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(מַשְׁתֶּה, a "feast," comp. ξενιζω, to "entertain" a stranger, Hebrews 13:2). This took place among the Hebrews sometimes in connection with a public festival (Deuteronomy 16:1-22; Tobit 2:1) and accompanied by offerings, (See SACRIFICIAL FESTIVAL), (1 Samuel 9:13; 1 Samuel 16:3; 1 Kings 1:9; 1 Kings 3:15; in token of alliance, Genesis 26:30; Genesis 31:54); sometimes with a domestic or social occurrence, and, so faras the latter reference is concerned, they were chiefly held at the weaning of children (Genesis 21:8; comp. Rosenmuller, Morgenl. 6:243 sq.), at weddings (Genesis 29:22; Judges 14:10; John 2:1 sq.), on birthdays (Job 1:4), particularly in royal courts (Genesis 40:20 [?Hosea 7:5]; Matthew 19:6; comp. Herod. 1:133; 9:109; Lucian, Gall. 9; Athen. 4:143; see Dougtaei, Analect. 1:44; 2:33; Laurent, De notalit. convitiisque quae in iisdem agitabantur, in Gronovii Thesaur. 8), on the reception and departure of dear friends or else respected personages (Genesis 19:3; 2 Samuel 3:20; 2 Samuel 20:4; 2 Kings 6:23; Tobit 7:9; Tobit 8:20 sq.; 1 Maccabees 16:15; 2 Maccabees 2:28; Luke 5:29; Luke 15:23 sq.; John 12:2), at sheepshearing (2 Samuel 13:23; 1 Samuel 25:2; 1 Samuel 25:36), and vintage (Judges 9:27), also at funerals (2 Samuel 3:35; Jeremiah 16:7; Tobit 4:18 [the לֶחֶם אוֹנַים of Hosea 9:4]; comp. Josephus, War, 2:1, 1; Homer, II. 23:29; 24:802; see Harmer, 3:203), and mostly occurred in the evening (Josephus, War, 1:17, 4). The guests were invited by servants (Proverbs 9:3; Matthew 22:3 sq.), in more, honorable instances a second time (Matthew 22:4; comp. Luke 14:7; comp. Eskuche, Erlduter. 2:410 sq.), and these summoners (like the Roman vocatores or invitatores) seem to have had the business of assigning the guests their relative position (Walch, Observ. in Matthew ex inscript. page 62). On their arrival the guests were kissed (Tob. 9:8; Luke 7:45), their feet were washed (Luke 7:44; comp. Homer, II. 10:576 sq.; Odyss. 3:476; 8:454; Petron. Sat. 31; see Dougtaei Anal. 1:52); the hair of their head and beard, even their clothes, oftentimes their feet (Luke 7:38; John 12:3; comp. Athen. 12:553), anointed with costly oil (Psalms 23:5; Amos 6:6; comp. Homer, II. 10:577; Plutarch, Sympos. 3:6, page 654; Petron. Sat. 65; Lucret. 4:1125; see Walch, De unctionibus vet. Ebrceor. convivialibus, Jen. 1751), and their persons decked with garlands, with which their head was especially adorned (Isaiah 28:1; Wisdom of Solomon 2:7 sq.; comp. Joseph. Ant. 19:9, 1; Athen. 15:685; Plutarch, Sympos. 3:1 page 645; 3:6, page 654; Philostr. Apoll. 2:27; Aristoph. Av. 460; Horace, Od. 2:7, 23; Sat. 2:3, 256; Plautus, Mencechm. 3:1, 16; Lucretius, 4:1125; Juvenal, 5:36; Petron. 65; Ovid, Fast. 5:337); and then, with consideration to the rank (Josephus, Ant. 15:2, 4); comp. Becker, Charicles, 1:427), they were assigned their respective places (1 Samuel 9:22; Luke 14:8; Mark 12:39; Philo, 2:78; comp. Buckingham, Mesopot. 1:279). All received, as a rule, like portions sent by the master of the house (1 Samuel 1:4; 2 Samuel 6:19; 1 Chronicles 16:3; comp. Homer, Odyss. 20:280 sq.; II. 24:626; Plutarch, Sympos. 2:10, pages 642, 644), which, however, when special honor was intended, was doubled, or even increased fivefold (Genesis 43:34; comp. Herod. 6:57), or a tidbit sent in place of it (1 Samuel 9:24; compare Homer, II. 7:321; see Koster, Erlauter. page 197 sq.).

The management of the entertainment was in the hands of the architriclinus (q.v.) (John 2:8), generally a friend of the family (comp. Sirach 32:1; Sirach 32:23; see Rosenmuller, Morgenl. 5:223). The pride of the entertainer exhibited itself partly in the number of the guests (Genesis 29:22; 1 Samuel 9:22; 1 Kings 1:9; 1 Kings 1:25; Luke 5:29; Luke 14:16), partly in expense of the eating and drinking vessels (Esther 1:6 sq.; compare Curtius, 8:12, 16; see Kype, De apparatu conviv. regis Persar. Regiom. 1755), partly and especially in the variety and excellence of the viands (Genesis 27:9; Isaiah 25:6; Amos 6:4; Job 8:21; comp. Psalms 23:5; Job 28:16; Niebuhr, Trav. 3:385), as well as their richness (Genesis 18:6; 1 Samuel 9:24; Judges 6:19). Such banquets also lasted longer than with Occidentals (3 Maccabees 6:28; comp. Esther 1:3 sq.; Rosenmuller, Morgenl. 3:294), and in Persia weighty state interests were discussed and determinations reached at the royal table (Esther 1:15; Esther 7:1 sq.; Herod. 1:113; Plutarch, Sympos. 7:9; Ammian. Marc. 18:5, page 169, Bip. ed.; Athen. 4:144; comp. Tacit. Germ. 22). The amusement consisted in part of music eand song (Isaiah 5:12; Amos 6:5; Psalms 69:13; Sirach 32:7; comp. Homer, Odyss. 17:358; Rosenmiller, Morgenl. 5:200), also the dance (Matthew 14:6), in part of jests and riddles (Judges 14:12 sq.; compare Athen. 10:452, 457). At their departure the guests "were again perfumed, especially on the beard (Maundrell, page 400 sq.). The women feasted on such occasions probably not with the men (Buckingham, 2:404), but in a separate apartment (Esther 1:9; see Rosenmuller, Morgenl. 3:296; Bachelor, Chron. page 98; comp. the later meretricious custom, Daniel 5:2; Judith 12:11 sq.; Herod. 5:18); but in plebeian homes the sexes were intermingled (John 12:8). The Israelites were forbidden heathenish sacrificial entertainments (Exodus 34:15; yet see Numbers 25:1 sq.), partly because these were in honor of false worship, and partly because they would thus be liable to partake of unclean flesh (1 Corinthians 10:28). See Buxtorf, De conviv. Ebr. in Ugolini Thesaurus 30; Geier, De Vet. Ebr. ratione ccenandi, in the Biblioth. Lubec. vi, sq.; Stuck, Antiquit. conviv. (Tigur. 1597); Mercurial. De arte gymnast. page 75 sq. ed. Amst. (See MEAL- TIME).

An especial sort of entertainment were the κῶμοι , or comissationes ("revellings"), which played so conspicuous a part in the sensual times during which the apostles labored (Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:21; 1 Peter 4:3). Young men assembled to banquetings on festival occasions, or in the crowd of public associations, became excited with song or music, and traversed the streets inspired with wine, jubilating, and committing many extravagances (comp. Wetstein, 2:85 sq.; Bos, Observ. in N.T. page 117 sq.; Schwarz, De comessatione vet. Altdorf, 1744; Ilgen, De poesi scol. p. 197 sq.; Apulej. ed. Oudenorp. 1:133 sq.). On the luxury and wantonness of entertainments generally in the Roman period, see Philo, 2:477 sq. The rich Jews followed the example of their pagan masters. (See FEAST).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Entertainment'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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