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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 18 - Verse 3

Verse 3. The same craft. Of the same trade, or occupation.

And wrought. And worked at that occupation. Why he did it, the historian does not affirm; but it seems pretty evident that it was because he had no other means of maintenance. He also laboured for his own support in Ephesus, Ac 20:34 and also at Thessalonica, 2 Th 3:9,10. The apostle was not ashamed of honest industry for a livelihood; nor did he deem it any disparagement that a minister of the gospel should labour with his own hands.

For by their occupation. By their trade; that is, they had been brought up to this business. Paul had been designed originally for a lawyer, and had been brought up at the feet of Gamaliel. But it was a regular custom among the Jews to train up their sons to some useful employment, that they might have the means of an honest livelihood. Even though they were trained up to the liberal sciences, yet they deemed a handicraft trade, or some honourable occupation, an indispensable part of education. Thus Maimonides (in the Tract Talmud. Tors, c. i. & 9) says, that "the wise generally practise some of the arts, lest they should be dependent on the charity of others." See Grotius. The wisdom of this is obvious; and it is equally plain that a custom of this kind now might preserve the health and lives of many professional men, and save from ignoble dependence or vice, in future years, many who are trained up in the lap of indulgence and wealth.

They were tentmakers. skhnopoioi. There have been various opinions about the meaning of this word. Many have supposed that it denotes a weaver of tapestry. Luther thus translated it. But it is probable that it denotes, as in our translation, a manufacturer of tents, made of skin or cloth. In eastern countries, where there was much travel, where there were no inns, and where many were shepherds, such a business might be useful, and a profitable source of living. It was an honourable occupation, and Paul was not ashamed to be employed in it.

{&} "craft" "occupation" {d} "wrought" Ac 20:34 {|} "wrought" "worked"

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