35 ripens in four days. The sycomore tree became highly prized for shade and timber, and the fruit, although not superlative, was esteemed. Commonly used for funeral offerings, the tree became sacred. The fruits reached ancient Israel where they were known as the food of the poor. They are referred to in the Bible in a famous passage referring to the occupation of the prophet Amos. According to the King James Version of the Hebrew Bible, Amos states: I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and gatherer of sycomore fruits (Amos 7,14). However, translation is in error as the Hebrew Boless Shikmim should be translated as “gasher of sycomores.” In the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, known as the Septuaginta (200 BCE in Alexandria), the key words are Knizon Sycaminna or “piercer of sycomore.” The English translators obviously could not understand the concept of gash-ing the fruit and stretched the translation. Contemporary Israeli sycomores produce fruit
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This note was uploaded on 11/18/2011 for the course HIST 302 taught by Professor Jensic during the Summer '10 term at Purdue.