In the ESV translation, in Luke 22:14 (and Luke 22:27, and there might be other places), it says, "And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him". Now, as a native English speaker, it seems like this should be at the table. Why would the translators not add the "the"?
As Perry pointed out, the word "table" does not even appear in the original Greek of Luke 22:14. Also, both the KJV and the Douay-Rheims do not use the word. Both bibles translate the verse identically.
(KJV) And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.
(DRB) And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.
So, instead of saying "he sat down" or simply "he reclined," why does the ESV say "he reclined at table?"
I answer that this is to account for the fact that, although several Greek verbs can mean "recline," the verb ἀνέπεσεν is used exclusively (at least in the New Testament) for reclining or sitting down in the context of preparing to eat. You wouldn't use ἀνέπεσεν to talk about a sick person lying in bed. The verb appears 12 times in the NT, always in the context of eating (see http://biblehub.com/greek/strongs_377.htm). Perhaps this is why the ESV says "he reclined at table" instead of just "he reclined." It seems to me that "he reclined to eat" would be an equally good translation.
The verb is used at the Last Supper, but also when the multitudes sit down on the ground and Jesus multiplies the loaves for them. Notice that the verb ἀνέπεσεν does not presuppose a table per se, but yet is connected with the context of eating. Perhaps this is why the ESV says "reclined at table" instead of "reclined at the table."
I appreciate the answer to this. However, I found that it's actually not true that all the occaasions of the word are only used in the context of eating. What about where Peter's mother 'laid down' with a fever (Mark 1:30)? Or the paralytic on the bed (Mark 2:4)? Or the invalids in John 5:3; 6? My understanding is that these are all the same Greek word.