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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.

Footnotes

  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.

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