(יָצוּעִ, yatsu'd, something spread, Ge 49:4; "bed," 1Ch 5:1; Job 17:13; Ps 63:6; Ps 132:3; מַשׁכָּב, mishkab', something to lie upon, Job 7:13, elsewhere "bed;" עֶרֶשׂ, eres, something erected, Ps 6:6; Am 3:12; Am 6:4; "bed," Job 7:13; Ps 41:3; Ps 132:3; Pr 7:16; Song 1:16; "bedstead," De 3:11; κλινίδιον, a little bed, Lu 5:19,24; κράββατος, a pallet, Ac 5:15, elsewhere "bed"). Feather-beds, as among us, are unknown in the East, as indeed generally in southern climates. The poor sleep on mats or wrapped in their overclothes (Ex 22:27; De 24:13; comp. Theocr. 18:19; Stobaei Serm. 72, p. 404: as to Ru 3:9; Eze 16:8, see Biel in the Miscell. Lips. Nov. v. 209 sq.), and, in the open air, sometimes have only a stone for a pillow (Arvieux, 3, 216; comp. Ge 9:21,23; Ge 28:11). The wealthy use bolsters or mattresses (Russel, Aleppo, 1:195), stuffed with wool or cotton. These are not laid upon a bedstead, but on a raised portion (divan, q.v.) along the side of the room, which by day serves for a seat (Harmar, 1:134; 2:71; Rosenmüller, Morgenl. 3, 211; 6:14; Lorent, Wander. p. 32). Whether the couches of the ancient Hebrews for the sick or sleeping, which are usually termed מַטָּה, mittah' (Ge 47:31; 1Sa 19:13: 2Sa 4:7; 2Ki 1:4), מַשׁכָּב, mishkab' (Ex 21:18; 2Sa 13:5; Song 3:1), עֶרֶשׂ, e'res (Job, 7:13; Song 1:16; Pr 7:11; properly a bedstead, see De 3:11), were upon such a platform, is uncertain, as they appear to have been movable (1Sa 19:15), and were probably used in the daytime, like sofas, for sitting down and repose (1Sa 28:23; Eze 23:41; Am 3:12; Am 6:4; yet compare 2Ki 4:10). Costly carpets graced the houses of the rich (Pr 7:16 sq.; Eze 23:41; Am 3:12); those who lay upon them covered themselves with similar tapestry, and placed a soft fur under their head (l Samuel 19:13). A canopy, or bed with a tester, is names in the Apocrypha (Judith 16:23), and elsewhere a hanging bed or hammock (מלוּנָה, Isa 24:20), such as watchers in gardens used (Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 750; comp. Niebuhr, Beschr. p. 158). In the Mishna various kinds of beds or couches are referred to; e.g. the דּ - רגָּשׁ, dargash' (Nedar. 7:5). The couches (κλίνη, κράββατος) for the sick, named in the N.T. (Mt 9:6; Mr 2:4; Mr 6:55; Lu 5:18; Ac 5:5, etc.) were movable (Becker, Charicl. 2:72). SEE BED.

Definition of couch

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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