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TENTMAKER (σκηνοποιός, G5010). Tentmaker is mentioned only once in the Bible and that reference introduces three tentmakers. Paul had just come from Athens to Corinth, and to find suitable lodging he sought one of his own race and his own trade. He found both in “a Jew named Aquila...with his wife Priscilla...and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them, and they worked, for by trade they were tentmakers” (Acts 18:2f.). Jewish parents taught their children trades, usually one that was pursued in successive generations by the family. Hence, Jesus was taught the carpenter’s trade and Paul that of tentmaker. Paul’s native province of Cilicia was so noted for its good grade of goats’ haircloth, used largely for tents, that it was exported by the designation of Cilician cloth. Paul’s skill in this craft prob. consisted of the sewing together of the proper lengths of cloth and the attaching of ropes and loops.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Mentioned only once (Ac 18:3). Paul’s native province of Cilicia was noted for its goats’ hair cloth which was exported under the name of cilicium and was used largely for tentmaking. We are told in the passage mentioned that Paul dwelt with Aquila and Priscilla, and worked with them at tent-making (compare Ac 20:34).

See also CRAFTS, II, 18.

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