The Meaning of Amos 5:12 Explained

Amos 5:12

KJV: For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.

YLT: For I have known -- many are your transgressions, And mighty your sins, Adversaries of the righteous, taking ransoms, And the needy in the gate ye turned aside.

Darby: For I know how manifold are your transgressions and your sins mighty: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the right of the needy in the gate.

ASV: For I know how manifold are your transgressions, and how mighty are your sins-ye that afflict the just, that take a bribe, and that turn aside the needy in the gate from their right .

Discover Amos 5:12

What does Amos 5:12 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Yahweh knew the many transgressions of His covenant and the great sins that these perverters of justice committed. They had distressed the righteous by their unrighteous conduct, accepted bribes from the wealthy, and made it impossible for the poor to get fair treatment in the courts. God was looking for justice (in their relationships to one another) and for righteousness (in their relationship to Him). This dual emphasis on justice and righteousness runs throughout the Book of Amos.

Context Summary

Amos 5:1-15 - "prepare To Meet Thy God"
Worse judgments than those mentioned in the previous verses were in store but before they are inflicted, the entire nation is summoned to the divine bar. Whether we choose or not, "we must all appear before the judgment seat of God." Prepare, my soul, to meet Him! Note the sublimity of that last verse of Amos 4:1-13. How great is God, who made the mountains! How mysterious, who made the wind! How sublime, who calls to the dawn! How mighty, to whom mountains and peaks are stepping-stones!
But great and holy though God is, we are invited to seek Him. He desires to bless, but He must be sought. Were we more diligent in seeking, as the miner for gold, or the scientific man for nature's secrets, we should be marvelously repaid. "Eye hath not seen," etc. Amos speaks as nature's child. Often as he had tended his flocks, he had watched the Pleiades with their gentle radiance, and Orion, the herald of storm. He had listened to God calling across the waters, and had drawn life from Him. "Seek and live!" O soul, what a God is thine! Thy springs and storms await His word of command. He can turn thy darkness into the morning. Be of good cheer! [source]

Chapter Summary: Amos 5

1  A lamentation for Israel
4  An exhortation to repentance
21  God rejects their hypocritical service

What do the individual words in Amos 5:12 mean?

For I know manifold your transgressions and mighty your sins Afflicting the just [and] taking bribes and the poor at the gate Diverting [from justice]
כִּ֤י יָדַ֙עְתִּי֙ רַבִּ֣ים פִּשְׁעֵיכֶ֔ם וַעֲצֻמִ֖ים חַטֹּֽאתֵיכֶ֑ם צֹרְרֵ֤י צַדִּיק֙ לֹ֣קְחֵי כֹ֔פֶר וְאֶבְיוֹנִ֖ים בַּשַּׁ֥עַר הִטּֽוּ

יָדַ֙עְתִּי֙  I  know 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, first person common singular
Root: דָּעָה 
Sense: to know.
רַבִּ֣ים  manifold 
Parse: Adjective, masculine plural
Root: רַב 
Sense: much, many, great.
פִּשְׁעֵיכֶ֔ם  your  transgressions 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct, second person masculine plural
Root: פֶּשַׁע  
Sense: transgression, rebellion.
וַעֲצֻמִ֖ים  and  mighty 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Adjective, masculine plural
Root: עָצוּם  
Sense: mighty, vast, numerous.
חַטֹּֽאתֵיכֶ֑ם  your  sins 
Parse: Noun, feminine plural construct, second person masculine plural
Root: חַטָּאָה 
Sense: sin, sinful.
צֹרְרֵ֤י  Afflicting 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine plural construct
Root: צָרַר 
Sense: to bind, be narrow, be in distress, make narrow, cause distress, besiege, be straitened, be bound.
צַדִּיק֙  the  just 
Parse: Adjective, masculine singular
Root: צַדִּיק  
Sense: just, lawful, righteous.
לֹ֣קְחֵי  [and]  taking 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine plural construct
Root: יָקַח 
Sense: to take, get, fetch, lay hold of, seize, receive, acquire, buy, bring, marry, take a wife, snatch, take away.
כֹ֔פֶר  bribes 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: כֹּפֶר 
Sense: price of a life, ransom, bribe.
וְאֶבְיוֹנִ֖ים  and  the  poor 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine plural
Root: אֶבְיׄון  
Sense: in want, needy, chiefly poor, needy person.
בַּשַּׁ֥עַר  at  the  gate 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: שַׁעַר  
Sense: gate.
הִטּֽוּ  Diverting  [from  justice] 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: נָטָה 
Sense: to stretch out, extend, spread out, pitch, turn, pervert, incline, bend, bow.

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