Worker in timber. Carpenters from abroad were employed in the building of Solomon's Temple (1 Kgs. 5:6) but by the Exile [[➝ Exile, the]] there were Jews who had learnt the craft (Jer. 24:1) and would be available for the restoration. Their tools are listed in Isa. 44:13–17. Jesus worked as a carpenter (Mark 6:3), and was the son of a carpenter (Matt. 13:55), probably making agricultural implements. But in Talmudic sayings there is a noun for ‘carpenter’ which is a metaphor for a ‘learned man’, though it does not seem to be the meaning at Mark 6:3. Sociological studies of the country put carpenters into the artisan class which formed 5 per cent of the population, below peasants but above beggars and day labourers. Probably they worked a strip of land, and carpentry was a part-time occupation.

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