649. The Bed

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The “bed” was simply a mat or blanket which could be carried in the hands. The poor sometimes had no other bed than the outer garment. See note on Deuteronomy 24:12-1312And if the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge: 13In any case thou shalt deliver him the pledge again when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee: and it shall be righteousness unto thee before the Lord thy God. (Deuteronomy 24:12‑13) (#205). The wealthier people in the East have quilts or mattresses filled with cotton, which are spread on the floor or on the divan. See note on 2 Kings 1:44Now therefore thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. And Elijah departed. (2 Kings 1:4) (#325). In the text the paralytic, being healed, was told to take up his bed and go home. All he had to do was to roll up his blanket and depart. A similar incident took place at the pool of Bethesda. See John 5:8-9,11-128Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. (John 5:8‑9)
11He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 12Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? (John 5:11‑12)
. On such simple “beds” the sick were easily carried. This is referred to in Matthew 9:22And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. (Matthew 9:2); Mark 2:3-43And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 4And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. (Mark 2:3‑4); Luke 5:1818And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. (Luke 5:18); Acts 5:1515Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. (Acts 5:15).