New American Standard Bible
Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on the mountain of Samaria, Who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, Who say to your husbands, "Bring now, that we may drink!"
King James Bible
Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink.
Darby Bible Translation
Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, that oppress the poor, that crush the needy, that say to their lords, Bring, and let us drink:
World English Bible
Listen to this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who tell their husbands, "Bring us drinks!"
Young's Literal Translation
Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, Who are in the mountain of Samaria, Who are oppressing the poor, Who are bruising the needy, Who are saying to their lords: 'Bring in, and we do drink.'
Amos 4:1 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Hear ye this, ye kine of Bashan - The pastures of Bashan were very rich, and it had its name probably from its richness of soil . The Batanea of later times was a province only of the kingdom of Bashan, which, with half of Gilead, was given to the half tribe of Manasseh. For the Bashan of Og included Golan Deuteronomy 4:43, (the capital of the subsequent Gaulonitis, now Jaulan) Beeshterah Joshua 21:27, (or Ashtaroth) 1 Chronicles 6:71, very probably Bostra (see ab. on 1 Chronicles 1:12), and Elrei Deuteronomy 1:4, in Hauran or Auranitis; the one on its southern border, the other perhaps on its northern boundary toward Trachonitis . Its eastern extremity at Salkah Deuteronomy 3:10; Joshua 13:11, (Sulkhad) is the southern point of Batanea (now Bathaniyyeh); Argob, or Trachonitis , (the Lejah) was its north eastern fence.
Westward it reached to Mount Hermon Deuteronomy 3:8; Joshua 12:5; Joshua 13:11; 1 Chronicles 5:23. It included the subsequent divisions, Gaulonitis, Auranitis, Batanea, and Trachonitis. Of these the mountain range on the northwest of Jaulan is still "everywhere clothed with oak-forests." The Ard-el-Bathanyeh , "the country of Batanea or Bashan, is not surpassed in that land for beauty of its scenery, the richness of its pastures, and the extent of its oak forests." "The Arabs of the desert still pasture their flocks on the luxuriant herbage of the Jaulan" . Its pastures are spoken of by Micah M1 Corinthians 7:14 and Jeremiah Jer 50:19. The animals fed there were among the strongest and fattest Deuteronomy 32:14. Hence, the male animals became a proverb for the mighty on the earth Exodus 39:18, the bulls furnished a type for fierce, unfeeling, enemies Psalm 22:12. Amos however, speaks of "kine;" not, as David, of "bulls." He upbraids them not for fierceness, but for a more delicate and wanton unfeelingness, the fruit of luxury, fullness of bread, a life of sense, which destroy all tenderness, dull the mind, "banker out the wits," deaden the spiritual sense.
The female name, "kine," may equally brand the luxury and effeminacy of the rich men, or the cruelty of the rich women, of Samaria. He addresses these "kine" in both sexes, both male and female . The reproachful name was then probably intended to shame both; men, who laid aside their manliness in the delicacy of luxury; or ladies, who put off the tenderness of womanhood by oppression. The character of the oppression was the same in both cases. It was done, not directly by those who revelled in its fruits, but through the seduction of one who had authority over them. To the ladies of Samaria, "their lord" was their husband, as the husband is so called; to the nobles of Samaria, he was their king, who supplied their extravagances and debaucheries by grants, extorted from the poor.
Which oppress - Literally, "the oppressing!" The word expresses that they habitually oppressed and crushed the poor. They did it not directly; perhaps they did not know that it was done; they sought only, that their own thirst for luxury and self-indulgence should be gratified, and knew not, (as those at ease often know not now,) that their luxuries are continually watered by the tears of the poor, tears shed, almost unknown except by the Maker of both. But He counts willful ignorance no excuse. "He who doth through another, doth it himself," said the pagan proverb. God says, they did "oppress," were "continually oppressing, those in low estate," and "crushing the poor" (a word is used expressing the vehemence with which they "crushed" them.) They "crushed" them, only through the continual demand of pleasures of sense, reckless how they were procured; "bring and let us drink." They invite their husband or lord to joint self-indulgence.
LibrarySmitten in Vain
'Come to Beth-el, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years: 5. And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings; for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord God. 6. And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places; yet have ye not returned unto Me, saith the Lord. 7. And also I have withholden the rain …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Whether a Preparation or Disposition for Grace is Required on the Part of Man
The Sinner Sentenced.
The Careless Sinner Awakened.
"You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your countrymen or one of your aliens who is in your land in your towns.
Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.
oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore a pledge, but lifts up his eyes to the idols and commits abomination,
"You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, as though they were rams, lambs, goats and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
"On garments taken as pledges they stretch out beside every altar, And in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined.
Proclaim on the citadels in Ashdod and on the citadels in the land of Egypt and say, "Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria and see the great tumults within her and the oppressions in her midst.
Therefore because you impose heavy rent on the poor And exact a tribute of grain from them, Though you have built houses of well-hewn stone, Yet you will not live in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine.
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