The similarity of phrasing between this verse and Isaiah 5:9b supports the translation of בָּתִּים רַבִּים used here "many houses" against the more usual proposal "great houses". Great houses it is claimed provides a closer parallel to "winter houses, summer houses" and especially "houses of ivory".
However to render the last of this series merely "great houses" seems somewhat of an anticlimax after the expressive and unusual terse descriptions preceding it. "Many houses" provides a shocking shift of focus. When the luxurious homes of the rich oppressors are finally destroyed their victims will not be spared.
Throughout the book Amos is chillingly realistic. It may be the powerful and rich who deserve the disaster that is coming, but when the enemy invade or drought and pestilence strike, their poor victims will suffer with them.
This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,
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