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MERCHANDISE

mur'-chan-diz ((1) `amar (2) cachar, (3) cachar, (4) cechorach, (5) rekhullah, (6) ma`arabh, (7) markoleth; (8) emporia (9) emporion, (10) gomos): There seem to be 4 distinct meanings of the word according to the Revised Version (British and American), namely: (1) The products, i.e. goods or things sold or exchanged, and so merchandise in the present-day usage: (a) cachar is translated thus in Prov 31:18; Isa 23:18; (b) cachar is translated thus in Isa 45:14; these two are from a root meaning "to travel around as a peddler"; (c) rekhullah, translated thus in Ezek 26:12, from a root meaning "to travel for trading purposes"; (d) ma`arabh, translated thus in Ezek 27:9,27,33,34, from a root meaning "to intermix, to barter"; (e) markoleth, translated thus in Ezek 27:24 (the above 5 Hebrew words are all used to designate the goods or wares which were bartered); (f) `amar, occurring in Dt 21:14; 24:7, translated in the King James Version "make merchandise of," but in the Revised Version (British and American) "deal with as a slave," or the Revised Version margin "deal with as a chattel"; (g) emporia, translated "merchandise" in Mt 22:5; (h) emporion, likewise in Jn 2:16 (the same Greek word is used in 2 Pet 2:3 for the American Standard Revised Version "make merchandise of you"); (i) gomos, "merchandise," margin "cargo."
(2) The process of trade itself, i.e. the business: rekhullah has in it the root meaning of "itinerant trading", and so in Ezek 28:16 the correct translation is not "merchandise," as in the King James Version, but "traffic," "abundance of thy traffic," i.e. doing a thriving business: "trade was good."
(3) The place of trading, i.e. emporium, mart, etc.: cechorah in Ezek 27:15 is translated "mart." In Jn 2:16 reference is made to the "house of merchandise."
(4) The profits of trading: In Prov 3:14, cachar is translated "gaining." Referring to wisdom, "For the gaining of it is better than the gaining of silver, and the profit thereof than fine gold"; the King James Version "merchandise."
William Edward Raffety
Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'merchandise'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com - ISBE; 1915.

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