Manners and Customs of Bible Lands

By Fred H. Wight


IN THE SPRING of 1951, the author completed a thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts in Religion, at Pasadena College, California, under the title, "A Study of Manners and Customs of Domestic Life in Palestine as Related to the Scriptures." Desire was expressed by certain members of the faculty that additional material be added to the thesis, and that a general textbook be written on Oriental manners and customs bearing on the Scriptures. As a result of this, the manuscript for this book was completed. Chapters 1 through 11 and 13 through 17, plus a small portion of Chapter 26, are substantially the original thesis, the other chapters having been added.

The author is indebted to Dr. G. Frederick Owen, Professor of Archaeology and Biblical Literature at Pasadena College, for his assistance in the project. Dr. Owen has spent several seasons in Palestine doing research work, and his suggestions and criticisms have been a help to the author in writing. With Dr. Owen's permission, some material derived from class notes in a course taught by him in the summer of 1950 on the subject "Manners and Customs of Bible Lands," was included in the thesis and appears in the present work.

It is hoped that the bibliography in the back of this book will be helpful to all those who desire to make a further study of the subject. Complete information about those books listed in the bibliography appears there, rather than in connection with any mention of them in the reference notes. But where books are referred to in the reference notes and are omitted from the bibliography, the full information about them appears in the reference notes.

Many months of research have been given to the preparation of this manuscript, and yet the result is not to be considered an exhaustive treatise on the subject. But the author will consider himself more than repaid for his efforts if, as a result of reading this book, Bible students will find in it real help in understanding and interpreting the Scriptures.



The author wishes to express his appreciation to the following publishers for their permission to quote from their copyrighted publications. Acknowledgment of the author quoted, and the name of the book and its publisher, are given in the reference notes.

The Warner Press, Anderson, Indiana: Palestine Speaks, by Anis C. Haddad, 1936.

The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia, Pa.: The Life of the People in Biblical Times, by Max Radin, 1929.

Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, N.Y.: Abraham; Recent Discoveries and Hebrew Origins, by Sir Leonard Woolley, 1936.