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 ; 1 Samuel 20:5 1 Samuel 20:18 ) 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.
Bibliography InformationSmith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Banquets'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary".