The beginning of Am 7:2 poses major problems for translators, in a very literal rendering it might read something like:
"and it was when/if they finished eating the greenery of the land, and I said..."
The problem is that the aspects of the verbs in this construction may suggest that the locusts have finished eating, in that case unless God reverses the flow of time his change of heart in v.3 is too late (Andersen & Freedman, 742-3).
The difficulty stems from understanding אִם 'im as introducing a temporal clause - "when". However more often אִם 'im introduces a conditional clause - "if". Waltke & O'Connor speak of this construction - וְהָיָה אִם vehaya 'im- as "introducing a situation that is only more or less loosely connected with the preceding situation" it seems that in this case it introduces a supposition: "suppose they finished eating... so I said"
Another phrase posing problems in both v.2 & v.5 reads literally "Who Jacob will rise/stand up". Several approaches are taken to resolve this:
The last option is more often chosen.
This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos , if you have reached it as a standalone
page, to view it in context, go to www.bible.gen.nz
© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.