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India, amongst the Hindoos, the strength of a of them being alike exposed to the weather, and house is not indicated by saying, “it will last so giving light to the house. When many people many years,” but “it will outstand the rains : it are to be admitted, as upon the celebration of a will not be injured by the floods."*

marriage, the circumcising of a child, or occasions 3. Of the ordinary eastern buildings Dr. Shaw of the like nature, the company is rarely or never has given a very minute and interesting descrip- received into one of the chambers. The court is tion; and as it illustrates several passages in the usual place of their reception, which is strewed Scripture, in a most satisfactory manner, we shall accordingly with mats and carpets for their more present it to the reader. He observes,

commodious entertainment; and as this is called (1) " The general method of building, both in the middle of the house, literally answering to the Barbary and the Levant, seems to have continued midst of St. Luke (v. 19), it is probable that the the same from the earliest ages down to this time, place where our Saviour and the apostles were without the least alteration or improvement frequently accustomed to give their instructions, Large doors, spacious chambers, marble pave- might have been in the like situation ; i. e., in ments, cloistered courts, with fountains sometimes the area or quadrangle of one of these houses. playing in the midst, are certainly conveniences In the summer season, and upon all occasions very well adapted to the circumstances of these when a large company is to be received, this court hotter climates. The jealousy likewise of these is commonly sheltered from the heat or inclepeople is less apt to be alarmed, whilst, if we ex- mency of the weather, by a velum, umbrella, or cept a small latticed window or balcony, which veil, which, being expanded upon ropes from one sometimes looks into the street, all the other side of the parapet wall to the other, may be windows


into their respective courts or folded or unfolded at pleasure. The Psalmist quadrangles. It is during the celebration only of seems to allude either to the tents of the Bedousome zeenah (as they call a public festival), that ins, or some covering of this kind, in that beauthese houses and their latticed windows or bal- tiful expression of “ spreading out the heavens like conies are left open. For this being a time of a veil or curtain." + great liberty, revelling, and extravagance, each (3) “ The court is for the most part surrounded family is ambitious of adorning both the inside with a cloister, as the cava ædium of the Romans and the outside of their houses with the richest was with a peristylium or colonnade; over which, furniture; whilst crowds of both sexes, dressed when the house has one or more stories (and I have out in their best apparel, and laying aside all seen them with two or three), there is a gallery modesty and restraint, go in and out where they erected, of the same dimensions as the cloister, please. The account we have 2 Kings ix. 30, of having a balustrade, or else a piece of carved or Jezebel's painting her face, and tiring her head, latticed work going round about it, to prevent and looking out at a window, upon Jehu's public people from falling from it into the court. From entrance into Jezreel, gives us a lively idea of the cloisters and galleries, we are conducted into an eastern lady at one of these zeenahs or solem- large spacious chambers, of the same length with nities.

the court, but seldom or never communicating (2) “The streets of these cities, the better to with one another. One of them frequently serves shade them from the sun, are usually narrow, with a whole family, particularly when a father insometimes a range of shops on each side. If from dulges his married children to live with him, or these we enter into one of the principal houses, when several persons join in the rent of the same we shall first pass through a porch or gate-way, house. From whence it is, that the cities of these with benches on each side, where the master of countries, which are generally much inferior in the family receives visits and dispatches business; size to those of Europe, yet are so exceedingly

persons, not even the nearest relations, having populous, that great numbers of the inhabitants further admission, except upon extraordinary are swept away by the plague, or any other conoccasions. From hence we are received into the tagious distemper. A mixture of families of this court, or quadrangle, which lying open to the kind seems to be spoken of by Maimonides, as he weather, is, according to the ability of the owner, is quoted by Dr. Lightfoot # upon 1 Cor. x. 16. paved with marble or such materials as will immediately carry off the water into the common

+ Ps. civ. 2. We have the same expression in the prophet sewers. There is something very analogous be- Isaiah, chap. xl. 22. twixt this open space in these buildings, and the “Solomon appointed that each place be appropriated to one impluvium, or cava ædium of the Romans ; both man there, where there is a division into divers habitations, and

each of the inhabitants receive there a proper place to himself,

and some place is also left there common to all, so that all have * Oriental Illustrations, p. 538.

an equal right to it, as a court belonging to many houses," &c. , as the name seems to import, was the na, have such a construction put upon it; neither can we well sup. pose that the like custom was observed in placing both their beds and their windows to face the sanctuary (Dan. vi. 10); for if the latter did so, the other, as lying in a corner, at a distance See Maundrell's Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, p. 77. from them, must have a different situation.


In houses of better fashion, these chambers, from | 2, that the fervency of his devotion might be the the middle of the wall downwards, are covered less taken notice of and observed. The like is and adorned with velvet or damask hangings, of related of Ahab (1 Kings xxi. 4), though probably white, blue, red, green, or other colours (Esth. i. not upon a religious account, but in order to con6), suspended upon hooks, or taken down at plea- ceal from his attendants the anguish he was in for sure; but the other part is embellished with more his late disappointment. permanent ornaments, being adorned with the

(4) “The stairs are sometimes placed in the most ingenious wreathings and devices in stucco porch, sometimes at the entrance into the court. and fretwork. The ceiling is generally of wain- When there is one or more stories, they are afterscot, either very artfully painted, or else thrown wards continued through one corner or other of into a variety of pannels, with gilded mouldings the gallery, to the top of the house ; whither they and scrolls of their Koran intermixed. The pro- conduct us through a door, that is constantly kept phet Jeremiah (xxii. 14), exclaims against the shut, to prevent their domestic animals from daubeastern houses that were ceiled with cedar, and ing the terrace, and thereby spoiling the water painted with vermilion. The floors are laid with which falls from thence into the cisterns below painted tiles,* or plaster of terrace; but as these the court. This door, like most others we meet people make little or no use of chairs (either sitting with in these countries, is hung, not with hinges cross-legged, or lying at length), they always but by having the jamb formed at each end into cover or spread them over with carpets, which, for an axle-tree or pivot ; whereof the uppermost

, the most part, are of the richest materials. Along which is the longest, is to be received into a corthe sides of the wall or floor, a range of narrow respondent socket in the lintel, whilst the other beds or mattresses is often placed upon these car- falls into a cavity of the like fashion in the pets; and for their further ease and convenience, threshold. The stone door, so much admired! several velvet or damask bolsters are placed upon and taken notice of by Mr. Maundrell, I is erthese carpets or mattresses-indulgences that actly of this fashion, and very common in most seem to be alluded to by the stretching them- places. selves upon couches, and by the sewing of pillows “I do not remember ever to have observed the to arm-holes,' as we have it expressed, Amos vi. staircase conducted along the outside of the house, 4; Ezek. xiï. 18—20. At one end of each according to the description of some late very chamber, there is a little gallery, raised three, four, learned authors; neither, indeed, will the contior five feet above the floor, with a balustrade in guity and relation which these houses bear to the the front of it, with a few steps likewise leading street and to each other (exclusive of the supposed up to it. Here they place their beds, a situation privacy of them), admit of any such contrivance. frequently alluded to in the Holy Scriptures (Gen. However, we may go up or come down by the xlix. 4; 2 Kings i. 6–16; Ps. cxxxii. 3); which staircase I have described, without entering into may likewise illustrate the circumstance of Heze- any of the offices or apartments, and consequently kiah's turning his face,t when he prayed, towards without interfering with the business of the the wall (i. e., from his attendants), 2 Kings xx. house.

(5) “ The top of the house, which is always flat, is covered with a strong plaster of terrace ; from

whence, in the Frank language, it has attained the The consorting together, which those that dwell among themselves in the same court make, is called the communion of name of the terrace. This is usually surrounded courts. And that consorting together which they make that by two walls, the outermost whereof is partly dwell among themselves in the same walk or entry, or which built over the street, partly makes the partition citizens of the same city make among themselves, is called, with the contiguous houses; being frequently so participating together."

* A pavement like this is mentioned, Esth. i. 6,7: “The low, that one may easily climb over it. The beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red and blue other, which I shall call the parapet rall, hangs and white and black marble.”

immediately over the court, being always breast + In the Targum of Jonathan, turning towards the wall is high, and answers to the battlement of Deut. vri. explained by turning towards the wall of the sanctuary, or the 8. Instead of this parapet wall, some terraces western wall (as Abarbanel further illustrates it), where the ark stood ; this being their kiblah, or place towards which they are guarded, like the galleries, with balustrades were to worship, 1 Kings viii. 38, &c. But the like action that only, or latticed work; in which fashion, pms recorded of the wicked and idolatroas king Ahab, can scarcely bably

edit. Ox. 1707.

or lattice, as we render it, that Ahaziah (2 Kings | either not rightly comprehending the meaning of i. 2), might be carelessly leaning over, when he it, or finding the context clear without it. In St. fell down from thence into the court. For

upon Jerome's translation, the correspondent word is these terraces, several offices of the family are patefacientes, as if breaking up was further explaperformed; such as the dying of linen and flax natory of uncovered; the same in the Persian (Josh. ii. 6), the preparing of figs and raisins; Version is expressed by quatuor angulis lectuli where, likewise, they enjoy the cool refreshing totidem funibus annexis; as if breaking up related breezes of the evening (2 Sam. xi. 2, xvi. 22; either to the letting down of the bed, or, prepara1 Sam. ix. 25, 26), converse with one another, and tory thereto, to the making holes in it for the offer up their devotions, Zeph. i. 5; Isai. xv. 3; cords to pass through. According to this expli-Acts 1. 9. In the feast of tabernacles, booths cation, therefore, the context may run thus: When were erected upon them, Neh. viii. 16. As these they could not come at Jesus for the press, they terraces are thus frequently used and trampled got upon the roof of the house, and drew back upon, not to mention the solidity of the materials the veil where he was; or they laid open and unwherewith they are made, they will not easily covered that part of it especially which was spread permit any vegetable substances to take root or over the place where he was sitting; and having thrive upon them; which perhaps may illustrate removed and plucked away (according to St. Jethe comparison (Isai. xxxvii. 27) of the Assyrians, rome) whatever might incommode them in their and (Ps. cxxix. 6) of the wicked, to the grass intended good office, or having tied (according to upon the house-tops, which withereth before it is the Persian Version) the four corners of the bed grown up.'

or bedstead with cords, where the sick of the (4) “When any

of these cities is built upon level palsy lay, they let it down before Jesus. ground, one may pass along the tops of the houses (5) "For that there was not the least force or from one end of it to the other, without coming violence offered to the roof, and consequently that down into the street. Such in general is the the two verbs will admit of some other interpremanner and contrivance of these houses. If, then, tations than what have been given to them in our it may be presumed that our Saviour, at the heal- Version, appears from the parallel place in St. ing of the paralytic, was preaching in a house of Luke, where what we translate, they let him down this fashion, we may, by attending only to the through the tiling, as if that had actually been structure of it, give no small light to one circum- broken up already, should be rendered, they let him stance of that history, which has lately given great down over, along the side, or by the way of the roof. offence to some unbelievers. For among other For as keramoi

, or tegulo, which originally, perhaps, pretended difficulties and absurdities relating to denoted a roof of tiles, like those of the northern this fact, it has been urged,* that “as the unco

nations, were afterwards applied to the tectum or vering or breaking up of the roof (Mark ii. 4), or doma in general, of what nature or structure soever the letting a person down through it (Luke v. 19), they were; so the meaning of letting down a persupposes the breaking up of tiles, spars, rafters, son into the house, per tegulas, or dia ton keramon, &c., so it was well,” as the author goes on in his can depend only upon the use of the preposition. ludicrous manner, “if Jesus and his disciples Now, both in Acts ix. 26 and 2 Cor. xi. 33, where escaped with only a broken pate, by the falling of the like phraseology is observed as in St. Luke, the tiles ; and if the rest were not smothered with dia is rendered in both places by, i. e., along the dust.” But that nothing of this nature happened side, or by the way of the wall. By interpreting, will appear probable from a different construction therefore, dia in this sense, the passage will be that may be put upon the words in the original; rendered, as above, they let him donen over, or by for it may be observed, with relation to the word the way of, the wall. What Dr. Lightfoot observes we render roof, that it will denote, with propriety out of the Talmud, upon Mark ii. 4, will, by an enough, any kind of cocering, the veil which I alteration only of the preposition which answers have mentioned, as well as a roof or ceiling, pro- to dia, further vouch for this interpretation. For perly so called; so, for the same reason, the verb as it is there cited, “when Rabh Honna was dead, we render uncovered may signify the undoing, or and his bier could not be carried out through the the removal only, of such covering. The word door, which was too strait and narrow, therefore which we render breaking up is omitted in the (in order, we may supply, to bury it) they thought Cambridge MS., and not regarded in the Syriac good to let it down” (i. e., not through the roof, or and some other Versions ; the translators, perhaps, through the way of the roof, as the Doctor renders

it, but) by the reuy, or orer the roof, viz., by taking it

upon the terrace, and letting it down by the * See Wolston's Four Discourses, p. 57.

wall, that way, into the street. We have a passage in Aulus Gellius* exactly of the same purport, which, in the same manner with these, seems to where it is said, that if any person in chains have had privy stairs belonging to it, through should make his escape into the house of the which Ehud escaped after he had revenged Israel Flamen Dialis, he should be forthwith loosed ; upon that king of Moab; the chamber over the and that his fetters should be drawn up through gate (2 Sam. xxxviii. 33), whither, for the greater the impluvium, upon the roof or terrace, and from privacy, David withdrew himself to weep for Abthence be let down into the highway or the salom; the upper chamber, upon whose terrace street.'

Ahaz, for the same reason, erected his altars (2 (6) “When the use, then, of these phrases, and Kings xxiii. 12); the inner chamber, likewise, or, fashion of the houses, are rightly considered, there as it is better expressed in the original, a chamber will be no reason to suppose that any breach was within a chamber, where the young man, the proactually made in the roof or covering; since all | phet, anointed Jehu (2 Kings ix. 2);-seem to that was to be done, in the case of the paralytic, | have been all of them structures of the like nature was to carry him up to the top of the house, either and contrivance with these oliahs. by forcing their way through the crowd up the (8) “ Besides, as oliah in the Hebrew text, and staircase, or else by conveying him over some of aulich in the Arabic Version, is expressed by the neighbouring terraces; and there, after they uperoon in the LXX., it may be presumed that had drawn away the oeil, to let him doron, along the same word, where it occurs in the New Testathe side of the roof (through the opening, or im- ment, implies the same thing. The upper champluvium) into the midst of the court) before Jesus. ber, therefore, where Tabitha was laid after her

(7) “ To most of these houses there is a smaller death (Acts ix. 36), and where Eutychus (Acts one annexed, which sometimes rises one story xx. 8, 9) also fell down from the third loft, were higher than the house ; at other times it consists of so many back houses or oliahs, as they are indeed one or two rooms only and a terrace ; whilst others so called in the Arabic Version. that are built, as they frequently are, over the


“ That the Greek denotes such a private porch or gateway, have, if we except the ground- apartment as one of these oliahs (for garrets, from floor, which they have not, all the conveniences the flatness of the roofs, are not known in these clithat belong to the house, properly so called. There mates), seems likewise probable from the use of the is a door of communication from them into the word among the classic authors. For the chamber gallery of the house, kept open or shut at the where Mercury and Mars carried on their amourst discretion of the master of the family; besides and where Penelope kept herself with the young another door, which opens immediately from a virgins,|| at a distance from the solicitations of privy stairs, down into the porch or street, without their wooers, appear to carry along with them cirgiving the least disturbance to the house. These cumstances of greater privacy and retirement than back houses, as we may call them, are known by are consistent with chambers in any other situation. the name of alee or oleah ; for the house, properly (10)“ Nay, further, that oliah or uperoon could so called, is dar or beet; and in them strangers not barely signify a single chamber, cænaculum, or are usually lodged and entertained; in them the dining-room, but one of those contiguous or back sons of the family are permitted to keep their houses, divided into several apartments, seems to concubines ; thither, likewise, the men are wont appear from the circumstance of the altars which to retire from the hurry and noise of their fami- Ahaz erected upon the top of his oliah. For lies, to be more at leisure for meditation or diver- besides the supposed privacy of his idolatry, which, sions; besides the use they are at other times put upon account of the perpetual view and observation to, in serving for wardrobes and magazines.

of the family, could not have been carried on un“ The oliah of the Scriptures being literally the discovered in any apartment of the house ; I say, same appellation with aulich (Arab.), is accord- if this his oliah had been only one single chamber ingly so rendered in the Arabic Version. We of the house, the roof of it would have been asmay suppose it, then, to have been a structure of cribed to the house, and not to the oliah; which, the like contrivance. The little chamber (2 Kings upon this supposition, could only make one chamiv. 10), consequently, that was built by the Shu- ber of it. A circumstance of the like nature may namite for Elisha, whither

, as the text instructs probably be collected from the Arabic Version of us, he retired at his pleasure, without breaking in uperoon (Acts ix. 39), where it is not rendered upon the private affairs of the family, or being in his turn interrupted by them in his devotions; the

+ Hom. II. ï., ver. 184. B. ver. 514. summer chamber of Eglon (Judg. ii. 20—23),

Hom. Odys3. O., ver. 515-16.

|| Athen. Deip. lib. ii., cap. 16. Eustath, in ver, 184. II. ii, * Vide Aul. Gell. Noct. Attic, x, 15.

p. 1054, et in Il. ii., ver. 514, p. 272,


aulich, as in ver. 37, but girfat; intimating, per-, deed, the principal part of it. This we do the haps, that particular chamber of the aulich where rather, because our translators have frequently the damsel was laid. The falling, likewise, of spoken of “beds," in such a connexion as is very Eutychus from the third loft (as the context seems likely to perplex the reader. It will be recollected to imply) of the uperoon, there being no mention what Dr. Shaw has just said about these indismade of a house, may likewise be received as a pensable requisites in an eastern house; to which further proof of what I have been endeavouring we add, that the narrow mattresses of which he to explain. For it has been already observed, speaks, serve the double purpose of a seat by day, that these oliahs are built in the same manner and and a bed by night. The place of honour, on with the like conveniences as the house itself; these seats, is the corner, and this will explain consequently what position soever the uperoon Amos iii. 12—“ The children of Israel shall be may be supposed to have from the seeming ety- taken out that dwell in Samaria, in the corner of a mology of the name, will be applicable to the bed :"_in the place of honour—the most easy, oliah as well as to the house.

voluptuous, indulging station of the duan. The (11)“ This method of building may further assist Orientals frequently lay their beds on the floor, as us in accounting for the particular structure of the we learn from Sir J. Chardin, Mr. Hanway, Dr. temple or house of Dagon (Judg. xvi.), and the Russell, and other travellers. Mr. Hanway degreat number of people that were buried in the scribes the beds of Persia as consisting “only of ruins of it, by pulling down the two principal two cotton quilts, one of which is folded double pillars that supported it. We read (ver. 27), that and serves as a mattress, the other as a covering, about “ three thousand persons were upon the roof, with a large flat pillow for the head.” Was it on to beholl while Samson made sport,” viz., to the such a bed as this that Saul slept, 1 Sam. xxvi. scoffing and deriding Philistines. Sampson, there- 7? And was not the bed of the paralytic of this fore, must have been in a court or area below; and description (Luke v. 19; Mark ii. 4, 11)—"Arise, consequently the temple will be of the same kind take up thy bed,” that is, thy mattress-the quilt with the ancient temene or sacred inclosures, which spread under thee.t were only surrounded either in part or on all sides 5. To naval architecture, there are many alluwith some plain or cloistered buildings. Several sions in the Hebrew Scriptures; and it has been palaces and dou-wānas, as the courts of justice are remarked by a learned friend, that there is an called in these countries, are built in this fashion, observable affinity in the terms usually applied in where, upon their public festivals and rejoicings, most languages to ships, or marine vessels, the a great quantity of sand is strewed upon the area whole of which are decidedly in favour of a Hefor the pellowans or wrestlers to fall upon ; whilst brew original./. We have already noticed the first the roofs of these cloisters are crowded with spec- piece of naval architecture supplied in the ark of tators, to admire their strength and activity. I Noah, which must have been constructed upon have often seen numbers of people diverted in this strictly scientific principles ; and although formed manner, upon the roof of the Dey's palace at upon a divine model, there can be no doubt that Algiers ; which, like many more of the same quality it furnished a pattern to after times. Some of the and denomination, has an advanced cloister, over parts and appendages of a ship are noticed ; as against the gate of the palace (Esth. v. l), made the sail (Isai. xxxiii. 23; Ezek. xxvii. 7); the in the fashion of a large pent-house, supported main-sail (Acts xxvii. 17, 40); ship-boards (Ezek. only by one or two contiguous pillars in the front, xxvii. 5); a mast (Prov. xxiii. 34); the stern or else in the centre. In such open structures as (Acts xxvii. 29); an anchor, ver. 30. There are these, the bashaws, kadees, and other great officers, varieties, too, as to size and structure, though distribute justice, and transact the public affairs of nothing to the extent now witnessed, in the highly their provinces. Here, likewise, they have their advanced state of this most important art. public entertainments, as the lords and others of read of boats (John vi. 22, 23; Acts xxvii. 16, the Philistines had in the house of Dagon. Upon 30); swift ships (Job ix. 26); gallant ships (Isai. a supposition, therefore, that in the house of Dagon xxxiii. 21); a navy of ships (1 Kings ix. 26): there was a cloistered building of this kind, the ships of Tarshish (Isai. Ix. 9); of Chittim (Dan. pulling down the front or centre pillars which xi. 30); and of the Chaldeans, Isai. xliii. 14.3 supported it, would be attended with the like catastrophe that happened to the Philistines." *

+ See Fragments to Calmet, Nos. xii., xiii. 4. Of the furniture of eastern houses we shall Scrip. Encyclop., in Crit. Bib., vol. iii., p. 269. notice only the duan, or sofa ; which formed, in

1! Let the reader turn to the word navis, either in Beeman de Orig. Lat. Ling., p.725, or Calepini Dict. undecim. Linguarum,

p. 934, and he will find every satisfaction. * Shaw's Travels, vol. i., pp. 373–392.

§ See Critica Biblica, vol. iii., p. 269.


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