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WINDOWS ("ḥallon," "arubbah"):

The climate of Palestine and the customs of the ancient and the modern Orient alike rendered the house less important than it is in the Occident, since it was more a sleeping apartment than a place for work, or even for occupancy during the day (comp. House). Many large windows, therefore, were not desired, since they would admit heat in summer and rain and cold in winter. In like manner, the Assyro-Babylonian and the Egyptian house had few windows (comp. Perrot and Chipiez, "Art in Chaldea," i. 186 et seq.; Wilkinson, "Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians," i. 362 et seq.). In this respect the houses of modern Palestine precisely resemble those of the ancient Hebrews, for the windows which look on the street are very small and are placed high in the wall, thus being analogous to the windows of the Temple of Solomon, which were narrow and high (I Kings vi.4). Large, wide windows were reserved, like panels of cedar-wood andmural paintings, for the luxurious palaces of the great (Jer. xxii. 14).

Although excavations show that Glass was known to the Assyrians and Babylonians, as well as to the Egyptians, at a very early time, it was never used for windows in the ancient East. Openings for light and air were either left entirely free, as was often the case in the simple peasants' huts, or they had a shutter or wooden lattice; even the windows of the Temple had immovable gratings of wood (I Kings vi. 4, R. V.). Usually, however, these lattices were so constructed that they could be removed, or thrown apart like doors. The windows could be opened (II Kings xiii. 17), for Ahaziah fell through an open window (II Kings i. 2). Such means of closure were naturally very unsafe, and thieves could easily enter the house by means of the window (Joel ii. 9; comp. Jer. ix. 21).

E. G. H. I. Be.
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