2 occurrences in 2 dictionaries

Reference: Handicraft


(See CIVILIZATION; BRASS.) Jewish workmen, as distinguished from the pagan workmen in ancient times, were not slaves, nor were their trades hereditary. After the captivity it was deemed at once honourable and necessary for a father to teach his son a trade. (Mishna, Pirke, ab. 2:2). Hence, Joseph the carpenter taught the holy Jesus his trade; and many of His own country marveled that works so mighty should be wrought by one like themselves, an artisan: "is not this the carpenter?" (Mr 6:3).

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Ac 18:3; 19:25; Re 18:22

A trade was taught to ail the Jewish boys as a necessary part of their education. Even the greatest rabbis maintained themselves by trades (Delitzsch). Says Rabbi Jehuda, "He who does not teach his son a trade is much the same as if he taught him to be a thief". In the present article brief notice only can be given of such handicraft trades as are mentioned in Scripture.

1. Smiths or metal-workers. --The preparation of iron for use either in war, in agriculture or for domestic purposes was doubtless one of the earliest applications of labor; and together with iron, working in brass, or rather copper alloyed with tin (bronze), is mentioned as practiced in antediluvian times.

Ge 4:22

After the establishment of the Jews in Canaan, the occupation of a smith became recognized as a distinct employment-

1Sa 13:19

The smith's work and its results are often mentioned in Scripture.

2Sa 12:31; 1Ki 6:7; 2Ch 26:14; Isa 44:12; 54:16

The worker in gold and silver must have found employment among both the Hebrews and the neighboring nations in very early times.

Ge 24:22,53; 35:4; 38:18

Various processes of the goldsmith's work are illustrated by Egyptian monuments. After the conquest frequent notices are found of both moulded and wrought metal, including soldering.

2. Carpenters are often mentioned in Scripture.

Ge 6:14; Ex 37; Isa 44:13

In the palace built by David for himself the workmen employed were chiefly foreigners.

2Sa 5:11

That the Jewish carpenters must have been able to carve with some skill is evident from

Isa 41:7; 44:13

In the New Testament the occupation of a carpenter is mentioned in connection with Joseph the husband of the Virgin Mary, and ascribed to our Lord himself.

Mt 13:55; Mr 6:3

The trade included our cabinet work as well as carpentering.

3. The masons employed by David and Solomon, at least the chief of them, were Phoenicians.

1Ki 5:18; Eze 27:9

The large stones used in Solomon's temple are said by Josephus to have been fitted together exactly without either mortar or clamps, but the foundation stones to have been fastened with lead. For ordinary building mortar was used; sometimes, perhaps, bitumen, as was the case at Babylon.

Ge 11:3

The wall "daubed with untempered mortar" of

Eze 13:10

was perhaps a sort of cob-wall of mud or clay without lime, which would give way under heavy rain. The use of whitewash on tombs is remarked by our Lord.

Mt 23:27

4. Ship-building must have been exercised to some extent for the fishing-vessels on the Lake of Gennesaret.

Mt 8:23; 9:1; Joh 21:3,8

Solomon built ships for his foreign trade.

1Ki 9:26-27; 22:48; 2Ch 20:36-37

5. Apothecaries or perfumers appear to have formed a guild or association.

Ex 30:25,35; 2Ch 16:14; Ne 3:8; Ec 7:1; 10:1

Ecclus 38:8.

6. Weavers. --The arts of spinning and weaving both wool and linen were carried on in early times, as they usually are still among the Bedouins, by women.

Ex 35:20,26; Le 19:19; De 22:11; 2Ki 23:7; Eze 16:16; Pr 31:13-14

The loom with its beam,

1Sa 17:7


Jg 16:14

and shuttles

Job 7:6

was perhaps introduced later, but as early as David's time.

1Sa 17:7

7. Dyeing and dressing cloth were practiced in Palestine, as were also tanning and dressing leather.

Jos 2:15-18; 2Ki 1:8; Mt 3:4; Ac 9:43

8. Barbers.

Nu 6:5,19; Eze 5:1

9. Tentmakers are noticed in

Ac 18:3

10. Potters are frequently alluded to.

Jer 18:2-6

11. Bakers are noticed in Scripture,

Jer 37:21; Ho 7:4

and the well-known valley Tyropoeon probably derived its name from the occupation of the cheese-makers, its inhabitants.

12. Butchers, not Jewish, are spoken of

1Co 10:25

Shoemakers, tailors, glaziers and glass vessels painters and gold workers are mentioned in the Mishna. Chel. viii. 9; xxix. 3,4; xxx. 1.

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