5 Prophets Who Had Other Occupations

Ever thought about what prophets did before their callings from God? Well, some worked completely different jobs. These jobs included shepherding and farming.
Discover the fascinating stories of these individuals. They went from their old jobs to becoming central figures in their faiths.

Imagine, from quiet hills to plowed fields, these prophets had big changes in their lives. These changes deeply affected history. They show us anyone might get a call from God, not just a few.
Uncover their hidden occupations and learn about the amazing journeys that changed their lives forever.

Amos: The Shepherd-Prophet

In the world of prophets, Amos is truly unique. He worked as a shepherd in the town of Tekoa before answering God’s call. His work included caring for sheep and tending sycamore trees.

Being a shepherd deeply influenced Amos. It gave him a special connection to nature. This connection helped him develop skills like careful observation, patience, and kindness.

Amos’ time as a shepherd was key to his later work as a prophet. His bond with the land and his flock made him sensitive to their needs. He saw his prophetic role as similar to a shepherd’s, caring for God’s people.

“I was neither a prophet nor a son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd and a tender of sycamore fruit. Then the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to My people Israel.'” (Amos 7:14-15)

This quote shows Amos’ surprise at being chosen by God. He was a humble shepherd and had not expected a prophetic mission. Yet he accepted the task with courage, speaking God’s message to Israel.

Amos did not come from a traditional prophetic background. This made his message different. He spoke out against social wrongs, urging for justice and true worship.

Today, Amos’ words are still powerful. They call for empathy and fairness. His life is a shining example of anyone making a difference, no matter their background.


  1. Amos 7:14-15 – New King James Version

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Elisha: The Farmer Called

Elisha was a hardworking farmer in his community. He plowed his field using twelve oxen. He worked to grow food for himself and others. Little did he know, his life was about to change.

One day, Elijah, a famous prophet, came to see him. Elijah could tell Elisha was meant for something big. So, he gave Elisha his special cloak. By doing this, Elijah said that Elisha should follow him and become a prophet.

“Don’t worry about your oxen or your field,” Elijah told Elisha. “Today, you’ll start a new life. Come with me, and you’ll serve the Lord as a prophet.”

Elisha had to make a big decision. Would he keep on farming and care for his oxen? Or, would he choose the path of a prophet, as Elijah offered?

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At that moment, Elisha knew this meeting was important. He knew his farming skills meant something more. With faith, he left everything to follow Elijah.

This choice marked the start of Elisha’s journey as a prophet. He performed miracles and led spiritually, changing many lives.

Elisha plowing his field with oxen

The Journey from Farmer to Prophet

Elisha’s story shows how responding to a higher calling can change everything. It shows that our usual jobs can lead us to bigger things.

Going from farming to being a prophet was a big transformation. It shows that answering the call changes us, even if it’s hard to leave the familiar.

Like Elisha, we can take courage from his story. We can bravely follow our callings, knowing our current work can help in the future.

Embracing Change and Embracing Purpose

Choosing to leave his farm life, Elisha teaches us to welcome change. He shows that amazing things happen when we go all in on our purpose.

Leaving his farm tools, Elisha began a journey that changed lives. His story asks us to think about the big changes we can make by following our heart.

Prophet Occupation
Elisha Farmer
Amos Shepherd
Isaiah Son of a Prophet
David Shepherd
Deborah Prophetess and Judge

Table: Prophets and Their Previous Occupations

Isaiah: The Son of a Prophet

Isaiah stood out among prophets with his unique start. He was called “son of a prophet.” That suggests he grew up knowing about prophetic work through his father. This early exposure likely deepened Isaiah’s future prophetic messages.

His narrative shifts from being a prophet’s child to a prophet. His father’s work may have shaped his insight into prophecies. This connection possibly readied Isaiah for his prophetic journey.

Isaiah’s father deeply influenced him, seen in the quality of his messages. His prophecies feature vivid scenes and deep teachings. Isaiah became known for his eloquent, clear revelations.

“The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother, he named my name.” – Isaiah 49:1

The book of Isaiah tells of his divine selection. He warned and encouraged Israel through his prophetic messages. His legacy as a major prophet reflects his unique experiences and faith.

The Calling of Isaiah

Isaiah’s vision in the temple marks his calling. He saw God on a throne, with seraphim praising Him. The scene was breathtaking.

“I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.'” – Isaiah 6:1-3

Isaiah felt unworthy in God’s presence. A seraphim purified his lips with a coal. This act prepared him for his mission.

When asked who would go for God, Isaiah answered. He said “Send me!” This moment marked the start of his ministry. From then on, he spoke God’s messages of change, redemption, and hope to Israel.

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Isaiah’s journey proves how our early life shapes us. He was influenced by his family and past. His story encourages us to see our own unique paths as preparation for what God has for us.

David: The Shepherd King

David was a key figure in biblical history, starting as a shepherd for his dad’s flock. His early days with the sheep shaped his character. These experiences would become key in leading Israel.

As a shepherd, David connected deeply with nature. He learned to watch the world closely. In the fields, he defended his flock and his bravery grew strong.

David was skilled with the harp, a favorite item of shepherds. His music soothed him and those around him. This skill made him stand out long before he was king.

David was more than a king; he was a brave warrior. He overcame the giant Goliath and led many victories. Though a king, he kept his shepherd’s humility.

shepherd king

David’s journey inspires us to be determined and have faith. His life has lessons for everyone, no matter their story. From shepherding to leading a nation, David’s example is about pushing through, staying strong, and following what is right.

Deborah: The Prophetess and Judge

Deborah was special. Not just a prophetess, she also judged in Israel. Her leadership was key for those she guided. Her story shows how she did two important jobs at once.

Leadership and Guidance

As a judge, Deborah wasn’t just anyone. She spoke for God, giving wise advice. People trusted her visions. She was a light in dark times, leading with wisdom.

“When the leaders took the lead in Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves—praise the Lord!”

Judges 5:2

Deborah guided Israel through tough times. Her words were like a map and a sword, helping them win battles. She let God’s wisdom guide her, and it helped the nation win.

Prophetic Messages

Deborah wasn’t just a judge, she was a messenger too. Her words were seen as words from God. She warned against wrong paths and pointed to the right one.

Her messages touched hearts. They called for courage and action. She inspired people to trust in God, no matter what.

The Authority of a Prophetess

As a prophetess, Deborah was powerful. She knew God’s plans in special ways. Her connection with God was clear. This gave her wisdom that was beyond ordinary.

Deborah Prophetess and Judge

Leadership Guidance Prophetic Messages
Deborah provided strong leadership as a judge, guiding the nation through challenging times. Her prophetic insights offered invaluable guidance and direction, aiding the people in making informed decisions. Deborah’s prophetic messages inspired faith, courage, and determination, rallying the people in times of crisis.
She commanded respect and authority, earning the trust of the people through her exemplary character and integrity. Her wisdom and discernment allowed her to offer sound counsel, ensuring the nation’s prosperity and spiritual growth. Deborah’s messages served as a divine compass, illuminating the right path and warning of potential pitfalls.
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The table above sums up Deborah’s work as a prophetess and judge. It highlights her leadership, guidance, and powerful messages.

Additional Occupations of Prophets

Other prophets besides the five named earlier had different backgrounds and jobs. Before they became prophets, they worked in various fields. This shows that a divine message can come to anyone, even in surprising places. Let’s look into some of these stories.

1. Samuel: The Priest-Prophet

Samuel served as a priest in Shiloh besides his duties as a prophet. This combined role allowed him to connect God’s message with the people. He showed that sacred and everyday roles can work together beautifully.

2. Jonah: The Seafaring Prophet

Jonah was a prophet who embarked on a sea journey. His job as a mariner let him see nature’s power firsthand. His story of being swallowed by a fish teaches about God’s reach and the value of obedience.

3. Ezekiel: The Priest and Exile

Before becoming a prophet, Ezekiel was a priest in a tough time for Jerusalem. He lived through its siege, exile, and captivity by Babylon. His later prophecies were about hope and healing while wandering in the wilderness.

“Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.”

4. Hosea: The Shepherd and Husband

Hosea was a shepherd whose life experiences deeply shaped his prophetic messages. His challenging marriage reflected God’s love and faithfulness despite human failings. His story highlights God’s constant care for his people.

5. Zechariah: The Priestly Scribe

Zechariah was both a priest and a prophet, helping the Jerusalem restoration after exile. Through symbolic teachins and visions, he showed the link between divine message and human history. His prophecies brought encouragement and direction to his people as they rebuilt.

Each prophet had a unique job that flavored their message. Through their diverse lives and experiences, they brought valuable lessons and insights to their followers.

additional occupations of prophets

Prophet Additional Occupation
Samuel Priest
Jonah Mariner
Ezekiel Priest and Exile
Hosea Shepherd
Zechariah Priestly Scribe


The lives of these prophets show us that a divine calling can come from any life. They were shepherds, farmers, and even prophets’ sons. But they all listened to their calling and changed the world. Their journeys remind us to tune into our inner voice, especially when it surprises us.

These prophets prove that a divine call doesn’t care about your job or status. As they switched from their old lives to new ones, they showed us something important. It doesn’t matter what you do; you can find your purpose and answer a higher calling in life.

These prophets teach us to be ready for change and to follow what really calls to us. Even if it means leaving behind what we know. Their stories are meant to inspire us to think about our lives. They show that by making a leap towards a true calling, we can change the world too.