Recently I read a book called “Unlocking the Idioms: An LDS Perspective on Understanding Scriptural Idioms.” The author is George M. Peacock. The writing style is very accessible. It is the kind of book that is fun to share with your family—especially the teens. If you live in the Salt Lake area you can get it at the library. I will be sharing some of its insights on idioms this week.
“During the apostate times wherein Amos was not able to get his people to return to God in obedience and righteousness, The Lord said to him,
”And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. ” Amos 4:6.
Even though Amos had to suffer through these conditions with his people, it seems that God is telling Amos that he had blessed them with “cleanness of teeth.” [Donna: This has nothing to do with good dental hygiene] That idiom should be identified as a metaphor, telling of times of famine. [Everyone has clean teeth when there is no food.] Today we try to indicate hard times with sayings like “we’re going to have to tighten our belts a lot before we can get through this.”’ Pg.30