No escape (Am 9:1-9:1)

“I saw Yahweh

Standing beside the altar.

He said.

‘Strike the capitals

Until the thresholds shake!

Shatter them

On the heads

Of all the people.

Those who are left,

I will kill

With the sword!

Not one of them

Shall flee away!

Not one of them

Shall escape.’”

The final vision of Amos was when he saw Yahweh standing beside the altar, presumably the altar at Bethel in Samaria.  Yahweh said to Amos that he was going to strike the capitals or the tops of the columns so that the thresholds or the rest of the support systems would shake.  In fact, they would all tumble and shatter on the heads of the people there.  Anyone left over, Yahweh was going to kill with the sword.  No one would get away or escape from this false temple at Bethel.

The later inferior kingdoms of bronze and iron (Dan 2:39-2:40)

“After you,

Shall arise

Another kingdom,

Inferior to you.

Yet a third kingdom

Of bronze,

Shall rule

Over the whole earth.

There shall be a fourth kingdom,

Strong as iron.

Just as iron

Crushes everything,

Just as iron

Smashes everything,

It shall crush everything,

It shall shatter everything.”

Daniel explained that there would be few kingdoms after King Nebuchadnezzar, but they would all be inferior to him and his kingdom. These would be the bronze and iron kingdoms. These 2nd, 3rd, and 4th kingdoms probably refer to the Median, the Persian and the Greek kingdoms. However, this future 4th iron kingdom would crush and shatter everything, probably a reference to the iron kingdom of the Greeks that the 3rd century BCE Jews were having so much trouble with.

Yahweh judges (Ps 110:5-110:7)

“Yahweh is at your right hand.

He will shatter kings

On the day of his wrath.

He will execute judgment

Among the nations.

He will fill them with corpses.

He will shatter heads

Over the wide earth.

He will drink

From the stream by the path.

Therefore he will lift up his head.”

This short psalm ends with Yahweh giving this king, probably David, the power to judge. Thus the Christian interpretation of the Messiah as king, priest, and judge would be based on this psalm. Here there is a role reversal from the first verse as Yahweh is at the king’s right hand. Now this is a king who shatters other kings on the day of wrath. He too will execute judgment on the other nations as well. He will fill their countries with corpses. He will shatter their heads on the earth. He will drink from the streams along the pathway so that he will lift up his head. Yes, this is a difficult psalm to understand, so that the Davidic Christian messianic interpretation is certainly possible.

God will defeat his enemies (Ps 68:21-68:23)

“God will shatter the heads of his enemies.

God will shatter the hairy crown

Of those who walk in their guilty ways.

Yahweh said.

‘I will bring them back from Bashan.

I will bring them back from the depths of the sea.

Thus you may bathe your feet in blood.

The tongues of your dogs

May have their share from the foe.’

After the rousing praise for God, now we turn to the action of God. He was going to shatter the heads of his enemies. He would smash the hairy crowns of the guilty ones. He would bring them back from the mountains of Bashan, the Golan Heights, and from the depths of sea. Why would he bring his foes? Then the Israelites could bathe their feet in the blood of their enemies. After that the dogs could have a portion of their bodies. This was a gruesome description of the guilty enemies of God.