Questions From Readers
● What is the meaning of Amos’ prophecy directed against the “cows of Bashan”?
This prophecy is found at Amos 4:1-3 and reads: “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who are defrauding the lowly ones, who are crushing the poor ones, who are saying to their masters, ‘Do bring, and let us drink!’ The Sovereign Lord Jehovah has sworn by his holiness, ‘“Look! There are days coming upon you, and he will certainly lift you up with butcher hooks and the last part of you with fishhooks. And by breaches you will go forth, each one straight ahead.”’”
These “cows of Bashan” were the women of Samaria who, to continue living in luxury, goaded on their husbands to defraud and oppress the lowly. They asked their “masters,” or husbands, to obtain for them the things that they desired for a life of self-indulgence. The Most High, however, did not look with favor upon such unrighteousness. He is holy, clean or pure and, therefore, swore by his holiness to act against the “cows of Bashan.” They would be violently torn away from Samaria as with butcher hooks and the surviving remnant as with smaller fishhooks. The enemy would drive these women through the breaches made in the walls of the conquered city.