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HINGE. A contrivance that enables a movable part such as a door or window to swing in its place, often used figuratively for something of prime importance. Ancient heavy doors swung on “ball and socket” joints. KJV, MLB, Mof, and NASB have “hinges” in 1Kgs.7.50; NIV and RSV have “sockets,” and NEB has “panels.” In Prov.26.14 the word derives from a verb meaning to twist or to turn in pain or in laziness. The type of hinges we use today were unknown in ancient times.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Hinges of Jewish sacred buildings in Scripture are mentioned only in connection with Solomon’s temple. Here those for the doors, both of the oracle and of the outer temple, are said to have been of gold (1Ki 7:50). By this is probably to be understood that the pivots upon which the doors swung, and which turned in the sockets of the threshold and the lintel, were cased in gold. The proverb, "As the door turneth upon its hinges, so doth the sluggard upon his bed" (Pr 26:14), describes the ancient mode of ingress and egress into important edifices. In the British Museum are many examples of stone sockets taken from Babylonian and Assyrian palaces and temples, engraved with the name and titles of the royal builder; while in the Hauran doors of a single slab of stone with stone pivots are still found in situ. Hinges, as we understand the word, were unknown in the ancient world.

See HOUSE, II, 1.

W. Shaw Caldecott