Wednesday, October 10, 2018

21st after pentecost year b - amos

This text was queeried by periodic queerier River Needham with collaboration from Rev. Emily E. Ewing.

Verses bracketed in Italics are omitted from the assigned reading.

Amos 5:6-7 [8-9] 10-15
Seek the Becoming One, and you will live, else She will rush like fire upon the House of Joseph and consume Bethel with none to quench it. Ah, you who turn justice into wormwood and hurl righteousness to the ground! [Who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns deep darkness into dawn and darkens day into night, who summons the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the earth— Her name is the Becoming One! It is She who hurls destruction upon strongholds, so that ruin comes upon fortresses!] They hate the arbiter in the gate, and detest her whose plea is just. Assuredly, because you impose a tax on the poor and exact from them a levy of grain, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not live in them; you have planted delightful vineyards, but shall not drink their wine. For I have noted how many are your crimes, and how countless your sins—you enemies of the righteous, you takers of bribes, you who subvert in the gate the cause of the needy! Assuredly, at such a time the prudent one keeps silent, for it is an evil time. Seek good and not evil, that you may live, and that the Becoming One, the God of Angel Armies, may truly be with you, as you think. Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; perhaps the Becoming One, the God of Angel Armies, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

Queeries for the text:
How are darkness and light dependent on each other?
How does justice become wormwood?
What does prudence mean? Should we be prudent?
What does God of the Angel Armies mean? What might that mean for peace in our time?
What would Amos have called the constellations? What might this mean for followers of the stars?  Why were two verses dropped in the middle of this text?
What are these financial practices called today?
What is the gate? What does justice at the gate look like? How are the needy cared for?

What are your queeries?

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