Food taken at regular intervals, often in the presence of others. Ancient Israelites usually ate two meals a day, a light meal in late morning or at midday and a more substantial meal in the evening around sunset. In ancient Palestine the normal diet might include the following foods: bread, cooked or parched grain (wheat, barley, millet), wine, cheese and curds (primarily from goats’ milk), figs or fig cakes, grapes and raisins, dates, olives, wild honey, beans and lentils, melons, and cucumbers. Onions, leeks, and garlic supplied seasoning; olive oil was used for cooking. Poultry and eggs became common only relatively late in Israelite history. The NT indicates that fish was a common food in the first century. Except among the wealthy, meat was not part of the daily diet, but was reserved for special occasions such as feasts or sacrifices (Lev 7:11-18). The Torah emphatically distinguishes between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not (Lev 11; Deut 14). The Torah also stresses that meat to be eaten must be entirely drained of blood (Deut 12:23; Gen 9:4; Lev 17:14). Sheep and goats were the main sources of meat, and the tail of the sheep was considered a special delicacy. Especially when accompanied by wine and the entertainment of music and dancing (Isa 5:12; Luke 15:22-25), meals were fitting occasions for celebration and rejoicing (Amos 8:10), and feasts often marked events of special significance, such as a sheep shearing (2Sam 13:23-28), a wedding (Judg 14:10), or the return of an absent family member (Luke 15:22-24). A meal could also be intensely symbolic when it was eaten in conjunction with the making of a covenant between persons (Gen 26:28-30; Gen 31:43-54) or between God and God’s people (Exod 24:9-11). In the Revelation to John believers are invited to “the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev 19:9), but at the “great supper of God” the birds of the air will feed on the flesh of the world’s kings, captains, and the mighty (John 19:17-18, Ezek 39:17-20). Several times in the Gospels, especially in Luke, a meal is the setting for important teachings of Jesus (Matt 9:10-13; Luke 7; Luke 11:37-52; Luke 14:1-24), and some of Jesus’s parables have to do with a festival or feasting (Matt 22:1-13; Luke 14:16-24; Luke 15:11-32; Matt 25:10; Luke 16:19-21). In describing meals that Jesus participated in, the Gospels state that he reclined (at table). This indicates that in the Palestine of Jesus’s day the Greco-Roman custom of reclining at formal meals had become widespread (Amos 6:4-6). Jesus’s table fellowship with his followers was an important feature of his ministry, and according to the Gospels his eating with “tax collectors and sinners” drew criticism from his detractors. Meals continued to be crucially important in early Christianity. The book of Acts describes the Christians in Jerusalem after Pentecost as breaking bread together in their homes and partaking of food “with glad and generous hearts” (Acts 2:46). The reference here may be to observance of the Lord’s Supper, referred to also in (1Cor 11:25).

Lev 7:11-18

Further Instructions
11This is the ritual of the sacrifice of the offering of well-being that one may offer to the Lord.12If you offer it for thanksgiving, you ... View more

Lev 11

Clean and Unclean Foods
1The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them:2Speak to the people of Israel, saying:
From among all the land animals, these are th ... View more

Deut 14

Pagan Practices Forbidden
1You are children of the Lord your God. You must not lacerate yourselves or shave your forelocks for the dead.2For you are a people ho ... View more

Deut 12:23

23Only be sure that you do not eat the blood; for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the meat.

Gen 9:4

4Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

Lev 17:14

14For the life of every creature—its blood is its life; therefore I have said to the people of Israel: You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life ... View more

Isa 5:12

12whose feasts consist of lyre and harp,
tambourine and flute and wine,
but who do not regard the deeds of the Lord,
or see the work of his hands!

Luke 15:22-25

22But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.23And get the f ... View more

Amos 8:10

10I will turn your feasts into mourning,
and all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on all loins,
and baldness on every head;
I will make it li ... View more

2Sam 13:23-28

Absalom Avenges the Violation of His Sister
23After two full years Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the k ... View more

Judg 14:10

10His father went down to the woman, and Samson made a feast there as the young men were accustomed to do.

Luke 15:22-24

22But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.23And get the f ... View more

Gen 26:28-30

28They said, “We see plainly that the Lord has been with you; so we say, let there be an oath between you and us, and let us make a covenant with you29so that y ... View more

Gen 31:43-54

Laban and Jacob Make a Covenant
43Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks ... View more

Exod 24:9-11

On the Mountain with God
9Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up,10and they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet t ... View more

Rev 19:9

9And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”

John 19:17-18

17and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha.18There they crucified him, and wi ... View more

Ezek 39:17-20

17As for you, mortal, thus says the Lord GOD: Speak to the birds of every kind and to all the wild animals: Assemble and come, gather from all around to the sac ... View more

Matt 9:10-13

10And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples.11When the Pharisees saw this, they sai ... View more

Luke 7

Jesus Heals a Centurion's Servant
1After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum.2A centurion there had a slave wh ... View more

Luke 11:37-52

Jesus Denounces Pharisees and Lawyers
37While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table.38The Phar ... View more

Luke 14:1-24

Jesus Heals the Man with Dropsy
1On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching ... View more

Matt 22:1-13

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
1Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying:2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banqu ... View more

Luke 14:16-24

16Then Jesus said to him, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many.17At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Co ... View more

Luke 15:11-32

The Parable of the Prodigal and His Brother
11Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons.12The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the ... View more

Matt 25:10

10And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut.

Luke 16:19-21

The Rich Man and Lazarus
19“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.20And at his gate lay a poor man ... View more

Amos 6:4-6

4Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory,
and lounge on their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock,
and calves from the stall;5who sing idle songs to the sound ... View more

Acts 2:46

46Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts,

1Cor 11:25

25In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me ... View more

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