TENON (ten'iln), the dowel pin holding the end of a plank of the Tabernacle (Exod. xxvi:17, to; xxxv1:22, 24). SeC TABERNACLE.
TENT (tent), (Heb. usually o'hel,.Gr. cricnvi, skay-nay').
The patriarchal fathers of the Israelites were dwellers in tents, and their descendants pro ceeded at once from tents to houses. We there fore read but little of huts among them; and never as the fixed habitations of any people with whom they were conversant. The Scriptures make us more familiar with tents than with huts.
They were invented before the Deluge, and appear from the first to have been associated with the pastoral life, to which a movable habitation was necessary (Gen. iv :2o). The practice of the pas toral fathers was to pitch their tents near wells of water, and, if possible, tinder some shady tree (Gen. xviii :2 ; Judg. iv :5). The first tents were undoubtedly covered with skins, of which there are traces in the Pentateuch (Exod. xxvi :14) ; but nearly all the tents mentioned in Scripture were, doubtless, of goats' hair, spun and woven by the women (Exod. xxxv :26; xxxvi:t4) ; such as are now, in Western Asia, used by all who dwell in tents—hence their black color (Cant. i :5). Tents of linen were, and still are, used only oc casionally, for holiday or traveling purposes, by those who do not habitually live in them.
The patriarchal tents were probably such as we now see in Arabia, of an oblong shape, and eight or ten feet high in the middle. They vary in
size, and have, accordingly, a greater or less num ber of poles to support them—from three to nine. An encampment is generally arranged circularly, forming an enclosure, within which the cattle are driven at night, and the center of which is oc cupied by the tent or tents of the Emir or Sheikh. If he is a person of much consequence, he may have three or four tents, for himself, his wives, his servants, and strangers, respectively. The first two are of the most importance, and we know that Abraham's wife had a separate tent (Gen. xxiv :67). It is more usual, however, for one very- large tent to be divided into two or more apartments by curtains. The Holy Taber nacle was on this model (Exod. xxvi :31-37). The making of tents formed a trade at which Paul once worked (Acts xviii :3).
Figurative. (i) Thus it was natural to compare the canopy of heaven to a tent (Is. xl ; 22) ; or the growth of a church to an enlargenzent of a tent (Is. liv :2 ; XXXiii :20). (2) A man bereft of friends was like one erecting his tent alone (Jer. x :2o). (3) A tent was the symbol of the briefness of life (Is. xxxviii :12; 2 Cor. v:t).