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The English word "couch" originated from a French word which meant to lie down. The English word "crouch" is a variant of "couch," with a meaning of to bend down.
"Couch" is used to translate a number of different Hebrew words, some of which are (pronounced) yaw-tsoo-ah, meaning to spread, as on a bed; mish-kawb, meaning a bed, or to sleep; soo-awk, meaning to meditate; eh-res, meaning to arch.
As well, the old English of the King James Version has "couchingplace" which it uses to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced mar-bates, meaning a fold, or a place for flocks to lie down (see the Fact Finder question below) i.e.
"25:5 And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels, and the Ammonites a couchingplace for flocks: and ye shall know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 25:5 KJV)
It was that form of the word that was used by King David in his famous twenty-third Psalm:
"23:1 A Psalm of David.
"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters"
As he was about to die, Jacob (who the LORD renamed as Israel) made a prophetic blessing upon each of his sons. For Reuben, it was a condemnation because "he went up to my couch" and committed adultery with one of Jacob's other wives ("Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine" Genesis 35:22 KJV), who was the mother of Reuben's half-brothers Dan and Naphtali.
"49:3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: 49:4 Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch." (Genesis 49:3-4 KJV)
Jacob used "couching" (the Hebrew word that is translated as such) in referring to two other of his sons, Judah and Issachar, but unlike that for Reuben, for Judah and Issachar it was a blessing (particularly for Judah because it prophesied the Messiah to come who would be a descendant of Judah, the first "Jew" - see Hebrew).
"49:9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." (Genesis 49:9-10 KJV)
The term "couched, he lay down as a lion" was also used for all of Israel.
"24:8 God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn [see also Did Unicorns Really Miss The Boat?]: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. 24:9 He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee." (Numbers 24:8-9 KJV)
According to one of its literal meanings in Hebrew, "couch" was also another word for a bed. Both Job and David used the term, albeit both of them in times of distress.
"7:13 When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint; 7:14 Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions." (Job 7:13-14 KJV)
In the New Testament, the term was usually applied to what might be called a stretcher or litter today.
"5:19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.
Fact Finder: Does the Messiah have a "couchingplace," or a "fold," for His flock?