three transgressions

Amos 1:3

1:3 three transgressions. This formula is repeated seven times against seven nations surrounding Israel (Syria, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, and Judah, in Amos 1:3,6,9,11,13; 2:1,4, respectively) before finally focussing on Israel (Amos 2:6). It probably implies a great number of transgressions in each case—three being sufficient to incur God’s wrath, with four causing it to spill over.

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