“Yet I destroyed
Their height was
Like the height of cedar trees.
As the oak trees.
His fruit above.
His roots beneath.
I brought you up
Out of the land of Egypt.
I led you forty years
In the wilderness.
The land of the Amorites’”
The literary tone changed, as Yahweh, via Amos, reminded the people of Israel on how he had destroyed the Amorites, the people who lived in the Promise Land before the Israelites arrived. These Amorites or Canaanites were very tall like cedar trees and very strong like oak trees. However, Yahweh completely destroyed them including the fruit of their trees above ground as well as the roots of their trees beneath ground, a complete annihilation. After all, he had brought the Israelites out of Egypt. He had protected them for 40 years, while they were in the wilderness or desert. Finally, Yahweh let the Israelites possess the land of the Amorites.
“Shall not Lebanon,
In a little while,
Become a fruitful field?
The fruitful field
Shall be regarded as a forest.
On that day,
The deaf shall hear
The words of a scroll.
Out of their gloom,
Out of their darkness,
The eyes of the blind shall see.”
This seems to be added here, but it is about Lebanon. In a little while, Lebanon will be a fruitful field as a forest because of its cedar trees. When that happens, the deaf will hear the words of the scroll and the blind will see with their eyes, despite their gloom and darkness. Good things lie ahead for Lebanon.
“How the oppressor has ceased!
How the insolence has ceased!
Yahweh has broken the staff of the wicked.
He has broken the scepter of rulers
That had struck down the peoples in wrath.
With unceasing blows,
This staff ruled the nations in anger.
It had ruled with unrelenting persecution.
The whole earth is at rest.
The whole earth is quiet.
They break forth into singing.
The cypresses exult over you.
The cedars of Lebanon say.
‘Since you were laid low,
No one comes to cut us down.’”
Yahweh has brought about the death of the tyrant who oppressed people with insolence. The staff of this wicked ruler has been broken. While he was in power, this wicked king had struck down people with many blows. He had ruled in anger and persecuted people. Now the whole world is at rest and quiet. They will break into singing. The cypress and cedar trees are happy also, since there will be no cutting wood for more building of huge palaces.
“You cause the grass to grow for the cattle.
You cause the plants for people to use.
Mortals may bring forth food from the earth.
They will make wine to gladden the human heart.
They will have oil to make the face shine.
They will make bread to strengthen the human heart.
The trees of Yahweh are watered abundantly.
He planted the cedars of Lebanon.”
Yahweh makes the grass to grow for cattle. He causes plants to grow for humans. Thus mortals can bring food from the earth to eat. They can also make wine to gladden their hearts. They can make oil to a shine on their faces. They also make bread to strengthen their hearts. Finally, the cedar trees of Lebanon were planted by Yahweh so that buildings could be made from their lumber.