commerce Summary and Overview
Bible Dictionaries at a Glance
commerce in 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. #Ge 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. #1Ki 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. #Ne 13:15,16; Zep 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. #Zec 14:21; Mt 21:12; Joh 2:14|
commerce in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
COM'MERCE . In some form this must have existed from the time when men formed separate communities, and when the dwellers in cities became dependent upon farmers and foreign nations for food. We find notices of trade in this way in the time of Abraham, and particularly in the history of Joseph and of the Egyptian famine. But foreign trade was not much cultivated by the Jews. Indeed, they do not seem to have been in the least a sea-faring people, for the commercial enterprises of Solomon and of Jehoshaphat both ultimately failed. 1 Kgs 22:48-49. But we know that the Jews consumed foreign articles, Neh 13:16; Ezr 3:7, and also supplied foreign countries, as Phoenicia. 1 Kgs 5:11; Eze 27:17; Acts 12:20. Joppa, the modern Jaffa, the port of Jerusalem, carried on a busy trade. From it went vessels to various ports. Isa 2:16; Jon 1:3. The internal trade was largely increased by the festivals. The sale of animals for sacrifice and the exchanging of money were carried on even in the temple-enclosure, and led to our Lord's indignant rebuke. John 2:14; Matt 21:12.
commerce in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
In Solomon's time first, the foreign trade of the Israelites to any extent began; chiefly consisting in imports, namely, linen yarn, horses, and chariots from Egypt. For these he paid in gold brought by his fleets, in concert with the Phoenicians, from India, East Africa, and Arabia (1 Kings 10:22-29). He supplied provisions for the workmen in Lebanon, while the Phoenicians brought the timber by sea to Joppa (1 Kings 5:6; 1 Kings 5:9). Israel supplied Tyre with grain, honey, oil, balm, and wine (Ezekiel 27:17; Acts 12:20). Solomon's and the Phoenician united fleets brought on the Indian Ocean, from Ophir to Elath and Ezion Geber on the Elanitic gulf of the Red Sea (ports gained by David from Edom), gold, silver, ivory, Algum (or Almug) trees, and precious stones, peacocks and apes (1 Kings 9:26; 1 Kings 10:11-22). frontALGUM or ALMUG.)
He fortified Baalbek and Palmyra too, as a caravan station for the inland commerce of eastern and south eastern Asia. Oil was exported to Egypt (Hosea 12:1). Fine linen and girdles were sold to merchants (Proverbs 31:24). Jerusalem appears in Ezekiel 26:2 as the rival of Tyre, who exulted at the thought of her fall; "she is broken that was the gates (the mart) of the people, she (i.e. her commerce from Palmyra, Petra, and the East) is turned unto me. I shall be replenished now she is laid waste." Caesarea was made a port by Herod; besides Joppa. The law strictly enjoined fair dealing, and just weights (Leviticus 19:35-36; Deuteronomy 25:13-16).