It was essential in ancient times to protect vineyards with walls of unhewn stones and cities with quite massive fortifications. The earliest walls of Jericho consisted of solid stone 2 m. (6 feet) thick. From the walls defenders of a city could engage an enemy (2 Sam. 11: 20–21) and down a wall fugitives could make their escape (Josh. 2: 15). Paul was let down the wall of Damascus in a basket (Acts 9: 25); he later uses a metaphor to describe the high priest Ananias as a ‘whitewashed wall’ (Acts 23: 3).