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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Tent (2)

The following description of this Arab domicile, from Conder's Tent Work, 2:275, contains some additional information:

"The tents are arranged in different ways. Among the Sugr a large encampment was set out in parallel lines some fifty yards apart, the tents in each row being close together, end to end. Among the Ta'amireh and Jahalin the usual form is a rectangle. The average length of tile tent is from twenty to twenty-five feet, but the small ones will sometimes be only ten feet long, and the larger forty feet. The distance between two tents in a lile is about four feet. Thus a camp of twenty tents occupied a space of two hundred feet by seventy feet. In another case the form was a triangle, the reason of this arrangement being that the flocks are driven into the enclosure at night, and thus protected from the attacks of robbers or prevented from straying by themselves.

"The Arab tent is extremely unlike the usual representations, in which it is shown either as a sort of hut, as among the Turkomans, or as a bell-tent, instead of a long black 'house of hair,' with a low, slouping roof and open front. It has, however, been carefully described by Burckhardt, and there is little to add to his account. The canvas of the roof and side walls is of goat's hair, black, with occasionally stripes of white running horizontally (Song of Solomon 1:5). The pieces of stuff are about two feet wide, and thirty to fifty feet long. The tent has generally nine poles ('Awamnid), arranged three and three, those in the centre being the longest; thus the tent has a low ridge both ways in order to run the rain off. The cloths at the side can be easily removed as the sun and wind requires, one side being always left open. The tents are supported by cords and by pegs (Antad), which are driven with a mallet (Judges 4:21). The average height of a tent is about seven feet.

"Frail and cold as these habitations might be thought to prove,in 'winter, they are really far more comfortable than would be expected. Being so low, the wind does not blow them over, and they are, moreover, most skilfully pitched, generally below a steep bank or low swell. Even in heavy storms I have found the interiors dry, and the heavy canvas does not let the rain -through. The Arabs, however, suffer very much from rheumatism in winter. In summer they occasionally inhabit reed huts ('Arish), which are cooler than the tents."

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Tent (2)'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/t/tent-2.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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