The Women Who Love Pleasure
Listen to me, you cows of Bashan* on Samaria’s mountain. You hurt the poor and crush those in need. You tell your husbands,Bring us something to drink!”
The Lord GOD made a promise. He promised by his holiness that troubles will come to you. People will use hooks and take you away as prisoners. They will use fishhooks to take away your children. Your city will be destroyed. The women will rush out through cracks in the wall and throw themselves onto the pile of dead bodies.
This is what the LORD says: Go to Bethel and sin. Go to Gilgal§ and sin even more. Offer your sacrifices in the morning. Bring a tenth of your crops for the three-day festival. And offer a thank offering made with yeast. Tell everyone about the freewill offerings.* Israel, you love to do those things. So go and do them.” This is what the Lord GOD said.
I didn’t give you any food to eat. There was no food in any of your cities, but you didn’t come back to me.” This is what the LORD said.
I also stopped the rain, and it was three months before harvest time. So no crops grew. Then I let it rain on one city, but not on another city. Rain fell on one part of the country, but on the other part of the country, the land became very dry. So the people from two or three cities staggered to another city to get water, but there was not enough water for everyone. Still you didn’t come to me for help.” This is what the LORD said.
I made your crops die from heat and disease. I destroyed your gardens and your vineyards. Locusts ate your fig trees and olive trees. But you still didn’t come to me for help.” This is what the LORD said.
10 I sent diseases against you, as I did to Egypt. I killed your young men with swords. I took away your horses. I made your camp smell very bad from all the dead bodies, but still you didn’t come back to me for help.” This is what the LORD said.
11 I destroyed you as I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. And those cities were completely destroyed. You were like a burned stick pulled from a fire, but still you didn’t come back to me for help.” This is what the LORD says.
12 So, Israel, this is what I will do to you. You people of Israel, prepare to meet your God.”
13 He is the one who made the mountains.
He created the wind.
He lets people know his thoughts.
He changes the darkness into dawn.
He walks over the mountains of the earth.
His name is YAHWEH, LORD God All-Powerful.
* 4:1 cows of Bashan This means the wealthy women in Samaria. Bashan, an area east of the Jordan River, was famous for its big bulls and cows. 4:1 your husbands Literally, “their masters.” 4:3 throw … dead bodies Or “You will be thrown away. People will take you to Mount Hermon.” The Hebrew text here is hard to understand. It is not clear if the women will be “thrown away” or if the women will be “throwing something away.” § 4:4 Bethel … Gilgal Places of worship for the people of Israel. God wanted the people of Israel and the people of Judah to worship him only in the Temple at Jerusalem. * 4:5 Offer your sacrifices … freewill offerings All these things were against the Law of Moses. The leaders and false priests started these new festivals and different ways of worshiping God. 4:6 I didn’t give you any food to eat Literally, “I gave you clean teeth.” 4:13 the wind Or “your minds.”