Tent

Concise Bible Dictionary:

2. mishkan, rightly translated “tabernacle,” but is “tent” in Song of Solomon 1:88If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents. (Song of Solomon 1:8).
4. qubbah, occurring only in Numbers 25:88And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. (Numbers 25:8). With the patriarchs their “tent” was their dwelling place as far as they had any, easily moved from place to place as the cattle needed fresh pasture. On Israel entering the land the tents gave way to houses in the cities: as the Christian’s “tabernacle” will give place to the “house” above (2 Cor. 5:11For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Corinthians 5:1)).

From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Song of Solomon 1:5. I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
Tents were among the early habitations of man, though not the earliest, since they were not introduced until the time of Jabal, who was in the seventh generation from Adam. See Genesis 4:2020And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. (Genesis 4:20). The first tents were doubtless made of skins, though afterward when the process of weaving became known they were made, as they are at this day, of cloth of camels’ hair, or of goats’ hair, spun by the women. The latter is the material most commonly used by the Arabs, and since the goats are usually black, or a very dark brown, the tents exhibit the same appearance. It was thus in the days of Solomon with the tents made by the descendants of the Ishmaelitish Kedar. These tents individually are not very beautiful objects, but when arranged in the form of a circular encampment, with the cattle enclosed by the circle of tents, and the sheikh’s tent in the center, they present a picturesque appearance. Balaam was impressed with the beauty of such a scene when he beheld the vast encampment of the Israelites, and exclaimed, “How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel!” (Num. 24:55How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! (Numbers 24:5)).
The Arab tents are of various sizes, according to the number of the family or the wealth of the proprietor. The number of poles to a tent varies from one to nine. Some tents are circular in shape, some square, and others oblong. The covering is spread over the poles, which are fastened in the ground. The edges of the cover have leather loops, to which are attached the cords of the tent, which are sometimes stretched out tight and fastened to the ground by means of iron or wooden pins, or else are fastened to upright posts, on which a curtain is hung around the tent, forming the walls, which can be removed at pleasure without disturbing the rest of the tent. Other cords reach from the top of the tent to the ground, where they are fastened with pins, thus steadying the whole structure. It was one of these pins which Jael drove into the head of Sisera (Judg. 4:2121Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. (Judges 4:21)).
The tent erected, and its cords stretched out, are often figuratively alluded to in the Bible. Thus Isaiah represents God as the one “that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in” (Isa. 40:2222It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: (Isaiah 40:22)). He also says, in speaking of the glorious prosperity of the Church and the need of enlargement, “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes” (Isa. 54:22Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; (Isaiah 54:2)). See also Isaiah 33:2020Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken. (Isaiah 33:20).
It is a work of some effort to pitch a tent properly, especially a large one, requiring the united efforts of willing hands. Hence the pathetic language of Jeremiah in mourning over the desolations of God’s people: “My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains” (Jer. 10:2020My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains. (Jeremiah 10:20)).
The large tents have nine poles, placed in three rows, covering sometimes a space twenty to twenty-five feet long, ten feet wide, and eight to ten-feet high in the middle, with the sides sloping. Such tents often have a curtain hung on the middle row of poles, dividing the tent into two parts, one for the men, and the other for the women. See notes on Genesis 18:1010And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. (Genesis 18:10) (#14); 24:67 (#90). The poles which thus uphold the tent and divide it into sections are further made useful by having hooks driven into them from which are suspended clothes, baskets, saddles, weapons, and various other articles of daily use.
Tents of cotton, linen, or silk are used for traveling or for holiday purposes, are of all colors, and are sometimes very magnificent. Stories which would be incredible if not from good authorities, are told of the splendor of state tents which have been reared by Oriental monarchs. Silver, gold, precious stones, silk, velvet, camels’ hair cloth, and brocades, have combined to make these structures at once costly and splendid. The state tents of Tamerlane are said to have had poles of silver inlaid with gold, curtains of velvet, and ropes of silk. Nadir Shah had a state tent the outside of which was of fine scarlet broadcloth, and the lining of violet-colored satin. On this lining were embroideries in pearls, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, amethysts, and other precious stones, representing birds, beasts, trees, and flowers.
No description is given us of Solomon’s state tents; indeed, some suppose that the “curtains” mentioned in the text refer to some of the splendid hangings of his palace. The unity of the passage, however, suggests the idea of tents, and it is not at all improbable that Solomon, the luxurious monarch who spared no expense to gratify his taste, had tents of magnificence commensurate with his royal grandeur. The King of Babylon had a royal pavilion though no description is given of it (Jer. 43:1010And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them. (Jeremiah 43:10)).