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Matthew 23:6

    Matthew 23:6 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    and love the chief place at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the things desired by them are the first places at feasts, and the chief seats in the Synagogues,

    Webster's Revision

    and love the chief place at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

    World English Bible

    and love the place of honor at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues,

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    and love the chief place at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 23:6

    The uppermost rooms at feasts - The word "rooms," here, by no means expresses the meaning of the original. It would be correctly rendered the uppermost "places or couches" at feasts. To understand this, it is necessary to remark that the custom among the Jews was not to eat sitting, as we do, but reclining on couches. The table was made by "three" tables, raised like ours and placed so as to form a square, with a clear space in the midst, and one end quite open. Around these tables were placed cushions capable of containing three or more persons. On these the guests reclined, leaning on their left side, with their feet extended from the table, and so lying that the head of one naturally reclined on the bosom of another. To recline near to one in this manner denoted intimacy, and was what was meant by lying "in the bosom" of another, John 13:23; Luke 16:22-23. As the feet were extended "from" the table, and as they reclined instead of sitting, it was easy to approach the feet behind, and even unperceived. Thus, in Luke 7:37-38, while Jesus reclined in this manner, a woman that had been a sinner came to his feet "behind him," and washed them with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head. She stood on the outside of the couches. So our Saviour washed the feet of his disciples as they reclined on a couch in this manner, John 13:4-12. Whenever we read in the New Testament of "sitting" at meals, it always means reclining in this manner, and never sitting as we do. The chief seat, or the "uppermost" one, was the middle couch at the upper end of the table. This the Pharisees loved, as a post of honor or distinction.

    Chief seats in the synagogues - The seats usually occupied by the elders of the synagogue, near the pulpit. The meaning is, they love a place of distinction. See the notes at Matthew 4:23.