What is an Inn?
In the Bible the "inn" was not a hotel in our sense. The word so translated means either a "lodging-place for the night" -- not necessarily a covered place, but a mere station of caravans, where water could be obtained:such was the "inn" at which Joseph's brethren stopped, and where Moses was met by the Lord, Gen 42:27; Ex 4:24-- or else a khan or caravanserai, which was, and is, a large square building enclosing an open court, in whose centre is a fountain; the building contains a number of rooms. There is no provision for meals or feed for the animals; the travellers carry such necessaries with them. These caravanserais are often built by benevolent persons. Jer 9:2. Inn. Another kind of "inn" is that mentioned in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Luke 10:34. This had a host, who was probably paid to attend to the wants of travellers. And it was in one of the stables of a mere caravanserai provided for the horses of travellers that our Lord was born. In modern Syria, in villages where there is no khan, there is a house for the entertainment of travellers, with a man appointed to look after it; for its accommodations, meagre as they are, payment is exacted, and the keeper likewise gets a fee.