The OT has nothing comparable to the wealth of Greek literature about games, though there is mention of a contest, possibly wrestling, in 2 Sam. 2: 12–17, when twelve young men on each side were slain. However, with the influx into Palestine of Greek culture and in view of Paul's travels round Mediterranean cities, it is not surprising that his epistles often contain metaphors derived from popular games—racing, boxing, and the like (1 Cor. 9: 24–7; Phil. 3: 14).

Boards used for games have been found by archaeologists, and in Jerusalem the soldiers dicing for Jesus' garments (Matt. 27: 35) may have used lines scratched on the Pavement (Gabbatha).