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ment being surrounded by elegant borders and mouldings. The beams, as well as the sides of the chambers, may have been gilded, or even plated, with gold and silver; and the rarest woods, in which the cedar was conspicuous, were used for the wood-work. Zephaniah alludes to the cedar-work' of the roof. It is probable that the ceilings were only panelled or wainscoted with this precious wood.”—Nineveh, ii. 263.

Mr. Lane mentions that the ceilings of handsome houses in Egypt are often richly decorated. “ Numerous thin strips of wood are nailed upon the planks, forming patterns curiously complicated, yet perfectly regular, and having a highly ornamental effect ... the strips are painted yellow, or gilt; and the spaces within painted green, red, and blue.”—Modern Egyptians, i. 38.

No less gorgeous were the pavements of mosaic work, such as we have described in Esther, i. 6:—“A pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black marble (or, as the words may more probably be rendered, " on à tesselated pavement of imitation marble, white marble, mother of pearl, and spotted marble”). The upper classes in Persia pave their courts very nicely, on the borders and through the centres (the other parts being planted with shrubs), and the floors of their houses also are laid with painted tiles, as stated by Mr. Buckingham “ The court of the governor's house at Damascus was paved with coloured marbles, arranged in various devices of mosaic-work."-- Arab Tribes, p. 340. A similar custom prevails in Egypt:

“In general (in Cairo) there is on the ground floor an apartment in which male visitors are received. A small part of the floor, extending from the door to the opposite side of the room, is six or seven inches lower than the rest: in a handsome house (this part) is paved with white and black marble, and little pieces of red tile inlaid in tasteful patterns.”—LANE's Modern Egyptians, i. 32.

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COLLECTIONS of houses were classified either as villages or cities, according as they were, or were not surrounded by walls. This distinction is laid down in Lev. xxv. 29, 31 :—“If a man sell a dwelling-house in a walled city, then he may redeem it. . . . But the houses of the villages which have no wall round about them, shall be counted as the fields of the country.” So again in 1 Sam. vi. 18:-"The golden mice, according





to the number of all the cities of the Philistines, both of fenced cities and of country villages.” In Esth. ix. 19: -“ The Jews of the villages that dwelt in the unwalled towns” are distinguished from “the Jews that were at Shushan” in the previous verse. Hence in Ez. xxxviii. 11, an unprotected land is described as land of unwalled villages,” where people dwelt “without walls and having neither bars nor gates.' From the ground of the distinction, it follows that a town which outgrew the limits of its walls would become a village, and hence in Zech. ü. 4, the extension of Jerusalem is predicted under the following terms :—“Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein.

Towns were subdivided into two kinds, according as they were possessed of sovereignty or dependent : the former were called “ towns” proper, and the latter the

daughters,” or dependent towns, an expression which is strictly the converse of our “ metropolis” or mothercity. Thus we read in Josh. xv. 45, 47, of “ Ekron with her daughters or dependent towns and her villages ;” “ Ashdod with her daughters and her villages ;" and again in xvii. 11, “ Beth-shean and her daughters Ibleam,” &c.; in all these passages our translators have rendered the Hebrew by the general term town, by which the sense is rendered less clear.

So, again, there appears to have been a distinction between a "village" and the “hamlet,” though the exact force of the distinction does not appear. The latter term appears in the following passages, in all of which our translators have substituted 66 villages :" “ The cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both the fenced cities and the country hamlets(1 Sam. vi. 18); “Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field : let us lodge in the hamlets" (Cant. vii. 11); “Over the store-houses in the fields, and in the cities, and in the hamlets (1 Chron. xxvii. 25). A further distinction must be observed between cities and fenced

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cities, the former being surrounded simply by a boundary wall, the latter by walls of great height and strength, and furnished with gates and bars. Of the latter, we read in very many passages :

“ All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars ” (Deut. iii. 5).

“ The rest of them entered into fenced cities (Josh. x. 20), &c. &c. The villages were in all cases dependent on the metropolitan towns, as we may infer from the numerous instances in the book of Joshua, where “ cities with their villages” are noticed (xv. 32, 36, &c.). Villages might nevertheless so increase in size as to become towns; but in these cases the memory of their early state was retained in the name Hazar, or some similar term, signifying village, as in Hazaraddar (Num. xxxiv. 4), Hazar-gaddah and Hazar-shual (Josh. xv. 27, 28), Chephar-haammonai (Josh. xviii. 24), and the Caper-naum of the New Testament.

The towns of Palestine were for the most part built on the summits of hills for the sake of security, and, when they were surrounded with high walls, they appeared to a beholder from below as though they were indeed “walled up to heaven” (Deut. i. 28). The walls of the fortified towns were provided with parapets "he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks(2 Chron. xxvi. 15; compare Zeph. i. 16, iii. 6, where the same word is rendered “towers "). They were also furnished with rong towers, either over the gates, or at the angles of the walls as noticed in 2 Kings ix. 17; “There stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel ;” and in 2 Chron. xiv. 7, “Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates and bars ” (compare 2 Chron. xxxii. 5). As an additional security an outwork of earth, answering to the modern glacis, was constructed, which required to be demolished before the wall of the city was attacked ; of this we read in the following passages :—“they cast up a bank against the city, and it stood against (on?)

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the outmost wall(2 Sam. xx. 15: margin); “Salvation will God appoint for walls and outer walls” (bulwarks) (Isa. xxvi. 1); “ Art thou better than populous No, . . . whose outer wall (rampart) was the sea, and her wall was from the sea (Nah. iii. 8); see also Lam. ii. 8; Ps. xlviii. 13, cxxii. 7. Lastly, in certain cases a cordon of forts was erected all round the town in commanding situations; thus we read of Uzziah, that he “ built cities about Ashdod” (2 Chron. xxvi. 6); and of Jotham, that he “built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers (2 Chron. xxvii. 4).

The gates of an Eastern city have been at all periods of great importance, not only for purposes of protection, but as places of meeting for the transaction of public business. The materials of which they were made were either wood, or stone, as in the Hauran, or wood cased with brass or iron. The former are referred to in Deut. iii. 5, and are described in the following passages :—“In the towns of the Hauran, the doors as well as other parts of the buildings are of stone.” Mr. Buckingham saw one fifteen inches thick, from which some idea may be formed of these ponderous masses, how unwieldy they must be to open and shut, and with what propriety they might be enumerated under the terms of gates and bars,' when speaking of the threescore cities of Og, the king of Bashan; as these ponderous doors of stone were all closed on the inside with bars going horizontally or perpendicularly across them.”—BUCKINGHAM's Arab Tribes, pp. 221, 222.

“We came to Kuffer, once a considerable town. It is built in the usual style of this country, entirely of stone; most of the houses are still entire; the doors are uniformly of stone, and even the gates of the town, between nine and ten feet high, are of a single piece of stone."-BURCKHARDT'S Syria, &c., p. 90.

The “gates of brass” are noticed metaphorically in (Ps. cvii. 16), while an actual instance of one cased

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