Dwell (expressed by various Hebrews and Gr. words often differently rendered, e.g. גּוּר, יָשִׁב, לוּן, שָׁכִן, זָבלִ; κάθημαι, οἰκέω, μένω, σκηνόω). It has been thought, both from Scripture and from profane authors, that the first abodes of men were caves and clefts in the rock; these abound to a remarkable degree in those countries which we know to have been the earliest peopled, and still serve as ordinary habitations. SEE CAVE. In succeeding ages they abode generally in tents, as the Arabs of the desert do to this day. The invention of these is ascribed to Jabal, the son of Lamech, who is termed "the father of such as dwell in tents" (Ge 4:20); though, from comparing this verse with the 17th, we may be led to suppose that men lived in houses of some kind before they lived in tents. SEE TENT. The art of multiplying stories in a building is very ancient, as we may gather from the construction of Noah's ark and the tower of Babel. The houses in Babylon, according to Herodotus, were three or four stories high, and those in Thebes, or Diospolis, in Egypt, four or five stories. They appear to have been low in Palestine in the time of Joshua; an upper story, although it may have existed, is not mentioned till a more recent age. Buckingham states that the houses at Mousul "are mostly constructed of small unhewn stones, cemented by mortar, and plastered over with mud, though some are built of burnt and unburnt bricks." Our Lord alludes to houses built of mud at the close of his sermon on the mount (Mt 7:26-27), which were ill calculated to resist the effects of the impetuous torrents that descended from the mountains of Palestine. In India, nothing is more common than for thieves to dig or break through these mud walls while the unsuspecting inhabitants are asleep, so as to plunder them. To similar depredations our Savior appears to allude when he exhorts his disciples not to lay up their treasure where thieves break through and steal (Mt 6:19-20). Job also seems to refer to the same practice (Mt 24:16). In the holes of these walls serpents sometimes conceal themselves, which is alluded to by the prophet Amos (Am 5:19). It appears from Ex 5:7, that in Egypt straw anciently entered into the composition of bricks; they were a mixture of clay, mud, and straw, slightly blended and kneaded together, and afterwards baked in the sun. Philo, in his Life of Moses, says that they used straw to bind their bricks. In the remains of Egyptian edifices, the straw still preserves its original color and is a clear proof that they were never burnt in stacks or kilns. Dr. Richardson found near the ruins of Tentyra huts built of sun- dried brick made of straw and clay. SEE DWELLING.

God, it is said, "dwells in light," in respect to his independent possession of his own glorious attributes (1Ti 6:16; 1Jo 1:7). He dwells in heaven in respect to his more immediate presence there (Ps 123:1). He dwells in his Church in the continued bestowal of his ordinances, and of his gracious supporting and comforting influences (Ps 9:11; 1Jo 4:12). Christ dwelt among men in his state of humiliation on earth (Joh 1:14). He dwells in our hearts by faith, he is united to us as our head; his righteousness is imputed to us, and applied to our consciences; his spirit and grace are fixed in our hearts; he loves and delights in us (Eph 3:17-19). The Holy Spirit dwells in us, and sheds abroad his gracious influence (Ro 8; Ro 9; 1Co 3:16; 2Ti 1:14). The Word of God dwells in us richly, when it is carefully studied, firmly believed, and diligently practiced (Ps 119:11; Col 3:16). Wickedness, vengeance, or judgment is said to dwell in or upon a person or land when it long continues there (Job 11:14; Job 18:15; Isa 32:16).

Definition of dwell

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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