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These were, of course, enjoyed by Jewish children as by all others (Zech. 8:5; Matt. 11:17). We do not hear much of games for men except in gentile cities. The erection of a gymnasium by Jason was regarded as heathenish. Among the Greeks and Romans the “public games” formed an important part of the national life, and references to them are frequent in the New Testament. It is probable that Paul was present at Ephesus when the annual games were held in honor of Diana, superintended by the Asiarchs, or chief officers of Asia (Acts 19:31); and he may have seen the famous Isthmian games held near Corinth, which consisted of leaping, running, boxing, wrestling, and throwing a spear. The competitors were in training for a long time beforehand. The prizes, consisting of crowns of leaves of ivy or pine, were highly valued (1 Cor. 9:24; Philip. 3:14; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 2:5; 4:7; Heb. 12:1).