The women of Mount Samaria are like the cows of Bashan

Amos of Tekoa is recognized as a straight forward, no-nonsense, prophet (Amos 1:1). He called the women of the northern kingdom of Israel cows. Nothing politically correct about that.

Listen to this message, you cows of Bashan who live on Mount Samaria! You oppress the poor; you crush the needy. You say to your husbands, “Bring us more to drink!” (Amos 4:1 NET)

The sn (study note) in the NET Bible is worth reading.

The expression cows of Bashan is used by the prophet to address the wealthy women of Samaria, who demand that their husbands satisfy their cravings. The derogatory language perhaps suggests that they, like the livestock of Bashan, were well fed, ironically in preparation for the coming slaughter. This phrase is sometimes cited to critique the book’s view of women.

Bashan is in the area we now call the Golan Heights. It is located to the east of the Sea of Galilee and northward. Golan in Bashan was one of the cities of refuge located in the territory of eastern Manasseh (Joshua 20:8). The region was noted as good pasture land.

In the modern state of Israel we notice an attempt to grow crops known from biblical times in the same area where they were grown then. And the same is true of cattle. Here is a photo I made earlier this year of some of the cows grazing in ancient Bashan (modern Golan Heights).

Cows grazing in the Golan Heights, the area known as Bashan in Old Testament times. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Cows grazing in the Golan Heights, the area known as Bashan in Old Testament times. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

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