Bible History Online Resource Pages


Sub Categories


Agriculture
Altars
Animals
Anointing
Aqueducts
Baking
Banks
Banquets and Feasts
Barrenness
Beds
Beggars
Betrothal
Blood Avenging
Bracelets and Anklets
Bread
Burial
Camels
Caravans
Carpenters
Cats
Cattle
Chariots
Children
Circumcision
Cisterns
Cities and Villages
City Gates
City Towers
City Walls
Clay
Clothing
Cornerstone
Currency
Daily Living
Dairy Products
Death
Divorce
Dogs
Donkeys
Doors
Dowry
Earrings
Eating Customs
Education
Family
Farming
Fasting
Feasts and Festivals
Fig Trees
Figurative Language
Fishing
Floors
Food and Cooking
Fringes
Fruits
Furniture
Girdles
Goads
Goats
Grain
Grain Farming
Granaries
Hair Styles
Harvesting
Headdress
Herod's Temple
Horses
Hospitality
Household Festivities
Houses - Common
Houses - Wealthy
Hunting
Idols
Inns
Jewelry
Lamps
Locusts
Mangers
Mantles
Market Places
Marriage Customs
Masons
Meat
Men's Clothing
Men's Hair
Merchants
Metal Workers
Mills and Millstones
Moneychangers
Mourning & Wailing
Mules
Music
Musical Instruments
Necklaces
Noserings
Occupations
Old Age
Olive Trees
Olives and Olive Oil
Ovens
Oxen
Phylacteries
Physicians
Ploughing
Polygamy
Pools
Potters
Praise and Worship
Prayer
Prayer Shawl
Property Customs
Raids
Rains
Rams Horn
Religious Customs
Robes
Roofs
Sackloth and Ashes
Sacrifices
Sandals
Sea Travel
Seals
Sheaves
Sheep
Shepherds
Ships
Sickles
Sickness
Signet Rings
Slaves
Spices
Springs & Fountains
Staffs
Streets
Swaddling Clothes
Synagogues
Tanners
Tax Collectors
Taxes
Tentmakers
Tents
Thieves and Robbers
Threshing
Tombs
Torah Scrolls
Trade Routes
Travel
Tunic
Upper Rooms
Vegetables
Veils
Vineyards
Washing Hands
Watchtower
Water Supply
Weaving
Wells
Windows
Wine and Winemaking
Winepress
Winnowing Fan
Women
Women's Clothing
Women's Hair
Yokes

Back to Categories

December 19    Scripture

Bible History Online Submission Page
Bible History OnlineBible History Online Search
Bible History Online Sitemap
About Bible History OnlineBible History Online Help




Manners & Customs: Hospitality
Hospitality in the Ancient World

Allowing Neighbors to Eat Grain THE FARMER'S LAW OF HOSPITALITY Eating grain in the field. When the grain in the wheatfield has passed the "milk-stage," and has begun to harden, it is then called "fereek" and is considered to be delicious to eat raw. Natives of the land will pluck the heads, and then rub them in their hand and eat them. For centuries the unwritten law of hospitality has been that wayfarers may eat of the wheat as they pass by or through a field, but they must not carry any away with them.29 The law of GOD allowed this same privilege. "When thou comest unto the standing corn (i.e. grain) of thy neighbor, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbor's standing corn" (Deuteronomy 23:25). When the Pharisees criticized the disciples, it was not for eating wheat as they passed through a wheat field, but rather for doing it on the sabbath day (Luke 6:1,2). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762

Anointing a Guest Anointing the head with oil. The custom of anointing guests with oil is an ancient one among nations of the East. Olive oil alone was often used, but sometimes it was mixed with spices. Simon the Pharisee was accused of lack of hospitality because he failed to anoint JESUS (Luke 7:46). This would indicate the custom was quite common in the days of the Gospel accounts. David immortalized the custom when he wrote his shepherd psalm and exclaimed: "Thou anointest my head with oil" (Psalm 23:5) Travelers in the Orient in recent times have discovered that this practice of anointing still exists in some quarters. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Bowing to a Guest Bowing. When a guest is received into an Orient home, bowing between the guests and host is quite apt to take place. In Western lands such bowing would be of the head only, but in the East there is a more expressive custom of saluting with the head erect and the body a little inclined forward, by raising the hand to the heart, mouth, and forehead. The symbolic meaning of this action is to say something like this: "My heart, my voice, my brain are all at your service." But those who are used to this custom on many occasions enter into a more complete bow. They do not wait to do this only for royalty, but when they want to express thanks for a favor, or supplicate for a favor, and at many other times of meeting they often fall on their knees, and then incline the body touching the ground with their head, and kissing the lower part of the other person's clothing, or his feet, or even the dust at his feet. To those not acquainted with such manners, it would seem that one person was worshiping the other like he would worship GOD; but ordinarily, worship of this sort is not involved in the action. Cornelius is said to have worshiped Peter: "And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him" (Acts 10:25). Of course Peter rejected this lest it might involve divine worship. Concerning the enemies of the Philadelphian church, the Book of Revelation records these words of our LORD: "I will make them of the synagogue of Satan . . . I will make them to come and worship before thy feet" (Revelation 3:9). The Revisers have a marginal note in explanation of the word "worship" in both of these Scriptures: "The Greek word denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to a creature or to the Creator." There are many examples in the Bible of this Eastern custom of bowing in varying degrees of intensity (cf. Genesis 18:2,3; 23:7, 12; Matthew 18:26; Revelation 19:10). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Eating Alone EATING ALONE DISLIKED IT IS A PART of Oriental etiquette to want to share hospitality with others. After a meal has been prepared. an Arab has been heard to call out three times from a high spot in the neighborhood, inviting men to come and partake of the meal. These men of the desert do not like to eat their meal alone.1 The patriarch Job felt that way about it in his day: "Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof" (Job. 31:17). Guests believed to be sent by GOD. These men of the East believe that a person who becomes their guest is sent to them by GOD. Thus their hospitality becomes a sacred duty. When one such a host entertained Westerners, he was so happy that he wept tears of joy that "Heaven had sent him guests." When Abraham entertained three strangers who proved to be angels, he showed much the same attitude. His enthusiasm in receiving the guests would indicate his belief, that those he was to entertain were sent to him by the LORD. It is said that he "ran to meet" the three men, that he "hastened into the tent unto Sarah" to get her to make ready food, that he "ran unto the herd," and that he "fetcht a calf," and that he "hasted to dress it" (Genesis 18:2-7). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Giving Water to Guests The guest given a drink of water. One of the first things done for a guest who has been received, is to offer him a drink of water. The doing of this is recognizing him of being worthy of peaceful reception. Thus to give a drink of water is the simplest way to pledge friendship with a person. When Eliezer, Abraham's servant, sought a welcome, he did so by requesting of the maiden who came to the well to draw water (Genesis 24:17, 18), "Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher." And when she made answer, "Drink, my lord," it was an indication that he was welcome to be a guest at the nearby home. With this significance attached to a drink of water, the promise of JESUS takes on new meaning (Mark 9:41), "Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward." CARING FOR A GUEST AFTER ENTRANCE [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Greeting a Guest Greeting. Upon entering an Arab house or a Bedouin tent, the greetings used are something like this: The host will say: "Salam alakum" which means, "Peace be on you." The guest will respond with the words: 'Wa alakum es-salam," meaning, "And on you, peace." Knowing that these Arabic customs date back for centuries, how significant then are the instructions of JESUS to his disciples, who were to be entertained in certain homes: "And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house, and if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again" (Luke 10:5, 6). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Guest Departure THE DEPARTURE OF A GUEST When the time comes for a guest to depart, a Syrian host will do his best to delay the departure. He will beg him to stay for one more meal, or to wait until the morrow before he leaves. In Judges nineteen is the finest example in the Bible of this custom of delaying the guest. The host said to the guest: "Comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way." After the meal he urged him, "Tarry all night." The next day the guest was persuaded to tarry until afternoon. But when urged to stay over another night, the guest decided it was time to insist on departing, which he did. This is typical Oriental procedure (Judges 19:5-10). When a guest departs, the usual salutation is as follows. The guest will say: "With your permission." And the host will make answer, "Depart in peace." Isaac must have used just such a salutation when Abimelech and his men departed, after having been entertained by Isaac at a meal. Scripture says: "And they departed from him in peace" (Genesis 26:31). When a host desires to do special honor to his departing guest, he will walk with him out of the town a distance. Sometimes this walk will last for an hour, and will come to an end only after the guest has urged his host that he need not go any farther. Thus Abraham walked with his departing guests "to bring them on the way" (Genesis 18:16). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Hospitality Among Nomads Among tent-dwellers. If a guest is entertained by one who lives in a tent, there is no separate place provided, nor would it be expected. Usually, the first section of tent within the entrance is the regular guest apartment, which serves as dining room and sleeping quarters. The men eat with their guest and sleep with him.8 It was in this guest-apartment of his tent, that Abraham entertained his angel guests, when Sarah in the adjoining woman's apartment, overheard what was said (Genesis 18:1-10). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Hospitality in Naves Topical Bible General scriptures concerning Ex 22:21; 23:9; Le 19:10,33,34; 24:22; De 10:18,19; 26:12,13; 27:19; Pr 9:1-5; 23:6-8; Isa 58:6,7; Mt 22:2-10; 25:34-46; Lu 14:12-14; Ro 12:13; 16:1,2; 1Ti 3:2; 5:10; Tit 1:7,8; Heb 13:2; 1Pe 4:9,11; 3Jo 1:5-8 -See GUEST -See STRANGERS -INSTANCES OF Pharaoh to Abraham Ge 12:16 Melchizedek to Abraham Ge 14:18 Abraham to the angels Ge 18:1-8 Lot to the angel Ge 19:1-11 Abimelech to Abraham Ge 20:14,15 Sons of Heth to Abraham Ge 23:6,11 Laban to Abraham's servant Ge 24:31 To Jacob Ge 29:13,14 Isaac to Abimelech Ge 26:30 Joseph to his brothers Ge 43:31-34 Pharaoh to Jacob Ge 45:16-20; 47:7-12 Jethro to Moses Ex 2:20 Rahab to the spies Jos 2:1-16 Man of Gibeah to the Levite Jud 19:16-21 Pharaoh to Hadad 1Ki 11:17,22 David to Mephibosheth 2Sa 9:7-13 The widow of Zarephath to Elijah 1Ki 17:10-24 The Shunammite woman to Elisha 2Ki 4:8 Elisha to the Syrian spies 2Ki 6:22 Job to strangers Job 31:32 Martha to Jesus Lu 10:38; Joh 12:1,2 Pharisees to Jesus Lu 11:37,38 Zacchaeus to Jesus Lu 19:1-10 Simon the tanner to Peter Ac 10:6,23 Lydia to Paul and Silas Ac 16:15 Publius to Paul Ac 28:2 Phoebe to Paul Ro 16:2 Onesiphorus to Paul 2Ti 1:16 Gaius 3Jo 1:5-8 -REWARDED INSTANCES OF Rahab's Jos 6:17,22-25 Widow of Zarephath's 1Ki 17:10-24
http://www.bible-history.com/naves/H/HOSPITALITY/

Hospitality in Smiths Bible Dictionary Hospitality was regarded by most nations of the ancient world as one of the chief virtues. The Jewish laws respecting strangers Le 19:33,34 and the poor, Le 23:14 seq. Deut 15:7 and concerning redemption Le 25:23 seq., etc. are framed in accordance with the spirit of hospitality. In the law compassion to strangers is constantly enforced by the words "for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt." Le 19:34 And before the law, Abraham's entertainment of the angels, Ge 18:1 seq., and Lot's, Ge 19:1 are in exact agreement with its precepts, and with modern usage. Comp. Ex 2:20; Jud 13:15; 19:17,20,21 In the New Testament hospitality is yet more markedly enjoined; and in the more civilized state of society which then prevailed, its exercise became more a social virtue than a necessity of patriarchal life. The good Samaritan stands for all ages as an example of Christian hospitality. The neglect of Christ is symbolized by inhospitality to our neighbors. Mt 25:43 The apostles urged the Church to "follow after hospitality," Ro 12:13 cf. 1Tim 5:10 to remember Abraham's example, Heb 13:2 to "use hospitality one to another without grudging," 1Pe 4:9 while a bishop must be a "lover of hospitality Tit 1:8 cf. 1Tim 3:2 The practice of the early Christians was in accord with these precepts. They had all things in common, and their hospitality was a characteristic of their belief. In the patriarchal ages we may take Abraham's example as the most fitting, as we have of it the fullest account. "The account," says Mr. Lane, "of Abraham's entertaining the three angels related in the Bible, presents a perfect picture of the manner in which a modern Bedawee sheikh receives travellers arriving at his encampment." The Oriental respect for the covenant of bread and salt, or salt alone, certainly sprang from the high regard in which hospitality was held.
http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/H/Hospitality/

Hospitality in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE hos-pi-tal'-i-ti, host (philoxenia, "love of strangers," xenos, "guest," "friend"; pandocheus, "innkeeper"): 1. Among Nomads: When the civilization of a people has advanced so far that some traveling has become necessary, but not yet so far that traveling by individuals is a usual thing, then hospitality is a virtue indispensable to the life of the people. This stage of culture was that represented in ancient Israel and the stage whose customs are still preserved among the present-day Arabs of the desert. Hospitality is regarded as a right by the traveler, to whom it never occurs to thank his host as if for a favor. And hospitality is granted as a duty by the host, who himself may very soon be dependent on some one else's hospitality. But none the less, both in Old Testament times and today, the granting of that right is surrounded by an etiquette that has made Arabian hospitality so justly celebrated. The traveler is made the literal master of the house during his stay; his host will perform for him the most servile offices, and will not even sit in his presence without express request. To the use of the guest is given over all that his host possesses, stopping not even short of the honor of wife or daughter. " `Be we not all,' say the poor nomads, `guests of Ullah? Has God given unto them, God's guest shall partake with them thereof: if they will not for God render his own, it should not go well with them' " (Doughty, Arabia Deserta, I, 228). The host is in duty bound to defend his guest against all comers and to lay aside any personal hatred--the murderer of father is safe as the guest of the son. 2. In the Old Testament: An exquisite example of the etiquette of hospitality is found in Gen 18:1-8. The very fact that the three strangers have passed by Abraham's door gives him the privilege of entertaining them. When he sees them approaching he runs to beg the honor of their turning in to him, with oriental courtesy depreciates the feast that he is about to lay before them as "a morsel of bread," and stands by them while they eat. Manoah (Jdg 13:15) is equally pressing although more matter-of-fact, while Jethro (Ex 2:20) sends out that the stranger may be brought in. And Job (31:32) repels the very thought that he could let the sojourner be unprovided for. The one case where a breach of hospitality receives praise is that of Jael (Jdg 4 through 5), perhaps to be referred to degeneration of customs in the conflicts with the Canaanites or (perhaps more plausibly) to literary- critical considerations, according to which in Jdg 5 Sisera is not represented as entering Jael's tent or possibly not as actually tasting the food, a state of affairs misunderstood in Jdg 4, written under later circumstances of city life. (For contrasting opinions see...
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/H/HOSPITALITY;+HOST/

Hospitality in Towns In the villages and cities. If a village was not provided with a community guest room, then a guest would be entertained in one of the houses, and since most of these had but a single room, that one room would serve as reception room, dining room, and sleeping quarters. This room would be much like the reception apartment of the tent. But in many of the villages and cities, a public guest chamber is provided. The food for guests entertained here is supplied by the families providing the room. Often a servant is hired to care for the room. The guest-room may be an upper room, or in summer, the shade of a large tree might serve as the guest-room. This room is the social gathering place for the men of the village. Women are not allowed in these guest chambers. So, if a man has his family with him when traveling, he does not go to this public reception room, but waits until someone invites them into his house. The Book of Judges tells of a Levite traveling with his concubine and a servant, and how he was thus entertained by an old man (Judges 19:15-21). As many families sleep on the housetop in summer weather, a guest is often given that place for the night. Saul was entertained overnight on the roof top and Samuel called to him early in the morning (I Samuel 9:26). In the cities or where there are houses of more than one room, built around a courtyard, the guest room is usually at the end of the court. As a rule this room is more open than other family rooms. This would correspond to the raised divan in some one-room houses, which serves as the place of honor for guests. In large houses a well-furnished room is provided near the door, so as not to disturb the family. If there is an upper room, a distinguished guest is often accommodated there.11 The man of GOD was provided such a room as a place of retirement (II Kings 4:10). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Hospitality Scripture - 1 Peter 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/1+Peter/4/

Hospitality Scripture - 1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/1+Timothy/3/

Hospitality Scripture - Romans 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Romans/12/

Hospitality Scripture - Titus 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Titus/1/

Hospitality to Enemies Enemies as guests. One remarkable feature of Oriental hospitality is that sometimes an enemy is received as a guest, and as long as he remains in that relationship, he is perfectly safe and is treated as a friend.6 There are certain Oriental tribes of tent-dwellers who have the rule that an enemy who has "once dismounted and touched the rope of a single tent," is safe. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Hospitality to Friends Friends as guests. In the East a friend is always welcome to receive hospitality. The Romans of New Testament times had a token of hospitality between two friends, which consisted of a tile of wood or stone, which was divided in half. Each person wrote his name on one of the two pieces, and then exchanged that piece with the other person. These were often kept and handed down from father to son. To produce the counterpart of one of these pieces would guarantee the hospitality of a real friend. The Book of Revelation no doubt refers to this custom in one of the promises to overcomers: "And will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written" (Revelation 2:17). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Hospitality to Strangers Strangers as guests. There is an Oriental proverb that says, "Every stranger is an invited guest." The Bedouin Arab of today, like Abraham of old, will sit in the entrance way of his tent, in order to be on the watch for stranger guests (Genesis 18:1).4 The inspired apostle gave command concerning hospitality to this type of guest: "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares" (Hebrews 13:2). When Paul exhorted the Roman believers to be "given to hospitality" (Romans 12:13), he was referring to the same thing, for the Greek word he used for hospitality, "fil-ox-en-ee-ah," means, "love to strangers."5 (See also "entertaining fellow-believers in N.T. times," Chapter 13). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Kissing a Guest Kissing. Guests in Holy Land homes expect to be kissed as they enter. When entertained by a Pharisee, JESUS commented on his reception by saying to him, "Thou gavest me no kiss" (Luke 7:45). The difference between the Oriental and the Occidental way of greeting each other is made clear by one who lived in Israel many years. Here men shake hands when they meet and greet, but in Israel, instead of doing this, they place their right hand on their friend's left shoulder and kiss his right cheek, and then reversing the action, place their left hand on his right shoulder, and kiss his left cheek. In this country men never kiss each other's faces; there it may be constantly seen. But how the practice lights up the numerous allusions in Scripture which are naturally lost to a Westerner! Once grasp the fact that their kiss answers to our hearty handshake between friends and social equals, and how much - how very much becomes plain that was before obscured Scriptural examples of men kissing men might be multiplied. Jacob kissed his father (Genesis 27:27). Esau kissed Jacob (Genesis 33:4). Joseph kissed his brothers (Genesis 45:15). Jacob kissed the sons of Joseph (Genesis 48:10). Aaron kissed Moses (Exodus 4:27). Moses kissed Jethro (Exodus 18:7). David and Jonathan kissed each other (I Samuel 20:41). The Father kissed the Prodigal (Luke 15:20). The elders of Miletus kissed Paul (Acts 20:37). This custom is frequent in the Orient in modern times. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Leaving Grain for the Poor Grain left for the poor. The Mosaic Law also had a provision in it to help take care of the poor, in connection with the grain harvest. "And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger" (Leviticus 23:22). Ruth the Moabitess made use of this provision as a stranger in the land, and so gleaned in the field of Boaz (Ruth, Chapter 2). The Arab farmers of today still carry out this ancient custom, although they may not be acquainted with the Biblical precept concerning it. They would not think of touching the corner of their field when harvesting. It is left for the poor and stranger. It may be collected later into a great heap, but it is then given to the poor, or used to maintain a guest chamber. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762

Making a Guest Lord of the House The guest made lord of the house. An Eastern proverb runs thus: "The guest while in the house is its lord." This is a true statement of the spirit of the hospitality of the East. One of the first greetings a Palestinian host will give his guest is to say, "Hadtha beitak" i.e., "This is your house." This saying is repeated many times. Thus actually the guest during his stay is master of the house. And whenever the guest asks a favor, in granting it the host will say, "You do me honor." There must have been the same attitude between host and guest in the days of Lot. The host was considered to be a servant, and the guest was lord. Thus Lot spoke of himself and his guests: "Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house" (Genesis 19:2). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Mistreating Hospitality THE ABUSE OF HOSPITALITY Among Eastern nations it is considered a terrible sin indeed for anybody who has accepted hospitality from a host to turn against him in the doing of an evil deed. This feeling goes back to very ancient times and is often alluded to by various writers. The prophet Obadiah refers to this sin: "The men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee . . . They that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee" (Obadiah 7). The Psalmist David speaks of this terrible evil, "Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me" (Psalm 41:9). And the LORD JESUS quotes this very passage from the Psalm as having its fulfillment in the treachery of Judas the betrayer, who ate at the same table with Him (John 13:18). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Never Leave the Guest Alone Privacy not expected by the guest. An Oriental guest would think he was ill-treated if he were left alone at any time. He does not need privacy at night, because he sleeps with his clothes on. He is happy to have others sleep with him. If a sleeping place is assigned to him in an upper room, then some of the family sons sleep alongside of him that he might have their companionship. He would feel he was being deserted if treated the way he would be if entertained in the West, just as a Westerner would feel oppressed by the constant attentions of an Oriental host. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Protecting a Guest PROTECTING A GUEST In the lands of the East, when a host accepts a man to be his guest he thereby agrees at whatever the cost to defend his guest from possible enemies during the time of his entertainment. Dr. Cyrus Hamlin, an American missionary in the East, was entertained by a governor. The host took a piece of roast mutton and handed it to the missionary, saying as he did so, "Now do you know what I have done?" In answering his own question he went on to say: "By that act I have pledged you every drop of my blood, that while you are in my territory no evil shall come to you. For that space of time we are brothers." The Psalmist felt utterly secure, though he had enemies close by him, when he knew that GOD was his host. "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies" (Psalm 23:5). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Removing a Guests Shoes Removing the shoes. Upon entering a house to be entertained, a guest does as all Orientals would do, he takes off his boots, shoes, or slippers before entering a room. This becomes necessary since they sit on a mat rug, or divan, with their feet beneath them, and shoes would soil the couch and the clothes: and would also make a very uncomfortable seat. The idea of defilement from the shoes led to the custom of removing the shoes upon entering sacred places. Thus at the burning bush the LORD told Moses, "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground" (Exodus 3:5). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Renewing a Friendship RENEWING A BROKEN COVENANT Among oriental people, when a covenant of friendship has been once broken, it may be renewed by those involved once again eating together. After His resurrection, JESUS ate at least three times with various disciples of His, and this was no doubt done in order to renew the covenant, which had been broken by their disloyalty to Him during the days of His passion29 (cf. Luke 24:30, 41-43; John 21:12, 13). In the Old Testament we have an example of this when Jacob and Laban were in strained relationship. They restored their friendship by eating together, as well as entering into an oath (Genesis 31:53,54). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Sharing Meals with Guests The guest served a meal. The sharing of food in the East is a very special act of hospitality. It means far more than it means in the West. It is a way of making a covenant of peace and fidelity. When Abimelech wanted a permanent covenant with Isaac, the confirmation of that covenant came when Isaac "made them a feast, and they did eat and drink" (Genesis 26:30). An Oriental considers as sacred the expression, "bread and salt." When it is said, "There is bread and salt between us" it is the same as saying, "We are bound together by a solemn covenant." A foe will not "taste the salt" of his adversary unless he is ready to be reconciled to him.22 In some rural districts of Syria today there is a custom that a person on a mission of importance will not eat bread and salt of his host until first the purpose of his errand is made known. They think that the covenant of "bread and salt" must not be entered into until the attitude of the host is known regarding the mission of the guest. Thus Abraham's servant refused to eat at the table of Laban, until first he made known his mission of seeking a wife for Isaac (Genesis 24:33). Dr. Thomson, Syrian missionary, was once guest in a Bedouin sheik's tent. The host dipped a bit of bread in some grape molasses and gave it to the missionary for him to eat. Then he said to him, "We are now brethren. There is bread and salt between us. We are brothers and allies." When the Gibeonites sought a covenant of friendship with Israel in the days of Joshua, it was said that the Israelites "took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD" (Joshua 9:14). Once having entered into this covenant, Israel was bound to keep it. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality

Washing a Guests Feet Washing the feet. After bowing, greeting, and kissing, the Eastern guest is offered water for washing his feet. Wearing of sandals would naturally necessitate foot washing, but it is often done when shoes have been worn. A servant will assist the guest by pouring the water upon his feet over a copper basin, rubbing the feet with his hands, and wiping them with a napkin. When JESUS and his disciples were gathered together, the Saviour took the place of the servant, and washed the feet of His disciples, who themselves had disdained to do such a humble task. John tells us that He "laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel" (John 13:4, 5). Paul gave as a recommendation of a widow: "If she have washed the saints' feet" (I Timothy 5:10). This custom was also common in Old Testament days (Genesis 18:4; 19:2; 24:32; 43:24; 1 Samuel 25:41, etc.). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=407&cat_name=Manners+&subcat_name=Hospitality



If you notice a broken link or any error PLEASE report it by clicking HERE
© 1995-2014 Bible History Online