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“But surely I gave[a] you no food to eat in all your cities;

you lacked food everywhere you lived.[b]
Still you did not come back to me.”
The Lord is speaking
“I withheld rain from you three months before the harvest.[c]

I gave rain to one city, but not to another.
One field[d] would get rain, but the field that received no rain dried up.
People from[e] two or three cities staggered into one city to get[f] water,
but remained thirsty.[g]
Still you did not come back to me.”
The Lord is speaking
“I destroyed your crops[h] with blight and disease.

Locusts kept[i] devouring your orchards,[j] vineyards, fig trees, and olive trees.
Still you did not come back to me.”
The Lord is speaking
10 “I sent against you a plague like one of the Egyptian plagues.[k]

I killed your young men with the sword,
along with the horses you had captured.
I made the stench from the corpses[l] rise up into your nostrils.
Still you did not come back to me.”
The Lord is speaking
11 “I overthrew some of you the way God[m] overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.[n]

You were like a burning stick[o] snatched from the flames.
Still you did not come back to me.”
The Lord is speaking

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  1. Amos 4:6 tn The Hebrew construction is emphatic (pronoun + verb). It underscores the stark contrast between the judgments that the Lord had been sending and the God of blessing Israel was celebrating in its worship (4:4-5).
  2. Amos 4:6 tn Heb “But I gave to you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of food in all your places.” The phrase “cleanness of teeth” is a vivid way of picturing the famine Israel experienced.
  3. Amos 4:7 sn Rain…three months before the harvest refers to the rains of late March-early April.
  4. Amos 4:7 tn Heb “portion”; cf. KJV, ASV “piece,” NASB “part.” The same word occurs a second time later in this verse.
  5. Amos 4:8 tn The words “people from” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
  6. Amos 4:8 tn Heb “to drink.”
  7. Amos 4:8 tn Or “were not satisfied.”
  8. Amos 4:9 tn Heb “you.” By metonymy the crops belonging to these people are meant. See the remainder of this verse, which describes the agricultural devastation caused by locusts.
  9. Amos 4:9 tn The Hiphil infinitive construct is taken adverbially (“kept”) and connected to the activity of the locusts (NJPS). It also could be taken with the preceding sentence and related to the Lord’s interventions (“I kept destroying,” cf. NEB, NJB, NIV, NRSV), or it could be understood substantivally in construct with the following nouns (“Locusts devoured your many orchards,” cf. NASB; cf. also KJV, NKJV).
  10. Amos 4:9 tn Or “gardens.”
  11. Amos 4:10 tn Heb “in the manner [or “way”] of Egypt.”
  12. Amos 4:10 tn Heb “of your camps [or “armies”].”
  13. Amos 4:11 tn Several English versions substitute the first person pronoun (“I”) here for stylistic reasons (e.g., NIV, NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).
  14. Amos 4:11 tn Heb “like God’s overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah.” The divine name may be used in an idiomatic superlative sense here, in which case one might translate, “like the great [or “disastrous”] overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah.”sn The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is described in Gen 19:1-29.
  15. Amos 4:11 tn Heb “like that which is burning.”

“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.(A)

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

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

10 “I sent plagues(L) among you
    as I did to Egypt.(M)
I killed your young men(N) with the sword,
    along with your captured horses.
I filled your nostrils with the stench(O) of your camps,
    yet you have not returned to me,”(P)
declares the Lord.(Q)

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

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