notes on 1:9-10

See the general remarks on this series of oracles.

  Photo of modern Tyre from Clack.

People and places

Tyre an important Phoenician trading port, old Tyre (whose name means "rock") was built on a promontory, to Israel's north. Later a twin city grew on a neighbouring island (nearly 1 Km off-shore). Tyre was renowned for its protective strength, and its trading activities made it wealthy and powerful.

Phoenician trading colonies were founded by Tyrians around the Mediterranean coast. The most notable of these was Carthage (begun in the 9th Century BCE - about a century before Amos), which became the greatest of Rome's opponents. With the exchange of people and ideas this commercial "empire" encouraged, Tyre was a cultural as well as economic power.

During the biblical period, until Sennacherib broke it apart (701BCE), the Tyrian kingdom ruled Phoenicia.

On Edom see below.

Language and Imagery

"handed over an entire community" presumably this "handing over" of "a complete exile" means trading in slaves - the phrase is then singular because some particular event is in view.

"fraternal covenant" the phrase is unique, however covenants between rulers were common in Ancient Near Eastern diplomacy. Two rulers regarding each other as equals (rather than one being overlord) could refer to each other as "brother". Israel had a close relationship with Tyre in the 10th and 9th centuries. So, though we have no direct evidence of such a covenant in Amos day this is likely to be what the phrase means.



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 © Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.