Stands for two Hebrew words: malahch, "messenger," and tzeer, "ambassador." Israel's commanded isolation rendered embassies an infrequent occurrence; they were mere nuncios rather than plenipotentiaries. The earliest instances occur in the case of Edom, Moab, and the Amorites (Numbers 20:14; Numbers 21:21). Gibeon feigned an ambassage (Joshua 9:4). The ambassador's person was regarded as inviolable (2 Samuel 10:2-5; 2 Samuel 12:26-31).
Men of high rank usually; as Sennacherib sent his chief captain, Chief cupbearer, and chief eunuch, Tartan, Rabsaris, Rabshakeh, whom Hezekiah's chief men of the kingdom, Eliakim over the household, Shebna the secretary, and Joab the recorder, met (2 Kings 18:17-18; Isaiah 30:4; Isaiah 33:7; compare Isaiah 18:2). Once in New Testament, "we are ambassadors for Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:20); treating with men "in Christ's stead": God "beseeching," and His ambassadors "praying" men to be reconciled to God. Majesty, faithfulness, yet withal tenderness, are implied. Our part is to send prayers, as our ambassage, to meet God's ambassadors, desiring His conditions of peace (Luke 14:32; Isaiah 27:5).