Amos 1:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Damascus, even for four, I will not relent. Because she threshed Gilead with sledges having iron teeth,

New Living Translation
This is what the LORD says: "The people of Damascus have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They beat down my people in Gilead as grain is threshed with iron sledges.

English Standard Version
Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they have threshed Gilead with threshing sledges of iron.

New American Standard Bible
Thus says the LORD, "For three transgressions of Damascus and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they threshed Gilead with implements of sharp iron.

King James Bible
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The LORD says: I will not relent from punishing Damascus for three crimes, even four, because they threshed Gilead with iron sledges.

International Standard Version
This is what the LORD says: "For three transgressions of Damascus —and now for a fourth— I will not turn away; because they have trampled down Gilead with ironclad threshing sleds.

NET Bible
This is what the LORD says: "Because Damascus has committed three crimes--make that four!--I will not revoke my decree of judgment. They ripped through Gilead like threshing sledges with iron teeth.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This is what the LORD says: Because Damascus has committed three crimes, and now a fourth crime, I will not change my plans. The Arameans have crushed [the people of] Gilead with iron-spiked threshing sledges.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Thus hath the LORD said: For three transgressions of Damascus and for the fourth, I will not convert her because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron.

King James 2000 Bible
Thus says the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:

American King James Version
Thus said the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:

American Standard Version
Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Damascus, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thus saith the Lord: For three crimes of Damascus, and for four I will not convert it: because they have thrashed Galaad with iron wains.

Darby Bible Translation
Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not revoke [my sentence], because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron.

English Revised Version
Thus saith the LORD: For three transgressions of Damascus, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:

Webster's Bible Translation
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:

World English Bible
Thus says Yahweh: "For three transgressions of Damascus, yes, for four, I will not turn away its punishment; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron;

Young's Literal Translation
And thus said Jehovah: For three transgressions of Damascus, And for four, I do not reverse it, Because of their threshing Gilead with sharp-pointed irons,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:18-21 There shall be abundant Divine influences, and the gospel will spread speedily into the remotest corners of the earth. These events are predicted under significant emblems; there is a day coming, when every thing amiss shall be amended. The fountain of this plenty is in the house of God, whence the streams take rise. Christ is this Fountain; his sufferings, merit, and grace, cleanse, refresh, and make fruitful. Gospel grace, flowing from Christ, shall reach to the Gentile world, to the most remote regions, and make them abound in fruits of righteousness; and from the house of the Lord above, from his heavenly temple, flows all the good we daily taste, and hope to enjoy eternally.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 3-5. - Before announcing the judgment on Israel, Amos proclaims the punishment on neighbouring heathen nations for their injurious treatment of the chosen people, thus showing God's care for his elect, and leading them to fear vengeance for their own greater sins towards him. The order observed in denouncing these nations is not geographical, but is regulated by the nature of each people's relation to Israel, and the degree in which they have sinned against her. The denunciation begins with Syria, her hitherto most oppressive enemy, and the least akin. Verse 3. - For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four. This form of expression is repeated in each of the following strophes, and some critics have taken the terms literally, and have tried to identify that particular number of transgressions in each case; but this is trifling. The phrase and others similar to it are not uncommon, and are used to signify a great number, the last mentioned being supposed to fill up the measure and make it overflow. Thus Job 5:19, "He shall deliver thee in six troubles, yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee" (comp. Job 33:29; Proverbs 30:15, 18, 21; Ecclesiastes 11:2). So Hom., 'Od.,' 5:306, Τρισμάκαρες Δαναοὶ καὶ τετράκισ: and Virg., 'AEn.,' 1:94, "O terque quaterque beati;" comp. Hor., 'Carm,' 1:31, 13. Damascus had been an active enemy of Israel since the time that Rezon threw off his allegiance (1 Kings 11:23, etc.), and seized Damascus, which had been tributary to David (2 Samuel 8:5). The history of the wars carried on by Syria against the Jews may be read in the sacred books (see 1 Kings 15:19, etc.; 2 Chronicles 16:2, etc.; 1 Kings 20; 1 Kings 22; 2 Kings 7; 2 Kings 9:14, etc.; 2 Kings 10:32, etc.; 2 Kings 12:18; 13:5, 25; 2 Chronicles 24:23, etc.; 2 Kings 14:28). I will not turn away the punishment thereof. So in the following strophes. Literally, I will not reverse it. Amos does not expressly say what; but he means the sentence or judgment (comp. Numbers 23:20, "I cannot reverse it," where the same word is used). The Latin Vulgate gives, Non convertam eum, i.e. Damascum, which Knabenbauer explains, "I will not avert its destruction, will not turn it aside from its downward course." The LXX. renders, Οὐκ ἀποστραφήσομαι αὐτόν, "I will not turn away from it," i.e., as explained by Theodoret, "I will no longer disregard its sins." Because they have threshed Gilead. This is the culminating offence of the Syrians. The word rendered "threshing instrument" (charutz) signifies a kind of corn drag made of heavy planks fastened together and armed beneath with sharp stones or iron points. This machine, weighted with the driver who sat or stood upon it, was drawn by oxen over the corn (comp. Isaiah 28:27; Isaiah 41:15). A representation of it is given by Smith, 'Dict. of Bible,' 1:31, and Kitto, 'Cyclop.,' 1:86. Such an instrument, set with sharp flints in rows, was to be seen in the Indian and Colonial Exhibition of the year 1886, in the Cyprus department. Another kind of instrmuent (moreg) is thus described by Jerome: "Est autem genus plaustri, quod rotis subter ferreis atque dentatis volvitur, ut excussis frumentis stipulam in areis conterat, et in cibos jumentorum propter foeni sterilitatem paleas comminuat." Such an implement was used in the infliction of capital punishment by David (2 Samuel 12:31; comp. Proverbs 20:26). Gilead is here put for all the country east of Jordan (Joshua 22:9). The cruel treatment referred to in the text occurred in the time of Hazael during the reign of Jehu (2 Kings 10:32, etc.; comp. 13:7). The Septuagint has, "Because with iron saws they sawed asunder women with child." This is doubtless a reminiscence of Elisha's words to Hazael (2 Kings 8:12).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Thus saith the Lord,.... Lest it should be thought that the words that Amos spoke were his own, and he spake them of himself, this and the following prophecies are prefaced in this manner; and he begins with the nations near to the people of Israel and Judah, who had greatly afflicted them, and for that reason would be punished; which is foretold, to let Israel see that those judgments on them did not come by chance; and lest they should promise themselves impunity from the prosperity of these sinful nations; and to awaken them to a sense of their sin and danger, who might expect the visitation of God for their transgressions; as also to take off all offence at the prophet, who began not with them, but with their enemies:

for three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; Damascus was an ancient city; it was in the times of Abraham, Genesis 15:2. It was the "metropolis" of Syria, Isaiah 7:8; and so Pliny calls it, "Damascus of Syria" (u). Of the situation of this place, and the delightfulness of it; see Gill on Jeremiah 49:25; and of its founder, and the signification of its name; see Gill on Acts 9:2; to which may be added, that though Justin (w) says it had its name from Damascus, a king of it before Abraham and Israel, whom he also makes kings of it; and Josephus (x) would have Uz the son of Aram the founder of it, to which Bochart (y) agrees; yet the Arabic writers ascribe the building of it to others; for the Arabs have a tradition, as Schultens (z) says, that there were Canaanites anciently in Syria; for they talk of Dimashc the son of Canaan, who built the famous city of Damascus, and so it should seem to be called after his name; and Abulpharagius (a) says, that Murkus or Murphus, as others call him, king of Palestine, built the city of Damascus twenty years before the birth of Abraham: from this place many things have their names, which continue with us to this day, as the "damask" rose, and the "damascene" plum, transplanted from the gardens that were about it, for which it was famous; and very probably the invention of the silk and linen called "damasks" owes its rise from hence. It is here put for the whole country of Syria, and the inhabitants of it, for whose numerous transgressions, signified by "three" and "four", the Lord would not turn away his fury from them, justly raised by their sins; or the decree which he had passed in his own mind, and now made a declaration of, he would not revoke; or not inflict the punishment they had deserved, and he had threatened. The sense is, that he would not spare them, or have mercy on them, or defer the execution of punishment any longer; he would not forgive their transgressions. So the Targum,

"I will not pardon them.''

De Dieu refers it to the earthquake before mentioned, that God would not turn away that, but cause it to come, as he had foretold, for the transgressions of these, and other nations after spoken of; but rather it refers to Damascus; and so some render it, "I will not turn", or "convert it" (b); to repentance, and so to my mercy; but leave it in its sins, and to my just judgments. Kimchi thinks that this respects four particular seasons, in which Damascus, or the Syrians, evilly treated and distressed the people of Israel; first in the times of Baasha; then in the times of Ahab; a third time in the days of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu; and the fourth in the times of Ahaz; and then they were punished for them all:

because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron; that is,

"the inhabitants of the land of Gilead,''

as the Targum; this country lay beyond Jordan, and was inhabited by the Reubenites and Gadites and the half tribe of Manasseh; who were used in a very cruel manner, by Hazael king of Syria, as was foretold by Elisha, 2 Kings 7:12; not literally, as in 2 Samuel 12:31; but by him they were beat, oppressed, and crushed, as the grain of the threshingfloor; which used to be threshed out by means of a wooden instrument stuck with iron teeth, the top of which was filled with stones to press it down, and so drawn to and fro over the sheaves of corn, by which means it was beaten out, to which the allusion is here; See Gill on 1 Corinthians 9:9. This was done by Hazael king of Syria, who is said to destroy the people, and make them "like the dust by threshing", 2 Kings 10:32.

(u) Nat. Hist. l. 36. c. 8. (w) E Trogo, l. 36. c. 2.((x) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4. (y) Phaleg. l. 2. c. 8. (z) Apud Universal History, vol. 2. p. 280. (a) Hist. Dynast. p. 13. (b) "non convertam eam", Montanus, Vatablus, Drusius.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. Here begins a series of threatenings of vengeance against six other states, followed by one against Judah, and ending with one against Israel, with whom the rest of the prophecy is occupied. The eight predictions are in symmetrical stanzas, each prefaced by "Thus saith the Lord." Beginning with the sin of others, which Israel would be ready enough to recognize, he proceeds to bring home to Israel her own guilt. Israel must not think hereafter, because she sees others visited similarly to herself, that such judgments are matters of chance; nay, they are divinely foreseen and foreordered, and are confirmations of the truth that God will not clear the guilty. If God spares not the nations that know not the truth, how much less Israel that sins wilfully (Lu 12:47, 48; Jas 4:17)!

for three transgressions … and for four—If Damascus had only sinned once or twice, I would have spared them, but since, after having been so often pardoned, they still persevere so continually, I will no longer "turn away" their punishment. The Hebrew is simply, "I will not reverse it," namely, the sentence of punishment which follows; the negative expression implies more than it expresses; that is, "I will most surely execute it"; God's fulfilment of His threats being more awful than human language can express. "Three and four" imply sin multiplied on sin (compare Ex 20:5; Pr 30:15, 18, 21; "six and seven," Job 5:19; "once and twice," Job 33:14; "twice and thrice," Margin; "oftentimes," English Version, Job 33:29; "seven and also eight," Ec 11:2). There may be also a reference to seven, the product of three and four added; seven expressing the full completion of the measure of their guilt (Le 26:18, 21, 24; compare Mt 23:32).

threshed—the very term used of the Syrian king Hazael's oppression of Israel under Jehu and Jehoahaz (2Ki 10:32, 33; 13:7). The victims were thrown before the threshing sledges, the teeth of which tore their bodies. So David to Ammon (2Sa 12:31; compare Isa 28:27).

Amos 1:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
Judgment on Israel's Neighbors
2He said, "The LORD roars from Zion And from Jerusalem He utters His voice; And the shepherds' pasture grounds mourn, And the summit of Carmel dries up." 3Thus says the LORD, "For three transgressions of Damascus and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they threshed Gilead with implements of sharp iron. 4"So I will send fire upon the house of Hazael And it will consume the citadels of Ben-hadad.…
Cross References
2 Kings 10:33
east of the Jordan in all the land of Gilead (the region of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh), from Aroer by the Arnon Gorge through Gilead to Bashan.

2 Kings 13:7
Nothing had been left of the army of Jehoahaz except fifty horsemen, ten chariots and ten thousand foot soldiers, for the king of Aram had destroyed the rest and made them like the dust at threshing time.

2 Kings 16:9
The king of Assyria complied by attacking Damascus and capturing it. He deported its inhabitants to Kir and put Rezin to death.

Isaiah 7:16
for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.

Isaiah 8:4
For before the boy knows how to say 'My father' or 'My mother,' the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria."

Isaiah 17:1
A prophecy against Damascus: "See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins.

Isaiah 28:27
Caraway is not threshed with a sledge, nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin; caraway is beaten out with a rod, and cumin with a stick.

Jeremiah 49:23
Concerning Damascus: "Hamath and Arpad are dismayed, for they have heard bad news. They are disheartened, troubled like the restless sea.

Jeremiah 49:27
"I will set fire to the walls of Damascus; it will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad."

Amos 2:1
This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Moab, even for four, I will not relent. Because he burned to ashes the bones of Edom's king,

Amos 2:4
This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Judah, even for four, I will not relent. Because they have rejected the law of the LORD and have not kept his decrees, because they have been led astray by false gods, the gods their ancestors followed,

Zechariah 9:1
A prophecy: The word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrak and will come to rest on Damascus-- for the eyes of all people and all the tribes of Israel are on the LORD--
Treasury of Scripture

Thus said the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:

For.

Amos 1:6,9,11,13 Thus said the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, …

Amos 2:1,4,6 Thus said the LORD; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, …

Job 5:19 He shall deliver you in six troubles: yes, in seven there shall no …

Job 19:3 These ten times have you reproached me: you are not ashamed that …

Proverbs 6:16 These six things does the LORD hate: yes, seven are an abomination to him:

Ecclesiastes 11:2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for you know not what …

Damascus.

Isaiah 7:8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; …

Isaiah 8:4 For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother…

Isaiah 17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being …

Jeremiah 49:23-27 Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have …

Zechariah 9:1 The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus …

and for four. or, yea, for four. turn away the punishment thereof. or, convert it, or, let it be quiet, and so.

Amos 1:6,9-2:16 Thus said the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, …

because.

1 Kings 19:17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapes the sword of Hazael …

2 Kings 8:12 And Hazael said, Why weeps my lord? And he answered, Because I know …

2 Kings 10:32,33 In those days the LORD began to cut Israel short: and Hazael smote …

2 Kings 13:3,7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he delivered …

Isaiah 41:15 Behold, I will make you a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: …

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Alphabetical: and back Because Damascus even For four Gilead having I implements iron is its LORD my not of punishment revoke says sharp she sins sledges teeth the they This three threshed Thus transgressions turn what will with wrath

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