as a mark of hospitality ( Genesis 19:3 ; 2 Sam 3:20 ; 2 Kings 6:23 ); on occasions of domestic joy ( Luke 15:23 ; Genesis 21:8 ); on birthdays ( Genesis 40:20 ; Job 1:4 ; Matthew 14:6 ); and on the occasion of a marriage ( Judges 14:10 ; Genesis 29:22 ).
Feasting was a part of the observances connected with the offering up of sacrifices ( Deuteronomy 12:6 Deuteronomy 12:7 ; 1 Samuel 9:19 ; 1 Samuel 16:3 1 Samuel 16:5 ), and with the annual festivals ( Deuteronomy 16:11 ). "It was one of the designs of the greater solemnities, which required the attendance of the people at the sacred tent, that the oneness of the nation might be maintained and cemented together, by statedly congregating in one place, and with one soul taking part in the same religious services. But that oneness was primarily and chiefly a religious and not merely a political one; the people were not merely to meet as among themselves, but with Jehovah, and to present themselves before him as one body; the meeting was in its own nature a binding of themselves in fellowship with Jehovah; so that it was not politics and commerce that had here to do, but the soul of the Mosaic dispensation, the foundation of the religious and political existence of Israel, the covenant with Jehovah. To keep the people's consciousness alive to this, to revive, strengthen, and perpetuate it, nothing could be so well adapated as these annual feasts." (See FESTIVALS .)