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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Merchandise

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mûr´chan - dı̄z ((1) עמר , ‛āmar (2) סחר , ṣaḥar , (3) סחר , ṣāḥar , (4) סחרה , ṣeḥōrāḥ , (5) רכלּה , rekhullāh , (6) מערב , ma‛ărābh , (7) מרכּלת , markōleth ; (8) ἐμπορία , emporı́a (9) ἐμπόριον , empórion , (10) γόμος , gómos ): 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 ) ṣaḥar is translated thus in Proverbs 31:18; Isaiah 23:18; (b ) ṣāḥar is translated thus in Isaiah 45:14; these two are from a root meaning "to travel around as a peddler"; (c ) rekhullāh , translated thus in Ezekiel 26:12 , from a root meaning "to travel for trading purposes"; (d ) ma‛ărābh , translated thus in Ezekiel 27:9 , Ezekiel 27:27 , Ezekiel 27:33 , Ezekiel 27:34 , from a root meaning "to intermix, to barter"; (e ) markōleth ; translated thus in Ezekiel 27:24 (the above 5 Hebrew words are all used to designate the goods or wares which were bartered); ( f ) ‛āmar , occurring in Deuteronomy 21:14; Deuteronomy 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 Matthew 22:5; (h ) emporion , likewise in John 2:16 (the same Greek word is used in 2 Peter 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: rekhullāh has in it the root meaning of "itinerant trading", and so in Ezekiel 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.: ṣeḥōrāḥ in Ezekiel 27:15 is translated "mart." In John 2:16 reference is made to the "house of merchandise."

(4) The profits of trading: In Proverbs 3:14 , ṣaḥar 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."

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Merchandise'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/m/merchandise.html. 1915.

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