(Heb. tsir), that on which a door revolves. "Doors in the East turn rather on pivots than on what we term hinges. In Syria, and especially in the Hauran, there are many ancient doors, consisting of stone slabs with pivots carved out of the same piece inserted in sockets above and below, and fixed during the building of the house" ( Proverbs 26:14 ).
Both ancient Egyptian and modern Oriental doors were and are hung by means of pivots turning in sockets on both the upper and lower sides. ( 1 Kings 7:50 ) In Syria, and especially the Hauran, there are many ancient doors consisting of stone slabs with pivots carved out of the same piece, inserted in sockets above and below, and fixed during the building of the house. The allusion in ( Proverbs 26:14 ) is thus clearly explained. [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Hinges of Jewish sacred buildings in Scripture are mentioned only in connection with Solomon's temple. Here those for the doors, both of the oracle and of the outer temple, are said to have been of gold (1 Kings 7:50). By this is probably to be understood that the pivots upon which the doors swung, and which turned in the sockets of the threshold and the lintel, were cased in gold. The proverb, "As the door turneth upon its hinges, so doth the sluggard upon his bed" (Proverbs 26:14), describes the ancient mode of ingress and egress into important edifices. In the British Museum are many examples of stone sockets taken from Babylonian and Assyrian palaces and temples, engraved with the name and titles of the royal builder; while in the Hauran doors of a single slab of stone with stone pivots are still found in situ. Hinges, as we understand the word, were unknown in the ancient world.
See HOUSE, II, 1.
W. Shaw Caldecott
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