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This is what the Lord says:

“Because Judah has committed three covenant transgressions[a]
make that four[b]—I will not revoke my decree of judgment.[c]
They rejected the Lord’s law;[d]
they did not obey his commands.
Their false gods,[e]
to which their fathers were loyal,[f]
led them astray.

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  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.
  4. Amos 2:4 tn Or “instruction”; cf. NCV “teachings.”
  5. 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.
  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), Here the idolatry of the parents carried over to the children, who persisted in worshiping the idols to which their fathers were loyal.