Market; Marketplace; Mart

mar'-ket, mar'-ketplas, mart (ma`arabh, cachar; agora): (1) Ma`arabh, from a root meaning "trading" and hence, goods exchanged, and so "merchandise" in the Revised Version (British and American), "market" in the King James Version, occurs only in Eze 27:13,17,19,25, and is translated correctly "merchandise" in both the English Revised Version and the American Standard Revised Version. (2) Cachar means a "trading emporium," hence, mart, and merchandise. It occurs only in Isa 23:3 (see MERCHANDISE). (3) Agora, from root meaning "to collect," means a "town meeting-place," "resort of the people," so a place where the public generally met to exchange views and wares. No doubt, the central place soon filling up, the people thronged the adjoining streets, and so in time each street thus used came to be called agora, "marketplace"; translated "marketplace(s)" in 1 Esdras 2:18; Tobit 2:3; Mt 11:16; 20:3; 23:7; Mr 6:56; 7:4; 12:38; Lu 7:32; 11:43; 20:46; Ac 16:19; 17:17; "Market of Appius" in Ac 28:15 means, probably, "street" (see APPII FORUM).

The marketplace in New Testament times was the public open space, either simple or ornate, in town, city or country, where (Mr 6:56) the people congregated, not only for exchange of merchandise, but for one or more of the following purposes: (1) a place where the children came together to sing, dance and play, a "back-to-date" municipal recreation center (Mt 11:16-17; Lu 7:32); (2) a place for loafers, a sort of ancient, irresponsible labor bureau where the out-of-work idler waited the coming of an employer with whom he might bargain for his services, usually by the day (Mt 20:1-16); (3) a place where the proud pretender could parade in long robes and get public recognition, "salutations in the market-places," e.g. the scribes and Pharisees against whom Jesus emphatically warns His disciples (Mt 23:3-7; Mr 12:38; Lu 11:43; 20:46); (4) a place where the sick were brought for treatment, the poor man's sanatorium, a municipal hospital; Jesus "who went about doing good" often found His opportunity there (Mr 6:56); (5) a place of preliminary hearing in trials, where the accused might be brought before rulers who were present at the time, e.g. Paul and Silas at Philippi (Ac 16:19); (6) a place for religious and probably political or philosophical discussion (gossip also), a forum, a free-speech throne; no doubt often used by the early apostles not only as a place of proclaiming some truth of the new religion but also a place of advertisement for a coming synagogue service, e.g. Paul in Athens (Ac 17:17).

The Wisdom of Solomon 15:12 (the King James Version) has "They counted ... our time here a market for gain," the Revised Version (British and American) "a gainful fair," margin "a keeping of festival," Greek panegurismos, "an assembly of all." Such assemblies offered particular opportunities for business dealings.

William Edward Raffety

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