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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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BANQUET.—The people of Palestine in Christ’s day—as, indeed, throughout the East generally—were fond of social feasting. The word δοχή, rendered ‘feast,’ from δέχομαι, ‘to receive’ (cf. English ‘reception’), is used with ποιέω, ‘to make’ (cf. Heb. עִשוּ מִשִׁתָּה Job 1:4). This is the social feast or banquet, as distinguished from the religious feast (ἑορτή). Levi made a great feast in his house (Luke 5:29); and Christ advised His followers, when they gave a banquet, to invite the poor and afflicted rather than the rich and influential (Luke 14:13). Such banquets were usually given in the house of the host to invited guests (Luke 14:13, John 2:2), but there was more freedom accorded the uninvited than is common in Western social life (Luke 7:36-38). Guests reclined on couches, leaning upon the left arm, and eating with the aid of the right hand, as in ordinary meals. Eating, and especially drinking of wine (cf. Heb. מִשִׁחּ֛ה ‘drink,’ and ננן ‘wine,’ used for ‘banquet,’ and Gr. συμπόσιον, ‘drinking together’), music, dancing, joyous conversation, merriment, usually characterized such a festivity. Such a banquet was a part of wedding occasions. Jesus accepted an invitation to one of these at Cana in Galilee (John 2:2 ff.). Levi gave a banquet in His honour (Luke 5:29). There were often large numbers present (Luke 5:29), and gradations in the places (Matthew 23:6, Luke 14:7; Luke 20:46, Mark 12:39). One of the guests was usually appointed ‘ruler of the feast,’ or ἀρχιτρίκλινος (John 2:8-9), who superintended the drinking, etc. (cf. Luke 22:26).

E. B. Pollard.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Banquet'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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