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Clarifying the biblical terminology Biblical terminology presents a fluid complexity of meanings. â•›4 Interestingly, the Hebrew expression for ‘family’ connects a kinship term (‫ אב‬ʾāb ‘father’) with a locational term (‫ בית‬beit ‘house’), demonstrating a common conception of the term family household in both modern sociology and ancient Hebrew society (Meyers 1988: 128). , this meaning is obvious. ; ‘house of PN’: Gen 17:23; 28:2; 46:27; 50:8; Judg 8:35; 1 Sam 3:14; 27:3, et al. Methodological Reflections 25 mally called ‫ מׁשפחה‬mišpāḥāh),â•›6 a ‘tribe’ (normally called ‫ ׁשבט‬šēbeṭ or ‫ מטה‬maṭṭeh),â•›7 or even the entire Israelite and Judean unit, ‫‘ ׁשני בתי יׁשראל‬both houses of Israel’; Isa 8:14).

Farther back, the columns generally give way to stone walls and doorways leading into small rooms, generally with dirt floors; in fact, one side may lack columns altogether, having only walled rooms. Across the back stretches the “fourth” room, usually entered from the central space, and usually having a dirt floor. Not infrequently it is subdivided. In the three-room house, one of the aisles is lacking. By the year 1987, no less than 155 examples of fourâ•‚ and three-room houses had been excavated (Holladay 1992: 308).

Stager 1985: 18; and others.  . ” In both models, “family households” may also include people other than kin, such as servants or slaves. ” An example of the utility of their typologies can be seen by applying it to the “stem family household,” which existed in several parts of Europe but appears mostly to have been overlooked by biblical scholars. This type permits the continued existence of a parental joint family household over a longer period only if the inheritance remains largely undivided.

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