An item of furniture used principally for putting food on. Sharing at the same table was a mark of fellowship and to eat at the table of rulers was deemed a great privilege. In the tabernacle and temple a special table held the bread of the Presence. Tables were also used for business transactions.
Tables used for eating
A table as household furniture 2Ki 4:10
Reclining at table Lk 7:36 See also Mt 26:7 pp Mk 14:3; Lk 11:37; Jn 12:2
Tables set for meals Ps 23:5; Isa 21:5 See also Job 36:16; Ps 69:22; Ps 78:19 The people of Israel doubted God’s ability to provide; Pr 9:2; Eze 23:41
Giving thanks for food at the table Lk 24:30 See also Mt 26:26-27 pp Mk 14:22-23 pp Lk 22:17-19; 1Co 11:23-24
Dogs eat scraps from the table Mt 15:27 pp Mk 7:28 See also Jdg 1:7; Lk 16:21
Eating at the table of rulers
Rulers were required to entertain Ne 5:17-18 See also 1Ki 4:27; 1Ki 10:4-5 pp 2Ch 9:3-4
A bestowal of authority Lk 22:29-30 See also Mt 22:2-3; Lk 14:15
A mark of honour and favour Ge 43:34; 2Sa 9:11; 1Ki 2:7; 1Ki 18:19; 2Ki 25:28-29 pp Jer 52:32-33; Lk 14:7 Jesus Christ criticises those who seek the most prestigious places at the table.
Sharing at the same table was a mark of fellowship
A sign of participation 1Co 10:16-20
Unacceptable table fellowship Da 1:5-8; 1Co 10:21 See also 1Sa 20:34 Jonathan refuses to eat with Saul; 1Ki 18:19; Isa 65:11; Jer 7:18
Betrayal of table fellowship Ps 41:9 See also 1Sa 20:29-31 Saul wishes to kill David while inviting him to share his table; Da 11:27; Mt 26:20-21 pp Mk 14:18 pp Lk 22:21
Serving at table
Lk 22:27 See also Lk 12:37; Ac 6:2 The first Christians recognised the importance of practical service by appointing deacons to “wait on tables”.
Tables used in business
Jn 2:14-15 See also Mt 21:12 pp Mk 11:15
Tables used in worship
The table in the tabernacle Ex 25:23-30 The table was for the bread of the Presence: an offering of twelve loaves, one from each of the twelve tribes. See also Ex 37:10-16; Ex 26:35; Ex 30:27 The table was anointed for use; Ex 35:13 pp Ex 39:36; Ex 40:4 The Kohathites were responsible for the table: Nu 3:31; Nu 4:7
The tables in Solomon’s temple 2Ch 4:8 See also 1Ki 7:48 pp 2Ch 4:19; 1Ch 28:16; 2Ch 13:11; 2Ch 29:18
The tables in Ezekiel’s temple Eze 40:39-43; Eze 41:22; Eze 44:16
Tables in worship after the exile 1Ch 9:31-32; Ne 10:33 Probably references to the altar, defiled by the people’s substandard offerings: Mal 1:7,12