Banquets

among the Hebrews, were not only a means of social enjoyment, but were a part of the observance of religious festivity. At the three solemn festivals the family also had its domestic feast. (16:11) Sacrifices, both ordinary and extraordinary, (Exodus 34:15; Judges 16:23) includes a banquet. Birthday banquets are only mentioned (Genesis 40:20; Matthew 14:6) The usual time of the banquet was the evening, and to begin early was a mark of excess. (Ecclesiastes 10:16; Isaiah 5:11) The most essential materials of the banqueting room, next to the viands and wine, which last was often drugged with spices, (Proverbs 9:2) were perfumed unguents, garlands or loose flowers, white or brilliant robes; after these, exhibitions of music singers and dancers, riddles, jesting and merriment. (Judges 14:12; 2 Samuel 19:35; Nehemiah 8:10; Ecclesiastes 10:19; Isaiah 5:12; 25:6; 28:1; Matthew 22:11; Luke 15:25) The posture at table in early times was sitting, (1 Samuel 16:11; 20:5,18) and the guests were ranged in order of dignity. (Genesis 43:33; 1Sam 9:22 Words which imply the recumbent posture belong to the New Testament.