333. Aliyah Stool

2 Kings 4:10; Judges 3:20; 2 Samuel 18:33; 1 Kings 17:19; 1 Kings 17:23; 2 Kings 1:2; 2 Kings 23:12; Psalm 104:3; Psalm 104:13; Jeremiah 22:13; Jeremiah 22:14; Daniel 6:10; Mark 14:15; Luke 22:12; Acts 1:13; Acts 9:37; Acts 9:39; Acts 20:7-8
1. The aliyah. “chamber,” is an upper room of an Eastern house, being sometimes built on the roof, and sometimes making a second story to the porch, to which it has access by stairs. It is hence called in 2 Samuel 18:3333And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son! (2 Samuel 18:33), “the chamber over the gate.” See note on that text (#284). In the text it is called a chamber “in the wall,” probably because its window, opening to the street, made a break in the dead wall, and was thus about the only evidence to an outside spectator of the existence of rooms in the house. It is usually well furnished, and kept as a room for the entertainment of honored guests. Thus the Shunammite entertained Elisha, as related in the text. It was in such a room that Elijah dwelt in Zarephath at the house of the widow (1 Kings 17:19,2319And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. (1 Kings 17:19)
23And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. (1 Kings 17:23)
). In the first of these two verses we have the word “loft” as a translation of the word aliyah, thus conveying to many minds the idea of a bare desolate garret, which is very far from the fact. Further than this. Dr. Thomson states that the poorer kind of houses have no aliyah, which leads him to the conclusion “that this widow woman was not originally among the very poorest classes, but that her extreme destitution was owing to the dreadful famine which then prevailed” (The Land and the Book, vol.1, p. 285).
Such a room makes a desirable place of retirement for the master of the house. Ahaziah was in an aliyah, in his palace of Samaria, when he fell through the lattice-work of the window and injured himself (2 Kings 1:22And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease. (2 Kings 1:2)). Eglon, King of Moab, was in a room of this description when he was assassinated by Ehud (Judg. 3:2020And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlor, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat. (Judges 3:20)). Aliyah is in this text rendered “summer parlor”; the marginal reading is “a parlor of cooling.” Doubtless the latticed windows were so arranged as to keep the room as cool and comfortable as possible.
It was on the roof of an aliyah in the palace of Ahaz that the kings of Judah had erected altars for idolatrous worship (2 Kings 23:1212And the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, did the king beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron. (2 Kings 23:12)). It was in an aliyah where, in the midst of idolaters, Daniel prayed three times daily to the one true God (Dan. 6:1010Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. (Daniel 6:10)). Aliyoth are also referred to in Jeremiah 22:13-1413Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbor's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work; 14That saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is cieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion. (Jeremiah 22:13‑14) and in Psalm 104:3,133Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: (Psalm 104:3)
13He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. (Psalm 104:13)
where the word is most beautifully used in a figurative sense.
It is also supposed by some commentators that the “upper room” where Jesus ate the passover with his disciples was a room of this description (Mark 14:1515And he will show you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. (Mark 14:15); Luke 22:1212And he shall show you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. (Luke 22:12)). Others, however, deny this, since ύπερῷον is not the word used to denote the room. See note on Mark 14:1515And he will show you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. (Mark 14:15) (#745).
2. “Stool,” here, like “loft” in 1 Kings 17:1919And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. (1 Kings 17:19), seems to indicate something very rude; but in reality the original word (kisse) is the very word that is used in some other passages to designate a throne. The seat for the prophet was probably the very best that could be procured.