That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yes, and sell the refuse of the wheat?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Amos 2:6. Their money-making propensity was carried to such unscrupulous lengths, that they even sold the refuse of corn, little better than mere chaff.Amos 2:6; here, that they were bought for them. It seems then the more likely that such was a real price for man.
And sell the refuse - Literally, the "falling of wheat," that is, what fell through the sieve, either the bran, or the thin, unfilled, grains which had no meal in them. This they mixed up largely with the meal, making a gain of that which they had once sifted out as worthless; or else, in a time of dearth, they sold to people what was the food of animals, and made a profit on it. Infancy and inexperience of cupidity, which adulterated its bread only with bran, or sold to the poor only what, although unnourishing, was wholesome! But then, with the multiplied hard-dealing, what manifoldness of the woe!
sell the refuse of … wheat—which contains no nutriment, but which the poor eat at a low price, being unable to pay for flour.That we may-buy the poor: either it speaks the aim of these men in oppressing the poor thus, that they might at last buy their persons for servants and drudges, or else it speaks the reason why they would have new moons and sabbaths over, that they might to market to buy the poor.
For silver, i.e. a little silver, at under value, as Amos 2:6.
The needy for a pair of shoes: this explains the former, and shows us that these cruel oppressors lay in wait for the needy to buy them for a very trifle; when these poor owed but for a very little and cheap commodity, as suppose a pair of shoes, these merciless men would take the advantage against them. and make them sell themselves to pay the debt. All which practices are most directly against the law of God.
Sell the refuse; that which is fitter for hogs to month, or for horses to eat, the poor must either buy at dear rate or starve; and this another kind of oppression, corrupted wares at excessive rates, sold to those that were necessitous. Leviticus 25:39;
and the needy for a pair of shoes; See Gill on Amos 2:6;
yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat; not only did they sell the poor grain and wheat at a dear rate, and in scanty measure, but the worst of it, and such as was not fit to make bread of, only to be given to the cattle; and, by reducing the poor to extreme poverty, they obliged them to take that of them at their own price. It may be rendered, "the fall of wheat" (c); that which fell under the sieve, when the wheat was sifted, as Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, observe.That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. The final issue of the rapacious conduct described in Amos 8:5 is that the poor are more and more impoverished, and, falling into debt, have in the end to sell themselves—or their children—as slaves (Leviticus 25:39) to their rich oppressors, who were only too ready to buy the poor for the silver which they owed them, and the needy for the sake of a pair of sandals, i.e. for a trifle (cf. Amos 2:6), the price of which they were unable to pay.
and sell the refuse of wheat] The final proof of their avarice: they sold what would ordinarily be thrown away, viz. the refuse—lit. the fallings—of the wheat, i.e. “what fell through the sieve, either the bran or the thin, unfilled, grains, which had no meal in them. This they mixed up largely with the meal, making a gain of that which they had once sifted out as worthless; or else, in a time of dearth, they sold to men what was the food of animals, and made a profit on it” (Pusey).Verse 6. - Buy the poor for silver (comp. Amos 2:6). The probable meaning is that they so reduced the poor marl by their exactions and injustice, that he was compelled to pay his debt by selling himself into slavery (Leviticus 25:39; Deuteronomy 15:12). For a pair of shoes. For the smallest debt they would deal in this harsh manner. The refuse; literally, that which fell through the sieve; Septuagint, Ἀπὸ παντὸς γεννήματος ἐμπορευσόμεθα, "We will trade in every kind of produce;" Vulgate, Quisquilias frumenti vendamus, "Let us sell the refuse of corn." Joel 2:20).
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