See the general remarks on this series of oracles.
Edom is the area South and East of the Dead Sea (so bordering Judah not Israel). In Gen. 36:1, 8 Edom is the descendant Jacob's brother Esau, Israel and Edom are thus thought of as related peoples.
Though Teman is mentioned several times in the Bible, its identity is not clear, some claim it is Tawilan (a large town in Amos' time) others that the term refers to South Edom in general (the word seems to comes from a root that can mean "south"), or alternatively (because of the association here with Bozrah) North Edom.
Bozrah (at its height in the 7th and 6th Centuries BCE) was the recently constructed major city of Edom.
The oracle against Edom is short and vague. However the reference to "pursuing kin with sword" links this oracle to that against Tyre (which mentioned Edom) where the crime is to forget a fraternal covenant.
However, using a triple phrase: "he perverted his compassion; and his anger burned forever, and he kept his wrath permanently." as parallel to a single phrase "he pursued his kin with sword" is unusual and powerful.
This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,
© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.