Labor, Crafts and Commerce in Ancient...

Extensive collection of anecdotal evidence relating to labor, crafts, and trade as thought of and practiced by Sages of the Second Temple and early exilic period.

LABOR, CRAFTS AND TRADE IN THE BIBLE 5 goat or an ox, and he and his wife would personally see to the cooking, roasting and baking. An instructive example is the story of the visit of the three  angels to Abraham, who was not, to be sure, a settled farmer but conducted himself with characteristic hospitality. He first ordered his wife Sarah to  make ready  quickly three measures of fine flour, knead it, and makecakes. 34  Abraham himself  ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and choice, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk, and the calf which he had prepared, and set it beforethem. 35  The entire process of catering for the guests is carried out at home, without any recourse to outside assistance. Of all the domestic chores, perhaps the most difficult was that of grinding the grain into flour. It was hard labor, done by placing the grains between rectangular millstones ( with rounded corners), which were then manipulated so as to crush the grains into flour. Alternatively, the grains might be placed in a earthenware pot or mortar, where they were pounded and ground  with a wooden pestle until the husk was separated from the kernel. 36  This method was so laborious that possession of millstones was considered vital even for the poorest, and neither the upper nor the lower millstone were ever to be  taken in pledge for a debt, since  he would be taking a life in pledge. 37 Because grinding was such hard work, it was, in a male-  oriented society, usually given to women, especially female slaves. 38  In Isaiah ( 47: 2), fallen Babylon is depicted as  reduced to menial slavery:  Take the millstones and grind meal. 39  However, male prisoners might be humiliated in the same manner, and one of the most tragic biblical scenes is that of the  blind and weakened Samson forced to grind in the prison of Gaza. 40 Despite such occasional incidents, grinding remained by and large a female monopoly. In the story of the siege of the tower of Thebez, we are told that when Abimelech king of Shechem approached the tower, trying 34 Gen. 18: 6. The  cakes  were probably flat wafers. 35 Ibid. vss. 7- 8. 36 Radin, The Life of  the People in Biblical Times ( Philadelphia, 1943), p. 149. 37 Deut. 24: 6. 38 Exod. 11: 5. 39 Radin, op. cit., p.  150. 40 Jud. 16: 21. Chapter Home  | TOC  | Index t t t t t t t

Labor, Crafts and Commerce in Ancient Israel


About Book Labor, Crafts and Commerce in Ancient Israel

Front Matter Half -title page Dedication page Title page Copyright page Table of contents PrefaceContents I. Labor, Crafts and Trade in the Bible1. Sheep and Cattle Raising2. Agriculture3. Arts and Crafts4. The Medical Profession5. The Wailing Women6. Levites and Priests7. Traders and Peddlers8. Scribes9. Indolence condemnedII. Industry and Trade in the Hellenistic Age1. Ecclesiastes on Labor2. Ben Sira's Views on Labor, Commerce, and Craftsa. Idlenessb. Change of Occupationc. Commerced. Physicianse. Scribesf. Miscellaneous Occupations and Acquisition of Wisdom3. Economic Progress during the Hasmonean AgeIII. Occupational Structure of the Rabbis1. General Characteristics of the Rabbinate2. Rabbis in Agriculture and Industryi Abba Hilkiahii R. Eliezer ben Hyrcanusiii R. Eleazar ben Azariahiv R. Tarfon? R. Eleazar ben Harsom?i R. Hiyya, his Sons and R. Simeon ben Halaftavii R. Johananviii R. Simonix Abba bar Abba and his son Samuelx Rab Assixi Abayexii R. Abba bar Abina, Rab Hisda, Rab Joseph and Rabba bar Rab Huna — Legal Problemsxiii Rab Hilkiah bar Tobixiv Rab Hunaxv Rab Hisdaxvi Rab Papaxvii Rab Papixviii Rab Bibi bar Abaye — Problems of Ethicsxix Rab Joseph — Problems of Ethicsxx Rabina — Problems of Ethicsxxi Student Agriculturistsxxii R. Ishmael, son of R. Jose3. Viniculturei R. Jannaiii R. Hiyya bar Addaiii Rab Joseph4. Rabbinic Land Surveyor — Rab Adda5. Woodchopper and Shepherd — R. Akiba6. Animal Hire Service — R. Jose of Yodkart7. Rabbis and Agricultural Laborersi R. Jose of Yodkartii R. Johanan ben Mathia8. Rabbis in Business — Silk Trade and Other Commercial Activitiesi R. Johanan ben Zakkaiii R. Hiyya, R. Simeon son of Judah the Patriarch, and R. Simeon ben Halaftaiii Abba bar Abba and R. Judah ben Bathyra IIiv R. Abba? Babylonian Rabbis and Silk Merchants in Palestinevi Silk Merchants as Missionaries and Convertsvii Commercial Ethics — R. Haninaviii R. Zeraix R. Abbahux Simeon ben Shetahxi Abba Shaul ben Botnith and R. Eleazar ben R. Zadokxii Commercial Ethics and Gentiles — General Rabbinic Attitudexiii R. Abdima and R. Hiyya bar Joseph — Unethical Business Practicesxiv Rab Hama and Rab Dimi — Market Privileges for Scholarsxv Rab Sofra — Business Disputesxvi R. Hiyya and R. Eleazar — Bankers and Money-changersxvii Dishonest Money-Changers9. Rabbis as Schoolteachers and Educatorsi R. Hiyyaii Samuel bar Shilathiii Rabiv Levi bar Sisi10. Rabbis as Professional Preachers11. Rabbinic Scribesi Nahumii Court Scribes — Ben Kararaiii R. Yeshebab the Scribeiv Nakai the Scribe? R. Ammivi Rab Hunavii Rab Aha bar Jacobviii R. Hanina the Writerix R. Meir and Rab Hananelx Income and Status of Scribes12. Rabbis as Physiciansi Relative Neglect of Medical Professionii Mar Samueliii R. Haninaiv R. Johanan? Preventive Medicine — R. Hiyya, Mar Ukba, Rab Judah, R. Johanan and Rabbah bar Rab Huna13. Rabbinic Craftsmeni Construction Worker — Shammaiii Carpenter — R. Abiniii Needlemaker — R. Joshuaiv Blacksmith — R. Yitzhak Nappahav Tanner — R. Josevi Sandal-maker — R. Johananvii Cobblers and Tailors — R. Abba bar Zemina, R. Judah the Tailor, R. Hanina and R. Oshaia14. Miscellaneous Rabbinic Occupationsi Tax-collector — R. Zera's Fatherii Detectives — R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon and R. Ishmael son of R. Joseiii Gladiator — R. Simeon ben Lakish 15. Occupations of Early ChristiansIV. Rabbinic Attitude to Physical Labor1. Moral Value of Work2. Divine Blessings depend on Human Efforts3. Work essential for Human Dignity4. Merit of Labor more potent than Fathers' Merit5. Miracles due to Work6. Labor as Part of Divine Plan since Adam7. Abraham and Isaac — Labor in the Promised Land8. Israel's Work on the Tabernacle — Condition of Divine Presence 9. Six Days you shall Labor 10. Tree-Planting in the Land of Israel11. The Divine Worker — The Craftsman's Pride in his Work12. Craftsmen, Scholars and Pilgrims13. Legal Privileges of Craftsmen and Laborers14. Work as a Social Necessity15. Torah and a Worldly Occupation16. Work Obligatory for Wives17. Work Essential for Prolonging Life18. Love Work 19. He who will not work, neither shall he eat20. Monotonous and Uninteresting Work not to be shunned21. Indolence Condemned22. How to find Work23. Labor honors the Worker24. Hard Work as a Cure for Colds25. Dissenting Views due to Hellenistic Influence26. Importance of Craft Skills27. Craft Skill as Social Security28. Craft Education29. Son should follow Father's Trade30. Study and Work — Antidote to Sin31. Work in the Scheme of Life32. Maimonides and the Three-Hour Workday33. Equality of Laborer and Scholar34. Minimum of Study — Maximum of Work35. Abandonment of Studies for Vocational Careers36. Torah Study as Exclusive or Principal Vocation37. Study and Work in Equal Proportions38. Torah and Commerce39. Higher Education for Eaters of Manna 40. Torah for Israel, Labor for Gentiles41. No Blessing in Manual Work42. Dislike of Economic Activity due to Self-Sacrifice for Torah43. Prosperous and Poverty-stricken Students44. Want and Destitution for the Sake of Learning45. Martyrdom on the Altar of TorahV. The Occupational Structure of the Jews in the Talmudic Age 1. Agriculture2. Buildingi Temple Buildersii Stone masonsiii Major Building Organization iv Building Laborers? Decline of Building Industry3. Textile Industry4. Pottery5. Glass Industry6. Metal Industry and Arms Manufacture7. Marketing and Trading Activities8. Commercial Ethics — Price Control9. Private Enterprise — Legal Problems10. Jewish Occupations in the Roman-Hellenistic Diasporai Alexandriaii Cyreneiii Minor Diaspora Communitiesiv RomeVI. Recommended and Undesirable Trades1. Clean and Easy Crafts2. Commerce and Business Education3. Trading in Sacred Commodities4. Bookkeeping and Accountancy5. Agriculturei Social and Economic Importanceii Agricultural Laborersiii Tenant Farmersiv Landless Ikkarim? Fixed-Term Laborersvi Intensive Agriculture — Galileevii Slavesviii Serfsix The Am Ha'ares — Disadvantages of Agriculturex Agricultural Counseling xi Olive-Growingxii Horticulture6. Sheep and Goat Breeding7. Medicinei The Physicianii Pagan Physiciansiii Judaeo-Christian Faith-Healers iv Talmudic Medicine? Medical Equipment8. Morally Undesirable Trades — General9. Bloodletting 10. Prison Administration11. Peddling12. Tanners13. Weavers14. Artistic Weavers15. Launderers16. Transport Workers — Ass-Drivers and Camel-Drivers17. Herdsmen and Shepherds18. Storekeepers19. Sailors20. Ritual Slaughterers and Butchers21. Hunters22. FishermenVII. Vocational Training — Masters and Apprentices1. Biblical and Hellenistic Periods2. Shepherd Apprentices3. Roman Age4. Apprenticeship Agreements5. Unsuitable Applicants for Apprenticeship6. Duration of Apprenticeship7. Relationship between Master and Apprentice8. Refusal to Teach a Crafti Temple Craftsmenii PhysiciansBack Matter Bibliographya. Primary Sourcesb. Modern LiteratureList of AbbreviationsGeneral IndexSourcesHEBREW BIBLEGENESISEXODUSLEVITICUSNUMBERSDEUTERONOMYJOSHUAJUDGESI SAMUELII SAMUELI KINGSII KINGSISAIAHJEREMIAHEZEKIELHOSEAAMOSMICAHNAHUMHAGGAIZECHARIAHMALACHIPSALMSPROVERBSCANTICLESLAMENTATIONSESTHERECCLESIASTESDANIELEZRANEHEMIAHI CHRONICLESII CHRONICLESAPOCRYPHA and PSEUDEPIGRAPHAECCLESIASTICUS(BEN SIRA)I MACCABEESTOBITTHE LETTER OF ARISTEASTHE SYRIAC APOCALYPSE OF BARUCHNEW TESTAMENTMATTHEWMARKLUKEJOHNACTSI CORINTHIANSCOLOSSIANSII THESSALONIANSHELLENISTIC-JEWISH LITERATUREPHILOIn FlaccumJOSEPHUS-THE JEWISH WAR (BELLUM IUDAICUM) JOSEPHUS-THE ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS JOSEPHUS-I APION JOSEPHUS-THE LIFE (VITA) RABBINIC LITERATUREMISHNAHBERAKHOTHPEAHDEMAIKILAYIMSHEBIITHMAASROTHBIKKURIMSHABB????RUBINPESAHIMSHEKALIMYOMASUKKAHBEZAHROSH HASHANATAANITH?OED ???ANKETUBOTHNEDARIMGITTINKIDDUSHI?BABA ????ABABA METSIABABA BATHRASANHEDRINEDUYOTHABODAH ZARAHABOTHMENAHOTHBEKHOROTHMIDDOTHKELIMNIDDAHMAKSHIRINZABIMTOSEFTABERAKHOTHPEAHDEMAIMAASER RISHONBIKKURIMSHABB????RUBINPESAHIMYOM HA-KIPPURIMBABA KAMMAMENAHOTHSUKKAHYOM TOBBABA METSIABEKHOROTHARAKHINMEGILLAHYEBAMOTHKETUBOTHKELIM-BABA METSIA NAZIRSOTAHGITTINKIDDUSHINBABA BATHRASANHEDRINEDUYOTHABODAH ZARAHKELIM-BABA BATHRA OHOLOTHNIDDAHHALAKHIC MIDRASHIMMEKHILTA de-RABBI YISHMAEL MEKHILTA de-RABBI SIMEON, edit. EPSTEIN SIFRA (TORATH KOHANIM) SIFRE(I)-NUMBERS SIFRE(I)-DEUTERONOMY TALMUD YERUSHALMIBERAKHOTHSHEBIITHTERUMOTH?RUBINPEAHMAASROTHPESAHIMBIKKURIMDEMAIKILAYIMSHABB???SHEKALIMYOMAYEBAMOTHBABA KAMMASUKKAHKETUBOTHBABA METSIABEZAHNEDARIMROSH HASHANAHNAZIRBABA BATHRATAANITHSOTAHSANHEDRINMEGILLAHGITTINABODAH ZARAHMOED ???ANKIDDUSHINNIDDAHHAGIGAHTALMUD BABLIBERAKHOTHBEZAH?RUBI?PESAHIMROSH HASHANAHTAANITHSHABB???MEGILLAHYOMASUKKAHMOED ???ANHAGIGAHYEBAMOTHGITTINKETUBOTHBABA METSIAKIDDUSHI?NEDARIMNAZIRSOTAHBABA KAMMABABA BATHRAMAKKOTHHULLINSHEBUOTHABODAH ZARAHBEKHOROTHSANHEDRINARAKHINHORAYOTHZEBAHIMMENAHOTHTEMURAHNIDDAHMINOR TRACTATESABOTH de-RABBI NATHAN-VERSION I ABOTH de-RABBI NATHAN-VERSION II DEREKH ERETZ ZUTA AGGADIC MIDRASHIMMIDRASH RABBAH-GENESIS MIDRASH RABBAH-NUMBERS MIDRASH RABBAH-EXODUS MIDRASH RABBAH-LEVITICUS MIDRASH RABBAH-DEUTERONOMY MIDRASH RABBAH-CANTICLES MIDRASH RABBAH-RUTH MIDRASH RABBAH-ESTHER MIDRASH RABBAH-LAMENTATIONS MIDRASH RABBAH-ECCLESIASTES MIDRASH TANHUMA(YELAMDENU) MIDRASH TANHUMA, edit. BUBER PESIKTA de-RAB KAHANA PESIKTA RABBATI, edit. m. FRIEDMANN MIDRASH SAMUEL (SHEMUEL) MIDRASH TEHILLIM on PSALMS (SHOHER TOV) MIDRASH MISHLE (I) on PROVERBS MIDRASH ZUTA-LAMENTATIONS TANNA debei ELIAHU Seder Eliahu Rabbah YALKUT SHIMONIPIRKEI de-RABBI ELIEZER BET ha-MIDRASCH, edit. JELLINEK MIDRASH TEMURA Back Cover
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