The pestilence (Am 4:10-4:10)

“‘I sent among you

A pestilence,

After the manner

Of Egypt.

I killed

Your young men

With the sword.

I carried away

Your horses.

I made the stench

Of your camp go up

Into your nostrils.

Yet you did not

Return to me,’

Says Yahweh.”

Amos has another oracle of Yahweh that picked up on the same theme of devastation, but still with no return to Yahweh. He sent a pestilence, like the Egyptian plagues in Exodus, chapters 7-11. Yahweh killed their young men with the sword. He took away their horses. He made them smell the stink of their own camp. Despite all this, the northern kingdom Israelites refused to return to Yahweh.

The defeat of Israel (Ps 78:60-78:66)

“He abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh,

The tent where he dwelt among mortals.

He delivered his power to captivity.

He delivered his glory to the hand of the foe.

He gave his people to the sword.

He vented his wrath on his heritage.

Fire devoured their young men.

Their girls had no marriage song.

Their priests fell by the sword.

Their widows made no lamentation.

Then Yahweh awoke as from sleep,

Like a warrior shouting because of wine.

He put his adversaries to rout.

He put them to everlasting shame.”

This is a reference to 1 Samuel, chapter 4, about the Ark of the Covenant at Shiloh. This was when the Philistines defeated the Israelites. Things were looking bad for Israel. God was angry at them. People died by the sword. Fire destroyed their young men so that the young girls had no marriage songs. The priests died by the sword, but somehow the widows were not able to mourn. Finally Yahweh woke up as if he were asleep. He then shouted like a warrior full of wine. God then put the adversaries of Yahweh to rout in everlasting shame.