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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
There seems to be little doubt about the antiquity of the Arab tent, and one can rightly believe that-the dwelling-places of Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, and their descendants were made on the same pattern and of the same materials (Genesis 4:20; Genesis 9:27; Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:3; Genesis 18:6; Genesis 31:25 , Genesis 31:30; Psalm 78:55; Hebrews 11:9 , etc.). Long after the children of Israel had given up their tents for houses they continued to worship in tents (2 Samuel 7:1-6; 2 Chronicles 1:3 , 2 Chronicles 1:4 ) (for the use of tents in connection with religious observances see TABERNACLE ).
The Arab tents (called
The poorer Arabs have no mats to cover the ground under their tents. Straw mats, goats' hair or woolen rugs (compare Judges 4:18 ), more or less elaborate as the taste and means of the family allow, are the usual coverings for the tent floor. The food supplies are usually kept in goats' hair bags, the liquids, as oil or milk products, in skins. One or two tinned copper cooking-vessels, a shallow tray of the same material, a coffee set consisting of roasting pan, mortar and pestle, boiling-pot and cups, make up the usual camp furniture. The more thrifty include bedding in their equipment, but this increases the difficulties of moving, since it might require more than the one animal, sometimes only a donkey, which carries all the earthly belongings of the family. A sheikh or chief has several tents, one for himself and guests, separate ones for his wives and female servants, and still others for his animals (compare Genesis 31:33 ).
Other Hebrew words translated "tent" are forms of חנה ,
Figurative : "Neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there" typified utter desolation ( Isaiah 13:20 ). "Enlarge the place of thy tent ... stretch forth the curtains ... lengthen thy cords ... strengthen thy stakes" prophesied an increase in numbers and prosperity of God's people (Isaiah 54:2; compare Isaiah 33:20; Luke 16:9; 2 Corinthians 5:4 ). Tent cords plucked up denoted death. (Job 4:21 ). Jeremiah 10:20 is a picture of a destroyed household as applied to Judah. Hezekiah in his sickness bewails that his dwelling (life) had been carried away as easily as a shepherd's tent is plucked up ( Isaiah 38:12 ). Isaiah compared the heavens to a tent spread out (Isaiah 40:22 ). "They shall pitch their tents against her" i.e. they shall make war (Jeremiah 6:3 ).
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Tent'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/t/tent.html. 1915.