It was the custom of the Roman governors to erect their tribunals in open places, as the market-place, the circus, or even the highway. Pilate caused his seat of judgment to be set down in a place called "the Pavement" ( John 19:13 ) i.e., a place paved with a mosaic of coloured stones. It was probably a place thus prepared in front of the "judgment hall." (See GABBATHA .)
In the Old Testament, with the exception of 2 Kings 16:17, the Hebrew word is ritspah (2 Chronicles 7:3; Esther 1:6; Ezekiel 40:17, etc.); in Sirach 20:18 and Bel and the Dragon verse 19 the word is edaphos; in John 19:13, the name "The Pavement" (lithostrotos, "paved with stone") is given to the place outside the Pretorium on which Pilate sat to give judgment upon Jesus. Its Hebrew (Aramaic) equivalent is declared to be GABBATHA (which see). The identification of the place is uncertain.
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