Ancient Flat Roofs

This illustration shows ancient homes with flat roofs. In Israel it was common for a family to spend much time upon their housetops. The climate was usually mild and ideal for gatherings. The roof usually had three layers: the wooden beams, straw mats, and a clay top. The clay would be pressed down tight with a stone roller.

"And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?"

Luke 5:18-21

"Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back."

Luke 17:30-31