Monday, July 17, 2006

Dresser of sycamores?

From Mike Turner OPL:

Today's first reading contained a line that was just a bit too obscure
for me to leave alone. Amos is being scolded by the priest at Bethel.
"Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah!" And in Amos
7:14, Amos responds, "I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a
company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores."

Douay Rheims says, "I am a herdsman plucking wild figs."

Strong's Concordance says, "...herdman and a gatherer of sycomore fruit."

Our Polish Bible says that he was a cutter of fruits.

The sycamore tree of Egypt is a relative of the mulberry and produces
figs. In order to bear fruit, the flowers actually need to be visited
by a wasp, which lays an egg there. But the egg causes the fruit to
be bitter, unless the young fruit is cut open and exposed to air.

It appears that this would have been a form of agricultural work --
cut the young fruit so that it will mature into tasty figs.

Here is one of several web sites that describe the marvels of the sycamore.


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