|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
A feast provided for the entertainment of a company of guests (Esther 5; 7; 1 Peter 4:3); such as was provided for our Lord by his friends in Bethany (Matthew 26:6; Mark 14:3; Comp. John 12:2). These meals were in the days of Christ usually called "suppers," after the custom of the Romans, and were partaken of toward the close of the day. It was usual to send a second invitation (Matthew 22:3; Luke 14:17) to those who had been already invited. When the whole company was assembled, the master of the house shut the door with his own hands (Luke 13:25; Matthew 25:10).
The guests were first refreshed with water and fragrant oil (Luke 7:38; Mark 7:4). A less frequent custom was that of supplying each guest with a robe to be worn during the feast (Ecclesiastes 9:8; Revelation 3:4, 5; Matthew 22:11). At private banquets the master of the house presided; but on public occasions a "governor of the feast" was chosen (John 2:8). The guests were placed in order according to seniority (Genesis 43:33), or according to the rank they held (Proverbs 25:6, 7; Matthew 23:6; Luke 14:7).
As spoons and knives and forks are a modern invention, and were altogether unknown in the East, the hands alone were necessarily used, and were dipped in the dish, which was common to two of the guests (John 13:26). In the days of our Lord the guests reclined at table; but the ancient Israelites sat around low tables, cross-legged, like the modern Orientals. Guests were specially honoured when extra portions were set before them (Genesis 43:34), and when their cup was filled with wine till it ran over (Psalm 23:5). The hands of the guests were usually cleaned by being rubbed on bread, the crumbs of which fell to the ground, and were the portion for dogs (Matthew 15:27; Luke 16:21).
At the time of the three annual festivals at Jerusalem family banquets were common. To these the "widow, and the fatherless, and the stranger" were welcome (Deuteronomy 16:11). Sacrifices also included a banquet (Exodus 34:15; Judges 16:23). Birthday banquets are mentioned (Genesis 40:20; Matthew 14:6). They were sometimes protracted, and attended with revelry and excess (Genesis 21:8; 29:22; 1 Samuel 25:2, 36; 2 Samuel 13:23). Portions were sometimes sent from the table to poorer friends (Nehemiah 8:10; Esther 9:19, 22). (see MEALS.)
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) A feast; a sumptuous entertainment of eating and drinking; often, a complimentary or ceremonious feast, followed by speeches.
2. (n.) A dessert; a course of sweetmeats; a sweetmeat or sweetmeats.
3. (v. t.) To treat with a banquet or sumptuous entertainment of food; to feast.
4. (v. i.) To regale one's self with good eating and drinking; to feast.
5. (v. i.) To partake of a dessert after a feast.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
1. The Ancient Hebrew Customs:
(1) "Banquet" and "banqueting" in the King James Version always include and stand for wine-drinking, not simply "feast" or "feasting" in our sense. Thus (Songs 2:4), "He brought me to the banqueting-house" is literally, "the house of wine," and Esther 7:2 has in the Hebrew "a banquet of wine." In the New Testament we see a reflection of the same fact in 1 Peter 4:3 the King James Version, "We walked in. excess of wine, banquetings" (Greek "drinkings"; the Revised Version (British and American) "carousings"). Compare Amos 6:7 the King James Version, "The banquet of them that stretched themselves," where the reference seems to be to reclining at wine-drinkings.
The Hebrew of Job 1:4, "make a banquet," may refer to a social feast of a less objectionable sort (compare Job 41:6 the King James Version), though the Hebrew for "to drink" yayin "wine," was used as synonymous with "banquet."
Music, dancing and merriment usually attended all such festivities. Certainly the ancient Hebrews, like other peoples of the ancient East, were very fond of social feasting, and in Christ's day had acquired, from contact with Greeks and Romans, luxurious and bibulous habits, that often carried them to excess in their social feasts.
2. In Christ's Teaching and Practice:
Among the Greeks the word for "feast" (doche) is from dechomai "to receive" (compare our English usage, "to receive" and "reception"). This word doche is used with poiein "to make," to signify "to make" or "give a feast." Compare Luke 5:29 where Levi "made a feast."
(1) In view of existing customs and abuses, Christ taught His followers when they gave a banquet to invite the poor, etc. (Luke 14:13), rather than, as the fashion of the day called for, to bid the rich and influential. Much in the New Testament that has to do with banquets and banquetings will be obscure to us of the West if we do not keep in mind the many marked differences of custom between the East and the West.
(2) "Banquets" were usually given in the house of the host to specially invited guests (Luke 14:15 John 2:2), but much more freedom was accorded to the uninvited than we of the West are accustomed to, as one finds to be true everywhere in the East today. The custom of reclining at meals (see MEALS; TRICLINIUM, etc.) was everywhere in vogue among the well-to-do in Christ's day, even in the case of the ordinary meals, the guest leaning upon the left arm and eating with the aid of the right (compare Matthew 26:20 m "reclining," and 1 Corinthians 11:20, "the Lord's supper").
(3) "Banquets" were considered normal parts of weddings as they are now throughout the East. Jesus and His disciples were bidden to one at Cana in Galilee, and accepted the invitation (John 2:2), and wine-drinking was a part of the feast. The "banquet" Levi gave was in Christ's honor (Luke 5:29). There were numbers present and marked gradations in the places at table (Matthew 23:6 Mark 12:39 Luke 14:7; Luke 20:46). Guests were invited in advance, and then, as time-pieces were scarce, specially notified when the feast was ready, which helps to explain Christ's words (Matthew 22:4), "All things are ready: come to the marriage" (compare Luke 14:17 Esther 5:8; Esther 6:14).
(4) Matthew tells us (Matthew 23:6) that the Pharisees "love the chief place ("uppermost rooms" the King James Version) at feasts."
In Matthew 22:3, 4 "made a marriage feast," is rendered by some simply "a feast," because Greek gamos, "marriage," was used by Septuagint to translate the Hebrew for "feast" in Esther 1:5. But, as this is the only known example of such a use compare gamos, it is better to take it here in the literal sense of "marriage feast," as would seem to be required by the words "for his son" (Messiah). The Greek is plural (gamous) to indicate the several parts or stages of the feast (Button, 23; compare English "nuptials").
wine was provided, superintend the drinking, etc. (compare Luke 22:27).
3. A Distinction Giving Rise to a Question:
(1) In Matthew 22:4, "I have made ready my dinner," "dinner" in Greek is ariston (compare Luke 11:38). "Supper" (Greek deipnon) is found in Matthew 23:6 and often in the New Testament. Both words are found in Luke 14:12. The question arises, What was the distinction? Thus much may be said in answer: The ariston (English Versions "dinner") was a meal usually taken about the middle of the forenoon, with variations of earlier or later; the deipnon (English Versions "supper"), the one taken at the close of the day, often after dark. In Ant, V, iv, 2 Josephus supposes Eglon's guards (Judges 3:24) were negligent about noon, "both because of the heat and because their attention was turned to dinner" (ariston). So the "dinner" (ariston) was sometimes as late as noon. Yet John 21:12, 15 shows, on the other hand, that the ariston was on some occasions taken shortly after dawn.
(2) Another question raised is this, Were the ancient Jews accustomed to have two or three meals a day? Vambery, quoted by Morison, gives a saying of the Turks that is in point: "There are only two meals a day, the smaller at 10 or 11 o'clock in the morning, the second and larger after sunset." There seems no evidence to sustain the view, maintained by Grimm and entertained by others, that the Jews of Christ's day were accustomed to take a separate and slight meal on rising, as the later Greeks and some of the later Romans did. There is certainly no clear evidence that the Jews of that day had more than two meals a day (see DB, article "Meals").
(3) The marriage feast of Matthew 22:3 was an ariston, somewhat like an English "wedding-breakfast"; but that in Luke 14:16 was a deipnon, which was as usual delayed till after dark (Luke 14:17). Perhaps the ariston in this case was preliminary, while the marriage with its accompanying deipnon was after dark; such things are not unheard of today (compare Matthew 26:20 and 1 Corinthians 11:20, "the Lord's deipnon").
George B. Eager
Banquet (58 Occurrences)
Matthew 22:2 "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage feast for his son, (See NIV)
Matthew 22:3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast, but they would not come. (See NIV)
Matthew 22:4 Again he sent out other servants, saying,'Tell those who are invited, "Behold, I have made ready my dinner. My cattle and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the marriage feast!"' (See NIV)
Matthew 22:8 Then he said to his servants, "'The wedding banquet is ready, but those who were invited were unworthy of it. (WEY NIV)
Matthew 22:9 Go therefore to the intersections of the highways, and as many as you may find, invite to the marriage feast.' (See NIV)
Matthew 25:10 "So they went to buy. But meanwhile the bridegroom came; those bridesmaids who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. (WEY NIV)
Mark 6:21 At length Herodias found her opportunity. Herod on his birthday gave a banquet to the nobles of his court and to the tribunes and the principal people in Galilee, (WEY NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 5:29 Levi made a great feast for him in his house. There was a great crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining with them. (See NIV)
Luke 12:36 Be like men watching for their lord, when he returns from the marriage feast; that, when he comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him. (See NIV)
Luke 13:29 They will come from east and west, from north and south, and will sit down at the banquet in the Kingdom of God. (WEY)
Luke 14:8 "When any one invites you to a wedding banquet, do not take the best seat, lest perhaps some more honoured guest than you may have been asked, (WEY)
Luke 14:12 He also said to the one who had invited him, "When you make a dinner or a supper, don't call your friends, nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen, nor rich neighbors, or perhaps they might also return the favor, and pay you back. (See RSV)
Luke 14:16 But he said to him, "A certain man made a great supper, and he invited many people. (See RSV NIV)
Luke 14:17 He sent out his servant at supper time to tell those who were invited,'Come, for everything is ready now.' (See RSV NIV)
Luke 14:24 For I tell you that none of those men who were invited will taste of my supper.'" (See RSV NIV)
Luke 16:19 "There was once a rich man who habitually arrayed himself in purple and fine linen, and enjoyed a splendid banquet every day, (WEY)
John 2:8 He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the ruler of the feast." So they took it. (See NIV)
John 2:9 When the ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and didn't know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast called the bridegroom, (See NIV)
Genesis 19:3 And he presseth on them greatly, and they turn aside unto him, and come in unto his house; and he maketh for them a banquet, and hath baked unleavened things; and they do eat. (YLT)
Genesis 21:8 And the lad groweth, and is weaned, and Abraham maketh a great banquet in the day of Isaac's being weaned; (YLT)
Genesis 26:30 And he maketh for them a banquet, and they eat and drink, (YLT)
Genesis 29:22 and Laban gathereth all the men of the place, and maketh a banquet. (YLT)
Judges 14:10 And his father goeth down unto the woman, and Samson maketh there a banquet, for so the young men do; (YLT)
Judges 14:12 And Samson saith to them, 'Let me, I pray you, put forth to you a riddle; if ye certainly declare it to me 'in' the seven days of the banquet, and have found 'it' out, then I have given to you thirty linen shirts, and thirty changes of garments; (YLT)
Judges 14:17 And she weepeth for it the seven days 'in' which their banquet hath been, and it cometh to pass on the seventh day that he declareth 'it' to her, for she hath distressed him; and she declareth the riddle to the sons of her people. (YLT)
1 Samuel 25:36 And Abigail cometh in unto Nabal, and lo, he hath a banquet in his house, like a banquet of the king, and the heart of Nabal 'is' glad within him, and he 'is' drunk unto excess, and she hath not declared to him anything, less or more, till the light of the morning. (YLT NIV)
2 Samuel 3:20 and Abner cometh in unto David, to Hebron, and with him twenty men, and David maketh for Abner, and for the men who 'are' with him, a banquet. (YLT)
1 Kings 3:15 And Solomon awaketh, and lo, a dream; and he cometh in to Jerusalem, and standeth before the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, and causeth to ascend burnt-offerings, and maketh peace-offerings. And he maketh a banquet for all his servants, (YLT)
Esther 1:3 in the third year of his reign, he hath made a banquet to all his heads and his servants; of the force of Persia and Media, the chiefs and heads of the provinces 'are' before him, (YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Esther 1:5 And at the fulness of these days hath the king made to all the people who are found in Shushan the palace, from great even unto small, a banquet, seven days, in the court of the garden of the house of the king -- (YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Esther 1:9 Also Vashti the queen hath made a banquet for women, in the royal house that the king Ahasuerus hath. (YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Esther 2:18 and the king maketh a great banquet to all his heads and his servants -- the banquet of Esther -- and a release to the provinces hath made, and giveth gifts as a memorial of the king. (YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Esther 5:4 Esther said, "If it seems good to the king, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Esther 5:5 Then the king said, "Bring Haman quickly, so that it may be done as Esther has said." So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Esther 5:6 The king said to Esther at the banquet of wine, "What is your petition? It shall be granted you. What is your request? Even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Esther 5:8 If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I will prepare for them, and I will do tomorrow as the king has said." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Esther 5:12 Haman also said, "Yes, Esther the queen let no man come in with the king to the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and tomorrow I am also invited by her together with the king. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Esther 5:14 Then Zeresh his wife and all his friends said to him, "Let a gallows be made fifty cubits high, and in the morning speak to the king about hanging Mordecai on it. Then go in merrily with the king to the banquet." This pleased Haman, so he had the gallows made. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Esther 6:14 While they were yet talking with him, the king's eunuchs came, and hurried to bring Haman to the banquet that Esther had prepared. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Esther 7:1 So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen. (WEB KJV JPS ASV WBS)
Esther 7:2 The king said again to Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, "What is your petition, queen Esther? It shall be granted you. What is your request? Even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Esther 7:7 The king arose in his wrath from the banquet of wine and went into the palace garden. Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT)
Esther 7:8 Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman had fallen on the couch where Esther was. Then the king said, "Will he even assault the queen in front of me in the house?" As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NIV)
Esther 8:17 and in every province and province, and in every city and city, the place where the word of the king, even his law, is coming, gladness and joy 'are' to the Jews, a banquet, and a good day; and many of the peoples of the land are becoming Jews, for a fear of the Jews hath fallen upon them. (YLT)
Esther 9:17 on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, even to rest on the fourteenth of it, and to make it a day of banquet and of joy. (YLT)
Esther 9:18 And the Jews who 'are' in Shushan have been assembled, on the thirteenth day of it, and on the fourteenth of it, even to rest on the fifteenth of it, and to make it a day of banquet and of joy. (YLT)
Esther 9:19 Therefore the Jews of the villages, who are dwelling in cities of the villages, are making the fourteenth day of the month of Adar -- joy and banquet, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another. (YLT)
Esther 9:22 as days on which the Jews have rested from their enemies, and the month that hath been turned to them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning to a good day, to make them days of banquet and of joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the needy. (YLT)
Job 1:4 And his sons have gone and made a banquet -- the house of each 'in' his day -- and have sent and called to their three sisters to eat and to drink with them; (YLT)
Job 1:5 and it cometh to pass, when they have gone round the days of the banquet, that Job doth send and sanctify them, and hath risen early in the morning, and caused to ascend burnt-offerings -- the number of them all -- for Job said, 'Perhaps my sons have sinned, yet blessed God in their heart.' Thus doth Job all the days. (YLT)
Job 41:6 Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants? (KJV JPS WBS)
Proverbs 15:15 All the days of the afflicted 'are' evil, And gladness of heart 'is' a perpetual banquet. (YLT)
Song of Songs 2:4 He brought me to the banquet hall. His banner over me is love. (WEB KJV JPS ASV WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 25:6 And made hath Jehovah of Hosts, For all the peoples in this mount, A banquet of fat things, a banquet of preserved things, Fat things full of marrow, preserved things refined. (YLT NAS NIV)
Jeremiah 51:39 In their heat I make their banquets, And I have caused them to drink, so that they exult, And have slept a sleep age-during, And awake not -- an affirmation of Jehovah. (Root in YLT NAS)
Daniel 5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. (See NIV)
Daniel 5:10 Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: the queen spoke and said, O king, live forever; don't let your thoughts trouble you, nor let your face be changed. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Amos 6:7 Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed. (KJV WBS NAS)