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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary

Market Place

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The narrow streets and clustered buildings of most towns and villages in ancient Paletine left little room for a public market place. Shops were built into private residences or clustered in the gate area to form bazaars (1 Kings 20:34 ). Merchants operated booths just inside the city gate or hawked their merchandise outside the gate area in an open space or square. This area also served as a marshaling place for troops (2 Chronicles 32:6 ) and the site for public meetings (Nehemiah 8:1 ), victory celebrations (Deuteronomy 13:16 ), and the display of captives (2 Samuel 21:12 ).

Herod rebuilt many of the cities of Palestine following the Greek pattern which included open areas for public gathering (Greek: agora ). Amidst the shops, children played (Matthew 11:16 ), day laborers gathered to be hired (Matthew 20:2-3 ), and Pharisees and other leading citizens wandered, exchanging greetings (Matthew 23:7; Luke 11:43 ). Paul went to the marketplace (Greek agora ) on his visits to Greek cities to speak to the crowd always gathered there (Acts 17:17 ). He and Silas were also tried by magistrates in the marketplace at Philippi after angering the local merchants (Acts 16:19 ).

Victor H. Matthews

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Market Place'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/m/market-place.html. 1991.

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