Against Edom (Am 1:11-1:12)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘For three transgressions

Of Edom,

And for four,

I will not revoke

The punishment.

Because he pursued

His brother

With the sword.

He cast off all pity.

He maintained

His anger perpetually.

He kept his wrath forever.

So,

I will send a fire

On Teman.

It shall devour

The strongholds of Bozrah.’”

Edom was southeast of Judah and south of the Dead Sea. Yahweh, via Amos, invoked the same language as he had used against Damascus, the Philistines, and Tyre. He used the same numeric formula of 3 and 4, like in Proverbs, chapter 30. Edom was considered a brother of Israel, because its founder was Esau, the twin brother of Jacob. Edom had tried to kill the Israelites with a sword. They had no pity, since they were perpetually angry. Thus, Yahweh was going to send fire down on Teman, either a tribe or small village in Edom. He was also going to devour the fortress in Bozrah, the capital city of Edom, in present day Jordan.

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The sons of the northern king attack the south (Dan 11:10-11:10)

“The sons of the northern king

Shall wage war.

They shall assemble

A multitude

Of great forces.

They shall advance

Like a flood.

They shall pass through.

They shall again carry the war

As far as his fortress.”

The sons of the northern King Seleucus II were King Seleucus III (225-223 BCE) and King Antiochus III (222-187 BCE) both of whom ruled after him. They decided to attack the southern king of Egypt. They assembled a great army and advanced like a flood to the fortress of Egypt.

Yahweh is my rock (Ps 71:1-71:3)

“In you I take refuge!

Yahweh!

Let me never be put to shame!

In your righteousness,

Deliver me!

Rescue me!

Incline your ear to me!

Save me!

Be to me a rock of refuge!

Be to me a strong fortress!

Save me!

You are my rock!

You are my fortress!”

Psalm 71 has no introduction or titles. This psalmist seems to be an old worshiper who wants help against his enemies, an old man’s prayer. Many of the themes of his lamentation with God as the rock and the fortress can be found in Psalm 31 also. The psalmist did not want to be put to shame. He wanted to be rescued and delivered. He wanted God to listen to him since Yahweh was his refuge, his fortress, and his rock. He wanted to be saved.