mar ́ket, mar ́ket-plās, mart (מערב, ma‛arābh, סחר, ṣāḥar; ἀγορά, agorá): (1) Ma‛arābh, from a root meaning “trading” and hence, goods exchanged, and so “merchandise” in the Revised Version, “market” in the King James Version, occurs only in Ezekiel 27:13, 27:17, 27:19, 27:25, and is translated correctly “merchandise” in both the English Revised Version and the American Standard Revised Version. (2) Ṣāḥar means a “trading emporium,” hence, mart, and merchandise. It occurs only in Isaiah 23:3 (see MERCHANDISE). (3) Agorá, 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 agorá, “marketplace”; translated “marketplace(s)” in 1 Esdras 2:18; Tobit 2:3; Matthew 11:16; 20:3; 23:7; Mark 6:56; 7:4; 12:38; Luke 7:32; 11:43; 20:46; Acts 16:19; 17:17; “Market of Appius” in Acts 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 (Mark 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 (Matthew 11:16-17; Luke 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 (Matthew 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 (Matthew 23:3-7; Mark 12:38; Luke 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 (Mark 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 (Acts 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 (Acts 17:17).
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Author: International Std. Bible Encyclopedia
Keywords: Market, Marketplace, Mart, agora, trade, trading, merchandise
Bible reference(s): 1 Esdras 2:18, Acts 16:19, Acts 17:17, Acts 28:15, Ezekiel 27:13, Isaiah 23:3, Luke 11:43, Luke 20:46, Luke 7:32, Mark 12:38, Mark 6:56, Mark 7:4, Matthew 11:16, Matthew 20:3, Matthew 23:7, Tobit 2:3
Source: James Orr (editor), The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 5 volume set.
Page indexed by: inWORD Bible Software.