A man especially selected from the royal bodyguard to deliver royal decrees and other urgent correspondence from a king to distant areas of his realm. The speed of delivery by couriers (Heb., ra·tsimʹ; literally, runners) was of prime importance. From early times such men were referred to as “runners.” They are called this at 2 Chronicles 30:6, 10; Jeremiah 51:31.
In the Persian Empire fast horses were used, along with relay stations, or posts, where fresh couriers and horses waited to carry important messages on their way. (Es 3:13-15; 8:10, 14) They rushed messages to their destinations night and day and in all kinds of weather. In the Roman Empire there were stations placed every few kilometers for the couriers where 40 horses were constantly kept. Roman couriers could travel about 160 km (100 mi) a day, a considerable speed in those times. With this system of post-horses, royal messages could be dispatched to the ends of an empire in a relatively short period of time.