In Amos 1:6 "Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because vthey carried into exile a whole people to deliver them up to Edom."

And three verses later: "Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Tyre, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they delivered up a whole people to Edom, and did not remember the covenant of brotherhood."

Historically speaking, what was the exile that they delivered to Edom, and which covenant did they not remember? These verses are extremely vague, and need some serious clarification (historically and archaeologically). If anyone can shed some light on these ambiguous verses i would greatly appreciate.

2 Answers 2


Great question. So the covenant of brotherhood was an agreement with terms between King Hiram of Tyre, David and Solomon.

And the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him: and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league together.
-- 1 Kings 5:12 KJV

See also 1 Kings 5:1-12

Joel 3:3-8 fills in the details of this Hebrew trade, where Hiram broke the brotherly covenant and began selling captive Jews to the Grecians.

  • Thanks for the reference in Joel. it is Joel 4 not 3. Anyways, i would say were talking about selling the Jews during the Babylonian exile after the destruction, not in the days of Solomon as you seem to suggest. It is not likely that Joel would be talking about the Greeks in the times of Solomon, since it is never mentioned before in the old testament. I would say he is referring to a time when there was no government in Israel, and the land was in chaos, and the nations, including Tyre, took advantage of them by selling them to others.
    – bach
    Mar 15, 2017 at 18:32
  • You're welcome my friend. "The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border." Joel 3:6. I'm not mistaking Joel 3 for Joel 4. Joel 3: 3-8 is refering specifically to this trade from Hiram of Tyre to Grecians.
    – N.Ish
    Mar 15, 2017 at 18:34
  • Just for anyone who runs across this, while agreeing with @Bach that this is not likely pointing to the same issues as the book of Joel due to the difference in dating between Joel and Amos (Amos is generally considered one of the earliest prophets v. Joel, which while no explicit datable context is mentioned in the book, is generally agreed to be a post-exilic text). The specific Joel 3 v. Joel 4 is a matter of translation you're using. Most modern Jewish texts divide Joel into 4 chapters (including the JPS), while most other Christian traditions divide it into 3. May 5, 2021 at 15:42

The "brotherly covenant" that it makes reference to is the commandment that was given by Moses in Deuteronomy 23 v.7-8, which in the KJV reads:

Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.

The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the LORD in their third generation.

This is why the Bible cannot be read like a normal book and must be studied and analyzed using precepts and historical context if will truly wish to understand its allegorical scriptures and dark sayings. 🧐

  • I have edited only to show how the quoted text may be highlighted. Please feel free to roll back if you so desire. Welcome to SE-BH.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 30, 2020 at 5:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.