No doubt, it is difficult for us to imagine what life was like in ancient times – especially from the comfort of stable and prosperous Australia.
We give little thought to safety for the most part. We might be careful to lock our doors or not walk down certain streets alone after dark. But we don’t give a moment’s thought to the safety of the city as a whole.
And neither should we need to. The prospect that a hostile force would invade Melbourne and carry us off into captivity is so minuscule that we needn’t waste mental energy worrying about it.
Not so in days gone by, though. The city – small as it may have been compared to modern cities – was the place of refuge, safety, security. And that safety was provided firstly by a thick and high wall that surrounded the city, creating a virtually impregnable fortress for the citizens within.
The walls of Jericho were thick enough to have houses built into them, such as the one Rahab lived in [see Josh 2:15]. Archaeologists have found ancient cities with perimeter walls 20m thick. You don’t breach that in a hurry id you are an invading army.
With a secure water and food supply, a city could withstand attack for years. Some have held up for multiple years before being finally overrun – 22 years, in one instance.
Of course, the protection of thick walls was not the only benefit of city living in ancient days…Continue reading