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.
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing Amos 5:2:
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