499. On the Roofs

Isaiah 22:1  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 10
This, as Alexander observes, (com. in loco,) is “a lively description of an Oriental city in commotion.” The flat roofs were used not only for promenading (see note on 2 Sam. 11:22And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. (2 Samuel 11:2), #275), but also as places of general gathering in times of excitement, just as we gather in the streets. From the roofs the inhabitants were accustomed to look down into the streets or afar off on the roads. This they could not do from the windows, as these seldom opened on the street. The prophet represents the entire people assembled on the tops of their houses. The precise object of their gathering he does not state, nor is it here necessary to discuss. Whether for mere curiosity, or to assail the invaders, or to indulge in idolatrous worship, these gatherings on the housetops give a striking illustration of Oriental customs.