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Conversations [1]

These were held by the orientals in the gate of the city. Accordingly, there was an open space near the gate, which was fitted up with seats for the accommodation of the people,  Genesis 19:1;  Psalms 69:12 . Those who were at leisure occupied a position on these seats, and either amused themselves with witnessing those who came in and went out, and with any trifling occurrences that might offer themselves to their notice, or attended to the judicial trials, which were commonly investigated at public places of this kind, namely, the gate of the city,  Genesis 19:1;  Genesis 34:20;  Psalms 26:4-5;  Psalms 69:12;  Psalms 127:5;  Ruth 4:11;  Isaiah 14:31; or held intercourse by conversation. Promenading, so fashionable and so agreeable in colder latitudes, was wearisome and unpleasant in the warm climates of the east, and this is probably one reason why the inhabitants of those climates preferred holding intercourse with one another, while sitting near the gate of the city, or beneath the shade of the fig tree and the vine,  1 Samuel 22:6;  Micah 4:4 . The formula of assent in conversation was Συ ειπας , Νκτρβδ , Thou hast said, or Thou hast rightly said. We are informed by the traveller Aryda, that this is the prevailing mode of a person's expressing his assent or affirmation to this day, in the vicinity of Mount Lebanon, especially where he does not wish to assert any thing in express terms. This explains the answer of the Saviour to the high priest Caiaphas in   Matthew 26:64 , when he was asked whether he was the Christ, the Son of God, and replied, Συ ειπας , Thou hast said. The English word conversation has now a more restricted sense than formerly; and it is to be noted that in several passages of our translation of the Bible it is used to comprehend our whole conduct.