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Listen to me, you “fat cows” of Bashan living in Samaria—you women who encourage your husbands to rob the poor and crush the needy—you who never have enough to drink! The Lord God has sworn by his holiness that the time will come when he will put hooks in your noses and lead you away like the cattle you are; they will drag the last of you away with fishhooks! You will be hauled from your beautiful homes and tossed out through the nearest breach in the wall. The Lord has said it.

Go ahead and sacrifice to idols at Bethel and Gilgal. Keep disobeying—your sins are mounting up. Sacrifice each morning and bring your tithes twice a week! Go through all your proper forms and give extra offerings. How you pride yourselves and crow about it everywhere!

“I sent you hunger,” says the Lord, “but it did no good; you still would not return to me. I ruined your crops by holding back the rain three months before the harvest. I sent rain on one city but not another. While rain fell on one field, another was dry and withered. People from two or three cities would make their weary journey for a drink of water to a city that had rain, but there wasn’t ever enough. Yet you wouldn’t return to me,” says the Lord.

“I sent blight and mildew on your farms and your vineyards; the locusts ate your figs and olive trees. And still you wouldn’t return to me,” says the Lord. 10 “I sent you plagues like those of Egypt long ago. I killed your lads in war and drove away your horses. The stench of death was terrible to smell. And yet you refused to come. 11 I destroyed some of your cities, as I did Sodom and Gomorrah; those left are like half-burned firebrands snatched away from fire. And still you won’t return to me,” says the Lord.

12 “Therefore, I will bring upon you all these further evils I have spoken of. Prepare to meet your God in judgment, Israel. 13 For you are dealing with the One who formed the mountains, made the winds, and knows your every thought; he turns the morning to darkness and crushes down the mountains underneath his feet: Jehovah, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, is his name.”

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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)

Footnotes

  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
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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