English Standard Version
and I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no more tellers of fortunes;
King James Bible
And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers:
American Standard Version
And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thy hand; and thou shalt have no more'soothsayers:
and I will take away sorceries out of thy hand, and there shall be no divinations in thee.
English Revised Version
And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers:
Webster's Bible Translation
And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thy hand; and thou shalt have no more sooth-sayers:
Micah 5:12 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
"I saw the Lord standing by the altar; and He said, Smite the top, that the thresholds may tremble, and smash them upon the head of all of them; and I will slay their remnant with the sword: a fugitive of them shall not flee; and an escaped one of them shall not escape." The correct and full interpretation not only of this verse, but of the whole chapter, depends upon the answer to be given to the question, what altar we are to understand by hammizbēăch. Ewald, Hitzig, Hofmann, and Baur follow Cyril in thinking of the temple at Bethel, because, as Hitzig says, this vision attaches itself in an explanatory manner to the close of Amos 8:14, and because, according to Hofmann, "if the word of the prophet in general was directed against the kingdom, the royal house and the sanctuary of the ten tribes, the article before hammizbēăch points to the altar of the sanctuary in the kingdom of Israel, to the altar at Bethel, against which he has already prophesied in a perfectly similar manner in Amos 3:14." But there is no ground whatever for the assertion that our vision contains simply an explanation of Amos 8:14. The connection with Amos 8:1-14 is altogether not so close, that the object of the prophecy in the one chapter must of necessity cover that of the other. And it is quite incorrect to say that the word of the prophet throughout is directed simply against the kingdom of the ten tribes, or that, although Amos does indeed reprove the sins of Judah as well as those of Israel, he proclaims destruction to the kingdom of Jeroboam alone. As early as Amos 2:5 he announces desolation to Judah by fire, and the burning of the palaces of Jerusalem; and in Amos 6:1, again, he gives utterance to a woe upon the self-secure in Zion, as well as upon the careless ones in Samaria. And lastly, it is evident from Amos 9:8-10 of the present chapter, that the sinful kingdom which is to be destroyed from the face of the earth is not merely the kingdom of the ten tribes, but the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, which are embraced in one. For although it is stated immediately afterwards that the Lord will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, but will shake the house of Israel among all nations, the house of Jacob cannot mean the kingdom of Judah, and the house of Israel the kingdom of the ten tribes, because such a contrast between Judah and Israel makes the thought too lame, and the antithesis between the destruction of the sinful kingdom and the utter destruction of the nation is quite obliterated. Amos does not generally draw such a distinction between the house of Jacob and the house of Israel, as that the first represents Judah, and the second the ten tribes; but he uses the two epithets as synonymous, as we may see from a comparison of Amos 6:8 with Amos 6:14, where the rejection of the pride of Israel and the hating of its palaces (Amos 9:8) are practically interpreted by the raising up of a nation which oppresses the house of Israel in all its borders (Amos 9:14). And so also in the chapter before us, the "house of Israel" (Amos 9:9) is identical with "Israel" and the "children of Israel" (Amos 9:7), whom God brought up out of Egypt. But God brought up out of Egypt not the ten tribes, but the twelve. And consequently it is decidedly incorrect to restrict the contents of Amos 9:1-10 to the kingdom of the ten tribes. And if this be the case, we cannot possibly understand by hammizbēăch in Amos 9:1 the altar of Bethel, especially seeing that not only does Amos foretel the visitation or destruction of the altars of Bethel in Amos 3:14, and therefore recognises not one altar only in Bethel, but a plurality of altars, but that he also speaks in Amos 7:9 of the desolation of the high places and sanctuaries in Israel, and in Amos 8:14 places the sanctuary at Daniel on a par with that at Bethel; so that there was not any one altar in the kingdom of the ten tribes, which could be called hammizbēăch, the altar par excellence, inasmuch as it possessed from the very beginning two sanctuaries of equal dignity (viz., at Bethel and Dan). Hammizbēăch, therefore, both here and at Ezekiel 9:2, is the altar of burnt-offering in the temple, at Jerusalem, the sanctuary of the whole of the covenant nation, to which even the ten bribes still belonged, in spite of their having fallen away from the house of David. So long as the Lord still continued to send prophets to the ten tribes, so long did they pass as still forming part of the people of God, and so long also was the temple at Jerusalem the divinely appointed sanctuary and the throne of Jehovah, from which both blessings and punishment issued from the. The Lord roars from Zion, and from Zion He utters His voice (Amos 1:2), not only upon the nations who have shown hostility to Judah or Israel, but also upon Judah and Israel, on account of their departure from His law (Amos 2:4 and Amos 2:6.).
The vision in this verse is founded upon the idea that the whole nation is assembled before the Lord at the threshold of the temple, so that it is buried under the ruins of the falling building, in consequence of the blow upon the top, which shatters the temple to its very foundations. The Lord appears at the altar, because here at the sacrificial place of the nation the sins of Israel are heaped up, that He may execute judgment upon the nation there. נצּב על, standing at (not upon) the altar, as in 1 Kings 13:1. He gives commandment to smite the top. The person who is to do this is not mentioned; but it was no doubt an angel, probably the המּלאך המּשׁחית, who brought the pestilence as a punishment at the numbering of the people in the time of David (2 Samuel 24:15-16), who smote the army of the Assyrian king Sennacherib before Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:35), and who also slew the first-born of Egypt (Exodus 12:13, Exodus 12:23); whereas in Ezekiel 9:2, Ezekiel 9:7, He is represented as accomplishing the judgment of destruction by means of six angels. Hakkaphtōr, the knob or top; in Exodus 25:31, Exodus 25:33, ff., an ornament upon the shaft and branches of the golden candlestick. Here it is an ornament at the top of the columns, and not "the lintel of the door," or "the pinnacle of the temple with its ornaments." For the latter explanation of kaphtōr, which cannot be philologically sustained, by no means follows from the fact that the antithesis to the kaphtōr is formed by the sippı̄m, or thresholds of the door. The knob and threshold simply express the contrast between the loftiest summit and the lowest base, without at all warranting the conclusion that the saph denotes the base of the pillar which culminated in a knob, or kaphtōr, the top of the door which rested upon a threshold. The description is not architectural, but rhetorical, the separate portions of the whole being individualized, for the purpose of expressing the thought that the building was to be shattered to pieces in summo usque ad imum, a capite ad calcem. Would we bring out more clearly the idea which lies at the foundation of the rhetorical mode of expression, we have only to think of the capital of the pillars Jachin and Boaz, and that with special reference to their significance, as symbolizing the stability of the temple. The smiting of these pillars, so that they fall to the ground, individualizes the destruction of the temple, without there being any necessity in consequence to think of these pillars as supporting the roof of the temple hall. The rhetorical character of the expression comes out clearly again in what follows, "and smash them to pieces, i.e., lay them in ruins upon the head of all,"
(Note: Luther's rendering, "for their avarice shall come upon the head of all of them," in which he follows the Vulgate, arose from בּצעם being confounded with בּצעם.)
where the plural suffix attached to בּצעם (with the toneless suffix for בּצעם; see Ewald, 253, a) cannot possibly be taken as referring to the singular hakkaphtōr, nor even to hassippı̄m alone, but must refer to the two nouns hakkaphtōr and hassippı̄m. the reference to hassippı̄m could no doubt be grammatically sustained; but so far as the sense is concerned, it is inadmissible, inasmuch as when a building falls to the ground in consequence of its having been laid in ruins by a blow from above, the thresholds of the entrance could not possibly fall upon the heads of the men who were standing in front of it. The command has throughout a symbolical meaning, ad has no literal reference to the destruction of the temple. The temple symbolizes the kingdom of God, which the Lord had founded in Israel; and as being the centre of that kingdom, it stands here for the kingdom itself. In the temple, as the dwelling-place of the name of Jehovah, i.e., of the gracious presence of God, the idolatrous nation beheld an indestructible pledge of the lasting continuance of the kingdom. But this support to their false trust is taken away from it by the announcement that the Lord will lay the temple in ruins. The destruction of the temple represents the destruction of the kingdom of God embodied in the temple, with which indeed the earthly temple would of necessity fall to the ground. No one will escape this judgment. This is affirmed in the words which follow: And their last, their remnant ('achărı̄th, as in Amos 4:2), I will slay with the sword; as to the meaning of which Cocceius has correctly observed, that the magnitude of the slaughter is increased exclusione fugientium et eorum, qui videbantur effugisse. The apparent discrepancy in the statement, that they will all be crushed to pieces by the ruins, and yet there will be fugitives and persons who have escaped, is removed at once if we bear in mind that the intention of the prophet is to cut off every loophole for carnal security, and that the meaning of the words is simply this: "And even if any should succeed in fleeing and escaping, God will pursue them with the sword, and slay them" (see Hengstenberg, Christology, on this passage).
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer
for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this.
For you have rejected your people, the house of Jacob, because they are full of things from the east and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines, and they strike hands with the children of foreigners.
And when they say to you, "Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter," should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?
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