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From: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

    The materials used in buildings were commonly bricks, sometimes
    also stones (Lev. 14:40, 42), which were held together by cement
    (Jer. 43:9) or bitumen (Gen. 11:3). The exterior was usually
    whitewashed (Lev. 14:41; Ezek. 13:10; Matt. 23:27). The beams
    were of sycamore (Isa. 9:10), or olive-wood, or cedar (1 Kings
    7:2; Isa. 9:10).
      The form of Eastern dwellings differed in many respects from
    that of dwellings in Western lands. The larger houses were built
    in a quadrangle enclosing a court-yard (Luke 5:19; 2 Sam. 17:18;
    Neh. 8:16) surrounded by galleries, which formed the
    guest-chamber or reception-room for visitors. The flat roof,
    surrounded by a low parapet, was used for many domestic and
    social purposes. It was reached by steps from the court. In
    connection with it (2 Kings 23:12) was an upper room, used as a
    private chamber (2 Sam 18:33; Dan. 6:11), also as a bedroom (2
    Kings 23:12), a sleeping apartment for guests (2 Kings 4:10),
    and as a sick-chamber (1 Kings 17:19). The doors, sometimes of
    stone, swung on morticed pivots, and were generally fastened by
    wooden bolts. The houses of the more wealthy had a doorkeeper or
    a female porter (John 18:16; Acts 12:13). The windows generally
    opened into the courtyard, and were closed by a lattice (Judg.
    5:28). The interior rooms were set apart for the female portion
    of the household.
      The furniture of the room (2 Kings 4:10) consisted of a couch
    furnished with pillows (Amos 6:4; Ezek. 13:20); and besides
    this, chairs, a table and lanterns or lamp-stands (2 Kings