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DINNER

din'-er (ariston; Mt 22:4; Lk 11:38 (the Revised Version, margin "breakfast"); 14:12; compare Ruth 2:14; Jn 21:13): In oriental as in classical lands it was customary, in ancient times, as now, to have but two meals in the day, and the evidence, including that of Josephus, goes to show that the second or evening meal was the principal one. The "morning morsel," as the Talmud calls it, was in no sense a "meal." The peasant or artisan, before beginning work, might "break (his) fast" (Jn 21:12,15) by taking a bit of barley bread with some simple relish, but to "eat (a full meal) in the morning" was a reproach (Eccl 10:16). The full meal was not to be taken until a little before or after sunset, when the laborers had come in from their work (Lk 17:7; compare the "supper time" of 14:17). The noon meal, taken at an hour when climatic conditions called for rest from exertion (the ariston of the Greeks, rendered "dinner" in English Versions of the Bible, Mt 22:4; Lk 11:38, the Revised Version, margin "breakfast"), was generally very simple, of bread soaked in light wine with a handful of parched corn (Ruth 2:14), or of "pottage and bread broken into a bowl" (Bel and the Dragon 33), or of bread and broiled fish (Jn 21:13). Many, when on journey especi content with one meal a day, taken after sunset. In general, eating at other times is casual and informal; evening is the time for the formal meal, or feast.
See MEALS.
George B. Eager
Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'dinner'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com - ISBE; 1915.

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