Hostage

HOSTAGE (Heb. ben-ta‘ărûvôth, son of pledges). Jehoash (Joash), king of Israel, took hostages after his victory over Judah, to ensure that King Amaziah would keep the peace (2Chr.25.24).


HOSTAGE, the tr. of the difficult Heb. phrase, בְּנֵ֣י הַתַּֽעֲרֻבֹ֑ות, a construct chain consisting of the pl. common noun for sons in the sense of “group of,” plus an abstract noun, fem. formed from the verbal stem עָרַב, H6842, meaning “to pledge.” So the effect is the sense “pledges” referring to captives kept as surety against further political upheavals. The term appears only in 2 Kings 14:14 and 2 Chronicles 25:24 in the record of the victory of Jehoash of Israel over Amaziah of Judah. The hostages were carried off to Samaria. Similar records from cuneiform sources indicate that such hostages were treated as members of a special social class and often integrated into the conquering society. Although they were in jeopardy, they were not slaves or servants. A mistranslation of the difficult Heb. phrase accounted for the LXX reading, Gr. τοὺς υἱοὺς τω̂ν συμμίξεων, “the sons of intermixture.” See Surety.

See also

  • War