An artisan, craftsman or worker in wood. The Hebrew and Greek equivalents are general terms applying to an artificer in stone, iron or copper as well as wood. The context often determines the application.
Noah and his three sons had much carpenter work to do in building the huge ark of wood of a resinous tree, according to the pattern given by Jehovah. (Gen. 6:14-16) Egyptian illustrations also show carpenters using saws and wood-carving instruments.
The carpenter in Israel would be employed in building houses and buildings such as synagogues. Although buildings were for the most part made of stone or earth, some wood was used, for example, in beams and doors. The things constructed by the carpenter in Bible times included furniture, such as tables, stools and benches. In the construction of the tabernacle and its furnishings, Bezalel and Oholiab were especially guided by Jehovah God. His spirit accentuated their ability to do the finest work in wood, as well as other materials. (Ex. 31:2-11) Skilled workers in wood were brought from Tyre for the building of David’s house. (2 Sam. 5:11) Zerubbabel used carpenters in building the second temple in Jerusalem.—Ezra 3:7.
The boats of the Tyrians were made of juniper and cypress, with masts of cedarwood and oars carved from wood. (Ezek. 27:5, 6) Ezra spoke standing on a podium made of wood. (Neh. 8:4) Many implements were partly or entirely made of wood, including plows, threshing sledges, and so forth. (2 Sam. 24:22) Some woodworkers also were carvers or sculptors. (Isa. 44:13) Idols were often carved of wood.—Deut. 29:17; 2 Ki. 19:18; Isa. 37:19; 45:20.
Jesus was called, not only the “carpenter’s son” (Matt. 13:55), but the “carpenter” as well. (Mark 6:3) Since the Hebrew father usually taught his son his trade, Jesus no doubt learned carpentry from his foster-father Joseph.