But seek not Bethel
Do not go to Bethel, the place where one of Jeroboam's calves was set up and worshipped, to consult the oracle, idols, and priests there; or to perform religious worship, which will be your ruin, if not prevented by another course of living: nor enter into Gilgal;
another place of idolatry, where idols were set up and worshipped (See Gill on Amos 4:4); and pass not to Beersheba;
a place in the further part of the land of Israel; it formerly belonged to Judah, but was now in the hands of the ten tribes, and where idolatrous worship was practised; see ( Amos 8:14 ) ; it having been a place where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, had dwelt, and worshipped the true God: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity;
that is, the inhabitants of it; they will not be able with their idols and idol worship to save themselves, and therefore go not thither. There is an elegant play on words here F2, as there is also in the next words: and Bethel shall come to nought;
which also was called Bethaven, the house of vanity, or of an idol which is nothing in the world; and therefore, because of the idolatry in it, should come to nothing, be utterly destroyed, and the inhabitants of it. So the Targum,
``they, that are in Gilgal, and worship calves in Bethel.''