Chamber (the translation of various Hebrews words). Oriental houses have in general a court in the center, with cloisters and a gallery, into which the chambers open, the apartments of the women being at the back, and only to be approached by passing through the others. Toward the street is a dead wall, with a porch, over which is a chamber, sometimes used as a lodging for guests, and sometimes as a store-room, it being well suited for either of these purposes, by being connected with the rest of the house by a door in the gallery, and having a separate staircase opening into the porch. This is the "chamber on the wall" (עֲלַיִּתאּקַיר, wall-loft, Sept. ὐπέρῳον) which the Shunamite prepared for the prophet Elisha (2Ki 4:10). Such an "upper chamber" (ὐπέρῳον) is still the guestchamber. where entertainments are made, which was the custom with the Greeks as well as the Jews (Mt 9:14; Mr 14:14). Among the former it occupied the upper story; among the Hebrews it seems to have been on, or connected with, the flat roof of their dwellings (comp. Ac 20:8). These upper chambers were also sometimes used for the performance of idolatrous rites (2Ki 23:12), and in them the bodies of the dead were laid out (Ac 9:37). The early Christians, too, held their meetings for worship in such places. Besides these, there were inner chambers, or a "chamber within a chamber" (1Ki 22:25), such as that into which the messenger of Elisha retired to anoint Jehu (2Ki 9:2). SEE HOUSE.
The term chamber is used metaphorically in many places of the Scriptures, as Ps 104:3,13; Pr 7:27. To apply ourselves to earnest prayer and supplication, and to depend on the promises and providence of God for special protection, is to enter into our chambers, that we may be safe, as the Hebrews were in their houses, from the destroying angel (Isa 26:20). SEE BED-CHAMBER.
The "chambers of the south" (Job 9:9) are the constellations, or clusters of stars, belonging to the southern part of the firmament. SEE ASTRONOMY.
The term "Chambers of Imagery" (חִדרֵי מִשׂכַּיח, figure-apartments; Sept. κοιτῶν κρυπτός) is used by the prophet Ezekiel (Eze 8:12) to denote the vision which he had of the abominations practiced by the Jews in the distant Jerusalem. As the practices there denounced were evidently borrowed from their Chaldaean oppressors, they derive striking elucidation from the gorgeous halls of the Assyrian palaces lately brought to light by Layard, with their long lines of sculptured animals, and kings worshipping before them (Nineveh, 2:209). SEE IMAGERY.
"Chambering" (κόται) signifies in Ro 14:13, that lewd association with courtesans and similar characters that was a peculiar feature of the heathenism of that age. SEE HARLOT.