From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

In the word “preached” we have reference to the office of a herald. Such an office was employed, not only by kings to announce their decrees, (see Dan. 3:44Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, (Daniel 3:4)) and to proclaim their coming (see Mal. 3:11Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1) and note on Isa. 40:33The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:3), #513), but also by those who had charge of the ancient games, to which reference has been made in the preceding verses. The herald proclaimed at the opening of the games the name and country of each candidate, and the rules of the contest. Most commentators suppose the apostle here to represent himself as such a herald. He has announced the opening of the contest, and the laws which regulate it; he is now to be careful lest after all he himself should not succeed. For, unlike the herald in the games, he is also a competitor. Bloomfield, however, thinks that there is here, at best, only an “under-allusion” to the office of herald. See his note in loco.

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