[b-hebrew] grassy roof

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Wed Feb 27 15:06:36 EST 2013

Thanks Pere and others who answered:

Each of the verses where “grass of the roof” is mentioned, also mention the
grass drying up. This would be consistent with grass seeds being blown up
or carried by birds onto a hard roof and not having deep roots. Only a
poorly maintained house would have a lot of grass, if this picture is

I have lived in an area with traditional adobe houses with mud roofs
(actually wood, with a layer of compressed and dried mud as a water sealer)
and properly maintained, they don’t leak, nor do grasses grow on them. On a
somewhat not as well maintained roof, some grasses may grow, but they
quickly dry up because the roof is usually hotter and dryer than the nearby
fields. So the picture of accidental growth, not deliberate planting makes

But in all the country? Is there any evidence from the bronze age or
there-abouts for deliberately sown grass roofs? Or are we still guessing?

Karl W. Randolph.

On Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 10:58 PM, Pere Porta <pporta7 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I think, Karl, that these texts tell on the grass that naturally,
> usually grows on the roofs. Unless the owner of a house is careful to keep
> the roof of his house free of, say, dead leaves, bird nests, pieces of
> paper and other things that the wind sends away onto the air and also
> of grass... usually some grass grows there...
> I do not think that the texts refer to a grass that would have been
> purposely sown on the roof.
> This is my opinion that I hope is useful for you.
> Hearty, .
> Pere Porta
> 2013/2/26 K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com>
>> Dear All:
>> This is just a little curiosity—what evidence from archaeology is there
>> to suggest that ancient Israel houses were built grass growing on the
>> roofs? I’m familiar with such construction from Scandinavian history,
>> particularly Norwegian, but was the same practice done in ancient Judea?
>> Linguistic reason for the question comes from 2 Kings 19:26, Isaiah 37:27
>> and Psalm 129:6 where mention is made of the grass of the roofs. From other
>> contexts, this is not short grass, but the type found in pastures where
>> cattle graze.
>> Another possibility that these verses refer to thatch roofs, but the
>> contexts seems to say that these are living roofs with green grass. A very
>> different picture of houses than what I had pictured over the years.
>> Karl W. Randolph,
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> --
> Pere Porta
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