Door-Keeper (שׁוֹעֵר, shoer', 1Ch 15:23-24, a gate-tender, or "porter," as elsewhere rendered; but in Ps 84:11, סָפִŠ, saphaph', to sit at the threshold; Sept. παραρίπτεσθαι; Vulg. abjectus esse; Gr. θυρωρός, Joh 18:16-17; elsewhere likewise "porter"), a person appointed to keep the street-door leading by an alley-way to the interior entrance of an Oriental house (q.v.). This was originally doubtless a male, but in later times, in imitation perhaps of Greek and Roman usages (see Kitto, Pict. Bible, note on John 1.c.; no such custom, however, appears in classical writers; see Smith's Dict. of Class. Antiq. pages 514 b, 527 b), a female janitress or portress often held this post (Joh 18:16; Ac 12:13). SEE PORTER. In Ps 84:10, the word "door-keeper" does not convey the proper meaning of the original, because the preference of the Psalmist was evidently given to a very humble situation, whereas that of a door-keeper, in Eastern estimation, is truly respectable and confidential. The gods are always represented as having door-keepers, who were of great dignity and power, as they also fought against other deities. In the heathen temples there are images near the entrance called kaval karan, guards, or door-keepers. SEE ANUBIS; SEE ASP. Kings and great men, also, have officers whose business it is to stand at the door or gate as keepers of the entrance. The most dignified native of Ceylon is the maha modeliar of the governor's gate, to whom all others must make obeisance. The word door-keeper, therefore, does not convey the idea of humility, but of honor. The marginal reading of our version, however, to "sit at the threshold," at once strikes an Eastern mind as a situation of deep humility. See the poor heathen devotee; he goes and sits near the threshold of his temple. Look at the beggar; he sits or prostrates himself at the threshold of the door or gate till he shall have gained his suit. "I am in great trouble; I will go and lie down at the door of the temple." "Friend, you appear to be very ill." "Yes." "Then go and prostrate yourself at the threshold of the temple." The Psalmist therefore probably refers to the attitude of a beggar or suppliant at the threshold of the house of the Lord as being preferable to the splendid dwellings of the wicked. SEE BEGGAR.

Bible concordance for DOORKEEPERS.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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