(1.) Of children (Zech. 8:5; Matt. 11:16). The Jewish youth were
also apparently instructed in the use of the bow and the sling
(Judg. 20:16; 1 Chr. 12:2).
(2.) Public games, such as were common among the Greeks and
Romans, were foreign to the Jewish institutions and customs.
Reference, however, is made to such games in two passages (Ps.
19:5; Eccl. 9:11).
(3.) Among the Greeks and Romans games entered largely into
their social life.
(a) Reference in the New Testament is made to gladiatorial
shows and fights with wild beasts (1 Cor. 15:32). These were
common among the Romans, and sometimes on a large scale.
(b) Allusion is frequently made to the Grecian gymnastic
contests (Gal. 2:2; 5:7; Phil. 2:16; 3:14; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim.
2:5; Heb. 12:1, 4, 12). These were very numerous. The Olympic,
Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian games were esteemed as of great
national importance, and the victors at any of these games of
wrestling, racing, etc., were esteemed as the noblest and the
happiest of mortals.