Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(guest treatment). Regulated (Lev. 19:33-34; 25:14-1733And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. 34But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:33‑34)
14And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbor, or buyest ought of thy neighbor's hand, ye shall not oppress one another: 15According to the number of years after the jubilee thou shalt buy of thy neighbor, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee: 16According to the multitude of years thou shalt increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of years thou shalt diminish the price of it: for according to the number of the years of the fruits doth he sell unto thee. 17Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 25:14‑17)
; Deut. 15:7-117If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: 8But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. 9Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee. 10Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. 11For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land. (Deuteronomy 15:7‑11)).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This was a striking feature of oriental life, as seen practiced by Abraham in Genesis 18:2-82And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, 3And said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: 4Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: 5And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said. 6And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. 7And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it. 8And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat. (Genesis 18:2‑8), and it continues in these days to a partial extent. It is enforced in the New Testament as a duty among Christians (Rom. 12:1313Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. (Romans 12:13); 1 Tim. 3:22A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; (1 Timothy 3:2); Titus 1:88But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; (Titus 1:8); 1 Pet. 4:99Use hospitality one to another without grudging. (1 Peter 4:9)). The fact is mentioned that by exercising hospitality “some have entertained angels unawares” (Heb. 13:22Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2)).

“435. Abuse of Hospitality” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Psalm 41:99Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. (Psalm 41:9). Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

“692. Host and Guests” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

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).

Related Books and Articles: