HANDICRAFT. Most industrial products of the Biblical world were produced by skilled craftsmen, though some industries, notably mining and quarrying, used unskilled, forced labor. Craft clans prob. held a traditional claim to certain industries (e.g., the Kenites and Geharashim; q.v.) although individual skilled craftsmen such as Bezalel and Oholiab (Exod 36:1) are mentioned. OT craftsmen usually were free men or members of free craft clans; but, by NT times, “factories” manned by dozens of slaves competed with free craftsmen. Some typical crafts of the Bible are the following: carpenter, dyer, fuller, jeweler, mason, perfumer, potter, sculptor, seamstress, smith, and weaver.


J. A. Patch, “Crafts,” ISBE (1939).

See also

  • Crafts