John admonishes: “Everyone that pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God. . . . If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him. For he that says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works.” (2 John 9-11) To keep such a one in the home or to fraternize with him would be dangerous to one’s own spirituality, and would be, in effect, condoning his course. It would be misleading to others and a reproach to the congregation. This principle is expressed also at Romans 16:17, 18; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Matthew 7:15; 1 Corinthians 5:11-13.
INNS AND LODGING PLACES
The ancient inn was apparently little more than a place of shelter for the traveler, providing also a place for his animals, similar to what has been termed a “caravanserai.” Such may have been the lodging place where Joseph’s half brothers stayed on their journey back from Egypt to Canaan (Gen. 42:27; 43:21), and where the angel appeared before Moses’ wife Zipporah.—Ex. 4:24.
It seems that prostitutes sometimes operated lodging places. Rahab the prostitute of Jericho lodged the two spies sent out by Joshua, and showed kindness and hospitality to them by hiding them from their pursuers. (Josh. 2:1-13) Samson lodged at the house of a prostitute woman in Gaza until midnight, waiting to humiliate the Philistines by carrying off the city gates.—Judg. 16:1-3.
Some of the inns in Palestine during the first century C.E. were evidently more elaborate, perhaps providing, not only shelter, but also food and other services, at a designated charge. The hospitable Samaritan of Jesus’ parable paid out of his own funds for the injured man’s care at an inn.—Luke 10:30-35.
In ancient times the guest, while treated with the utmost courtesy and honor, was expected to observe certain amenities and requirements. For example, it was considered among the vilest of acts to partake of another man’s food and then betray or bring harm to him. (Ps. 41:9; John 13:18) The guest was not to presume upon his host or on the group gathered together by taking the seat of honor or the place of prominence, but was to leave this for the host to determine. (Luke 14:7-11) Neither should he ‘wear out his welcome,’ by being too long and too often at the home of his host. (Prov. 25:17) It may be noted that Jesus always imparted spiritual blessings when enjoying the hospitality of his host. (Luke 5:27-39; 19:1-8) For a similar reason he told his disciples whom he sent out that, when they reached a town, they should stay in the home where hospitality was extended them, and not be “transferring from house to house.” They should not be thus seeking a place where the householder could provide them with more comfort, entertainment or material things.—Luke 10:1-7; Mark 6:7-11.
The apostle Paul, who did much traveling and who received hospitality from many of his Christian brothers, nevertheless, did not make himself a financial burden on any of them. Much of the time he worked at a secular occupation, and he set forth the law: “If anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat.” (2 Thess. 3:7-12; 1 Thess. 2:6) By reason of this, Paul had an answer to the charges of the so-called “superfine apostles” in Corinth, who accused Paul of taking advantage of the Christians in the congregation there. (2 Cor. 11:5, 7-10) He could boast in the fact that he provided the good news to them absolutely without cost, not even taking the things he had the right to as an apostle and minister of God.—1 Cor. 9:11-18.
AVOID HYPOCRITICAL HOSPITALITY
A warning about accepting a hypocritical display of hospitality is given at Proverbs 23:6-8: “Do not feed yourself with the food of anyone of ungenerous eye [literally, “evil as to eye”], nor show yourself craving his tasty dishes. For as one that has calculated within his soul, so he is. ‘Eat and drink,’ he says to you, but his heart itself is not with you. Your morsel that you have eaten, you will vomit it out, and you will have wasted your pleasant words.” (NW, 1957 ed., ftn.) Not being the kind that gives something free-heartedly, but expecting something back for what he gives, such a person calculates against you, inviting you in a hearty manner, but with some ulterior object in view. By partaking of his food, and particularly if you crave his tasty dishes so as to desire to enjoy them again, you place yourself to some extent under his power. You may find it hard to refuse some request he may make, and may possibly get involved in difficulty. Then you will feel sick at ever having eaten with him, and the pleasant words that you expressed, hoping that they would promote spirituality and upbuilding friendship, will certainly have been wasted.—Compare Psalm 141:4.
(Hoʹthir) [abundance, superabundance].
One of the fourteen sons of Heman who served under the direction of their father as musicians at the sanctuary. In David’s time Hothir and his sons and brothers were constituted the twenty-first of the twenty-four service groups of musicians.—1 Chron. 25:1, 4-6, 28.
Used in the Christian Greek Scriptures to denote either a short period of time, a fixed, definite time, or a division of the day.
The ancient Israelites may have divided the daytime into four parts. (Neh. 9:3) The night was divided into three periods called “watches.” Mention is made of the “night watches” (Ps. 63:6), the “middle night watch” (Judg. 7:19) and the “morning watch.”—Ex. 14:24; 1 Sam. 11:11.
There is no indication in the Bible that the ancient Hebrews made a division of the day into twenty-four equal parts, or the day and the night each into twelve parts. No term for “hour” is found in the Hebrew Scriptures. The Aramaic word sha·ʽahʹ, found at Daniel 3:6, 15; 4:19, 33; 5:5, and rendered “hour” in the Authorized Version, is from a root meaning, literally, “a look”, “a glance,” and may be properly translated “a moment.” For example, when Daniel stood before Nebuchadnezzar, who asked him to interpret his dream, Daniel was astonished “for a moment,” not for an hour.—Dan. 4:19.
The accounts at 2 Kings 20:9-11 and Isaiah 38:7, 8 tell of Jehovah’s act in miraculously making the shadow go backward ten steps “on the steps of the stairs of Ahaz.” Whether this was a form of sundial made for the purpose of telling time, as some believe, or whether it was simply the shadow of an object on the steps that came to be used to determine the time of day, is not stated.
EXPRESSIONS USED BY HEBREWS
The Hebrew Scriptures, instead of designating certain ‘hours,’ use the expressions “morning,” “noon,” “midday” and “evening” as time markers for events. (Gen. 24:11; 43:16; Deut. 28:29; 1 Ki. 18:26) Also, perhaps more precise designations were “as soon as the sun shines forth” (Judg. 9:33), “the breezy part of the day” (Gen. 3:8), “the heat of the day” (Gen. 18:1; 1 Sam. 11:11), and “the time of the setting of the sun.” (Josh. 10:27; Lev. 22:7) The Passover sacrifice was to be slaughtered “between the two evenings,” which seems to mean a time after sunset