Israel’s Failure to Learn 4 1Listen to me, you fat cows[H] living in Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy, and who are always calling to your husbands, “Bring us another drink!” 2The Sovereign Lord has sworn this by His holiness: “The time will come when you will be led away with hooks in your noses. Every last one of you will be dragged away like a fish on a hook! 3You will be led out through the ruins of the wall; you will be thrown from your fortresses,[I] says the Lord.   4“Go ahead and offer sacrifices to the idols at Bethel. Keep on disobeying at Gilgal. Offer sacrifices each morning, and bring your tithes every three days. 5Present your bread made with yeast as an offering of thanksgiving. Then give your extra voluntary offerings so you can brag about it everywhere! This is the kind of thing you Israelites love to do,” says the Sovereign Lord.   6“I brought hunger to every city and famine to every town. But still you would not return to Me,” says the Lord.   7“I kept the rain from falling when your crops needed it the most. I sent rain on one town but withheld it from another. Rain fell on one field, while another field withered away. 8People staggered from town to town looking for water, but there was never enough. But still you would not return to Me,” says the Lord.   9“I struck your farms and vineyards with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured all your fig and olive trees. But still you would not return to Me,” says the Lord.   10“I sent plagues on you like the plagues I sent on Egypt long ago. I killed your young men in war and led all your horses away.[J] The stench of death filled the air! But still you would not return to Me,” says the Lord.   11“I destroyed some of your cities, as I destroyed[K] Sodom and Gomorrah. Those of you who survived were like charred sticks pulled from a fire. But still you would not return to Me,” says the Lord.   12“Therefore, I will bring upon you all the disasters I have announced. Prepare to meet your God in judgment, you people of Israel!”   13For the Lord is the One who shaped the mountains, stirs up the winds, and reveals His thoughts to mankind. He turns the light of dawn into darkness and treads on the heights of the earth. The Lord God of Heaven’s Armies is His name!
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