Re: A room with three couches?

From: George Athas (
Date: Wed Jun 03 1998 - 20:54:45 EDT

Hi Jonathan!

I imagine that not all people had couches on which to recline at the
dining table. I always thought that most people, especially the lower
and middle classes, would simply recline on cushions strewn about the
floor. Only the wealthy would have had couches.

Also, the position of reclining was such that you would lay down on your
left side, propped up by your left elbow. Then you would reach out with
your right hand and take the food. The feet pointed away from the food
towards the walls. As such, it isn't hard to imagine someone coming and
washing Jesus' feet if he was in this pose. It also makes sense of the
Beloved Disciple when he leans against Jesus' chest and asks who would
betray him. The BD was obviously reclining to the right of Jesus so that
he only needed to tilt his head back to talk to Jesus.

Best regards!
George Athas
 PhD (Cand.), University of Sydney
 Tutor of Hebrew, Moore Theological College
Phone: 0414 839 964 ICQ#: 5866591
Visit the Tel Dan Inscription Website at

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