Amos 5:2
The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken on her land; there is none to raise her up.
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(2) Forsaken.—Or rather dashed to the earth. “Virgin” is a feminine designation of Israel poetically expressive of grace and beauty. Comp. the epithet “daughter of Zion,” nations and cities being represented by a feminine personification. She is not annihilated, but obliterated as a nation.

5:1-6 The convincing, awakening word must be heard and heeded, as well as words of comfort and peace; for whether we hear or forbear, the word of God shall take effect. The Lord still proclaims mercy to men, but they often expect deliverance from such self-invented forms as make their condemnation sure. While they refuse to come to Christ and to seek mercy in and by him, that they may live, the fire of Divine wrath breaks forth upon them. Men may make an idol of the world, but will find it cannot protect.She hath fallen, she shall rise no more, the virgin of Israel; she hath been dashed down upon her land, there is none to raise her up - Such is the dirge, a dirge like that of David over Saul and Jonathan, over what once was lovely and mighty, but which had perished. He speaks of all as past, and that, irremediably. Israel is one of the things which had been, and which would never again be. He calls her tenderly, "the virgin of Israel," not as having retained her purity or her fealty to God; still less, with human boastfulness, as though she had as yet been unsubdued by man. For she had been faithless to God, and had been many times conquered by man. Nor does it even seem that God so calls her, because He once espoused her to Himself For isaiah so calls Babylon. But Scripture seems to speak of cities, as women, because in women tenderness is most seen; they are most tenderly guarded; they, when pure, are most lovely; they, when corrupted, are most debased.

Hence , "God says on the one hand, "I remember thee, the love of thine espousals" Jeremiah 2:2; on the other, "Hear, thou harlot, the word of the Lord" Ezekiel 16:35. When He claims her faithfulness He calls her, betrothed." Again , "when He willeth to signify that a city or nation has been as tenderly loved and anxiously guarded, whether by Himsclf or by others, He calleth it "virgin," or when lie would indicate its beauty and lovely array. Isaiah saith, 'come down and sit in the dust, virgin daughter of Babylon' Isaiah 47:1, that is, thou who livedest before in all delicacies, like a virgin under the shelter of her home. For it follows, 'for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.'" More pitiable, for their tenderness and delicacy, is the distress of women. And so he pictures her as already fallen, "dashed" (the word imitates the sound) to the earth "upon her own ground." An army may be lost, and the nation recover. She was "dashed down upon her own ground." In the abode of her strength, in the midst of her resources, in her innermost retreat, she should fall. In herself, she fell powerless. And he adds, she has "no one to raise her up;" none to have ruth upon her; image of the judgment on a lost soul, when the terrible sentence is spoken and none can intercede! "She shall not rise again." As she fell, she did not again rise. The prophet beholds beyond the eighty-five years which separated the prosperity under Jeroboam II from her captivity. As a people, he says, she should be restored no more; nor was she.

2. virgin of Israel—the Israelite state heretofore unsubdued by foreigners. Compare Isa 23:12; Jer 18:13; 31:4, 21; La 2:13; may be interpreted, Thou who wast once the "virgin daughter of Zion." Rather, "virgin" as applied to a state implies its beauty, and the delights on which it prides itself, its luxuries, power, and wealth [Calvin].

no more rise—in the existing order of things: in the Messianic dispensation it is to rise again, according to many prophecies. Compare 2Ki 6:23; 24:7, for the restricted sense of "no more."

forsaken upon her land—or, "prostrated upon," &c. (compare Eze 29:5; 32:4) [Maurer].

The virgin: this name is given to her not for her purity and integrity, for she was an adulteress, but either ironically, or because her present riches, glory, and beauty seemed to be that of a virgin that had her portion, strength, and honour untouched; or else by a figure as properly may it be applied to Israel, as to Babylon, Isaiah 47:1, or to Egypt, Jeremiah 46:11, to Zidon, Isaiah 23:12.

Is fallen; or shall ere long fall, the thing put as done already because of the certainty of it. Or rather, is already falling by civil wars and conspiracies, which prepared way for the final ruin of Israel: it is possible this sermon of the prophet might be about the time that Shallum or Menahem usurped the throne. Or else it may refer to the times of Jehoahaz, when that of the third verse will appear to have been fulfilled; this seems most probable.

She shall no more rise; though they might by repentance have risen again, yet the prophet, considering their obstinacy, speaks of it as a thing that should never be, as eventually it proved also, for Israel never recovered the fall by Shalmaneser.

She is forsaken upon her land; broken to pieces upon her own land, and so left as a broken vessel; or she shall be by home divisions first broken, and afterwards carried captive.

There is none to raise her up; none at home among all her princes, counsellors, and rulers, nor any friend among her allies; all leave her to sink. The virgin of Israel is fallen,.... The kingdom of Israel, so called, because it had never been subdued, or become subject to a foreign power, since it was a kingdom; or because, considered in its ecclesiastic state, it had been espoused to the Lord as a chaste virgin; and perhaps this may be ironically spoken, and refers to its present adulterate and degenerated state worshipping the calves at Dan and Bethel; or else because of its wealth and riches and the splendour and gaiety in which it appeared; but now, as it had fallen into sin and iniquity, it should quickly fall by it, and on account of it, into ruin and misery; and because of the certainty of it it is represented as if it was already fallen:

she shall no more rise; and become a kingdom again, as it never has as yet, since the ten tribes were carried away captive by Shalmaneser king of Assyria, to which calamity this prophecy refers, The Targum is,

"shall not rise again this year;''

very impertinently; better Kimchi and Ben Melech, for a long time; since as they think, and many others, that the ten tribes shall return again, as may seem when all Israel shall be converted and saved, and repossess their own land; see Hosea 1:10. Abendana produces a passage out of Zohar, in which these words are interpreted, that the virgin of Israel should not rise again of herself, she not having power to prevail over her enemies; but God will raise her up out of the dust, when he shall raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, who shall reign in future time over all the tribes together, as it is said in Amos 9:11;

she is forsaken upon her land; by her people, her princes, and her God; or prostrate on the ground, as the Targum; she was cast upon the ground, and dashed to pieces by the enemy as an earthen vessel, and there left, her ruin being irrecoverable; so whatever is cast and scattered, or dashed to pieces on the ground, and left, is expressed by the word here used, as Jarchi observes:

there is none to raise her up: her princes and people are either slain by the sword, famine, and pestilence, or carried captive, and so can yield her no assistance; her idols whom she worshipped cannot, and her God she forsook will not.

The {a} virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up.

(a) He so calls them, because they so boasted of themselves, or because they were given to lustfulness and daintiness.

2. The virgin of Israel is fallen, " she shall no more rise;

She is cast down upon her land, " there is none to raise her up.

This is the ‘ḳînâh,’ written in a peculiar rhythm, which has been shewn (by Prof. K. Budde, now of Strassburg) to be that regularly used for Hebrew elegy. As a rule, in Hebrew poetry, the second of two parallel members balances the first, being approximately similar in length and structure, and presenting a thought either synonymous with it, or antithetic to it; but in the Hebrew elegy, the second member is shorter than the first, and instead of balancing and re-enforcing it, echoes it imperfectly, producing a plaintive, melancholy cadence. This rhythmical form prevails throughout most of the Book of ‘Lamentations,’ for instance, Amos 1:1 :—

How doth the city sit solitary, " she that was full of people!

She is become as a widow, " she that was great among the nations;

The princess among the provinces, " she is become tributary.

It is also observable elsewhere, where a ‘ḳînâh’ is announced, as Jeremiah 9:10 b–11:—

From the fowl of heaven even unto cattle, " they are fled, they are gone:

And I will make Jerusalem to be heaps, " an habitation of jackals;

And the cities of Judah will I make a desolation, " without inhabitant.

In the verses here quoted, each line, it will be observed, consists of two unequal parts, the second halting after the first, and being (in the Hebrew) appreciably shorter. For other examples of the “ḳînâh,” or dirge, see 2 Samuel 1:17 ff; 2 Samuel 3:33-34, Ezekiel 19:1-14; Ezekiel 26:17-18; Ezekiel 32:2-16[156]. (In A.V., R.V., the subst. and corresponding verbs are rendered lamentation, lament; but these are suited better to express nĕhî, nâhâh: see on Amos 5:16.)

[156] See further the writer’s Introduction, p. 429 f.

the virgin of Israel] The nation is personified, being pictured as a maiden, no longer erect and blithefully going her way, but wounded and prostrate on the ground, unable to rise by her own efforts (having none to assist her (cf. Isaiah 1:17 f. of Jerusalem). This is the earliest extant example of the personification of a nation, or community, as a woman,—a maiden or a mother, as the case may be: but it becomes common afterwards in Hebrew poetry, the figure being adopted especially with effect when it is desired to represent some keen or strong emotion, and being employed sometimes with great dramatic force. See, for example, with virgin, Jeremiah 18:13; Jeremiah 31:4; Jeremiah 31:21; with virgin daughter, Isaiah 37:22 (“the virgin daughter of Zion hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head after thee”), Isaiah 47:1, Jeremiah 14:17; Jeremiah 46:11; with daughter (alone) Isaiah 1:8; Isaiah 10:30; Isaiah 10:32; Isaiah 22:4; Isaiah 47:5, Jeremiah 6:26; Jeremiah 9:1, Micah 4:10; Micah 4:13, Zephaniah 3:14, Zechariah 9:9 (“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem”); and with the feminine indicated (in the Hebrew) by the termination, Isaiah 12:6 (see R.V. marg.), Isaiah 49:17 f., Isaiah 51:17-20, Jeremiah 10:17 (see R.V. marg.), Jeremiah 22:23 (see ib.).

is fallen] The tense is the prophetic past, describing the future as the prophet in imagination sees it, already accomplished. Cf. Amos 8:14.

is forsaken] Rather, is cast down (R.V.), or lieth forsaken (R.V. marg.), i.e. is abandoned, left to die where she had fallen: cf. Ezekiel 29:5 (R.V. “leave thee (thrown) into the wilderness”), Ezekiel 32:4 (“And I will leave thee forsaken upon the land, I will throw thee forth upon the face of the field”). Such an announcement as this, made in the height of the prosperity secured by Jeroboam II, would naturally be a startling one to those who heard it.Verse 2. - The virgin of Israel; i.e. the virgin Israel; so called, not as having been pure and faithful to God, but as tenderly treated and guarded from enemies (comp. Isaiah 23:12; Isaiah 47:1; Jeremiah 14:17). Is fallen (comp. 2 Samuel 1:19); she shall no more rise. This is apparently a contradiction to the promise of restoration elsewhere expressed, but is to be explained either as referring exclusively to the ten tribes, very few of whom returned from exile, and to the kingdom of Israel which was never reestablished; or, as Pseudo-Rufinus says, "Ita debemus accipere quod lugentis affectu cumulatius aetimavit illata discrimina sicque funditus appellasse deletos, quos ex majore videret parte contritos." Forsaken upon her land; better, she shall be dashed upon her own land; her own soil shall witness her ruin - that soil which was "virgin," unconquered, and her own possession. Hosea 13:9 commences a new strophe, in which the prophet once more discloses to the people the reason for their corruption (Hosea 13:9-13); and after pointing to the saving omnipotence of the Lord (Hosea 13:14), holds up before them utter destruction as the just punishment for their guilt (Hosea 13:15 and Hosea 14:1). Hosea 13:9. "O Israel, it hurls thee into destruction, that thou (art) against me, thy help. Hosea 13:10. Where is thy king? that he may help thee in all thy cities: and (where) they judges? of whom thou saidst, Give me king and princes! Hosea 13:11. I give thee kings in my anger, and take them away in my wrath." שׁחתך does not combine together the verbs in Hosea 13:8, as Hitzig supposes; nor does Hosea 13:9 give the reason for what precedes, but shichethkhâ is explained by Hosea 13:10, from which we may see that a new train of thought commences with Hosea 13:9. Shichēth does not mean to act corruptly here, as in Deuteronomy 32:5; Deuteronomy 9:12, and Exodus 32:7, but to bring into corruption, to ruin, as in Genesis 6:17; Genesis 9:15; Numbers 32:15, etc. The sentence כּי בי וגו cannot be explained in any other way than by supplying the pronoun אתּה, as a subject taken from the suffix to שׁחתך (Marck, and nearly all the modern commentators). "This throws thee into distress, that thou hast resisted me, who am thy help." בעזרך: as in Deuteronomy 33:26, except that ב is used in the sense of against, as in Genesis 16:12; 2 Samuel 24:17, etc. This opposition did not take place, however, when all Israel demanded a king of Samuel (1 Samuel 8:5). For although this desire is represented there (Hosea 13:7) as the rejection of Jehovah, Hosea is speaking here simply of the Israel of the ten tribes. The latter rebelled against Jehovah, when they fell away from the house of David, and made Jeroboam their king, and with contempt of Jehovah put their trust in the might of their kings of their own choosing (1 Kings 12:16.). But these kings could not afford them any true help. The question, "Where" ('ehı̄ only occurs here and twice in Hosea 13:14, for אי or איה, possibly simply from a dialectical variation - vid. Ewald, 104, c - and is strengthened by אפוא, as in Job 17:15), "Where is thy king, that he may help thee?" does not presuppose that Israel had no king at all at that time, and that the kingdom was in a state of anarchy, but simply that it had no king who could save it, when the foe, the Assyrian, attacked it in all its cities. Before shōpheteykhâ (thy judges) we must repeat 'ĕhı̄ (where). The shōphetı̄m, as the use of the word sârı̄m (princes) in its stead in the following clause clearly shows, are not simple judges, but royal counsellors and ministers, who managed the affairs of the kingdom along with the king, and superintended the administration of justice. The saying, "Give me a king and princes," reminds us very forcibly of the demand of the people in the time of Samuel; but they really refer simply to the desire of the ten tribes for a king of their own, which manifested itself in their dissatisfaction with the rule of the house of David, and their consequent secession, and to their persistence in this secession amidst all the subsequent changes of the government. We cannot therefore take the imperfects אתּן and אקּח in Hosea 13:11 as pure preterites, i.e., we cannot understand them as referring simply to the choice of Jeroboam as king, and to his death. The imperfects denote an action that is repeated again and again, for which we should use the present, and refer to all the kings that the kingdom of the ten tribes had received and was receiving still, and to their removal. God in His wrath gives the sinful nation kings and takes them away, in order to punish the nation through its kings. This applies not merely to the kings who followed one another so rapidly through conspiracy and murder, although through these the kingdom was gradually broken up and its dissolution accelerated, but to the rulers of the ten tribes as a whole. God gave the tribes who were discontented with the theocratical government of David and Solomon a king of their own, that He might punish them for their resistance to His government, which came to light in the rebellion against Rehoboam. He suspended the division of the kingdom not only over Solomon, as a punishment for his idolatry, but also over the rebellious ten tribes, who, when they separated themselves from the royal house to which the promise had been given of everlasting duration, were also separated from the divinely appointed worship and altar, and given up into the power of their kings, who hurled one another from the throne; and God took away this government from them to chastise them for their sins, by giving them into the power of the heathen, and by driving them away from His face. It is to this last thought, that what follows is attached. The removal of the king in wrath would occur, because the sin of Ephraim was reserved for punishment.
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