In the Old Testament the Hebrew word tsir , meaning "one who goes on an errand," is rendered thus ( Joshua 9:4 ; Proverbs 13:17 ; Isaiah 18:2 ; Jeremiah 49:14 ; Obadiah 1:1 ). This is also the rendering of melits , meaning "an interpreter," in 2 Chronicles 32:31 ; and of malak , a "messenger," in 2 Chronicles 35:21 ; Isaiah 30:4 ; 33:7 ; Ezek. 17:15 . This is the name used by the apostle as designating those who are appointed by God to declare his will ( 2 Corinthians 5:20 ; Ephesians 6:20 ).
The Hebrews on various occasions and for various purposes had recourse to the services of ambassadors, e.g., to contract alliances ( Joshua 9:4 ), to solicit favours ( Numbers 20:14 ), to remonstrate when wrong was done ( Judges 11:12 ), to condole with a young king on the death of his father ( 2 Samuel 10:2 ), and to congratulate a king on his accession to the throne ( 1 Kings 5:1 ).
To do injury to an ambassador was to insult the king who sent him ( 2 Samuel 10:5 ).