The cosmic power of Yahweh (Am 5:8-5:9)

“He made

The Pleiades,

The Orion.

He turns deep darkness

Into the morning.

He darkens the day

Into night.

He calls for the waters

Of the sea.

He pours them out

On the surface

Of the earth.

Yahweh is his name.

He makes destruction

Flash out

Against the strong.

Thus destruction

Comes upon the fortress.”

Once again, Amos has a praise for the all-powerful cosmic God, Yahweh, as in chapter 4. Yahweh has made the star constellations of the Pleiades, or 7 stars, as well as the Orion, the hunter star constellation. Notice that these ancient prophets were aware of the night sky. Yahweh was able to turn darkness into morning light. At the same time, he was able to darken the day until it became night. Clearly, Yahweh or God controlled the day and night lights. Yahweh also controlled the waters of the sea that could be poured out on the earth. He also was able to bring destruction to the strongest fortresses that they had. Yahweh was a truly powerful cosmic God.

Job curses the night he was conceived (Job 3:2-3:10)

“Job said.

‘Let the day perish in which I was born.

Let the night perish that said,

‘A man-child is conceived.’

Let that day be darkness!

May God above not seek it

Or light shine upon it!

Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.

Let clouds settle upon it.

Let the blackness of the day terrify it.

That night

Let thick darkness seize it!

Let it not rejoice among the days of the year.

Let it not come into the number of the months.


Let that night be barren.

Let no joyful cry be heard in it.

Let those curse it who curse the day,

Those who are skilled to rouse up Leviathan.

Let the stars of its dawn be dark.

Let it hope for light,

but have none.

May it not see the eyelids of the morning.

Because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb,

It did not hide trouble from my eyes.’”

Job at first blamed the day he was born, but he quickly turned to the day he was conceived. He wanted to blot out the day that he the man child was conceived. Basically, he was wishing darkness and not light on that day. This is the classic idea that light is good, dark is bad thinking that permeates most thinking. He even wanted black clouds to terrify the day and night. He wanted the days of the year and the number in the month not to be a time for rejoicing. It is interesting to me that I am working today on this concept on the day of my own birthday. I am happy to be alive. He wished that the night of his conception would have been barren. There should be no joy about his life. Rather it should be like a curse that would arouse the sea monster, the Leviathan. The17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes later used this biblical concept to explain society as chaotic, where we try to devour each other. Thus we needed a strong central government to maintain the common good, a Leviathan government. Clearly these ancients understood the terrible sea monster, the Leviathan, which will appear later in this work. Job wanted the stars in the sky to go dark. Why did they not shut the doors of his mother’s womb? What an image! It almost sounds like he may have preferred to have been aborted. He did not want his eyes to see the morning light or any other troubles.