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Although it might seem that a "causeway" means a way with a cause (i.e. a road with a purpose), the origin of the English word was actually a combination of Latin words that meant a chalk road. The "cause" in causeway was merely a transliteration of the Latin word calx which meant lime or chalk. Nevertheless, in English causeway came to mean a raised road or way (way means road e.g. highway). The word "causeway" is sometimes used to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced mes-il-aw, which means a raised road or staircase. Along with causeway, it is also translated as terrace or highway ("highway" usually referring to its elevation, not necessarily that it was a high-traffic thoroughfare as the word is used today).

"by the causeway of the going up"

There was a "causeway of the going up" between Zion (see the Fact Finder question; also Who, What or Where Is Zion?) and the Temple.


"Among these were the divisions of the porters, even among the chief men, having wards one against another, to minister in the house of The Lord. And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate.

And the lot eastward fell to Shelemiah. Then for Zechariah his son, a wise counsellor, they cast lots; and his lot came out northward. To Obededom southward; and to his sons the house of Asuppim. To Shuppim and Hosah the lot came forth westward, with the gate Shallecheth, by the causeway of the going up, ward against ward.

Eastward were six Levites, northward four a day, southward four a day, and toward Asuppim two and two. At Parbar westward, four at the causeway, and two at Parbar. These are the divisions of the porters among the sons of Kore, and among the sons of Merari." (1 Chronicles 26:12-19 KJV)

In this example, the original Hebrew word, that was translated as "causeway" in the quote above, is translated as "terraces" i.e. "terraces to the house of The Lord." In this time of King Solomon, things such as terraces and causeways were as ornate as they were functional, as the Queen of Sheba witnessed.

"And she said to the king, It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom: Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard. Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom. Blessed be The Lord thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for The Lord thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice.

And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices great abundance, and precious stones: neither was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave king Solomon.

And the servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, which brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones. And the king made of the algum trees terraces to the house of The Lord, and to the king's palace, and harps and psalteries for singers: and there were none such seen before in the land of Judah.

And king Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which she had brought unto the king. So she turned, and went away to her own land, she and her servants." (2 Chronicles 9:5-12 KJV)

Fact Finder: What ravine in Jerusalem, that today is almost invisible, required a causeway for people to cross?
See The Zion Bridge

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