The giving of presents entered largely into the affairs of common life in the East. The nature of the presents was as various as were the occasions: food (1 Sam. 9:7; 16:20), sheep and cattle (Gen. 32:13-15), gold (2 Sam. 18:11), jewels (Gen. 24:53), furniture, and vessels for eating and drinking (2 Sam. 17:28); delicacies, as spices, honey, etc. (1 Kings 10:25; 2 Kings 5: 22). The mode of presentation was with as much parade as possible: the presents were conveyed by the hands of servants (Judg. 3:18), or still better, on the backs of beasts of burden (2 Kings 8:9). The refusal of a present was regarded as a high indignity; and this constituted the aggravated insult noticed in Matt. 22:11, the marriage robe having been offered and refused.
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