Picture
Roman Public Toilets at Ostia, Italy. Second Century AD.
Text: 2 Kings 9:27 "And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day."

The archaic Hebrew word for Draught House is "macharaoth". It is plural and means "latrine" or "privy".  Even though the Masoretes (early Hebrew Scholars)  preferred a less offensive word and substituted "sinks" in their translation, the meaning is still the same.  A draught house was a multi-person public toilet.

When it comes to archaeology, one never knows what one will dig
up. Research on ancient restrooms has revealed that the earliest known comfort spots were spontaneous, such as in caves or behind rocks or a bush. This is probably what the Children of Israel used while making their wilderness journey. Later, after settlement, 
people began to construct actual facilities for this necessity.

Public latrines have been excavated in many areas of the ancient world. In the middle east, the most common early restroom consisted of a simple building enclosing a row of stone slabs that had holes carved into them. The stone slabs were positioned over a ditch or drain that contained running water and allowed the waste to flow out of the building.

The first Biblical mention of a public restroom is the draught house of 2 Kings 9:27. However, Ezra 6:11 and Dan 2:5 allude to something similar.  In these verses, the term "dunghill" is  also translated as "sink". meaning a human restroom. In these two verse, the  dunghill is associated with something utterly detestable.

Among the ancient Oriental cultures, any curse and its associated action that had anything to do with dung was considered to be an insult of the highest form. It called for utter humiliation and total degradation.

From Sir John Chardin:  "The eastern people are more exquisite in taking vengeance than those in the west.  An example of such is that when Abbas the Great, King of Persia, having conquered Bagdad, treated the tomb of Hanifah, one of the fathers of the church among the Turks, as a draught house. ("Hewlett's Commentary and Annotations on the Holy Scriptures", Vol 2. Published 1816.)

The introductory text tells that 
one of the first official acts of King Jehu, after coming to the throne, was to utterly defile and destroy Baal. Thus, he committed three insulting acts: 


1. Tore down the statue of Ball.
2. Tore down the temple of Baal.
3. And used the rubble as a draught house (meaning that the Israelites defecated on it.)


When finished, everything associated with Baal and his worship and been reduced to unclean and contemptuous. 


Copyright by Ancient Bible History - Eden Games Inc.

 


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