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Israel Will Not Return

Listen to this message, you cows of Bashan[a] on the Mountain of Samaria.
You take things from the poor
    and crush people who are in need.
Then you command your husbands,
    “Bring us something to drink!”
The Lord God has promised this:
    “Just as surely as I am a holy God,
the time will come
    when you will be taken away by hooks,
    and what is left of you with fishhooks.
You will go straight out of the city
    through holes in the walls,
    and you will be thrown on the garbage dump,” says the Lord.

“Come to the city of Bethel and sin;
    come to Gilgal and sin even more.
Offer your sacrifices every morning,
    and bring one-tenth of your crops every three days.
Offer bread made with yeast as a sacrifice to show your thanks,
    and brag about the special offerings you bring,
    because this is what you love to do, Israelites,” says the Lord God.

“I did not give you any food in your cities,
    and there was not enough to eat in any of your towns,
    but you did not come back to me,” says the Lord.
“I held back the rain from you
    three months before harvest time.
Then I let it rain on one city
    but not on another.
Rain fell on one field,
    but another field got none and dried up.
People weak from thirst went from town to town for water,
    but they could not get enough to drink.
    Still you did not come back to me,” says the Lord.
“I made your crops die from disease and mildew.
    When your gardens and your vineyards got larger,
locusts ate your fig and olive trees.
    But still you did not come back to me,” says the Lord.
10 “I sent disasters against you,
    as I did to Egypt.
I killed your young men with swords,
    and your horses were taken from you.
I made you smell the stink from all the dead bodies,
    but still you did not come back to me,” says the Lord.
11 “I destroyed some of you
    as I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
You were like a burning stick pulled from a fire,
    but still you did not come back to me,” says the Lord.

12 “So this is what I will do to you, Israel;
    because I will do this to you,
    get ready to meet your God, Israel.”

13 He is the one who makes the mountains
    and creates the wind
    and makes his thoughts known to people.
He changes the dawn into darkness
    and walks over the mountains of the earth.
    His name is the Lord God All-Powerful.


  1. 4:1 Bashan Amos compares the rich, lazy women of Samaria to well-fed cows from Bashan, a place known for its rich animal pastures.

Israel Has Not Returned to God

Hear this word, you cows of Bashan(A) on Mount Samaria,(B)
    you women who oppress the poor(C) and crush the needy(D)
    and say to your husbands,(E) “Bring us some drinks!(F)
The Sovereign Lord has sworn by his holiness:
    “The time(G) will surely come
when you will be taken away(H) with hooks,(I)
    the last of you with fishhooks.[a]
You will each go straight out
    through breaches in the wall,(J)
    and you will be cast out toward Harmon,[b]
declares the Lord.
“Go to Bethel(K) and sin;
    go to Gilgal(L) and sin yet more.
Bring your sacrifices every morning,(M)
    your tithes(N) every three years.[c](O)
Burn leavened bread(P) as a thank offering
    and brag about your freewill offerings(Q)
boast about them, you Israelites,
    for this is what you love to do,”
declares the Sovereign Lord.

“I gave you empty stomachs in every city
    and lack of bread in every town,
    yet you have not returned to me,”
declares the Lord.(R)

“I also withheld(S) rain from you
    when the harvest was still three months away.
I sent rain on one town,
    but withheld it from another.(T)
One field had rain;
    another had none and dried up.
People staggered from town to town for water(U)
    but did not get enough(V) to drink,
    yet you have not returned(W) to me,”
declares the Lord.(X)

“Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards,
    destroying them with blight and mildew.(Y)
Locusts(Z) devoured your fig and olive trees,(AA)
    yet you have not returned(AB) to me,”
declares the Lord.

10 “I sent plagues(AC) among you
    as I did to Egypt.(AD)
I killed your young men(AE) with the sword,
    along with your captured horses.
I filled your nostrils with the stench(AF) of your camps,
    yet you have not returned to me,”(AG)
declares the Lord.(AH)

11 “I overthrew some of you
    as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.(AI)
You were like a burning stick(AJ) snatched from the fire,
    yet you have not returned to me,”
declares the Lord.(AK)

12 “Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel,
    and because I will do this to you, Israel,
    prepare to meet your God.”

13 He who forms the mountains,(AL)
    who creates the wind,(AM)
    and who reveals his thoughts(AN) to mankind,
who turns dawn to darkness,
    and treads on the heights of the earth(AO)
    the Lord God Almighty is his name.(AP)


  1. Amos 4:2 Or away in baskets, / the last of you in fish baskets
  2. Amos 4:3 Masoretic Text; with a different word division of the Hebrew (see Septuagint) out, you mountain of oppression
  3. Amos 4:4 Or days

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