407. Primitive Mail Carriers

Job 9:25; 2 Chronicles 30:6; Esther 3:13; Esther 3:15; Esther 8:14; Jeremiah 51:31  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Job 9: 25. My days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good.
Swift runners were often employed in ancient times to convey important messages. Kings kept a number of such in their service as a part of the royal household. When Hezekiah sent invitations to the solemn passover which he designed holding at Jerusalem, it is said that “the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah” (2 Chron. 30:66So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. (2 Chronicles 30:6)). In the time of Jeremiah there seems to have been a regular postal service established, for he says, in prophesying the destruction of Babylon: “One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end” (Jer. 51:3131One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end, (Jeremiah 51:31)). The Persians also made use of swift messengers. The order commanding the murder of all the Jews in the empire was sent by this means. See Esther 3:13,1513And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey. (Esther 3:13)
15The posts went out, being hastened by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed. (Esther 3:15)
. The order which neutralized the effect of this proclamation was sent by “posts that rode upon mules and camels” (Esther 8:1414So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace. (Esther 8:14)).
While there may have been no systematic communication of this sort in the time of Job, yet it is evident from the text that men fleet of foot were employed when occasion required. The patriarch compares the rapid flight of his days to a post; literally, a runner, a man hastening with news. This was the swiftest mode of communication with which he was familiar, and his days went swifter still.