gest (qara'; anakeimai): Oriental customs growing out of a nomadic life demand a greater abandon and freedom with respect to the relation of host and guest than are permitted by the conventionalities of western life. A householder is expected to entertain a traveler, and in turn the traveler may accept with perfect ease the hospitality shown without any obligation to pay. See HOSPITALITY. The significance of the word is that of one who is called or invited. A certain sacredness, unknown to modern western society, was attached to the guest, so that a special apartment was set aside for the guests. See GUEST-CHAMBER. In the Old Testament only 3 times is the word itself used, with reference to the guests of Adonijah (1Ki 1:41,49), of the foolish woman (Pr 9:18), and of Yahweh (Zep 1:7). In the New Testament, 3 times (Mt 22:10 f; Lu 19:7 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "to lodge"). Though but few actual uses of the word occur, there are abounding illustrations of the guest relation in both Old Testament and New Testament. Especially is this manifest in the striking social attitudes of Jesus on occasions. Notable among these are the hospitality of Matthew (Lu 5:29 ff); Jesus' relation to Martha and Mary (Lu 10:38 ff), and His entrance into the home of Zaccheus (Lu 19:1 ff). Likewise Jesus spoke frequently of the relation which should exist between the guest and his host (see Lu 7:44-46; Mt 25:35; 10:40).
Walter G. Clippinger