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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Inn. In the Bible the "inn" was not a hotel in our sense. The word so translated means either a "lodging-place for the night"—not necessarily a covered place, but a mere station of caravans, where water could be obtained; such was the "inn," R. V. "lodging-place," at which Joseph's brethren stopped, and where Moses was met by the Lord, Genesis 42:27; Exodus 4:24—or else a khan or caravanserai, which was, and is, a large square building enclosing an open court, in whose centre is a fountain; the building contains a number of rooms. There is no provision for meals or feed for the animals; the travellers carry such necessaries with them. These caravanserais are often built by benevolent persons. Jeremiah 9:2. Another kind of "inn" is that mentioned in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Luke 10:34. This had a host, who was probably paid to attend to the wants of travellers. And it was in one of the stables of a mere caravanserai provided for the horses of travellers that our Lord was born. In modern Syria, in villages where there is no khan, there is a house for the entertainment of travellers, with a man appointed to look after it: for its accommodations, meagre as they are, payment is exacted, and the keeper likewise gets a fee.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Inn'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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