v 27. So I will send you into exile, to a land east of Damascus” says the Lord, whose name is the God of Heaven’s Armies.
There are several formative events in the history of Israel; the Exodus is one of them – the moment when the whole nation was rescued from slavery in Egypt and took possession of the land God had promised them. The next great significant event is the one foretold in this verse – the Exile. The people of both Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and Judah (The Kingdom) were taken away into Exile; first Israel by the Assyrians in 722 BC, and later, Judah by the Babylonians in 586 BC. Amos is writing about Exile for Israel, while it is Prophets such as Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel who write about Exile for Judah.
Amos writes (in chapter 4) about the debauchery evident in Israel; that chapter begins ‘Listen to me, you fat cows living in Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy, and who are always calling to your husbands, “Bring us another drink!” ‘ Got the picture?
Nothing less than Exile and a fresh start for the nation will suffice. The loss of the land was not due to military incompetence or a poor civil defence plan, it was the determined plan of God to eradicate social injustice in Israel by giving the people an opportunity for a fresh start.