From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [1]

1: Ἀγοραῖος (Strong'S #60 — Adjective — agoraios — ag-or-ah'-yos )

is an adjective, "signifying pertaining to the agora, any place of public meeting, and especially where trials were held,"  Acts 19:38; the RV translates the sentence "the courts are open;" a more literal rendering is "court days are kept." In  Acts 17:5 it is translated in the RV, "rabble;" AV, "baser sort," lit., "frequenters of the markets." See Baser.

2: Αὐλή (Strong'S #833 — Noun Feminine — aule — ow-lay' )

primarily, "an uncovered space around a house, enclosed by a wall, where the stables were," hence was used to describe (a) "the courtyard of a house;" in the OT it is used of the "courts" of the tabernacle and Temple; in this sense it is found in the NT in  Revelation 11:2; (b) "the courts in the dwellings of well-to-do folk," which usually had two, one exterior, between the door and the street (called the proaulion, or "porch,"  Mark 14:68 ), the other, interior, surrounded by the buildings of the dwellings, as in  Matthew 26:69 (in contrast to the room where the judges were sitting);   Mark 14:66;  Luke 22:55; AV, "hall;" RV "court" gives the proper significance,  Matthew 26:3,58;  Mark 14:54;  15:16 (RV, "Praetorium");   Luke 11:21;  John 18:15 . It is here to be distinguished from the Praetorium, translated "palace." See Hall , Palace. For the other meaning "sheepfold,"   John 10:1,16 , see Fold.

3: Βασίλειον (Strong'S #933 — Noun Neuter — basileion — bas-il'-i-on )

an adjective meaning "royal," signifies, in the neuter plural, "a royal palace," translated "kings' courts" in  Luke 7:25; in the singular,  1—Peter 2:9 , "royal." See Royal.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [2]

Châtsêr ( חָצֵר , Strong'S #2691), “court; enclosure.” This word is related to a common Semitic verb that has two meanings: “to be present,” in the sense of living at a certain place (encampment, residence, court), and “to enclose, surround, press together.” In the Hebrew Old Testament, châtsêr appears about 190 times; its usage is welldistributed throughout, except for the minor prophets.

In some Hebrew dictionaries, the usage of châtsêr as “settled abode,” “settlement,” or “village” is separated from the meaning “court.” But most modern dictionaries identify only one root with two related meanings.

The first biblical occurrence of châtsêr is in Gen. 25:16: “These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns —and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.” Here châtsêr is related to the first meaning of the root; this occurs less frequently than the usage meaning “court.” The châtsêr (“settlement”) was a place where people lived without an enclosure to protect them. The word is explained in Lev. 25:31: “But the houses of the villages which have no wall round about them shall be counted as the fields of the country  :—they may be redeemed, and they shall go out in the jubilee.” Châtsêr signifies the “settlements” of seminomadic peoples: the Ishmaelites (Gen. 25:16), the Avim (Deut. 2:23), and Kedar (Isa. 42:11).

Châtsêr also denotes a “settlement” of people outside the city wall. The cities of Canaan were relatively small and could not contain the whole population. In times of peace, residents of the city might build homes and workshops for themselves outside the wall and establish a separate quarter. If the population grew, the king or governor often decided to enclose the new quarter by surrounding it with a wall and incorporating the section into the existing city, in order to protect the population from bandits and warriors. Jerusalem gradually extended its size westward; at the time of Hezekiah, it had grown into a large city. Huldah the prophetess lived in such a development, known in Hebrew as the mishneh  : “… she dwelt in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter” (2 Kings 22:14, RSV).

The Book of Joshua includes Israel’s victories in Canaan’s major cities as well as the suburbs: “Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages …” (19:7; cf. 15:45, 47; 21:12).

The predominant usage of châtsêr is “court,” whether of a house, a palace, or the temple. Each house generally had a courtyard surrounded by a wall or else one adjoined several homes: “Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom: but they went both of them away quickly, and came to a man’s house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court; whither they went down” (2 Sam. 17:18). Solomon’s palace had several “courts”— an outer “court,” an “enclosed space” around the palace, and a “court” around which the palace was built. Similarly, the temple had various courts. The psalmist expressed his joy in being in the “courts” of the temple, where the birds built their nests (Ps. 84:3); “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Ps. 84:10). God’s people looked forward to the thronging together of all the people in God’s “courts”: “… In the courts of the Lord’s house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem” (Ps. 116:19).

The Septuagint translations are: aule (“courtyard; farm; house; outer court; palace”), epaulis —(“farm; homestead; residence”), and kome (“village; small town”). The KJV gives these translations: “court; village; town.”

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [3]

Court ( αὐλή, translation ‘court’ in  Revelation 11:2, ‘sheepfold’ or ‘fold’ in  John 10:1;  John 10:16, and ‘palace’ [ Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ‘court’] in  Matthew 26:3;  Matthew 26:69 etc.).* [Note: ‘In kings’ courts’ of  Luke 7:25 represents ἑν το͂ις βκσιλυοις [only occurrence of this Gr. word in NT].] —The ‘court’ is an essential part of the typical Oriental house. The Eastern house represented on the monuments of Egypt and Assyria is much like that now found, and doubtless found in the time of Christ, in Palestine. It is built around an open square called ‘the court,’ into which each room opens, seldom one room into another. Sometimes the house has more than one ‘court,’ if the wealth or the official station of the owner warrants it.

In the richer private and public houses the ‘court’ is fitted up with great magnificence. In Damascus we find several courts connected with a single house, in some cases of rare richness and beauty. The houses of two or more storeys have chambers on each floor opening on to a common balcony running round the inside of the court, with a staircase in a corner of the court open to the sky. This type of ‘court’ is usually paved with marble or flagging, and has a well or fountain in the centre ( 2 Samuel 17:18), with orange and lemon trees and other shrubs around it. Some of them are planted with choice tropical trees, and the walls, verandahs, staircases, etc., are covered and adorned with creepers and vines of untold varieties.

In  Matthew 26:69 it is said that ‘Peter sat without, ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ,’ i.e. in the ‘court’ of the high priest’s house ( Matthew 26:58). It was during the trial of Jesus; and ‘without’ is used in contrast with an implied ‘within’—the interior of the audience-room in which Jesus was appearing before the authorities. Peter was not allowed into this room, but was out in the open air of the ‘court’; and this was ‘beneath’ ( Mark 14:66), i.e. on a somewhat lower level than the audience-chamber.

The ‘court of the Gentiles,’ which was ‘without the temple’ ( Revelation 11:2), was on the lowest level or terrace of the Holy Mountain, and separated from the ‘Sanctuary’ or ‘Mountain of the House’ by a stone wall four or five feet high, called ‘the Soreg .’ All Gentiles were warned to remain outside of this sacred enclosure under penalty of death (cf.  Acts 21:28-29;  Acts 24:11;  Acts 26:21). See also artt. Door, House.

Geo. B. Eager.

Webster's Dictionary [4]

(1): (n.) The residence of a sovereign, prince, nobleman, or ether dignitary; a palace.

(2): (n.) The collective body of persons composing the retinue of a sovereign or person high in authority; all the surroundings of a sovereign in his regal state.

(3): (n.) Any formal assembling of the retinue of a sovereign; as, to hold a court.

(4): (n.) Attention directed to a person in power; conduct or address designed to gain favor; courtliness of manners; civility; compliment; flattery.

(5): (n.) The hall, chamber, or place, where justice is administered.

(6): (n.) The persons officially assembled under authority of law, at the appropriate time and place, for the administration of justice; an official assembly, legally met together for the transaction of judicial business; a judge or judges sitting for the hearing or trial of causes.

(7): (n.) An inclosed space; a courtyard; an uncovered area shut in by the walls of a building, or by different building; also, a space opening from a street and nearly surrounded by houses; a blind alley.

(8): (n.) A tribunal established for the administration of justice.

(9): (n.) The judge or judges; as distinguished from the counsel or jury, or both.

(10): (n.) The session of a judicial assembly.

(11): (n.) Any jurisdiction, civil, military, or ecclesiastical.

(12): (n.) A place arranged for playing the game of tennis; also, one of the divisions of a tennis court.

(13): (v. i.) To play the lover; to woo; as, to go courting.

(14): (v. t.) To endeavor to gain the favor of by attention or flattery; to try to ingratiate one's self with.

(15): (v. t.) To endeavor to gain the affections of; to seek in marriage; to woo.

(16): (v. t.) To attempt to gain; to solicit; to seek.

(17): (v. t.) To invite by attractions; to allure; to attract.

King James Dictionary [5]


1. A place in front of a house, inclosed by a wall or fence in popular language, a court-yard. 2. A space inclosed by houses, broader than a street or a space forming a kind of recess from a public street. 3. A palace the place of residence of a king or sovereign prince. 4. The hall, chamber or place where justice is administered.

St. Paul was brought into the highest court in Athens.

5. Persons who compose the retinue or council of a king or emperor. 6. The persons or judges assembled for hearing and deciding causes, criminal, military, naval or ecclesiastical as a court of law a court of chancery a court martial a court of admiralty an ecclesiastical court court baron &c. Hence, 7. Any jurisdiction, military, or ecclesiastical. 8. The art of pleasing the art of insinuation civility flattery address to gain favor. Hence the phrase, to make court, to attempt to please by flattery and address. 9. In scripture, an inclosed part of the entrance into a palace or house. The tabernacle had one court the temple, three. The first was the court of the Gentiles the second, the court of Israel, in which the people worshiped the third was the court of the priests, where the priests and Levites exercised their ministry. Hence places of public worship are called the courts of the Lord. 10. In the United States, a legislature consisting of two houses as the General court of Massachusetts. The original constitution of Connecticut established a General Court in 1639. 11. A session of the legislature.


1. In a general sense, to flatter to endeavor to please by civilities and address a use of the word derived from the manners of a court. 2. To woo to solicit for marriage.

A thousand court you, though they court in vain.

3. To attempt to gain by address to solicit to seek as, to court commendation or applause.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [6]

an entrance into a palace or house ( See House . ) The great courts belonging to the temple of Jerusalem were three; the first called the court of the Gentiles, because the Gentiles were allowed to enter so far, and no farther; the second was the court of Israel, because all the Israelites, provided they were purified, had a right of admission into it; the third was that of the priests, where the altar of burnt-offerings stood, where the priests and Levites exercised their ministry. Common Israelites, who were desirous of offering sacrifices, were at liberty to bring their victims as far as the inner part of the court; but they could not pass a certain line of separation, which divided it into two; and they withdrew as soon as they had delivered their sacrifices and offerings to the priests, or had made their confession with the ceremony of laying their hands upon the head of the victim, if it were a sin-offering. Before the temple was built, there was a court belonging to the tabernacle, but not near so large as that of the temple, and encompassed only with pillars, and veils hung with cords.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [7]

Court. (Hebrew, chatser ). An open enclosure surrounded by buildings, applied, in the Authorized Version, most commonly to the enclosures of the Tabernacle and the Temple.  Exodus 27:9;  Exodus 40:33;  Leviticus 6:16;  1 Kings 6:36;  1 Kings 7:8;  2 Kings 23:12;  2 Chronicles 33:5, etc.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [8]

 Psalm 84:2-10 (b) This refers to the presence of the Lord in which the Christian delights to live. It also refers to the beautiful place Christ has gone to prepare for the eternal home of the soul.

 Psalm 92:13 (b) The term is used to describe the throne room of GOD where the believer presents petitions for himself and for others, and prospers in his heavenly ministry of prayer.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [9]

An enclosed space or yard within the limits of an oriental house,  2 Samuel 17:18 . For the courts of the temple, see Temple . The tabernacle also had a court. All oriental houses are built in the form of a hollow spare around a court. See House .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [10]

 Exodus 27:9-19 40:8 1 Kings 6:36 Nehemiah 3:25 2 Samuel 17:18 2 Kings 20:4

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [11]

COURT . See House, § 2  ; Justice; Tabernacle; Temple.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [12]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Court'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.