Amos 6:3 has a different reading between the Masoretic Text (MT) and Septuagint (LXX).


Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; (Amos 6:3 - KJV) (Read KJV)

המנדים ליום רע ותגישון שבת חמס (Amos 6:3 - MT) Read MT modern


Ye who are approaching the evil day, who are drawing near and adopting false sabbaths; (Amos 6:3 - Brenton, LXX) Read Brenton, LXX

οἱ ἐρχόμενοι εἰς ἡμέραν κακήν, οἱ ἐγγίζοντες καὶ ἐφαπτόμενοι σαββάτων ψευδῶν, (Amos 6:3 - LXX) Read LXX

σάββατον Sabbaton (Strong's G4521) from שַׁבָּת Sabbath (Strong's H7676)

The word שבת can both be translated to Sabbath שַׁבָּת (H7676) and to Seat שֶׁבֶת (H7675) and by adding vowels (נִקּוּד‎ Nikud) and diacritic (דָּגֵשׁ Dagesh) the word Seat has now it's fixed pronunciation and so it's meaning. The dead sea scrolls do not have vowels and diacritic so the word שבת is open too interpretation. Amos 6:3b from Scroll 4Q82 are not fully readable but also has multiply meanings anyway.

  1. How does Codex Leningradensis read?
  2. How should Amos 6:3 be interpret?

1 Answer 1


The LXX translators didn't have the vowel points of the MT, that weren't added until centuries later. The difference is the vowel points. Also note that חָמָֽס is the common word for violence in Hebrew, but can also mean wrong. In Arabic it means zeal and is the name of a political group in the Middle East.

The vowel points in MT שֶׁ֥בֶת (based on Codex Leningradensis)

†I. שֶׁ֫בֶת S7674, 7675 TWOT2323a, 922a GK8699, 8700 n.f. seat, dwelling, place (properly Inf. Qal from ישׁב) -- Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (1977). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (p. 443). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

The vowel points for Sabbath - שַׁבָּת

שַׁבָּת S7676 TWOT2323b GK8701111 n.f. Ex 31:14 m. Is 56:2, 6; 66:23, (under infl. of יוֹם in freq. יוֹם הַשּׁ׳, Albr xvi (1896), 47) Sabbath (= ת + שׁבת; NH שַׁבָּת -- Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (1977). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (p. 992). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

†חָמָס S2555 TWOT678a GK2805 n.m. ψ 7:17 violence, wrong -- Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (1977). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (p. 329). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Moving to Answer

  1. The verbs of the verse make it antithetic parallelism, which makes sense with the MT vowel points.

  2. False sabbaths σαββάτων ψευδῶν doesn't make sense neither as Hebrew poetry or the context of Amos.

  3. וַתַּגִּישׁ֖וּן is is hiphil, and means "cause to approach." Thus, meanings as bring.

Refining the Answer

The translations from KJV to present accept the MT vowel points, but have a wide variety of translating the verse.

Senses of usage in MT:

enter image description here

enter image description here

  Yet you ward off [the thought of] a day of woe 
  And convene a session of lawlessness. (JPS)

     Do you put off the day of calamity,
     And would you bring near the seat of violence? (NAS)

      Woe to you who put far off the day of doom,
Who cause the seat of violence to come near; (KJV)

           You put off the evil day 
     and bring near a reign of terror. (NIV)

        O you who put far away the day of disaster 
  and bring near the seat of violence? (ESV)

You dismiss any thought of the evil day 
and bring in a reign of violence. (HCSV)

qui separati estis in diem malum et adpropinquatis solio [throne, seat] iniquitatis (Biblia Sacra Vulgata)

Note: the Vulgate predated the masorah. Thus Jerome took the the vowels the same as the masorah.


Ver. 3 begins the further explanation of the careless security charged in ver. 1. Regarding the evil day, i. e., day of judgment as far off, they cause violence to erect its throne nearer and nearer among them. [Pusey follows Jerome, Grotius, Newcome, and others in referring the throne of violence to the rule of Assyria, which the people brought nearer to them while they were thinking to put it far off. But the former reference is much more natural.] -- Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Schmoller, O., & Chambers, T. W. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Amos (p. 41). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

He means, that they drew nigh the throne of iniquity, when the judges strengthened themselves in their tyranny, and took the liberty to steal, to rob, to plunder, to oppress. When therefore they thus hardened themselves in all kinds of licentiousness, they then drew nigh the throne of iniquity. And they put away the evil day, because they were touched by no alarm; for when the Prophets denounced God’s vengeance, they regarded it as a fable. -- Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets (Vol. 2, p. 306). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.


While the translations vary, the MT vowel points make the most sense. Note: The vowel points didn't exist for the Dead Sea scrolls and the LXX translation doesn't indicate a difference in the consonants. The textual apparatus doesn't show variation in the consonants.


Masorete (also Massorete) -- Any of the Jewish scholars of the 6th–10th centuries AD who contributed to the establishment of a recognized text of the Hebrew Bible, and to the compilation of the Masorah [included written vowel points].
‘This was the work of the Massoretes and the resulting text only began to be produced from the sixth century at the earliest.’ -- https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/masorete

As the literacy of society increased, the Masoretes worried that students might stop memorizing the vowels for the text of the Tanakh. So, they developed a method of writing down the vowels to preserve them.

Some example images of Dead Sea scrolls (only consonants, no written vowels):



  • 1
    Yes, I'm planning more study to see if an anwer is possible.
    – Perry Webb
    Jul 15, 2021 at 12:49
  • 1
    To say that the vowel point didn't exist for the DSS is a misunderstanding of both the DSS and of the way OT tradition was transmitted and performed in Jewish culture. The OT was brought to you by a people who as young boys learned to read the texts in public by hearing the texts being read to them verse-by-verse and then repeating the verses out loud. It is not reasonable to think that this reading and recital could have been perfromed without a tradition of vocalization. Elisha Kimron and others have published regarding the vocalizations that can be inferred from the DSS orthography.
    – user17080
    Jul 16, 2021 at 4:58
  • 1
    While the vowels existed in memory, they were not written down. The Masoretes (lexico.com/en/definition/masorete) did not develop the masorah until centuries later. Memory was a accurate way of preserving the vowels for the later Masoretes, but before the Masoretic Text, how do you detect a variation other than translations, such as LXX.
    – Perry Webb
    Jul 16, 2021 at 8:30
  • 1
  • 1
    The vowels existed, but vowel points means the written down vowels or masorah.
    – Perry Webb
    Jul 16, 2021 at 8:47

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.