By Elizabeth Prata
Do you enjoy reading the Bible? I do. Too often though, I allow my mind to drift to the novelization of it, laying aside that this book recounts real, literal events with real, literal people. It’s easy to start thinking of the people we read about as either superheroes, or characters in a novel.
To combat the creep of fictionalization of the pages, or alternately, to make them more real to me, I often think about the people in the Bible going about their day. Our teaching elder recently preached through John 4, the Woman at the Well. This scene of this illegitimate housewife is easier to imagine as she goes about her day, because the time of day and her wifely task is often preached as an important part of the scene. How the housewives gathered in the early morning or later afternoon to draw water from the community well because it was cooler. How that was all the water they had to use during the day, unless they wanted to walk the whatever miles to get more from the well. And so on. A housewife’s day is also recounted in Proverbs 31.
But there are a lot of other professions mentioned in the Bible besides housewife. Shepherds are rife throughout the pages. King, scribe, farmer, fisherman. Tanner, tent-maker, baker, fig picker, seller of purple, cupbearer, cook, hunter, and so many other professions mentioned. What was a fisherman’s day like? What did a seller of purple do? What is a tanner, anyway? Is there still a job of cupbearer?
I decided to do a series on people in the Bible going about their day doing their job. For example, A Day in the Life of: A Tanner, A Day in the Life of: A Merchant. A Day in the Life of: A Cupbearer, and so on. I’ll select professions to write about based on the amount of reliable information I can find (and understand, lol). If there is a profession mentioned in the Bible you’re interested in learning about, what a day in that Bible person’s life would have been like, let me know. I’ll do my best to research it out.