Click here to get started today!
Holman Bible Dictionary
The majority of Old Testament references to merchants concern nations other than Israel. The term translated as merchant or trader at Proverbs 31:24 and Hosea 12:7 is, in fact, the word for Canaanite. Men of Tyre sold fish and all kinds of merchandise in postexilic Jerusalem ( Nehemiah 13:16 ). Ezekiel 27:12-25 recounts the activities of the merchants of Tyre in full. They traded in common and precious metals, slaves, livestock, precious stones, ivory, wool, cloth, clothing, agricultural produce, wine, spices, and carpets. (Compare Revelation 18:11-13 .) Tyre's trading partners included twenty-two nations or peoples encompassing Asia Minor, Palestine, Syria, Arabia, and Mesopotamia. Merchants generated great wealth. The prophets railed against the pride which accompanied merchants' material successes (Isaiah 23:1; Ezekiel 27:1 ).
In the New Testament, Jesus used a merchant to illustrate the need to risk all to gain the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 13:45-46 ). Other references continue the prophetic attack on arrogant merchants. James 4:13 warns big businessmen who engaged in long-term foreign ventures not to dismiss God when making plans. Revelation condemns Roman merchants who grew rich on the sins of Rome ( Revelation 18:3 ). See Economic Life; Commerce .
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Merchant'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/m/merchant.html. 1991.