Amos 5:21

Hebrew Bible

19 Disaster will be inescapable, as if a man ran from a lion only to meet a bear, then escaped into a house, leaned his hand against the wall, and was bitten by a poisonous snake. 20 Don’t you realize the Lord’s day of judgment will bring darkness, not light—gloomy blackness, not bright light? 21 “I absolutely despise your festivals! I will not smell58 your religious assemblies. 22 Even if you offer me burnt and grain offerings, I will not be satisfied; I will not look with favor on your peace offerings of fattened calves. 23 Take away from me your noisy songs; I don’t want to hear the music of your stringed instruments.

Sirach 34:22

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

20 He lifts up the soul and makes the eyes sparkle; he gives health and life and blessing. 21 If one sacrifices ill-gotten goods, the offering is blemished; 22 the gifts of the lawless are not acceptable. 23 The Most High is not pleased with the offerings of the ungodly, nor for a multitude of sacrifices does he forgive sins. 24 Like one who kills a son before his father's eyes is the person who offers a sacrifice from the property of the poor. 25 The bread of the needy is the life of the poor; whoever deprives them of it is a murderer.

 Notes and References

"... If the cult is then understood as the Torah’s vertical dimension and ethics as its horizontal dimension, one can agree with Jensen’s (2006) interpretation, namely that: The vertical and horizontal dimensions go together, equally expressions of God’s will; and this in turn means that where the horizontal dimension (social justice, etc.) is lacking, the vertical dimension (worship, sacrifice) is impossible. (compare also Hrobon 2010:3) Although Hrobon infers that the relationship between the cult and ethics may be more complicated, he still assumes that cultic concepts – as defined in the Priestly literature – are the idea behind these ethical appeals. This perspective – namely that cultic concepts are the main driving force behind the cult-critical statements in the prophetic writings – may offer a fresh alternative to the interpretation of these texts. This perspective is supported by, amongst others, Milgrom when he states ‘true, the ethical is bound up with and inseparable from the ritual, and the Pentateuchal codes make no distinction between them’ ..."

Groenewald, Alphonso ‘But Let Justice Roll Down like Waters, and Righteousness like an Ever-flowing Stream’ (Am 5:24). Social Justice versus Cult Criticism in Amos (5:21–24) and Isaiah (1:10–20): A Trauma Perspective (pp. 1-10) HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 75 (3), 2019

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