A paved place at Jerusalem where Roman Governor Pontius Pilate sat on the judgment seat when Jesus Christ was before him for trial. The site was called, in Hebrew, “Gabʹba·tha,” a word of uncertain derivation and possibly meaning “hill,” “height” or “open space.” Another name for it, Li·thoʹstro·ton in Greek, may indicate a tessellated pavement, one of ornamental mosaic work. However, some suggest that “The Stone Pavement” was an elevated marble platform. (John 19:13) Suetonius, Roman historian and biographer of the second century C.E., says that Julius Caesar had pre-fitted pieces of marble carried along on military expeditions so that these might be laid down as a platform where he gave judicial decisions.
The first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, citing a certain disturbance, said that “Pilate sat upon his tribunal, in the open market-place.” (Wars of the Jews, Book II, chap. IX, par. 3) “The Stone Pavement” where Jesus appeared before Pilate may have been an open area in front of the palace of Herod the Great; many scholars favor identification with a site near or once occupied by the Castle of Antonia, NW of the temple grounds. But the exact site of The Stone Pavement remains unknown.—See ANTONIA, CASTLE OF.