STALL (Heb. marbēq, ’āvas, ’urvâh, repheth, ’ēvūs, Gr. phatnē). A place for the care of livestock. One kind was not enclosed, often being a thatched or tented shelter, at times a fattening place (Amos.6.4 kjv, cf. niv; Mal.4.2). In winter horses were kept in barns in which each had its fenced enclosure. Solomon’s barns provided stalls for four thousand horses (2Chr.9.25; forty thousand in 1Kgs.4.26). The stall where Christ was born was a feeding place, usually connected with an inn (Luke.13.15).

STALL (the tr. of several Heb. and Gr. words). 1. אֵבוּס, H17, (Prov 15:17), stalled; rather the place where cattle were kept to fatten them before marketing. Lean times are to be preferred in the home, for plenty makes hard the heart.

2. אֻֽרְיֹ֤ות, stall, a place for securing and feeding cattle or horses (1 Kings 4:26). In twostory homes cattle were usually housed in the ground level where there were stalls and mangers. The stables of Megiddo were arranged on either side of an aisle, each stall separated by posts and provided with a manger, paved with cobblestones. Tying holes occurred in the manger posts. The large no. of stalls indicates a large traffic in horse trading, no doubt a large part of the Solomonic revenue. Some 450 stalls were distributed in two separate buildings. Stables from approximately the same era appeared at Tell el-Hesi, Gezer, Taanach, and Hazor.

3. מַרְבֵּק, H5272, (Amos 6:4); “calves...of the stall” connotes the stalled calf fattened from fodder in the barn in contrast to the animal grazing in the field. The metaphor indicates God’s special care lavished on His people.

4. רְפָתִֽים, enclosure, particularly for sheep and goats (Hab 3:17). An empty sheepfold was often a sign of God’s judgment on a disobedient people.

5. Φάτνη, rather manger than stall, though it came to mean the latter also (cf. Luke 13:15). It is used to tr. 2 (2 Chron 32:28), 4 (Hab 3:17) and 1 (Job 39:9) above.


W. F. Albright, Archaeology of Palestine (1963).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


((1) marbeq, literally,, "a place for tying up" (Am 6:4; Mal 4:2),

(2) ’abhac, "to give fodder" (Pr 15:17),

(3) ’urvah, "to pluck and feed" (1Ki 4:26; 2Ch 9:25; 32:28),

(4) repheth, "a resting place" (Hab 3:17);

(5) phatne, "a manger" or "crib" (Lu 13:15; compare ’ebhuc, translated "crib" in Isa 1:3; Pr 14:4)): During the season when cattle are not being used they are allowed to roam in the fields. Otherwise they are tied in rooms in the winter time, or under shelters made of green boughs in the summer, and all their food brought to them. Horses and cattle alike are haltered and the chains fastened through holes made in stones projecting from the walls. No stanchions and no separating partitions between animals are used. The horses are usually hobbled as well.

James A. Patch