Pavement is the rendering in the A.V. of רַצפָּה, ritspah', originally a stone heated for baking purposes, and hence a tesselated pavement (2Ch 7:3; Es 1:6; Ezekiel xl, 17, 18; 42:3), once of the cognate term מִרצֶפֶת, martse'pheth, a paved floor (2Ki 16:17). In Joh 19:13 it is the rendering of λιθόστρωτος, which is immediately explained by the Heb. equivalent Gabbatha (q.v.). In the account of the sacrilege of Ahab, we read that he removed the brazen oxen upon which the base in the Temple rested, and substituted a stone pavement (2Ki 16:17). The lower stories of Eastern houses and palaces, in later days, were usually paved with marble (Es 1:6), but in the time of Moses marble was not used for pavements. The "paved work of a sapphire stone" mentioned in Ex 24:10 is therefore supposed to refer to the splendid floors known in Egypt, which were formed of painted tiles or bricks. Champollion and Rosellini have given specimens of these ornamented floors, and fragments of such may be seen in the British Museum. This taste still prevails in the East. Le Bruyn tells us that the mosque at Jerusalem is almost all covered over with green and blue bricks, which are glazed, so that when the sun shines the eve is perfectly dazzled; and Dr. Russell likewise mentions that a portion of the pavement of some of the houses in Syria is composed of mosaic work. SEE HOUSE.

Definition of pavement

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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