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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary


'ohel , "tabernacle "; mishkan , "dwelling"; sukkak , "booth"; qubbah , "recess" (Numbers 25:8). The characteristic dwelling of the keepers of cattle, the nomadic races, of whom Jabal was the father (Genesis 4:20). The stay of Israel in Egypt weaned them from tent life and trained them for their fixed home in Canaan. The pastoral tribes Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh, still in part retained the tent life E. of Jordan (Joshua 22:8). The phrase "to your tents, O Israel," remained as a trace of the former nomadic state, when the nation was no longer so (1 Kings 12:16). Agriculture was sometimes associated with tent life, as in Isaac's case (Genesis 26:12), and probably in Heber's case (Judges 4:11-22). Hazerim (Deuteronomy 2:23) is not a proper name, but means nomadic "villages" or "enclosures," a piece of ground surrounded with a rude fence, in which tents were pitched and cattle tethered at night for safety from marauders; or as the Yezidee tent in Syria, a stone wall five feet high, roofed with goats' hair cloth raised on long poles.

So Hazar-adder in the S. and Hazar-erran in the N. (Numbers 34:4; Numbers 34:9.) Some tents are circular, resting on one central pole; others square on several poles. The better kind are oblong, and divided by a curtain into an outer apartment for the males and an inner one for the females. Hooks are fixed in the poles to hang articles on (Isaiah 22:23-24). To the rain-proof goats' hair covering a cloth is sewn or twisted round a stick, to the ends of which are tied leather loops.

To these loops one end of the tent ropes is fastened, the other being tied to a hooked sharp pin of wood which they drive into the ground with a mallet; such a nail and mallet Jael used (Judges 4:21). The patriarchs' wives had separate tents (Genesis 24:67; Genesis 31:33). The beauty of Israel's orderly and wide encampment by the four parallel brooks running westward into Jordan is compared to trees in rows in beautiful gardens, such as Balaam had seen along his own river Euphrates (Numbers 24:5-6). The quickness and ease with which tents can be struck, leaving their tenants without covering in the lonely desert, is Paul's image for the speedy dissolution of our mortal body, preparatory to our abiding resurrection home (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Tent'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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