Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(stretched). The house of nomad and pastoral peoples. It was made of strong cloth, chiefly of goat’s hair, stretched on poles, and firmly pegged to the ground (Gen. 4:20; 18:1; Judg. 4:21; Isa. 38:12).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

1. The word commonly translated “tent” is ohel, but it is often translated in the AV “tabernacle,” and is used also for “dwelling” or “habitation,” (Job 8:22; Psa. 91:10; &c). This word also shows that the goats’ hair curtains formed the “tent” of the tabernacle. See TABERNACLE. It was also a “tent” that Moses pitched outside the camp in Exodus 33:7. See CAMP.
2. mishkan, rightly translated “tabernacle,” but is “tent” in Song of Solomon 1:8.
3. sukkah, also translated “tabernacle,” “pavilion,” “booth;” and only once “tent” (2 Sam. 11:11).
4. qubbah, occurring only in 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. 5:1).
Encampment on Pisgah’s slopes, west over the Dead Sea (1900s).

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 4:20. 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. 24:5).
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. 4:21).
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. 40:22). 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. 54:2). See also 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. 10:20).
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 18:10 (#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.
These tents are rapidly struck and removed from place to place, so that the eye which today rests on a large encampment active with life may tomorrow behold nothing but a wilderness. Thus Isaiah says, “Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd’s tent” (Isa. 38:12). The facility with which tents are taken down, and the frailty of their material, are beautifully alluded to by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:1. See also 2 Peter 1:13, 14.
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. 43:10).

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