Dark to Morning, Day to Night

Dark to Morning, Day to Night May 5, 2014

Amos warns Israel about her injustices. If they do not seek Yahweh, He will consume them, those who “turn justice to wormwood and cast righteousness to the earth” (5:1-7). 

Amos supports this with a description of God’s creative power (vv. 8-9). The declaration of God’s creative power is complexly structured. He begins by stating that Yahweh made the constellations, specifically the Heap (Pleiades) and the Giant (Orion). Then:

A. Changes

B. To morning

C. Deep darkness

B’. And Day

C’. To night

A’. He darkens.

Alternatively, this could be read as a straightforward chiasm: Morning is the goal of God’s change of the darkness, night is the goal of God’s darkening of day. 

This is clearly an allusion to the original creation, as are the following lines that speak of the Lord’s power over water. But it is also a claim about the Creator’s continuing creativity: Each day, the Lord transforms darkness to morning; each evening he darkens day into night. The statement about God’s control of waters also points beyond the original creation, as Yahweh reverses the separation of earth and sea:

A. He calls

B. To the waters of the sea

A’. And pours them

B’. On the face of the land.

Yahweh’s creative power is shown in His mastery of stars, of light and dark, of water and sea.

In context, these allusions to creation support Amos’s message of justice. Amos knows that Yahweh will establish justice because He’s done it before – at creation. 

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