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INTRODUCTION. Jesus was back in Capernaum for this miracle. He was in "the house" (Mark 2:1), and soon a crowd gathered, so large that there was not any room at the door.
The houses at that time in Palestine consisted of one or two stories and were generally square or rectangular. The smaller houses of the poor might have one or two rooms, and the people and animals shared the space. In the larger houses, a door opened from the street into an area called a porch, and the porch then opened into a courtyard. Surrounding the court was a covered walkway or gallery with doors opening into the other rooms. A stairway led from the courtyard or porch to the roof. Roofs were generally flat and were used for storage, drying flax, solitude and prayer, and for a sitting area in the evening to enjoy cool breezes. Sometimes the guest chamber was on the roof, and often an outside stairway allowed the guest to come and go without disturbing the family.
Upon this occasion, a man sick of palsy (paralysis) was carried on his bed by four men to Jesus (Mark 2:3). They were unable to enter the house due to the crowd. Therefore, they carried the paralyzed man to the roof, uncovered the roof, and let the man's bed down into the presence of Jesus. Uncovering the roof was not a problem as the roofs were made from light beams laid across the walls with the spaces between the beams filled with closely packed branches, rushes, reeds, and earth. These spaces between the beams could readily be uncovered, cause little damage, and easily be repaired.