The Iron Bed of Bashan

Very few people’s beds get special mention in the Bible, but Og’s gets headlines–or maybe footnotes. In Deut 3:11 we find this statement: “For only Og the king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bed was a bed of iron. Is it not in Rabbah of the Ammonites? Nine cubits was its length, and four cubits its breadth, according to the common cubit.” (ESV) A bed of iron?! Ouch, sounds kind of uncomfortable to me. Some translators take the phrase as “sarcophagus of basalt” instead of “bed of iron.” Some people suggest that the bed was wood, but had iron parts (e.g. NIV Study Bible). The amazing thing is the size of the bed. Nine cubits roughly translates to 13.5 feet and four cubits would be about 6 feet. If anyone has any references on this topic that would help understand it and footnote it better in Study Bibles, comment on this post!

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