Manners & Customs
: City Walls
The Oriental Town or City
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CITY AND VILLAGE, AS TO WALLS. In early Old Testament times the villages were smaller places of abode without walls around them, whereas the cities or towns were larger places that had walls around them. The Mosaic Law made such a distinction: "If a man sell a dwelling house in a walled city" (Leviticus 25:29). "But the houses of the villages which have no wall round about them" (Leviticus 25:31). The villages were often located near a fortified city upon which they were more or less dependent. Thus the city was the metropolis of the villages. We often read in the Bible of "cities and their villages," Some speak of the expression: "cities and their daughters," indicating a mother-city, and her dependent villages surrounding her (cf. Joshua 15:45 and 17:11).1
Walls a part of city fortifications. In Bible times most cities were walled and fortified for protection against an enemy. Those living in a city without walls would be interested in having walls built for them. Often when the Bible says that a certain character built a city, what is meant is not that a new site was located and a new city was built, but rather that a city already inhabited was supplied with walls entirely around its confines.2
It was thus that Solomon built "Bethhoron the upper, and Beth-horon the nether, fenced cities, with walls, gates, and bars" (II Chronicles 8:5).
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
City Walls in Naves Topical Bible
Of Bashan, destroyed by the Israelites
Jos 2:15; 6
-Houses built upon
2Ki 25:4; Isa 22:11
Of the new Jerusalem
Towers Were Part of the wall
The Oriental city has had two types of towers located in it.
First was the tower constructed as a part of the city wall. At this point the wall was built higher and served as a fortification. The approach of an enemy could be sighted from here, and weapons hurled down upon men who attempted to take the city. Almost every gate of any consequence would have a tower over it. Then towers were often built where the wall turned a corner. These were called "corner towers." King Uzziah made use of such towers: "And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by skilful men, to be on the towers and upon the battlements
to shoot arrows and great stones withal" (II Chronicles 26: 15).
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Walls in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Cities were surrounded by walls, as distinguished from
villages" (Ezek. 38:11; Lev. 25:29-34). They were made
strong (Num. 13:28; Deut. 3:5). Among the Jews walls
of stone, some of those in the temple being of great
Kings 6:7; 7:9-12; 20:30; Mark 13:1, 2). The term is
metaphorically of security and safety (Isa. 26:1;
21:12-20). (See FENCE -T0001321.)
Walls in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
(See HOUSE.) Foundations were often carried down to the solid
rock, as in the case of the temple. The foundation stones are
often of enormous size, 20 to 30 ft. long, by three to 6 ft. 6
inches wide, and five to 7 ft. 6 inches thick; three at
Baalbek are each 68 ft. long, and one in the quarry 68 ft. 4
in. long, 17 ft. 2 in. broad, and 14 ft. 7 in. thick. Slabs of
marble or alabaster line the walls of Solomon's buildings, as
those of Nineveh.
Walls in Smiths Bible Dictionary
Only a few points need be noticed.
1. The practice common in Israel of carrying
foundations down to the solid rock, as in the case of the
temple, with structures intended to be permanent. Lu 6:48
2. A feature of some parts of Solomon's buildings, as
described by Josephus, corresponds remarkably to the method
adopted at Nineveh of incrusting or veneering a wall of brick
or stone with slabs of a more costly material, as marble or
3. Another use of walls in Israel is to support
mountain roads Or terraces formed on the sides of hills for
purposes of cultivation.
4. The "path of the vineyards," Nu 22:24 is a pathway
through vineyards, with walls on each side.
Walls in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
See ARCHITECTURE; CITY; FORTIFICATION; HOUSE; JERUSALEM;
Walls Scripture - 1 Chronicles 29:4
[Even] three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir,
and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the
walls of the houses [withal]:
Walls Scripture - 1 Kings 6:5
And against the wall of the house he built chambers round
about, [against] the walls of the house round about, [both] of
the temple and of the oracle: and he made chambers round
Walls Scripture - 1 Kings 6:6
The nethermost chamber [was] five cubits broad, and the middle
[was] six cubits broad, and the third [was] seven cubits
broad: for without [in the wall] of the house he made narrowed
rests round about, that [the beams] should not be fastened in
the walls of the house.
Walls Scripture - Deuteronomy 28:52
And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and
fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all
thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates
throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given
Walls Scripture - Ezekiel 41:13
So he measured the house, an hundred cubits long; and the
separate place, and the building, with the walls thereof, an
hundred cubits long;
Walls Scripture - Ezekiel 41:22
The altar of wood [was] three cubits high, and the length
thereof two cubits; and the corners thereof, and the length
thereof, and the walls thereof, [were] of wood: and he said
unto me, This [is] the table that [is] before the LORD.
Walls Scripture - Jeremiah 1:18
For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an
iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against
the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the
priests thereof, and against the people of the land.
Walls Scripture - Jeremiah 50:15
Shout against her round about: she hath given her hand: her
foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it [is]
the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance upon her; as she
hath done, do unto her.
Walls Scripture - Jeremiah 51:58
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall
be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with
fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the
fire, and they shall be weary.
Walls Scripture - Lamentations 2:7
The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his
sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the
walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of
the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast.