4
The women of Samaria
The Lord said:
1You women of Samaria
are fat cows!#4.1 fat cows: The Hebrew text has “cows of Bashan”, a fertile plain famous for its rich pastures and well-fed cattle.
You ill-treat and abuse
the poor and needy,
then you say to your husbands,
“Bring us more drinks!”
2I, the Lord God, have sworn
by my own name
that your time is coming.
Not one of you will be left—
you will be taken away
by sharp hooks.#4.2 taken … hooks: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
3You will be dragged through holes
in your city walls,
and you will be thrown
towards Harmon.#4.3 Harmon: Hebrew; some manuscripts of one ancient translation “Mount Hermon”, a mountain in the north of Palestine, on the way to Assyria.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
Israel refuses to obey
The Lord said:
4Come to Bethel and Gilgal.#4.4 Bethel and Gilgal: These were two of the most important centres of worship in northern Israel. Amos mentions these together again in 5.5.
Sin all you want!
Offer sacrifices the next morning
and bring a tenth of your crops
on the third day.#4.4 Offer … day: Or “Offer sacrifices each morning and bring a tenth of your crops every three days.” In verses 4,5 God is condemning the people for meaningless acts of worship.
5Bring offerings to show me
how thankful you are.
Gladly bring more offerings
than I have demanded.
You really love to do this.
I, the Lord God, have spoken!
How the Lord warned Israel
6I, the Lord, took away the food
from every town and village,
but still you rejected me.
7Three months before harvest,
I kept back the rain.
Sometimes I would let it fall
on one town or field
but not on another,
and pastures dried up.
8People from two or three towns
would go to a town
that still had water,
but it wasn't enough.
Even then you rejected me.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
9I dried up your grain fields;
your gardens and vineyards
turned brown.
Locusts#4.9 Locusts: A type of grasshopper that comes in swarms and causes great damage to plant life. ate your fig trees
and olive orchards,
but even then you rejected me.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
10I did terrible things to you,
just as I did to Egypt—
I killed your young men in war;
I let your horses be stolen,
and I made your camp stink
with dead bodies.
Even then you rejected me.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
11 # Gen 19.24 I destroyed many of you,
just as I did the cities
of Sodom and Gomorrah.
You were a burning stick
I rescued from the fire.
Even then you rejected me.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
12Now, Israel, I myself
will deal with you.
Get ready to face your God!
13I created the mountains
and the wind.
I let humans know
what I am thinking.#4.13 I let … thinking: Or “No one's secret thoughts are hidden from me.”
I bring darkness at dawn
and step over hills.
I am the Lord God All-Powerful!
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