Acts 18:3


King James Version (KJV)

And because he was of the same craft, he stayed with them, and worked: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

American King James Version (AKJV)

And because he was of the same craft, he stayed with them, and worked: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

American Standard Version (ASV)

and because he was of the same trade, he abode with them, and they wrought, for by their trade they were tentmakers.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

And because he was of the same trade, he was living with them, and they did their work together; for by trade they were tent-makers.

Webster's Revision

And because he was of the same occupation, he abode with them, and wrought (for by their occupation they were tent-makers)

World English Bible

and because he practiced the same trade, he lived with them and worked, for by trade they were tent makers.

English Revised Version (ERV)

and because he was of the same trade, he abode with them, and they wrought; for by their trade they were tentmakers.

Definitions for Acts 18:3

Wrought - Worked; made.

Clarke's Acts 18:3 Bible Commentary

He abode with them, and wrought - Bp. Pearce observes that it was a custom among the Jews, even of such as had a better education than ordinary, which was Paul's case, Acts 22:3, to learn a trade, that, wherever they were, they might provide for themselves in case of necessity. And though Paul, in some cases, lived on the bounty of his converts, yet he chose not to do so at Ephesus, Acts 20:34; nor at Corinth or other places, 1 Corinthians 4:12; 2 Corinthians 9:8, 2 Corinthians 9:9; 1 Thessalonians 3:8; and this Paul did for a reason which he gives in 2 Corinthians 11:9-12. While he was at Corinth he was supplied, when his own labor did not procure him enough, "by the brethren which came to him there from Macedonia." It appears that the apostle had his lodging with Aquila and Priscilla; and probably a portion of the profits of the business, after his board was deducted. It was evidently no reproach for a man, at that time, to unite public teaching with an honest useful trade. And why should it be so now? May not a man who has acquired a thorough knowledge of the Gospel way of salvation, explain that way to his less informed neighbors, though he be a tent-maker, (what perhaps we would call a house-carpenter), or a shoemaker, or any thing else? Even many of those who consider it a cardinal sin for a mechanic to preach the Gospel, are providing for themselves and their families in the same way. How many of the clergy, and other ministers, are farmers, graziers, schoolmasters, and sleeping partners in different trades and commercial concerns! A tent-maker, in his place, is as useful as any of these. Do not ridicule the mechanic because he preaches the Gospel to the salvation of his neighbors, lest some one should say, in a language which you glory to have learned, and which the mechanic has not, Mutato nomine, de Te fabula narrator.

There are different opinions concerning that is meant here by the σκηνοποιος, which we translate tent-maker. Some think it means a maker of those small portable tents, formed of skins, which soldiers and travelers usually carried with them on their journeys; others suppose that these tents mere made of linen cloth. Some think that the trade of St. Paul was making hangings or curtains, such as were used at the theatres; others think the σκηνοποιος was a sort of umbrella-maker; others, a weaver, etc., etc. In short, we know not what the trade was. I have generally preferred the notion of a carpenter, or faber lignarius. Whatever it was, it was an honest, useful calling, and Paul got his bread by it.

Barnes's Acts 18:3 Bible Commentary

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 labored for his own support in Ephesus Acts 20:34 and at Thessalonica, 2 Thessalonians 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 labor 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 I might have the means of an honest livelihood. Even though they were instructed in the liberal sciences, yet they deemed a handicraft trade, or some honorable occupation, an indispensable part of education. Thus, Maimonides (in the Tract Talin. Torah, chapter i., section 9) says, "the wise generally practice 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 people, 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 - σκηνοποιοὶ skēnopoioi. There have been various opinions about the meaning of this word. Many have supposed that it denotes "a weaver of tapestry." Luther so 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 honorable occupation, and Paul was not ashamed to be employed in it.

Wesley's Acts 18:3 Bible Commentary

18:3 They were tent makers by trade - For it was a rule among the Jews (and why is it not among the Christians?) to bring up all their children to some trade, were they ever so rich or noble.

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