Entertainments, "feasts," were sometimes connected with a public festival (Deut. 16:11, 14), and accompanied by offerings (1 Sam. 9:13), in token of alliances (Gen. 26:30); sometimes in connection with domestic or social events, as at the weaning of children (Gen. 21:8), at weddings (Gen. 29:22; John 2:1), on birth-days (Matt. 14:6), at the time of sheep-shearing (2 Sam. 13:23), and of vintage (Judg. 9:27), and at funerals (2 Sam. 3:35; Jer. 16:7).
The guests were invited by servants (Prov. 9:3; Matt. 22:3), who assigned them their respective places (1 Sam. 9:22; Luke 14:8; Mark 12:39). Like portions were sent by the master to each guest (1 Sam. 1:4; 2 Sam. 6:19), except when special honour was intended, when the portion was increased (Gen. 43:34).
The Israelites were forbidden to attend heathenish sacrificial entertainments (Ex. 34:15), because these were in honour of false gods, and because at such feast they would be liable to partake of unclean flesh (1 Cor. 10:28).