Bed properly מִטָּה, mittah', κλίνη, either for rest at night, Ex 8:3; 1Sa 19:13,15-16; 1Ki 17:19; 2Ki 4:10,21; 2Ki 11:2; 2Ch 22:11; Ps 6:6; Pr 26:14; Mr 4:21; Lu 8:16; Lu 17:34; or during illness, Ge 47:31; Ge 48:2; Ge 49:33; 1Sa 28:23; 2Ki 1:4,6,16; 2Ki 4:32; Mr 7:30; Re 2:22; often simply a sofa for ease and quiet, 1Sa 28:23; Es 7:8; Am 3:12; Am 6:4; once a sedan for pleasure, Song 3:7; in the New Test. frequently a mere couch, consisting of a litter and coverlet, Mt 9:2,6; Lu 5:18; Ac 5:15 (for which more properly the diminutive κλινιδίον, "couch,", Lu 5:19,24; or κράββατος, frequently occurring, usually "bed," once "couch," Ac 5:15; and once in the sense of a more permanent sick-bed, Ac 9:33); used also for bier for dead bodies, 2Sa 3:31; and specially of the triclinium, or dinner-bed, Es 1:6; Eze 23:41; "table," Mr 7:4. Another term of frequent occurrence is מִשׁכָּב, mishkab', κοίτη, which almost always has the signification of marriage-bed, or some analogous idea (except in the Chaldee equivalent, מִשׁכִּב of Dan.), and is often translated by terms expressive of that sense. To these may be added the poetic יָצוּעִ, yatsu'a, Job 17:13; Ps 63:6; Ps 132:3; signifying the same as the preceding in Ge 49:4; 1Ch 5:1; and "chamber" in prose, 1Ki 6:5-6,10; also מִצָּע, matstsa', Isa 28:20; and, finally, עֶרֶשׂ, er'es, signifying, as the derivation shows, a canopied bed of more imposing style, for whatever purpose, Job 7:13; Ps 41:3; Ps 132:3 (in the original); Pr 7:16; Song 1:16; "couch" in Ps 6:6; Am 3:12; Am 6:4; and properly rendered "bedstead" in De 3:11. In this last-named passage a coffin is thought by some to be meant. SEE GIANT.
We may distinguish in the Jewish bed the following principal parts:
1. The bedstead was not always necessary, the divan, or platform along the side or end of an Oriental room, sufficing as a support for the bedding. SEE BEDCHAMBER. Yet some slight and portable frame seems implied among the senses of the word מִטָה, mittah', which is used for a "bier" (2Sa 3:31), and for the ordinary bed (2Ki 4:10), for the litter on which a sick person might be carried (1Sa 19:15), for Jacob's bed of sickness (Ge 47:31), and for the couch on which guests reclined at a banquet (Es 1:6). SEE COUCH. Thus it seems the comprehensive and generic term. The proper word for a bedstead appears to be עֶרֶשׂ, e'res, used De 3:11, to describe that on which lay the giant Og, whose vast bulk and weight required one of iron. SEE BEDSTEAD.
2. The substratum or bottom portion of the bed itself was limited to a mere mat, or one or more quilts.
3. Over this a quilt finer than those used for the under part of the bed. In summer, a thin blanket, or the outer garment worn by day (1Sa 19:13), sufficed. This latter, in the case of a poor person, often formed the entire bedding, and that without a bedstead. Hence the law provided that it should not be kept in pledge after sunset, that the poor man might not lack his needful covering (De 24:13).
4. The bed-clothes. The only material mentioned for this is that which occurs 1Sa 19:13, and the word used is of doubtful meaning, but seems to signify some fabric woven or plaited of goat's hair. It is clear, however, that it was something hastily adopted to serve as a pillow, and is not decisive of the ordinary use.
5. In Ezra 13:18, occurs the word כֶּסֶת, ke'seth (Sept. προσκεφάλαιον), which seems to be the proper term. Such pillows are common to this day in the East, formed of sheep's fleece or goat's skin, with a stuffing of cotton, etc. We read of a "pillow," also, in the boat in which our Lord lay asleep (Mr 4:38) as he crossed the lake. The block of stone, such as Jacob used, covered, perhaps, with a garment, was not unusual among the poorer folk, shepherds, etc. SEE PILLOW.
6. The ornamental portions, and those which luxury added, were pillars and a canopy (Judith 13:9); ivory carvings, gold and silver (Joseph. Ant. 12, 21, 14), and probably mosaic work, purple and fine linen, are also mentioned as constituting parts of beds (Es 1:6; Song 3:9-10), where the word אִפִּריוֹן, appiryon' (Sept. φορεῖον), seems to mean "a litter" (Pr 7:16-17; Amos 11:4). So also are perfumes. SEE SLEEP.