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Holman Bible Dictionary

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PreviousNext
HOURHOUSE OF THE ARCHIVES
 
Additional Resources
 
Concordances
• Nave's Topical Bible
House
House of god
• Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
God's; anger, hiding His face
Man; a worm, maggot
Dictionaries
• Easton's Bible Dictionary
Dagon's house
Draught-house
House
Shearing-house
• Fausset's Bible Dictionary
House
Several House
Shearing House
• King James Dictionary
Several house
• Smith's Bible Dictionary
Asuppim, and House of
House
Millo, The house of
Encyclopedias
• International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Asuppim, House of Asuppim
Eden, House of
Far House
Father's House, Fathers' House
Garden-House
House
House of God
House, Father's
House, Garden
Shearing House
Spiritual House
Summer-House
Winter-House
Lexicons
Greek - house
Greek - prison house
Greek - house top, housetop, housetops
Greek - house
Greek - hired house
Greek - of one's own house, of the household, household
Greek - house
Greek - from the house, house, household, households, houses
Greek - goodman of the house, householder, master of the house, head of a household, head of the house, head of the household, owner of the house
Greek - guide the house, keep house
Greek - house, household, households
Greek - with all one's house, whole household
Greek - thy house
Hebrew - the house of Joab
Hebrew - shearing house
Hebrew - draught house
Hebrew - draught house
Hebrew - desolate house
Hebrew - house of Aphrah
Hebrew - house, household, house and the houses, household was inside, households, houses, houses while house, palace and the houses, temple to the house
Hebrew - house, houses
Hebrew - of the house of Caleb
HOUSE

A place where people live, usually in extended family units which can then be called a house.

Abraham left Mesopotamia where he lived in houses made of mud brick (compare Genesis 11:3) and became a tent dweller (Hebrews 11:9). Tents were made of goat hair and were suitable to nomadic life. His descendants apparently lived in tents until the time of Joshua, when they captured Canaan and began to build houses like the Canaanites. In the lowlands of the Jordan Valley the houses were built of mud brick because stone was not readily available. This type of construction may still be seen in the refugee camps of modern Jericho. In the hill country field stones were used. Although slight differences existed in house construction over centuries of time, those which have been excavated manifest a similar style. The homes of the poor were small and modest, consisting of one to four rooms, usually, and almost always including a courtyard on the east of the house so that the prevailing westerly winds would blow the smoke away from the house. In this courtyard the family carried on most of its activity. Food was prepared here in an oven built of clay. Storage jars were kept here, and animals were often housed here. However, the house only met the essential needs of family life such as shelter, a place to prepare food, make clothing and pottery, care for animals, etc. Social life was normally conducted at the community well or spring, the city gate, the marketplace, or in the fields at work. Because of the heat in summer and the cold in the winter, houses were built with few, if any, windows. This also provided more protection from intruders, but it meant that the houses were dark and uninviting. The only escape from the dim, cramped interior of the house was the courtyard and especially the flat roof. Here, the women of the house could do many of their daily chores—the washing, weaving, drying of figs and dates, and even the cooking. It was a wonderful place to enjoy the cool breezes in the heat of the day and to sleep in the summer (Acts 10:9; compare 2 Kings 4:10). The roof was supported by beams laid across the tops o narrow rooms, which were then covered by brush and mud packed to a firm and smooth surface. The paralytic at Capernaum was let down to Jesus through a hole “dug out” of such a roof (Mark 2:4; it was covered with clay tiles—Luke 5:19). In the time of Moses, the Israelites were required to build a bannister around the roof to prevent falling off (Deuteronomy 22:8).

Unlike the poor, wealthy families built larger houses which sometimes utilized cut stone. They furnished them with chairs, tables, and couches which could double as beds. The poor had neither the space nor money for furniture. They ate and slept on floor mats which could be rolled out for that purpose. Most floors consisted of beaten earth, although some were made of mud and lime plaster and occasionally even limestone slabs. The wealthy in the time of the New Testament were able to cover their floors with beautiful mosaics and adorn their plastered walls with lovely frescoes. By this time, many of the better homes, under Roman influence, included atria, which added to the concept of outdoor living already experienced in the courtyards and on the roofs. There is evidence that two story houses were built throughout biblical times, the upper floor being reached by outside stairs or ladders.

John McRay


Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'HOUSE'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<http://classic.studylight.org/dic/hbd/view.cgi?number=T2883>. 1991.

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