Israel is reproved (1-5): The first five verses are continuation of Amos 3. God is reproving the wives/matrons of the prominent men in Samaria for their oppression.
V. 1… cows of Bashan… The wives of the prominent leaders in Saria are likened to the cows raise in the rich pastures of Bashan in Transjordan region. …Mountain of Samaria… These leaders and their family lived in the hill city of Samaria which was build by Omri, the king of Israel (1 Kings 16:24). …Oppress the poor… It was not just the husbands, but even these wives oppress the poor and crush the needy one.
Vs. 2 & 3…God has sworn … Talks about the certainty of God’s action. …by His Holiness… God is contrasting HIS holiness to the wickedness of the people. …Fish-hooks Talks about the way they will be taken into captivity. Also, this practice may be literal too as the Assyrians have the practice of taking the captives away with a rope attached to rings in the captive’s nose. …Harmon…This is an unknown location.
Vs. 4 & 5…come to Bethel and transgress … This is sarcastic invitation as they were already doing these. Prophet is calling people to come and continue to do the sin they were committing. See. Jer 7:21. …for this you love … People loved the form and ritual in their worship system very much, but this is not what God wanted.
Their impenitence is shown by rejecting correction. (6-13)
Even though God had sent various natural and social calamities, the people would not turn back. The repeated refrain is ‘yet you did not return to me’ (vv. 6, 8, 9, 10, 11). In short, the coming destruction of Israel at the hands of the Assyrians would not be a sudden unexpected outbreak by a short-tempered God. It was the final outcome of many patient appeals and warnings that the people should have heeded but did not. – ESV Study Bible.
The series of calamities are Famine, drought, crop-failure, plague, war, and natural calamity were brought by God to awaken them to their sin, but they were unsuccessful.
V. 6… Cleanness of teeth… Their teeth were clean because they did not have anything to eat.
V. 7… withheld rain from you… Rain in November and December was much needed for seeding, germinating for a fruitful harvest in April.
V. 10… plague after the manner of Egypt… Ex. 15:26.
V. 12… prepare to meet your God… The LORD’s Day of Judgement is coming, and the people are asked to prepare to meet their God. Read 5:18-20. The Israelites desired the Day of the LORD not knowing the reality of the soon coming day of the LORD. It would not be a day of vindication; but a day of judgement. Now, we are prophesized the day of the LORD. Either we should prepare to meet the LORD with Jesus Christ, or alone. Meeting our God alone will be dangerous.
V. 13… The LORD of Hosts is His Name… Amos is using a poetry lyric (3:13, 5:8&9, 9:5&6). All these references portray God as the creator, sustainer and He controls everything.
Amos 5: Address 3, oracle of Entreaty (an Appeal) – A lament for Israel.
A special feature of this oracle is God’s pleading for his people to return to him. Although they face imminent destruction, it is still not too late to seek God and his goodness. God wants repentance and return at last minute.
V. 1… lamentation… Neither God nor the prophet takes joy in the pronouncement of doom. This passage is in the form of a funeral song. Amos consider Israel is already dead. Like mourners at a funeral, they grieve at what lies ahead for the unrepentant people. This is the same reaction on the part of Jesus towards Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44).
V. 2… Virgin of Israel… This occurs first time in the Bible. Jeremiah uses the identical expression (Jer 18:13, 31:4,21) as a personification of the nation that has not yet been taken by another nation. Church is personified as the Virgin in the NT. Nothing will and should take her other than Jesus. We should not be taken by another until HE comes back to take us.