seat, chief

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The place indicating special honour. The chief seat (AV, REB), or ‘best seats’ (NRSV), ‘front seats’ (NJB; Mark 12: 39) were much sought after at the right of the host. In the synagogues the front seats enabled the occupants to face the rest of the congregation in a position of eminence—though it is not certain whether this had become the custom by the 1st cent. ce.

Subjects: Biblical Studies.

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