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to large habitations divided into several rooms, separa. ted by fine curtains. The tents were fixed by stakes and cords, and could easily be enlarged by lengthening the cords, strengthening the stakes, and adding more covering, Isai. liv. 2. When the people travel, they always, if they can, fix their tents near some river, foun. tain, or well. See 1 Sam. xxix. 1. xxx. 21.

The Israelites, in the wilderness, lived in tents for forty years. Many of these were what we should call booths, made of the branches of trees. That they might remember this, the feast of tabernacles was to be kept. Read about it, Lev. xxiii. 39–43. Such a booth Jonah made when he went and sat on the east side of Nineveh, to see what would happen to the city. Without some such shelter, it is impossible to endure the hot mid-day sun of those countries. If travellers have no tents, they put some of their garments upon sticks and creep under them, or get into the shade of a rock, or even pile up stones.

The houses of the rich were built with stone or bricks, but those of the poor were of wood, or more frequently of mud, as they are to this day in many parts of the east, and in some villages in England. Houses built of mud were not well fitted to withstand the torrents, which at times flowed from the mountains of Palestine. This is alluded to by Christ, in Matt. vii. 26, 27. Thieves also could easily dig or break through mud walls, to which the Saviour refers, when he exhorts his disciples not to lay up treasure, where thieves break through and steal. Such robberies are very frequent in the East Indies at the present day. The holes or cracks in these walls afford a harbor for serpents, see Amos v. 19.

The Egyptian bricks were made of mud, clay and straw, mixed together and generally baked in the sun, not burnt in kilns. These were the bricks the Israelites were em. ployed in making, and we may understand why they needed the straw which Pharaoh forbade his officers to give them, Exod. v. 7. Bricks of this sort are found among the ruins in Egypt at the present day; in some places they still remain very hard, while, where less

baked, they have mouldered away, and other houses have been built upon the ruins of the first, which

may explain Jer. xxx. 18. and strongly illustrates Job iv. 19.

The rich people in the east build their houses very strong, particularly when they live in the country away from towns. This is necessary that they may be safe from robbers. Thus their houses might often be called castles, It was the same in England some hundred years ago, as may be seen in ruins which remain.

In the eastern cities the larger houses are usually very similar in form, though differing in size, and the same manner of building seems to have continued from the earliest times. Often several families inhabit the same house. The streets are generally very narrow, the better to shade the inhabitants from the sun.

In general only the door of the porch, and one latticed window or balcony, open into the street. On entering a large house, you first pass through a porch with benches on each side, where the master receives persons who call to see him, and transacts business ; for strangers are very seldom admitted further. The plan and view, page 10, may give some idea of an eastern house.

The court is open to the weather, and usually has galleries round it, like those which may be seen in old inns. When a number of persons meet at a house for a feast, or on a similar occasion, they are usually in the court, which is covered with mats and carpets, and an awning is generally stretched over their heads, to screen them from the sun or the rain. It was probably in the courts of the houses that our Saviour and his apostles often instructed those who came to hear them. This will explain the meaning of the expression, "into the midst,” Luke v. 19. where Christ was sitting, when the man sick of the palsy was brought to him, and the covering above mentioned is what is meant by the roof which was removed, to let the sick man down from the top of the house ; for the word translated tiling or roof, means also a covering, as just described. Round the court are usually a number of rooms; the buildings are sometimes two or three stories high, with galleries. The inner chamber is alluded to, 1 Kings xx. 30. xxii. 25. The bed chamber, 2 Chron. xxii. 11. where Jehoshabeath hid Joash, was not like ours, but a room where mattresses or beds were stored.

The tops of the houses in the east are always flat, and covered with plaster or terrace. They are surrounded with low walls, called battlements, Deut. xxii. 8. or some. times with a sort of railing or lattice work, through which Ahaziah probably fell from the top of the house, or from one of the upper galleries, see 2 Kings i. 2. These roofs or terraces are used for many family purposes, (drying linen or flax, Josh. ii. 6. &c.) and here the inhabitants enjoy the cool air in the evening, and converse with each other and their neighbors, see Luke xii. 3. Sometimes they were used as places of retirement for prayer, as is mentioned of Peter, Acts x. 9. and here the booths were made for the feast of tabernacles, Neh. viii. 16. The tops of the houses being all flat, people could pass from one to another, without going down into the street. This further explains the account of the paralytic, Luke v. 19. as it shows how the persons who carried him, got to the top of the house in which Jesus was teaching. The stairs were generally on the outside of the houses, so that a person could descend at once into the street with. out going into the house, which explains our Lord's com. mand, Matt. xxiv. 17. This direction is still plainer to be understood, when we consider that it is very common for people, to this day, to sleep on the roofs of their houses in the summer months. It was thus that Mr. Barker was sleeping at the time of the earthquake at Aleppo, and he ran down into the street when he felt the shock, without going through the house.*

The upper rooms were, and are at the present day, generally used as the principal apartments. Such a room was prepared for our Saviour and his disciples, for the passover; and in such a room St. Paul was preaching at Troas, when Eutychus was overcome with sleep and heat, there being many lights; and the windows being open, he fell from the third loft or story into the street. The windows sometimes project and overhang the street. In building houses they fixed in the walls large nails or pins, alluded to Isai. xxii. 23. Ezra ix. 8. on which various articles were hung.

* See the Report of the Bible Society, for 1823; and the Tract containing an account of The Earthquake at Aleppo.

When the house was finished and ready to be inhabit. ed, it was usual to celebrate the event with rejoicing, and to entreat the divine blessing and protection; this is alluded to Deut. xx. 5. and the xxxth Psalm is stated to have been written for the dedication of the house of David.

When mankind began to multiply upon the earth, and violence and wickedness increased, they found them. selves less safe in their tents and separate dwellings, and began frequently to live together in numbers, that they might protect one another. The necessity of living close together led them to build their houses with more than one story. Thus cities and towers began to be built, and it is worthy of remark that the first person mentioned as having built a city, was Cain, Gen. iv. 17. So true it is that those who hurt and injure others, are themselves the first to suffer. In Num, xiii. 28. we read of the cities of the Canaanites; they were numerous and strongly fortified with walls. These cities were very different in size, most of them probably contained only a few houses or huts, surrounded with a ditch, and a wall or bank of earth, behind which the inhabitants could stand and throw stones at those who came to attack them. Others were much larger, and, as Jericho, Josh. vi. had higher and stronger walls. These fenced cities, as they are often called in the Bible, became very numerous, and as is re. corded of Jerusalem, Babylon, Samaria, Tyre, Ashdod, and others, could not be taken till after a very long siege. And we read that soon after the flood, men began to build a very high tower, the top of which they wished should reach to heaven.

Among the remarkable buildings of ancient times, the Pyramids of Egypt must not be forgotten. These are very large piles of building. In one of the largest of them, some passages and rooms have been discovered, and it is large enough to contain several hundred rooms. At page 11 a sketch is given of three of the Pyramids now standing at Djizeh.

The streets were generally narrow, many were not wide enough to allow a carriage to be driven along them. But the houses did not always stand close together, they often had large gardens, and fields within the walls of the cities; this was particularly the case with Babylon. And at Jerusalem it is generally supposed the house of the forest of Lebanon, 1 Kings vii. 2. had pleasure grounds about it.

The markets were places of importance in the ancient cities; they were, perhaps, at first generally at the gates of the cities, see Job xxix. 7. 2 Kings vii. 18. 2 Chron. xviii. 9. but afterwards within the walls. In Jerusalem, in the time of Christ, the markets were places of general resort, Matt. xxiii. 7. Mark xii. 38, &c. Probably, in many instances, people of different trades lived in streets by themselves, as in the eastern bazaars of the present day ; thus we read of the bakers' street, Jer. xxxvii. 21. These markets or bazaars are enclosed with walls, and have gates, which are shut at night; the shops are in streets or rows within them.

Below is a sketch of an Arab house at Legayta in the desert, containing four rooms for four families.

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