Dwellers In Tents
Humans have lived in tents from the most ancient times, apparently beginning with Jabal, who "was the father of those who dwell in tents" (Genesis 4:20 RSV). Ancient tents were often made, at least in part, of animal skins, as was The Tabernacle In The Wilderness. Many of the most well known people of Bible History were "dwellers in tents," including Noah after The Flood (Genesis 9:21), Abraham (Genesis 12:8), Isaac (Genesis 26:17) and Jacob (Genesis 31:33). After the Exodus, the Israelites lived in tents during the Wilderness Journey before entry into the Promised Land.
An Analogy To Temporary Physical Life
Both Paul and Peter used living in tents, temporary physical structures, as an analogy for the transient physical lives of humans:
"For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Here indeed we groan, and long to put on our heavenly dwelling, so that by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we sigh with anxiety; not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life." (2 Corinthians 5:1-4 RSV)
"Therefore I intend always to remind you of these things, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to arouse you by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body [KJV tabernacle, NIV tent, NASB earthly dwelling] will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. And I will see to it that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things." (2 Peter 1:12-15 RSV)
"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God." (Hebrews 11:8-10 RSV)
Fact Finder: What was the apostle Paul's occupation?