The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Cities in the Ancient near East
Cities in the Ancient Near East Centers of permanent collective settlement that first arose primarily in the Early Bronze Age in the fourth millennium bc.
Cities in the Ancient Near East, Critical Issues
Cities in the Ancient Near East, Critical Issues Surveys the role of cities in the ancient Near East, especially with regard to their affiliation with deities. Highlights major artifacts.An understanding of the structures and activities associated with urban life in the ancient Near East provides readers
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
CITIES. There is no single definition of a city. As a cultural phenomenon, the nature of a city depends on the social and historical context within which it evolved (Eisenstadt and Shachar 1987). Generally speaking, however, a city is a permanent settlement which serves as a center for a large region
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
City. Settled group of people living in permanent dwellings and bound together by political, economic, and (in biblical times) kinship ties. The Bible does not generally distinguish between city, town, and village. The emphasis upon walls (Lv 25:29–31) and fortifications (Jos 19:35), with repeated references
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
City [Heb. ‘îr, qiryâ, qereṯ; Aram qiryâ, qiryā’; Gk. pólis]. No apparent distinctions are implied in the use of the various terms. Ancient cities exhibited considerable differences, and terminological distinctions on the basis of size, character, or function, if they did occur, were entirely
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
CITY The Bible does not generally distinguish between city, town, and village. The emphasis upon walls (Lv 25:29–31) and fortifications (Jos 19:35), with repeated references to towers, gates, and sieges, indicates that cities provided the primary security for the surrounding towns and villages.Origin
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
cities. According to Gen. 4:17, Cain built the first city and named it Enoch after his son. Later, the Tower of Babel story relates that God confused the languages of human beings who presumptuously wanted to build a great city for themselves (Gen. 11:4–7). Hundreds of cities are mentioned in the Bible,
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
CITY. As in modern times so also in the ancient world, the line of demarcation between “city” and “town/village” was nebulous. There seems to have been no distinction in the several Heb. words for city: ˓îr, qiryâ and qāret. Heb. sha˓ar (“gate”) frequently stands by synecdoche for “city,” especially
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
CityTwo kinds of cities appear in the world of the Bible, one ancient Near Eastern (Heb. ʿɩ̂r), the other Hellenistic (Gk. pólis). The peoples of Syria-Palestine established ancient Near Eastern cities like Jericho and Megiddo as early as 3000 b.c.e. Hebrew cities in this tradition have been excavated
City (NEW TESTAMENT)Cities played an important role in the social, cultural, and religious world of the Roman Empire, anecdotally illustrated in the Latin root for civilization (civitas, “city”). Jesus’ ministry took place on the outskirts of cities in and around the Galilee, Paul’s travels and letter-writing
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
City (Heb. ˓îr; qiryâ; Aram. qiryâ, qiryā˒; Gk. pólis). The development of cities was determined by the availability of arable soil, suitable access, the availability of water, and, above all, the possibility of easy defense. Accordingly, many cities were built on a hill—the more isolated,
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Cities. The earliest notice in Scripture of city-building is of Enoch by Cain, in the land of his exile. Gen. 4:17. After the confusion of tongues the descendants of Nimrod founded Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar, and Asshur, a branch from the same stock, built Nineveh, Rehoboth-by-the-river,
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
CITY (Heb. ˓ı̂r, poetical qiryâ). In the most ancient times the only distinction between village and city was that an assemblage of houses and buildings surrounded by a wall was reckoned a city and one without such surroundings was a village (Lev. 25:29–31; 1 Sam. 6:18; Ezek. 38:11).Later, cities became
Key passages
Tob 1:4

And when I was in my country, in the land of Israel, being in my youth, all the tribe of Naphtali, my ancestor, withdrew from the house of Jerusalem, which was selected from all the tribes of Israel to sacrifice for all the tribes. And the sanctuary of the habitation of the Most High was sanctified …

Jdt 1:1–4

It was the twelfth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled over Assyria in the great city of Nineveh. In those days, Arphaxad ruled over Medes in Ecbatana. And he built in Ecbatana fortification walls round about out of hewn stones, three cubits wide …

Jdt 6:7–8

And my slaves shall return you to the hill country and put you in one of the cities along the passages. And you will not perish until which time you perish with them.

2 Mac 13:4–6

But the King of kings stirred up the anger of Antiochus against the sinner, and, after Lysias pointed out that this one was responsible for the evils and everything, he commanded to bring him into Beroea to put him to death however is customary in that region. And there is in that place a tower …

3 Mac 5:41

On account of these things, the city is in tumult because of its expectation and is now filled with tumultuous bands of people and altogether runs the risk of being plundered.”

See also