Activities of varying degrees of structure and organization that are pursued for pleasure. Games in biblical times may be categorized as mental exercises, sporting events, or board games. The riddle proposed by Samson (Judg 14:12-14) is an instance of a mental exercise. One reference to a sporting event in the OT, described in (2Sam 2:12-17), set twelve of Joab’s men against twelve of Abner’s men in a contest (probably wrestling). In the NT, Paul frequently uses the metaphor of sporting events. He speaks of running a race (1Cor 9:24-27; Gal 2:2; Gal 5:7; Phil 3:14) and of fighting a good fight (1Tim 1:18; 2Tim 4:7). Board games, though not mentioned specifically in the Bible, have been found in a number of archaeological excavations. In the NT, the soldiers cast lots for Jesus’s garments, probably gambling with dice (Matt 27:35).

Judg 14:12-14

12Samson said to them, “Let me now put a riddle to you. If you can explain it to me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you th ... View more

2Sam 2:12-17

The Battle of Gibeon
12Abner son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbaal son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.13Joab son of Zeruiah, and the servants of Da ... View more

1Cor 9:24-27

24Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it.25Athletes exercise self-contro ... View more

Gal 2:2

2I went up in response to a revelation. Then I laid before them (though only in a private meeting with the acknowledged leaders) the gospel that I proclaim amon ... View more

Gal 5:7

7You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth?

Phil 3:14

14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

1Tim 1:18

18I am giving you these instructions, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies made earlier about you, so that by following them you may fight the g ... View more

2Tim 4:7

7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Matt 27:35

35And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots;

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