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Among the Romans either rods were used (Acts.16.22; 2Cor.11.25) or whips, the thongs of which were weighted with jagged pieces of bone or metal to make the blow more effective (Matt.27.26; Mark.15.15; John.19.1). It was used to wrest confessions and secrets from its victims (Acts.22.24). The number of blows was left to the whim of the commanding officer. Its victims, tied to a stake with back bared to the tormentors, generally fainted from the resulting lacerations, some even died. It was forbidden to scourge Roman citizens (Acts.22.25), that punishment generally reserved for slaves or those condemned to death.

“Scourge” is used figuratively for “affliction” in Job.9.23; Isa.28.15, Isa.28.18. Note the mixed metaphors in Isa.28.15.——DEH


TDNT, IV (1967), 515-519.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

The other Old Testament references (Job 5:21; 9:23; Isa 10:26; 28:15,18 shot; Jos 23:13 shotet) are figurative for "affliction." Notice the curious mixture of metaphors in the phrase "over-flowing scourge" (Isa 28:15-18).

Henry E. Dosker

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