Amos 4: "I Tried to Help You"

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 183–184

Have you ever gone out of your way to do something nice for someone only to have that person reject you and what you offered? Israel rejected the God who freed them from Egyptian bondage and gave them the land of promise (see Amos 2:9–10). Amos 4 tells what the Lord said He would do to get Israel to “return” to Him. Look for what He said as you read.

Understanding the Scriptures

Amos 4

Kine of Bashan (v. 1)Literally, cows of an area very rich in vegetation; symbolically, wealthy women who care only for themselves 
Beth-el, Gilgal (v. 4)Places of worship that had become corrupted 
Leaven (v. 5)Yeast (Offering leavened bread with burnt offerings was forbidden.) 
Proclaim and publish the free offerings (v. 5)A comment about Israel’s righteousness since they liked the outward show of religion but did not want to be obedient to God’s commandments 
For this liketh you (v. 5)You like to do this 
Cleanness of teeth, want of bread (v. 6)Famine 
Blasting and mildew (v. 9)Diseases that destroy crops 
Pestilence (v. 10)A terrible disease 
Firebrand (v. 11)Burning stick 

Amos 4:2—How Would the Lord Take Away His People with “Hooks” and “Fishhooks”?

The Assyrians were known for putting hooks through the lips, noses, or cheeks of their enemies and linking them to one another with a chain. Linking captives made them easy to guard and “herd” away to captivity.

man with ring and chain in lip

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study Amos 4.

Activity A iconHow Would This Work?

  1. 1.

    In Amos 4:6–11, the Lord explained what He had done to persuade Israel to return to Him. Make a list of what He said.

  2. 2.

    How do you think the Lord’s judgments could influence Israel to return to Him? (see Alma 32:13; Helaman 12:2–6).

  3. 3.

    Read Doctrine and Covenants 122:7–8 and think of some difficult times you have experienced. How can a trial become a blessing?