Manners & Customs: Streets
Streets in the Ancient World
Street in Easton's Bible Dictionary
The street called "Straight" at Damascus (Acts 9:11) is "a
broad street, running from east to west, about a
mile in length,
and forming the principal thoroughfare in the city."
towns streets are usually narrow and irregular and
18:42; Isa. 10:6). "It is remarkable," says Porter,
the important cities of Israel and Syria Samaria,
Gerasa, Bozrah, Damascus, Palmyra, had their
running through the centre of the city, and lined
rows of columns. The most perfect now remaining are
Palmyra and Gerasa, where long ranges of the columns
stand.", Through Samaria, etc.
Street in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
rechob. A broad open space, as the courtyard, the space near
the gate devoted to public business (Deuteronomy 13:16), or
before t he temple (Ezra 10:9; Esther 4:6). Particular trades
gathered in certain quarters, as "the bakers' street"
(Jeremiah 37:21). Chuts is a "narrow street" (Proverbs 5:16;
Jeremiah 5:1) in contrast to the "broad street", rechob. Shuq
like chuts is seemingly "the narrow street" distinguished from
"the broad way," rechob, in Song of Solomon 3:2. Luke 14:21
plateia and rumee, "the streets and lanes." But shuq etymology
means "a place of concourse", and rume is applied to the
"straight" street of Damascus (Acts 9:11).
Street in Smiths Bible Dictionary
The streets of a modern Oriental town present a great
contrast to those with which we are familiar, being
generally narrow, tortuous and gloomy, even in the best
towns. Their character is mainly fixed by the climate and
the style of architecture, the narrowness being due to the
extreme heat, and the gloominess to the circumstance of the
windows looking for the most part into the inner court. The
street called "Straight," in Damascus, Ac 9:11 was an
exception to the rule of narrowness: it was a noble
thoroughfare, one hundred feet wide. divided in the Roman
age by colonnades into three avenues, the central one for
foot passengers, the side passages for vehicles and horsemen
going in different directions. The shops and warehouses were
probably collected together into bazaars in ancient as in
modern times. Jer 37:21 That streets occasionally had names
appears from Jer 37:21; Ac 9:11 That they were generally
unpaved may be inferred from the notices of the pavement
laid by Herod the Great at Antioch, and by Herod Agrippa II.
at Jerusalem. Hence pavement forms one of the peculiar
features of the ideal Jerusalem. Tob. 13:17; Re 21:21 Each
street and bazaar in a modern town is locked up at night;
the same custom appears to have prevailed in ancient times.
Street Scripture - 2 Samuel 21:12
And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of
Jonathan his son from the men of Jabeshgilead, which had
stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines
had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in
Street Scripture - Deuteronomy 13:16
And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of
the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all
the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it
shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.
Street Scripture - Esther 6:9
And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one
of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man
[withal] whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on
horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before
him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth
Street Scripture - Ezekiel 16:24
[That] thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and
hast made thee an high place in every street.
Street Scripture - Ezekiel 16:31
In that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every
way, and makest thine high place in every street; and hast not
been as an harlot, in that thou scornest hire;
Street Scripture - Ezra 10:9
Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves
together unto Jerusalem within three days. It [was] the ninth
month, on the twentieth [day] of the month; and all the people
sat in the street of the house of God, trembling because of
[this] matter, and for the great rain.
Street Scripture - Genesis 19:2
And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into
your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet,
and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they
said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.
Street Scripture - Jeremiah 37:21
Then Zedekiah the king commanded that they should commit
Jeremiah into the court of the prison, and that they should
give him daily a piece of bread out of the bakers' street,
until all the bread in the city were spent. Thus Jeremiah
remained in the court of the prison.
Street Scripture - Joshua 2:19
And it shall be, [that] whosoever shall go out of the doors of
thy house into the street, his blood [shall be] upon his head,
and we [will be] guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee
in the house, his blood [shall be] on our head, if [any] hand
be upon him.
Street Scripture - Revelation 22:2
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the
river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner
of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the
leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.
Streets Were Like Allies
- A third kind was the short street more like our alley (Proverbs 7:8). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Streets were Long, Narrow, and Windy
The words used in the Hebrew Bible for streets would indicate that there were three varieties of them.
-The usual street was long, narrow, and winding (Joshua 2:19 etc.).
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Streets Were Sometimes Broad
-Those near the city gates or those in front of a public building, or where one crossed another were broad squares (Nehemiah 8:1). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Streets Were Sometimes Paved with Stone
As a rule, Eastern streets today are narrow, and everything would indicate that they were narrow in ancient times. In the cities some of them are paved (usually with stone), but in the villages they are seldom paved. David said, "I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets" (Psalm 18:42). Isaiah refers to the "mire of the streets" (Isaiah 10:6). The city streets usually paved in Bible days would include those connected with the temple or some public building. The Oriental appreciates greatly the description of Heaven, "wherein the streets are paved with pure gold as it were transparent glass" (Revelation 21:21). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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