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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 4


1 Hear this word, women of the mountain of Samaria, you cows of Bashan, You who oppress the weak and abuse the needy; Who say to your lords, "Bring drink for us!"


The Lord GOD has sworn by his holiness: Truly the days are coming upon you When they shall drag you away with hooks, the last of you with fishhooks;


You shall go out through the breached walls each by the most direct way, And you shall be cast into the mire, says the LORD.


2 Come to Bethel and sin, to Gilgal, and sin the more; Each morning bring your sacrifices, every third day, your tithes;


Burn leavened food as a thanksgiving sacrifice, proclaim publicly your freewill offerings, For so you love to do, O men of Israel, says the Lord GOD.


Though I have made your teeth clean of food in all your cities, and have made bread scarce in all your dwellings, Yet you returned not to me, says the LORD.


Though I also 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 another without rain dried up;


Though two or three cities staggered to one city for water that did not quench their thirst; Yet you returned not to me, says the LORD.


I struck you with blight and searing wind; your many gardens and vineyards, your fig trees and olive trees the locust devoured; Yet you returned not to me, says the LORD.


3 I sent upon you a pestilence like that of Egypt, and with the sword I slew your young men; Your horses I let be captured, to your nostrils I brought the stench of your camps; Yet you returned not to me, says the LORD.


I brought upon you such upheaval as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah: you were like a brand plucked from the fire; Yet you returned not to me, says the LORD.


So now I will deal with you in my own way, O Israel! and since I will deal thus with you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel:


Him who formed the mountains, and created the wind, and declares to man his thoughts; Who made the dawn and the darkness, and strides upon the heights of the earth: The LORD, the God of hosts by name.



1 [1] Bashan: the region east of the Sea of Galilee, famous for its rich pasture and fattened herds, to which Amos likens the indolent women of Samaria.

2 [4-5] This invitation to the sanctuaries of the northern kingdom is ironical. Pilgrimages to the shrines of Bethel and Gilgal were the more displeasing to God because they were contrary to his will and ineffective toward improvement of morals.

3 [10] Pestilence like that of Egypt: plagues were well known in Egypt; cf Deut 7:15; 28:27, 60. Stench of your camps: caused by the unburied bodies.

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