The Road of the Roofs
Wisdom's Corner
The Road of the Roofs

In Matthew 24:3-22 Jesus tells his disciples about the future destruction of Jerusalem. In verse 17 we read, "Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house."

Many times the houses in Judea were two stories tall. And the roof was used as an extra room. During the summer the family might sleep on it because it would be cooler. Many meals would be eaten on the roof. A better class dwelling might have a roof paved with brick, stone, or other hard substance. A staircase usually led from the street up to the roof.

In the cities the houses were built close together. Each roof had a three foot high border which helped keep people from accidently falling off. But there was a space left open on the side next to another house. This allowed people to go from one house top to another. This communication from house top to house top was known as "the road of the roofs." A person could walk the full length of a block without going down to the street or inside a house. When he reached the last house he could go down the staircase.

Jesus may have been referring to this "road of the roofs" in verse 17. If someone was on the roof of their home when they saw the coming enemy army of the Romans, they should run the "road" and go down the last staircase to flee to the mountains(v.16). If they took time to go down their own staircase and go in their home, they might not have time to escape.

History tells us that the Jews who listened to Jesus and did what he had told them to do, lived to escape. The only Jews who would have obeyed this would be the ones who had become Christians. They trusted and believed in Jesus.

We have the word of God in the Bible. We can know what we are supposed to do to be ready to flee from Satan when he tempts us. And we can know what we must do to be ready for the Judgement Day when Jesus returns. But we must study God's word to know these things.

Until next time, keep reading your Bible. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

Mark McWhorter

Copyright 1999

Published by The Old Paths Bible School