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Hospitality
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
The generous and gracious treatment of guests.In the Old Testament, historical narratives provide a glimpse into hospitality practices, by way of both positive and negative examples (Gen 14:18–24; 18; 19; 23:1–20; 24:10–49; 43:32; Josh 2:1–21; 6:22–25; Judg 4:19; 1 Sam 25:2–38; Neh 5:14–17). These sometimes illustrate a pattern of hospitality extended both to known guests and strangers that featured:• a greeting with bow or kiss (Gen 18:2; 19:1)• a welcome for the guest to come in (Gen 24:31)• an invitation to rest (Gen 18:4; Judg 4:19)• an opportunity to wash (Gen 18:4; 19:2; 24:32)• a provision of food and drink (Judg 4:19; 19:5)• an invitation to converse (Gen 24:33)• a provision of security (Gen 19:8)The Mosaic law records significant guidance in the treatment of neighbors and strangers living among the tribes of Israel. The Israelites were commanded to treat foreigners well because of their own background as foreigners in Egypt (Exod 22:21; Lev 19:33–34). They were to welcome their poor fellow Israelites into their homes (Lev 23:35). They were to celebrate festivals along with aliens who were living among them (Deut 16:11, 14). Lack of hospitality in other nations was condemned (Num 20:14–21; Deut 23:3–4). Mosaic plans for cities of refuge (Num 35; Deut 4:41–43; 19:1–10) add to the evidence that hospitality included the provision of sanctuary throughout Old Testament history.In the New Testament, Jesus urged hospitality to be extended beyond the confines of home and tribe, as illustrated in the parables of the Midnight Visitor (Luke 11:5–8) and the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37; see John 4:9). Ministering to the needy is clearly expected by God, as made evident in Jesus’ instruction regarding the judgment on the nations: feeding the hungry, quenching the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, visiting the imprisoned (Matt 25:31–46). Failure to offer hospitality incurs judgment (Luke 16:19–24). Jesus scolded Simon the Pharisee for being a poor host: no water for washing his feet, no greeting of Jesus with a kiss, and no oil for anointing his head (Luke 7:44–46).While Christians are generally urged to show hospitality (Rom 12:13; Heb 13:2; 1 Pet 4:9), they are discouraged from taking a meal or extending other hospitality to unrepentant believers (1 Cor 5:11), teachers of false doctrines (2 Tim 3:5; Titus 3:10–11), or intentional deceivers (2 John 7–11).Douglas K. Wilson
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Hospitality
Hospitality (φιλοξενια, philoxenia). The generous and gracious treatment of guests.In the Old Testament, historical narratives provide a glimpse into hospitality practices, by way of both positive and negative examples (Gen 14:18–24; 18; 19; 23:1–20; 24:10–49; 43:32; Josh 2:1–21; 6:22–25; Judg 4:19;
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Hospitality
HOSPITALITY [Gk philoxenia (φιλοξενια)]. The practice of receiving a guest or stranger graciously was common to many social groups throughout the period in which the OT and NT were composed. But special nuances of hospitality, particularly with regard to the guest and host roles played by God or Christ,
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Hospitality
Hospitality. Biblical concept often used with the terms “guest,” “stranger,” and “sojourner.” It is useful to limit the meaning of “hospitality” to benevolence done to those outside one’s normal circle of friends, as is implied in the literal meaning of the Greek word (“love of strangers”). Although
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Hospitality
HOSPITALITY Biblical concept often used with the terms “guest,” “stranger,” and “sojourner.” It is useful to limit the meaning of “hospitality” to benevolence done to those outside one’s normal circle of friends, as is implied in the literal meaning of the Greek word meaning “love of strangers.” Although
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Hospitality
hospitality, the act of extending welcome and providing food, drink, lodging, or other amenities to visitors. Hospitality in the Near East was tightly bound up with social customs and expectations. According to biblical narratives, travelers would often go to a public place in a town and wait for someone
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Hospitality
HOSPITALITY. The reception and lodging of travelers was viewed in Bible lands as a binding obligation to be conscientiously fulfilled. The stranger was to be courteously treated as a guest. In fact, the facilities of the household were placed at his disposal. After eating food with his guest, the host
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
Hospitality
HOSPITALITY. Throughout Scripture, the responsibility of caring for the traveller and those in need is largely taken for granted. Although examples are found right through the Bible, the only specific commands about providing hospitality concern the Christian’s responsibility towards his fellow believer.
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Hospitality
HospitalityThe practice of receiving and extending friendship to strangers. Hebrew has no specific word for the practice, but the activity is especially evident in the patriarchal traditions of Genesis and narratives in Judges. The activities and roles of both host and guest probably reflect nomadic
Catholic Bible Dictionary
Hospitality
HOSPITALITY (Greek philoxenia, “love of strangers”) The practice of hospitality—meaning giving welcome to guests or strangers—was considered a great virtue and duty in biblical times throughout the Near East (Exod 22:21; Lev 25:4; Job 31:32). The custom derived in large part from the necessities of desert
Dictionary of New Testament Background
Hospitality
HOSPITALITYHospitality is a universal phenomenon, practiced to varying degrees by all the world’s cultures (Pitt-Rivers). Of the various types of hospitality that existed in the ancient Mediterranean world, five receive emphasis in the following survey. The first is public hospitality, which was practiced
Dictionary of the Later New Testament & Its Developments
Hospitality
HospitalityThe custom of hospitality was worldwide and highly regarded as a virtue in antiquity (Stählin, 17–20). It was rooted in a sense, given divine sanction, of the mutual obligation of all people to help one another, especially the stranger. Hence temples and altars were places of asylum, and
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Hospitality
Hospitality. Hospitality was regarded by most nations of the ancient world as one of the chief virtues. The Jewish laws respecting strangers, Lev. 19:33, 34, and the poor, Lev. 25:14, seq.; Deut. 15:7, and concerning redemption, Lev. 25:23, seq., etc., are framed in accordance with the spirit of hospitality.
Key passages
Le 19:33–34

“ ‘And when an alien dwells with you in your land, you shall not oppress him. The alien who is dwelling with you shall be like a native among you, and you shall love him like yourself, because you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am Yahweh your God.

Lk 14:12–14

And he also said to the one who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or wealthy neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you. But whenever you give a banquet, …

Ro 12:13

contributing to the needs of the saints, pursuing hospitality.

Heb 13:2

Do not neglect hospitality, because through this some have received angels as guests without knowing it.

1 Pe 4:9

Be hospitable to one another without complaining.

Re 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, indeed I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me.

See also
Ge 12:10–20; Ge 14:18–24; Ge 18:1–15; Ge 19:1–11; Ge 20:1–18; Ge 23:1–20; Ge 24:10–49; Ge 26:6–35; Ge 29:1–14; Ge 43:1–34; Ge 45:1–28; Ge 46:28–47:12; Ex 2:11–25; Ex 22:16–23:9; Le 19:19–37; Le 23:15–22; Le 25:35–38; Nu 20:14–21; Nu 21:21–32; Nu 35:9–34; Dt 4:41–43; Dt 10:12–22; Dt 14:22–29; Dt 16:9–17; Dt 19:1–13; Dt 23:1–8; Dt 24:5–25:4; Dt 26:1–15; Dt 27:11–26; Jos 2:1–24; Jos 6:1–27; Jos 20:1–9; Jdg 13:1–25; Jdg 19:1–21; 1 Sa 9:1–26; 1 Sa 25:2–44; 2 Sa 6:1–23; 2 Sa 9:1–13; 2 Sa 19:31–39; 1 Ki 11:14–25; 1 Ki 17:8–16; 2 Ki 4:8–37; 2 Ki 6:8–23; 2 Ki 20:12–19; Ne 5:14–19; Job 31:1–40; Job 42:1–17; Pr 9:1–12; Pr 23:6–8; Pr 25:17; Is 25:1–12; Is 39:1–8; Is 58:1–14; Je 21:11–22:10; Eze 47:13–23; Zec 7:8–14; Mal 3:1–7; Mt 8:14–17; Mt 9:10–13; Mt 10:5–15; Mt 22:1–14; Mt 25:31–46; Mt 26:6–13; Mk 1:29–31; Mk 2:13–17; Mk 6:7–13; Mk 14:3–9; Lk 4:38–39; Lk 5:29–32; Lk 7:36–39; Lk 9:1–11; Lk 9:51–56; Lk 10:1–16; Lk 10:38–42; Lk 11:5–10; Lk 11:37–44; Lk 14:1–24; Lk 19:1–10; Lk 24:13–32; Jn 2:1–10; Jn 4:39–42; Jn 12:1–11; Jn 13:1–20; Jn 14:1–4; Ac 2:40–47; Ac 9:36–10:8; Ac 10:17–33; Ac 10:44–48; Ac 16:11–15; Ac 16:25–34; Ac 17:5–9; Ac 18:1–17; Ac 21:1–25; Ac 28:1–16; Ro 12:9–21; Ro 16:1–2; 1 Co 16:19–24; 1 Ti 3:1–7; 1 Ti 5:3–16; 2 Ti 1:13–18; Tt 1:5–9; Phm 1–3; Phm 17–22; Heb 11:30–40; Heb 13:1–6; Jas 2:1–26; 1 Pe 4:7–11; 3 Jn 5–8; Re 3:14–22;
See also
Topics & Themes