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Holman Bible Dictionary

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Additional Resources
Greek - market place, market places
Greek - market place

The narrow streets and clustered buildings of most towns and villages in ancient Paletine left little room for a public market place. Shops were built into private residences or clustered in the gate area to form bazaars (1 Kings 20:34). Merchants operated booths just inside the city gate or hawked their merchandise outside the gate area in an open space or square. This area also served as a marshaling place for troops (2 Chronicles 32:6) and the site for public meetings (Nehemiah 8:1), victory celebrations (Deuteronomy 13:16), and the display of captives (2 Samuel 21:12).

Herod rebuilt many of the cities of Palestine following the Greek pattern which included open areas for public gathering (Greek: agora). Amidst the shops, children played (Matthew 11:16), day laborers gathered to be hired (Matthew 20:2-3), and Pharisees and other leading citizens wandered, exchanging greetings (Matthew 23:7; Luke 11:43). Paul went to the marketplace (Greek agora) on his visits to Greek cities to speak to the crowd always gathered there (Acts 17:17). He and Silas were also tried by magistrates in the marketplace at Philippi after angering the local merchants (Acts 16:19).

Victor H. Matthews

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 'MARKET PLACE'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1991.


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