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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Market; Marketplace; Mart

mar´ket , mar´ket -plās , mart ( מערב , ma‛arābh , סחר , ṣāḥar ; ἀγορά , agorá ): (1) Ma‛arābh , from a root meaning "trading" and hence, goods exchanged, and so "merchandise" in the Revised Version (British and American), "market" in the King James Version, occurs only in Ezekiel 27:13 , Ezekiel 27:17 , Ezekiel 27:19 , Ezekiel 27:25 , and is translated correctly "merchandise" in both the English Revised Version and the American Standard Revised Version. (2) Ṣāḥar means a "trading emporium," hence, mart, and merchandise. It occurs only in Isaiah 23:3 (see MERCHANDISE ). (3) Agorá , from root meaning "to collect," means a "town meeting-place," "resort of the people," so a place where the public generally met to exchange views and wares. No doubt, the central place soon filling up, the people thronged the adjoining streets, and so in time each street thus used came to be called agorá , "marketplace"; translated "marketplace(s)" in 1 Esdras 2:18; Tobit 2:3; Matthew 11:16; Matthew 20:3; Matthew 23:7; Mark 6:56; Mark 7:4; Mark 12:38; Luke 7:32; Luke 11:43; Luke 20:46; Acts 16:19; Acts 17:17; "Market of Appius" in Acts 28:15 means, probably, "street" (see APPII FORUM ).

The marketplace in New Testament times was the public open space, either simple or ornate, in town, city or country, where (Mark 6:56 ) the people congregated, not only for exchange of merchandise, but for one or more of the following purposes: (1) a place where the children came together to sing, dance and play, a "back-to-date" municipal recreation center (Matthew 11:16 , Matthew 11:17; Luke 7:32 ); (2) a place for loafers, a sort of ancient, irresponsible labor bureau where the out-of-work idler waited the coming of an employer with whom he might bargain for his services, usually by the day (Mt 20:1-16); (3) a place where the proud pretender could parade in long robes and get public recognition, "salutations in the market-places," e.g. the scribes and Pharisees against whom Jesus emphatically warns His disciples (Matthew 23:3-7; Mark 12:38; Luke 11:43; Luke 20:46 ); (4) a place where the sick were brought for treatment, the poor man's sanatorium, a municipal hospital; Jesus "who went about doing good" often found His opportunity there (Mark 6:56 ); (5) a place of preliminary hearing in trials, where the accused might be brought before rulers who were present at the time, e.g. Paul and Silas at Philippi (Acts 16:19 ); (6) a place for religious and probably political or philosophical discussion (gossip also), a forum, a free-speech throne; no doubt often used by the early apostles not only as a place of proclaiming some truth of the new religion but also a place of advertisement for a coming synagogue service, e.g. Paul in Athens (Acts 17:17 ).

The Wisdom of Song of Solomon 15:12 (the King James Version) has "They counted ... our time here a market for gain," the Revised Version (British and American) "a gainful fair," margin "a keeping of festival," Greek πανηγυρισμός , panēgurismós , "an assembly of all." Such assemblies offered particular opportunities for business dealings.

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Market; Marketplace; Mart'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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