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Amos 2:13

13. Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.

13. Ecce ego angustians (vel, angustiatus, constrictus, vel, constringens) in loco vestro (vel, sub vobis,) sicuti constringitur plaustrum quod plenum est manipulo (id est, manipulis.)


The verb עיק, oik, in Hebrew is often transitive, and it is also a neuter. This place then may admit of two interpretations. The first is, that God was pressed under the Israelites, as a wagon groans under too much weight; and so God expostulates by Isaiah, that he was weighed down by the Israelites, ‘Ye constrain me,’ he says, ‘to labor under your sins’ (Isaiah 1:14) The sense then, that God was pressed down under them, may be viewed as not unsuitable: and yet the more received interpretation is this, “Behold, I will bind you fast as a wagon is bound.” I am, however, more inclined to take the first meaning, — that God here reprehends the Israelites, because he had been pressed down by them: for תחתיכם, tacheticam, properly signifies, “Under you,” which some render, but strainedly, “Is your place:” for when the verb is transitive, they say, that תחתיכם, tacheticam, must be rendered “In your place:” but this is frigid and forced; and the whole passage will run better, if we say, “I am bound fast under you, as though ye were a wagon full of sheaves; 2121     This verse has caused great labor to commentators; and many have been the views given. The first difficulty is in the words rendered in our version, “under you.” תחת and with the Iod commonly added when there is a suffix, often occurs, and means on doubt, an place, a spot, a standing, as in the following passages: Exodus 10:23; 16:29; 1 Samuel 14:9; Habakkuk 3:16; and this seems to be its meaning here. Then the second difficulty is about “the cart” or wagon. Some consider it to be the vehicle to carry corn; and others, the machine to thresh it as Newcome and others do: but this view is not consistent with the other expressions used in this clause.
   A critic, quoted by Poole, evidently gives the meaning in these words, Sensus est, q.d. Ego vos in eas angustas adducam, unde vos ipsos mimime expedire valeatis — “The sense is, as though he said, I will bring you to those straits, from which ye will by no means be able to deliver yourselves.” I would then translate the verse thus: —

   Behold, I will confine you in your place,
As a wagon confines its load
the sheaves;
or word for word,
As a wagon confines the filling of it the sheaf.

   The rendering of the last line by Newcome is certainly not what the original will bear; his translation of the whole verse is this: —

   Therefore, behold I will press your place,
As a loaded corn-wain presseth its sheaves.

   It is not pressing or crushing that corresponds with the contents of the following verses, but confining and reducing to straits from which they could not escape. — Ed.
” that is, “Ye are to me intolerable.” For God carried that people on his shoulders; and when they loaded him with the burden of iniquities, it is no wonder that he said that they were like a wagon — a wagon filled with many sheaves: “Ye are light as wind, but ye are also to me very burdensome, and I am forced at length to shake you off:” and this he afterwards shows.

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