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Smith's Bible Dictionary

From the time that men began to live in cities, trade, in some shape, must have been carried on to supply the town-dwellers with necessaries from foreign as well as native sources, for we find that Abraham was rich, not only in cattle, but in silver, gold and gold and silver plate and ornaments. (Genesis 13:2; 24:22,53) Among trading nations mentioned in Scripture, Egypt holds in very early times a prominent position. The internal trade of the Jews, as well as the external, was much promoted by the festivals, which brought large numbers of persons to Jerusalem. (1 Kings 8:63) The places of public market were chiefly the open spaces near the gates, to which goods were brought for sale by those who came from the outside. (Nehemiah 13:15,16; Zephaniah 1:10) The traders in later times were allowed to intrude into the temple, in the outer courts of which victims were publicly sold for the sacrifice. (Zechariah 14:21; Matthew 21:12; John 2:14)

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) The exchange or buying and selling of commodities; esp. the exchange of merchandise, on a large scale, between different places or communities; extended trade or traffic.

2. (n.) Social intercourse; the dealings of one person or class in society with another; familiarity.

3. (n.) Sexual intercourse.

4. (n.) A round game at cards, in which the cards are subject to exchange, barter, or trade.

5. (v. i.) To carry on trade; to traffic.

6. (v. i.) To hold intercourse; to commune.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

kom'-ers (emporia):

I. Old Testament Times.

1. Early Overland Commerce:

There were forces in early Hebrew life not favorable to the development of commerce. Intercourse with foreigners was not encouraged by Israel's social and religious customs. From the days of the appearance of the Hebrews in Canaan, however, some commercial contact with the peoples around was inevitable. There were ancient trade routes between the East and the West, as well as between Egypt and the Mesopotamian valley. Palestine lay as a bridge between these objective points. There were doubtless traveling merchants from very remote times, interchanging commodities of other lands for those of Palestine Some of the Hebrew words for "trading" and "merchant" indicate this (compare cachar, "to travel," rakhal, "to go about"). In the nomadic period, the people were necessarily dependent upon overland commerce for at least a part of their food supply, such as grain, and doubtless for articles of clothing, too. Frequent local famines would stimulate such trade. Companies or caravans carrying on this overland commerce are seen in Genesis 37:25, 28, "Ishmaelites" and "Midianites, merchantmen," on their way to Egypt, with spices, balm and myrrh. Jacob caused his sons to take certain products to Egypt as a present with money to Joseph in return for grain: balsam, spices, honey, myrrh, nuts, almonds (Genesis 43:11 f). The presence of a "Bab mantle" among the spoils of Ai (Joshua 7:21) indicates commerce between Canaan and the East.

2. Sea Traffic:

While there are slight indications of a possible sea trade as early as the days of the Judges (Judges 5:17; compare Genesis 49:13), we must wait till the days of the monarchy of David and especially Solomon for the commerce of ships. Land traffic was of course continued and expanded (1 Kings 10:15, 28, 29 2 Chronicles 1:16). Sea trade at this time made large strides forward. The Philistines were earlier in possession of the coast. Friendship with Hiram king of Tyre gave Solomon additional advantages seaward (1 Kings 5; 1 Kings 9:26; 1 Kings 10:19-29 2 Chronicles 8:17; 2 Chronicles 9:14), since the Phonicians were pre-eminently the Miditerranean traders among all the people of Palestine Later, commerce declined, but Jehoshaphat attempted to revive it (1 Kings 22:48 2 Chronicles 20:36), but without success. Tyre and Sidon as great commercial centers, however, long impressed the life of Israel (Isaiah 23 Ezekiel 26-27). Later, in the Maccabean period, Simon acquired Joppa as a Jewish port (1 Maccabees 14:5), and so extended Mediterranean commerce.

3. Land Traffic in the Time of the Kings:

During the peaceful reign of Solomon, there came, with internal improvements and foreign friendships, a stimulus to traffic with Egypt and the Far East over the ancient trade routes as well as with Phoenicia on the northwest. He greatly added to his wealth through tariffs levied upon merchantmen (1 Kings 10:15). Trade with Syria in the days of Omri and Ahab is indicated by the permission Benhadad gave to Israelites to open streets, or trading quarters, in Damascus, as Syrians had in Samaria (1 Kings 20:34). The prophets disclose repeatedly the results of foreign commerce upon the people in the days of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, and of Jeroboam II, under whom great material prosperity was attained, followed by simple luxury (Isaiah 2:6, 7, 16 Hosea 12:1, 7, 8 Amos 6:3-6). The people in their greed of gain could not observe Sabbaths and feast days (Amos 8:5); compare Sabbath trading and its punishment in the days of the restoration (Nehemiah 13:15-22). "Canaanite" became the nickname for traffickers (Zechariah 14:21; compare Isaiah 23:8).

II. New Testament Times.

After the conquests of Alexander 333 B.C., trade between East and West was greatly stimulated. Colonies of Jews for trade purposes had been established in Egypt and elsewhere. The dispersion of the Jews throughout the Greek and Roman world added to their interest in commerce. The Mediterranean Sea, as a great Roman lake, under Roman protection, became alive with commercial fleets. The Sea of Galilee with its enormous fish industry became the center of a large trading interest to all parts. The toll collected in Galilee must have been considerable. Matthew was called from his collectorship to discipleship (Matthew 9:9); Zaccheus and other publicans became rich collecting taxes from large commercial interests like that of balsam. Jesus frequently used the commerce of the day as illustration (Matthew 13:45; Matthew 25:14-30). Along the Palestinian coast there were several ports where ships touched: Lydda, Joppa, Caesarea; and further north Ptolemais, Tyre, Sidon and Antioch (port Seleucia).

The apostle Paul made use of ships touching at points on the coast of Asia Minor, and the islands along the coast, and also doing coast trade with Greece, Italy and Spain, to carry on his missionary emterprises (Acts 13:4-13; Acts 16:11; 18:18; 20:13-16; 21:1-8; 27:1-44; 28:1-14). The rapidity with which the gospel spread throughout the Roman world in the 1st century was due no little to the use of the great Roman highways, built partly as trade routes; as well as to the constant going to and fro of tradesmen of all sorts; some of whom like Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:2, 18, 26), Lydia, (Acts 16:14, 40) and Paul himself (who was a traveling tent-maker) were active in disseminating the new faith among the Gentiles. In James 4:13 we have a good representation of the life of a large number of Jews of this period, who would "go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain" (the King James Version).

See also TRADE.

Edward Bagby Pollard

1711. emporia -- commerce, business, trade.
... 1710, 1711. emporia. 1712 . commerce, business, trade. ... See 1713 (). Word Origin
fem. from emporos Definition commerce, business, trade. merchandise, trade ...
// - 6k

1712. emporion -- a trading place
... Cognate: 1712 -- an emporium; a marketplace for (doing commerce), used only
in Jn 2:16 (see also Lk 19:13). See 1713 (). Word Origin neut. ...
// - 6k

4147. plouteo -- to be rich
... See 4145 (). (Rev 3:17) The Laodiceans had success in banking, trade, and
commerce -- but their lives paid dividends (yields)! The ...
// - 7k

Strong's Hebrew
5504. sachar -- commerce, gain
... 5503, 5504. sachar. 5505 . commerce, gain. Transliteration: sachar Phonetic
Spelling: (sakh'-ar) Short Definition: gain. Word Origin ...
/hebrew/5504.htm - 6k

... Chapter 12 Commerce. ... Quite different form those as to trades were the Rabbinical
views about commerce, as we shall immediately show. ...
/.../edersheim/sketches of jewish social life/chapter 12 commerce.htm

Those who have Commerce with a Wife or in any Other Manner Without ...
... The Sixth Ecumenical Council. Canon XCVII. Those who have commerce with
a wife or in any other manner without regard thereto? ...
/.../schaff/the seven ecumenical councils/canon xcvii those who have.htm

In Our Last Chapter we Sought to Show that in Rev. . .
... time will be the center and embodiment of all the elements of our godless civilization,
and which especially will become the chief entrepot of commerce in the ...
// antichrist/in our last chapter we.htm

Now I have Only Taken the Test Case of Female Suffrage Because it ...
... If women are to be subjected to the dull rule of commerce, we must find some
way of emancipating them from the wild rule of conscience. ...
/.../chesterton/whats wrong with the world/chapter 27 now i have.htm

Connecticut at the Close of the Revolution
... With her commerce and coasting trade almost destroyed, she found herself, during
the period preceding the adoption of the national Constitution and the ...
/.../chapter xii connecticut at the.htm

Travelling in Palestine --Roads, Inns, Hospitality, Custom-House ...
... For, it was the only truly international road of all those which passed through
Palestine; indeed, it formed one of the great highways of the world's commerce. ...
/.../sketches of jewish social life/chapter 4 travelling in palestineroads.htm

Gambling, Card-Playing
... For centuries the inhabitants, the Monagasques, lived by marauding expeditions,
both by sea and land, and by slight commerce with Genoa, Marseilles, and Nice. ...
/.../questionable amusements and worthy substitutes/iii gambling card-playing.htm

The Place of the Old Testament in Divine Revelation
... Restless energy and the tendency to acquire have also tended to make them leaders
in the widely different fields of commerce and religion. ...
/.../the origin and permanent value of the old testament/iv the place of the.htm

The Annunciation of Jesus the Messiah, and the Birth of his ...
... to the utmost, and thickly covered with populous towns and villages, but the centre
of every known industry, and the busy road of the world's commerce. ...
/.../the life and times of jesus the messiah/chapter iv the annunciation of.htm

Mordecai and Esther
... the 'light of the world,' and we are 'tribes of the wandering foot.' Our history,
all, has tended to this function, our local position, our laws, our commerce. ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture g/mordecai and esther.htm

Commerce (3 Occurrences)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. COMMERCE. ... 1. Early Overland Commerce: There were
forces in early Hebrew life not favorable to the development of commerce. ...
/c/commerce.htm - 15k

Trade (33 Occurrences)
... 4. (v.) Specifically: The act or business of exchanging commodities by barter,
or by buying and selling for money; commerce; traffic; barter. ...
/t/trade.htm - 40k

Cinnamon (4 Occurrences)
... There is no trace of it in Egypt, and it was unknown in Syria. The inner rind when
dried and rolled into cylinders forms the cinnamon of commerce. ...
/c/cinnamon.htm - 10k

Commercial (1 Occurrence)
... (a.) of or pertaining to commerce; carrying on or occupied with commerce or trade;
mercantile; as, commercial advantages; commercial relations. ...
/c/commercial.htm - 7k

Ships (46 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary Early used in foreign commerce by the Phoenicians (Genesis
49:13). ... The same partnership existed for the commerce of the West. ...
/s/ships.htm - 53k

Boats (11 Occurrences)
... Joppa. From this cooperation in the building of the Temple there grew up
a larger connection in the pursuit of sea-borne commerce. ...
/b/boats.htm - 40k

Dispersion (4 Occurrences)
... Phrygia and Lydia. (4.) From Asia Minor many Jews moved into Greece and
Macedonia, chiefly for purposes of commerce. In the apostles ...
/d/dispersion.htm - 44k

Esarhaddon (3 Occurrences)
... and destroyed. He built another city upon the same site, which he called
Kar-Esarhaddon, and endeavored to revive its commerce. And ...
/e/esarhaddon.htm - 13k

Merchandise (34 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (n.) The objects of commerce; whatever is usually bought
or sold in trade, or market, or by merchants; wares; goods; commodities. ...
/m/merchandise.htm - 22k

Maritime (1 Occurrence)
... on, or situated near, the ocean; as, the Maritime Provinces of Canada; connected
with the sea by site, interest, or power; having shipping and commerce or a ...
/m/maritime.htm - 7k

What are blue laws? What is a biblical view of blue laws? |

What is the significance of Cyprus in the Bible? |

Is there such a thing as absolute truth / universal truth? |

Commerce: Dictionary and Thesaurus |

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Commerce (3 Occurrences)

Matthew 22:5
But they made light of it, and went, one to his own land, and another to his commerce.

Isaiah 23:17
And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that Jehovah will visit Tyre, and she shall return to her hire, and shall play the harlot with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth.
(See JPS)

Ezekiel 16:34
And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy unlawful commerce, whereas none followeth thee to commit lewdness: and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given to thee, therefore thou art contrary.



Commerce of the Arabians

Commerce of the Jews: Checked in Jehoshaphat's Time

Commerce of the Jews: Commenced After Their Settlement in Canaan

Commerce of the Jews: Greatly Extended by Solomon

Commerce of the Jews: Under Strict Laws

Commerce: Articles of Apes

Commerce: Articles of Balm

Commerce: Articles of Blue Cloth

Commerce: Articles of Bodies and Souls of Men

Commerce: Articles of Brass

Commerce: Articles of Cattle

Commerce: Articles of Chariots

Commerce: Articles of Chest of Rich Apparel

Commerce: Articles of Chests of Rich Apparel

Commerce: Articles of Cinnamon

Commerce: Articles of Clothes for Chariots

Commerce: Articles of Corn

Commerce: Articles of Embroidery

Commerce: Articles of Frankincense

Commerce: Articles of Gold

Commerce: Articles of Honey

Commerce: Articles of Horses

Commerce: Articles of Iron and Steel

Commerce: Articles of Ivory

Commerce: Articles of Land

Commerce: Articles of Lead

Commerce: Articles of Linen

Commerce: Articles of Oil

Commerce: Articles of Peacocks

Commerce: Articles of Pearls

Commerce: Articles of Perfumes

Commerce: Articles of Precious Stones

Commerce: Articles of Purple

Commerce: Articles of Sheep

Commerce: Articles of Silk

Commerce: Articles of Silver

Commerce: Articles of Slaves

Commerce: Articles of Sweet Cane

Commerce: Articles of Thyine Wood

Commerce: Articles of Timber

Commerce: Articles of Tin

Commerce: Articles of Wheat

Commerce: Articles of White Wool

Commerce: Articles of Wine

Commerce: Articles of, Called: Merchandise

Commerce: Articles of, Called: Wares

Commerce: Babylonians

Commerce: Called: Buying and Selling

Commerce: Called: Trade

Commerce: Called: Traffic

Commerce: Carried on by Egyptians

Commerce: Carried on by Ethiopians

Commerce: Carried on by Ishmaelites

Commerce: Carried on by Jews

Commerce: Carried on by Means of Caravans

Commerce: Carried on by Means of Ships

Commerce: Carried on by Ninevites

Commerce: Carried on by People of Tarshish

Commerce: Carried on by People of Tyre

Commerce: Carried on by Syrians

Commerce: Carried on in Fairs

Commerce: Conducted in Fairs

Commerce: Denunciations Connected With Abuses of

Commerce: Egyptians

Commerce: Ethiopians

Commerce: Evil Practices Connected With

Commerce: from Tarshish

Commerce: Illustrative of Intercourse With the Apostasy

Commerce: Increased the Wealth of Nations and Individuals

Commerce: Inland, by Caravans

Commerce: Ishmaelites

Commerce: Israelites

Commerce: Jews

Commerce: Laws Concerning

Commerce: Maritime, by Ships

Commerce: Ninevites

Commerce: Persons Engaged In, Called: Chapmen

Commerce: Persons Engaged In, Called: Merchants

Commerce: Persons Engaged In, Called: Sellers and Buyers

Commerce: Persons Engaged In, Called: Traffickers

Commerce: Persons of Distinction Engaged In

Commerce: Success In, Led to Pride

Commerce: Syrians

Commerce: The Barter of One Commodity for Another

Commerce: The Exchange of Commodities for Money

Commerce: Transportation of Passengers

Commerce: Tyrians

Commerce: Zidonians

Related Terms

Trade (33 Occurrences)

Cinnamon (4 Occurrences)

Commercial (1 Occurrence)

Ships (46 Occurrences)

Boats (11 Occurrences)

Dispersion (4 Occurrences)

Esarhaddon (3 Occurrences)

Merchandise (34 Occurrences)

Maritime (1 Occurrence)

Myrrh (22 Occurrences)

Pannag (1 Occurrence)

Phenicia (1 Occurrence)

Buying (12 Occurrences)

Cassia (3 Occurrences)

Asher (43 Occurrences)




Phoenicia (6 Occurrences)


Commentary (2 Occurrences)

Tyre (59 Occurrences)

Zidon (25 Occurrences)

Know (8133 Occurrences)

Negotiate (1 Occurrence)

Navigate (2 Occurrences)

Nahum (3 Occurrences)

Unlawful (9 Occurrences)

Oil (281 Occurrences)

Joppa (14 Occurrences)

Jehoshaphat (79 Occurrences)

Latin (2 Occurrences)

Lod (4 Occurrences)

Loan (9 Occurrences)

Lydda (3 Occurrences)


War (529 Occurrences)

Whore (14 Occurrences)

Income (7 Occurrences)

Intercourse (6 Occurrences)

Import (2 Occurrences)

Inland (1 Occurrence)

Incest (1 Occurrence)

Frankincense (22 Occurrences)

Friend (139 Occurrences)

Feast (209 Occurrences)

Trader (7 Occurrences)

Traffic (12 Occurrences)

Trafficker (3 Occurrences)

Trading (24 Occurrences)

Revival (1 Occurrence)

Respect (204 Occurrences)

Empty (84 Occurrences)

East (228 Occurrences)

Essay (1 Occurrence)

Exportation (2 Occurrences)

External (8 Occurrences)

Extend (35 Occurrences)

Decapolis (3 Occurrences)

Derbe (4 Occurrences)

Manna (19 Occurrences)

Merchant (15 Occurrences)

Mercury (1 Occurrence)

Puteoli (1 Occurrence)

By (30426 Occurrences)

Bind (68 Occurrences)

Citron (2 Occurrences)

Chamber (73 Occurrences)

Cos (1 Occurrence)

Corinth (13 Occurrences)


Cubit (51 Occurrences)

Conversation (30 Occurrences)

Commission (11 Occurrences)

Colossae (1 Occurrence)

Company (287 Occurrences)

Caperberry (1 Occurrence)

Cocoon (1 Occurrence)

Aramaic (12 Occurrences)

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