The Lord speaks against the people in Samaria
1 Listen to this message, you women who live on the hill in Samaria. You are like fat cows that do not work hard for food. You are like the cows in Bashan. They eat on very good land by the Jordan river. You do not give to weak people what they need. You are not fair to poor people. Then you sit down and you say to your husbands, ‘Bring us more to drink.’ 2 The Lord God has made this promise and he speaks only true words. He says, ‘The time will come, when your enemies will take you away with meat hooks and fish hooks. 3 There are places in your city's walls where people have broken the walls. Your enemies will pull you through those places and they will throw you out. They will take you to that bad place called Harmon. None of you will stay here.’
4:3Harmon was a place that people were afraid of. Today nobody knows where this place was.
The people in Israel have not learned to listen to God
4 The Lord also says, ‘You like to go to Bethel. You say that it is your holy place. And when you go there, you do wrong things. So go there, if you must, and do your bad things. Go to Gilgal, if you must, and do more bad things there. You bring your sacrifices there every morning as a gift. But that does not make me happy. Every three days, you bring your gifts. But that also does not make me happy. 5 You bring bread to say “thank you”. You even bring lots of it and you tell everyone, “Look at how much I have brought.” You really like to do that. So continue to do it, but it does not make me happy.’ The Lord God says this!
6 ‘Earlier I made you hungry in all your cities. There was no food anywhere. But you did not start to pray to me again.’ The Lord says this!
7 ‘Three months before your food was ready to pick, I did not send rain. So all the food became too dry. Sometimes I sent rain to one city, but I did not send it to other cities. I sent rain to one person's land, but I did not send it to another person's land. So that other person's land became too dry. 8 People became weak. They went from city to city to look for water. They were almost too weak to walk. There was not enough water. But still you did not start to pray to me again.’ The Lord says this!
9 ‘I sent hot winds from the east. They burned the small plants, so those plants died. Worms made the other plants sick. So the other plants died. Locusts ate your trees that give fruit. But still you did not start to pray to me again.’ The Lord says this!.
10 ‘I caused many people among you to become very sick. It was like what happened many years ago in Egypt. At that time, very many people got sick. Then I sent soldiers to you. And they killed your young men and they took away your horses. The smell from dead bodies was very bad. But you still did not start to pray to me again.’ The Lord says this!
11 ‘I killed many people among you, as I destroyed the cities called Sodom and Gomorrah. Some of you did not die. You were like a stick that is already burning. And someone saves it from the fire. But still you did not start to pray to me again.’ The Lord says this!
12 ‘So I will send trouble to you Israelites again. Get ready! You will see it. Then you will know that I have come to judge you.
13 I made the mountains and I made the wind. I tell people what I have decided to do. I change dawn into night. I walk on the high places of the earth. My name is the Lord God Almighty.’