Helping People to Meet God • Make Friends • Grow in Faith

Musings, Chapter 2

I have been gently reprimanded, self-reprimanded, conscience motivated, whatever directive one keeps to use for feeling one ‘orta do something’ Yea-OK “God was telling me” there I said it.
He organised my spending less time “getting the house in order” and so spend more time thinking about LIFE and him. Priorities, with God, are always ‘him first’. The apostles, those that were fisherman, followed Jesus without being able to take their catch to market or put away their boats. They didn’t even tell their wives they were going walkabout with a man they’d just met. Ok, maybe they didn’t have wives. But this I’ve seen as a stumbling block. From Day one in our lives we are hard wired to growing to independence and self-sufficiency. Thus one is at the work/life balance conundrum. So now we should go further into the ‘Life” part which involves physical, mental and most important spiritual sections. A trinity which are separate and yet are one, interdependent and equally important, or not ?

OK, that’s far enough out on that limb for the moment. I’ve been, cursorily anyway, investigating “carpenter” references in the bible. Well to date, Google has been there. First ‘Surprise’! there are more than 20 of them apparently.

Carpenter in Nazareth Village

Genesis 6.14; ‘Noah was instructed to build the Ark…out of gopherwood.’ What is gopherwood?

1. Timber from which Noah’s ark was built, from an unidentified tree.
2. Either of two North American trees.
So not much further on there except they’ve got it in America, along with most else! Noah must have had a hot line to his suppliers in New England. Hey, wait a sec, this was before Columbus, because when he came along they’d discovered sails by then.

Isaiah 44.13: ‘The carpenter stretches out his rule, he maketh….’
Numerous other Old Testament references, mostly involving building houses – David (2nd Samuel), House of the Lord (2 Kings), repairing House of the Lord (2 Chronicles).
A few references in the New Testament – Matthew 13.55; Jesus, as the carpenter’s son, and Mark 6.3; as the carpenter. Not exactly the same but a mere detail I suppose.
So, carpenters were needed for building Arks (only one of them) and houses. David’s was more of a palace but the rest doubtless, a lot simpler than today’s accommodation. Furniture? They did have tables and seating judging by paintings of The Last Supper (painted considerably later, so may not be entirely accurate) and also at the wedding of Canaan one presumes tables and benches were needed here. I seem to recall paintings of ‘great Biblical moments’ don’t involve furniture, just a lot of central figures and many hangers on draped around the picture in various states of dress or undress.
I wonder when woodcarving first came in? Probably the first was to cover up a slip of the chisel by some resourceful carpenter who had just spent all of the time by which he had promised to have the table ready for his customer. I figure the first wooden seating used were logs of firewood. Skilled carpenters could charge a premium for a smooth seat.

So do brief mentions of carpenters in the Bible indicate their importance, necessary for comfort and ease of living. But not essential for progression to The Kingdom and almost certainly, no need for them there/then.

Cypress Forest

Rod Shaw