Through the Ages – The Judges Punishment
Galilee 1st Century
Here’s one about the mother in law…
Extended families lived together under one roof. Mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents. What a crowd! Mot so good if you didn’t get on with the family really! And all the children! Women were expected to have as many children as they possible could so there would have been heaps of kiddies running around. Women had to do this because it says so in one of God’s commandments
“…be fruitful and increase in number…” (Gen 34:10,11)
A good thing was that they could get married early. Boys could be married off at the age of 13 whilst girls were sent off to their husbands from the age of 12.
Boys were expected to take up the family trade. Bakers, weavers, carpenters, all these jobs made up the professions of the commoners of Jerusalem and 90% of the population were commoners.
These people lived in 2 or 3 storey houses with walls made of lime. They had little niches built into the walls to use as shelves and stoves made out of clay. Fires were lit in these stoves and dried animal dung was used to keep the home fires burning. What a nice smell to welcome your new wife home to!
A woman’s work is never done…
The girls of the house would have been set to work as soon as possible and they would have to take care of the household and cook the food. Fruit and veggies were eaten mostly as meat had to be ritually killed. Dates, pomegranates, figs and melons were in plentiful supply – yummy!
Has someone been eating figs again?
The streets were smelly and dark. Houses were built close together and there were just tiny alleyways between them. Dogs, chickens, goats and donkeys would wander the streets and people would throw their sewage out of their windows and into the gutters. Phooey, there isn’t much rain in Jerusalem and so most of the waste would just sit in the gutters and stink the place up for most if the year.
Rich man poor man…
The 10% of landed gentry lived in beautiful houses away from the masses of the city. These houses had gorgeous gardens and mosaics as well as tiled floors and heated baths. These people were quite keen on bathing and did it as often ass they could – well; the rich did so anyway. Others had to make do with the purity baths that they had to take before they were allowed to enter the temples.
You were considered to be impure if you had come into contact with bones, dead bodies or catacombs, if you had just given birth or were menstruating.
Because it doesn’t rain much, special trenches were built on the tops of the houses to collect any precious rainwater. There were also reservoirs built in the basements of houses to keep as much water as possible.
A lot of people got sick in this day and age but most of them counted on help from God to make them better. They would gather outside temples and the Bethesda Pools. The Angel of God was supposed to visit these pool sometimes and make the water boil. The first few people who got to enter this water claimed that they got better.
Beats waiting in line at the pharmacy I guess and you got a good wash at the same time! And at least it got you out of the house and away from the mother in law for a while!