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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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trı̄ - klin´ti - um (Latin from Greek τρικλίνιον , triklı́nion , from tri and klı́nē , "a couch"): A couch for reclining at meals among the ancient Romans, arranged along three sides of a square, the fourth side being left open for bringing in food or tables, when these were used. In the larger Roman houses the dining-rooms consisted of small alcoves in the atrium arranged to receive triclinia. In early Old Testament times people sat at their meals ( Genesis 27:19 ; Judges 19:6 ; 1 Samuel 20:5 ; 1 Kings 13:20 ). Reclining was a luxurious habit imported from foreign countries by the degenerate aristocracy in the days of the later prophets (Amos 2:8 ; Amos 6:4 ). Still, we find it common in New Testament times (Matthew 9:10 ; Matthew 26:7 ; Mark 6:22 , Mark 6:39 ; Mark 14:3 , Mark 14:18 ; Luke 5:29 ; Luke 7:36 , Luke 7:37 ; Luke 14:10 ; Luke 17:7 ; John 12:2 ; in these passages, though English Versions of the Bible read "sat," the Greek words are anákeimai , sunanákeimai , anapı́pto , katákeimai and anaklı́nō , all indicating "reclining"; compare John 13:23 ; John 21:20 ; here the King James Version translates these words "lean," probably with reference to the Jewish custom of leaning at the Passover feast). In John 2:8 , John 2:9 the ruler or governor of the feast is called architrı́klinos , that is, the master of the triclinium. See MEALS , III.

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Triclinium'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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