4 You women of Samaria are fat cows![a] You mistreat and abuse the poor and needy, then you say to your husbands, “Bring us more drinks!” 2 I, the Lord God, have sworn by my own name that your time is coming. Not one of you will be left— you will be taken away by sharp hooks.[b] 3 You will be dragged through holes in your city walls, and you will be thrown toward Harmon.[c] I, the Lord, have spoken!
Israel Refuses To Obey
The Lord said:
4 Come to Bethel and Gilgal.[d] Sin all you want! Offer sacrifices the next morning and bring a tenth of your crops on the third day.[e] 5 Bring offerings to show me how thankful you are. Gladly bring more offerings than I have demanded. You really love to do this. I, the Lord God, have spoken!
How the Lord Warned Israel
6 I, the Lord, took away the food from every town and village, but still you rejected me. 7 Three months before harvest, I kept back the rain. Sometimes I would let it fall on one town or field but not on another, and pastures dried up. 8 People from two or three towns would go to a town that still had water, but it wasn’t enough. Even then you rejected me. I, the Lord, have spoken!
9 I dried up your grain fields; your gardens and vineyards turned brown. Locusts[f] ate your fig trees and olive orchards, but even then you rejected me. I, the Lord, have spoken!
10 I did terrible things to you, just as I did to Egypt— I killed your young men in war; I let your horses be stolen, and I made your camp stink with dead bodies. Even then you rejected me. I, the Lord, have spoken!
11 I destroyed many of you, just as I did the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. You were a burning stick I rescued from the fire. Even then you rejected me. I, the Lord, have spoken!
12 Now, Israel, I myself will deal with you. Get ready to face your God!
13 I created the mountains and the wind. I let humans know what I am thinking.[g] I bring darkness at dawn and step over hills. I am the Lord God All-Powerful!
4.1fat cows: The Hebrew text has “cows of Bashan,” a fertile plain famous for its rich pastures and well-fed cattle.
4.2taken. . . hooks: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
4.3Harmon: Hebrew; some manuscripts of one ancient translation “Mount Hermon,” a mountain in the north of Palestine, on the way to Assyria.
4.4Bethel and Gilgal: These were two of the most important centers of worship in northern Israel. Amos mentions these together again in 5.5.
4.4Offer. . . day: Or “Offer sacrifices each morning and bring a tenth of your crops every three days.” In verses 4,5 God is condemning the people for meaningless acts of worship.
4.9Locusts: A type of grasshopper that comes in swarms and causes great damage to plant life.
4.13I let. . . thinking: Or “No one’s secret thoughts are hidden from me.”
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