This instrument, usually a flexible cord or leather lash with a handle, has been used since ancient times to beat humans (2 Chron. 10:11, 14) and in driving and directing animals.—Prov. 26:3; Nah. 3:2.
King Rehoboam boasted that, whereas his father Solomon had chastised the Israelites with “whips”, he would do so with “scourges.” Though Rehoboam’s expression was figurative, the scourges alluded to may have been lashes equipped with sharp points, since the Hebrew word (ʽaq·rab·bimʹ) for “scourges” literally means “scorpions.”
Eliphaz the Temanite spoke of the “whip of a tongue.” (Job 4:1; 5:21) Apparently the allusion was to the use of the tongue to inflict injury, as in slandering and speaking abusively.—Compare Proverbs 12:18; James 3:5-10.
At Passover time of 30 C.E., “after making a whip of ropes, [Jesus] drove all those with the sheep and cattle out of the temple.” Indicating that Jesus used the whip only on the animals, not on the men with the sheep and cattle, is the fact that he evicted the sellers of doves verbally, not with the whip. Also, by driving out the cattle with the whip, he upset their business activity, and the men would naturally follow after their cattle, to round them up.—John 2:13-17.