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The Women of Samaria

The Lord said:

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!”
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]
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:

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]
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

I, the Lord, took away the food
from every town and village,
    but still you rejected me.
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.
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!

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!

Footnotes

  1. 4.1 fat cows: The Hebrew text has “cows of Bashan,” a fertile plain famous for its rich pastures and well-fed cattle.
  2. 4.2 taken. . . hooks: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 4.3 Harmon: Hebrew; some manuscripts of one ancient translation “Mount Hermon,” a mountain in the north of Palestine, on the way to Assyria.
  4. 4.4 Bethel and Gilgal: These were two of the most important centers of worship in northern Israel. Amos mentions these together again in 5.5.
  5. 4.4 Offer. . . 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.
  6. 4.9 Locusts: A type of grasshopper that comes in swarms and causes great damage to plant life.
  7. 4.13 I let. . . thinking: Or “No one’s secret thoughts are hidden from me.”

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