The usually horizontal covering of rooms or buildings. Simple roof construction usually comprised a horizontal bed of branches or beams, sometimes supported by columns, on which layers of earth or limestone plaster were laid. They weathered in the rainy season and needed to be restored in dry weather. Building roofs served primarily to give shade, to keep out rain or other foul weather, and to support a variety of activities carried out on rooftops, from sleeping to storage to sounding alarms. The law required that parapets be built around roofs to reduce the hazard of falling (Deut 22:8). Roofs provided storage as well as a hiding space (Josh 2:6-8), a room usable as a latrine (Judg 3:20-25), or an observation platform (Judg 16:27). From his roof David saw Bathsheba’s bath (2Sam 11:2), and a roof was used for a guest room for Elisha (2Kgs 4:10). The palace roof was suitable for various shrines to foreign gods (2Kgs 23:12), and a house roof could serve as a platform from which to lower a sick man’s bed to a room inside (Mark 2:4; Luke 5:19). Roofs needed regular restoration (Eccl 10:18).

Deut 22:8

8When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof; otherwise you might have bloodguilt on your house, if anyone should fall from it.

Josh 2:6-8

6She had, however, brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax that she had laid out on the roof.7So the men pursued them on the way to ... View more

Judg 3:20-25

20Ehud came to him, while he was sitting alone in his cool roof chamber, and said, “I have a message from God for you.” So he rose from his seat.21Then Ehud rea ... View more

Judg 16:27

27Now the house was full of men and women; all the lords of the Philistines were there, and on the roof there were about three thousand men and women, who looke ... View more

2Sam 11:2

2It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathin ... View more

2Kgs 4:10

10Let us make a small roof chamber with walls, and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”

2Kgs 23:12

12The altars on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars that Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house o ... View more

Mark 2:4

4And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on whi ... View more

Luke 5:19

19but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd ... View more

Eccl 10:18

18Through sloth the roof sinks in,
and through indolence the house leaks.

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