LITTER On'tEr). The word translated litter, in Is. lxvi:2o, is =, tsawb, and is the same which, in Num. vii:3, denotes the wains or carts drawn by oxen, in which the materials of the tabernacle were removed from place to place.
The !saw() was not, therefore, a litter, which is not drawn, but carried. This is the only place in which the word occurs in the Authorized trans lation. We are not, however, to infer from this that the Hebrews had no vehicles of the kind. Litters, or palanquins, were, as we know, in use among the ancient Egyptians. They were borne upon the shoulders of men, and appear to have been used for carrying persons of consideration short distances on visits, like the sedan chairs of a former day in England. We doubt if the He brews had this kind of litter, as it scarcely agrees with their simple, unluxurions habit ; but that they had litters borne by beasts, such as are still com mon in Western Asia, seems in the highest degree probable.
In Cant. iii :9, we find the word aphiryo-n, Sept. ropelbw, carriage, Vulg., ferczelum, which occurs nowhere else in Scripture, and is applied to a vehicle used by King Solomon. This word is rendered 'chariot' in onr Authorized Version, although unlike any other word so rendered in that version. It literally means a moving couch, and is usually conceived to denote a kind of sedan, litter, or rather palanquin, in which great personages and women werc borne from place to place. The name, as well as the object. immedi ately suggests that it may have been nearly the same thing as the takht-ravan, the moving throne, or seat. of the Persians. It consists of a light frame fixed on two strong poles, like those of our sedan chair. The frame is generally covered with cloth, and has a door, sometimes of lattice work, at each side. It is carried by two mules, one be tween the poles before, the other behind. These conveyances arc used by great persons, when dis posed for retirement or ease during a journey, or when sick or feeble from age. Bin they are
chiefly used by ladies of consideration in their journeys.
The popular illustrators of Scripture do not appear to have been acquainted with this and thc other litters of Western Asia ; and have, there forc, resorted to India, and drawn their illustra tions froin the palanquins borne by men, and from the howdahs of elephants. This is unnecessary, as Western Asia still stipplies conveyances of this description, more snitable and more likely to have been anciently in use than any which the farther East can produce. If the one already described should seem too humble, there are other takht ravans of more imposing appearance. In Arabia, or in the countries where Arabian usages prevail, two camels are usually employed to bear the takht rayon, and sometimes two horses. When borne by camels, the head of the hindmost of the ani mals is bent painfully down under the vehicle. This is the most comfortable kind of litter, and two light persons may travel in it.
The shibreeyeh is another kind of camel-lit ter, resembling the Indian howdah, by which name (or rather hddaj) it is sometimes called. It is composed of a small square platform wit% a canopy or arched covering. It accommodates but one person, and is placed upon the back of a camel, and rests upon two square camel-chests, one on each side of the animal. It is very evi dent, not only from the text in view, but from others, that the Hebrews had litters ; and there is little reason to donbt that they were the same as. those now employed in Palestine and the neighboring countries, where there are still the same circumstances of climate, the same domestic animals, and essentially the same habits of life, as in the Biblical period.