeneia), 75-76.sn Here the idolatry of the parents carried over to the children, who persisted in worshiping the idols to which their fathers were loyal.