Amos 4

Listen to Amos 4
1 "Hear this word, 1you cows of Bashan, who are 2on the mountain of Samaria, 3who oppress the poor, 4who crush the needy, who say to your husbands, 'Bring, that we may drink!'
2 5The Lord GOD has sworn by his holiness that, behold, the days are coming upon you, 6when they shall take you away with hooks, 7even the last of you with fishhooks.
3 8And you shall go out through the breaches, each one straight ahead; and you shall be cast out into Harmon," declares the LORD.
4 9"Come to Bethel, and transgress; to 10Gilgal, and multiply transgression; 11bring your 12sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days;
5 offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of 13that which is leavened, and proclaim 14freewill offerings, publish them; 15for so you love to do, O people of Israel!" declares the Lord GOD.

Israel Has Not Returned to the Lord

6 "I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and 16lack of bread in all your places, 17yet you did not return to me," declares the LORD.
7 "I also 18withheld the rain from you when there were yet three months to the harvest; 19I would send rain on one city, and send no rain on another city; one field would have rain, and the field on which it did not rain would wither;
8 so two or three cities 20would wander to another city to drink water, and would not be satisfied; 21yet you did not return to me," declares the LORD.
9 22"I struck you with blight and mildew; your many gardens and your vineyards, your fig trees and your olive trees 23the locust devoured; 24yet you did not return to me," declares the LORD.
10 "I sent among you a pestilence 25after the manner of Egypt; I killed your young men with the sword, and 26carried away your horses,[a] and 27I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils; 28yet you did not return to me," declares the LORD.
11 "I overthrew some of you, 29as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were 30as a brand[b] plucked out of the burning; 31yet you did not return to me," declares the LORD.
12 "Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel!"
13 For behold, 32he who forms the mountains and creates the wind, and 33declares to man what is his thought, 34who makes the morning darkness, and 35treads on the heights of the earth-- 36the LORD, the God of hosts, is his name!

Amos 4 Commentary

Chapter 4

Israel is reproved. (1-5) Their impenitence shown. (6-13)

Verses 1-5 What is got by extortion is commonly used to provide for the flesh, and to fulfil the lusts thereof. What is got by oppression cannot be enjoyed with satisfaction. How miserable are those whose confidence in unscriptural observances only prove that they believe a lie! Let us see to it that our faith, hope, and worship, are warranted by the Divine word.

Verses 6-13 See the folly of carnal hearts; they wander from one creature to another, seeking for something to satisfy, and labour for that which satisfies not; yet, after all, they will not incline their ear to Him in whom they might find all they can want. Preaching the gospel is as rain, and every thing withers where this rain is wanting. It were well if people were as wise for their souls as they are for their bodies; and, when they have not this rain near, would go and seek it where it is to be had. As the Israelites persisted in rebellion and idolatry, the Lord was coming against them as an adversary. Ere long, we must meet our God in judgment; but we shall not be able to stand before him, if he tries us according to our doings. If we would prepare to meet our God with comfort, at the awful period of his coming, we must now meet him in Christ Jesus, the eternal Son of the Father, who came to save lost sinners. We must seek him while he is to be found.

Cross References 36

  • 1. Psalms 22:12
  • 2. Amos 3:9; Amos 6:1
  • 3. Hosea 5:11
  • 4. Hosea 5:11
  • 5. Psalms 89:35
  • 6. [Jeremiah 16:16; Habakkuk 1:15]; See 2 Kings 19:28
  • 7. [Jeremiah 16:16; Habakkuk 1:15]; See 2 Kings 19:28
  • 8. [Ezekiel 12:5, 12]
  • 9. [Amos 5:5; Ezekiel 20:39; Matthew 23:32]
  • 10. [Amos 5:5; Hosea 4:15; Hosea 9:15; Hosea 12:11]
  • 11. [Amos 5:5; Ezekiel 20:39; Matthew 23:32]
  • 12. Numbers 28:3, 4; [Jeremiah 7:21]
  • 13. Leviticus 7:13
  • 14. Exodus 35:29; Leviticus 22:18, 21; Deuteronomy 12:6
  • 15. [Psalms 81:11, 12]
  • 16. [Deuteronomy 28:57; Lamentations 2:12]
  • 17. Jeremiah 15:7; Haggai 2:17
  • 18. Jeremiah 3:3; [Joel 2:23]
  • 19. [Exodus 9:26]
  • 20. [Amos 8:12]
  • 21. [See ver. 6 above]
  • 22. Deuteronomy 28:22; Haggai 2:17
  • 23. Joel 1:4
  • 24. [See ver. 6 above]
  • 25. Deuteronomy 28:27, 60; [Exodus 12:29; Psalms 78:50; Isaiah 10:24, 26]
  • 26. 2 Kings 13:7
  • 27. [Joel 2:20]
  • 28. [See ver. 6 above]
  • 29. [Isaiah 13:19]
  • 30. Zechariah 3:2; [Jude 23]
  • 31. [See ver. 6 above]
  • 32. [Psalms 102:25]
  • 33. [Psalms 139:2]
  • 34. [Amos 5:8; Amos 8:9]
  • 35. Isaiah 58:14; Micah 1:3
  • 36. Amos 3:13; Amos 5:8; Amos 9:6; See Jeremiah 10:16

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Hebrew along with the captivity of your horses
  • [b]. That is, a burning stick

Chapter Summary


In this chapter, the great ones, or the people of Israel, are threatened with calamities for their oppression of the poor, Am 4:1-3; and in an ironic manner are reproved for their idolatry, Am 4:4,5; then follows an enumeration of several judgments that had been upon them, yet had had no effect on them, to bring them to repentance, nor even mercies, Am 4:6-11; and notwithstanding all this, in a wonderful gracious manner, they are called upon to prepare to meet their God, who is described by his power, greatness, and goodness, Am 4:12,13.

Amos 4 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.