the rendering in the Auth. Vers. of three Hebrew terms.

1. ירִיעָה, yeriah' (from its tremulous motion, invariably thus translated), the ten "curtains" of fine linen, etc., each twenty-eight cubits long and four wide, and also the eleven of goats' hair, which covered the tabernacle of Moses (Ex 26:1-13; Ex 36:8-17). The charge of these curtains and of the other textile fabrics of the tabernacle was laid on the Gershonites (Nu 4:25). Having this definite meaning, the word came to be used as a synonym for the tabernacle — its transitoriness and slightness — and is so employed in the sublime speech of David, 2Sa 7:2 (where "curtains" should be "the curtain"), and 1Ch 17:1. In a few later instances the word bears the more geneial meaning of the sides of a tent, as in the beautiful figure of Isa 54:2 (where "habitations" should be "tabernacles," מִשׁכּנוֹת poetic word for "tents"); Jer 4:20; Jer 10:20 (here "tabernacle" and "tent" are both one word, אֹהֶל, tent); Ps 104:2 (where "stretch," נָטִן, is the word usually employed for extending a tent). Also specially of nomadic people, Jer 49:29; Hab 3:7 (of the black hair-cloth of which the tents of the real Bedouin are still composed); but Song 1:5 rather refers to the hangings of the palace. SEE TENT.

Bible concordance for CURTAINS.

2. מָסָך, masak, the "hanging" for the doorway of the tabernacle (Ex 26:36-37; Ex 35:15; Ex 36:37; Ex 39:38; xl, 5; Nu 3:25; Nu 4:25); and also for the gate of the court round the tabernacle (Ex 27:16; Ex 35:17; Ex 38:18; Ex 39:40; xl, 33; Nu 3:26; Nu 4:26). Among these the rendering "curtain" occurs but once (Nu 3:26), while "hanging" is shared equally between masak and a very different word -קלָעִי, kelai'. SEE HANGING. Besides "curtain" and "hanging," masak is rendered "covering" in Ex 35:12; Ex 39:34; Ex 40:21; Nu 4:5; 2Sa 17:19: Ps 105:39; Isa 22:8. The idea in the root of masak seems to be of shielding or protecting (מָסִך, Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 951). If this be so, the object denoted may have been not a curtain or veil, but an awning to shade the entrances — a thing natural and common in the fierce sun of the East (see Fergusson's Nineveh and Persepolis, p. 184). s.v. SEE TABERNACLE. The sacred curtain separating the holy of holies from the sanctuary is designated by an entirely different term, פּרֹכֶת, pero'keth (Ex 26:31 sq.; Le 16:2; Nu 18:7, etc.). SEE VAIL.

3. דֹּק dok (prop. fineness), fine cloth for a garment, specially a curtain, apparently a tent-covering of superior fineness (Isa 40:22), such as the rich Orientals spread for a screen over their courts in summer (Henderson, in loc.). SEE COURT.

Definition of curtain

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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