The prophecy against Amaziah (Am 7:16-7:17)

“Therefore,

Hear the word of Yahweh!

You say.

‘Do not prophesy

Against Israel!

Do not preach

Against the house of Isaac!

Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh.

‘Your wife shall become

A prostitute in the city.

Your sons,

Your daughters,

Shall fall by the sword.

Your land

Shall be parceled out

By line.

You yourself shall die

In an unclean land.

Israel shall surely

Go into exile

Away from its land.’”

Amos wanted Amaziah to hear the word of Yahweh that he had heard. While Amaziah had said not to prophesize in Israel or against the house of Israel, Yahweh, via Amos, responded by telling him that his wife would become a prostitute in the city. Both his sons and daughters would die by the sword. His land would be parceled out by the line. Finally, Amaziah would die in a foreign unclean land, because Israel was going to be sent into exile into a land far from there. This was a very strong rebuke of Amaziah.

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Jacob in Aram (Hos 12:12-12:12)

“Jacob fled

To the land of Aram.

There Israel served

For a wife.

He guarded sheep

For a wife.”

This incident about Jacob or Israel can be found in Genesis, chapter 29. Jacob went east and found his cousin Rachel, whom he wanted to marry. He was tricked into marring her sister Leah. However, he stayed on to take care of the sheep of his uncle Laban, so that he would have Rachel as his wife also.

Everlasting marriage (Hos 2:19-2:20)

“I will take you

For my wife

Forever.

I will take you

For my wife

In righteousness,

In justice,

In steadfast love,

In mercy.

I will take you

For my wife

In faithfulness.

You shall know Yahweh.”

Next Yahweh committed to an everlasting marriage. Yahweh was going to take Israel as his wife for all time, forever. She would be his wife in righteousness, justice, love, and mercy. Israel would be a faithful wife. Thus, she would truly know Yahweh, God.

The breakup (Hos 2:2-2:3)

“Plead with your mother!

Plead!

She is not my wife!

I am not her husband!

She should put away

Her whoring

From her face.

She should put away

Her adultery

From between her breasts.

Otherwise,

I will strip her naked.

I will expose her

As in the day

She was born.

I will make her

Like a wilderness.

I will turn her

Into a parched land.

I will kill her

With thirst.”

Now the prophet Hosea really tore into Gomer. He told the children that Gomer was not his wife and that he was not her husband. Gomer had to stop her whoring ways. She continued to commit adultery, although she bore 3 children. Hosea had a punishment for her. He was going to strip her naked, so that she would be like the day she was born. He was going to turn her into a wilderness or a parched land. He was going to kill her with thirst. I guess that there was no reconciliation here. The verse numbering system is not the same here for various bibles, since the Bible of Jerusalem has this at the end of the chapter.

All praise God (Dan 13:63-13:64)

“Hilkiah,

With his wife,

Praised God

For their daughter,

Susanna.

Joakim,

Her husband,

Also praised God.

All her relatives

Praised God.

She was found innocent

Of a shameful deed.

From that day onward,

Daniel

Had a great reputation

Among the people.”

Of course, this story has a happy ending. Hilkiah and his wife praised God because their daughter had been found innocent of this shameful deed. Also, her husband Joakim, who had been in the background, praised God. All of Susanna’s relatives were praising God, because Susanna was not found guilty. From that day on, Daniel had a great reputation, another reason why this might be better off at the beginning of this work.

The alliance of the kings of the north and the south (Dan 11:6-11:6)

“After some years,

They shall make an alliance.

The daughter

Of the king of the south

Shall come to

The king of the north

To ratify the agreement.

But she shall not retain

Her power.

Her offspring

Shall not endure.

She shall be given up.

She,

Her attendants,

Her child,

The one who supported her

Will all die.”

The sons of Ptolemy and Seleucus made an alliance. Apparently, this took place around 250 BCE when Ptolemy II (283-246 BCE) gave his daughter Bernice to Antiochus II (261-246 BCE) to be his wife. However, the first wife of Antiochus II, Laodice, plotted against her. She then killed Bernice, her child and everyone with her. Thus, this treaty did not last long.

The sign of Ezekiel (Ezek 24:22-24:24)

“You shall do

As I have done!

You shall not cover

Your upper lip!

You shall not eat

The bread

Of mourners!

Your turbans shall be

On your heads!

Your sandals shall be

On your feet!

You shall not mourn!

You shall not weep!

But you shall pine away

In your iniquities.

You shall groan

To one another.

‘Thus Ezekiel

Shall be a sign

To you.

You shall do

Just as he has done.

When this comes,

Then you will know

That I am Yahweh God.’”

When this catastrophe would hit them, they should do as Ezekiel had done. They were not to cover up their upper lip. They were not to eat the mourner’s bread. However, they should continue to wear their turban hats and their foot sandals. They were not to mourn or weep. They could pine away privately, because of their iniquities. They could also groan to one another privately. Thus Yahweh had placed Ezekiel and his behavior as a sign for them. They were to do just as Ezekiel had done when his wife died. Then they would all know that Yahweh, their God, was in charge. In other words, the death of their loved ones would be a numbing experience, without any outward grief.