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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Street (2)

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STREET.—In place of ‘street’ in Mark 6:56 we should read with Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ‘market-place,’ the open space or square (ἀγορά) where goods are brought for disposal to the merchants from the bazaars, and where people at leisure gather for conversation. πλατεῖα stands for ‘street’ in the ordinary sense. In Luke 14:21 it is apparently distinguished from ῥύμη, as ‘street’ from ‘alley’ or ‘lane.’ But the distinction is ignored elsewhere; and certainly the ‘street’ (ῥύμη) called ‘Straight’ in Damascus (Acts 9:11) is no ‘alley.’ In the East it would be difficult to maintain the distinction. Even the main streets in cities like Jerusalem and Cairo are often narrow and crooked, more like ‘alleys’ than ‘streets’ in our sense. The footway is made narrow, the upper storeys frequently overhanging the road, for protection against the heat of the sun. Seclusion is a main object aimed at in building Eastern houses: the wall to the street is seldom pierced by windows; the door usually leads through a passage into a court, round which the rooms are arranged. All sorts of filth are cast into the streets (Revelation 11:8). In spite of the scavengering of dogs, their condition is often not only loathsome, but a source of danger to health.

W. Ewing.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Street (2)'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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Sunday, July 5th, 2020
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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