Different kinds of shelters or dwellings. In the OT the Hebrew word translated “inn” or “lodging place” might refer to a camping place for an individual (Jer 9:2), a family on a journey (Exod 4:24), an entire caravan (Gen 42:27; 43:21), or an army (Josh 4:3,8). In these passages (with the possible exception of the reference in Jeremiah) the presence of a building is not implied. Often the reference is only to a convenient piece of ground near a spring. It is doubtful that inns in the sense of public inns with a building existed in OT times.
The wilderness played an important role, affecting life in ancient Israel in several different ways. For instance, every year, at the beginning and end of summer, a hot, dry desert wind blows from the east. This wind, called sirocco, raises the temperature and can be quite destructive to vegetation. The wind was yearly reminder to Israel that the wilderness was within reach.
Roads of Bible times were little more than paths, rough and crude by modern standards. When a king traveled, his servants would go ahead of him, removing stones, filling in low places, and straightening curves so the king’s journey would be more pleasant.
These “images” that Rachel had stolen from her father were household idols known as teraphim. Small statuettes in human form, they may have represented deceased ancestors of the family. They were consulted in a superstitious way for guidance and direction in everyday life.