(prop.קַיר, as a defense, or חוֹמָה, as a barrier; sometimes שׁוּר, perhaps from its rocky character; also various forms from the root גָּדִר, to enclose; occasionally חֵיל, from its strength; חִיַוֹ, from its exterior position; חָרוּוֹ, from being dug, etc.; Gr. τεῖχος). The walls of ancient cities and of houses were generally built of earth, or of bricks of clay mixed with reeds or straw and hardened in the sun.. When any breach took place in such a mass of 'earth, either by heavy rains or by some defect in the foundation, the consequences were serious (Ge 49:6; Ps 62:3; Isa 30:13). It is not surprising that walls which were often made in such a rude and perishable manner could be easily destroyed by fire (Am 1:7,10,14). The extensive mounds on the plains of Mesopotamia and Assyria, marking the sites of ancient cities, show that the walls were principally constructed of earth or clay. The thickness of the wall surrounding the palace of Khorsabad is fixed by Botta at 48 feet 9 inches; a very close approximation to the width of the wall of Nineveh, upon Which three chariots could be driven abreast. The wall of Babylon was 87 feet broad, and six chariots could be driven together upon it. Not infrequently stone walls, with towers and a fosse, surrounded fortified cities (Isa 2:15; Isa 9:10; Isa 26:1; Ne 4:3; Zep 1:16). SEE FORTIFICATION.
Houses abutting on the city wall frequently had windows which communicated with the exterior (Jos 2:15; 1Sa 19:12; Ac 9:24-25; 2Co 11:33; see Hackett, Illust. of Script. p. 67 sq.). SEE WINDOW.
In Scripture language a wall is the symbol of resistance or separation. SEE FENCE. The Lord tells the prophet Jeremiah, (Jer 1:18; Jer 15:20) that he will make him as a wall of brass, to withstand the house of Israel. Paul says (Eph 2:14) that Christ, by his death, broke down the partition-wall that separated us from God, or rather the wall that separated Jew and Gentile; so that these two people, when converted, may make but one. SEE PARTITION.
1. The practice was common, in Palestine, of carrying foundations down to the solid rock (Lu 6:48), as in 10:28 the case of the Temple, and in the present day with structures intended to be permanent (Josephus, Ant. 15:11, 3; Robinson, 2, 338; Col. Ch. Chronicles , p. 459), The pains taken by the ancient builders to make good the foundations of their work may still be seen, both in the existing substructions and in the number of old stones used in more modern constructions. Some of these stones- ancient, — but of uncertain date-are from 20 feet to 30 feet 10 inches long, 3 feet to 6 feet 6 inches broad, and 5 feet to 7 feet 6 inches deep (Robinson, 1, 233, 282, 286; 3, 228). As is the case in numberless instances of Syrian buildings, either old or built of old materials, the edges and sometimes the faces of these stones are "beveled" in flat grooves. This is commonly supposed to indicate work at least as old as the Roman period (ibid. 1, 261, 286; 2, 75, 76, 278, 353; 3, 52, 58, 84, 229, 461, 493, 511; Fergusson, Handb. of Archaeol. p. —288). On the contrary side, see Col. Ch. Chron. (1858), p.350.
But the great size of these stones is far exceeded by some of those at Baalbek, three of which are each about 63 feet long; and one, still lying in the quarry, measures 68 feet 4 inches in length; 17 feet 2 inches broad, and 14 feet 7 inches thick. Its weight call scarcely be less than 600 tons (Robinson, 3, 505, 512; Volney, Trav. 2, 241). See STONE.
2. A feature of some parts of Solomon's buildings, as described by Josephlus, corresponds remarkably to the method adopted at Nineveh of encrusting or veneering a wall of brick or stone with slabs of a more costly material, as marble or ababaster (Josephus, Ant. 8:5, 2; Fergusson, Handb. of Archaeol. p. 202, 203).
3. Another use of the walls in Palestine is to support mountain roads, or terraces formed on the sides of hills for purposes of cultivation (Robinson, 2, 493; 3, 14, 45). Hence the "path of the vineyards" (Nu 22:24) is illustrated by Robinson as a pathway through vineyards, with walls on each side (bibl. Res. 2, 80; Stanley, Siam. and Pal. p. 102, 420; Lindsay, Trav. p. 239; Maundrell, Early Trav. p. 437). SEE VINE.
Wall Arcading, a series of niches added as an ornameit in, the interior walls of aisles. At Leuchars, Scotlalnd, andn at All-Saints, Stamford, it adorns the exterior of the Church. At Battle, Merton, Rochester, and Brecon there is a very lofty series of arcading.