Amos 5

1Hear this word, O house of Israel, this lamentation I take up against you:

2“Fallen is Virgin Israel,

never to rise again.

She lies abandoned on her land,

with no one to raise her up.”

What exactly is Israel in Amos 5? She will never rise again!?

2 Answers 2


The timing of the prophecies of the prophet Amos is explicitly given in the first verse:

These are the words of Amos, who was among the sheepherders of Tekoa—what he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, in the days when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.

We note two things about this:

  1. Amos prophesied AFTER the division between Judah to the south and the "Israel" to the north in about 930 BC.
  2. Amos prophesied before the final destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BC by Assyria.

The prophecies of Amos concern the wickedness of Israel and its coming doom. His prophecies concern the sure fete of Israel, that it would be completely destroyed. Unfortunately, these prophecies were accurately fulfilled as described in 2 Kings 17.

Hoshea was the last king of Israel. The kingdom of Israel was destroyed by Assyria in 722 BC and repopulated with foreigners. The kingdom of Israel disappeared forever exactly as Amos 5:2 predicted.

However, the southern kingdom of Judah survived until it was destroyed in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar. The remnants of the Jews returned later under Zerubbabel in about 536 BC but the earthly kingdom of David never recovered.


Hosea was a contemporary of Amos. God commanded Hosea to marry a prostitute and have children of adultery (BSB):

Hosea 1:6 Gomer again conceived and gave birth to a daughter, and the LORD said to Hosea, “Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I should ever forgive them. 7Yet I will have compassion on the house of Judah, and I will save them—not by bow or sword or war, not by horses and cavalry, but by the LORD their God."

God made a distinction between Israel and Judah. The former he would not forgive but the latter he would. The ‘Israel’ in Amos 5 is the Israel apart from Judah. The throne of David would continue in Christ.

The king of Assyria invaded the northern kingdom of Israel and exiled the people. He then replaced them in 2 Kings 17:

24 Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took possession of Samaria and lived in its towns.

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