At the Feet of a Sage

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Jewish sages and their disciples were dependent upon the hospitality of the communities they visited.

Revised: 26-Dec-2012

Nearly all first-century sages practiced a trade. Despite having a profession, however, a sage was not always able to support himself as he traveled throughout the land. While traveling, a sage could not easily set up a shop due to the shortness of his stay in a given location. Nor would it have been fair when visiting smaller communities to take work away from a local resident in the same profession. Also, work could not readily be found for the large number of disciples who often accompanied a sage. Therefore the sage and his disciples were necessarily dependent upon the hospitality of the communities they visited.

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This article originally appeared in issue 11 of the Jerusalem Perspective magazine. Click on the image above to view a PDF of the original magazine article.
First-century ivory sandaled foot. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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  1. Pingback: Demands of Discipleship | JerusalemPerspective.com Online

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  • David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin
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    David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew…
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