Entertainments, "feasts," were sometimes connected with a public festival (Deuteronomy 16:11, 14), and accompanied by offerings (1 Samuel 9:13), in token of alliances (Genesis 26:30); sometimes in connection with domestic or social events, as at the weaning of children (Genesis 21:8), at weddings (Genesis 29:22; John 2:1), on birth-days (Matthew 14:6), at the time of sheep-shearing (2 Samuel 13:23), and of vintage (Judges 9:27), and at funerals (2 Samuel 3:35; Jeremiah 16:7).
The guests were invited by servants (Proverbs 9:3; Matthew 22:3), who assigned them their respective places (1 Samuel 9:22; Luke 14:8; Mark 12:39). Like portions were sent by the master to each guest (1 Samuel 1:4; 2 Samuel 6:19), except when special honour was intended, when the portion was increased (Genesis 43:34).
The Israelites were forbidden to attend heathenish sacrificial entertainments (Exodus 34:15), because these were in honour of false gods, and because at such feast they would be liable to partake of unclean flesh (1 Corinthians 10:28).
In the entertainments common in apostolic times among the Gentiles were frequent "revellings," against which Christians were warned (Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:21; 1 Peter 4:3). (see BANQUET.)