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Understanding Amos vi 12 in Light of his other Rhetorical Questions

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image of Vetus Testamentum

The MT of Amos vi 12a comprises a pair of rhetorical questions: “Do horses run on the rock(s)? Or does one plow with oxen?” An analysis of Amos' other pairs of rhetorical questions, which demonstrate a high degree of semantic and structural parallelism, suggests that the MT is corrupt. Four criteria are accordingly derived from these other rhetorical questions to evaluate the numerous proposed solutions for vi 12a. Alan Cooper's emendation is identified as most consistent with Amos' general usage: “Do horses run on crags? Or does the wild ox plow in the valley?”

Affiliations: 1: Philadelphia


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