(עֶרֻשׂ, e'res, De 3:11; elsewhere couch," "bed"). The couches of the Jews for repose and for the use of the sick were usually perhaps simply the standing and fixed divans such as those on which the Western Asiatics commonly make their beds at night. The divan is probably meant in 2Ki 1:4; 2Ki 21:2; Ps 132:4; Am 3:12 (Hackett's Illustra. of Script. p. 58-60). The most common bedstead in Egypt and Arabia is framed rudely of palm-sticks such as was used in Ancient Egypt.' In Palestine, Syria, and Persia, where timber is more plentiful, a bed-frame of similar shape is made of boards. This kind of bedstead is also used upon the house-tops during the season in which people sleep there. It is more than likely that Og's bedstead was of this description (De 3:11). In the times in which he lived the palm-tree was more common in Palestine than at present, and the bedsteads in ordinary use were probably formed of palm-sticks. They would therefore be incapable of sustaining any undue weight without being disjointed and bent awry, and this would dictate the necessity of making that destined to sustain the vast bulk of Og rather of rods of iron than of the mid-ribs of the palm-fronds. These bedsteads are also of a length seldom more than a few inches beyond the average human stature (commonly six feet three inches), and hence the propriety with which the length of Og's bedstead is stated to convey an idea of his stature — a fact which has perplexed those who supposed there was no other bedstead than the divan, seeing that the length of the divan has no determinate reference to the stature of the persons reposing on it. There are traces of a kind of portable couch (1Sa 19:15), which appears to have served as a sofa for sitting on in the daytime (1Sa 28:3; Eze 23:41; Am 6:4); and there is now the less reason to doubt that the ancient Hebrews enjoyed this convenience. Such couches were capable of receiving those ornaments of ivory which are mentioned in Am 6:4, which of itself shows that the Hebrews had something of the kind, forming an ornamental article of furniture. A bed with a tester is mentioned in Judith 16:23, which, in connection with other indications, and the frequent mention of rich tapestries hung upon and about a bed for luxuriousness and ornament, proves that such beds as are still used by royal and distinguished personages were not unknown under the Hebrew monarchy (comp. Es 1:6; Pr 7:16 sq.; Eze 23:41). There is but little distinction of the bed from sitting furniture among the Orientals; the same article being used for nightly rest and during the day. This applies both to the divan and bedstead in all its forms, except perhaps the litter. There was also a garden-watcher's bed, מַלוּנָה, melunah', rendered variously in the Auth. Ver. "cottage" and "lodge," which seems to have been slung like a hammock, perhaps from the trees (Isa 1:8; Isa 24:20). SEE BED; SEE CANOPY.

"Beds." topical outline.

Definition of bedstead

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

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