Amos 1:12
But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.
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(12) Teman.—According to Genesis 36:11, a name for a grandson of Esau. The district and chief town of this name are often referred to in the Prophets (Jeremiah 49:7-8; Ezekiel 25:13; Habakkuk 3:3; Obadiah 1:8-9). The wisdom and might of the Temanites were well known, and Eliphaz the Temanite was one of the sage interlocutors of the Book of Job. It was situated, according to Burckhardt and Robinson, south of the Wady Musa.

Bozrah.—Referred to in Jeremiah 49:13; Jeremiah 49:22; Micah 2:12; Isaiah 34:6; Isaiah 63:1. Quite distinct from Bozrah in Moab (Jeremiah 48:24). The former is situated south of the Dead Sea, identified by Robinson and Burckhardt with the village of El Buseireh in Jebal.

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.But - (And I, in My turn and as a consequence of these sins) will send a fire upon Teman "Teman," say Eusebius and Jerome , "was a country of the princes of Edom, which had its name from Teman son of Eliphaz, son of Esau Genesis 36:11, Genesis 36:15. But even to this day there is a village, called Teman, about 5 (Eusebius says 15) miles from Petra, where there is also a Roman garrison, from which place was Eliphaz, king of the Themanites." It is, however, probably the district which is meant, of which Bozra was then the capital. For Amos when speaking of cities, uses some word to express this, as "the palaces of Benhadad, the wall of Gaza, of Tyrus, of Rabbah;" here he simply uses the name Teman, as he does those of Moab and Judah. Amos does not mention Petra, or Selah, for Amaziah had taken it, and called it Joktheel, "which God subdued," which name it for some time retained 2 Kings 14:7.

Bozrah - (Literally, which cuts off approach) is mentioned, as early as Genesis Gen 36:33, as the seat of one of the elective kings who, in times before Moses, reigned over Edom. It lay then doubtless in Idumea itself, and is quite distinct from the Bozrah of Hauran or Auranitis, from which Jerome also distinguishes it. : "There is another Bosor also, a city of Esau, in the mountains of Idumea, of which Isaiah speaks." There is yet a small village of the like name (Busaira "the little Bozrah") which "appears," it is said , "to have been in ancient times a considerable city, if we may judge from the ruins which surround the village." It has now "some 50 houses, and stands on an elevation, on the summit of which a small castle has been built." The name however, "little Bozrah," indicates the existence of a "great Bozrah," with which its name is contrasted, and is not likely to have been the place itself . Probably the name was a common one, "the strong place" of its neighborhood . The Bozrah of Edom is either that little vilage, or is wholly blotted out.

12. Teman—a city of Edom, called from a grandson of Esau (Ge 36:11, 15; Ob 8, 9); situated five miles from Petra; south of the present Wady Musa. Its people were famed for wisdom (Jer 49:7).

Bozrah—a city of Edom (Isa 63:1). Selah or Petra is not mentioned, as it had been overthrown by Amaziah (2Ki 14:7).

I will send a fire: see Amos 1:4,7.

Teman; metropolis of Idumea, called from Esau’s grandson of that name; of this see Ezekiel 25:13 Habakkuk 3:3. And this here taken synecdochically implieth the inhabitants of this city, and of the whole country, which shall perish when the judgment here threatened shall be executed.

Which shall devour the palaces: see Amos 1:4.

Bozrah; a city bordering on Moab and Idumea, and which sometimes belonged to the one, sometimes to the other, as events of war determined. It may be there might be two cities of this name, the one in Moab, the other in Edom, or Idumea; however, this was a very strong city, and one of the chiefest in the whole kingdom, so that in the menace against Bozrah and Teman the strength and glory of Edom is threatened with an utter overthrow, as of that which is burnt up by fire.

But I will send a fire upon Teman,.... A principal city of Edom or Idumea, so called from Teman a grandson of Esau, Genesis 36:11. Jerom (x) says there was in his time a village called Theman, five miles distant from the city Petra, and had a Roman garrison; and so says Eusebius (y); who places it in Arabia Petraea; it is put for the whole country; it signifies the south. So the Targum renders it,

"a fire in the south.''

The "fire" signifies an enemy that should be sent into it, and destroy it: this was Nebuchadnezzar, who, as Josephus (z) says, five years after the destruction of Jerusalem led his army into Coelesyria, and took it; and fought against the Ammonites and Moabites, and very probably at the same time against the Edomites:

which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah; another famous city of the Edomites; there was one of this name in Moab; either there were two cities so called, one in Edom, and another in Moab; or rather this city lay, as Jarchi says, between Edom and Moab; and so sometimes is placed to one, and sometimes to another, its it might belong to the one and to the other, according to the event of war. It is the same with Bezer in the wilderness, appointed a Levitical city, and a city of refuge, by Joshua, Joshua 20:8; and belonged to the tribe of Reuben; but being on the borders of that tribe, and of Moab and Edom, it is ascribed to each, as they at different times made themselves masters of it. It is the same with Bostra, which Ptolemy (a) places in Arabia Petraea; and being on the confines of Arabia Deserts, and surrounded on all sides with wild deserts, it is commonly spoken of as situated in a wilderness, Jerom (b) speaks of it as a city of Arabia in the desert, to the south, looking to Damascus; and, according to the Persian (c) geographer, it is four days' journey southward from Damascus; and Eusebius places it at the distance of twenty four miles from Adraa or Edrei. The destruction of this place is prophesied of by Jeremiah, Jeremiah 48:24; and perhaps these prophecies were accomplished when Nebuchadnezzar made war with the Ammonites and Edomites, as before observed; or however in the times of the Maccabees, when Judas Maccabeus took this city, put all the males to the sword, plundered it, and then set fire to it, which literally fulfilled this prophecy,

"Hereupon Judas and his host turned suddenly by the way of the wilderness unto Bosora; and when he had won the city, he slew all the males with the edge of the sword, and took all their spoils, and burned the city with fire,'' (1 Maccabees 5:28)

It was afterwards rebuilt, and became a considerable city; in the time of the above Persian geographer (d), it had a very strong castle belonging to it, a gate twenty cubits high, and one of the largest basins or pools of water in all the east. In the fourth century there were bishops of this place, which assisted in the councils of Nice, Antioch, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, as Reland (e) observes; though he thinks that Bostra is not to be confounded with the Bezer of Reuben, or with the Bozra of Moab and Edom; though they seem to be all one and the same place.

(x) De locis Hebr. fol. 95. B. (y) Onomast. ad vocem (z) Antiqu. l. 10. c. 9. sect. 7. (a) Geograph. l. 5. c. 17. (b) De locis Hebr. in voce "Trachonitis", fol. 95. B. (c) Apud Calmet, Dictionary, on the word "Bosor". (d) Apud Calmet, ut supra. (e) Palestina Illustrata, tom. 2. l. 3. p. 666.

But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.
12. upon Teman] According to Eusebius and Jerome (Onomastica, ed. Lagarde, pp. 156, 260), a district of the chiefs (‘dukes’ [duces]) of Edom in Gebal, but also, they add, a village about 15 (Jerome 5) miles from Petra, and the station of a Roman garrison. From Ezekiel 25:13, where it is implied that Teman was in an opposite quarter to Dedan, it may be inferred that, as Dedan was the name of a tribe on the S.E. of Edom, Teman was in the N. or W. part of Edom. It is mentioned elsewhere in the O.T., as synonymous with Edom, Jeremiah 49:7; Obadiah 1:9; Habakkuk 3:3, or in poetical parallelism with it, Jeremiah 49:20 : cf. Genesis 36:34. Eliphaz, Job’s friend, is described as a Temanite (Job 2:11 &c.) In Genesis 36:11; Genesis 36:15 Teman is a grandson of Esau (= Edom), the relation of the particular clan to the whole nation being represented genealogically: the name must thus have been that of an Edomite clan, as well as of the region inhabited by it.

Bozrah] A town of Edom, mentioned also Genesis 36:33, Jeremiah 49:13; and in poetical parallelism with Edom, Isaiah 34:6; Isaiah 63:1, Jeremiah 49:22. From the manner in which it is named in most of these passages, it is clear that it must have been an important place. It is in all probability el-Buṣaireh (a diminutive of Boṣrah), about 35 miles N. of Petra, and 20 miles S.E. of the Dead Sea, with (Roman) ruins, first visited by Burckhardt in 1812 (Syria, 1822, p. 407: cf. also Rob. ii. 167; Doughty, Arabia Deserta, i. 31, 38).

Edom is mentioned as paying tribute to Rammân-nirâri III. (K.A.T[132][133] p. 190; K.B[134] i. 191), Tiglath-pileser III. (K.A.T[135][136] p. 258), Sennacherib (ib. p. 291), Esarhaddon, and Asshurbanipal (ib. p. 355). Afterwards, like its neighbours, it fell under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 27:3 f.). During, and after, the Captivity, the Edomites extended their dominions W. of the Arabah, and ultimately transferred themselves thither altogether (the later ‘Idumaea’ being the southern part of Judah); Malachi (Amos 1:3-4) describes Edom as desolate in his day, though how it became so, we do not know; and in b.c. 312 the Nabataeans, an Arabian tribe, are found located in Edom, where they maintained themselves for many centuries. The cities of Edom finally fell to ruin after the Mohammedan conquest in the seventh century, a.d.

[132] .A.T. … Eb. Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das A. T., ed. 2, 1883 (translated under the title The Cuneiform Inscriptions and the O. T. 1885, 1888). The references are to the pagination of the German, which is given on the margin of the English translation.

[133] … Eb. Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das A. T., ed. 2, 1883 (translated under the title The Cuneiform Inscriptions and the O. T. 1885, 1888). The references are to the pagination of the German, which is given on the margin of the English translation.

[134] .B. … Eb. Schrader, Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek (1889 ff.).

[135] .A.T. … Eb. Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das A. T., ed. 2, 1883 (translated under the title The Cuneiform Inscriptions and the O. T. 1885, 1888). The references are to the pagination of the German, which is given on the margin of the English translation.

[136] … Eb. Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das A. T., ed. 2, 1883 (translated under the title The Cuneiform Inscriptions and the O. T. 1885, 1888). The references are to the pagination of the German, which is given on the margin of the English translation.

The authenticity of the oracle against Edom is doubted by Wellhausen, and at least suspected by G. A. Smith (p. 129 f.); the former supposes it to be an addition to the original text of Amos, dating from the Chaldaean age. Not only is there in the earlier prophets and historical books no other evidence of such animus against Edom as here displays itself, but Edom, when Amos wrote, had been for two centuries under the yoke of Judah; its first subjection had been accomplished with great cruelty (1 Kings 11:16); Amaziah, also, more recently (801–792 b.c.), had severely smitten Edom (2 Kings 14:7). Even, therefore, although Edom had shewn itself unfriendly, “was the right to blame them Judah’s, who herself had so persistently waged war, with confessed cruelty, against Edom? Could a Judaean prophet be just in blaming Edom and saying nothing of Judah?… To charge Edom, whom Judah had conquered and treated cruelly, with restless hate towards Judah seems to fall below that high impartial tone which prevails in the other oracles of this section. The charge was much more justifiable at the time of the Exile, when Edom did behave shamefully towards Israel” (G. A. Smith, p. 130). The argument is a forcible one, and the conclusion to which it points may be the true one: our ignorance, as the same writer proceeds to point out, prohibits our endorsing it absolutely: we do not for instance know the particulars of the revolt under Jehoram or what may have happened to provoke Amaziah’s attack upon Edom, or indeed what, generally, may have been Edom’s behaviour towards Judah during the century before Amos: there may have been occurrences during this period known to Amos and sufficient to justify the words used by him.

Verse 12. - Teman is the region of Idumaea, of which Bozrah is the capital. Both Jerome and Eusebius ('Onomast.') speak of a city so called not far from Petra; but in the Old Testament the name is applied to a district; and as the word in Hebrew means "south," it is probably the southern portion of the land of Edom. Bozrah (hod. Busaireh) was the old capital of Edom, situated on a hill south of the Dead Sea (see Genesis 36:33; Isaiah 34:6). Jeremiah (Jeremiah 49:17) predicts the punishment of Edom, and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 25:12-14) does likewise. The monologue of Obadiah has been already referred to. The instrument of vengeance in the present ease was Nebuchadnezzar, though it suffered much at the hands of other enemies, as the Nabathaeans and Maccabees. Amos 1:12Edom. - Amos 1:11. "Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I shall not reverse it, because it pursues its brother with the sword, and stifles its compassion, and its anger tears in pieces for ever, and it keeps its wrath for ever, Amos 1:12. I send fire into Teman, and it will devour the palaces of Bozrah." Edom and the two following nations were related to Israel by lineal descent. In the case of Edom, Amos does not condemn any particular sins, but simply its implacable, mortal hatred towards its brother nation Israel, which broke out into acts of cruelty at every possible opportunity. ושׁחת רחמיו, he annihilates, i.e., suppresses, stifles his sympathy or his compassionate love; this is still dependent upon על רדפו, the preposition על continuing in force as a conjunction before the infinitive (i.e., as equivalent to על אשׁר), and the infinitive passing into the finite verb (cf. Amos 2:4). In the next clause אפּו is the subject: its wrath tears in pieces, i.e., rages destructively (compare Job 16:9, where târaph is applied to the wrath of God). In the last clause, on the other hand, Edom is again the subject; but it is now regarded as a kingdom, and construed as a feminine, and consequently עברתו is the object, and placed at the head as an absolute noun. שׁמרה, with the tone upon the penult. (milel) on account of netsach, which follows with the tone upon the first syllable, stands for שׁמרהּ (it preserves it), the mappik being omitted in the toneless syllable (compare Ewald, 249, b). If עברתו were the subject, the verb would have to be pointed שׁמרה. Again, the rendering proposed by Ewald, "his fury lies in wait for ever," is precluded by the fact that שׁמר, when applied to wrath in Jeremiah 3:5, signifies to keep, or preserve, and also by the fact that lying in wait is generally inapplicable to an emotion. Teman, according to Jerome (ad h. l.), is Idumaeorum regio quae vergit ad australem partem, so that here, just as in Amos 2:2 and Amos 2:5, the land is mentioned first, and then the capital.

(Note: It is true that, according to Eusebius, Jerome does also mention in the Onom. a villa (κώμη) named Teman, which was five Roman miles from Petra, and in which there was a Roman garrison; and also that there is a Teman in Eastern Hauran (see Wetzstein in Delitzsch's Comm. on Job, i. 73); but in the Old Testament Teman is never to be understood as referring to a city.)

Bozrah, an important city, supposed to be the capital of Idumaea (see comm. on Genesis 36:33). It was to the south of the Dead Sea, and has been preserved in el-Buseireh, a village with ruins in Jebl (see Robinson, Pal. ii. p. 570), and must not be confounded with Bossra in Hauran (Burckhardt, Syr. p. 364).

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