The purpose of this paper is to determine the meaning of “for three transgressions and for four, I will not cause it to return,” the enigmatic expression appearing eight times in the Old Testament, all of them in Amos 1-2. It employs primarily literary analysis, redaction criticism in particular, as its main methodology, although other approaches, such as historical and textual-critical perspectives, are also a part of this research. Due to the complicate nature in the formation of the so-called oracles against the nations of Amos, a well-known topic throughout the research history of the book, the focus of this paper is given to the last two literary strata along with their historical backgrounds. A little examination sufficed for the author of this paper that the above-mentioned phrase from Amos 1-2 should be dealt with other questions, frequently raised in the analysis of the same pericope. Among those questions and subsequently analyzed in the paper are the principle behind the order of the seven nations, and the relationship between the very first and the last parts of the prophetic book. This intertextual and “inter-topical” examination is a new way of exploring the subject, however a few findings are achieved through the exploration: differences in the meaning of “for three transgressions ? and for four” in each strata and its effect in the structure of Amos 1-2; and the dramatic reversal of the meaning of `uybnw through the redactional activities. At the end, the paper calls for further interests in the intertextual researches on chaps. 1-2 and chap. 9 of Amos as well as these chapters` relationship with Joel 3 and Obadiah.