Amos 3:12

Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.

Thus saith the Lord, as the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion,.... Or what the lion has left, to show to his master that it had been seized and torn by a beast of prey; for otherwise it is a most daring thing, and not usual, for a shepherd to take anything out of a lion's mouth, though David did: and here it is said to be not a whole sheep, or a lamb, but

two legs, or a piece of an ear; the body of the creature being devoured by the lion, only some offal left he cared not for; two shanks of the legs that had no flesh upon them, and the gristle of the ear, as the Targum; having satisfied his hunger with the best of it: signifying hereby that only a few of the Israelites should escape the enemy, and those poor and insignificant, he made no account of; and this in a miraculous manner, it being like taking anything out of the mouth of a lion, to which a powerful enemy is compared, and particularly the king of Assyria, Jeremiah 50:17;

so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria; only a few of them, and those the poorest; and their escape will be next to a miracle, when the city will be taken; even such as are weak and sickly, or faint hearted: being

in a corner of a bed; who either through sickness lie there, or slothfulness, danger being near; or through poverty, having only a corner or a piece of a bed to lie on; or through cowardice they hid themselves in one part of it:

and in Damascus in a couch; or "in a bed of Damascus" {h}; the chief city in Syria, taken much about the same time as Samaria was; and where some of the Israelites might betake themselves, and think themselves secure as persons laid on a couch: or at the bed's feet {i}, as some render it; or "in a corner of a couch" {k}, as before. The Targum paraphrases it,

"that dwell in Samaria, in the strength of power, trusting in Damascus.''

{h} vre qvmdb "in sponda Damasci", Tigurine version; "in grabbato Damasci", so some in Drusius; "in lectis Damascenis", Castalio; so Abendana.
{i} "In crure spondae", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Tarnovius.
{k} "Angulo grabati", Pagninus; "in angulo strati", Montanus. So R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 75. 1.