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The kitchen utensils and table furnishings are simple. They consist of a clay pot, a brazier, a dish in which to roast coffee beans, two large wooden bowls for dough, and two smaller ones for serving food, a sieve or two, a wooden cooking spoon, a brass coffee pot, and a few tiny coffee cups.

The part of the house not used by the family is called the stable. Under the mastaby are the winter quarters of the sheep and goats. The rest of the floor space, which is open to the ceiling, is the stable proper, where the work and pack animals, the cattle, a donkey, and perhaps a camel, are kept.

Around the walls are mangers of rough slabs of stone plastered with mortar. In many stables a raised platform is built, on which the farmer sleeps to watch the newly born lambs, lest they get crushed by the older sheep.

Entertaining the stranger. It was probably into a home such as the one described that Mary and Joseph came after being turned away from the crowded inn. Perhaps the mastaby was already filled, so the people who always offered hospitality (as they do now) gave the manger to the weary travelers. Matthew in describing the visit of the wise men to the Holy Child says, "When they were come into the house” (Matt. 2. 11), and no mention is made of stable in the Gospel accounts. Many homes are built over caves which are used for the stable portion of the house. The Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem which we visited (Lesson XVIII) is built over such a cavern.

Occasionally travelers see two-room houses. In these one room is used as a kitchen and as quarters for the women. The other is for the entertainment of the men and contains couches and perhaps a rug, a native pipe, or nargileh, a chair without a back, and a gourd bottle.

The guest chamber.-Each village has an upper room, or guest chamber. This is the social center for the men of the village, who like to gossip and discuss the news. A hired servant attends to the village guest chamber. The villagers take turns in supplying food and bedding for chance guests. In many places the poor and strangers are entertained free. If important personages arrive and a more expensive meal is needed, the supplies are furnished by the different families in turn. Each resident gives barley for the beasts, according to the land he



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When guests arrive they are joined by the men of the village, who chat and smoke. Each man carries his own tobacco and rolls his cigarette or fills a long-tubed pipe from his supply. A midday meal for the guests consists of hot bread, fried eggs, and curdled milk or fresh butter, with a little pile of sugar on top of it.

A feast.—If a chief from a neighboring town is to be entertained, a young kid or goat is killed and stewed in a great kettle. The stew is poured over a mound of boiled rice served in large wooden bowls which are lined with small pieces of bread. All the men of the village come to the feast and each brings with him two thin loaves of bread. The guests sit according to their rank on the floor, and eat from the large dish, using their fingers for knives and forks. As each group finishes eating, a servant pours water on their hands, just as Elisha served Elijah in days of old (2 Kings 3. 11).

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In some villages the food for visitors is cooked in one of the homes and carried in a huge dish to the guest house. After an evening of coffee and chatting, beds are spread for the guests. If a man is traveling with his family, he must wait about the 3. Contrast a village in Palestine with one in your own State.

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village until some passer-by invites him into his home, for the village guest chamber is not for women. 1. Why are so many of the towns of the East walled and the

gates closed at night? 2. Why do farmers comprise the chief population of the villages

of Palestine?

Account for the differences. 4. Tell how the lands are held in the Holy Land. Compare it

with land ownership in America. 5. Describe the home of a peasant in Palestine; his fields. Why

are they not around his home as in the United States?



The village peasants of Palestine vary in appearance, mental force, and culture from district to district. If given a chance, most of them are industrious and thrifty. They are slow of motion, strong and willing to work hard for a time, but not steady. Many of them are content to remain near the spot where they were born, never having seen even the Jordan! In most cases they use the same kinds of implements and methods that their forefathers used and are entirely satisfied. Some Christian farmers are more progressive, and have become tolerably wealthy. The peasants are shrewd at business. They love their families and are kind to them.


The villagers raise wheat, barley, vegetables, and fruits in the valleys and on the hill-slopes. Most of them own a few animals, and many have flocks and herds. In some parts of Palestine much of the hillside land is terraced and excellent vineyards are found.

Protected property.—The vineyards are often bordered with mud walls which are topped with thornbushes to keep out the dogs, foxes, jackals, and even bears, which like to eat grapes.

Solomon says, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes" (Cant. 2. 15). In large vineyards towers of stone are built and watchmen with guns are employed to keep out the animals or an enemy who might destroy the vines. Christ described one of these large vineyards in his parable

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