The warning (Am 4:1-4:3)

“Hear this word!

You cows of Bashan!

You are on Mount Samaria!

You oppress the poor!

You crush the needy!

You say

To your husbands.

‘Bring something to drink!’

Yahweh God

Has sworn

By his holiness.

The time is surely coming

Upon you,

When they shall take you away

With hooks,

Even the last of you,

With fishhooks.

Through breaches

In the wall,

Shall your leave.

Each one will go

Straight ahead.

You shall be flung out

Into Harmon.’

Says Yahweh.”

Amos has another oracle of Yahweh against the rich women of the mountains of Samaria. Yahweh compared them to the rich lazy cows grazing on the wonderful pastures in Bashan, on the other side of the Jordan River, where the best cows were raised. These rich women had oppressed the poor and crushed the needy. They wanted their husbands to bring them something to drink. Yahweh said that the time was coming when they would be taken away with fish hooks. They would leave their city through the holes in the walls. They would all march out to be thrown into Harmon, some unknown place where they would have to live as exiles.

Some sheep were ruining their food and drink (Ezek 34:18-34:19)

“Is it not enough

For you

To feed

On the good pasture?

Must you tread down

With your feet

The rest of your pasture?

When you drink

Of clear water,

Must you foul

The rest

With your feet?

Must my sheep eat

What you have trodden

With your feet?

Must they drink

What you have fouled

With your feet?”

Some of the sheep were messing up the food supply for the other sheep. They had these wonderful pastures with plenty of food and drink. However, some of these sheep were walking all over the place keeping the grass from growing. They were also walking in the water holes, so that they became polluted. Pollution has always been a problem. In other words, Yahweh, via Ezekiel was complaining that some sheep were messing up the good clean drinking water and the lush green pastures by stomping all over them. Among the sheep of Israel, some were causing problems by fouling things up. The emphasis on their feet was an indication that the actions of these bad Israelite sheep were making it difficult for the good Israelite sheep to sustain their lives with good food and pure water.