Amos 5:9

9 who dispenses ruin to strength, and brings distress upon the fortress.

Amos 5:9 Meaning and Commentary

Amos 5:9

That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong
Such as have been taken by an enemy, who have been stripped of their armour, and spoiled of all their goods and substance, and have no friends nor allies, nor anything to help themselves with; the Lord can supply them with strength, furnish them with weapons, and send them helpers, so that they shall rise up against their conquerors and spoilers, and in their turn subdue them. The Targum is,

``that strengthens the weak against the strong;''
or causes the weak to prevail over the strong. A learned man, from the use of the word in the Arabic language, chooses to render it, "who intends", or "designs, destruction to the strong" F4; that is, in his secret purposes, and which he brings about in providence; though he is doubtful whether it may not have the signification of recreation and refreshment, and whether the construction and circumstances will admit of it; and some do so translate it, "who refreshes himself with destruction against the strong" F5; takes delight and pleasure in it; it is a recreation to him: so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress:
lay siege to it and take it, in which the spoiler thought himself secure with the spoil and substance he had taken from the spoiled; such sudden changes and vicissitudes can God bring upon men when he pleases. Some apply this to the Romans strengthened against the Jews, and besieging their fortified city Jerusalem; but not very aptly.

F4 (ze le dv gylbmh) "qui intendit destinat destructionem forti", Hottinger, Smegma Orientale, l. 1. c. 7. p. 129.
F5 "Qui recreat se vastatione contra fortem [sive] robustum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Tarnovius. So Stockius, p. 136.

Amos 5:9 In-Context

7 that executes judgment in the height , and he has established justice on the earth:
8 who makes all things, and changes , and turns darkness into the morning, and darkens the day into night: who calls for the water of the sea, and pours it out on the face of the earth: the Lord is his name:
9 who dispenses ruin to strength, and brings distress upon the fortress.
10 They hated him that reproved in the gates, and abhorred holy speech.
11 Therefore because they have smitten the poor with their fists, and ye have received of them choice gifts; ye have built polished houses, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted desirable vineyards, but ye shall not drink the wine of them.

The Brenton translation of the Septuagint is in the public domain.