6:13Lo-debar . . . Karnaim. Lo-debar was a border town in Gilead, Karnaim a city on the plain of Bashan on the way to Damascus. Both were apparently retaken from Hazael by Jehoash (2 Kin. 10:32, 33; 13:25), but later conquered by Assyria (2 Kin. 15:29). The names respectively mean “nothing” and “horns.” A wordplay is intended, by which Amos says that Israel rejoices in the conquest of nothing (the conquest of Lo-debar, soon to be taken by Assyria, was short-lived), and boasts of having taken “horns” (symbolic of military strength in the ancient Near East) by their own strength. Their conquests amount to nothing, and their strength will melt away before the Lord’s judgment.
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