Amos 6:10 translation problems

The problematic phrase can be rendered: "he will lift him his uncle and the one who burns him".

While "his uncle and the one who burns him" are joined by the conjunction and so look as if they are jointly the subject of the verb "lift", the verb is singular. The LXX has a plural here and this requires a change only to the vowels of the MT:
 
- "and he will lift him" וּנְשָׂאוֹ unsa'o
- "and they will lift" וְנשְׂאוּ vense'u.
This also removes the problem of the "him" which has no preceding referent.

However this translation of the word מְסָרְפוֹ mesarpo as a participle from סרף srp - a presumed variant of שרף srp "burn" (nb. the two 's' are different letters with similar sounds) - is by no means evident. The suggested variant form is nowhere else attested, and srp does not appear as a piel elsewhere either.

One suggestion would understand the word as "mother's brother", a close parallel of דֹּוד "father's brother", however for various reasons this suggestion is dubious.(Paul, 215)

More likely is the suggestion (first made by Driver) that the reference is to anointing the dead with resin. The arguments are complex, see Paul (215) for a summary.

 


This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,

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