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Banquets


Banquets, among the Hebrews, were not only a means of social enjoyment, but were a part of the observance of religious festivity. At the three solemn festivals the family also had its domestic feast. Deut. 16:11. Sacrifices, both ordinary and extraordinary, Ex. 34:15; Judges 16:23, included a banquet. Birthday banquets are only mentioned Gen. 40:20; Matt. 14:6. The usual time of the banquet was the evening, and to begin early was a mark of excess. Eccles. 10:16; Isa. 5:11. The most essential materials of the banqueting-room, next to the viands and wine, which last was often drugged with spices, Prov. 9:2, were perfumed unguents, garlands or loose flowers, white or brilliant robes; after these, exhibitions of music, singers and dancers, riddles, jesting and merriment. Judges 14:12; 2 Sam. 19:35; Neh. 8:10; Eccles. 10:19; Isa. 5:12; 25:6; 28:1; Matt. 22:11; Luke 15:25. The posture at table in early times was sitting, 1 Sam. 16:11; 20:5, 18, and the guests were ranged in order of dignity. Gen. 43:33; 1 Sam. 9:22. Words which imply the recumbent posture belong to the New Testament.