4
Israel’s Failure to Learn
1Listen to me, you fat cows#  Hebrew you cows of Bashan.
living in Samaria,
you women who oppress the poor
and crush the needy,
and who are always calling to your husbands,
“Bring us another drink!”
2The Sovereign lord has sworn this by his holiness:
“The time will come when you will be led away
with hooks in your noses.
Every last one of you will be dragged away
like a fish on a hook!
3You will be led out through the ruins of the wall;
you will be thrown from your fortresses,#  Or thrown out toward Harmon, possibly a reference to Mount Hermon.
says the lord.
4“Go ahead and offer sacrifices to the idols at Bethel.
Keep on disobeying at Gilgal.
Offer sacrifices each morning,
and bring your tithes every three days.
5Present your bread made with yeast
as an offering of thanksgiving.
Then give your extra voluntary offerings
so you can brag about it everywhere!
This is the kind of thing you Israelites love to do,”
says the Sovereign lord.
6“I brought hunger to every city
and famine to every town.
But still you would not return to me,”
says the lord.
7“I kept the rain from falling
when your crops needed it the most.
I sent rain on one town
but withheld it from another.
Rain fell on one field,
while another field withered away.
8People staggered from town to town looking for water,
but there was never enough.
But still you would not return to me,”
says the lord.
9“I struck your farms and vineyards with blight and mildew.
Locusts devoured all your fig and olive trees.
But still you would not return to me,”
says the lord.
10“I sent plagues on you
like the plagues I sent on Egypt long ago.
I killed your young men in war
and led all your horses away.#  Or and slaughtered your captured horses.
The stench of death filled the air!
But still you would not return to me,”
says the lord.
11“I destroyed some of your cities,
as I destroyed#  Hebrew as when God destroyed. Sodom and Gomorrah.
Those of you who survived
were like charred sticks pulled from a fire.
But still you would not return to me,”
says the lord.
12“Therefore, I will bring upon you all the disasters I have announced.
Prepare to meet your God in judgment, you people of Israel!”
13For the lord is the one who shaped the mountains,
stirs up the winds, and reveals his thoughts to mankind.
He turns the light of dawn into darkness
and treads on the heights of the earth.
The lord God of Heaven’s Armies is his name!
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Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois, 60188. All rights reserved.