Furniture is the rendering in the Auth. Vers. in one passage of כִּר, kar, a camel's litter or canopied saddle, in which females are accustomed to travel in the East, Ge 32:32, elsewhere a lamb, etc.; also in a few passages of כּלַי, a general term for vessels, utensils, or implements of any sort. The manufacture of all kinds of furniture is represented on the Egyptian monuments with great minuteness. The recent excavations among the Assvrian mounds have also disclosed a high degree of refinement among the people of that age. See Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt, Rosellini's Illustra., and Layard and Botta's works on ancient Nineveh and Babylon; also the various articles of household furniture in their alphabetical order. SEE CARPENTER. It appears that the furniture of Oriental dwellings, in the earliest ages, was generally very simple; that of the poorer classes consisted of but few articles, and those such only as were absolutely necessary. SEE HOUSE. The interior of the more common and useful apartments was furnished with sets of large nails with square heads, like dice, and bent at them head, so as to make them cramp-irons: a specimen of these may be seen in the British Museum. In modern Palestine the plan is to fix nails or pins of wood in the walls, while they are still soft, in order to suspend such domestic articles as are required; since, consisting altogether of clay, they are too frail to admit of the operation of the hammer. To this custom there is an allusion in Ezr 9:8, and Isa 22:23. On these nails were hung their kitchen utensils or other articles. Instead of chairs, they sat on mats or skins; and the same articles on which they laid a mattress, served them instead of bedsteads, while their upper garment was used for a covering. SEE CHAIR. Sovereigns had chairs of state, or thrones with footstools (Ex 22:26-27; De 24:12). The opulent had (as those in the East still have) fine carpets, couches, or divans and sofas, on which they sat, lay, and slept (2Sa 17:28; 2Ki 4:10). They have also a great variety of pillows and bolsters, with which they support themselves when they wish to take their ease, and there is an allusion to these in Eze 13:18. In later times these couches were splendid, and the frames in-laid with ivory (Am 6:4), which is plentiful in the East; they were-also richly carved and perfumed (Pr 7:16-17). SEE BED. On these sofas, in the latter ages of the Jewish state, for before the time of Moses it appears to have been the custom to sit at table (Ge 43:33), they universally reclined when taking their meals (Am 6:4; Lu 7:36-38). SEE ACCUBATION. Anciently splendid hangings were used in the palaces of the Eastern monarchs, embroidered with needle-work, and ample draperies wane asspeadad over the openings in the sides of the apartments, for the twofold purpose of affording air, and of shielding them from the sun. Of this description were the costly hangings of the Persian sovereigns mentioned in Es 1:6, which passage is confirmed by the statements of Quintius Curtius relating to their msuperb palace at Persepolis. SEE EMBROIDERY. In the more ancient periods other articles of necessary furniture were both few and simple. Among these were a hand-mill, a kneading-trough, and an oven. SEE BREAD. Besides kneadding-troughs and ovens they must have heed various kinds of earthen-ware vessels, especially pots to bold water for their several ablutions. In later times baskets formed an indispensable article of furniture to the Jews. SEE BASKET. Large sacks are still, as they anciently were (Ge 44:1-3; Joh 9:11), employed for carrying provision and baggage of every description. The domestic utensils of the Orientals in the present day are nearly always of brass; those of the ancient Egyptians were chiefly of bronze or iron. Bowls, cups, and drinking-vessels of gold and silver were used in the courts of princes and great men (Ge 44:2,5; 1Ki 10:21). Some elegant specinens of these are given in the paintings of the tombs of Egypt. SEE BOWL. Bottles were made of skins, which are chiefly of a red color (Ex 25:5). SEE BOTTLE. Apartments were lighted by means of lamps, which were fed with olive-oil, and were commonly placed upon elevated stands (Mt 5:15). Those of the wise and foolish virgins (Mt 25:46) were of a different sort; they were a kind of torch or flam-beau, made of iron or earthen-ware, wrapped about with old linen, moistened from time to time with oil, and were suitable for being carried out of doors. SEE LAMP.

Definition of furniture

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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