Banquets in Easton's Bible Dictionary
a feast provided for the entertainment of a company of
(Esther 5; 7; 1 Pet. 4:3); such as was provided for
our Lord by
his friends in Bethany (Matt. 26:6; Mark 14:3; comp.
These meals were in the days of Christ usually
after the custom of the Romans, and were partaken of
close of the day. It was usual to send a second
(Matt. 22:3; Luke 14:17) to those who had been
When the whole company was assembled, the master of
shut the door with his own hands (Luke 13:25; Matt.
The guests were first refreshed with water and
(Luke 7:38; Mark 7:4). A less frequent custom was
supplying each guest with a robe to be worn during
(Eccles. 9:8; Rev. 3:4, 5; Matt. 22:11). At private
master of the house presided; but on public
"governor of the feast" was chosen (John 2:8). The
placed in order according to seniority (Gen. 43:33),
according to the rank they held (Prov. 25:6,7; Matt.
As spoons and knives and forks are a modern
were altogether unknown in the East, the hands alone
necessarily used, and were dipped in the dish, which
to two of the guests (John 13:26). In the days of
our Lord the
guests reclined at table; but the ancient Israelites
low tables, cross-legged, like the modern Orientals.
specially honoured when extra portions were set
(Gen. 43:34), and when their cup was filled with
wine till it
ran over (Ps. 23:5). The hands of the guests were
cleaned by being rubbed on bread, the crumbs of
which fell to
the ground, and were the portion for dogs (Matt.
At the time of the three annual festivals at
banquets were common. To these the "widow, and the
and the stranger" were welcome (Deut. 16:11).
included a banquet (Ex. 34:15; Judg. 16:23).
are mentioned (Gen. 40:20; Matt. 14:6). They were
protracted, and attended with revelry and excess
29:22; 1 Sam. 25:2,36; 2 Sam. 13:23). Portions were
sent from the table to poorer friends (Neh. 8:10;
22). (See MEALS -T0002451.)
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