Building a Typical Galilean Home

The typical Galilean house was built of basalt (dark volcanic rock) with the stones carefully squared or "dressed" by a stonemason (sometimes translated as "carpenter").A wooden scaffold is used in the building process. Smaller stones wedged between the larger ones provided stability and strength.

The courtyard in the foreground is located between the various rooms of the complex. It was paved with basalt stones as well.Sometimes, the exterior of the house was covered with mud plaster. The door frame of the house was made of stone ashlars (shaped stones) and was covered by a wooden door.

The construction of the additional room on the house reminds the visitor of the bridegroom who returns to his father's household to prepare a place for his bride. Jesus would have been familiar with houses like this one because of his training as a stonemason and because he lived and taught in such homes throughout Gailiee. (Houses in Korazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum also built in this style and with this material.) Some houses had a second story, like this one.