Click here to get started today!
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
"Table" is derived from the Latin tabula , meaning primarily "a board," but with a great variety of other significances, of which "writing-tablet" is the most important for the Biblical use of "table." So in English "table" meant at first "any surface" and, in particular, "a surface for writing," and further specialization was needed before "table" became the name of the familiar article of furniture ("object with a horizontal surface"), a meaning not possessed by tabula in Latin. After this specialization "table" in the sense of "a surface for writing" was replaced in later English by the diminutive form "tablet." But "surface for writing" was still a common meaning of "table," and in this sense it represents לוּח ,
The table as an article of furniture is שׁלחן ,
2 Kings 4:10 seems to indicate that a table was a necessary article in even the simpler rooms. Curiously enough, however, apart from the table of shewbread there is no reference in the Bible to the form or construction of tables, but the simpler tables in Palestine of the present day are very much lower than ours. The modern "tables of the money changers" ( Mark 11:15 and parallel's) are small square trays on stands, and they doubtless had the same form in New Testament times. See
To eat at a king's table (2 Samuel 9:7 , etc.) is naturally to enjoy a position of great honor, and the privilege is made by Christ typical of the highest reward (Luke 22:30 ). Usually "to eat at one's table" is meant quite literally, but in 1 Kings 18:19; Nehemiah 5:17 (compare 1 Kings 10:5 ) it probably means "be fed at one's expense." On the other hand, the misery of eating the leavings of a table (Judges 1:7; Mark 7:28; Luke 16:21 ) needs no comment. The phrase "table of the Lord (Yahweh)" in Malachi 1:7 , Malachi 1:12 the King James Version (compare Ezekiel 41:22; Ezekiel 44:16 - Ezekiel 39:20 is quite different) means "the table (altar) set before the Lord," but the same phrase in 1 Corinthians 10:21 is used in a different sense and the origin of its use by Paul is obscure. Doubtless the language, if not the meaning, of Malachi had its influence and may very well have been suggested to Paul as he wrote 1 Corinthians 10:18 . On the other hand, light may be thrown on the passage by such a papyrus fragment as "Chareimon invites you to dine at the table (
These files are public domain and were generously provided by the folks at WordSearch Software.
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Table'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/t/table.html. 1915.
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11