Entertainment (מַשׁתֶּה, a "feast," comp. ξενιζω, to "entertain" a stranger, Heb 13:2). This took place among the Hebrews sometimes in connection with a public festival (Deuteronomy 16; Tob. 2:1) and accompanied by offerings, SEE SACRIFICIAL FESTIVAL, (1Sa 9:13; 1Sa 16:3; 1Ki 1:9; 1Ki 3:15; in token of alliance, Ge 26:30; Ge 31:54); sometimes with a domestic or social occurrence, and, so faras the latter reference is concerned, they were chiefly held at the weaning of children (Ge 21:8; comp. Rosenmuller, Morgenl. 6:243 sq.), at weddings (Ge 29:22; Jg 14:10; Joh 2:1 sq.), on birthdays (Job 1:4), particularly in royal courts (Ge 40:20 [?Ho 7:5]; Mt 19:6; comp. Herod. 1:133; 9:109; Lucian, Gall. 9; Athen. 4:143; see Dougtaei, Analect. 1:44; 2:33; Laurent, De notalit. convitiisque quae in iisdem agitabantur, in Gronovii Thesaur. 8), on the reception and departure of dear friends or else respected personages (Ge 19:3; 2Sa 3:20; 2Sa 20:4; 2Ki 6:23; Tobit 7:9; 8:20 sq.; 1 Macc. 16:15; 2 Macc. 2:28; Lu 5:29; Lu 15:23 sq.; Joh 12:2), at sheepshearing (2Sa 13:23; 1Sa 25:2,36), and vintage (Jg 9:27), also at funerals (2Sa 3:35; Jer 16:7; Tob. 4:18 [the לֶחֶם אוֹנַים of Ho 9:4]; comp. Josephus, War, 2:1, 1; Homer, II. 23:29; 24:802; see Harmer, 3:203), and mostly occurred in the evening (Josephus, War, 1:17, 4). The guests were invited by servants (Pr 9:3; Mt 22:3 sq.), in more, honorable instances a second time (Mt 22:4; comp. Lu 14:7; comp. Eskuche, Erlduter. 2:410 sq.), and these summoners (like the Roman vocatores or invitatores) seem to have had the business of assigning the guests their relative position (Walch, Observ. in Matthew ex inscript. page 62). On their arrival the guests were kissed (Tob. 9:8; Lu 7:45), their feet were washed (Lu 7:44; comp. Homer, II. 10:576 sq.; Odyss. 3:476; 8:454; Petron. Sat. 31; see Dougtaei Anal. 1:52); the hair of their head and beard, even their clothes, oftentimes their feet (Lu 7:38; Joh 12:3; comp. Athen. 12:553), anointed with costly oil (Ps 23:5; Am 6:6; comp. Homer, II. 10:577; Plutarch, Sympos. 3:6, page 654; Petron. Sat. 65; Lucret. 4:1125; see Walch, De unctionibus vet. Ebrceor. convivialibus, Jen. 1751), and their persons decked with garlands, with which their head was especially adorned (Isa 28:1; Wisd. 2:7 sq.; comp. Joseph. Ant. 19:9, 1; Athen. 15:685; Plutarch, Sympos. 3:1 page 645; 3:6, page 654; Philostr. Apoll. 2:27; Aristoph. Av. 460; Horace, Od. 2:7, 23; Sat. 2:3, 256; Plautus, Mencechm. 3:1, 16; Lucretius, 4:1125; Juvenal, 5:36; Petron. 65; Ovid, Fast. 5:337); and then, with consideration to the rank (Josephus, Ant. 15:2, 4); comp. Becker, Charicles, 1:427), they were assigned their respective places (1Sa 9:22; Lu 14:8; Mr 12:39; Philo, 2:78; comp. Buckingham, Mesopot. 1:279). All received, as a rule, like portions sent by the master of the house (1Sa 1:4; 2Sa 6:19; 1Ch 16:3; comp. Homer, Odyss. 20:280 sq.; II. 24:626; Plutarch, Sympos. 2:10, pages 642, 644), which, however, when special honor was intended, was doubled, or even increased fivefold (Ge 43:34; comp. Herod. 6:57), or a tidbit sent in place of it (1Sa 9:24; compare Homer, II. 7:321; see Koster, Erlauter. page 197 sq.). The management of the entertainment was in the hands of the architriclinus (q.v.) (Joh 2:8), generally a friend of the family (comp. Sir. 32:1, 23; see Rosenmuller, Morgenl. 5:223). The pride of the entertainer exhibited itself partly in the number of the guests (Ge 29:22; 1Sa 9:22; 1Ki 1:9,25; Lu 5:29; Lu 14:16), partly in expense of the eating and drinking vessels (Es 1:6 sq.; compare Curtius, 8:12, 16; see Kype, De apparatu conviv. regis Persar. Regiom. 1755), partly and especially in the variety and excellence of the viands (Ge 27:9; Isa 25:6; Am 6:4; Job 8:21; comp. Ps 23:5; Job 28:16; Niebuhr, Trav. 3:385), as well as their richness (Ge 18:6; 1Sa 9:24; Jg 6:19). Such banquets also lasted longer than with Occidentals (3 Macc. 6:28; comp. Es 1:3 sq.; Rosenmuller, Morgenl. 3:294), and in Persia weighty state interests were discussed and determinations reached at the royal table (Es 1:15; Es 7:1 sq.; Herod. 1:113; Plutarch, Sympos. 7:9; Ammian. Marc. 18:5, page 169, Bip. ed.; Athen. 4:144; comp. Tacit. Germ. 22). The amusement consisted in part of music eand song (Isa 5:12; Am 6:5; Ps 69:13; Sir. 32:7; comp. Homer, Odyss. 17:358; Rosenmiller, Morgenl. 5:200), also the dance (Mt 14:6), in part of jests and riddles (Jg 14:12 sq.; compare Athen. 10:452, 457). At their departure the guests "were again perfumed, especially on the beard (Maundrell, page 400 sq.). The women feasted on such occasions probably not with the men (Buckingham, 2:404), but in a separate apartment (Es 1:9; see Rosenmuller, Morgenl. 3:296; Bachelor, Chron. page 98; comp. the later meretricious custom, Da 5:2; Judith 12:11 sq.; Herod. 5:18); but in plebeian homes the sexes were intermingled (Joh 12:8). The Israelites were forbidden heathenish sacrificial entertainments (Ex 34:15; yet see Nu 25:1 sq.), partly because these were in honor of false worship, and partly because they would thus be liable to partake of unclean flesh (1Co 10:28). See Buxtorf, De conviv. Ebr. in Ugolini Thesaurus 30; Geier, De Vet. Ebr. ratione ccenandi, in the Biblioth. Lubec. vi, sq.; Stuck, Antiquit. conviv. (Tigur. 1597); Mercurial. De arte gymnast. page 75 sq. ed. Amst. SEE MEAL- TIME.
An especial sort of entertainment were the κῶμοι, or comissationes ("revellings"), which played so conspicuous a part in the sensual times during which the apostles labored (Ro 13:13; Ga 5:21; 1Pe 4:3). Young men assembled to banquetings on festival occasions, or in the crowd of public associations, became excited with song or music, and traversed the streets inspired with wine, jubilating, and committing many extravagances (comp. Wetstein, 2:85 sq.; Bos, Observ. in N.T. page 117 sq.; Schwarz, De comessatione vet. Altdorf, 1744; Ilgen, De poesi scol. p. 197 sq.; Apulej. ed. Oudenorp. 1:133 sq.). On the luxury and wantonness of entertainments generally in the Roman period, see Philo, 2:477 sq. The rich Jews followed the example of their pagan masters. SEE FEAST.