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What are Seats?
     Matt 21:12. The nations of the East seat themselves upon the mats or carpets with which their floors are covered. In the houses of the rich there are spread pillows or cushions stuffed with cotton, or, in some cases, a broad but very low sofa or divan with arms, stuffed cushions, and costly ornaments. Upon these divans, as well as upon the floor or ground, they sit, with the legs bent under and crossed, in a half-kneeling posture. The ancient Hebrews used the posture which has just been described. After the Captivity, however, the rich and noble adopted the Persian method of lying down at table upon couches. Am 6:4, which was likewise practised by the Greeks and Romans. In the passage of Amos it is said of the luxurious sinners who lived nearly eight hundred years before Christ, they "lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches." These "beds of ivory" were probably divans, such as those above mentioned, but richly decorated with ivory. They used at table very low and broad divans, and the guests stretched themselves at full length. Each divan held three persons. The back was supported by a cushion, and the face so turned toward the table that the head was hold up with the left hand upon another cushion. The right hand was thus free to reach the food. The second person lay with the back part of his head toward the breast of the former, and the third, in like manner, with the back part of his head toward the second. Thus they lay, so to speak, in the bosoms of their neighbors. Luke 16:23; John 13:23. This was the ordinary posture at meals, and the feet of the guests were distant from the table. Hence we can readily form an idea of the scene described in Luke 7:38. In the eating-room there were commonly three such divans; the middle place of the middle divan was accounted most honorable. This was the seat which the Pharisees so much affected at feasts. 1 Sam 9:22; Matt 23:6; Luke 14:8-9. At the present day the corner of the bed-divan is the seat of dignity, and so it was in ancient times among the Hebrews. Am 3:12. This manner of reclining at meals - at least, in Persia - was imitated by the women. Esth 7:8. It is uncertain whether Hebrew women ate in the same apartment with the men. See Eat, Eating.

Bibliography Information
Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'seats' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary". - Schaff's

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