Amos 3:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
This is what the LORD says: "As a shepherd rescues from the lion's mouth only two leg bones or a piece of an ear, so will the Israelites living in Samaria be rescued, with only the head of a bed and a piece of fabric from a couch."

New Living Translation
This is what the LORD says: "A shepherd who tries to rescue a sheep from a lion's mouth will recover only two legs or a piece of an ear. So it will be for the Israelites in Samaria lying on luxurious beds, and for the people of Damascus reclining on couches.

English Standard Version
Thus says the LORD: “As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who dwell in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed.

Berean Study Bible
This is what the LORD says: “As the shepherd snatches from the mouth of the lion two legs or a piece of an ear, so the Israelites dwelling in Samaria will be snatched away with the corner of a bed or the cushion of a couch.

New American Standard Bible
Thus says the LORD, "Just as the shepherd snatches from the lion's mouth a couple of legs or a piece of an ear, So will the sons of Israel dwelling in Samaria be snatched away-- With the corner of a bed and the cover of a couch!

King James Bible
Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.

Christian Standard Bible
The LORD says: As the shepherd snatches two legs or a piece of an ear from the lion's mouth, so the Israelites who live in Samaria will be rescued with only the corner of a bed or the cushion of a couch.

Contemporary English Version
The LORD has promised that only a few from Samaria will escape with their lives and with some broken pieces of their beds and couches. It will be like when a shepherd rescues two leg bones and part of a sheep's ear from the jaws of a lion.

Good News Translation
The LORD says, "As a shepherd recovers only two legs or an ear of a sheep that a lion has eaten, so only a few will survive of Samaria's people, who now recline on luxurious couches.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The LORD says: As the shepherd snatches two legs or a piece of an ear from the lion's mouth, so the Israelites who live in Samaria will be rescued with only the corner of a bed or the cushion of a couch.

International Standard Version
This is what the LORD says: "Just as a shepherd might save from the lion's mouth only two leg bones or a scrap of an ear, the Israelis will be saved in a similar manner— those in Samaria who sit on the remains of their broken beds, and those in Damascus who lie on the edge of their couches."

NET Bible
This is what the LORD says: "Just as a shepherd salvages from the lion's mouth a couple of leg bones or a piece of an ear, so the Israelites who live in Samaria will be salvaged. They will be left with just a corner of a bed, and a part of a couch."

New Heart English Bible
Thus says the LORD: "As the shepherd rescues out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the children of Israel be rescued who sit in Samaria on the corner of a couch, and on the silken cushions of a bed."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This is what the LORD says: As a shepherd rescues two legs or a piece of an ear out of a lion's mouth, so the Israelites living in Samaria will be rescued, [having only] a corner of a bed or a piece of a couch.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Thus saith the LORD: As the shepherd rescueth out of the mouth of the lion Two legs, or a piece of an ear, So shall the children of Israel that dwell in Samaria Escape with the corner of a couch, and the leg of a bed.

New American Standard 1977
Thus says the LORD, “Just as the shepherd snatches from the lion’s mouth a couple of legs or a piece of an ear, So will the sons of Israel dwelling in Samaria be snatched away— With the corner of a bed and the cover of a couch!

Jubilee Bible 2000
Thus hath the LORD said: As the pastor takes out of the mouth of the lion two legs or a piece of an ear, so shall the sons of Israel escape that dwell in Samaria in the corner of the bed and at the border of the couch.

King James 2000 Bible
Thus says the LORD; As the shepherd takes out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and on the edge of a couch.

American King James Version
Thus said the LORD; As the shepherd takes out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.

American Standard Version
Thus saith Jehovah: As the shepherd rescueth out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the children of Israel be rescued that sit in Samaria in the corner of a couch, and on the silken cushions of a bed.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thus saith the Lord: As if a shepherd should get out of the lion's mouth two legs, or the tip of the ear: so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria, in a piece of a bed, and in the couch of Damascus.

Darby Bible Translation
Thus saith Jehovah: Like as the shepherd rescueth out of the jaw of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be rescued that sit in Samaria in the corner of a couch, and upon the damask of a bed.

English Revised Version
Thus saith the LORD: As the shepherd rescueth out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be rescued that sit in Samaria in the corner of a couch, and on the silken cushions of a bed.

Webster's Bible Translation
Thus saith the LORD: As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.

World English Bible
Thus says Yahweh: "As the shepherd rescues out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the children of Israel be rescued who sit in Samaria on the corner of a couch, and on the silken cushions of a bed."

Young's Literal Translation
Thus said Jehovah: As the shepherd delivereth from the lion's mouth Two legs, or a piece of an ear, So delivered are the sons of Israel, Who are sitting in Samaria on the corner of a bed, And in Damascus on that of a couch.
Study Bible
Witnesses Against Israel
11Therefore this is what the Lord GOD says: “An enemy will surround the land; he will pull down your strongholds and plunder your citadels.” 12This is what the LORD says: “As the shepherd snatches from the mouth of the lion two legs or a piece of an ear, so the Israelites dwelling in Samaria will be snatched away with the corner of a bed or the cushion of a couch. 13Hear and testify against the house of Jacob, declares the Lord GOD, the God of Hosts.…
Cross References
1 Samuel 17:34
David replied, "Your servant has been tending his father's sheep, and whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock,

1 Samuel 17:35
I went after it, struck it down, and delivered the lamb from its mouth. If it reared up against me, I would grab it by its fur, strike it down, and kill it.

Esther 1:6
Hangings of white and violet linen were fastened with cords of fine white and purple to silver rings on the marble pillars. Gold and silver couches were arranged on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and other precious stones.

Esther 7:8
Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining. The king exclaimed, "Would he actually assault the queen while I am in the palace?" As soon as the words had left the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.

Psalm 132:3
"I will not enter my house or get into my bed,

Amos 6:4
You lie on beds inlaid with ivory, and lounge upon your couches; You dine on lambs from the flock and calves from the stall.

Amos 9:8
Surely the eyes of the Lord GOD are on the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth. Yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob," declares the LORD.

Treasury of Scripture

Thus said the LORD; As the shepherd takes out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.

As the.

1 Samuel 17:34-37 And David said to Saul, Your servant kept his father's sheep, and …

Isaiah 31:4 For thus has the LORD spoken to me, Like as the lion and the young …

taketh. Heb. delivereth. so shall.

Amos 9:2,3 Though they dig into hell, there shall my hand take them; though …

1 Kings 20:30 But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and there a wall fell …

1 Kings 22:25 And Micaiah said, Behold, you shall see in that day, when you shall …

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

Isaiah 17:1-4 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being …

Romans 11:4,5 But what said the answer of God to him? I have reserved to myself …

in Damascus in a couch. or, on the bed's feet.

1 Kings 20:34 And Ben-hadad said to him, The cities, which my father took from …

2 Kings 16:9 And the king of Assyria listened to him: for the king of Assyria …

(12) Taketh out . . . taken out.--Should be (as in margin) delivereth . . . be delivered. The agricultural image, used by Amos, is very impressive. The shanks and pieces of the ear, worthless portions, saved from the lion's jaws, represent the remnants of Samaria's population that shall escape.

In Damascus in a couch.--Some would render "in Damascus on that of (i.e., corner of) a couch," Damascus corresponding to Samaria in the parallel clause. But this construction is very questionable, and it would be much simpler and safer to adopt the reading of most Hebrew texts, and render on a couch's damask (so Gesenius and Ewald), referring to the silken (?) or white woollen fabric for which Damascus, even in that early age, was famous. The relations between Syria and Israel at this moment were intimate. The meaning is that even the noblest and wealthiest will be regarded, if saved, as worthless salvage.

Verse 12. - The prophet shows that the chastisement is inevitable, and that only the smallest remnant, the most worthless among the inhabitants, and they with much difficulty, can escape. The illustration from a common incident in a shepherd's life is very natural in Amos. Taketh; better, rescueth. So below, shall be taken out; shall be rescued. The usual explanation is that a shepherd attacks the lion which has seized one of his sheep (comp. 1 Samuel 17:34, etc.), and rescues from it the most worthless parts - "a couple of shank bones or a bit, or tip, of an ear." But as an attack on a lion would be an abnormal act of courage on the part of a shepherd, and the comparison is with things likely and usual, it is probable that the meaning is that the shepherd finds only these poor remnants after the lion has left his prey. So such a poor remnant shall be rescued from the ten tribes of Israel. That dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed; that sit at ease, lounging in the cosiest corner of the divan, an image of indolent ease and careless security in the face of impending judgment. And in Damascus in a couch; LXX., καὶ ἐν Δαμασκῷ: Vulgate, et in Damasci grabato. The Syriac and Jewish Versions agree in considering the word "Damascus" to be a proper name. The other modern rendering takes it to mean the material which we call "damask," or something similar. Hence our Revised Version gives, "on the silken cushions of a bed;" and others, "on the damask of a couch." Dr. Pusey retains the old rendering, on the grounds that there is no evidence to prove that the manufactures for which Damascus was celebrated in after time existed at this period, its exports being then wine and white wool (Ezekiel 27:18), and that the Arabic word dimakso (which critics have cited as connected with the term "damask") has nothing to do with Damascus, and meant raw, not manufactured, "silk." He translates, "in Damascus, a couch," and explains this to mean that Damascus, which Jeroboam II had won for Israel (2 Kings 14:28), "was a canopied couch to them, in which they stayed themselves." This agrees with the ancient Jewish interpretation, which explains the clause to mean that the Israelites would some day depend for help on the Syrians represented by Damascus A third exposition, favoured by the Latin Vulgate, makes the words to mean, "on a couch of Damascus;" i.e. a Syrian couch of a costly and luxurious nature. This comes to the same as the modern rendering given, above and seems to be the easiest explanation of the expression. The difficulty depends chiefly on the punctuation of the word דמשך; or them may be some corruption in the text. What the LXX. meant by their rendering is problematical,Κατέναντι τῆς φυλῆς καὶ ἐν Δαμασκῷ, "The children of Israel who dwell in Samaria in the presence of the tribe and in Damascus." Thus saith the Lord, as the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion,.... Or what the lion has left, to show to his master that it had been seized and torn by a beast of prey; for otherwise it is a most daring thing, and not usual, for a shepherd to take anything out of a lion's mouth, though David did: and here it is said to be not a whole sheep, or a lamb, but

two legs, or a piece of an ear; the body of the creature being devoured by the lion, only some offal left he cared not for; two shanks of the legs that had no flesh upon them, and the gristle of the ear, as the Targum; having satisfied his hunger with the best of it: signifying hereby that only a few of the Israelites should escape the enemy, and those poor and insignificant, he made no account of; and this in a miraculous manner, it being like taking anything out of the mouth of a lion, to which a powerful enemy is compared, and particularly the king of Assyria, Jeremiah 50:17;

so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria; only a few of them, and those the poorest; and their escape will be next to a miracle, when the city will be taken; even such as are weak and sickly, or faint hearted: being

in a corner of a bed; who either through sickness lie there, or slothfulness, danger being near; or through poverty, having only a corner or a piece of a bed to lie on; or through cowardice they hid themselves in one part of it:

and in Damascus in a couch; or "in a bed of Damascus" (h); the chief city in Syria, taken much about the same time as Samaria was; and where some of the Israelites might betake themselves, and think themselves secure as persons laid on a couch: or at the bed's feet (i), as some render it; or "in a corner of a couch" (k), as before. The Targum paraphrases it,

"that dwell in Samaria, in the strength of power, trusting in Damascus.''

(h) "in sponda Damasci", Tigurine version; "in grabbato Damasci", so some in Drusius; "in lectis Damascenis", Castalio; so Abendana. (i) "In crure spondae", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Tarnovius. (k) "Angulo grabati", Pagninus; "in angulo strati", Montanus. So R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 75. 1.12. shepherd—a pastoral image, appropriately used by Amos, a shepherd himself.

piece of … ear—brought by the shepherd to the owner of the sheep, so as not to have to pay for the loss (Ge 31:39; Ex 22:13). So if aught of Israel escapes, it shall be a miracle of God's goodness. It shall be but a scanty remnant. There is a kind of goat in the East the ears of which are a foot long, and proportionally broad. Perhaps the reference is to this. Compare on the image 1Sa 17:34, 35; 2Ti 4:17.

that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed—that is, that live luxuriously in Samaria (compare Am 6:1, 4). "A bed" means here the Oriental divan, a raised part of the room covered with cushions.

in Damascus in a couch—Jeroboam II had lately restored Damascus to Israel (2Ki 14:25, 28). So the Israelites are represented as not merely in "the corner of a bed," as in Samaria, but "in a (whole) couch," at Damascus, living in luxurious ease. Of these, now so luxurious, soon but a remnant shall be left by the foe. The destruction of Damascus and that of Samaria shall be conjoined; as here their luxurious lives, and subsequently under Pekah and Rezin their inroads on Judah, were combined (Isa 7:1-8; 8:4, 9; 17:3). The parallelism of "Samaria" to "Damascus," and the Septuagint favor English Version rather than Gesenius: "on a damask couch." The Hebrew pointing, though generally expressing damask, may express the city "Damascus"; and many manuscripts point it so. Compare for Israel's overthrow, 2Ki 17:5, 6; 18:9-12.3:9-15 That power which is an instrument of unrighteousness, will justly be brought down and broken. What is got and kept wrongfully, will not be kept long. Some are at ease, but there will come a day of visitation, and in that day, all they are proud of, and put confidence in, shall fail them. God will inquire into the sins of which they have been guilty in their houses, the robbery they have stored up, and the luxury in which they lived. The pomp and pleasantness of men's houses, do not fortify against God's judgments, but make sufferings the more grievous and vexatious. Yet a remnant, according to the election of grace, will be secured by our great and good Shepherd, as from the jaws of destruction, in the worst times.
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OT Prophets: Amos 3:12 Thus says Yahweh: As the shepherd rescues (Amo. Am) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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