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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

Boyhood ( Jewish).—So little is recorded on this subject in the Gospels, or in the NT generally, that we are dependent on other sources for our facts. These sources are chiefly the OT, the OT Apocrypha, Josephus, the Talmud, and modern Eastern life. The first of these authorities is too early, and the last two too late, to justify us in basing on them any very positive statements as to Jewish boyhood in the time of Christ. With this caution they are used in the present article. And it will be remembered (1) that the Jewish life of our period was the result of the previous life of the nation; (2) that Israel is a nation of great conservatism in matters of religion and the home, although receptive of new ideas; (3) that some of the Apocryphal books were late enough to be products of an age in which Pharisaism, Hellenism, and other Jewish views met each other, much as they did in the early part of the 1st cent. a.d.

i. The Home.—Boys, until their fifth year, were under the charge of the women, afterwards they passed under the father’s control. We therefore treat the period of boyhood as commencing at the age of five. Although no doubt many mothers retained their influence after the boy’s childhood, it is surely a mistake to quote  Proverbs 31:1 in this connexion, as Phillott does (Smith’s D B [Note: Dictionary of the Bible.] 1 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] i. 305b).

The special influence implied here is surely that of the queen-mother over an adult reigning king, which, according to Eastern custom, exceeds that of a wife. For there may be many wives, but only one mother of the sovereign. The queen-mother ( gĕbîräh ) is mentioned  1 Kings 15:13,  2 Kings 10:13,  Jeremiah 13:18, and the name of the king’s mother is given with emphasis in the account of his accession ( 1 Kings 14:21;  1 Kings 15:2 etc.). So, in David’s lifetime, Bathsheba shows him great outward respect ( 1 Kings 2:19), but is seated at Solomon’s right hand ( 1 Kings 2:19) when the latter is king. Phillott also refers to Herod. i. 136; Strabo, xv. 733; Niebuhr, Descript . p. 24.

More to the point is St. Paul’s reference ( 2 Timothy 1:5;  2 Timothy 3:14-15) to the example and teaching of Lois and Eunice, which no doubt was only one instance out of many of good maternal influence. And the Mosaic law placed the mother on an equality with the father in her claim on the obedience and love of her son ( Exodus 21:17,  Leviticus 20:9 etc.). The house-mother of such a family as our Lord’s was neither so ignorant, so secluded, nor so debased as the woman sometimes described by travellers in the East. Judaism was not in this respect the same as Mohammedanism. Even now we are told that the home of the Syrian Christian is superior to that of his Mohammedan neighbours. And even among the latter the seclusion of the harem belongs chiefly to the life of the rich. In working and middle-class homes the wife and mother takes her part, as in the West, in the training of the children, and in necessary outdoor business. The OT and the Gospels show this. For instance, ‘women’s apartments’ are never referred to in the latter. And Christ apparently met the wife of Jairus, the wife of Chuza, Susanna, Martha and Mary, Peter’s wife’s mother, and others, without the obstructive conditions of zenana life. We lay stress on this, because we believe that views of one side of Eastern life are often applied too widely, and because from this freer, higher status of woman in Israel there followed her greater fitness for wifehood and motherhood. We believe that in Galilee, at least, an almost Western freedom of intercourse between the sexes must be considered in estimating the influences affecting Jewish boyhood.

The period of boyhood, as we understand it for the purpose of this article, was from the 5th to the 13th year. The legal ‘coming of age’ was at 13 for boys, but 12 or even earlier for girls. But Schürer ( HJ P [Note: JP History of the Jewish People.] ii. ii. 51 f.) thinks that the definite age was fixed in post-Talmudic times, and that nothing but ‘the signs of approaching puberty’ settled in earlier times whether a child was bound or not bound to the observance of the Law. We shall consider the ceremonies of this ‘coming of age’ later on. One tiling connected with this date was the power of giving evidence. Schürer quotes the Mishna ( Nidda v. 6): ‘When a child is twelve years and one day old, his oaths are tested; when he is thirteen years and a day, they are valid without further ceremony.’ Here, for our period, we may compare the commentators on  John 9:21 ‘He is of age, ask him; he shall speak for himself.’

ii. Play.—The few allusions in the Bible to children’s games do not allude specially to those of boys.  Zechariah 8:5 ‘The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof,’ is quite general, and is 500 years too early. The use of yeled (‘boy’) and yaldâh (‘girl’) even leaves a vagueness as to the ages of the children. But the prophet no doubt based his words on the customs and sights of his day, and thus a fairly early period of life is meant. It is not said that the sexes were playing together, they might be in different groups. Nature, even in England, soon leads to this, and the early ripening of the East must be remembered. Therefore, soon after the period of infantile games, comes that of sports practised by each sex alone, and in the case of boys ‘manly’ exercises soon follow, if practised at all. In many parts of the East the climate is often quite unsuited for the ‘school-boy’ games of Northern lands. The absence of these is noticed by the teachers of many Mission schools. But in this respect there must be great differences. That lassitude which is true of children in Bomhay, for instance, cannot at all seasons apply to those of Nazareth, which is about 1500 feet above sea-level. A caution is necessary when such excellent books as Lane’s Modern Egyptians , dealing chiefly with Cairo, or even works on Persia or India, are used not merely to illustrate the Bible, but to add to the descriptions in it.

There were, of course, in the 1st cent. a.d. athletic sports and physical exercises in some of the large towns of the Holy Land. But these were so connected with Hellenic immorality that they were offensive to every pious Jew. They were chiefly confined to the cities which had a large heathen population, and we cannot imagine a gymnasium at Nazareth or Hebron. At Jerusalem, during the high priesthood of Jason (b.c. 173), a gymnasium was set up, and ‘the very priests forsook their service at the altar and took part in the games of the palaestra’ (Schürer, i. i. 203;  2 Maccabees 4:12-14). Tiberias, Jericho, Tarichaea had each a hippodrome or a stadium (Schürer, ii. i. 33). Had the exercises for which these buildings were erected commended themselves to the Jews, the older boys would soon have emulated their adult countrymen as far as possible, just as English boys are cricketers and footballers because Englishmen are so. But Judaism completely condemned the exercises in which Greeks and Romans delighted. By their history as well as by their surroundings and details these exercises were connected with heathenism and apostate Judaism (Josephus Ant. xv. viii. 1). No son of pious Jewish parents could copy even the innocent side of these exercises (Brough, 76, 77). See art. Games.

An older boy in districts like Upper Galilee or the hill country of Judaea would find much physical exertion called for by the contour of the country. Almost every journey implied hill-climbing. Moreover, there were (and are) in many parts of Palestine many minor field-sports practised, such as the snaring of small birds, which would form a pastime for older lads. Skill in slinging ( Judges 20:16,  1 Samuel 17:40,  2 Kings 3:25,  1 Chronicles 12:2,  Job 41:28 (20),  Proverbs 26:8 [Authorized Version) (Revised Version margin)],  1 Maccabees 6:51) could be obtained only by early training and practice. The same remark applies to the archery so often mentioned in the OT. That both these accomplishments were maintained in NT times may be believed from the many references to bowmen and slingers in Josephus ( BJ, passim ). But specific references to these arts as boyish exercises are apparently wanting.

Young English children play at ‘horses,’ ‘school,’ ‘work,’ ‘mothers,’ etc., which we may call games of imitation . The Talmud alludes to these; and our Lord noticed the little children playing at marriages and funerals ( Matthew 11:16-17,  Luke 7:32). These would be played by young children of both sexes.

It is curious that the Apocryphal Gospels have a legend about our Lord modelling birds out of moist clay ( Syriac Boyhood of the Lord Jesus 1, pseudo-Matthew 27, Thomas 11, Arabio Gospel of the Infancy 36 etc., in B. H. Cowper’s Apocryphal Gospel ). Some of these accounts describe our Lord’s playmates as also modelling objects. While we reject the miraculous statements that our Lord endued these figures with life, we may accept the narratives as based on actual childish games. It is indeed said that Judaism would have shrunk from any representation of animate beings (Schürer, ii. i. p. 36), but there is no proof that all (rood Jews took a puritanical, Pharisaic view of the prohibitions of the Law; and even if the Judaea-Christian Apocryphal Gospels are absolutely wrong in describing this modelling as a specimen of our Lord’s play in childhood, they may be right in using it as an element in a picture of Palestinian infancy. Are the children of orthodox Jews now forbidden the use of dolls or wooden horses?

In PEFS t [Note: EFSt Quarterly Statement of the same.] , April 1899, p. 99, is an account, with illustrations, of three soft limestone slahs, resembling draught-boards, found in the excavations at Tell Zakariya. One is complete, measuring 23 cm. × 20 cm. (about 4½ in. × 4 in.) and 7 cm. thick. It is ruled (incised) so as to form 144 squares of irregular size. The other two are fragments only. They belong to the Greek period. Such draught-boards have also been found at Gezer and at Tell-es-Sáfî. Some have fewer squares, and clearly there were various arrangements of the squares ( PEFS t [Note: EFSt Quarterly Statement of the same.] , Oct. 1900, p. 321; Oct. 1903, p. 300). A collection of small waterworn pebbles, each about the size of an ordinary ivory card counter and three times as thick, was found in the lower Jewish stratum at Gezer. These were either draught-men, or counters for calculation ( PEFS t [Note: EFSt Quarterly Statement of the same.] , Oct. 1903, p. 300).

Two small draughtsmen of green enamelled paste (possibly Egyptian), found at Gezer, are described PEFS t [Note: EFSt Quarterly Statement of the same.] , Oct. 1903, p. 213, and pl. ii., figs. 25, 26). Others of pottery of local manufacture have also been discovered.

iii. School.—The majority of Jewish boys were as unable to study in the bêth ha-Midrâsh as the majority of our population are to procure a University training ( Acts 4:13,  John 7:15;  John 7:49, and, on the other hand,  Acts 22:3 etc.). In any ease this higher education belonged to an age beyond boyhood. Elementary schools, however, existed at least wherever there was a synagogue. In them reading was certainly taught; and even if Scripture was the only text-book, the knowledge thus acquired would avail in other directions. Writing also was taught, probably as a help to the reading more than for its own sake ( John 8:6;  John 8:8 compared with  John 7:15 show that it was an ‘elementary subject’). Arithmetic, etc., is not mentioned in our authorities, but some acquaintance with it is, of course, a probable part of the course. It would be of more interest to know if Greek was ever taught in the synagogue schools of Palestine. It must have been so necessary in the many bilingual districts. It was the means of communication between the natives and the Roman authorities.

A training in a foreign or in a dead language is always a mental advantage. Even if Greek were not taught to most Jewish boys, Hebrew was; and the Hebrew of the OT which we know they studied was not the Hebrew (Aramaic) which they spoke in their homes ( e.g.  Mark 5:41). If only the mother-tongue was used, then the Scriptures were read (or verbally taught) in a Targum.

According to the Jewish authorities, the elementary or synagogue school was called the bêth ha-Sçpher , ‘house of the book’ ( i.e. the Scriptures), to distinguish it from the bêth ha-Midrâsh or bêth ha-Talmûd , theological colleges where the Rabbinical explanations and additions were taught. The teacher of the school was usually the hazzân or servant of the congregation ( Luke 4:20; Shabbath i. 3).

An elementary native Mohammedan school at the present day, where the instruction is reading and writing Arabic, and the study of the Koran, will give us an idea of the probable methods. The scholars sit cross-legged at their teacher’s feet, he being slightly above them ( Luke 2:46,  Acts 22:3, cf.  Matthew 5:1). The letters are first taught by tracing with a stick in sand. All reading is aloud, and in a kind of rhythmical chant or drone. Even in after life the sacred Book is always read aloud, and so Philip ( Acts 8:30) heard the eunuch reading his roll of Isaiah. The discipline is of the sternest kind, corporal punishment being freely used. Does a foundation of fact, or at least vraisemblance , lie beneath the legends of our Lord’s treatment by His schoolmaster? (Gospel of pseudo-Matthew 31; Gospel of Thomas 14, 15; ib. (Latin) 12, 13 etc.) It is noticeable how the Lord and His Apostles silently ignore all such advice about the training of children as we find in  Proverbs 13:24;  Proverbs 19:18;  Proverbs 23:13,  Sirach 30:1-13. We believe that Judaism, like some sections of Christendom, had read such OT passages too literally, or applied them too severely, and  Ephesians 6:4 is much more in the spirit of the Gospel.

How far was elementary education universal and compulsory? The Jewish tradition asserts that it was both (cf. Jerus. [Note: Jerusalem.] Kethuboth viii. 11, quoted in Schürer, ii. ii. 49). Schürer concludes that schools were general in the time of Christ; and thinks that the tradition is by no means incredible that Joshua, the son of Gamaliel (1st cent.), enacted ‘that teachers of boys should be appointed in every town, and that children of the age of six or seven should be brought to them.’ At least it is possible that education was fairly universal in our Lord’s day, within the limits indicated above. See, further, art. Education.

iv. Religious instruction and practice.—Although the school education was on a religious basis, it does not appear to have clashed with or superseded the religious teaching of the home. The responsibility remained with the parents. This was in accordance with the OT and especially the Pentateuch, which gives no commands for formal religious instruction (schools, tutors, etc.) as in later Judaism. But it is clearly laid down in the Law and OT generally that children are to be taught (cf.  Genesis 18:19 (J [Note: Jahwist.] ),  Psalms 44:1;  Psalms 78:3-6,  Deuteronomy 4:9;  Deuteronomy 6:7;  Deuteronomy 11:19;  Deuteronomy 32:46). The Wisdom books imply parental teaching only ( Proverbs 1:8;  Proverbs 2:1;  Proverbs 3:1;  Proverbs 4:1;  Proverbs 7:1;  Proverbs 10:1;  Proverbs 13:1;  Proverbs 15:20;  Proverbs 22:6;  Proverbs 23:22-26;  Proverbs 29:17,  Sirach 3:1-31;  Sirach 7:23;  Sirach 30:3 etc., also Tobit 4, 14, passim ). We notice in  Exodus 12:26 ff;  Exodus 13:8 the direction that the people were to join the instruction of the children in the history and meaning of the Passover with the feast itself In  Exodus 13:14-16 the presentation of the firstborn is made another opportunity for such instruction. It is the fathers who have the religions instruction of young Israel in their hands, for other rites, ceremonies, festivals would naturally be explained to the children in like manner. Not by catechisms, reading lessons, tasks learned, or dry instruction in a school, but by shaving in the ritual worship, with interest aroused for the coming explanations offered, which were based on the history, were the children taught.

Many occasions presented themselves for such teaching as arises from the child’s own inquiries and interest. There were the suggestive little rolls of parchment hung up in the doorway (the mĕzûzôth ) and the phylacteries ( tĕphillîn ) worn on the forehead and wrist ( Deuteronomy 6:9;  Deuteronomy 11:20 and  Exodus 13:9;  Exodus 13:16,  Deuteronomy 6:8;  Deuteronomy 11:18;  Deuteronomy 11:20). See art. Phylacteries. Another opportunity for religious instruction without set lessons was given by the wearing of the fringes ( zîzîth ),  Numbers 15:37-41. See art. Border. The feasts observed at home and in the synagogue, and the pilgrimages to Jerusalem also afforded opportunities for oral and interesting instruction on the part of the parents. Though Judaism is a ritualistic and ceremonial religion, teaching through the eye in a way well adapted to the capacities of children, the ritual and ceremonies are largely for the home. The master of the house, the boy’s father, did and does much more than ‘conduct family prayer.’ Although the Passover was held at Jerusalem, the greater part of the service and all the sacred meal were celebrated in private houses and family circles. The outward forms of religion at least met the boy in his home more than they do with us. There were more opportunities for a pious parent to do the duty which we have seen was cast upon him by the Law and by the customs of Israel.

Moreover, the Biblical history occupied the place of national history, of ballad poetry, of folk-lore tales, and of all that, in ages before the invention of printing, took the place of our ‘children’s literature.’

In many cases, no doubt, perhaps in most, Haggadistic embellishments were made to the OT narratives, some of which have perhaps crept into one or both of our present Biblical recensions, that of Palestine and that of the Dispersion. Ruth as a scarcely altered love-tale; Judith and Jonah, allegorical fictions; Esther, especially in its Greek form, a greatly amplified history, are instances of books which we now have in written forms, but which were once the ‘fireside stories’ (to use a Western phrase) of many Jewish homes. Here, rather than in a purposeful foolishness of the Rabbis, was probably the source of much that is strange and bizarre in Jewish literature.

Who would listen so attentively to the father or old grandfather telling his evening story when work was done as the young boys and girls in the outer part of the family circle? The story-telling taste of the East is a well-known fact (witness the Arabian Nights ); true history and the truth of God were probably taught orally in a somewhat analogous manner.

Religious instruction was aided in two other ways. No one can doubt that the historical Psalms (78, 81, 105, 106, 114) as well as the alphabetical ones (9–10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, 145) were well adapted for use by young people, even if they were not composed expressly for the purpose of assisting those who were to learn them by heart. The ‘Hymn of the Fathers’ (Sirach 44-50) has apparently a similar object. It is far too long for liturgical use, of which besides there is no record.

And, lastly, the synagogue services, with the lections from the Law ( Acts 15:21) and the Prophets ( Luke 4:17-20,  Acts 13:16), filled their place in the training of a Jewish boy. It is in the highest degree unlikely that every household, even every pious household, possessed rolls of all the OT books. There was not perhaps a definite ‘Canon’ in our modern sense. More families would possess the ‘Law,’ but expense would prevent even this being universal. The oral teaching at home, the reading in school, and the hearing in the synagogue,—all had a share in producing that knowledge of the Jewish Bible which, as we see in the Gospels, was possessed even by working men like the fishers of Bethsaida ( Luke 9:54 etc.). But the oval teaching, however and wherever it had been given, is clearly referred to in  Matthew 5:21;  Matthew 5:27;  Matthew 5:33;  Matthew 5:38 ( heard not read )  Matthew 17:10 (hearsay of  Malachi 4:5-6). Our Lord constantly referred to OT incidents ( Matthew 6:29;  Matthew 8:4;  Matthew 12:40-42 etc.) as to facts well known by the multitudes. (Do all Mohammedan families possess a Koran? Yet they know their faith). But then He also referred to haggâdôth ( Matthew 8:11) and to the OT Apocrypha ( Luke 6:9, cf.  1 Maccabees 2:32-41) in much the same way. The contrasted phrase, ‘Have ye never read  ?’ ( Matthew 21:18;  Matthew 21:42;  Matthew 22:31 etc.), was said to the religious leaders, who would have more advantages and opportunities than the bulk of the population, and who were supposed to study the written Revelation.

Up to the age of 12 or 13 a Jewish boy was called kâtân (‘little’) or tînôk (cf. both words used of school children in passages quoted by Schürer, ii. ii. 49 ff.).

The second word is a form of יוֹנק yônçk, suckling (יָנַק to suck), which however is used of schoolboys in the Talmud; and this meaning has clearly been reached by a language-change similar to that by which has come in English law to mean, in spite of its etymology, a person who may be twenty years old.

At the age mentioned above, the Jewish boy became bound to fulfil the Law. He was therefore called a ‘son of the Law’ ( bar-mizvâh ), or a ‘son of the Precept,’ and the ceremony in which he was recognized as such by the community was naturally regarded as important and interesting.* [Note: The expression bar-mizvâh has been found in the Talmud, but does not seem to have become used generally for an adult till the Middle Ages (cf. Schürer, ii. ii. 51, 52 note 38, and his authorities).]

Opinions differ as to how much of the Law and the Precepts a boy was bound to observe before this ceremony. Probably there was no uniformity. The practice for sons of Pharisees is naturally the one recorded for us, rather than the popular one. And probably also the exact period when the fullest obligations fell on the boy was not fixed at first, but was settled individually (as Schürer suggests) by the appearance of signs of approaching manhood. We must remember that Orientals attain physical maturity at an earlier age than we do.

Later on, when the age of 13 was fixed, the Rabbis found support for it, or rather for that of 12. At that age Moses was said to have left the house of Pharaoh’s daughter (but cf.  Exodus 2:11 with  Acts 7:23). They taught that Samuel was 12 when he began to prophesy ( 1 Samuel 1:24 is followed by  1 Samuel 2:19;  1 Samuel 2:21, implying an interval of some years before  1 Samuel 3:4, at which time Samuel was old enough to open the doors of the house of the Lord,  1 Samuel 3:15. The age is also stated by Josephus Ant. v. x. 4). Solomon was (absurdly enough) said to have been 12 years old when he gave his judgment ( 1 Kings 3:16-27). The only instance which was not entirely founded on conjecture or tradition is that of Josiah’s age when he carried out his reform,  2 Chronicles 34:3 (not in  2 Kings 22:3). These instances all look like attempts to date the origin of the Rabbinical rule further back into OT times.

According to modern rule, the boy must be 13 years old and a day. He is then presented in the synagogue on a Sabbath, called ‘the Sabbath of Phylacteries’ ( tĕphillin ) because the boy is then invested with them, and wears them in prayer, and is hound to observe the feasts and fasts. In olden days the obligation to attend the feasts at Jerusalem perhaps became binding after this ceremony. Women and children were exempt by the Law (‘all thy males,’  Deuteronomy 16:16). But Schürer (ii. ii. 51) quotes a decision of the school of Shammai as to the meaning of ‘child’ ( kâtân ): ‘Every one who cannot yet ride on his lather’s shoulders from Jerusalem to the temple mount’; while the school of Hillel said: ‘Every one who cannot yet go up from Jerusalem to the temple mount led by his father’s hand.’ We think that  Luke 2:42 neither affirms nor denies any previous visits of Christ to the temple, either annually or three times a year. The fact that His life had been in danger in Judaea ( Matthew 2:13;  Matthew 2:18;  Matthew 2:22) might lead Joseph and Mary to observe the rule less strictly than they otherwise would have done. Perhaps boys who lived at or near Jerusalem did more than the provincials. If Joseph went up alone annually he probably did as much as most of his Galilaean neighbours. The Jews of the Dispersion certainly only went up annually (usually at Pentecost), if they went more than once or twice in a lifetime. St. Paul had omitted many years ( Acts 24:17), although a strict observer himself of the Law.

In modern times the Jewish boy reads (or rather sings ) the lesson, and gives the blessing for the first time at the bar-mizvâh ceremony in the presence of his relatives and the congregation. It is to his parents a time of joy and honour, and as he intones the holy words, the prayers of his pious friends are offered. Was this reading by the boy a custom in the 1st century? If the ceremony existed at all, it probably was a part of it, and  Luke 4:16-17 implies that the Carpenter had officiated many times before. The first occasion may well have been at the close of boyhood.

Nowadays also the presiding Rabbi usually gives an address garnished with personal allusions. Presents to the boy from his friends, and a feast at the parents house follow the ceremony. Much in the whole service may well be ancient, and date from before the time of Christ; but the absolute silence of the NT, Philo, and Josephus on the subject prevents our being positive about it.

To those boys who lived far from the capital and temple the periodical visits must have been of great importance, apart from their religious purpose, and if their homes were in quiet villages, the crowds at the feasts would arouse their keenest interest. They would also see the luxury of the rich, the noisy bargaining of traders, and signs of that imperial power which, however it was hated, was the great fact of the time.

v. Work.—Every well brought-up Jewish boy was taught an occupation. This may have arisen from the many warnings against idleness in the Wisdom books of the OT ( Proverbs 6:6;  Proverbs 6:11;  Proverbs 10:4;  Proverbs 10:26;  Proverbs 12:24). ‘Abundance of idleness’ ( Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ‘prosperous ease’) is noted in  Ezekiel 16:49 as a cause and concomitant of sin, and the Rabbis appear to have realized the truth about the usefulness of manual labour to much the same extent as did the founders and leaders of Western monasticism. Rabban Gamaliel iii., son of R. Judah ha-Nasi, said: ‘For exertion in both (the study of the Law and labour) keeps from sin. The study of the Law without employment in business must at last be interrupted, and brings transgression after it’ ( Aboth ii. 2; Schürer, ii i. 318, § 25). Another said: ‘He who teaches not his son a trade teaches him to be a thief.’

St. Paul’s father was wealthy enough to give him a good Greek education at Tarsus (probably) and a Rabbinical one at Jerusalem. His wealth is also implied in  Philippians 3:7-8, if that passage refers, as some commentators think, to St. Paul’s being disinherited for his Christianity. His private means somehow disappeared, so that he had to depend either on the contributions of others or on his labour. But he had a trade to fall back upon ( Acts 18:3,  1 Thessalonians 2:9,  2 Thessalonians 3:8). And the warnings about idleness in the NT were addressed by him to Gentile Churches, rather than by him or other Apostles to Jewish converts ( Ephesians 4:28,  2 Thessalonians 3:10-12). Our Lord was not only the carpenter’s son, but the carpenter ( Mark 6:3); and Justin Martyr speaks of ploughs and yokes having been made by Him ( Trypho , 88). But His earthly condition was not wealthy: and this may have been the case with Aquila ( Acts 18:3), as it probably was with the fisher-Apostles of Galilee. See, further, artt. Trades, Work.

Literature.—J. Brough, The Early Life of Our Lord , London, Murray, 1897 (a full, well-arranged and useful compilation, but needing careful testing, as authorities divided by many centuries are used in the same paragraph without a word of caution); F. Delitzsch, Artizan Life in Zazareth  ; Schürer, GJ V [Note: JV Geschichte des Jüdischen Volkes.] 3 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] [English translation HJ P [Note: JP History of the Jewish People.] ] passim  ; Lightfoot, Hor. Heb. et Talmud .; Schwab, Le Talmud de Jérusalem  ; Joseph Simon, L’Éducation, etc., chez les anciens Juifs  ; the ‘Lives of Christ’ by Edersheim, Didon, Farrar, Keim, Geikie, etc. (the remark on Brough’s work applies to some of these also); the relevant articles in the Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopaedias; Keil, Biblical Arehaeology , ii. 175 ff. § 111; the Heb. Archaol . of Nowack and of Benzinger, s.v. ‘Familie.’

Much ‘local colour’ is to he gained from the works of travellers in Palestine—Kitto, Tristram, Robinson, etc., and from the issues of the PEFS t [Note: EFSt Quarterly Statement of the same.] .

George Farmer.

Webster's Dictionary [2]

(n.) The state of being a boy; the time during which one is a boy.