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scripture

 

CHAPTER 4

Second Summons

1Hear this word, you cows of Bashan,*

who live on the mount of Samaria:

Who oppress the destitute

and abuse the needy;

Who say to your husbands,

“Bring us a drink!”

2The Lord GOD has sworn by his holiness:

Truly days are coming upon you

when they shall drag you away with ropes,

your children with fishhooks;

3You shall go out through the breached walls

one in front of the other,

And you shall be exiled to Harmon—*

oracle of the LORD.

4Come to Bethel* and sin,

to Gilgal and sin all the more!

Each morning bring your sacrifices,

every third day your tithes;

5Burn leavened bread as a thanksgiving sacrifice,

proclaim publicly your voluntary offerings,

For so you love to do, Israelites—

oracle of the Lord GOD.

6Though I made your teeth

clean of food in all your cities,

and made bread scarce in all your dwellings,

Yet you did not return to me—

oracle of the LORD.a

7b And I withheld the rain from you

when the harvest was still three months away;

I sent rain upon one city

but not upon another;

One field was watered by rain,

but the one I did not water dried up;

8Two or three cities staggered to another to drink water

but were not satisfied;

Yet you did not return to me—

oracle of the LORD.

9I struck you with blight and mildew;

locusts devoured your gardens and vineyards,

the caterpillar consumed your fig trees and olive trees;

Yet you did not return to me—

oracle of the LORD.c

10I sent upon you pestilence like that of Egypt;d

with the sword I killed your young men and your captured horses,

and to your nostrils I brought the stench of your camps;

Yet you did not return to me—

oracle of the LORD.

11I overthrew you

as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah;

you were like a brand plucked from the fire,e

Yet you did not return to me—

oracle of the LORD.

12Therefore thus I will do to you,* Israel:

and since I will deal thus with you,

prepare to meet your God, O Israel!

13The one who forms mountains and creates winds,

and declares to mortals their thoughts;

Who makes dawn into darkness

and strides upon the heights of the earth,

the LORD, the God of hosts, is his name!

* [4:1] Cows of Bashan: the pampered women of Samaria; Bashan was a region east of the Sea of Galilee, famous for its rich pasture and fattened herds.

* [4:3] Harmon: or perhaps “Mount Mon”; an unidentified site, probably far to the north of Israel, under the control of Assyria.

* [4:4] Come to Bethel: Amos’s invitation to the people to come and “sin” at two of the major religious centers in Samaria is sarcastic. His point is that sacrifice and worship without justice is an abomination to the God of Israel; cf. 5:2124.

* [4:12] Therefore thus I will do to you: this climax of vv. 612, announcing the sentence the Lord intends to pass on Israel, is open-ended.

a. [4:6] Wis 12:2, 10.

b. [4:7] Jer 14:16.

c. [4:9] Dt 28:22; Jl 1:4; 2:25; Hg 2:17.

d. [4:10] Dt 7:15; 28:27.

e. [4:11] Gn 19:2425; Zec 3:2.






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