(1) In English Versions of the Bible this word in the plural represents the Hebrew qela`im, the curtains of "fine twined linen" with which the court of the tabernacle was enclosed. These were five cubits in height, and of lengths corresponding to the sides of the enclosure and the space on either side of the entrance in front, and were suspended from hooks fastened to the pillars of the court. They are described at length in Ex 27:9-15; 38:9-18. See, besides, Ex 35:17; 39:40; Nu 3:26; 4:26.
(2) In the King James Version another word, macakh (the Revised Version (British and American) uniformly "screen"), is distinguished from the preceding only by the singular, "hanging" (Ex 35:17; 38:18, etc.). It is used of the screen or portiere, embroidered in colors, that closed the entrance of the court (Ex 27:16; 35:17; 38:18; 39:40; 40:8,33; Nu 3:26; 4:26); of the screen of similar workmanship at the entrance of the tabernacle (Ex 26:36-37; 35:15; 36:37; 39:38; 40:5,28; Nu 3:25; 4:25); and once (Nu 3:31) of the tapestry veil, adorned with cherubim, at the entrance of the Holy of Holies (elsewhere, parokheth, "veil," Ex 26:31-33, etc., or parokheth ha-macakh, "veil of the screen," Ex 35:12, etc.). In Nu 3:26, the King James Version renders macakh "curtain," and in Ex 35:12; 39:34; 40:21 (compare also Nu 4:5), "covering."
(3) In 2 Ki 23:7 we read of "hangings" (Hebrew "houses") which the women wove for the Asherah. If the text is correct we are to think perhaps of tent shrines for the image of the goddess. Lucian's reading (stolas, "robes") is preferred by some, which would have reference to the custom of bringing offerings of clothing for the images of the gods. In 1 Ki 7:29 the Revised Version (British and American), "wreaths of hanging work" refers to a kind of ornamentation on the bases of the lavers. In Es 1:6, "hangings" is supplied by the translators.
Benjamin Reno Downer