|New International Version (©2011)|
Amos answered Amaziah, "I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees.
New Living Translation (©2007)
But Amos replied, "I'm not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I'm just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Then Amos replied to Amaziah, "I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
So Amos answered Amaziah, "I was not a prophet or the son of a prophet; rather, I was a herdsman, and I took care of sycamore figs.
International Standard Version (©2012)
Amos replied in answer to Amaziah, "I am no prophet, nor am I a prophet's son, for I have been shepherding and picking the fruit of sycamore trees.
NET Bible (©2006)
Amos replied to Amaziah, "I was not a prophet by profession. No, I was a herdsman who also took care of sycamore fig trees.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Amos responded, "I'm not a prophet, and I'm not a disciple of the prophets. I am a rancher and a grower of figs.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was a herdsman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit:
American King James Version
Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdsman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:
American Standard Version
Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was a herdsman, and a dresser of sycomore-trees:
And Amos answered and said to Amasias: I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet: but I am a herdsman plucking wild figs.
Darby Bible Translation
And Amos answered and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was a herdman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit.
English Revised Version
Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a dresser of sycomore trees:
Webster's Bible Translation
Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was a herdman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit:
World English Bible
Then Amos answered Amaziah, "I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was a herdsman, and a farmer of sycamore figs;
Young's Literal Translation
And Amos answereth and saith unto Amaziah, 'I am no prophet, nor a prophet's son am I, but a herdsman I am, and a cultivator of sycamores,
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:10-17 It is no new thing for the accusers of the brethren, to misrepresent them as enemies to the king and kingdom, as traitors to their prince, and troublers of the land, when they are the best friends to both. Those who make gain their godliness, and are governed by the hopes of wealth and preferment, are ready to think these the most powerful motives with others also. But those who have a warrant from God, like Amos, ought not to fear the face of man. If God, that sent him, had not strengthened him, he could not thus have set his face as a flint. The Lord often chooses the weak and foolish things of the world to confound the wise and mighty. But no fervent prayers, or self-denying labours, can bring proud sinners to bear faithful reproofs and warnings. And all who oppose or despise the Divine word, must expect fatal effects to their souls, unless they repent.
Verse 14. - The prophet, undaunted by Amaziah's threats, in simple language declares that he does not practise prophecying as a profession or to gain a livelihood, but in obedience to the voice of God. The exercise of the prophetical office was restricted neither to sex nor rank. There were many prophetesses in Israel, e.g. Deborah (Judges 4.), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14), Noadiah (Nehemiah 6:14); and besides a large number of nameless prophets there are twenty-three whose names are preserved in Holy Writ, omitting those whose writings have come down to us (Ladd, 'Doctrine of Scripture,' 1:117, etc.). A prophet's son; i.e. brought up in the schools of the prophets, the pupils of which were called "sons of the prophets" (see 1 Kings 20:35; 2 Kings 2:5). Amos was neither self-commissioned nor trained in any human institution. A herdman (boger); usually "a cowherd;" here "a shepherd;" αἰπόλος (Septuagint). A gatherer of sycomore fruit. The phrase, boles shiqmim, may mean either one who plucks mulberry figs for his own sustenance, or one who cultivates them for others. The latter is probably the meaning of the term here. The Septuagint rendering, κνίζων συκάμινα, "pricking sycamore fruit," and that of the Vulgate, vellicans sycomoros, indicate the artificial means for ripening the fruit, which was done by scraping, scratching, or puncturing it, as is sometimes done to the figs of commerce. As the tree bore many crops of fruit in the year, it would afford constant employment to the dresser (see 'Dict. of the Bible,' 3. p. 1394; 'Bible Educator,' 4, p. 343).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah,.... With much freedom, boldness, and intrepidity, and yet with modesty and humility; not at all moved by his frowns or his flattery:
I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son: he was not a prophet originally, or from his youth, as Kimchi; he was not born and bred one; neither his father was a prophet, by whom he could get any instructions in the mystery of prophesying; nor was he a disciple of any of the prophets, or brought up in any of their schools as some were; he was no prophet till the Lord called him immediately, at once, from his secular employment to this office; and therefore did not take it up to get a livelihood by Jarchi and Aben Ezra interpret it, that he was not one of the false prophets that prophesied for hire, and took a reward:
but I was an herdsman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit; that is, originally: this was the employment he was brought up in from his youth, and was in it when he was called to be a prophet; he looked after cattle, both great and small; and at a certain time of the year used, to gather sycamore fruit, which was a kind of figs; and by, its name had the resemblance both of figs and mulberries. Some take it to be what were called Egyptian figs; these he gathered, either for the use of his masters, or for food for himself, or for the cattle, or both: or he was an "opener" of them, as the Septuagint; he cut, them, and made incisions in them; for, as Pliny (l), Dioscorides (m), and Theophrastus (n) observe, this fruit must be cut or scratched, either with the nail, or with iron, or it will not ripen; but, four days after being scratched or cut, will become ripe. Mr. Norden (o), a late traveller in Egypt, has given us a very particular account of this tree and its fruit.
"This sycamore (he says) is of the height of a beech, and bears its fruit in a manner quite different from other trees; it has them on the trunk itself, which shoots out little sprigs in form of grape stalks; at the end of which grow the fruit close to one another, almost like bunches of grapes. The tree is always green, and bears fruit several times in the year, without observing any certain seasons: for I have seen (says he) some sycamores that have given fruit two months after others. The fruit has the figure and smell of real figs, but is inferior to them in the taste, having a disgusting sweetness. Its colour is a yellow, inclining to an ochre, shadowed by a flesh colour. In the inside it resembles the common figs, excepting that it has a blackish colouring with yellow spots. This sort of tree is pretty common in Egypt; the people for the greater part live upon its fruit, and think themselves well regaled when they have a piece of bread, a couple of sycamore figs, and a pitcher filled with water from the Nile.''
This account in several things agrees with what Pliny (p) and Solinus (q) relate of this tree and its fruit; very likely there might be many of these trees in Judea; there seem to have been great numbers of them in Solomon's time, 1 Kings 10:27; and perhaps it was one of these that Zacchaeus climbed, in order to see Christ, Luke 19:4; for this sort of trees delight in vales and plains, such as were the plains of Jericho; and in the Talmud (r) we read of sycamore trees in Jericho; and of the men of Jericho allowing the branches of them to be cut down for sacred uses. These also grew in lower Galilee, but not in upper Galilee; and that they were frequent in the land of Israel appears from the rules the Misnic doctors (s) give about the planting, and cutting them down; and in the opening of these trees, and making incisions in them, and in gathering the fruit of them, Amos might be concerned. Kimchi and Ben Melech say the word signifies to "mix", and that his business was to mix these together with other fruit. Aben Ezra observes, that in the Arabic language it signifies to dry; and then his work was, after he had gathered them, to lay them a drying. Some render the word a "searcher" (t) of them; as if his employment was to look out for them, and seek them where they were to be got: however, be this as it will, the prophet suggests that he had been used to a low life, and to mean fare, with which he was contented, and did not take up this business of prophesying for bread, and could return to his former employment without any regret, to get a maintenance, if so was the will of God. The Targum gives it a different sense,
"for I am a master of cattle, and have sycamores in the fields;''
and so Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, represent him as suggesting that he was rich, and had no need of bread to be given him, or to prophesy for that.
(l) Nat. Hist. l. 13. c. 7. (m) L. 1. c. 143. (n) Hist. l. 4. c. 2.((o) Travels in Egypt and Nubis, vol. 1. p. 79, 80. (p) Nat. Hist. l. 13. c. 7. (q) Polyhistor. c. 45. (r) T. Bab Pesachim, fol. 56. 1. & 57. 1. & Menachot, fol. 71. 1.((s) Misn. Shevath, c. 9. sect. 2. & Bava Bathra, c. 2. sect. 7. (t) "disquirens", Montanus, Vatablus; "perquirens", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Burkius. So R. Sol. Urbin Ohel Moed, fol. 31. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. I was no prophet—in answer to Amaziah's insinuation (Am 7:12), that he discharged the prophetical office to earn his "bread" (like Israel's mercenary prophets). So far from being rewarded, Jehovah's prophets had to expect imprisonment and even death as the result of their prophesying in Samaria or Israel: whereas the prophets of Baal were maintained at the king's expense (compare 1Ki 18:19). I was not, says Amos, of the order of prophets, or educated in their schools, and deriving a livelihood from exercising the public functions of a prophet. I am a shepherd (compare Am 7:15, "flock"; the Hebrew for "herdsman" includes the meaning, shepherd, compare Am 1:1) in humble position, who did not even think of prophesying among you, until a divine call impelled me to it.
prophet's son—that is, disciple. Schools of prophets are mentioned first in First Samuel; in these youths were educated to serve the theocracy as public instructors. Only in the kingdom of the ten tribes is the continuance of the schools of the prophets mentioned. They were missionary stations near the chief seats of superstition in Israel, and associations endowed with the Spirit of God; none were admitted but those to whom the Spirit had been previously imparted. Their spiritual fathers travelled about to visit the training schools, and cared for the members and even their widows (2Ki 4:1, 2). The pupils had their common board in them, and after leaving them still continued members. The offerings which in Judah were given by the pious to the Levites, in Israel went to the schools of the prophets (2Ki 4:42). Prophecy (for example, Elijah and Elisha) in Israel was more connected with extraordinary events than in Judah, inasmuch as, in the absence of the legal hierarchy of the latter, it needed to have more palpable divine sanction.
sycamore—abounding in Palestine. The fruit was like the fig, but inferior; according to Pliny, a sort of compound, as the name expresses, of the fig and the mulberry. It was only eaten by the poorest (compare 1Ki 10:27).
gatherer—one occupied with their cultivation [Maurer]. To cultivate it, an incision was made in the fruit when of a certain size, and on the fourth day afterwards it ripened [Pliny, Natural History, 13.7,14]. Grotius from Jerome says, if it be not plucked off and "gathered" (which favors English Version), it is spoiled by gnats.
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