WHAT ARE “CHAPMEN?”
by Shawn Brasseaux
Our King James Bible uses this word only once, and it is quite easy to guess its meaning: “Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and threescore and six talents of gold; Beside that which chapmen and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon” (2 Chronicles 9:13-14).
“Chapmen” are connected to “merchants,” the former title derived from an Old English word (“ceap”) defined as “bargaining, trading.” In fact, “chapman” is actually composed of “cheap” and “man,” the former being related to the Latin “caupo” (“small trader”).