Amos 4:1-3


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. 2  The Lord GOD hath sworn by his holiness, that, lo, the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks. 3  And ye shall go out at the breaches, every cow at that which is before her; and ye shall cast them into the palace, saith the LORD.


I.    Verse 1 - The kine of Bashan - or Cows (Bulls). 

A.  God is referring to the Israelites as animals, and not humans.  Jude calls some religious zealots who are seeking their own, “brute beasts”, Jude verse 10.  II Peter 2:12, Peter refers to them as “…brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed…”

B.   Psalms 22:12 speaks of the “bulls of Bashan,” which speaks about the Pharisees and Sadducees persecuting Christ during his crucifixion.  The description of the “kine of Bashan” is very close to the description Christ gave of the Pharisees in Matthew 23:14.  They know nothing of proper authority, expecting their masters (whom they ought to be serving) to serve them.

C.   A very interesting point is that Bashan is located on the east side of the Jordan River and Samaria is located on the west side of the Jordan River.  Wouldn’t you say these people were “misplaced” at the very least?  They are misplaced physically, and certainly they are misplaced spiritually.

1.   Whenever you think of Samaria, what do you think of?

a.   I think of Ahab, the first recognized king of Israel who reigned from Samaria.  I Kings 16:23-25 tells us that Omri, the father of Ahab bought the hill of Samaria and build the city of Samaria on that city, which became the capital city of Israel.

b.   I think of the inhabitants of Samaria during the 70 year Babylon captivity, who were “transplants” from other areas, placed there by Nebuchadnezzar.  They intermarried with the remnant of the Jews who still lived there.  Therefore the people were half Jew - half Gentile, a mixture that the Pharisees and Sadducees despised, but God loved.

c.   I think of a people who do not readily serve God, not love them.

2.   The people of Israel (especially the area of Bashan) were misplaced spiritually.

a.   They had gone out of their home land to serve false gods.

b.   They had gone to a lot of trouble to do something wrong.

c.   It is often this way - We go out of our way to sin.  We try to tell ourselves that sin overtakes us (and sometimes it does), but if we are where we ought to be, then there will be much fewer sins that is able to overtake us.  Remember that James 4:7 states, “Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”


II.   Verse 2 - When God swears by his holiness, it shall be done!

A.    The day is coming when God will take them away with hooks - The hooks means by a shield, or something which will take hold of them and force them to leave.

B.    The word “prosperity” means all future generations.

C.    “Fishhooks” refers to a fishhook, or a forcing of the Lord upon all future generations, but in a different way than the present generation.  It will be much harder on the transgressing generation than on the generation that were so young they didn’t have the sinfulness of the older people.


III.  Verse 3.

A.    “And ye shall go out at the breaches,”

1.      Normally a person would go out of the city through a gate, but during this time, the Jews will go out of the city through breaches in the wall.

2.      “Breaches” means a break in the wall, supposedly caused by the invading enemy army.

B.    “every cow at that which is before her;”

1.      Every person who lives in the city shall try to escape by the quickest route.

2.      No one will be thinking about retaining the dignity of themselves or the city, but all will try to get away as quickly as possible, for fear of their lives.

3.      People of great importance along with people of no importance at all will all try to save their own lives.

4.      They will all clamor toward any opening in the way they see, and will climb up on top of one another like cattle do in their haste to get out of the city.

C.    “and ye shall cast them into the palace,”

1.      Those that cannot get out the breaks in the wall, shall run to the palace.

2.      The palace would be the most secure place, as this is where the “secret service” resides that is to protect the king and all his family.

3.      They trust in men to save them because they have failed to serve the living God and to trust in Him to direct their lives.

D.    “saith the LORD.”

1.      Whatever God says will come to pass.

2.      It might not come happen when we think it ought to happen, but it will happen.

3.      It might not happen the way we think it ought to happen, but it will happen God’s way, and God’s way will always be better than our way.