692. Host and Guests

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Matthew 22:1111And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: (Matthew 22:11). When the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment.
1. It was customary for monarchs and others who gave magnificent banquets to come in to see the guests after they were assembled. Allusion is doubtless made to this custom in the text, and also in Luke 14:1010But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. (Luke 14:10); “When he that bade thee cometh.” The context plainly intimates that the guests had assembled and occupied their places before the host made his appearance.
2. The surprise manifested by the king at finding one of the guests without a suitable garment, when it could not be expected that people who had thus been suddenly called, and from the poorer classes too, would furnish themselves with festive apparel, is an indication that the bounty of the king had provided a supply for the guests from his own wardrobe. The beauty of the parable, as well as its deep spiritual significance, is more clearly seen in the fact that beggars are represented as clothed in the garments of royalty! Although there is no direct evidence to show that it was customary thus to furnish wedding-guests with robes, the intimation is clearly made in the parable, and there are, in profane history, accounts of kingly generosity of a character somewhat similar. Extensive wardrobes were a part of Eastern wealth. See note on Job 27:1616Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay; (Job 27:16) (#417). Garments were often given as presents; it was a special mark of honor to receive one which had been used by the giver, and kings sometimes showed their munificence by presenting them. See notes on Genesis 45:2222To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment. (Genesis 45:22) (#93); 1 Samuel 18:44And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. (1 Samuel 18:4) (#257); Esther 6:88Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head: (Esther 6:8) (#397).