Was Yeshua A Carpenter?


by Christine Egbert

Was Yeshua a carpenter? I used to think so, but I don’t anymore. This is why. Psalms 118:21-22 says, “I will praise you, for you heard me and have become my Salvation (Yeshua). The stone which the builders rejected has become the head stone of the corner.” The Hebrew word “stone” (aleph, bet, nun) is a three letter, compound word for father and sonThe first and second letter (aleph and bet) spell Father. The second and third letter (bet and nun) spell Son.

In pictograph Hebrew, where each letter has meaning, the word “stone” becomes even more amazing. Why? The letter aleph represents strength and power. The letter bet, which ends the word father and begins the word son, represents a house, a sprout or seed. Deuteronomy 27:8 says, “And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this Torah very plainly.”

As we come to Yeshua, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious—we, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yeshua the Messiah. 

Scripture says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”  Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, the stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.”

(1 Peter 2:4-7)

Was Yeshua a carpenter? The Greek word translated as carpenter is “tekton” It means a craftsman or builder. Builders work with many products. Labeling Yeshua a carpenter creates a picture of a man who worked exclusively with wood. I believe Yeshua was a builder, a builder who more often worked with stone. I will close with an excerpt from a Korean publication that I think you’ll find interesting.

Korean Institute of Israel Studies is located in the Israel Cultural Center in Seoul, Korea. / Times Photo by Kim Se-jeong
By Kim Se-jeong

Staff Reporter

According to the Gospel of Mark, Jesus was a carpenter. “But he couldn’t have been,” said Kwon Sung-dal, a scholar of the Hebrew language who studied in Israel for 18 years. Based on geological evidence, “He was more likely a stonemason,” Kwon told The Korea Times.

Israel is a wood-scarce country, as is Nazareth, where Jesus lived. According to Kwon, the town is completely surrounded by stone, which makes it unlikely he was a carpenter. He added it could have been a misinterpretation of Hebrew, which has dual meanings for the words “stonemason” and “carpenter.”