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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Window

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(θυρίς)

The Gr. word properly means ‘little door’ (from θύρα). Though glass was largely manufactured by the Phœnicians, who may have learned the art from the Egyptians (as is maintained in EBi ii. 1737, but see EBr 11 xii. 98), it was apparently never used by them or their Jewish neighbours for windows, which were mere apertures-or apertures fitted with lattice-work-in the walls of houses. The discoveries at Pompeii furnish convincing evidence that glass had begun to be used for windows in the early days of the Roman Empire. In the tepidarium of the public baths a bronze lattice has been found with some of the panes still in the frame. In the houses of the East, which still differ but little from those of ancient times, windows do not usually look out upon the street, but balconies project from the upper stories over the street, with windows in which the lattice-work is often of a highly ornamental kind. In the case of houses built upon the city wall, the window has always afforded a ready means of escape into the country (Joshua 2:15, 2 Maccabees 3:19, 2 Corinthians 11:33). Baskets are often seen being lowered from such windows to-day, most likely for the purpose of being filled with fruit (W. M. Thomson, The Land and the Book, London, 1910, p. 78). While St. Paul was preaching in the upper room of a house at Troas, Eutychus sat on the window-sill (ἐπὶ τῆς θυρίδος), and, falling asleep and losing his balance, fell down from the third story (ἀπὸ τοῦ τριστέγου) (Acts 20:9). In a crowded room lighted with lamps the windows would naturally be wide open.

Literature.-W. Ramsay, art. ‘Vitrum’ in Smith’s DGRA 2, London, 1875; G. M. Mackie, Bible Manners and Customs, do., 1898, p. 95 f; C. Warren, art. ‘House’ in HDB .

J. Strahan.


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Window'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdn/w/window.html. 1906-1918.

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